Residential Assisted Living and Your Retirement Investment Plan

Have you, like so many other adults in the US, found yourself thinking more and more about establishing a solid investment plan? Let’s face it – we’re not getting any younger and smart financial planning involves calculated, thought-out decisions that will ultimately leave a lasting legacy for the generations that follow you. But where does one begin? Perhaps you’ve started on the internet and frantically began searching for “smart investments” or “how to start a retirement plan.” Perhaps you already have an idea of the types of investing you’re interested in, but are unsure where or how to start.

We hear about this often – an individual setting out to start a retirement plan meets with their bank or other money managers. They’re told something along the lines of, “you need to find an asset class that mitigates your risk.” Sound familiar? In this article, we’ll take you through the dos and don’ts of building a retirement plan and the importance of evaluating the various asset classes and unique investments, while also looking at the visible and invisible risk comparisons that come with each one. One of the first questions you want to consider when starting your retirement plan is this: where are you going to invest?

Where are You Going to Invest?

Before you make a decision on where it is you’re going to invest your money to set yourself up for retirement, you need to understand the different types of investments and if they’re going to be a good fit for you. There are a large variety of investment options and finding the right one that meets your financial needs and goals requires you to do some research so you can understand the basics to make an informed decision. With any investment, you want to know what it is you’re putting your money into and have clear expectations when it comes to returns.

Here’s a closer look at some of the different types of investments and asset classes to be aware of. Note that with each type of investment, you have a different level of risk involved. The level of risk really depends on the amount of money and the type of return you’re looking for. It’s important to consider this when making decisions about your personal investments. You really need to be aware of how much you are willing to risk and stick with that as you make your decision on investment types. Consider whether or not it’s worth risking more for a higher payout… this will help drive your decision on where and how to invest.

Different Types of Investments

Here is a quick overview of some of the major investment options to familiarize yourself with as you start considering the best options for investing.

https://smartasset.com/investing/types-of-investment

  • Stocks

Stocks are a more common type of investment, and most people have a basic understanding of how this type of investment works even if they’ve never traded them. In the simplest terms, when someone invests in a stock, they’re hoping the value will go up and they’ll in turn, earn a profit. Of course there is risk involved with the cost of shares going down. Most large companies are publicly traded so anyone can purchase stock, or rather ownership shares in that company.

  • Bonds

Businesses and government agencies issue bonds as a type of investment and these break down into two types of bonds: corporate and municipal. When you invest in a bond, you’re lending your money to that business or agency in hopes of a return after the entity has matured. Although bonds have some risk (the company could go under, for example), bonds tend to hold lower risk and as a result, have less payout. A third type of bond is a treasury bond, which is through the U.S. Treasury, and these are considered safe investments.

  • Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is a broad investment that is made up of funds from many different investors and delegated broadly across multiple companies. Mutual funds can be invested in stocks, bonds, or both, but because the investment itself is shared, the risk is typically lower.

  • Certificate of Deposit / CD

This type of investment carries little to no risk at all. It’s a slower investment in which you designate funds into your bank for a long period of time and then earn those funds back with interest at the end of the time period. The risks are low because they are insured, but there are high penalties for early withdrawals, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t need access to the money that you’re putting in.

These are just a few of many of the different types of investments. When you begin to buckle down and decide which route to go, a financial advisor can give you lots of insight into every option and help you determine which is best for you. But as you start to think through retirement and what it looks like to set up a lasting legacy, you may be looking for something more – something that has more meaning, adds value to your life and the lives of those you love. It may be that you’re interested in something more – investing where you’re not only able to grow your wealth, but add tremendous value and make a difference. This is a common consideration for people as they start thinking about retirement, and the good news is, there are options. The type of investing that also allows you to put your money into something that is adding value (beyond the obvious value of added wealth) is called impact investing. There are a few types of impact investment options, but let’s take a look at what classifies as an impact investment first.

Impact investing is choosing to invest in a company or organization (both non and for profit businesses) with the intent of having an environmental or social impact in addition to a financial return. Common industries that receive impact investments include renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and basic services including housing, healthcare, and education. If you take a hard look at your current investments, how many of them truly help people beyond supplying a customer with the goods or services you offer? The draw toward an impact investment is that it not only allows you to make money while selling a product, it also solves a real and existing problem. There is a natural draw to this type of investment because you’re not only building wealth, you’re also able to make a difference in the lives of others while you do it.

Through impact investing, individuals have a chance to design solutions as they see fit to very real problems (ones that often go unaddressed) and directly speak into shaping or changing their own communities for the better. With that in mind, we’re going to take a closer look at the housing investment opportunities, the various things to be aware of in each one, and ultimately unpack one of the greatest real estate impact investment opportunities, which is senior housing and, more specifically, residential assisted living facilities. 

Real Estate Investment Options, Risks, and Benefits

As we take a deep-dive into real estate investment options, we’ll look closely at a wide variety of different types of real estate investing, the risks and potential benefits associated with each, and we’ll uncover the residential assisted living opportunity and how this real estate impact investment stacks up against the rest.

Real Estate Investment Opportunities

Real estate is a very common avenue for impact investing, but there are a lot of ways to get involved in real estate – some with higher risks or lower returns – so it’s important to be educated on the different types of real estate and the variety of levels in which individuals can get involved. One common misconception about real estate investing is that the investor must have a great deal of real estate knowledge or have experience in housing. The truth is, anyone can get into real estate investing, but it’s essential you do your research and understand the type of involvement you’re wanting to have and have a realistic understanding of the returns you’ll likely see. Regardless of the investment, one of the biggest things all investors are looking for when it comes to real estate investment is little to no competition. This is hard to find in most real estate these days. Just think about it – the more the media hypes real estate, the more the masses will flood to it. To better understand the competition that goes with real estate investing, let’s consider the various types of real estate investments many have either taken part in or want to be a part of in the future.

Here are some to consider:

  • Fix and Flip
  • Wholesales
  • Foreclosures
  • Short Sales
  • Rental Homes
  • Apartments
  • Storage Units
  • Mobile Homes

With each example listed, there are varying levels of participation and competition, and every time a new TV show on HGTV comes out about fix and flips, there are a thousand new people in your market alone that you’re competing with. Real estate investing can get harder and harder because the competition to invest is on the rise. On the other hand, we see that real estate runs in cycles and you’ll hear lots of real estate agents and investors talk about being at the top or bottom of the market. It’s very likely we’re at the top of this current cycle than at the bottom simply because we’ve been going up for a long time. Nothing keeps climbing for ever and what goes up must eventually come down. So if you’re considering real estate investing, it’s very important to consider the cycle our current market is in and how that could potentially affect your investment. With all these real estate investment options, doing your research and making a decision can be overwhelming at the very least. It’s hard to know which is the best option and more importantly, which is right for you. And you want to be sure to choose the right fit for you and your money – especially when it comes to real estate. If you’re being pulled into impact investing for any reason at all, you’ve likely heard about residential assisted living. Chances are, you’ve done your research and perhaps that is how you stumbled on this very article. We’re going to take a closer look at residential assisted living, what it takes to own and operate a residential assisted living facility, and how this impact investment stacks up against the rest of the real estate investment options.

 Residential Assisted Living Investment Numbers
The competition for residential assisted living is growing. More and more people are learning about the residential assisted living opportunity and discovering the cash-cow that exists among these homes.

Why Choose Residential Assisted Living as an Impact Investment?

With the residential assisted living facility business opportunities, you have the chance to build a business that will inevitably be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in the near future. This right here speaks into the wealth factor, which we’ll unpack, but another thing to consider is the real need that exists and the solution that residential assisted living offers.

Here are the facts:

  • There are 77 million Baby Boomers currently alive across the globe. 
  • There are an average of 10,000 people a day turning 65.
  • There are 4,000 people a day turning 85… this right here is the target demographic for residential assisted living homes.

We call this target demographic the Silver Tsunami, and it’s on the rise like never before, which means these aging seniors (who want to age in their own home!) are going to be looking for a safe and affordable housing option that also provides the care they need.

But what makes this opportunity so valuable?

Here’s why.

The first reason has to do with the value of the homes themselves. The competition for residential assisted living is growing.  More and more people are learning about the residential assisted living opportunity and discovering the cash-cow that exists among these homes. There are very few assisted living homes for sale simply because they are cash cows and nobody wants to sell a money-making machine. The ones that are for sale are most likely in the wrong location, so not worth the time or money. As more and more people become educated about this real estate investment (and they will, as we’ve seen the competition trends are growing), there will be an increase in competition who want to get involved, and a lot of the investors or business owners will want to purchase an already-existing home. This real estate has value just like any other real estate, but the residential assisted living facility will have separate value. The business will be able to be sold separately from the real estate, making these homes very high in value.

The second thing to consider regarding the value of senior housing investments is that Baby Boomers have been driving our economy for decades. As they age and the target demographic is on the rise, the demand for senior housing and care for these seniors grows and those who choose to invest now will be in the right place at the right time. The baby boomers aren’t just in the U.S. either – this is a worldwide trend. You see, World War II ended and when those servicemen came home, the population spiked and now there’s a Silver Tsunami coming. This population is 10 years away from needing assisted living in massive demands and it’s a huge chance for any investor to do good and do well through this incredible impact investment opportunity. And that’s exactly what this is – an opportunity. It’s like seeing a stock chart ten years in advance. You know where the price is going because you know that there are tens of millions here in the U.S. – hundreds of millions worldwide – who will need assistance. It’s like a Silver Tsunami that we can’t stop, but we can put ourselves in the right position to be able to profit from it while also helping these aging seniors into honest and quality care environments.

So what about a traditional assisted living facility? Why would seniors or their adult children choose a residential home over a larger, big-box assisted living facility? And what are the differences between the two? There are a few reasons, which we’ll dive into next, but one important statistic we want to point out has to do with the actual target demographic and their personal interests and needs. 90% of seniors want to stay at home their entire life – they don’t want to go into an assisted living facility. Of those seniors, 70% are going to need care and assistance with their activities of daily living (ADL). Activities of daily living (or ADL as we’ll refer to them) are the regular activities that each of us do as we go about our day starting from the time you get out of bed in the morning to the time you go back to bed in the evening. ADL are things like brushing your teeth, cooking a meal, using the restroom, getting dressed, etc. This large number of seniors who need assistance with their ADL will have two options: they can either be put into a large, big-box assisted living facility or a residential assisted living home where they will receive the care they need as they continue living out the rest of their lives.

 Residential Assisted Living Investment versus Big Box AL
The services are similar to traditional big-box assisted facilities. However, residential assisted living provides a smaller, more intimate setting that feels like home.

