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Independent Living in Massachusetts

Combine one of the oldest states in the country with diverse landscapes and a temperate climate, and it’s a recipe for relaxed and engaged senior living. Massachusetts has a little bit of everything when it comes to scenery, with the northern edge of the Appalachian Mountains and easy access to the awe-inspiring waves of the Atlantic Ocean. With summer highs that rarely exceed 85-degrees Fahrenheit and annual winter wonderlands that offer easy access to outdoor adventures such as skiing, Massachusetts has plenty to offer intrepid seniors during their golden years.

Tax-free social security and a wealth of available assistance programs make Massachusetts a retirement haven for those that enjoy a four-season year. Independent living is an affordable retirement option for those seniors who are active and don’t require much help around the house but may not want to tackle heavy chores such as yard work or snow removal. This guide looks at the cost of independent living in Massachusetts and explores some of the available assistance programs designed to make senior living more affordable.

The Cost of Independent Living in Massachusetts

When trying to decide how to pay for independent living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of independent living in Massachusetts and its 21 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in Massachusetts's Top Cities

Even with the drop in independent living statewide, some cities in Massachusetts remain significantly higher than others. Easton had one of the highest average independent living prices in 2023 at $7,550 monthly. However, Quincy was much lower at $2,513, and Framingham was close to the state average at $3,495. Other cities, such as Springfield, had lower costs than the state average at $3,005 per month.











Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Independent Living in Massachusetts

Like other things in life, inflation can affect the cost of amenities and services received in independent living. Between 2022 and 2023, rising independent living costs lead to an average nationwide increase of over 5%. However, average prices across Massachusetts fell from $4,258 to $3,506, leading to an overall drop of nearly 18% statewide.</p><p>Other nearby states also saw falling prices, including Rhode Island, with a decrease of 6.8%, and New Hampshire, with a drop of 18.9%. Connecticut had the largest decline at 30.4%. However, Vermont faced an increase, but it was minimal at just 1.1%.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162
Rhode Island$4,560$4,250$4,526
New Hampshire$4,777$3,874$4,313

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Before deciding on a senior living option, it's essential to determine the level of care a senior needs to live safely and comfortably. Relatively healthy seniors who don't require daily assistance can opt for independent living at $3,506 monthly in Massachusetts. Those needing personal and/or nursing assistance might consider assisted living, which is about $2,000 higher monthly. Seniors living with dementia often need specialized memory&nbsp;care, which runs higher than assisted living at $7,706.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in Massachusetts?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in Massachusetts.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Paying for Independent Living in Massachusetts

Seniors typically pay for all independent living costs directly, though some creative financing options may be available to help offset out-of-pocket expenses. A reverse mortgage using home equity is one option, while cashing out a life insurance policy might be another. Independent living options often come with a la carte services that may add or reduce costs depending on the level of assistance or participation seniors plan to use. For example, many independent living communities offer prepared meals. For seniors who opt out, there may be cost savings, and for those who need help with meal preparation, long-term care insurance may pay for costs directly associated with meals. 

