Are You Ready To Sell Your House And Move To A Retirement Community?


As Baby Boomers age, they are making tough decisions about their living arrangements.

Familiar with every creak in their home’s floorboards and often a friendly face for neighbors, they are coming to grips with the fact that moving on from the place where they raised their kids might be the right thing for them to do.

According to the 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report by the National Association of Realtors, Baby Boomers accounted for 45% of sellers in 2023.

“Baby Boomers continue to dominate the home-selling market as they make pivotal decisions regarding their retirement living situations, whether it’s right-sizing or moving closer to loved ones,” Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research, said in a statement.

For some people between the ages of 60 and 78, dropping anchor in a continuing care retirement community – also known as CCRCs or life plan communities – is the most attractive option.

There are about 1,900 CCRCs across the country. They offer services, amenities, and care to help older adults age in place.

Twenty states — California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, and Virginia – have the most CCRCs, according to

So what do Baby Boomers need to know if they want to cash in on the equity in their homes and move into a CCRC?

Kevin McGee, CEO of Smith Senior Living in Chicago, told The Mortgage Note, “We always tell people to have a plan and make it your plan. So, by coming into independent living with the full continuum of care, they’re prepared for what the future may hold.”

McGee said that means living in a place where there is an established relationship with local hospitals and the support services people need as they age.

McGee’s relationship with Smith Senior Living dates back to his college days when his own grandmother moved into the community. She wanted to live in a vibrant environment for older people and her positive experience guided his career choices.

Teresa Bates, executive director at Edgemere in Dallas, said that programming that nurtures the physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional well-being of seniors can help them live a healthier and longer life.

In addition, “By providing all levels of living – independent living, assisted living, memory, and skilled nursing care – CCRCs make it seamless for a resident to transition to a different level of care should their health conditions change.”

There are tax benefits associated with living at a CCRC.

Liting Chuang, director of tax planning and associate wealth advisor for Bordeaux Wealth Advisors in Kirkland, Washington, said because CCRCs deliver ongoing medical care, the IRS and Tax Court have determined that a portion of the initial entry fee and monthly fees paid to CCRCs are allocable to medical care and deductible as a medical expense in the year paid.

CCRC residents who file income tax returns and itemize (files schedule A) would be able to claim medical expense deductions, according to Chuang. She emphasized it’s important to note that only medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of the payer’s adjusted gross income are deductible.

“If they’re a dependent of another taxpayer – their son or daughter, for example – the son or daughter might be able to claim eligible expenses as medical expenses on their income tax return, assuming total medical expenses exceed 7.5% of the adjusted gross income,” Chuang explained.

Proper planning, said Paul Ciccarelli, financial advisor and vice president at Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., in Naples, Florida, can pay off by “maxing out the benefits.”

“In the event that the taxpayer has IRA assets, a ROTH conversion can make a lot of sense,” he told The Mortgage Note.

While a Roth conversion is normally taxable, the medical deduction on the entrance fee and maintenance fees at CCRCs can wipe out these taxes, Ciccarelli said.

“So you pay no taxes on the conversion from IRA to ROTH and get all the tax-free benefits that a ROTH IRA provides for both you and your spouse for the rest of your lives, plus 10 years.”

Affordability can be a challenge.

According to, entrance fees for CCRCs are typically between $50,000 and $500,000, with luxury options reaching as high as $2 million. Monthly fees vary between $1,500 and $10,000.

But Ciccarelli said that people who currently own their home and have invested in retirement savings are likely to be able to afford continuing care.

McGee said affordability is a hot topic because of the expected wave of seniors who will want to live in CCRCs.

“Are they saving enough? I think there will be a fair number of people who absolutely will be able to afford senior CCRC,” McGee said.

The challenge, he continued – for both seniors and the CCRC industry – is to meet the needs of middle-class people who do not have a pension or other sources of income.

“I think CCRCs will be viable, but we have to start to figure out how to meet the demands of that market,” McGee said. “I don’t have an answer, but it’s just something that we’re starting to scratch our heads about.”

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