The Difference Between Big Box Assisted Living Facilities and Residential Assisted Living Investment Opportunity

Harry S. Dent, New York Times best selling author, says “the opportunity of our lifetimes in real estate development and investing is likely to be nursing homes and assisted living facilities.” Why is this the case? Because we’re seeing a massive demand and need for home-care with aging seniors on the rise. With 70% of those falling into the target demographic of age 85+ needing help with their ADL, the demand for assisted living also grows. The opportunity for residential assisted living is so good because the need is a growing one and the income potential is massive, unlike any other real estate investment opportunity. But still, many wonder why seniors would choose an assisted living home over a big-box facility, and aside from capacity, many have a hard time identifying the underlying differences between the two.

Here are the basic differences between the two options and why most seniors would opt for a residential assisted living home over an assisted living facility. Big box assisted living facilities range in size from as few as 25 residents to more than 120. These large facilities are usually huge buildings surrounded by a parking lot. Typically, different levels of care are offered. Assisted living residents usually live in their own apartments or rooms and share common areas. They have access to many services, including up to three meals a day; assistance with personal care; help with medications, housekeeping, and laundry; 24-hour supervision, security, and on-site staff; and social and recreational activities. In contrast, Residential Assisted Living is a two-fold business opportunity consisting of real estate and senior care. The residential model also provides room, board, housekeeping, supervision, and personal care assistance with basic activities like personal hygiene, dressing, eating, and walking. The services are similar to traditional big-box assisted facilities. However, residential assisted living provides a smaller, more intimate setting that feels like home. As a result of the smaller, residential-style home, caregivers are able to offer better staff-to-resident ratios. Naturally, because of this environment, seniors experience fewer injuries due to life-threatening fall risks. The industry comprises real estate owners and assisted living home operators. An owner’s involvement depends on whether they want to be hands-on or hands-off.

Now let’s take a look at the difference between big assisted living facilities and residential assisted living facilities from an investment standpoint. First of all, big-box facilities require massive amounts of money and are highly unattainable for the majority of investors. But let’s just say you are able to get your hands on that kind of cash or more likely, decide to pool your funds with other investors and decide to convert an already existing facility like a vacant hotel for example, the competition is still fierce and you’re going up against big companies like Brookdale, Sunrise, Atria, etc. These companies have hundreds of millions – even billions – of dollars and they’re investing it in senior housing as we speak. You don’t want to compete against them and neither do we. Not only is it unrealistic to think you’d be able to go up against a company like this, it’s important to note that the returns are just not the same as they would be if you were to invest in residential assisted living instead. Here’s how big-box facilities do it: they raise huge amounts of money and then there’s nothing to buy… until something becomes available. At that point, the available property becomes a huge bidding war between these big-box companies and the prices go up because of the demand.

If you know something about investing, you likely know that when the price goes up, the return gets crushed and goes down. What does this mean? The higher the demand, the lower the profitability for you. Big money isn’t always smart money, it’s just big money. We can do it smarter and so can you. In fact, you don’t even have to use your own money! At this point, you may be asking, “How?” It’s all about starting small. First, you purchase the house, you start modestly by taking one step at a time to get that home up and running – by taking small steps to start operating as an assisted living facility. There are many details involved in doing this, but the bottom line is that residential assisted living is accessible to anyone who wants to learn the business, help others, and make huge returns on their money… the kinds of returns that the big-box companies could only dream of. Why? Because you’re approaching the assisted living opportunity from a different, yet smarter angle.

It’s more affordable, more accessible, more cost-effective for you and the resident, and produces higher returns. It’s that simple. 

Big-box facilities have a lot of money to spend and they’re only looking to make a 5% return on their investment. If you are looking at assisted living as an investment, that’s way too low of a return, which is why you’d want to tackle assisted living from the residential angle. With residential assisted living homes you can invest starting with just $100,000 and you can even do it with someone else’s money, which is something we’ll teach you through the Residential Assisted Living Academy. The fact is, there are a few different ways you can get involved, depending on the level of participation you want to have in the business. All of them offer great returns and we’ll take a closer look at those a little bit more further into the article. Before we do, we want to cover a risk/benefit comparison with residential assisted living vs. other real estate investment options to give you a better idea of how Residential Assisted Living stacks up against the rest.

 Residential Assisted Living Investment in a Growing Demographic
It’s pretty straightforward that the residential option is much more accessible and presents a variety of investment options that result in much higher returns.

Residential Assisted Living Compared to Other Real Estate Investment Options

When you consider the facts about residential assisted living facilities and the big-box companies, it’s pretty straightforward that the residential option is much more accessible and presents a variety of investment options that result in much higher returns. Residential assisted living also allows you to provide a real need to a growing demographic that’s accessible, affordable, and meets their needs as well as their desire of wanting to be home as they age. But maybe you’re wondering how residential assisted living stacks up against other real estate investment options. What about single family rentals, fix & flips, multi-housing, etc.? We’re going to do a quick rundown of some of the other real estate options and share how the residential assisted living opportunity compares.

Residential Assisted Living vs. Single-Family Rental

With both single-family rentals and residential assisted living, you’re working with single family homes. Managing the real estate itself is very similar in both cases, but probably the biggest difference is the profitability in residential assisted living. There are two reasons this is true. First, with residential assisted living you have the opportunity to charge much higher rents (think double). Second, residents are looking for long-term lease options (5 years) as opposed to shorter terms with traditional renters.  This reduces the risk of a property sitting vacant and a loss of revenue. Other benefits include little to no vacancy and the ability to pass the repair costs to the operator, if you are doing a non-operator option, which we’ll look at more closely later in the article. 

Residential Assisted Living vs. Fix & Flip

Fix & Flips are attractive to those who enjoy a good project that they can turn around quickly. There are some things to keep in mind with these risky real estate investments, however. If you’re lucky enough to find a great deal, you’re likely in for a large and costly remodel, which means the majority of individuals who do this type of investment, need to have reliable and honest connections in home repair. Additionally, there are lots of risks involved when it comes to home repairs and a lot can go wrong with fix & flip properties. All investments have risks, but if you’re rattled by surprises or feel unsettled by the idea of plans and timelines constantly changing, this is probably not the right option for you. The biggest known risk with Fix & Flips is the probability of costs you didn’t plan for.. Things can go south quickly on any property investment because of unexpected renovations that need to be made and the costs associated with them.  For example, a simple purchase and paint project can turn into a nightmare renovation when you discover the home needs a new roof, plumbing, electrical, kitchen updates, bathroom updates, etc. This can leave you feeling distraught and upside down on the home.

With a Residential Assisted Living property investment, many homes need little to no renovations; however, most business owners have an ongoing plan to stay up-to-date on renovations and regular maintenance to ensure the business can operate well for many years. When renovations are factored into the business plan, the return on investment makes sense. Another risk is the simple fact that Fix & Flips are not considered long-term investments. Think of them as a one and done kind of deal, which means that once the property is sold, you’re unemployed and looking for your next deal, assuming fix and flip is your main source of income.. The Residential Assisted Living opportunity provides long-term, lower risk income and at the same time, offers a substantial need to a growing demographic of aging seniors.

Residential Assisted Living vs. Multi-housing/Multi-family Homes

With multi-housing, you’re looking at options like apartment complexes, duplexes, condos, townhouses, or any structure that’s designed to house multiple families. This industry is very competitive and very different from its real estate counterparts. Costs associated with multi-housing are also very different. Typically the renting rates are much lower than you’d find with residential assisted living homes, but purchasing prices for these facilities are much higher. Another roadblock to consider with multi-housing is that these buildings can be harder to find with lots of competition and reduced capitalization rates. 

Residential Assisted Living vs Wholesaling

In real estate wholesaling, your goal is to purchase and sell very quickly. You want to get the property under contract and then sell if off to another investor as soon as possible. In this investment type, you’re always looking for more deals. Similar to the fix & flip option mentioned above, it’s a one and done type deal and there are no long-term investments or steady income being generated. There’s certainly a higher risk involved. With the fluctuating real estate market, there really are no guarantees and there’s always the risk that your buyer will fall through or you don’t find a buyer at all while you’re under contract. Additionally, it isn’t always easy to get good deals in real estate and sometimes it takes a great deal of time and energy to find just the right property.

Residential Assisted Living vs Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals offer a decent return on investment, but you’re definitely limited  to seasons. People are typically traveling on weekends or during peak holiday seasons, which is when vacation rentals will typically do their most business. Vacation rental owners are left trying to offset the downtime or slow seasons with lowered rates and strategic marketing tactics to drum up business when things are slow. One risk to consider with vacation rentals is the possibility of having bad tenants. There are agreements and fees associated to protect you from potential damage that could be caused with the property, but this is a very heightened risk with this type of real estate investment. With residential assisted living, you’ll have very low impact tenants. Residential Assisted Living attracts long-term residents who are looking for a place to live, settle, and are typically always low-impact.

Residential Assisted Living vs. Mobile Home

When you’re looking into the mobile home market, you’re focusing on a much lower-income demographic, which means costs – and returns – are going to be much lower. With lower-income markets, you’re also limited to location, which limits your ability to grow your investment. In residential assisted living, you can purchase a variety of homes with different price points and in different real estate markets all allowing you to charge a much broader range of price points for your tenants. The benefit of this is that you can go after different markets and it opens up your demographic to include different levels of income. 

Residential Assisted Living vs Storage 

There are a lot of obvious differences between residential assisted living and investing in storage units. On one hand, storage units have the benefit of reduced risk of being as adversely affected by a fluctuating economy due to being a lower monthly rate service compared to some other real estate investment options. It’s important to consider, however, that storage units offer much lower profits per month especially when compared to residential assisted living, and they require a demand, which can fluctuate from geographical area and season. Now that we’ve taken a closer look at how other real estate investment options stack up against residential assisted living, let’s consider the residential assisted living opportunity up close and discover why you should seriously consider getting involved in the impact investment of senior housing.

 How does the Residential Assisted Living Investment Stack Up?
You may not know this but, senior housing has outperformed all other real estate asset classes over the past ten years, including hotel, industrial, office, retail, and apartments.

The Benefits of Investing in Residential Assisted Living 

Let’s take a look at the building blocks of residential assisted living homes so we can fully understand the benefits that exist with this type of impact investing. 

