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The next time a prospective resident comes to visit your continuing care retirement community (CCRC), he or she may be accompanied by someone other than a family member. That tag-along friend could very well be a financial advisor intent on negotiating the best deal possible for a grateful client.According to The Wall Street Journal, more and more retirement community shoppers are seeking help from wealth-management firms. Those firms are negotiating prices and amenities with a single CCRC. They’re playing off one CCRC against another to get the best overall deal for a client. And, they’re trying to help protect their clients’ assets in the event a CCRC seeks bankruptcy protection.
Whatever their motivation, financial advisors are acquiring impressive discounts for their clients. In one example, a 90-year-old widow in Philadelphia saved 35% of a CCRC’s costs when her advisor negotiated an entrance-fee discount, 2 months of free rent, a monthly rent discount of $500 for 6 months and a $2,000 moving allowance. In other instances, financial advisors were able to get their clients:
Experts cited by The Journal suggest that the real-estate downturn is giving retirees more leverage as CCRCs face diminished waiting lists at a time when they need to stay full in order to fund operations, build reserves and finance refunds.