What are the most expensive states for assisted living?

The costs of assisted living vary significantly across the country. Even in the less expensive states, most Americans would need to save for a long time to cover the costs of a year in assisted living.

It would take most Americans years to save up enough money for even one year of assisted living, and the costs vary widely across the nation, a recent study illustrates.

Nationwide, the average rent at an assisted living community is $4,057 per month, according to a study from Seniorly.com. The analysis also looked at the most expensive states for assisted living, as well as the least expensive.

New Jersey stands as the most expensive place for assisted living, with an average monthly cost of $5,893 per month. That’s almost twice as much as Georgia, the least expensive state, with an average monthly cost of $3,045.

Given those rates, it’s easy to see how the costs could be daunting for many families. In New Jersey, a year in assisted living would cost more than $70,000. Even in the least expensive states, a year in assisted living would cost over $36,000. At the average monthly cost nationwide, a year would approach $50,000.

In assisted living facilities, residents are typically provided meals and assistance with personal care, but still typically retain a sense of independence with their own individual rooms or apartments. They may get assistance or reminders on medication but wouldn’t get the skilled care offered in nursing homes.

Based on current savings rates, the typical American would need to save for 9.5 years to pay for one year in assisted living, according to Seniorly. In New Mexico, residents would have to save for 13 years to cover the costs of a year in assisted living, the highest in the country.

One takeaway: Save as much for retirement as possible.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, assisted living occupancy has dropped, but there are signs of a rebound.

In the third quarter of 2021, occupancy rose to 76.9%, up from a low of 75.4% in the first quarter, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). However, assisted living occupancy remains below the pre-pandemic rate of 85%.

To compile the most and least expensive rates, Seniorly examined move-in data from 40,000 senior communities over the first half of 2021.

Here’s a rundown of the 10 most expensive states for assisted living, followed by the 10 least expensive.

Most expensive

1. New Jersey: $5,893

2. New Hampshire: $5,644

3. Alaska: $5,514

4. Massachusetts: $5,421

5. Washington, D.C.: $5,369

6. Delaware: $5,286

7. Hawaii: $5,063

8. Washington: $4,995

9. Connecticut: $4,726

10: Maine: $4,711

Most affordable

1. Georgia: $3,045

2. North Dakota: $3,069

3. Missouri: $3,084

4. Nevada: $3,123

5. South Dakota: $3,138

6. Arkansas: $3,190

7. Utah: $3,244

8. Alabama: $3,265

9. Kentucky: $3,288

10. Florida: $3,299