1: Residential Assisted Living is a Solid Impact Investment Opportunity

The first is simple – residential assisted living is an impact investment. We touched on this earlier in the article, but an impact investment is unique in that it offers an opportunity to not only build wealth, but to give back to something greater – to provide a need to an existing problem. The existing problem is growing in that aging seniors are on the rise and there are 77 million baby boomers, with 4,000 turning 85 on a daily basis. The big-box assisted living facilities are expensive and most of these seniors want to stay in their own homes. Additionally, the family members of these seniors want to ensure that their aging parents are receiving quality care that’s accessible and affordable. A residential assisted living home allows the owner and/or operator to earn a much higher return on the property investment when they can rent to low-impact seniors in need of care and a safe place to reside. The residential assisted living business opportunity is truly one that allows you to do good for others while building wealth and a lasting legacy for generations to come. It also provides a solution to your own senior care needs for when the time comes, which also lifts the burden off of your childrens’ shoulders. 

2: Residential Assisted Living Investing Produces High ROIs

With any investment, most investors – especially those entering into retirement – are looking for an excellent return on their investment, or high ROI. We know this can fluctuate depending on the length of the investment and the risk associated with it. One of the major benefits of residential assisted living facilities is the high ROI they offer, which is why so many are drawn to the opportunity – even those with no experience in real estate, senior housing, or the medical profession. Right now in the United States, an average assisted living home costs a resident $3,600 per month for each individual. So if you have a home that’s licensed for 10 individuals, the potential gross income is $36,000/month. Of course there are expenses you’ll need to take into consideration – food, utilities, rent, licensing, caregivers, manager, and more. The costs inevitably add up to a lot each month, but the amounts will vary depending on whether you’re acting as the manager or just an owner of the business. We’ll talk about the different ways to get involved a little later, but for now, it’s important to weigh the options of how much involvement you potentially would want to have in the day-to-day operations of the business to best estimate your monthly expenses.

We believe the best way to operate a residential assisted living home is with the right team, in the right location and the Residential Assisted Living Academy provides in-depth training on how to properly resource yourself and hire the right team to run a successful senior home. This is very important and hiring a manager and a good team of caregivers frees you up so you’re not having to do all the legwork, and instead are able to focus on running a profitable and successful business built to do good and do well. If this is the case, on average, typical expenses are roughly $21,000/month – and that’s when the home is full and operating at capacity. The last piece to add to the equation is the debt service/rent. Even if you have $5,000 marked as rent for this property, you’re still generating $10,000 in monthly revenue. Also consider that these numbers are based on an average home. Operating a larger above-average home, with more rooms at a higher rate per bed can yield even higher returns.

3. Residential Assisted Living Profitability is Based on a Concrete Foundation

There are so many real estate and investment plays out there, but there are few opportunities with such a concrete foundation. In this case, the foundation is based not on market fluctuations, but on verifiable numbers regarding population demographics in this country. In their book, Investing in Senior Housing, seasoned business and investment experts Gene and Jim Guarino talk about their journey toward residential assisted living and what led them to shift their entire professional focus toward educating and equipping others to invest in this relatively untapped opportunity. In it, they explain “The number of seniors in our country is expected to double to more than 72 million by 2030. And by 2050? That number will hit 83 million. However, the senior housing story isn’t just about numbers. It’s about understanding how powerful demographics translate into meaningful trends and changes in our society, our culture, and the economy. As you know, we’re living longer, families are working more, and the number of loved ones available to care for our aging population is dropping at a record pace. But the real message here is that this demographic shift is creating both tremendous wants and needs – and unparalleled opportunity.” What is the cause of this demographic shift?

With the explosion of birthrates in the 50’s and 60’s, Baby Boomers are now entering into the ages where they will need assistance, and so far, this country has not sufficiently accounted for that dramatic shift in the senior population. People are going to continue to age and as they do, society will need to find ways to care for them. You may not know this but, senior housing has outperformed all other real estate asset classes over the past ten years, including hotel, industrial, office, retail, and apartments. “Senior housing has the potential to stabilize your portfolio while keeping it safe as well. In other words, it has a proven track record of weathering the down times.” You can pick up a copy of Gene and Jim’s book here. Now that we’ve covered a few of the benefits of investing in residential assisted living, you may be wondering about some of the risks, setbacks, or even negatives associated with Residential Assisted Living. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about the residential assisted living business opportunity. Now don’t get us wrong – as with any investment type, there is always some level of risk involved, but more often than not, the concerns a lot of people have about the Residential Assisted Living opportunity before investing are not based on facts.

The Primary Resistance to Real Estate Investing

As we take a look at the primary reasons people are initially inclined to resist this type of investment, we need to start with naming the myths.

Myth #1: People can’t afford residential assisted living

How do people afford it? One big difference in our model of Residential Assisted Living is that it doesn’t focus on Medicare and Medicaid, but rather private-pay. Sometimes this looks like long-term care insurance or an individual’s income stream from their pension, social security, or liquidating assets — like their own home or other assets and investments — that they use to pay for their assisted living. If a senior doesn’t have access to those assets, it usually falls on their kids to take care of the costs. So, how do people afford it? Frankly, they take care of it any way they can because they love mom and dad. The seniors we serve have families who make sure their parents have the very best care.

Myth #2: I have to use my own money to invest

This is simply not true. We show our students how to do Residential Assisted Living with their own money or how to use other people’s money. When you think about it, borrowing from a bank is borrowing other people’s money. When you bring in outside lenders, investors, or private individuals those are all options utilizing other people’s money. A lot of times people will think, “Oh, I have to have skin in the game,” and they believe they have to have their own money in. That’s not how we think about it. If you’re putting in the time, the effort, you have the plan, and you’re willing to do the work, you’re putting a lot of skin in the game. Others have the money and are looking for something or somebody to invest in. That can be you! But you need to know what you’re doing. That’s where education comes into play.

Myth #3: It’s difficult to staff Residential Assisted Living homes

The trick you need to consider is training new and aspiring residential assisted living managers and operators on the secrets to safeguarding dedicated employees. Staffing and employee retention is something that all employers and managers must take seriously in today’s economy. This approach starts with specialized training. The RALAcademy provides a specific section of coursework centered on hiring and retaining the right staff. Knowing how to find the right staff, hire and train them is key to any successful residential assisted living business. The RAL National Association also has resources that answer these issues. These resources are equipping residential assisted living owners to build stable teams nationwide.

Myth #4: The target demographic for assisted living is the sick and disabled senior

Assisted living communities have residents that range in health. It’s very common to have a home that specializes in certain services such as memory care for Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms. On the other hand, you may have residents who only need help with their activities of daily living (ADL), which are basic daily needs such as bathing and grooming. Many seniors are perfectly healthy, but benefit from having their housekeeping, meals and transportation needs professionally met, which is why a residential assisted living home can be a huge draw for some. Residential assisted living homes provide seniors with the level of care they need while also freeing up their time and resources to enjoy new activities and interests, as well as social interactions with other seniors. There are many myths surrounding the residential assisted living business, but much like any investment opportunity, it’s important to do your research, learn and understand the facts, and get the training you need to set you up for success. We believe the residential assisted living investment is the number one real estate impact investment opportunity where the earning possibilities are endless and the level of involvement varies. Anyone can learn the business and do well in residential assisted living. In fact, there are a few different ways to invest in varying levels of involvement, and that all depends on you.

Three Ways To Participate in The Residential Assisted Living Investment Opportunity

The first way you can invest in residential assisted living is to own the real estate and then lease it to an operator. If you take this approach, your main priority should be to find the right operator. When you come to our training, there are people right there you can network with – people who want to operate and are trying to find the money to buy the house. We have a huge network of individuals looking to get into this business in a variety of ways and together, we can do big things. Finding the right operator is a matter of you putting yourself in the right position that will allow you to establish a network and partner with the right people to help you reach your goals. The reason this is such a great angle to take is because it opens the door for you to get paid up to twice the market rent. Whatever the house normally rents for, raise it. The reason someone would pay twice the market rent is because they don’t know what you know – how you came up with the capital, what you spent on the house, etc. Additionally, they are making a lot of income already and will be willing to pay more in rent because they will still be profiting tremendously at the end of the day. Another benefit of this option is that you are more likely to get long term, low impact tenants. Anybody who wants to rent a home to run a residential assisted living facility isn’t going to want a one-year lease. They’re going to want a five-year lease with five-year renewals. 

Now you have a property with the opportunity to make twice the rent and sign a five-year lease, and playing the part of the real estate owner who leases to an operator is going to allow you to make big returns and significant residual income. The second way to get involved is by owning the real estate and operating the business. This is where we get into the $10,000 per month on an average home. We go into all the specifics of how to make this happen in our Certified Online Residential Assisted Living online training course, but the main thing to keep in mind with this option is that this is for individuals who want to both own the real estate AND operate the business. Sure, you’ll hire a property manager to run the day-to-day, as well as a care staff, but you’ll have your hands in the business operations. If that’s something you’re interested in, you just raised the bar on your profitability options.

The third way is by being a private lender or a joint venture partner. Some of you just want to write a check and invest. You don’t want to purchase the home, get the business going, or even be hands on in the business, but rather just write a check. This is an excellent way to get involved if you’ve got money to invest. There are literally tens of thousands of individuals around your area who are looking at their stocks and investments who feel worried. The stock market could go down at any time – anything could happen around the world that could affect their investments and it can feel uncertain at best. They don’t want to invest in real estate because the real estate market is at the top right now and they’re wondering what to do with their money. If that money is sitting in the bank, it’s making very little or maybe even nothing. Right now, the average CD is only making 1%. These people are dying for this type of investment opportunity. Honestly, the money is the easy part because there are a lot of people out there looking for this type of investment. If you’re at the point in your business that you’re ready to pitch to an investor, we invite you to check out this article on our blog, The Residential Assisted Living Business Plan: Your Key to Success, which will unpack the elements of putting together a successful business plan and how you can get the money you need from the right investor! 

 Operate a successful Residential Assisted Living investment
Finding and staffing the right team is essential to a successful senior housing investment.

Common Questions to Answer Before Investing in Residential Assisted Living

Do I need experience in the medical field?

The short answer is NO. Residential assisted living is not a nursing home, requiring nurses.You’re probably wondering if you have any business investing in the residential assisted living facility business opportunity without any experience in the medical field. The truth is, you don’t need any but your business may benefit from that expertise if you do. As an owner or operator, you are going to be hiring the staff and caregivers who have the training, or will acquire the training, needed and this includes staff with medical experience.

Can I use my own home as a residential assisted living facility?

