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Independent Living in New Mexico

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

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 New Mexico and its 3 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in New Mexico's Top Cities

Though New Mexico has a statewide average cost for independent living of $2,961, the specific price in any area within the state can vary by a wide margin. Albuquerque and Las Cruces are fairly close to the state average, at $2,933 and $2,628 a month. The capital of Santa Fe, however, has far higher prices, at $4,150 a month for independent living. Across the state line, Tucson, AZ, averages $3,591.

New Mexico




Santa Fe


Las Cruces


Tucson, AZ


Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Independent Living in New Mexico

Inflation is projected to dramatically increase the cost of independent living in New Mexico, up 61% between 2022 and 2024 from $1,962 to $3,154 monthly. This is unusually high, compared with a more modest 18% national increase, though the projected 2024 national price is $3,162, just $8 more than New Mexico's estimate. Other states anticipate smaller increases. Alaska and Nevada, for example, both estimate a 5% increase in independent living costs over the same period, while California's prices are projected to rise by 10%, from $3,481 in 2022 to an estimated $3,823 by 2024.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
New Mexico$1,962$2,961 $3,154
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162
Wyoming$2,723$2,065 $2,200
Alaska$4,509$4,485 $4,724
Nevada$2,476$2,463 $2,593

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

The $2,961 a month seniors pay for independent living in New Mexico is more than $1,200 lower than the state average for assisted living, $4,185. Both of these options are also more affordable than the $5,214 average cost for memory care in New Mexico.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


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. 

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in New Mexico

There are many resources in New Mexico 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
New Mexico Area Agencies on AgingThere are four Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in New Mexico. Albuquerque is home to two of them, another is in Santa Fe, and the fourth is in Window Rock, AZ. Tribal programs have a minimum age of 55 to be able to receive services, while all other areas have a minimum age of 60. Information and services for seniors include respite care, transportation, meals, legal help and adult day care.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in New Mexico 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
New Mexico 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, New Mexico 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
New Mexico Community Benefit Program800-432-2080The aim of the program is to give seniors the help they need to stay in their homes, instead of having to move to nursing homes and other institutional settings. Covered services include assistance with activities of daily living, home modifications to increase accessibility, personal emergency response systems and physical therapy.

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 New Mexico seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Mexico Home Delivered Meals 800-432-2080Home Delivered Meals are delivered to clients who are homebound and unable to prepare their own meals and have no caregiver at home to prepare meals for them.
New Mexico Meals on Wheels505-823-8060Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1972 by a group of women from Presbyterian Churches around Albuquerque. We began with 20 clients and 40 volunteers. Today we serve approximately 500 clients and have over 400 volunteers. We delivered 9,400 meals in 1972. Today we are delivering over 140,000 meals a year. Meals on Wheels of Albuquerque provides nutritious meals and crucial social contact each day. Not only do we provide friendship and compassion but we also check the well being of those we serve.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Mexico Adelante Back In Use505-341-7171Back in Use recycles medical equipment and assistive devices, helping New Mexicans with limited financial resources get the equipment they need. All donated items are inspected carefully and sanitized before they're distributed.
New Mexico Technology Assistance Program877-696-1470The New Mexico Technology Assistance Program lends assistive technology and medical equipment to New Mexico residents with all types of disabilities. Available items include wheelchair cushions, telephone amplifiers and visual alert systems.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

New Mexico 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
New Mexico Drug Card800-726-4232The New Mexico Drug Card gives users access to pharmacy discounts that can help them reduce their out-of-pocket prescription costs. These discounts are typically applied when a medication isn't covered by Medicare Part D or another type of insurance. Participants can also use the New Mexico Drug Card if the out-of-pocket cost would be less than the cost of purchasing the medication with insurance coverage.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
New Mexico Energy$mart Weatherization ProgramNew Mexico's Energy$mart Weatherization Program provides funds that can be used to increase energy efficiency or make a home safer for its occupants. Home energy audits are performed to determine which services are appropriate for each participant.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in New Mexico 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
New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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
New Mexico Senior Property Tax Rebate505-372-8314In New Mexico, seniors qualify for a rebate that reduces the amount of property tax owed each year. Tax collection is handled by a network of county assessor offices, so the amount of the rebate depends on a senior's county of residence.

Veteran's Services

New Mexico 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
New Mexico VA Benefits and Health CareNew Mexico VA Benefits and Health Care offers health administration and benefits delivery to qualified veterans throughout the state. The Regional Benefits Office and the main VA Health Care System office are located in Albuquerque, and the office has outpatient clinics across New Mexico. Seniors who served in the armed forces can contact these locations to get help applying for their veteran health care and financial aid benefits.

Independent Living Facilities in New Mexico

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