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The state of Ohio is in the Great Lakes region of the United States, although some Ohioans will argue that it is the Midwest. It is the 7th most populous state in America with an estimated 11.61 million people. With an area of 44,825 square miles, it is the 34th largest state in the nation. The state density is 10th in the nation with 282 people per square mile. Ohio has the 16th highest percentage of senior citizens in the country, with over 15% of residents age 65 or older. Is the Buckeye State a good choice for a senior looking to retire?
Costs of Assisted Living in Ohio
The average cost for Assisted Living Care in Ohio is almost $3,600 per month, (over $43,000 a year). The costs vary greatly from city to city - for example, Assisted Living in Mansfield, Ohio carries a cost of $2,800 monthly, while seniors living in Akron will need to pay over $4,300 per month. The costs also may be different from facility to facility for Ohio seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's.
The U.S. average cost for Assisted Living is $3,628 per month, and Ohio's assisted living is comparable to the national average at $3,600 monthly. Nursing homes in Ohio are much more expensive than assisted living facilities - with semi-private rooms costing over $76,500 per year, and a private room carrying a cost of $87,600 annually.
Adult Day Health Care in Ohio averages $1,200 per month or around $14,300 per year. A Home Health Aide in Ohio costs, on average $3,800 a month, almost $45,800 annually. It is estimated that by the year 2030, Assisted Living in Ohio will cost over $65,350 per year – an increase of around $21,000.
Within Ohio itself, the costs of Assisted Living Care vary as well, for example, these are the latest approximate costs of a monthly stay in an Assisted Living Facility in Ohio:
- Mansfield, Ohio - $2,800;
- Springfield, Ohio - $3,200;
- Lima, Ohio - $3,600;
- Columbus, Ohio - $3,600;
- Dayton, Ohio - $3,650;
- Toledo, Ohio - $3,900;
- Canton, Ohio – $3,900 per month;
- Cleveland, Ohio – $4,000 monthly;
- Cincinnati, Ohio - $4,000 monthly; and
- Akron, Ohio - $4,320 monthly;
Who pays for Assisted Living Care in Ohio?
Most often, Ohio Assisted Living care costs are paid for by Ohio assisted living residents or their families. The waiver programs that are available in Ohio are meant to cover all age groups that need help and meet a “level of care” which is one of eligibility components of the Ohio Medicaid long term programs - a component that is not financial in nature. If a senior wants to be part of a waiver program, they need to satisfy that waiver's specific level of care. The waiver programs for these individuals are the: Ohio Home Care Waiver (for those from the age of birth through age 59), Assisted Living Waiver (age 21 or older) and PASSPORT Waiver (for those aged 60 or greater).
1. Nursing Facility (NF) Level of Care: this waiver is a home and community based-services waiver with a requirement of a level of care one would typically find in a nursing home, yet it provides services at home or in the community so that the senior does not have to enter a nursing facility. Seniors looking for this program must need assistance or supervision with activities of daily living (dressing, eating, transferring, bathing) as well as iADLs (shopping, meal preparation, etc).
These clients must also have either an “Intermediate Level of Care" or a “Skilled Level of Care” which is a higher level of care.
2. Developmental Disabilities Waiver – to be eligible for this waiver you must fit the criteria necessary for enrollment into a Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS) waiver rather than entering an intermediate care facility for those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. There are different waiver programs with different criteria for these waivers:
Developmental Disabilities Level of Care – this is for individuals between birth through age 9. The disability needs to cause a substantial functional impairment in 3 or more major life activity areas: caring for themselves, expressive communication, receptive communication, mobility, learning, self-direction, economic self-sufficiency or capacity for independent living.
For clients who are ten and older, the following criteria must be met:
- The client has received a diagnosis of a disability that is both chronic in nature and severe, that is because of a physical or mental disability; a disability or combination of mental and physical disability, not counting one that is caused only because of mental illness.
- Disability's manifestation appeared before the person turns the age of 22; and
- Likely to remain indefinitely.
Pros and Cons of Senior Living in Ohio
Here are some things to consider for seniors when choosing whether to retire to Ohio:
- Affordability – Ohio has a lower cost of living than average cost of living;
- Outdoor recreation – Ohio border Lake Erie is one of the Great Lakes and it is a tourist destination, especially for those who want to swim, boat and fish. In fact, the walleye fishing in Lake Erie is considered to be the best in the world. There is also Cedar Point Amusement Park, which is located on the coast of Sandusky, Ohio;
- Healthcare – not only is Ohio one of the healthiest states in the nation, but there is a low percentage of people without health insurance. Ohio Medical Center in Portland consistently ranks as one of the top performing hospitals in the country and ranks high in geriatrics. Additionally, five rural hospitals in Ohio have been ranked highly regarding quality of care;
- Attractions – in addition to the scenery and Lake Erie, there are other attractions in Ohio such as Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Quicken Loans Arena – where the Cleveland Cavaliers play. The Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio and is a must see for anyone who loves football and the history of the sport; and
- The Cuyahoga River – in 1969 the river was so polluted that it actually caught fire. It has taken 40 years, but according to the National Park Service, the river is well on its way to recovery.