Another common question is if you can turn your current home into a residential assisted living facility. Sometimes yes, sometimes no – it depends on a variety of factors, but the biggest factor is location. The biggest and most important piece of this puzzle is location, location, location. Is it near the right people? Is it surrounded by the right demographics? If it’s near a college campus where the average age is 30-years-old and these 30-year-olds have parents in their 50s and 60s who are not in assisted living, that’s not an ideal location. However, if your home is in an area where the average age is 50-60 years old and their parents are 80 and 90 years old, that’s more likely the right neighborhood. After considering location, you’ll want to assess the economics. Do the residents in the area have an income that is in the middle and below or the middle and above? A successful residential assisted living property will want residents in the upper middle income, making location critical. You don’t need to worry about the home structure itself. We can remodel, or if needed, scrape it away and build it new; it’s the location that is essential for determining if your home is a fit. Location is everything in residential assisted living and having the right location for your home is essential to running a successful and lucrative business.

How do I find Caregivers for my assisted living home?

Finding and staffing the right team is essential to a successful senior housing investment. There is a precise skill set that you need to learn in order to identify, hire, train, grow, and retain caregivers that your residents will love and who you will find indispensable. This skill set is exactly what we teach through the Residential Assisted Living Academy training. Strong leadership is also essential to build your staff around. There are certainly no guarantees, but positive, supportive, and present leaders increase the chances of employee retention and foster healthy teams – including your caregivers. With this in mind, when hiring and training Residential Assisted Living management, remember that this position is the primary piece of the puzzle for employee satisfaction. Leadership is also responsible for hiring new staff, and it is important to know the industry when doing so. Staff turnover comes at a high price for Residential Assisted Living homeowners, so nurturing happy employees is a great start to avoid staffing issues.

For more resources on raising staff retention and building healthy teams, check out this article here.

What is the difference between the manager and the owner?

As we mentioned earlier, as an investor, you have a few ways to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your residential assisted living business. Typically, as an investor, you are the business and/or real estate owner. We don’t recommend that the business owner also manage the property itself, although that is one way of doing it. But before making that call, you should have a good understanding of what’s involved for the managers of a residential senior home. The number one job for the manager is to make sure that everything runs smoothly. The home manager is there, day-to-day, making sure the caregivers are there, making sure the residents are in place, the home is full, and the family is being taken care of. The day-to-day for a manager really isn’t one day, it’s more of a 24/7, all-encompassing role — they’re ready to go at any time and their schedules can look very different from day-to-day. The manager is a key person in your business and hiring a good one is very important if you want a healthy investment.

 Do Good and Do Well in Your Residential Assisted Living Investment
We believe those who invest in residential assisted living are doing just that by providing a solution to a real and growing need while also building wealth at the same time!

Are You Ready To Take The Next Step With Your Investment?

We’ve covered a great deal of information in this article. The fact is, wherever you find yourself, you’re probably starting to think about retirement and what you need to do to get your plan together–– not just a good plan, but one that’s right for you and your family. And if you, like many others, are drawn to impact investing and/or real estate investing, you’ve likely heard about the benefits of residential assisted living homes and the rising need for quality, senior care. At the Residential Assisted Living Academy, our motto is “Do Good and Do Well” and we stand behind it. We believe those who invest in residential assisted living are doing just that by providing a solution to a real and growing need while also building wealth at the same time! So what’s your next step? Are you ready to make an investment that will impact the lives of others and set up a lasting legacy for generations to come? This is a business and investment formula that anyone can learn, and it’s an opportunity for YOU to succeed no matter what your experience level. We’ve helped investors, entrepreneurs, and every-day normal people with a variety of different backgrounds be able to succeed in their residential assisted living investment and if you’re ready, we want to help you do the same!

Residential Assisted Living Marketing…Healthcare or Lifestyle?

The senior living market is rapidly changing because of the growth of the residential assisted living home model. It’s inevitable that marketing strategies for assisted living will be dominantly geared toward residents’ wants, instead of only needs. Instead of making decisions for them, assisted living homes are not only offering quality care, but a huge variety of services and amenities.

So, should residential assisted living homes market and advertise healthcare or lifestyle?

The market is most definitely going through some serious changes. Traditional senior housing like nursing homes are now competing against the unprecedented growth of residential assisted living homes. People want to grow old in the comfort of their own home environment, as opposed to a big box facility. No one wants to voluntarily spend their twilight years in a facility.

Can Senior Living Communities Offer A Home And A Lifestyle? 

The two major factors that most families consider when choosing an assisted living community is the level of healthcare and the financial cost. While these two things are very important considerations, they are not the only factors that make up a senior’s decision that will directly affect their quality of life. Other lifestyle factors can affect a person’s emotional, mental and physical well-being, and therefore should also be valued. Senior communities are starting to realize that providing residents with high quality lifestyles requires more involvement. This means caregivers must do more than monitor and assist with basic care needs. Quality of life is directly impacted by the lifestyle senior communities offer. It’s important to your business to place more emphasis on specific lifestyles after physical demands are well met. As a result, many assisted living homes are starting to expand and adopt new approaches. 

They are beginning to address the unique needs and desires that different lifestyle options can afford. This is what residents want – to be able to live life in the manner that best represents who they are and the freedom that they have known most of their adult life. As the industry adapts, seniors now have more of an option to choose a community with a specific lifestyle program that meets their personal desire. There are options that are specific to men, women and others that are geared to chefs, gardening  enthusiasts, retired educators and even sports fans. The specialty list is exhaustive. RAL operators need to be aware of these great programs geared toward residents in assisted living homes. 

Seniors Aging Is Linked To Quality Of Life 

The factors affecting quality of life are subjective – it is different for everyone, varying from person to person. A Pew Research report found that many Americans believe that quality of life is closely connected to the aging process. 

Quality Of Life Has Multiple Dimensions

  • The lack of distressing physical symptoms: pain, nausea, constipation, etc.
  • Emotional well-being: happiness and absence of anxiety.
  • Functional status: the ability to perform daily activities and high order functions; the participation and enjoyment of social activities; the quality of close personal relationships; satisfaction with both the financial and medical aspects of their health treatment; sexuality, body image, and intimacy.

A person’s lifestyle revolves around their interpersonal relationships, pleasures and social activities. These are some of the same factors that affect quality of life. Finding a community that offers a lifestyle that is aligned with your own personal preferences might actually provide you with a higher quality of life. This is why advertising and marketing is important to the success of residential assisted living businesses. This industry is not known for its ability to change rapidly. Yet, we are currently experiencing a marketing environment that is complex and fast changing. Marketing changes have to be made to meet, not only the demand, but the desires of potential residents as well. 

Marketing Isn’t What It Used To Be

Sales and marketing strategies must change to keep up with the times. You cannot continue to use old strategies to attract a completely different and more modern audience. This is especially true when attempting to reach individuals with uniquely different wants and needs to previous generations. RAL owners and operators must also understand that when targeting potential customers for independent or assisted living, adult children play an important part of the decision making process. There often needs to be two different, yet compatible, messages. The way we communicate with both groups should be unique. Afterall, the quality of life of the senior parent will have an impact on the lives of their adult children.

Social media and other new technologies are essential tools for communication as well as the sales process. Understanding the profile of your true target customer is a must when crafting the right message. Marketing to digital-aged consumers is an innovative dynamic. The tools, technology, platforms, ability to do research on  their own, demand for a speedy response, and other rules of engagement all need to be addressed and adapted to. 

The Wild Card: Referral Marketing

Consumer needs are changing so we need to change our message. This change is not a bad thing, it will bring about new opportunities and expand our market. As a provider, many organizations will have to decide whether their product is marketed as healthcare or a lifestyle. And just to reiterate, in either case, quality caregiving needs to be of paramount importance to your business and staff. Only when quality care is established can you move into the space of marketing for lifestyle. It is not either or, it is one or both. Simply put, marketing for healthcare usually involves seniors being pushed into assisted living due to health issues, whereas, marketing a lifestyle is about pulling seniors into your communities who don’t necessarily need all the healthcare and assistance that your RAL homes provide, but they are drawn by the other programs and amenities you have to offer.

If you decide to focus your marketing on quality healthcare, you have to ask yourself, do you offer anything uniquely valuable to the rest of the care supply chain? If you do not, then going that route may not be the path to success. If the quality care-based service that you provide does not make you a more attractive option than other assisted living homes in your area, then maybe you should focus more on lifestyle. When seeking referral partners, messaging should be clear, accurate and effective. Messaging needs to be specific and show how your community supports healthcare providers and caregivers to do their job with the highest of quality standards. Do you have any ideas on what will improve senior care marketing in the future?

Ral Academy Will Prepare You For Ongoing Success 

For additional information about senior lifestyles, read, What is the Average Day for the Residents

Residential Assisted Living Academy is an assisted living education company that teaches everything from A-Z about meeting the rising demand for senior housing.       

The 3-day fast track RALA training empowers students to achieve true financial independence in the RAL business industry. Visit www.RALAcademy.com to learn more and register now.

Take Your Next Step Without Getting Off The Couch

This is a very different season we’re living in, but while working from home, you can learn everything you need to know about stabilizing your finances. Make good use of your down time by planning for your future.

 Have you heard about our at-home study titled, The Residential Assisted Living Business Accelerator, which allows you to learn the business from the comfort of your own home?

Check out our Home Study Course that reveals how you can convert a residential house into anassisted living home for seniors. With a nearly 20 percent senior population in America, smaller residential assisted living homes provide a safer place for seniors and a successful business for entrepreneurs. Use this season of life to restructure your business approach and increase your income stream for life. You can take your next step without getting off the couch.

Creating Recurrent Cash Flow

You can create a substantial cash flow by starting and running a business that earns $5,000 – $15,000 a month for the rest of your life. The certified home training course, The Residential Assisted Living Business Accelerator, offered by RAL Academy reveals how you can achieve financial freedom. 

Instead of experimenting with the come-and-go nature of fix-and-flip homes or the unpredictability of buy-and-hold rentals, assisted living is just a better approach to real estate. 

Residential assisted living businesses serve high-quality, low-impact seniors whose most pressing need is finding appropriate housing. Residential Assisted Living is the marriage of proven business principles to lucrative real estate investments. The need for senior housing is real.

The Biggest Boom In Real Estate For The Next 25 Years 

Here’s why residential assisted living is a real-life means to earning a significant residual income. For the next 25 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn age 65 every day, and 4,000 seniors turn age 85 daily. Many of these seniors will need housing and assistance with activities of daily living. The RAL real estate boom is not driven by Wall Street. It is 100% driven by the U.S. population and the demand is rapidly growing. Just how real is the demand? The U.S. census research unveils the undeniable facts. The research is proof of an ever-increasing investment opportunity based on the following facts:

  • The U.S. is home to 77,000,000 Baby Boomers​
  • 4,000 people turn 85 every day
  • 70% of elders require assistance for their activities of daily living
  • 10,000 people turn 65 every day
  • 90% of elders prefer to live in their own home rather than a big box institutional facility

Expectations When Getting Started

Are you still wondering if someone like you can be successful doing residential assisted living? Well, the answer is yes. Visit our website at www.RALAcademy.com to view a host of testimonials of people just like you who started exactly where you are today.  The truth is, you will either own a home and/or own the business, or eventually you or a family member will be lying in an assisted living bed and writing a check to someone else. So we are all going to be part of this industry one way or another. As with any business, your starting point is likely to have challenges. Gene Guarino and the Residential Assisted Living Academy will help you to overcome these obstacles. While sitting on your couch, at your own pace, you can take all three important courses, which are accessible 24/7, that will get you well on your way.

