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Independent Living in Minnesota

Located in the Upper Midwest, Minnesota features iconic lake views, world-class museums and a dynamic culinary scene, promoting a comfortable lifestyle for retirees. The state’s 5.6 million residents, about 16% of whom are seniors, are spread across its six regions. A low cost of living enables many older adults to maintain their preferred standard of living through their retirement years, and the state’s low crime rates provide peace of mind. The state is home to 75 state parks and recreation areas, including Altura’s Whitewater State Park and Gooseberry Falls State Park in Two Harbors, and historic landmarks, such as the Pipestone National Monument provide information on the state’s roots. 

Independent living enables older adults to enjoy the amenities and benefits Minnesota offers without the distractions and financial burdens of homeownership. Independent living communities are generally open to those aged 55 and over and feature amenities, such as social and recreational opportunities, housekeeping and laundry services and daily meals. On average, independent living costs in Minnesota average $2,784 per month, which is consistent with the national rate. 

This guide provides more details on independent living costs, including how monthly rates are calculated and how fees in communities in Minnesota compare to those in nearby states. It also provides contact information for programs and agencies that serve seniors in the state. 

The Cost of Independent Living in Minnesota

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 Minnesota and its 26 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in Minnesota's Top Cities

The $2,697 figure for independent care in Minnesota is just a state average, and prices can vary by location, sometimes by a lot. While Minneapolis has costs close to the state average at $2,633 a month, nearby St. Paul is significantly more expensive at $3,333. Duluth is $671 a month below the state average, while Monticello is near the top end at $4,178 a month for independent living care services.



Saint Paul








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

Inflation is projected to drive up the cost of independent living care in Minnesota. Just from 2022 - 2024, prices for independent care are expected to rise in the Gopher State by 53%, from $1,881 a month in 2022 to a projected $2,872 in 2024. This is far higher than the 13% nationwide increase from $2,810 to $3,162, and it beats many other states. Colorado, for example, only anticipates an 8% increase for the same period, while Wisconsin and Iowa expect only 2 to 3% rises. Michigan projects an 18% increase, from $2,270 to $2,678.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162
Colorado$2,769 $2,802 $2,984

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Independent living is not the only option for seniors in Minnesota. Assisted living averages $4,433, or $1,736 more than independent living. Memory care costs more still, at $5,934 a month.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


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

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 Minnesota.

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 Minnesota

Older adults in Minnesota have several options that can help them pay for independent living expenses. While retirement income, such as Social Security benefits, 401(k)s and government and private pensions, may cover a large portion of care expenses, some retirees have to draw from other sources to maintain their standard of living. Long-term care insurance is a popular option that covers certain services, such as meal preparation, transportation services and housekeeping, which can help offset the costs of rent or buy-in. Those who own a home may consider selling it and use the funds to cover expenses. Alternatively, individuals who want to retain ownership of their property may rent out their home and use the income for their living costs or borrow against their home with a reverse mortgage.  

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Minnesota

There are many resources in Minnesota 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
Minnesota Area Agencies on AgingArea Agencies on Aging in Minnesota provide an array of services designed to promote independence and enhance the quality of life for older individuals. Meal programs help ensure seniors receive adequate nutrition, and transportation programs enable seniors to attend medical appointments and run errands. Wellness-focused services include exercise classes, social opportunities, health screenings and support groups. Seniors can obtain assistance completing benefits applications and health insurance counseling, and they can get legal advice, advocacy, options advice and respite services.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Minnesota 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
Minnesota Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Minnesota seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alternative Care Program 651-431-2000Seniors participating in the Alternative Care Program can receive a wide range of in-home services, including skilled nursing, homemaker services and assistance with chores. The program also provides home-delivered meals and personal emergency response systems. To qualify, seniors must be over the age of 65, meet income and asset guidelines and require a nursing facility level of care.
Minnesota Elderly Waiver800-333-2433Seniors who require a nursing home level of care but wish to remain at home or in the local community can access home and community-based services via the Elderly Waiver.

