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The Hoosier State can offer just about any lifestyle you’re looking for whether it be a fast paced, big city environment or something quiet and pastoral. There are many reasons Indiana would make a great choice for your retirement but there are some things to take into consideration before settling on a particular city.
Costs of Assisted Living in Indiana
The costs for Assisted Living Care in Indiana typically runs $3,528 per month ($42,330 per year). This is a considerably lower expense than their nursing homes which run approximately $91,980 annually for a private room and $76,650 for a semi private room. However, a nursing home in Indiana provides a number of services that the in-home care retiree may have to pay for in addition to base costs.
Typically, Adult Day Health Care is $1,679 per month, which averages around $20,150 per year. A Home Health Aide costs, on average $3,813 a month, based on a 44 hour week ($125 daily), coming to $45,760 per year. Based on the same work week, Homemaker Services average $3,718 monthly which comes to approximately $44,616 per year. Though they provide a number of services the senior individual needs, they only do minor housekeeping and so a full-time housekeeper might also be necessary. This could possibly double the financial burden on the elderly. If memory care is required, the rates average $4,600 monthly, as a specially trained nurse/caretaker will be required.
City by city - Indiana assisted living costs vary quite a lot throughout the state, starting at just a bit over $2500 per month and going up to as high as $4500 per month:
- Terre Haute, Indiana - $2,555 per month
- Fort Wayne, Indiana - $2,970 per month
- Elkhart, Indiana - $3,042 per month
- Kokomo, Indiana - $3,150 per month
- Evansville, Indiana - $3,335 per month
- Indianapolis, Indiana - $3,560 per month
- Michigan City, Indiana - $3,593 per month
- South Bend, Indiana - $3,620 per month
- Muncie, Indiana - $3,810 per month
- Columbus, Indiana - $3,943 per month
- Lafayette, Indiana - $4,300 per month
- Bloomington, Indiana - $4,503 per month
Paying for Assisted Living in Indiana
There are several areas that use the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). This is a health care system designed for aging persons who are certified by the state of Indiana to require nursing home care. The goal is to allow them, whenever possible, to remain in their homes while receiving the care they need. If you live in one of the PACE service areas, these are the further qualifications:
- Age 55 or older
- State certified to require nursing home level care
- Reasonably able to live within the community at time of enrollment
If it should become necessary to move into a nursing home, PACE will continue to cover and advocate care. The two approved PACE programs in Indiana are The Franciscan Senior Health and Wellness PACE program and the St Joseph PACE program. Indiana also has a Medicaid Waiver system or Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) so an applicant might receive care in a non-Medicaid facility. They have to qualify for Medicaid and be a candidate for institutionalized care. There could be a waiting list as waivers are granted on a first come, first served basis. The Aged and Disabled Waiver (A&D) will support both home based services as well as nursing home care. To receive Medicaid as a disabled or elderly person in Indiana, you must meet certain eligibility requirements.
- Must be a senior at least 65 years of age or blind or disabled;
- Must be a resident of Indiana;
- Income must be less than the cost of private care minus a personal allowance of $52 per month
The non-applicant spouse may own up to $119,220 in assets without affecting the institutionalized spouse’s qualification. If the non-applicant spouse owns less than the minimum of $23,844 worth of assets, they may transfer income from the applicant spouse to meet the minimum.
Some Places To Consider For Indiana Senior Living
- While Indianapolis, IN offers many senior services, the population of aged 65 and older is only 10% of more than 850,000 people. The cost of living is somewhat lower than the national level and housing prices average $120,000. The crime rate, however, is quite high for both violent and property crimes. The city is in Marion County close to many smaller surrounding cities should a resident desire a week-end getaway or even a day trip.
- Muncie is home to Indiana and Ball State Universities but this college town has a lot of appeal to the retiree living on a budget. The median home value is around $70,000 yet the town is in a period of development, providing plenty of new cultural, culinary, and shopping experiences as it grows. Because of this, the housing market could be changing rapidly. Located in Delaware County, the population is around 70,000 with 13% of seniors 65 and older. There are about 3,800 veterans. The crime rate is slightly lower than the national average when it comes to violent crimes but higher for property theft.
