Retirement in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia is an ideal retirement location for active adults; a southeastern state, Virginia stretches from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, with a long Atlantic Ocean coastline. The Washington Metropolitan Area in Northern Virginia offers the attractions and opportunities afforded by a large city. The diverse range of landscapes provides something for everyone. The tidewater area offers access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay with the opportunity to participate in a myriad of boating and maritime activities. In the Southwest the mountains of Virginia feature national parks and Forests for the nature lover, with farmlands, small cities, and quaint towns dotted throughout the state.
Virginia features a blend of history, tradition and modern day living. Virginia offers seniors a diverse range of landscapes and activities. It's the oldest of the 13 original colonies, with many historic landmarks including Monticello, founding father Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Charlottesville plantation, the Jamestown Settlement, and Colonial Williamsburg. Its capital, Richmond, is among the country's oldest cities. The Washington Metropolitan area in Northern Virginia is home to the Pentagon, Mount Vernon, and Arlington National Cemetery. The proximity to Washington DC and it’s public transportation system provides easy access to the Nation’s capitol, the Smithsonian, and a plethora of museums, monuments, and memorials. For the sports enthusiast Virginia offers access to both professional and collegiate sporting teams including football, basketball, baseball, and 3 tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
Retirement in Virginia offers retirees 4 distinct seasons, the climate of Virginia becomes increasingly warmer and more humid farther south and east, Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of 26 °F (−3 °C) in January to average highs of 86 °F (30 °C) in July. The Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on eastern and southeastern coastal areas of the state.
The general sales tax rate for Virginia is 5.3 percent, 4.3 percent state tax and 1 percent local tax. There is an additional 0.7 percent state tax imposed in the localities that make up Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, making the rate in these areas 6 percent. Virginia assesses an income tax on its residents in brackets; 3 percent on taxable income between $3,001 and $5,000. 5 percent on taxable income between $5,001 and $17,000. 5.75 percent on taxable income of $17,001 and above. Virginia offers a tax deduction for residents 65 and older and Social Security is exempt from taxation.
Life Plan Communities in Virginia
One of the most important and complex decisions facing retirees is choosing where to live and age. Today’s seniors have many housing options including Life Plan communities, also known as CCRCs. Making a plan for the later stages of retirement can help you and your loved ones avoid difficult, and often costly, situations in the future.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) or Life Plan Communities in Virginia are a good option for seniors age 55+ who want a residence that allows them to be independent and active today but are equipped to provide for their future healthcare needs,
Retirement Housing Options In Virginia
CCRCs are sometimes referred to as Full Service Retirement Communities or Lifecare Communities, they are the only type of retirement community that offer residents access to a full continuum of care. This usually includes independent living, assisted living and/or skilled nursing care options. To meet the Code of Virginia's definition for a CCRC, a CCRC must provide board (meals), lodging or shelter, and access to nursing services.
Life Plan Communities are generally a collection of townhomes, cottages, and apartments or residential independent group living units and 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,fitness centers, walking trails, golf courses, banking services, convenience stores, gardens, beauty/barber shops, and guest accommodations.
CCRC Regulation in Virginia
CCRCs are regulated through various state divisions such as insurance, financial services, aging or elder services, or social services1. Currently thirty eight states regulate CCRCs, for those states that regulate CCRCs the mandatory requirements and degree of oversight can vary drastically from one state to another.
CCRCs in Virginia are regulated by the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Social Services. All facilities licensed as CCRCs are required to maintain compliance with the Code of Virginia. The Department of Health (nursing facilities) and the Department of Social Services place certain health regulations on various levels of health and medical care provided by CCRCs. These regulations must be met or exceeded by CCRCs. In Virginia, there are specific requirements and limitations governing the use by a CCRC of its residents' entrance fees. These requirements and limitations are itemized and defined by the Code of Virginia. The use of entrance fees by a CCRC forms a part of its financial statement each year, including any funds held in escrow (pursuant to the Code of Virginia)
Additionally, CCRCs are required to demonstrate that their services promote their residents' abilities to maintain the highest functional level. Meeting these criteria allows a CCRC to maintain its licensure and state and federal funding options. The two departments responsible for the regulations perform surveys throughout the year to make sure a facility is in compliance with applicable requirements
Requirements of Life Plan Communities in Virginia
Most Life Plan communities or CCRCs in Virginia have entrance requirements, they vary by location but may include some or all of the following:
- Minimum age requirements as allowed by the Housing for Older Persons Act.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monthly income equal to a multiple of the monthly service fee. The range is usually similar to that required for assets and savings.
- Medical reviews. 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.
- Medicare and possibly a Medicare supplement policy, or a similar private-pay plan
- Will, healthcare power of attorney, and durable power of attorney.
CCRC Entry Fees in Virginia
Most Life Plan communities or CCRCs in Virginia require an entry fee, the purpose of an entry fees is three-fold. Primarily, it secures a resident’s contractual and priority access to a continuum of care. Additionally, the money received from entry fees is also 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. Finally, many CCRCs- particularly non-profit providers- offer a financial assistance or endowment fund 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. Some portion of the entry fee may go towards this endowment fund.
Choosing a CCRC In Virginia
If a Life Plan community might be a good fit for you or a loved one, you can get detailed information on top-rated CCRCs and Lifecare communities in Virginia by searching our continuing care retirement community directory and proprietary database for helpful profile reports. The tools offered by My LifeSite will equip you with the information you need and can help you determine affordability based on your personal parameters. Our independent reports provide everything you need to make an informed decision including retirement community pricing, important contract details, healthcare aspects, and more.