Wisconsin is commonly known by the nickname, The Badger State. The nickname came from early miners who would dig into hills in the state searching for lead and then would live or burrow in the cave, similar to a badger. Madison is the capital of the state and Milwaukee is the largest city.
Another nickname for Wisconsin is The Dairy State or American’s Dairyland because the state leads the nation in cheese production. Numerous cheese factories (and tours) are situated across the state. Members of Wisconsin retirement communities can also visit a museum dedicated solely to cheese, the National Historical Cheesemaking Center in Monroe, WI. Because the state is home to a large concentration of German, Irish, Polish and Norwegian descendants many food delicacies in the state are derived from their heritage including bratwurst, roesti, Danish kringle and Swedish pancakes. The state is also known for beer, maple syrup and fish boils.
Wisconsin is a state of much natural beauty. Members of retirement communities in Wisconsin can take advantage of more than 15,000 lakes, many of them created from ancient glaciers. The state has coastlines on two of the Great Lakes: Superior and Michigan. Wisconsin is home to three major league sports franchises: Green Bay Packers (NFL), Milwaukee Brewers (MLB) and Milwaukee Bucks (NBA). Architecture lovers and history buffs will be interested in visiting Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate in Spring Green.
Members of retirement communities in Wisconsin will have mild, short summers and long, cold winters. Summer temperatures are comfortable with highs rarely above 90 degrees. In contrast, during the winter months of December and February, the daytime temperature is normally below 30 degrees. Snow is plentiful across the state with the northern part of the state receiving around 50 inches of snow per year.
Taxes in Wisconsin
Member of retirement communities in Wisconsin can expect to have a statewide sales tax of 5% with an average local tax of .46%. This local tax can be as high as 1.75% depending on location. The state income tax is based on
3.54% for income up to $11,970, 4.65% for income between $11,970 – $23,930, 6.27% for income between $23,930 – $263,480 and 7.65% for income above $263,480.1 Social Security income is not taxed.
Retirement Communities In Wisconsin
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) and Lifecare Communities in Wisconsin offer seniors age 55+ a residence that allows them to be independent and active today but are equipped to provide for their future healthcare needs.
Today’s seniors have many retirement housing options. Deciding where to live is one of the most important and complex decisions one will make. Making these decisions while still healthy can help you avoid difficult and costly situations in the future.
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Options for Retiring in Wisconsin
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are sometimes referred to as Full Service Retirement Communities or Life Plan communities, they are the only type of retirement community that offer residents independent living when they enter the community with the security of having assisted living and/or skilled nursing care options on site.
Wisconsin CCRCs or Life Plan communities generally offer numerous accommodations including apartments, townhomes, and cottages. These communities often include common activity areas such as a restaurant-like dining room, a library, activity and craft rooms, an assisted living facility, and a nursing home. Other amenities often include swimming pools, a fitness center, golf courses, convenience stores, walking trails, gardens, beauty/barber shops, banking services and guest accommodations. Increasingly, life plan communities are focusing on things such life long learning, intergenerational programs, and community-based projects for residents to get involved.
Regulating CCRCs In Wisconsin
CCRCs are regulated through various state divisions such as insurance, financial services, aging or elder services, or social services, although not every state regulates CCRCs. The mandatory requirements and degree of oversight vary considerably from one state to another, and are typically focused on the overall financial management of the community, various types of disclosures, and residents rights. Because of the varying requirements, vetting each community individually is the best way to insure a community is in good standing.
In Wisconsin CCRCs are not separately regulated, although assisted living, memory care, and/or nursing care provided within a CCRC would be regulated by the appropriate licensing body for those types of care.
Selecting A CCRC In Wisconsin
Most CCRCs in Wisconsin have entrance requirements; they vary by location but may include some or all of the following:
- Entry fee to cover the housing unit’s cost and other services and amenities, including contractually provided access to health care. The entry fee may also help keep monthly services fees lower than they might be at a comparable rental community.
- Minimum age requirements as allowed by the Housing for Older Persons Act, typically age 55 or 62.
- Medicare and possibly a Medicare supplement policy, or a similar private-pay plan.
- Medical and health reviews. CCRC providers will often request medical records, talk with a prospective resident’s primary care physician, or request a health exam. The specific type of contract offered by the community will determine the degree of emphasis placed on this requirement.
- Assets and savings equal to a multiple of the entry fee. A typical range is between 2-4 times the entry fee, but this can vary, and many life plan communities in Wisconsin have their own financial evaluation and qualification process for new residents.
- Monthly income equal to a multiple of the monthly service fee. The range is usually similar to that required for assets and savings.
- Will, healthcare power of attorney, and durable power of attorney.
Entry Fee Requirements For Wisconsin CCRCs
Most CCRCs or Life Plan Communities in Wisconsin require an entry fee. The entry fee is required for several reasons. First and foremost, it secures a resident’s contractual and priority access to the care they may need while living in the community. Secondly, the money received from entry fees is used to help pay down, or limit, the amount of debt required for development, expansion, or long-term capital projects, which keep the community attractive and competitive in the marketplace and also benefits current residents. Finally, a portion of the entry fee may go towards an endowment fund set up by the community. An endowment fund is used by many CCRCs- particularly non-profit providers- offer a financial assistance to help ensure that if a resident runs out of money due to a longer than average stay in the healthcare facility, or some other unforeseen circumstance, they will not be forced to leave the community.
Is A Wisconsin Life Plan Retirement Community Right For You?
A CCRC or Life Plan Community in Wisconsin might be a good fit for you or a loved one. You can get detailed information on top-rated Life Plan communities in Wisconsin by searching myLifeSite’s continuing care retirement community directory. You can also refer to our consumer educational resources to help you make an informed decision.
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Updated November 2021