- If safety is your main concern, consider Ligonier, Indiana in Noble County. This town reported no violent crimes and less than 20 property crimes several years ago according to the FBI Crime Census. There are more than 4,400 people, over 9% 65+ and 204 veterans. Home prices are more affordable, averaging $94,400. At 17% lower than the national average, the cost of living in this city is more manageable than many other places in the state. Ligonier is a small town and medical services are limited. If you choose to live here, doctor and hospital visits may require going to another town or city. The closest facilities are currently 20 to 30 minutes away. Zionsville has one of the lowest crime rates in the state. Its population is 24,433, 10% of the population are senior citiznes 65 years and up with approximately 851 veterans. Home values average quite a bit higher here at over $330,000 and the cost of living is 25% higher than average.
- Zionsville, Indiana is another option, located in Boone County. There are lots of locally owned businesses in addition to many national department stores and restaurants. It is a 20 minute drive from Carmel and less than half an hour from Indianapolis.
- Should you prefer a small town with low cost of living, historical Portland may be a good choice. This city in Jay County maintains several buildings which have stood since the 1800s and early 1900s. They have a population of just over 6,000 with 17% age 65 or older. There are around 400 veterans. Portland reported only one violent crime several years ago, though they did have over 200 property crimes that year. The median home value is $74,000. Portland hosts events and festivals throughout the year and has a number of historic sites where you can learn more about your new hometown. They also offer a good number of museums, parks and entertainment venues.
- No list of retirement destinations would be complete without mentioning Carmel, Indiana. This growing suburb of Indianapolis has a popular atmosphere with focus on culture, the arts, and fitness. The current estimated population is over 84,000, 3,699 of them are veterans, and 10% of the total are people 65+. Carmel is a low-crime city, considered one of the safest in Indiana. Many of the necessities of life are just under the national average for cost but health and housing are both above the line. This up and coming city reports a median house value of $296,600.
Weather in Indiana
The Hoosier State tends to have humid summers with temperatures in the 70s, occasionally as high as 80 degrees. Winters are very cold with often harsh weather. Tornados often occur in March and April, but then the weather becomes much milder in the Spring. Where the northern border intersects with Lake Michigan, the surrounding cities will see heavier annual snowfall, sometimes as great as 76 inches. The rest of the state sees around 14 inches over the winter months. Indiana has never experienced a drought, though there are regions that suffer from annual flooding. Rainfall averages around 4 inches in each of the cooler months and 3 inches per month during the summer.
Services for a Senior Living in Indiana
Indiana provides many services one would expect from a Long Term Care program for seniors and caretakers. Such services are coordinated through the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging (IAAAA). There are 16 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) throughout the state and their function is to provide services, assistance, and advocacy for the aging and disabled. Each one has its own website listing the services they provide. Links to each region’s AAA and a printable map are provided on the Family and Social Services Administration website under Aging Services. Each of the AAAs provides programs within multiple categories.
The Census Bureau estimates that the population of Indiana last year was 6,633,053 people. About 14% of those are 65 and up. White people make up 85%, Black or African Americans are at 9%, American and Alaska Natives are 0.4%, Asian are 1.6%, Hispanic or Latino equal over 6% and mixed race persons are 1%. There are 426,493 veterans in Indiana. Foreign born residents make up about 4%. The latest Census surveyed the ancestral claims of the residents, finding that 22% were German, 10% Irish, 12% American (no specific ancestry), 8% British, and a wide selection of others making up less than 5% each. The largest religious group are Catholic with 747,706 adherents, followed by the United Methodist Church with 355,043 adherents. Throughout the state there is a diverse selection of religious bodies, so you are likely to find a congregation specific to your faith.
English is the only language spoken by 93% of Hoosiers. Spanish is spoken by 3% of the population and is growing. Various Indo-European languages are used by 2% and Asian and Pacific Islander languages are spoken by less than 1%. Indiana has been known as the Hoosier State for more than 150 years though the origins of the word are debated. Residents had called themselves Hoosiers or Indianans interchangeably but in January of 2017, the state officially adopted Hoosier as its nickname for Indiana residents. This gives them the distinction of being the only citizens whose nickname is not somehow derived from the name of the state.
