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

Note: Independent Living is usually 30-40% lower in cost compared to Assisted Living because it provides a lower level of care to residents. Average costs haven’t been established for Independent Living but have for Assisted Living in the 2021 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey. We’ve calculated an estimated cost by subtracting 35% from the average cost of Assisted Living in a given area.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this state’s average cost of Independent Living is $1,300 higher per month than the national average of $2,925. However, Rhode Island, the smallest state in the nation, has an even higher average cost that’s $212 above Massachusetts’ cost. All the other states touching Massachusetts have lower costs, including New Hampshire, where the average cost is $3,934, as well as in Vermont ($3,413), Connecticut ($3,334) and New York ($2,977).

$4225

Massachusetts

$2925

The United States

$4437

Rhode Island

$3934

New Hampshire

$3413

Vermont

$3334

Connecticut

$2977

New York

Independent Living costs among cities in Massachusetts can vary to a great degree. Barnstable Town’s average cost of Independent Living is $325 higher than the state average, while Pittsfield’s cost is $2,870 below. The capital of Boston has an average cost that’s higher than the state average by $207, while Worcester’s cost is lower by $530 and Springfield’s by $944.

$4550

Barnstable Town

$4432

Boston

$3695

Worcester

$3281

Springfield

$1355

Pittsfield

When comparing the various senior care options available, Assisted Living averages $6,500 in Massachusetts and provides an additional layer of care not found in Independent Living. Seniors needing 24/7 skilled nursing may opt for Nursing Home Care, which has an average monthly cost of $12,623 for semiprivate rooms or $13,535 for private rooms. Aging in place at home is also an option as seniors age with In-Home Care and Home Health Care both averaging $5,911 per month. Seniors who need limited assistance in a non-residential setting may choose Adult Day Health Care, which has the lowest cost at $1,587 per month in Massachusetts.

$4225

Independent Living

$6500

Assisted Living

$1587

Adult Day Health Care

$5911

In-Home Care

$5911

Home Health Care

$12623

Nursing Home Care (semiprivate room)

$13535

Nursing Home Care (private room)

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. 

Independent Living Resources in Massachusetts

Independent living for seniors often means moving into a senior community that may provide a complete continuum of care. Independent living community prices often include entertainment packages, utilities and food, along with rent for a variety of home options. The state government and local organizations offer a variety of assistive services designed to help seniors minimize their out-of-pocket costs and get the most out of available services. Below is a quick list of resources that may provide financial assistance, counseling services or direct care help. 

Resource
Contact 
Service
(800) 243-4636
The Massachusetts Prescription Advantage plan is offered to Medicare-eligible seniors who may have difficulty paying their share of the cost for life-saving medications prescribed by a doctor. This plan is available to seniors who earn up to 500% of the federal poverty level. For those who qualify, this program ensures enrollees pay no more than the listed co-pay for all covered prescriptions, helping seniors reduce their out-of-pocket costs. 
(800) 841-2900
MassHealth is the agency that administers all Home and Community-based Services Waivers available through the state's Medicaid program. Some of these programs may provide direct, financial assistance with direct care services, extending a senior's ability to remain in an independent living situation. 
(800) 243-4636
SHINE is the Massachusetts health insurance counseling option available to all seniors. Free counselors provide easy-to-understand comparisons between Medicare plans, helping seniors to better understand their potential savings and costs when selecting health coverage. This counseling includes explanations for Original Medicare and all available Part C options for those who may opt for a private insurance option. Appointments are available on a scheduled basis. 
(800) 342-5297
The Volunteer Lawyers Project of Boston operates a legal helpline for seniors that answers questions and provides actionable advice for many types of legal issues. Seniors who need help with housing, financial services, estate planning or other common issues may receive direct help via the phone or referrals for more complicated issues. Services are available on a sliding scale based on income through the referral network. The helpline is available from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. 
Various
Area Agencies on Aging offices operate throughout the state to administer a wide variety of local assistance programs that offer free or reduced-priced services to seniors. From home-delivered meals to counseling services and benefits assistance, there are lots of options for help. More than 30 agencies act as the first point of contact for seniors seeking help or social connections. 

COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in Massachusetts

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including mass.gov. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/8/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Massachusetts Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Massachusetts Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

Not Available*

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Massachusetts Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Find Independent Living Communities in Massachusetts

Use the tool below to find Independent Living Communities near you – if you’d like to search in a specific city in Massachusetts, simply put that in the search bar below.

Springhouse Senior Living

44 Allandale Street, Boston, MA, 02130


Waterstone at the Circle

385 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Boston, MA, 02135


Landmark at Longwood

63 Parker Hill Avenue, Boston, MA, 02120

Landmark at Longwood is located in a suburban area of Boston, Massachusetts, with close access to medical centers, churches and historic attractions. Residents and visitors applaud the facility’s char … (read more)
Landmark at Longwood is located in a suburban area of Boston, Massachusetts, with close access to medical centers, churches and historic attractions. Residents and visitors applaud the facility’s char … (read more)

2015

Brookdale Quincy Bay

99 Brackett Street, Quincy, MA, 02169

Brookdale Quincy Bay is situated in Quincy, Massachusetts, conveniently located near shops, churches, a hospital and transportation lines. Residents and their loved ones praise the facility’s apartmen … (read more)
Brookdale Quincy Bay is situated in Quincy, Massachusetts, conveniently located near shops, churches, a hospital and transportation lines. Residents and their loved ones praise the facility’s apartmen … (read more)

