Located in the southern central portion of the United States, Arkansas is noted as one of the top states where seniors can live comfortably when they retire, according to USA Today. Social Security retirement income is not taxed, and property taxes are low. The cost of living in Arkansas is also much lower than the national average, so seniors can expect to pay less for groceries, healthcare, housing and transportation. The state is home to multiple hot springs attractions, including Bathhouse Row and the Garvan Woodland Gardens. There are mountain biking tours in Bentonville and scavenger hunts in Little Rock. With 217 sunny days per year, Arkansas offers plenty of time for sightseeing and exploring.

Sometimes referred to as retirement communities, independent living typically provides the lowest level of assistance for retirees. They are best suited for active seniors who are self-sufficient and can maintain their own daily responsibilities but occasionally need help with tasks. They offer services like housekeeping, meals, transportation and recreational activities. In Arkansas, independent living costs around $2,275 per month.

This guide covers the cost of independent living in the area and provides a list of resources for seniors.

The Cost of Independent Living in Arkansas

Independent living typically costs seniors 30 to 40% less than the standard monthly cost of assisted living. To figure out the cost in Arkansas and surrounding states, we subtracted 35% from the cost of assisted living from the 2020 Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey

Aside from Missouri, which has a monthly cost of $1,950, Arkansas has one of the lowest rates for independent living in the area at $2,275. It is also less than the national average of $2,795. To the west in Oklahoma and Texas cost seniors around $2,437 and $2,599 per month, respectively. To the east, Mississippi residents can expect to pay around $2,413 monthly, and to the south in Louisiana, independent living costs around $2,365 per month.




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Paying for Independent Living in Arkansas

Independent living is not covered by most insurance policies, instead, seniors must pay for this service out of pocket. Typical ways to pay for this service include Social Security benefits and pensions, annuity payments, housing assistance and personal funds, such as savings. Some seniors pay for assisted living with Supplemental Security Income or SSI. This income is available to seniors 65 and older who are blind or disabled who live on a limited income and have little assets. 

Independent Living Resources in Arkansas

The following is a list of services and programs designed to help seniors living at home easily make the transition to nursing home care. 

Aging and Adult Services(501) 682-2441Aging and Adult Services of Arkansas is an agency that regulates all home and community-based programs for seniors and those with disabilities throughout the state. The agency also investigates reports of abuse through Adult Protective Services and the long-term care ombudsman. The goal is to ensure all seniors throughout the state receive the programs and services they need and to promote the health, safety and independence of the aging population. 
Arkansas Area Agencies on Aging(866) 292-7165The local area agencies on aging provide seniors with information on available programs and services within Arkansas. These programs range from transportation to and from medical appointments to home-delivered meals. 
Arkansas Senior Resource Directory(501) 321-6171The Arkansas Senior Resource Directory is a publication of available services for seniors distributed throughout the state. Published semi-annually, the publication gives seniors without access to the internet information on various health topics as well as contact information to various agencies that provide assistance.
ARChoices(501) 686-9164ARChoices is a Medicaid program that provides home and community-based services for seniors aged 65 and older and adults aged 21 to 64 with a disability. These services help seniors age in place, including bathing, dressing, household chores and preparing meals. The agency can also assist with modifications to homes that help seniors move around better, for example, adding a wheelchair ramp or grab bars.
AmeriCorps Seniors(800) 942-2677AmeriCorps Seniors helps connect active seniors with opportunities to contribute to their communities. It also provides a list of services, including grocery delivery, for those 55 and older. The Foster Grandparent Program connects adults with a child who needs help in academics. There is also a companion program that allows individuals to provide friendship and assistance to seniors.