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Massachusetts

There are many resources in Massachusetts that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Area Agencies on AgingMassachusetts is home to many Area Agencies on Aging that provide supportive services to older adults. These agencies can help seniors get connected with local programs that assist them with daily needs, including caregiver support, transportation services, meal programs and health and wellness resources. AAAs also work to combat elder abuse and fraud and empower seniors to ensure a life of safety and dignity.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Massachusetts provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Worcester State University Categorical Tuition Waiver508-929-8051Under Massachusetts law, adults 60 years of age and up may take classes at public universities without paying tuition. You may still need to pay campus and class fees, and not all classes are available under the waiver program. Contact a specific's college bursar's office for availability.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Massachusetts seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Meals on WheelsMassachusetts Meals on Wheels supplies an estimated 30,000 meals per day to seniors across the state, either as a home-delivery service or as congregate meals served in the community. There are more than 20 agencies across the state that help to manage local and regional Meals on Wheels programs. Any senior struggling to prepare meals on their own may be eligible for these services. Costs are based on a sliding scale.
Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)877-382-2363The Department of Transitional Assistance operates Massachusetts' Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to provide monthly funds on an electronic benefits card, contributing to seniors' healthy food budget. To be eligible, seniors must provide proof of residency, Social Security number or similar documentation and proof of income, including any veteran's benefits and Social Security payments. Seniors who participate in SNAP can receive money back on their EBT cards by purchasing local produce through the Healthy Incentives Program.
Massachusetts The Charity Guild Food Pantry508-583-5280Located in Brockton, the Charity Guild Food Pantry distributes perishable and nonperishable foods to seniors, families and individuals in need. It's part of The Greater Boston Food Bank and its doors are open to anyone, not just those living in Brockton. Seniors needing assistance may visit the pantry Tuesday through Thursday and every other Saturday. Those who are homebound can arrange to have food parcels delivered to their door.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Massachusetts collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Easterseals Massachusetts Long-Term Device Loan Program800-244-2756Easterseals Massachusetts long-term device loan program is for those on low incomes who may be unable to purchase medical equipment for home use. The service provides assistive technology, such as phones with large tactile buttons, wrist-cuff blood pressure monitors and screen reading devices.
Massachusetts Compassionate Care ALS508-444-6775Compassionate Care ALS is a nonprofit that helps people who have been diagnosed with ALS. In addition to support services, the organization provides new and gently used equipment to people diagnosed with ALS. These can include voice amplifiers, speech communication devices and wheelchairs.
Massachusetts Hospital Equipment Loan Program781-322-1052The Hospital Equipment Loan Program loans medical equipment free of charge and for home use only. Subject to donations and availability, seniors can request various devices, such as electric lift chairs, exercise bikes, rollators and under mattress supports.
Massachusetts REquipment Inc.800-261-9841REquipment connects residents with reconditioned mobility items, accessibility aids and assistive technology. Clients can reserve equipment online or over the phone. All items are free, and delivery or pickup is available for a nominal fee.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Massachusetts seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts ConnectorCareConnectorCare plans help residents with incomes not exceeding 300% of the federal poverty level. Because several insurers participate in ConnectorCare plans, you should check that a plan satisfies your medical care and prescription drug needs
Massachusetts MassOptions800-243-4636MassOptions is a statewide service that helps older adults connect with programs and supports in the community. It has an up-to-date online database with service providers, which seniors can browse through on their own or call the toll-free hotline for one-on-one assistance. The program also administers the statewide health insurance options counseling program, which provides free, unbiased advice and information to Medicare beneficiaries.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Massachusetts have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP)866-500-5599The Home Modification Loan Program provides older residents with interest-free loans, which they can use to adapt their homes to their needs. Loans are repaid when the owner sells the property or transfers the title deed.
Massachusetts Weatherization Assistance ProgramThe purpose of the Weatherization Assistance Program is to improve the energy efficiency of seniors' homes, which can reduce utility costs, while also making living spaces safer.

Senior Centers

Senior centers in Massachusetts bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Councils on Aging413-527-6425Throughout the state of Massachusetts, 350 Councils on Aging and Senior Centers provide local help to seniors on the community level. This may include transportation and meals, as well as outreach and companionship services. Many of these services are provided free of charge to qualified seniors living at home.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Massachusetts help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts North Shore Community College Tuition Waivers978-762-4000Massachusetts residents aged 60 and older are eligible for a categorical tuition waiver at the state's educational institutions. Seniors can use this discount to sign up for in-person or online courses offered by North Shore Community College. Course fees still apply.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Massachusetts help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Massachusetts resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Age 65 or Over Exemption800-392-6089The exemption is $700 for a single adult, and a married couple may be eligible for $700 each if they're both aged 65+ before the final day of the tax year.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Massachusetts retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts Fuel Assistance Programs617-573-1100Massachusetts Fuel Assistance Programs are aimed at assisting seniors with home heating costs during the state's severe winters. Residents who receive SNAP or other low-income benefits can qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as well as discounted utility rates. Applications for LIHEAP open on October 1. Seniors may be eligible for one-time emergency financing from the Salvation Army Good Neighbor Fund or Joe-4-Oil.
Massachusetts Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)617-573-1100The Massachusetts Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists eligible seniors with their home heating bills. Residents who qualify must have income equal to or lower than 60% of the estimated state median income for Massachusetts. Applications are open online on October 1 and available in person at one of several local LIHEAP agencies. Residents must provide a photo ID, a list of household members, income proof and a heating bill copy.

Veteran's Services

Massachusetts retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Massachusetts VA Benefits and Health CareMassachusetts VA Benefits and Health Care offers medical care and practical assistance for senior veterans. It also oversees three national cemeteries. Older veterans with medical needs can obtain treatment at four medical centers located in Brockton, Leeds, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury. Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital and several community-based outpatient clinics offer varying levels of medical care. Seniors can check if they are receiving all the financial assistance they qualify for and can also access community supports through seven vet centers.

Independent Living Facilities in Massachusetts

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