Retire Confidently: A Conversation about Our 100% Refundable Entrance Fee with Mary Clements

Searstone’s Chief Financial Officer, Mary Clements, has over 30 years of experience helping seniors retire comfortably, with the confidence that they’ve made the smart financial choice. She understands that retiring here brings with it an invaluable sense of security and peace of mind from the very moment you arrive. That’s thanks in large part to our 100% refundable entrance fee contract, which ensures that the secure feelings last even after you’ve left.

If a 100% refund sounds too good to be true, and if you have questions about how it works, Mary has you covered — just like the refund itself.

Mary, what is a 100% Refundable Entrance Fee?

When you make the decision to join our community, an entrance fee is required. The fee is determined by the size and value of your new residence. The 100% refund secures the financial future for yourself and your loved ones by guaranteeing that 100% of the entrance fee you pay will be returned, no matter what.

Let’s say you decide to move to another state to be closer to family. You’ll be refunded your entrance fee in full, giving you the financial freedom to find a new home. Or, the beneficiary of your estate — be it family, friend or a charity of your choosing — will receive the full refund, leaving your legacy intact. The 100% refundable entrance fee contract doesn’t just secure your place at The Highview — it removes concern from the uncertainty of the financial and real estate market.

Does the Entrance Fee have to be paid all at once as a lump sum?

Yes, and that’s so residents have immediate access to all of the services and amenities we offer, including health care. Early in the exploration process, we ask for a 10% deposit on the entrance fee. So minus that 10%, the remainder of the entrance fee will need to be paid in full. Bridge loans are available too, and we are happy to help folks secure one. With the 100% refundable contract, this entire entrance fee will be returned to you or your beneficiary.

The 100% refundable entrance fee is separate from Life Care, correct?

Yes, Life Care is the primary contract. The Life Care fee is in addition to your entrance fee. It guarantees that you receive care for life, with virtually no increase in cost, regardless of health changes in the future. Life Care provides significant asset preservation, works well with or without a Long-Term Care Insurance plan, and may have potential tax advantages, as a portion of the monthly fee is recognized as a prepaid health care benefit and may be tax deductible. A Sales Counselor can explain how these benefits work with a person’s individual situation. All of that comes with the peace of mind in knowing care is available immediately when needed, in the community you call home, from trusted professionals who treat you like family.

Does Life Care cost more than a fee-for-service contract, and does that have to be paid at once too?

A fee-for-service contract means you pay for medical care as it’s needed at whatever the market rate is at that time. Life Care requires a $70,000 fee that must be paid in full prior to move-in. By paying this upfront, you secure quality health care for life, with little to no increase to your monthly living fees. Compare this to a fee-for-service contract, and you could actually end up paying significantly more over time depending on how your health needs change.

What if a person doesn’t have any family to leave their legacy, why would they choose a 100% refundable contract?

This is an extremely personal decision. Only you can choose how to spend your savings. I tell people if they are single, or have no surviving friends or relatives, to consider leaving their legacy behind with a charity that means a great deal to them. Plus, the refundable entrance fee isn’t just repaid upon their passing. If someone chooses to leave Highview for any reason — deciding they’d rather be in a more tropical climate, for example — that refund will help them comfortably make the transition to a new home.

What do you say to seniors who think they’re too young to choose a 100% refundable contract?

I say you’re never too young to live without worry about your future. By joining our community today, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the incredible amenities and programming available, all while making new friendships with other inspiring residents. If a time comes when you do need additional health care, you’ll find comfort in knowing exactly where you will receive it and that it will be provided by an expert team who already know and treat you like family.

Why should someone make this decision to retire at The Highview at Searstone today?

We can’t always know what the future will bring, but a 100% Refundable Entrance Fee, combined with a Life Care Contract provides security, predictability and peace of mind. Unforeseen changes in the marketplace and to your own health could cause major price increases, making significant life changes or potentially critical care more difficult to afford. With this option, you protect yourself and your loved ones from that uncertainty starting today, and you enter a community where the potential of tomorrow is unlimited. And personally, I think if you’re already considering moving to a community, then Searstone makes your decision easy. We have the best staff, incredible care, and everyone here will treat you like family. After 30 years in this industry, I knew I was blessed the moment I came here because I met the most amazing people. And that’s what’s great about community living — you’re surrounded by friends who very quickly become your family.