Financial Information for Ohio Seniors
Ohio has a state income tax that has been reducing over the years, from a high of 7.185% to the current top tax rate is 5.33%. The lowest tax bracket of 3.0% makes Ohio one of the states with the lowest income tax. There is also a state income tax that can be as high as 3% in some areas.
Property tax is the oldest tax in the state of Ohio, dating back to 1825. The property tax varies throughout the county depending on where you live. Cuyahoga County, for example, has an effective property tax rate of 2.23%, whereas Washington County, in the Southeastern part of the state has a rate that is less than 1%.
Ohio eliminated the estate tax as of January 1, 2013; however, anyone who died prior to that date may still owe estate tax.
Ohio is a moderately tax-friendly state for seniors, due to the following:
- Income from Social Security is not taxed;
- Withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed;
- Wages are taxed at normal rates, in Ohio the marginal state tax rate is 3.0%;
- Public pension income is partially taxed; and
- Private pensions are partially taxed.
Ohio is a low-price state. For example, what you could purchase for $100 in Ohio is what you would expect to spend $111.98 on in another state. The cost of living is lower in Ohio overall than it is in other states in every category with housing being the biggest difference. Out of 100 points, Ohio came in with a cost of living of 88.40. Ohio rated lower overall (88), and in the category of housing (67), health (98), miscellaneous (98), groceries (99.2), and utilities (99). In the category of transportation, it ranked at 100.
Places of Interest for Seniors Living in Ohio
There are many things that might be of interest for senior citizens in Ohio State. Some of the more interesting things that seniors, and those who visit them, may enjoy in Ohio include:
- West Side Market – located in Cleveland, Ohio. This lesser known market rivals those found in Boston and Pike’s Peak in Seattle. It was built in 1912 and offers fresh produce, meat, dairy products, and prepared foods;
- Wade Memorial Chapel – located in Cleveland, Ohio – build in memory of Jeptha Wade who founded the Western Union Telegraph Company and was the first president of Lake View Cemetery. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it is one of the few buildings still standing in which the interior was totally designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany;
- Veterans Freedom Flag Monument – located in Lima, Ohio – this monument is across from the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center and it is the largest permanent flag monument;
- Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial – located in Put in Bay, Ohio. Rising 352 feet above Lake Erie, this monument commemorates an American victory during the War of 1812;
- Great American Ballpark – located in Cincinnati, Ohio, this ballpark is the new home for the Cincinnati Reds, the team that is the oldest major league baseball team in the United States. The design incorporates the modern with the historic attributes of Crosley Field;
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden – located in Cincinnati, Ohio – this is the 2nd oldest zoo in the country and is considered one of the best. Here, Ohio seniors can explore endangered species and birthing programs – particularly white tigers and gorillas, and a manatee exhibit as well;
- Jungle Jim’s International Market – located in Fairfield, Ohio – this massive farmers’ market allows senior citizens to explore four acres of amazing, exotic food that is hard to find anywhere else in the world, let alone in Ohio;
- Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens – located in Akron, Ohio – this is the former home of F.A. Seiberling who co-founded Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Stan Hywet is known as the most important remaining example of an American Country Estate built by the wealth created at the turn of the 20th century when Akron became the “Rubber Capital of the World”;
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House – located in Springfield, Ohio – originally build in 1907 for Burton and Orpha J. Westcott, it is the only prairie style house designed by Wright in Ohio. In 1946, the house was divided into apartments but it has recently gone a renovation to bring it back to its former glory of 1908. You can take a guided tour of the Westcott House and learn about the Westcott's and their two children as well as Frank Lloyd Wright’s design and the on-going renovation project;
- “The Christmas Story” House – located in Cleveland, Ohio – the famous, or infamous, house from the movie “The Christmas Story” has been restored like it was shown in the movie and is open year-round. It is across the street from the “Official Christmas Story House Museum.” Seniors can see original props, costumes, Randy’s snowsuit, and rare behind-the-scenes photos. Don’t forget to pick up a Leg Lamp while you are there, but be careful – it’s Frag-I-Lee;
- Pro Football Hall of Fame – located in Canton, Ohio – you can teach your grandkids about the legends of the game in the Bronze Bust Gallery and make a call in the interactive phone booth. There is a Super Bowl 50 Theater and all 50 Super Bowl rings are on display. The largest and most valuable football card collection in the world is located there as well.