Brief Course Descriptions of the Residential Assisted Living Business Accelerator 

  • RAL 101
  • RAL Operations
  • RAL Business 

RAL 101: Master the Basics of Residential Assisted Living 

This course provides step-by-step instruction for selecting a high success location, navigating architecture and interior safety. Learn how to pass inspections with flying colors, successfully work through zoning and licensing, and marketing to attract high-value, low-impact residents.

RAL Operations: Run Daily Operations Like a RAL Seasoned Pro

Discover the secret to filling your home with high-paying residents. Learn how to use existing systems for operations, how to hire a winning staff, and how to maneuver through the nuances of food, activities, and other recreation for your residents.

RAL Business: Own A Business that Runs With or Without You

Follow this complete training to bring your RAL business to life, including how to secure start-up capital, planning for your first expansion, and maintaining long-term success. Also learn how to use your winning business formula to scale your business and profits.

Who Is Gene Guarino?

Meet the man who literally wrote the book on How To Start A Residential Assisted Living Business, Blueprint.  Gene Guarino got started in residential assisted living in 2013. In 1998, he first heard about the coming silver tsunami of seniors – the baby boomers – who would soon need assisted living services. His mom became ill and residential assisted living became more than a way to make great income – it became personal for Gene.  Upon searching, he found nothing he wanted for his mother. Gene vowed to create a solution – a home he would be proud to have his mom or dad live in. Residential assisted living is a real solution for a real need that exists for millions of people. Gene immediately filled his first home with seniors and then opened two more successful homes. Since that time, he’s been teaching others how to copy his success. He has now trained thousands of investors and entrepreneurs throughout the United States how to invest in and operate residential assisted living homes. Today Gene is the Founder and CEO of Residential Assisted Living Academy™ showing students step-by-step how to start, operate, and scale a successful RAL business.

Start Working On Your Future Today

Join the Residential Assisted Living Academy and Gene Guarino will show you how to immediately start building your RAL business. 

You Will Discover Exactly How To:

  • Find the best real estate locations for the best opportunities for RAL in your area
  • Determine if your current property is a good fit for a RAL
  • Attract the highest paying clients/residents
  • Select properties that will be suitable for a RAL
  • Attract the right investors and partners for RAL success
  • Find the right team to make your life easier and your business more successful

Long Term Care Insurance

The financial landscape of long term care is changing. People are paying out of pocket, using home equity, hybrid insurance plans and more. There are many reasons traditional long term care (LTC) insurance is a fading fad. Long term care insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with long term care services.

This traditional insurance supports the costs associated with custodial care in a variety of settings, including residential assisted living. It covers the cost of many RAL homes, community organizations and other choice facilities that provide 24/7 care. Unfortunately, private health insurance usually does not cover the cost of assisted living.

This is why LTC policies thrive because they reimburse policyholders a daily amount when or if the benefit is needed for care providers. This reimbursement amount is based on a pre-selected limit, which is predetermined by a selected range of care options.

The Cost of a Long Term Care Policy is Based on a Calculated Formula:

  • How old you are when you buy the policy
  • The maximum amount that a policy will pay per day
  • The maximum number of days (years) that a policy will pay
  • And any optional benefits chosen, such as, benefits that increase with inflation

It is better to plan ahead when preparing for LTC policies. If you are in poor health or already receiving long term care services, it is likely that medical underwriting will disqualify you. Seniors who have paid policy premiums on long term care plans for upward of 30 years usually earn a benefit of $100 per day. However, many long term care policies maintain a cost of living increase of 3-4 percent. As a result, some policies payout a daily benefit of $200 – $250, which is roughly $6000 per month. This allows seniors the opportunity to live comfortably in convenient assisted living homes.

Fewer people are purchasing long term care insurance today, however, as insurance companies are steadily raising the premiums and cutting the benefits. In addition, long term care insurance is no longer available with many insurance providers. The need for long term care continues to be in high demand, and people are coming up with creative concepts to cover the expenses.

There are 5 major aspects to keep in mind when making decisions about long term care:

  • Problems with Traditional LTC Policies
  • Options Other Than Insurance
  • Non-Traditional Insurance Strategies
  • Reasons People Perpetually Pay for Traditional LTC Policies
  • Planning Ahead Pays Off

1. Problems with Traditional LTC Policies

“This is a classic story of market failure,” says Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, and the author of Caring for Our Parents. “No one wants to buy insurance, and no one wants to sell it.”

Traditional LTC policies require annual premiums in return for financial assistance “if” needed. The need must call for help with day-to-day activities such as bathing, dressing and eating meals.

Waiting Periods

After a waiting period of about 3 months, the benefits kick in for a maximum period of 3 years’ worth of coverage. For many modern-day seniors, these waiting periods and short term coverage options are not enough to accommodate their final years. The average $160 daily benefits for assisted living care services is no longer enough over a 3-year period.

According to the most recent AARP life expectancy report, the 65 and above age group will increase 89% over the next 20 years. The life expectancy of the 85 and older population will grow 74% during the same period.

People are Living Longer

Therefore, typical terms today require more coverage than traditional policies. In addition, these stand-alone LTC policies have a troublesome history of premium spikes and insurer losses. As a result, sales have fallen sharply.

2. Options Other Than Insurance

Many Americans simply cannot afford the cost of LTC policies. These policy premiums average about $2,700 a year, according to industry research. There are many other options seniors can consider for senior care expenses:

  • Policy discounts for couples are common, typically the savings total about 30% off policies that are purchased separately.
  • Medicaid is an option if your assets are few. Medicaid covers the cost of assisted living for individuals who are impoverished.
  • Personal Savings protect many people from purchasing high premiums by paying for future senior care out of pocket.
  • Home Equity is extremely beneficial for many senior care expenses.
  • Financial Support from children who can be counted on to pitch in is also a consideration.

Keep in mind that individuals who have a family history of dementia are at a higher risk of needing care. That means it is even more important to consider options early on. Strategize to save more by planning early.

3. Non-Traditional Insurance Strategies

As traditional LTC insurance continues to spiral downward, new insurance plans are launching with great success. Perhaps you’ve heard of whole life insurance. Whole life is a type of life insurance contract that provides a lifetime of coverage. Upon the inevitable death of the contract holder, the insurance payout is made to the contract’s beneficiaries.

Most importantly, these policies include a savings component, which means it accumulates a cash value. This cash value is one of the key elements of whole life insurance. As a result, the benefit enables policy holders to draw from a whole life policy for long-term care. Unlike traditional LTC insurance, these policies will return money to your heirs, even if you don’t end up needing long-term care. Also, there are no rate hikes, because you lock in your premium upfront.

Do Your Homework

Since whole life insurance policies are long-term investments, your relationship with the insurance company will literally last a lifetime. Choosing a reputable company with the highest ratings is the key. A company with financial stability and quality customer service are aspects you should search for.

4. Reasons People Perpetually Pay for Traditional LTC Policies

There is a reason some seniors continue paying for traditional LTC policies. If you “only” want cost-effective coverage, traditional LTC insurance is cheaper. However, you run the risk of losing everything if you never need help, which is the nature of many insurances.

On the other hand, whole life policies, often called hybrids, are usually 2-3 times more expensive, offering the same amount in payouts, with different options that limit loses. These policies offer a mixture of payout options and benefits. Ultimately, with hybrid policies, you’re paying extra, specifically as a guarantee of getting money back. Hybrid policies are used as alternative forms of savings, rolling over existing life insurance, and merging them with your annuities. Hybrid policies are more complex. As a result, there remains a small clientele for traditional LTC policies.

5. Planning Ahead Pays Off

At the latest, start looking for insurance in your 50’s or early 60’s. Afterward, premiums rise sharply. As we age, declining health rules out robust coverage. Every year you delay, the premiums will become more expensive. Within a simple one-year age hike, premiums can increase as high as 10%.

It is a savvy strategy to seek independent insurance agents who sell policies from multiple companies, rather than one insurance company. This will afford you a more advanced level of expertise and a wider option of policy choices. And planning ahead will afford you more opportunities to make better choices to benefit your future.

The RALAcademy Solution

There is one more strategy we like to share for those without a long term care insurance policy.

We teach owning and operating your own assisted living home, that means you have a retirement plan and care plan by living in the home designed to take care of you when the time comes.

If you have more questions about insurance for assisted living, Residential Assisted Living Academy is ready to walk you through the process.

Contact us to learn all the details, from A-Z about the assisted living care industry or to get started in owning one yourself.

Visit www.RALAcademy.com to learn more about the role of LTC insurance on the residential assisted living industry.

Transforming Your Home Into Senior Housing

After The Kids Graduate Then What?

Empty nesters everywhere are making decisions about their homes. Your kids have moved out and now the empty spaces in your home feels far too large.

With all the empty bedrooms and extra living spaces you find yourself wondering what to do.

After living in a home for years, it’s now time to transform your way of thinking about what’s best for you. How will you best benefit from all the empty space without downsizing?

Many homeowners are using this opportunity to get connected to the largest market growth opportunity in a generation.

Did you know that there are 70 million baby boomers, and about 4000 seniors are turning age 85 everyday?

Perhaps yours is the perfect house to conform, transform, convert, or renovate into an assisted living home.

Every home is not senior safe, there are a few factors to consider.

The Assistant Living Network specializes in teaching home owners how to transform homes into senior residents by renovating and converting it for safe senior living.

Let’s start with the groundwork. There are two senior living models to consider:

Independent Living: An arrangement for seniors and/or individuals with special needs, usually in their own unsupervised living space, affording them as much independence and autonomy as possible.

Assisted Living: A housing or living arrangement for elderly, infirm or disabled, in which housekeeping, meals, medical care, and other assistance is available to residents as needed.

What Are the Requirements of Independent Living?

Independent living is a safe way for seniors to live on their own.

Homes designed for independent living often have hard wired smoke detectors connected to the alarm system. They have grab bars in the bathrooms, wider doors for wheel chairs and walkers, and slip prevention measures for trip hazards.

The ideal home is single level and have the capacity to be converted to four bedrooms with at least two bathrooms.

