New Mexico has options for retirees, whether they want a big city lifestyle or are looking to settle in a small town. The state offers striking desert landscapes, a low cost of living and more than 275 sunny days each year. In addition, 18% of New Mexico’s almost 2.1 million residents are aged 65 and older, so services and amenities for older adults are plentiful. 

Seniors looking to spend their retirement enjoying the outdoors can go fishing, play golf or hike through national parks. Exploring New Mexico’s culture is another option for retirees, and the state has plenty of ghost towns and art galleries to capture residents’ interest. 

Older adults retiring to New Mexico may choose to move into an independent living community. These are designed for seniors who can live independently but want to downsize and live among their peers in a community with a variety of amenities. Although personal care isn’t provided, many independent living communities furnish meals and housekeeping or chore services.

Seniors in New Mexico pay around $2,633 per month for independent living. This guide provides more details and comparisons of the costs involved, as well as information about funding options and resources available to support seniors in New Mexico.

The Cost of Independent Living in New Mexico

Note: No organization authoritatively tracks cost information for Independent Living, but in general, it costs 30%-40% less than Assisted Living. To determine the Independent Living prices below, we subtracted 35% from the Assisted Living costs reported by the 2021 Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey.

Costs for Independent Living in New Mexico almost perfectly match those at the national level, with New Mexico’s estimated prices coming in at $2,924 per month and the U.S. average just a dollar more at $2,925. However, those numbers do make New Mexico one of the more expensive states in the region for Independent Living. Colorado, to the north, is slightly more expensive at $3,088 per month, and Nevada is the cheapest in the immediate area at $2,438. Texas and Arizona have extremely similar estimated monthly costs of $2,599 and $2,600, respectively.

$2924

New Mexico

$2925

The United States

$2599

Texas

$2600

Arizona

$3088

Colorado

$2438

Nevada

Within New Mexico, seniors find the highest prices for Independent Living in state capital Santa Fe, where the estimated monthly cost is $3,779. Slightly to the southwest of Santa Fe, costs drop a bit to $3,088 in Albuquerque. Far to the south, in Las Cruces, Independent Living prices are a relatively low $2,922. They’re even lower in the northwest city of Farmington, where the estimated monthly cost is just $2,599.

$2599

Farmington

$3088

Albuquerque

$3779

Santa Fe

$2922

Las Cruces

In addition to Independent Living, there are a number of other long-term care options for older adults in New Mexico. The cheapest is Adult Day Care, which costs roughly $1,993 a month and can be a good choice for adults who only need company or supervision during traditional work hours. Assisted Living costs are thousands of dollars higher at $4,498. Seniors who desire in-home care can find Homemaker services for $4,605 per month and slightly more intensive Home Health Aide help for $4,652 a month. The most expensive care is available from nursing homes; a private room runs approximately $8,365 monthly, and a semiprivate room is slightly cheaper at $7,604.

$2924

Independent Living

$4605

Homemaker

$4652

Home Health Aide

$1993

Adult Day Care

$4498

Assisted Living

$7604

Nursing Home (semiprivate room)

$8365

Nursing Home (private room)

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

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 New Mexico.

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 New Mexico

Seniors in New Mexico have various options to pay for independent living, although it’s not covered by Medicare. Many older adults choose to move into independent living when they downsize, and use the proceeds from the sale of their home to pay for the transition. Other ways to use a family home to pay for independent living include renting out the property and taking out a reverse mortgage. Some seniors can afford to pay for the monthly costs of independent living using their retirement income, as housing, food and transportation are often included in the price. Other ways to pay for independent living services can include Medicaid, long-term care insurance and veteran’s benefits. 

Independent Living Resources in New Mexico

Although independent living communities are designed for seniors who don’t need help with daily living activities, it’s still good to know that support is available when required. A selection of the resources available to assist older adults in New Mexico can be found below. 

Resource
Contact
Service
(505) 476-4799
The New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department develops and oversees programs that help the state’s older adults. It has employment, nutrition and transportation programs, and also educates the public on healthy aging.
(800) 432-2080
New Mexico has four Area Agencies on Aging that serve people aged 60 and over in specific regions of the state, as well as those in tribal programs who are aged 55 and older. AAAs coordinate local services and can put seniors in touch with resources in their area. Each AAA develops plans for their region so the services offered may differ, but can include case management, transportation and congregate meals. 
(505) 265-2300
The Senior Citizens’ Law Office provides free legal services to people aged 60 and older who live in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia counties. Advice can be provided on a range of issues, including healthcare, guardianships, advance directives and consumer support. The office also provides estate planning services for reduced fees. Seniors must meet financial and other eligibility requirements to qualify for assistance. Spanish-speaking staff are available.
(800) 432-2080
The Aging and Disability Resource Center helps older adults and people with disabilities live well. It has trained information and assistance coordinators who can recommend programs and services that meet the needs of callers. It also provides counseling on long-term care and operates New Mexico’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program. Seniors can also register for New Mexico's prescription drug assistance program, MEDBANK, through the ADRC. 
(505) 341-2000
Adelante is a New Mexico nonprofit organization that offers programs to assist older adults and those with disabilities, including senior meals, transportation and benefits counseling. In addition, it operates Back in Use, a program that recycles durable medical equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, and provides this donated equipment free of charge to people who are under insured. Many of Adelante’s programs are centered around the Albuquerque area, but some support older adults in other areas of the state.
(800) 432-2080
New Mexico has a network of over 240 senior centers in communities across the state. These centers provide social and recreational activities for older adults and often provide health screenings, educational opportunities, exercise programs and more. A full list of local senior centers can be found on the Aging and Long-Term Services Department website. 

COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in New Mexico

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including nmhealth.org/long-term-care-guidelines. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/10/2022, 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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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?

No (Conditions Apply)

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)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for New Mexico 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 New Mexico

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

Holiday Bear Canyon Estates

4440 Morris St NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87111

I like Holiday Bear Canyon Estates. I would seriously consider moving there. It was beautiful. Everything was clean, and the people that live there were very friendly and welcoming. I got all my quest … (read more)
I like Holiday Bear Canyon Estates. I would seriously consider moving there. It was beautiful. Everything was clean, and the people that live there were very friendly and welcoming. I got all my quest … (read more)

2015, 2016

Brookdale Valencia

300 Valencia Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM, 87108

Brookdale Valencia is located in Albuquerque, three blocks south of Central Avenue. Residents and their visitors are consistently pleased with the well-maintained, clean appearance of the facility as … (read more)
Brookdale Valencia is located in Albuquerque, three blocks south of Central Avenue. Residents and their visitors are consistently pleased with the well-maintained, clean appearance of the facility as … (read more)

Sandia Vista Senior Living

500 Paisano Street Northeast, Albuquerque, NM, 87123

My mother moved into Sandia Vista Senior Living in December, it’s an independent living. They feed them, they have an on-site gal that comes in if something happens. She’s like a part-time nurse. They … (read more)
My mother moved into Sandia Vista Senior Living in December, it’s an independent living. They feed them, they have an on-site gal that comes in if something happens. She’s like a part-time nurse. They … (read more)

Albuquerque Grand Senior Living

1501 Tijeras Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106

Located in the downtown Albuquerque area is the Albuquerque Grand Senior Living center. Residents and visitors alike rave about the caring staff, engaging activities and chef-prepared meals. Seniors f … (read more)
Located in the downtown Albuquerque area is the Albuquerque Grand Senior Living center. Residents and visitors alike rave about the caring staff, engaging activities and chef-prepared meals. Seniors f … (read more)

Coronado Villa Retirement Resort

6900 San Vicente Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109

Coronado Villa Retirement Resort was a deluxe place. Everything’s included, valet parking, a movie theater, and three meals a day. We did eat there, and their food was very delicious. We saw just the … (read more)
Coronado Villa Retirement Resort was a deluxe place. Everything’s included, valet parking, a movie theater, and three meals a day. We did eat there, and their food was very delicious. We saw just the … (read more)

2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

The Montebello on Academy

10500 Academy Road NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87111

The Montebello on Academy is located in Albuquerque, less than two blocks from shops and a park. The facility’s pleasant outdoor spaces and common areas, such as the restaurant and patios, consisten … (read more)
The Montebello on Academy is located in Albuquerque, less than two blocks from shops and a park. The facility’s pleasant outdoor spaces and common areas, such as the restaurant and patios, consisten … (read more)

Palmilla Senior Living

10301 Golf Course Road NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87114

Palmilla Senior Living is situated on a seven-acre property in Albuquerque, close to shopping and multiple medical facilities. Visitors speak warmly of Palmilla’s friendly, knowledgeable and welcomi … (read more)
Palmilla Senior Living is situated on a seven-acre property in Albuquerque, close to shopping and multiple medical facilities. Visitors speak warmly of Palmilla’s friendly, knowledgeable and welcomi … (read more)

2022

Affinity at Albuquerque

10700 Fineland Drive NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87114

I went to see Affinity at Albuquerque. It’s independent living, and I loved it. An apartment came available and I took it. I’m moving in September. There are a lot of amenities and a lot of activities … (read more)
I went to see Affinity at Albuquerque. It’s independent living, and I loved it. An apartment came available and I took it. I’m moving in September. There are a lot of amenities and a lot of activities … (read more)

Paloma Landing Retirement Community

8301 Palomas Avenue NE,, Albuquerque, NM, 87109

Paloma Landing Retirement Community was very nice. The girl that helped us, Sarah, was very friendly and very thorough. It was clean and the people were friendly. The units that they had were clean an … (read more)
Paloma Landing Retirement Community was very nice. The girl that helped us, Sarah, was very friendly and very thorough. It was clean and the people were friendly. The units that they had were clean an … (read more)

Westwind House Assisted Living

6600 Los Volcanes NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87121


Good Samaritan Society Manzano del Sol Village

5201 Roma Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87108

I had found Good Samaritan Society Manzano del Sol Village for myself. My mother lived there for many years. She passed in 2020. Good Samaritan Society Manzano del Sol Village was very nice. They did … (read more)
I had found Good Samaritan Society Manzano del Sol Village for myself. My mother lived there for many years. She passed in 2020. Good Samaritan Society Manzano del Sol Village was very nice. They did … (read more)

Camino Retirement Apartments

12101 Lomas Boulevard Ne, Albuquerque, NM, 87112

Camino Retirement Apartments was an older place and I did not care for it because the independent living was combined with the assisted living. I didn’t think my mom would have fit in there at all. Th … (read more)
Camino Retirement Apartments was an older place and I did not care for it because the independent living was combined with the assisted living. I didn’t think my mom would have fit in there at all. Th … (read more)

Albuquerque Meadows

7112 Pan American Freeway NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109

We toured Albuquerque Meadows. We liked it very much, but it was under new management. It’s very, very difficult to get into, so we didn’t like that. It’s a senior community for 55 and over, but it is … (read more)
We toured Albuquerque Meadows. We liked it very much, but it was under new management. It’s very, very difficult to get into, so we didn’t like that. It’s a senior community for 55 and over, but it is … (read more)

Overture Albuquerque 55+ Apartment Homes

6441 Palomas Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109


La Cantera Senior Apartments

3600 Old Airport Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87114