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 Minnesota seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Food PantriesFood pantries provide nonperishable food products such as canned fish, pasta and rice to older adults in Minnesota who require it most. Each organization has its own rules and criteria for eligibility and access, which you can find on its website.
Minnesota Hunger Solutions Food Pantry651-486-9860The Minnesota Hunger Solutions Food Pantry takes both an immediate and long-term approach to supporting the state's hungry seniors. MHSFP directly provides help to local food pantries throughout the state, and its Minnesota Food HelpLine assists low-income individuals with setting up SNAP benefits and finding nearby farmers' markets. In addition, the organization maintains a Market Bucks program that helps SNAP users get two to three times the value of their SNAP benefits.
Minnesota Meals on WheelsMinnesota Meals on Wheels is part of a nationwide network of food assistance programs open to seniors ages 60 and over. Those who can safely attend congregate meals can enjoy them at their local senior center, while those who are homebound may receive them delivered to their front door. Meal deliveries to seniors include safety checks as a support service in the case of a fall, accident or emergency. Pricing ranges from no cost to full cost based on income.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
ConnectAbility of MinnesotaConnectAbility of MN is a nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities in Minnesota. Its services are available to people of any age who require support with a health care issue. Its donated equipment program is available to everyone who lives in the state, and there's usually a wide range of equipment available.
Minnesota Seniors MobilitySeniors Mobility is a nationwide nonprofit that provides comprehensive listings of free assistance devices and other independent living resources in Minnesota.
Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota Chapter ALS Association888-672-0484The local ALS Association loans medical equipment to seniors who are living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or a related motor neuron disease. Eligible seniors can borrow assistive devices or durable medical equipment at no charge. Some items that may be available include wheelchairs, shower chairs and portable ramps.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Minnesota 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
Minnesota Drug Card ProgramThe Minnesota Drug Card program provides eligible seniors with discounts of up to 80% off of their out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. There's no cost to apply for the card, though you must be a U.S. citizen and resident of Minnesota with a financial need for the discount program.

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 Minnesota have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Rehabilitation Loan/Emergency and Accessibility Loan ProgramThe Rehabilitation Loan/Emergency and Accessibility Loan Program lends up to $27,000 to low-income homeowners who need help paying for repairs that impact the safety, energy efficiency, accessibility or habitability of their home.
Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program (MWAP)Low-income seniors can get free home energy upgrades, whether they rent or own a property, with the MWAP. It aims to reduce energy bills and ensure your home is healthy and safe.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Minnesota seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care800-657-3591The Office of the Ombudsman for Long Term Care advocates on behalf of seniors in care facilities. They listen to the concerns of seniors and their families and work with care providers to improve the quality of care given to older adults.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Minnesota 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
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota888-205-3770This companionship service is offered by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota to seniors throughout the state who could benefit from the friendship of a caring individual in their own home. Volunteers in this program are available to provide everything from a friendly conversation buddy and game partner to an errand runner and correspondence assistant.
Minnesota Seniors763-780-8309A free resource for seniors and caregivers, Minnesota Seniors offers information about assisted living facilities, links to state and government webpages and a comprehensive directory of healthcare services, which includes information about personal emergency response systems, transitional care and podiatry clinics. provides a comprehensive online resource database for individuals, families and caregivers. Its Long-Term Care Choices Navigator tool helps seniors build a plan of care based on their needs and available service options, while the dedicated Focus on Seniors page presents an organized directory of various government, nonprofit and for-profit programs. These resources include senior centers, adult day care services, affordable housing, prescription drug assistance, assistive technology and financial help.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Minnesota 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
Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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
Senior Property Tax Refund - Minnesota Department of Revenue800-652-9094Seniors can lower their property tax bills with the Senior Property Tax Refund program from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. This program reduces the property tax bill based on the household's income. It is available to adults aged 65 and older or adults of any age who have permanent and total disability. Seniors use an online application to apply for this refund.
Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program800-657-3666Seniors with high property taxes relative to their income can receive a full or partial property tax deferment through the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program.

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. Minnesota retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Energy Assistance Program800-657-3710Administered by the Minnesota Commerce Department, the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program can provide up to $1,400 in energy and water bill assistance for state seniors who qualify under income guidelines. Maximum income limits are tied to the number of people in the household. This free, federally funded program, available to renters and homeowners, pays water, energy and fuel companies directly and works in conjunction with local service providers in Minnesota.

Veteran's Services

Minnesota 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
Minnesota VA Benefits and Health CareMinnesota VA Benefits and Health Care services help seniors in the state navigate the benefits available to them when they reach age 65. Elderly veterans have access to aid and attendance, increasing their monthly military pension to pay for in-home services, such as help with daily living activities or for skilled nursing care or memory care in a senior living center. Additionally, family members can receive assistance with funeral planning and burial arrangements.

Independent Living Facilities in Minnesota

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