As a destination for seniors to retire, Oregon is an increasingly attractive option. Oregon offers numerous outdoor and indoor attractions of interest for seniors. It’s a state with many beautiful beaches and outdoor attractions like the Willamette National Forest. Seniors who prefer more indoor activities can enjoy Portland’s internationally known craft beer scene.

The cost of living in Oregon is 13 points above the national average, but the cost of health care is 12 points below. Oregon also enjoys a very respectable 7.2 out of 10 on the Best Places Comfort Index. The state exempts Social Security retirement benefits from the state income tax, and there’s no state sales tax.

Independent living is an option for seniors who want to downsize or simplify their lives but don’t want to move into assisted living or a nursing home. Independent living communities provide seniors with a lifestyle where they can remain independent and make their own choices. In Oregon, the average monthly cost of residing in an independent living community is $3,028 a month.

In this guide, we’ll look at the cost of independent living in Oregon and provide resources seniors can use to help maintain their independent lifestyle.

The Cost of Independent Living in Oregon

There are no exact figures on the actual cost of independent living in Oregon, which can change from location to location. However, to provide an overall average for these costs, we’ve taken the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2020 figures for assisted living and reduced them by 35%, as independent living costs less since it doesn’t require many of the services provided by assisted living or nursing facilities.

In Oregon, independent living costs ($3,028) are more expensive than the national average of $2,795 per month but are near the middle when looking at nearby states. The cost of assisted living in Oregon is several hundred dollars less expensive than Washington to the north, which averages $3,738 a month, and just over $220 less expensive than California, which averages $3,250 a month. However, assisted living costs are much lower in Idaho and Nevada, which average $2,389 and $2,337 per month, respectively.




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Paying for Independent Living in Oregon

How to pay for the cost of independent living can be a constant concern for seniors, but there are numerous options available. Seniors can sell their existing properties or use proceeds from long-term investments. If seniors worry that selling their property won’t bring in the income they need, they can rent their property. If regular retirement income doesn’t cover food or housing costs, seniors can explore communities where these items are included in the overall cost.

These are just a few of the options for financing available to seniors who want to transition into independent living communities. There are several others.

Independent Living Resources in Oregon

Numerous resources exist in Oregon that can help seniors offset the cost of many necessities, including those that help to pay for independent living, prescription drugs or the need for legal services.

Long-Term Care Insurance (503) 945-5600 Medical services don’t cover the cost of independent living, but long-term care insurance can provide some assistance. If a seniors’ long-term care insurance policy covers costs for someone to help with activities of daily living like preparing a meal, running errands or doing household chores, it’s likely it will do that when seniors live in an independent living community. In Oregon, long-term care resources also include access to the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The PACE program offers both health care for seniors and help with coverage for long-term care and supports.
Oregon Prescription Drug Program (OPDP) (800)
All Oregonians can enroll in this program which has no age or income limits. Seniors can save up to 80% on the cost of generic drugs. They only need to take their discount card to any OPDP participating pharmacy, including almost all pharmacies in the state. The program is designed to help lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and others who may require numerous medications.
Senior Law Project (503) 224-4086This is a project operated by the Portland Regional Office of Legal Aid Services of Oregon. It provides legal aid to seniors over the age of 60 or to the spouses of someone who is at least 60 and who resides in Multnomah County, Oregon. The program’s lawyers can help seniors with housing problems, estate planning, advanced medical directives and some consumer matters.
Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA)(800) 722-4134While health insurance won’t help cover independent living costs, seniors still need to ensure that their health care needs are met. The volunteer trained counselors at SHIBA can help seniors with problems concerning Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) and Long-Term Care Insurance. Counselors can speak to seniors over the phone or in person. All conversations are confidential, and none of the counselors work for a health insurance company.
Independent Living Services (503) 945-5600 The mission of the Independent Living Services in Oregon is to help seniors with disabilities maintain their independence and participate fully in their communities and with their families. Services offered include peer counseling, independent living skills training and life transition assistance related to seniors transitioning to the least restrictive living environment. These services are provided by Centers for Independent Living, private, non-profit organizations located throughout Oregon.
Benefits counseling — Area Agencies on Aging(503)
Seniors in Oregon often have difficulty determining what benefits are available to them either through the state, local or federal governments, veterans offices or local organizations. Area Agencies on Aging in Oregon offer free benefits counseling that can help seniors determine their eligibility for benefits in the state and how to apply for them.