- Seven United States Presidents were born in Ohio as well: Ulysses S. Grant (Point Pleasant, Ohio), Rutherford B. Hayes (Delaware, Ohio), James A. Garfield (Moreland Hills, Ohio), Benjamin Harrison (North Bend, Ohio), William McKinley (Niles, Ohio), William Howard Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Warren G. Harding (Blooming Grove, Ohio). It is often thought that William Henry Harrison was born in Ohio, but he was born in Delaware, although he spent most of his life in Ohio and is buried in North Bend, Ohio.
Some cities to consider for Ohio Senior Living
Here are some cities or towns that have ranked highly in different categories that are helpful to seniors:
- Upper Sandusky, Ohio – located in Wyandot County, Ohio. The population is approximately 7,000 with around 20% age 65 or older. Last year, Upper Sandusky ranked #17 out of 668 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” #231 of 701 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Ohio,” and #272 of 701 of the “Best Places to Live in Ohio;
- Marietta, Ohio – located in, and the county seat of, Washington County, Ohio. This part of Ohio is part of the Appalachian Plateau and is known for the mineral deposits and the beautiful scenery. The population of York Harbor is approximately 14,000 of whom around 18% are seniors aged 65 or older. Last year, Marietta ranked #12 out of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #94 out of 269 of the “Safest Places to Live in Ohio;”
- Columbiana, Ohio – a city in Columbiana and Mahoning County, Ohio. The population is around 7,000 with over 18% of the population who are senior citizens 65 or older. Last year, Columbiana ranked #44 out of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #42 out of 260 of the “Safest Places to Live in Ohio;”
- Van Wert, Ohio – located in Van Wert County, Ohio. This seaport town is notable for its antique architecture and is a popular tourist destination. It has a population of approximately 11,000, around 18% of whom are seniors age 65 or older. Last year, Van Wert ranked #24 of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #180 out of 701 of the “Most Diverse Places to Live in Ohio;”
- Greenville, Ohio – located in, and the county seat of Darke County, Ohio. It is the historical location of Fort Greene Ville, the pioneer fort created via General Anthony Wayne’s command and is the biggest fortification ever made out of wood. The population is estimated to be 13,000 of which around 22% are age 65 or older. Last year, Greenville ranked #58 of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #243 of the 701 of the “Most Diverse Places to Live in Ohio,”
- Delphos, Ohio – located in both Allen and Van Wert County, Ohio. The population of Delphos is estimated to be around 7,050 of whom around 16.4% are elderly Ohioans age 65 or older. Last year, Delphos ranked #35 of 260 of the “Safest Places to Live in Ohio,” #69 out of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #76 of 701 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Ohio;”
- Wooster, Ohio – located in, and the county seat of Wayne County Ohio. The College of Wooster is located there. The population is approximately 27,000 of which around 16% are 65 years of age or older. Last year, Wooster ranked #107 out of 701 of “Best Places to Live in Ohio,” #196 of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #22 of 696 of the “Healthiest Places to Live in Ohio;”
- Wheelersburg, Ohio – located in Scioto County, Ohio. The population of Wheelersburg, Ohio is approximately 6,500 with around 18% age 65 or older. Last year, Wheelersburg ranked #11 of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #60 out of 701 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Ohio;”
- Yellow Springs, Ohio – a village in Greene County, Ohio. It is the home of Antioch College and Antioch University Midwest. The population is approximately 4,000 with over 21% who are senior citizens 65 or over. Last year, Yellow Springs rated #20 out of 696 “Healthiest Places to Live in Ohio,” #25 out of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #29 out of 701 of the “Best Places to Live in Ohio;”
- Belpre, Ohio – located in Washington County, Ohio. It is part of the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH metropolitan statistical area. The population of Belpre is approximately 6,500 with around 18.5% age 65 or older. Last year, Belpre ranked #15 out of 668 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio,” and #97 out of 260 of the “Safest Places to Live in Ohio; and
- Holiday Valley, Ohio – located in Clark County, Ohio. Holiday Valley is part of the Springfield Ohio metropolitan statistical area. The population is approximately 1,600 with over 21% who are seniors age 65 or older. Last year, Holiday Valley ranked #3 out of 698 of the “Best Places to Retire in Ohio.”