These are important criteria homeowners should consider for a conversion.

If this is a description of the home, your nest no longer has to be empty.

You can help others while reaping the benefits by transforming your current home into senior housing.

Living Life Like It’s Golden

Susan Harris created a television series that aired on NBC from 1985 to 1992. It was about four single older women who shared a home in Miami, Florida.

Blanche was the home owner, Rose was a widow, Dorothy was a divorcee, and Sophia was Dorothy’s 80-year-old mother. Together, the comedic elderly women were called The Golden Girls.

The series finale of The Golden Girls was watched by 27.2 million viewers. As of 2016, it was the 17th-most watched television finale.

Think of independent living like golden girls and golden boys coming together.

There’s ideally four different people living in these types of homes.

They’re probably not related, sometimes they are friends or develop a friendship in the process of living together.

Learn How to Profit Off Your Home

The Assisted Living Network seldom incorporates the concept of charging rent, because this practice is not used in residential assisted living.

Independent living is the only time I’m going to discuss it rent.

With residential assisted living, we have residents, they don’t pay rent – we provide a service for them.

In the independent living model, the golden girls and golden boys pay rent.

The rent that you charge could be anything that you want.

Usually, rent for independent living homes is calculated with higher premiums based on the following 6 amenities and conveniences:

6 Amenities and Conveniences

  1. Easy to Access Location;
  2. Unlimited Utilities;
  3. Maintenance Upkeep;
  4. Cable, Internet and Phone Services;
  5. Worry-Free Bills; and
  6. Care-Free Living.

Calculating the Premiums of Independent Living

You could split all the bills amongst all four seniors. However, instead of renting the house for $1,200 or $1,500 a month, rent each bedroom for $1,000 monthly, including the amenities and conveniences.

Instead of collecting $1,500 monthly household rent, independent living homes collect rent based on bedrooms.

As a result, four bedrooms at $1,000 per occupant, produces $4,000 a month. That leaves plenty of extra money to pay for monthly utilities and routine upkeep on the home.

These are expected responsibilities and expenses on any rental properties, although seniors are low impact tenants. Seniors do not have pets, do not host events and do not pose the risk of destroying property.

As a result, the profitability of independent living is very beneficial.

A lot of property owners question what they should do with empty and unwanted houses.

Some people rely on short term Airbnb or traditional renting methods. While these are profitable sources of income, they pose repeated risks and loses associated with cleaning and vacancies.

More people have been deciding to sell without considering the rapidly growing market of independent living.

Whether it’s yourself or a loved one living alone in a house with extra bedrooms, independent living is wise to consider.

Start thinking differently.

If you have questions about how to turn your home into senior housing, we have the answers and suggestions that will make your process much easier.

In many cases, we can even help you fill your home.

Transitioning from Independent Living to Residential Assisted Living

Seniors transition into assisted living models for the long term. The next step after independent living is usually assisted living.

You’re probably wondering could your current model become a form of assisted living?

Well, the answer to that question depends on your willingness to transition the home from independent living to assisted.

Remember, assisted living is just that, assisted. That means somebody is there to take care of the residents.

Senior housing can evolve from independent living, because the conversions are covered in the initial startup. Senior safe homes are usually pre-equipped with the following:

  1. Bathroom grab bars in the tubs and next to the toilets;
  2. Carpets with thick padding underneath;
  3. Slip prevention measures for trip hazards;
  4. Widened doorways for walkers and wheelchairs;
  5. Hallway grab bars;
  6. Outdoor sprinkler systems;
  7. Available parking;
  8. Digital surveillance and alarm monitoring system; and
  9. Electronic systems like hard wired smoke detectors.

The Residential Assisted Living Academy trains homeowners and operators how to build successful and sustainable businesses leveraging the best real estate opportunity for the next 25 years.

Perhaps your thinking, you don’t want the hassles that come with assisted living.

Remember, owners are not always operators, and someone else can manage the daily operation of cooking, cleaning and caregiving.

Assisted Living Is About Providing Quality Care

In addition to operating a senior safe home, converting your house to assisted living must consider the care that will be given.

Most importantly, assisted living requires assistance. That means there will be caregivers available 24/7.

Caregivers do not necessarily live in the house with the residents.

Assisted living will never provide a skilled nursing or nursing home dynamic inside the residential home. Residential homes are not nursing homes or hospitals. However, some homes do offer a live in caregiver.

If this will be your approach, provide a room that’s designated specifically for the caregiver, preferably on the second floor.

Experience has taught us that an ideal floor plan calls for seniors on the first floor, caregivers on the second level, and a basement area for a break room.

This blog is not an all inclusive plan.

Residential Assisted Living Academy outlines the complete requirements for assisted living.

Contact us to learn how you can get all the tools you need to transform your home for senior living.

Assisted Living Strategies for Interior to Exterior

Residential Assisted Living Academy introduces owners and operators to an advanced perspective of senior living, from the interior to the exterior.

For example, location is also Key.

Living nearby different activities such as Libraries, grocery stores, shopping centers, movie theaters, those kinds of things are important, even more so for independent living.

For either model, the exterior of the home is essential.

It’s important for residents to be able to easily pull up in a car and get out at the front door. Therefore, circular driveways are great.

Parking should also be considered. Seniors in independent living will need somewhere to park their vehicles, assisted living residents typically do not have cars.

What a home looks like to people pulling up or passing by will determine the success of your business – curb appeal is always a plus.

Providing the exterior maintenance and landscaping is a big part of word of mouth marketing.

Let us help make this transition a reality for you.

Instead of renting or selling, get excited about the low risk transformation of your house into senior housing.

Whether it be golden girls and golden boys’ concept, or residential assisted living, we can help you maintain and maximize your ownership by transforming your home into senior living.

How EASY Is It To Open An Assisted Living Home?

Real Life Is More Than a Quick Fix

Show-and-tell is an easy way to walk newcomers through the process of motivating bright minds. This is because most people would rather hope for greatness rather than work for it.

Once you see it how things work, and try them for yourself, sometimes you learn it’s not as easy as it looks on video.

Recently, I got a gift. It was a pair of traditional roller skates with two wheels in the front and back, instead of the inline skates that I was somewhat familiar with.

It all started when I watched a video of advanced skaters gliding through the wind with no care in the world.

While zooming around with speed and twirling through the air with smiles on their faces, they made it look really easy. So, I ordered two pair.

I called it a gift because it was a present to myself, and I intended to give the second pair to someone else. That’s the way we do it in our house.

I remember being so happy opening the boxes, putting them on my feet, and then suddenly it happened. I immediately realized, this is not nearly as easy as the people in the video made it look. The music stopped and the lights came on in my head.

When you first try something, it’s never as easy the first time around.

For those of us that own and operate assisted living homes, we find so much irony in the question, “Is it easy?”

The first time I tried it, I ran into roadblocks, obstacles and pitfalls – it was not easy at all.

As I learned new things about it, watched others do it, and continued to repeatedly try, it became easier and easier each time.

Opening an assisted living home is just like learning how to roller skate. Once you get it, you can’t forget it.

Whether it’s roller skates, bicycles, speedboats or skiing, our muscle memory maintains the skillset.

Clicking into Greatness

Recently I went skiing. It had been 16 years since I’d been on the slopes. Putting the skis on my boots was the hardest part, but I did it. I got in the chair lift, went up to the top and prepared to come down. In that moment, it clicked in.

I remember reminiscing about when I first got started, my mind morphed back to grade school. It was as if I was child again, going uphill.

During those days, there were not a lot of friendly people to teach me the HOW TOs of skiing. I had friends that took me to the top; afterward, I was left there to figure out, on my own, how to ski back down the hill.

I remember standing on the sidelines of that slope studying the kills of strangers. I noticed every movement of their bodies that determined the directions of their skis. After observing a while, I tried it, again and again.

After repeatedly trying, instead of falling six times on my way down, eventually I only fell twice. That’s how the learning process works.

The next time, perhaps you fall down twice the entire day. Before you know it, you’re making it look easy to somebody else. That’s the way life is.

So, when somebody asks me, “How easy is it to open an assisted living home?”

The answer is simple.

It’s easier for me every time, because I’ve done it again and again. How easy will it be for you?

That’s a question you have to ask of yourself.

I don’t know your background, what you’ve done, what makes sense to you and what doesn’t, or how passionate your heart is.

“Easy” Isn’t Worth Your Time

Most importantly, I don’t know what you’re willing and committed to make happen in your life. I am absolutely confident that you can pretty much do anything if you are willing and committed.

If you’re not truly willing and committed to do whatever it takes, at some point you’re simply going to give up.

I love listening to victorious testimonials from people that we’ve trained on how to open assisted living homes. I’m a sucker for success stories from people who have faced obstacles, but refused to throw in the towel.

It’s really easy to hit a roadblock and just stop. Quitting is easy.

Failure is when people easily quit.

The higher you set your ambitions and aspirations, the more challenges you are likely to face. True success is never easy.

The second time is easier than the first. The third time is easier than the second, but if you’re truly aiming to maximize your full potential, it will never be easy.

Navigating the Road to Success

Success always requires effort, which makes the idea of it being easy an interesting word.

We’ve talked about the effort required in roller skating and skiing, now let’s talk about assisted living homes. I’ve been privileged to train thousands of people on how to open, own, and operate homes.

There are three common denominators in every discussion that successful home owners say I’ve help with:

  1. Saving time
  2. Saving Effort
  3. Saving Money

I have a simple strategic suggestion about achieving your most risky goal. Find somebody who has done it before that makes it look easy.

This will empower, engage and educate you to navigate all the right turns. Whether it’s driving a speed boat, race car, skiing the slopes, roller skating or whatever, there is always a road to success.

Learning what to do and what not to do will equip your plan of execution.

The Value of a Good Teacher

Even the world’s greatest athletes have coaches, whether you consider the NBA, WNBA, NFL or USA Olympics.

Find someone you can ask questions and someone willing to share their secrets to success. In our case, find someone that will tell you the do’s and don’ts of assisted living.

Personally, I love teaching and coaching professionals that profit from their passion of helping others. That’s one quality I look for in a good student. There’s a few qualities you should look for in a good teacher.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a teacher that will let you experience the field firsthand.

After you’ve mastered the first lesson, a good teacher is prepared to provide you with the next lesson. It’s important to learn assisted living step-by-step, while gaining some virtual experience that will prep and make your journey easier.

Afterward, you’ll be able to share the same strategies with others. Soon, you’ll make it look easy, and people will ask you, “How can I do it?”

Good teachers will always inspire you to pay it forward.

I am truly a believer in education. I’d much rather learn from your experience, than making my own mistakes. I willing to pay for expertise, rather then figure it out on my own.