2013

Atria Maplewood Place

295 Broadway, Malden, MA, 02148

We visited Atria Maplewood Place for my mom. It was a more urban setting than the place we ended up choosing. The rooms were smaller, and the windows were huge, so you wouldn’t have privacy. There wer … (read more)
We visited Atria Maplewood Place for my mom. It was a more urban setting than the place we ended up choosing. The rooms were smaller, and the windows were huge, so you wouldn’t have privacy. There wer … (read more)

The Residence at Watertown Square

20 Summer Street, Watertown, MA, 02472

The Residence at Watertown Square was nice. The staff was good. The rooms were clean and neat. We had lunch there and the food was quite nice. I didn’t go into the residents’ dining area because I was … (read more)
The Residence at Watertown Square was nice. The staff was good. The rooms were clean and neat. We had lunch there and the food was quite nice. I didn’t go into the residents’ dining area because I was … (read more)

The Residence at Melrose Station

158 Essex Street, Melrose, MA, 02176

My mother is staying at The Residence at Melrose Station. I think that for a first-time senior living experience, it’s been great. As her family members, what we see is she’s getting the best of care. … (read more)
My mother is staying at The Residence at Melrose Station. I think that for a first-time senior living experience, it’s been great. As her family members, what we see is she’s getting the best of care. … (read more)

Cabot Park Village

280 Newtonville Ave, Newton, MA, 02460

I had an excellent impression of Cabot Park Village. I was accommodated very well during the visit. Everybody was very friendly and helpful. They tried to be very nice to me, but I didn’t think it was … (read more)
I had an excellent impression of Cabot Park Village. I was accommodated very well during the visit. Everybody was very friendly and helpful. They tried to be very nice to me, but I didn’t think it was … (read more)

The Residence at Boylston Place

615 Heath St, Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467

Boylston Place was a wonderful place. The people were great. That’s not in our top three because it doesn’t offer some of the things that we’re looking for, but it is a wonderful place, and we liked i … (read more)
Boylston Place was a wonderful place. The people were great. That’s not in our top three because it doesn’t offer some of the things that we’re looking for, but it is a wonderful place, and we liked i … (read more)

Sophia Snow Place

1205-1215 Centre St, West Roxbury, MA, 02132

Sophia Snow Place is a mid-large sized facility, with 36 supportive living suites and 66 for independent living, tucked away in a beautiful area of West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Surrounded on almost al … (read more)
Sophia Snow Place is a mid-large sized facility, with 36 supportive living suites and 66 for independent living, tucked away in a beautiful area of West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Surrounded on almost al … (read more)

The Parc at Harbor View

46 Lincoln Street, Winthrop, MA, 02152

I visited The Parc at Harbor View, it was good. The person that conducted the tour was new to the facility, so she’s still learning about the facility. She has only been there two months. I learned a … (read more)
I visited The Parc at Harbor View, it was good. The person that conducted the tour was new to the facility, so she’s still learning about the facility. She has only been there two months. I learned a … (read more)

2013, 2022

Atria Marina Place

Four Seaport Drive, North Quincy, MA, 02171

My mother was a recent resident of the Atria at Marina Place. My mother was very ill so I spent many hours at the Atria. The staff from the dining room to the Managing Director takes an active intere … (read more)
My mother was a recent resident of the Atria at Marina Place. My mother was very ill so I spent many hours at the Atria. The staff from the dining room to the Managing Director takes an active intere … (read more)

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill

201 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA, 02150

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill in Chelsea, Massachusetts is located near several restaurants and public parks and just a short drive from Boston. Visitors and residents speak highly of the community’s … (read more)
The Estates on Admiral’s Hill in Chelsea, Massachusetts is located near several restaurants and public parks and just a short drive from Boston. Visitors and residents speak highly of the community’s … (read more)

Chelsea Village

5 Admiral’s Way, Chelsea, MA, 02150

The Chelsea Village is really a lovely place if you are unable to take of yourself. It’s a very clean, safe and secure building. It’s nice and warm, very spacious and well-lit. It’s very well-maintain … (read more)
The Chelsea Village is really a lovely place if you are unable to take of yourself. It’s a very clean, safe and secure building. It’s nice and warm, very spacious and well-lit. It’s very well-maintain … (read more)

Winter Valley Residences Inc

600 Canton Ave, Milton, MA, 02186


Cadbury Commons

66 Sherman Street , Cambridge, MA, 02140

Cadbury Commons is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a short distance from Alewife Brook Parkway Shopping Center, Fresh Pond Mall and numerous parks. Visitors note the community’s urban setting, sp … (read more)
Cadbury Commons is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a short distance from Alewife Brook Parkway Shopping Center, Fresh Pond Mall and numerous parks. Visitors note the community’s urban setting, sp … (read more)

Forestdale Park

341 Forest Street, Malden, MA, 02148

We did a tour of Forestdale Park Senior Living and it was good, nice and pleasant. But I did not like the fact that you have to pay so much, like $4,500 a month or let’s say for $4,600 a month. I didn … (read more)
We did a tour of Forestdale Park Senior Living and it was good, nice and pleasant. But I did not like the fact that you have to pay so much, like $4,500 a month or let’s say for $4,600 a month. I didn … (read more)

Covenant House

30 Washington Street Apartment 9C, Brighton, MA, 02135

The building is relatively clean and provides a good environment for senior citizens. There are plenty of amenities such as a gym, library and even a large event space. Residents are provided fully fu … (read more)
The building is relatively clean and provides a good environment for senior citizens. There are plenty of amenities such as a gym, library and even a large event space. Residents are provided fully fu … (read more)