All but one of the 92 counties in Indiana levy a local income tax in addition to the state tax of 3.3%, bringing it up to as high as 6% in some places. The sales tax is 7%. They have no inheritance or estate tax in Indiana. There are some possible tax deductions for Indiana elders who meet the specified requirements:
- Military Retirement Pay Adjustment-- equal to income received while in the military or $5000, whichever is less, if both spouses earned military income, both may receive the full deduction:
- Senior must be 60 or older at the year's end
- Must have been getting military retirement or survivor’s benefits throughout the year
- Total received benefits must be reported on your tax return
- Civil Service Annuity Deduction - deduction of up to $16,000, surviving spouse may also be eligible for this deduction:
- Must be 62 or older
- Must have received a civil service pension
- Disability Retirement Deduction - allows you to deduct $5,200 a year of disability income, if both spouses are on disability retirement, both may be eligible for the full deduction:
- Must be permanently and totally disabled
- Must be retired on disability
- Must receive disability retirement income
- Unified Tax Credit for the Elderly- a credit ranging from $40 to $140 depending on age, marital status, and income:
- Applicant (and spouse, if applicable) must be 65 or older
- Married coupled must file jointly
- Federal adjusted gross income must be less than $10,000
- Must claim the credit by June 30 of the tax year
- Must have been an Indiana resident for six months or more
- Must not have been in prison for 180 days or more during the tax year
Things For Seniors To Do In Indiana
There are a great number of attractions throughout the Hoosier State for whatever your desired level of activity and areas of interest. These are just a few examples of what Indiana has to offer.
- If you’re looking for outdoorsy adventure, you can visit one of the state parks such as Clifty Falls State Park by the city of Madison. The waterfalls in the park are spectacular year round, changing with the seasons. There are hiking trails and a river bed where fossils are scattered among the rocks. There are even locations where you can collect some fossils to take home. This scenic park also offers organized hikes and seasonal activities for the community.
- The Marengo Cave is a fascinating location so named for the city in which it can be found. Seniors can take a walking tour and learn about the cave’s unique ecosystem as well as gemstone mining. They also provide areas for camping and canoeing on the nearby Blue River. This is a great get-away for the grand-kids with fun activities designed for children’s entertainment.
- Downtown Indianapolis is home to the Indiana War Memorial Plaza and Historic District. Here, seniors can visit the Indiana War Memorial Museum and Indiana World War Monument, the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, Veterans Memorial Plaza and several other attractions honoring the veterans of different wars and detailing Indiana’s role in each. You can peruse the attractions at your leisure or schedule a tour.
- Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss a trip to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend. The knowledgeable staff can teach you about the history of the Studebaker family from their first smithy to the last car in 1966. And, of course, there is a great collection of the cars to enjoy including presidential carriages and war time vehicles. Check their calendar to see when they’re showcasing other collections and join in one of the monthly activities.
- The Indianapolis Museum of Art is just one of six in Indianapolis. There are several throughout the state as well. This museum offers collections of ancient to modern art from all over the world. It happens to be the home of the famous Love sculpture by Robert Indiana. The museum also features a scenic garden and park. Enjoy films, educational talks, and performances year round in their amphitheater. There are regular classes guiding artists in taking inspiration from the museum exhibitions and the gardens. They have adult and family classes if you want to get the grandchildren involved.
- The Hoosier Air Museum is not to be missed by any history buffs or aviation fanatics. You can look over several historic planes and helicopters as well as full scale replicas. The library provides scores of information on aviation history and tours are available. Events and exhibitions are changing all the time so you may want to make regular visits to enjoy all they have to offer.
- For the wine connoisseur, the Oliver Winery and Vineyards in Bloomington is the place to go. It began as a hobby in the 1960s by law professor William Oliver, who helped pass legislation permitting the creation of small wineries in Indiana and subsequently transformed it into one of the oldest and largest commercial wine distributors in the eastern United States. Indiana seniors can take a free tour through their wine gardens, attend a thorough wine-tasting event, and even book an afternoon picnic in their Creekbend Vineyards.
Generally speaking, Indiana should be able to suit anyone’s retirement needs with a little bit of research. If you prefer a warmer and/or tamer climate, Indiana may not be a great choice. The cost of living in Indiana is just below the national average in all areas except housing which is almost 40% lower but the bigger, more tourist-friendly cities can be much higher. Be sure to look up local hospital and medical services availability before settling on a small town because some of them may not easily meet your needs. Whatever your preference, be it a busy, active lifestyle or a quiet, country setting, the Hoosier State can accommodate these and almost anything in between.