I’d rather work for success, rather than merely hoping to survive with my finances, time, energy and commitment.

For me, teaching other people how to make it look easy is one of the most rewarding things of all.

How easy is it to open an assisted living home? Well, it depends.

If you’re listening to a teacher who’s done it before, that will make it much easier than trying to figure it out on your own.

Register for the Residential Assisted Living Academy

As the founder of Residential Assisted Living Academy, I teach thousands of successful RAL home owners and operators across the country.

Some RAL businesses move at the rate of rowboat, others sail through situations even slower, but RALAcademy will accelerate your process like a speed boat.

We’ll show-and-tell you how to make your assisted living experience easier. All you need to do is get on board.

I want to share with you the secrets to how to do well financially, while doing good in the process.

RAL Academy has the best teachers nationwide and we’re here to help you make your dream of owning and operating an assisted living home a reality.

Contact us today to learn an easier way to get connected to the largest market growth opportunity in a generation.

“I Got This Guy Completely Wrong” – A RAL Confession

When people first hear about the RAL Academy and the investment opportunities in residential assisted living they often approach with a dose of disbelief. After all, how can something that does so much good for our senior population be anything more than charity; how can it be such a profitable business?

Simple. It is the very need for this service, coupled with the growing elderly demographic shift that provides the conditions for profitability. Moreover, if you compare residential assisted living with the other options are out there, i.e. the large, sterile, hospital-like facilities, choice quickly becomes clear. As people age, they would rather reside in a comfortable and familiar home-like setting, rather than being just another number in a big box facility. There is enough difficulty trying to maintain dignity and comfort in old age. We don’t need to add to the struggle by herding our seniors into large facilities, isolated from the rest of society.

Residential assisted living seeks to address this paradigm and offer a healthy alternative that most of us would probably prefer. Still there is a great deal of skepticism surrounding this industry because most people are unaware of its existence or exactly what it entails.

Recently, Steve Moran, a well-known writer for the Senior Housing Forum, wrote an article describing his initial pessimism about the RAL Academy; a pessimism that quickly turned to belief as he dug into the facts and evidence supporting this successful business model.

He starts out, “Once in a while, I get something completely wrong.” “In July or August of 2016, a reader reached out to me about this guy, Gene Guarino, who was teaching three-day classes on “how to get rich” by starting residential assisted living communities (think small homes). I took a hard shot at what he was doing.”

“But it turns out……I WAS WRONG.”

Steve went on to explain how he met Gene at the InterFace Seniors Housing West Conference and after a lengthy discussion, came to the conclusion that the RALA business model was not a “get rich” one, but a well-developed strategy designed to meet the real needs of seniors in America.

Gene shared the background of how he started the RAL Academy by creating and running a number of residential-style assisted living communities himself. His initial motivation for the first RAL home came from a desire to provide a comfortable residence for his mother that offered exceptional care. As he navigated through details of real estate, finances, and hiring, training and managing competent care staff, it quickly became apparent that this model, not only offers a better solution for seniors, but it would also be a long-term investment solution for those wanted to begin providing this service in their communities.

Steve went on to learn how Gene took this model and developed a system to teach others to do the same. Now, years later, Gene has taught thousands of people how to open and run their own residential assisted living homes. His training is directly responsible for between 500 to 600 new residential-style assisted living communities across the U.S. that are creating jobs and serving seniors. Additionally, he has developed networks to support these RAL owners, creating a conference to unite investors, suppliers and service providers for all things relating to the building and operating of these communities.

“I have written about this before, however, I am more and more convinced that these small residential senior living communities are going to be an increasingly important part of the senior living/assisted living mix.”

“Traditionally, these small homes have — in many states — represented the last resort for seniors with limited financial resources. Yet, increasingly, they are becoming a boutique option for seniors wanting or needing higher levels of care at a reasonable cost.”

Steve goes on to admit, “What I am really puzzling over right now is whether or not these communities are pulling residents away from large scale senior living or actually expanding the market, by appealing to seniors who would not have an interest in big box senior living.”

The truth, with all the new RAL style home being created, there is not a significant exodus of seniors from big-box facilities to residential assisted living and this is primarily because there is just such a huge demand for senior housing. The size of the senior population in this country is growing at a rate not seen before, and it is only going to increase for the next 25 years.

The demographic boom caused by an aging baby boomer population is going to mean that an enormous number of seniors needing assistance with daily living will enter their twilight years in the next few decades. The demand for assisted living will drive the market to create the supply.

Steve is right though, there is some competition in the market between the big-box facilities and smaller, more boutique-style assisted living homes. Fortunately, this competition will spur both sectors of this industry to raise standards and offer better services to our seniors and at lower prices, which is good for all of us.

We are delighted that Steve took the time to learn about the reality behind residential assisted living and the opportunities it affords. It’s always refreshing when we are able to take a deeper look at something that we previously judged before knowing all the facts, and come to realize how much we appreciate something that we might have otherwise completely missed out on.

For the average person there is so much confusion surrounding assisted living. Most of this comes from a false perception of assisted living as the sterile, institution-like big box facilities that spark notions of isolation and an uncaring staff. Fortunately, the truth is that there are plenty of assisted living homes across the nation that are full of caregivers who love their jobs and love caring for seniors. They are not there just to do a job, but they enjoy engaging with the elderly and partnering with their families to provide exceptional care in a comfortable home-style environment.

According to AARP, there are tens of millions of seniors in America today who will need assistance with their activities of daily living. That doesn’t mean that they are all going to move into an assisted living home or facility, but they will need help. They’re at home all alone and maybe they can take care of themselves, but frankly, many of them would much rather have people around them.

We know that being with others as we age is vital to our health, mental stability and overall wellness. Residential assisted living is making an impact on seniors and changing the face of assisted living for decades to come. We are excited to be a part of this change and we look forward to partnering with any of you who are also interested in Doing Good and Doing Well.

6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Searching for Assisted Living

As a residential assisted living home owner, the best way to fill your RAL home and keep it full is to understand what residents and their families’ are looking for and how you can meet their needs. Sifting through and evaluating assisted living homes can be foreign territory for those who are suddenly thrust into this decision. There’s a lot that goes into the decision to move a loved one into an assisted living facility and that decision becomes much easier as you expand your knowledge and understand the options available.

Because the decision for assisted living is such a momentous one, full of emotion and uncertainty, there is an abundance of checklists online offering help to those who are embarking on this journey. So to help families looking for quality assisted living and to help RAL owners understand what is important to these families, let’s take a look at some of the pitfalls to avoid when seeking out assisted living. The following are a few key points to consider and the common mistakes many people make when searching for assisted living for a loved one.

1. Failing to Anticipate the Senior’s Future Needs

It is a hard decision to have to make when a loved one is clearly in need of assistance with their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). Most of us will probably tend to error on the side of optimism. But taking a moment to step back and assess the loved one’s current and future assistance needs in a more objective way will be a huge benefit later on. Some assisted living facilities might offer a more limited level of care and failing to look down the road far enough might end up requiring senior to move facilities one or more times. It is not very hard to see how relocating senior who needs daily assistance could become a huge disruption to their life and an additional burden on family members as well.

As difficult as it will be, it is best for families to have an open and honest dialogue about the future needs of their loved one. Be optimistic…for sure, but also anticipate their future needs, recognizing that a dose of realism can help clear the path forward to a decision that is best for the senior. And that should really be our primary concern. Also, don’t forget to include the senior’s doctor in the decision-making process and inquire as to what support they will need in the future. Having to move a loved one numerous times in their twilight years is not only a burden and costly to the family, but it often comes with detrimental effects to the senior’s physical and emotional health.

An added benefit of recognizing the future needs of the loved one is that they will be able to remain in an assisted living community much longer, rather than bouncing from one facility to another to accommodate their increasing assistance needs. Therefore, the relationships that they build and their familiarity with their surroundings will be greater source of peace and comfort, which also contribute significantly to a person’s longevity.

2. Choosing a Community to that Meets Your Needs Rather Than Your Parent’s

Far too often an adult child decides on the place for mom or dad based on what they liked most about an assisted living facility rather than making the main priority what is best for the senior. Extravagant amenities that an adult would enjoy might seem appealing on the face of it, but if the senior isn’t interested or can’t physically take advantage of those amenities, then they should not be included as assets in the decision-making process. A large, palatial backyard with a heated pool and a Jacuzzi, for example, might sound like great selling points, but if the senior isn’t very physically mobile then these amenities shouldn’t even be a factor.

As much as is possible, encourage cooperation and work with your loved one to involve them in the decision-making process. And if the senior is too frail or already significantly affected by memory loss, the family should take care to consider what they know about their loved one’s preferences and include them as they weigh up the options.

3. Judging a Book by Its Cover

Searching for the right assisted living home for a loved one is much different than shopping for a family residence. Beautiful and lavish amenities are all well and good but they are not your main priority, and they are certainly no indicator of quality care. The most important element in “assisted living” is the “assisted” part. What kind of care is being provided?  How attentive and accommodating is the care staff?

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that an assisted living facility is the right fit because it is expensive and offers the best amenities. Luxury doesn’t equate to quality when it comes to senior care. A beautiful, modern and upscale facility can be just as prone to neglect and oversights as a more homely-looking facility.

Take the time to fully research the assisted living homes you are considering. Ask others in your community about their experiences with the facilities. Take a tour of the homes and do more than just kick the tires. Take notes and ask lots of questions. If you have the opportunity during your visit, speak with residents and staff about their level of satisfaction working and living there. A satisfied staff is usually a caring staff, and a community of cheerful residents is always a good sign.

You just may find that in a thorough analysis of the options available to you, choosing one that’s, perhaps, less shiny and luxurious just might be more appropriate in terms of care or atmosphere for your loved one.

4. Making a Rushed Decision

While some families can quickly become overwhelmed with all of the factors that are involved in the decision-making process, others can be too hasty in their choice of RAL facility. The need for a loved one to be moved into assisted living can seem like such an immediate crisis that some families rush into the decision, choosing the first available room they find that meets even a few of their requirements. For the best results, it is recommended that families visit a number of assisted living communities before settling on the decision. This is such a foreign industry to the average person, so seeing a number of facilities in operation gives a clearer picture of what can and should be expected. And when touring an assisted living home, don’t be afraid to ask lots and lots of questions and take notes on any details that you want further understanding about. You can always come back to these notes and do research online to compare the different options available.

5. Failing to Read the Fine Print

Compared to other types of legal documents, contracts for assisted living homes are usually fairly straightforward. However, some legal jargon may be used that is confusing and there may be add-on fees that aren’t readily apparent to the average consumer who has limited experience with assisted living. Families need to protect themselves by reading all the fine print and understanding exactly what is involved, what is expected of the senior and what the senior can expect of the care staff. And as a RAL owner, what you really don’t want is to have your relationship with the resident’s family sour because they were unaware of certain fees or price increases due to confusing contract documentation.

Most assisted living communities have a number of different pricing structures involving additional services and fees. Some facilities might separate the charges for room and board with the fees for care and the varying levels of care that are available. Other facilities separate each charge individually, which could mean that some families under the impression that three meals a day would automatically be included in the monthly price of the room, might later be shocked to find that this was an add-on fee that they had not taken into account. Other additional fees to consider might be a move-in or one-time entrance fee, yearly inflation rate increases, laundry service, medical supplies, medication delivery, etc. Still, there are other assisted living facilities that offer an all-inclusive pricing model, where all residents are charged the same cost regardless of what services they desire or the level of care that they need.

The key is simply to read all the documentation and ask plenty of questions. If there is even a remote doubt about a subject, simply ask. Knowledge is power. And there is already enough of a feeling of powerlessness when it comes time for a family to move a loved one into assisted living, so arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.

6. Forgetting to Include Others

Most of us consider ourselves intelligent and competent people who can handle things on our own. In today’s modern world it’s easy to embrace the mantra of “if you want to go fast, go alone.” However, when making a decision as significant as where to place a loved one in assisted living, it is important to have input from a number of people and perspectives. Seek feedback from as many people as possible who have experience in the process of assisted living placement. Moving a parent or grandparent into assisted living is not a sign of weakness or something to be embarrassed about. Be willing to talk to friends and family openly about the subject and seek advice from those who have experience with it.

Connect with assisted living professionals and pick their brains about any topics, processes or advice that will help you make the best decision for your loved one. There are also organizations whose sole business it is to help advise and place seniors in the appropriate care facilities. Look to the help of a senior placement advocate who is knowledgeable and can answer all your questions; someone who can show you the residential care facilities in your area and give you reasoned advice on how to pick the best one. Placement advocates can help families evaluate, not only the facilities available, but the care requirements, amenity preferences and finances of the family as well. Using a professional to help you navigate this journey will save you a great deal of time and frustration by helping you narrow your options to the care homes that most directly meet your family’s needs.

These are just a few of the many pitfalls that families can stumble into when venturing through the often unfamiliar territory of assisted living. The more information you can gather from a variety of knowledgeable sources, the better off you and your loved ones will be when making your decision.

And if you are a RAL owner, it also might be a good idea to come up with your own list or guide so that you can educate the community around you and help them understand the mistakes to avoid in choosing an assisted living home. This exercise will serve as an internal review of your RAL business to help you implement strategies that address these pitfalls.

If you would like more information about assisted living and how to choose the right place for you and your loved one, check out the resources on our YouTube channel. We want to elevate this industry so that our seniors receive the care that they deserve.

Mike Hambright REI Classroom Lesson Podcast

Gene appeared on the Real Estate Investing Classroom Podcast with Mike Hambright.

Gene Guarino discusses an opportunity to who have land or are buying land that involves building smaller properties that are suitable for the baby boomer generation. Instead of huge properties, a smaller property with just the necessities work well for this generation. Most baby boomers are getting to the point that they want to downsize so that they don’t have to worry about the upkeep. Depending on the size of land you have, you can even create a senior community for those older than 55.

Attracting Seniors to Your Residential Assisted Living Home

As the Silver Tsunami continues to grow larger on our shores and more investors are seizing the opportunities in assisted living, owners and operators of residential assisted living homes need to find additional ways to set themselves apart from the rest. Sterile hospital-like big-box facilities are sprouting up all across the country and while this may seem to pose a greater challenge for smaller RAL owners, we know that the residential assisted living environment is a far superior service. Although, what we have to offer seniors is generally much better quality at more competitive price points, sometimes smaller RAL businesses get lost when it comes to marketing their brand.

One method to consider is for RAL owners to think of marketing their homes in a more contemporary way and adopt practices that have been incredibly successful for retailers over the years. There are number of ways that seniors find themselves in assisted living; some are place there by family members who are too busy or unavailable to help assist their loved ones with basic activities of daily living; some have experienced chronic or acute health issues that leaves them to rely on assistance from others; and some seniors have opted into assisted living for the nurturing and loving environment that these communities have to offer.

Regardless of how seniors have been brought to assisted living in the past, as RAL owners, we know that we provide an amazing service with exceptional staff who care deeply for the seniors in their homes, and we want to use that fact to bring attention to our businesses. How amazing would it be if, over the next decade, we could transition the residential assisted living industry from one where seniors are pushed into assisted living to one where we are able to pull seniors into our assisted living homes because what we have to offer is more attractive than any other option out there. By establishing higher standards in our homes and providing exceptional care services, together we can help change the mindset of American seniors and their families.

So many RAL owners and operators get started in this business because they have a heart for people, they genuinely want to provide superior care for the elderly. I would also venture that most of these people probably don’t have a significant background in marketing, if any, and so their homes, while providing a great product and service, are going overlooked by the general public because they don’t have the time, resources or know-how to generate a successful marketing plan.

Any company or organization that provides a superior product or service doesn’t always need to have a 30-person team of marketing professionals to be successful, but it is helpful to look to those large organizations that do employees these teams and adopt some of their ideas. One way to do this is to look at residential assisted living like a large mainstream retailer might. And how do big retailers like Apple or Amazon view their potential customers? It is not just the fact that we have something to offer customers, but recognizing that we have competition, and unlike our competition… we are different.

“We Are Different”

What we provide is of better quality and at a better price point. And in order to be able to market to our communities effectively we have to know our competition. Whether it is researching online or making secret shopper visits to large and successful assisted living facilities in your area, knowing what competitors are doing, the services they are providing and the costs for those services can go a long way to helping you set yourself apart and getting your brand out there as a better choice. This may not sound like a major paradigm shift, but it is a change in the current mindset of both those who are providing senior care homes and those consumers who are looking for them.

There are a number of practical ways that RAL owners can market their brand directly to seniors and the baby boomer generation with a more retail-like approach. If you’ve spent any time in the residential assisted living industry you understand that the demographics in this country are shifting dramatically and that the baby boomer generation is set to revolutionize aging and the products and services associated with aging. In the coming years the baby boomer generation will be the primary residents in assisted living and the marketing strategies that have worked in the past will not be the same that are effective for this generation.

Throughout the history of modern assisted living, most senior residents were driven to the need for assistance due to the result of health events that precluded the loss of independent function. But today, and in the coming decades, prospective residents will likely be drawn into the assisted living environment as a positive instead of a negative.

First world prosperity has brought about extraordinary levels of technology and convenience, which has led to consumers being much more driven by their wants than their needs. This shows a complete change in the decision-making process of consumers and has compelled retailers and service providers to change their inquiry of customers from “what is the matter with you and what do you need?” to “what matters to you and what you want?”

Changing our approach in marketing to baby boomers will prove to be more successful as, instead of simply aligning to their needs, we help encourage the adoption of our healthy and vibrant communities as a place they want to be… a place they feel at home.

Along with the shift to a more modern approach of marketing your RAL home to current and future seniors, don’t be afraid to embrace technology that relates to the assisted living space. As these next few decades unfold, bringing waves of new seniors to the assisted living environment, there will be more of an expectation to adopt relevant technology and getting in on the ground floor will set you apart from other assisted living facilities.

Take advantage of opportunities to modernize, like keeping track of senior’s information, personal preferences and medical history in an easily accessible digital format, which will also make it easier to monitor and communicate any issues with resident’s families. Consider digitizing and automating aspects of your recruitment process as well. This will serve to simplify the process and save you time. Plus, most people looking for assisted living for a loved one are going to be looking online and if all of your admissions processes require paperwork and face-to-face interaction, you might be missing out on a significant portion of potential residents.

Many in the assisted living industry are already embracing technology and they are helping the residents respond to it as well. Just remember to weigh the pros and cons and be selective about how you are incorporating technology. Evaluate each element of your RAL business and decide where personal touch is necessary and where you can automate things.

Tomorrow’s seniors will have spent much of their adult life embracing technology, so make sure that you and your team are catering to those opportunities as well. And while there will be some uncertainties about the preferences of the incoming baby boomer population, there are some effective practices that can be implemented now to deliver an experience or a series of experiences that today’s seniors desire.

Finally, another way to set your RAL business apart is to understand, not only the competition, but the alternatives that seniors and their families are looking at when they are making the inquiry into assisted living. It can be very easy for an individual to dismiss residential assisted living based on the sticker price, but when they look through an actual cost analysis of the alternatives, the better financial option becomes patently clear.

The following is a chart created by ‘A Place for Mom’ and illustrates the difference between a senior living at home and one who is living in an average-priced assisted living home. (These numbers are based on national averages, as specific states and areas have higher and lower relative costs)

Amenities/Services/ ExpensesMonthly Costs At HomeAssisted Living Costs
Monthly mortgage or rent$953$3,500
Property tax$149N/A
Property insurance$78N/A
Property maintenance costs$100N/A
24-hour security services$100included
Three meals a day$494included
Utilities$265included
Housekeeping services$118included
Daily health aide visitations$4,500included
Personal care$45included
Housekeeping services$118included
24-hour emergency call system$50included
Landscaping/snow removal$50included
Home maintenance$147included
Trash removal$25included
Social and entertainment$25included

There is quite a stark difference in the cost of assisted living compared to a senior staying in their own home and receiving assistance there. Also, many of you will know that there is a significant difference in the costs of a big-box assisted living facility compared to a typical residential assisted living facility. And as more people become aware of these vast differences, the marketing of our RAL homes will become even more effective, pulling seniors joyfully into our communities, as opposed to waiting for families to push them into assisted living. The reality is, like most things in life, it is all about perspective. If we can educate those around us about the opportunities and benefits we provide in our RAL homes, compared to the alternatives, we will help revolutionize the assisted living industry and the general public’s overall view of it.

If you would like to learn more about specific opportunities in the residential assisted living space, or if you are interested in other ways to market and promote your RAL business, check out our amazing training resources and let us help you get to where you want to be in this amazing industry.

And don’t forget to save the date this year for RAL NAT CON 2019. Join hundreds of others in this amazing industry who are working together to meet the needs of the growing elderly population in this country. This incredible convention provides the chance to get more plugged into the residential assisted living industry and networking with other RAL owners, investors, lenders, equipment suppliers and support service providers that can help your RAL business grow. Be a part of the solution!

*Statistics source: www.aplaceformom.com/planning-and-advice/articles/assisted-living-in-home-care-compared