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Independent Living in Vermont

The picturesque New England state of Vermont is home to over 620,000 residents and has a large senior community that accounts for one-fifth of its population, providing plenty of social and recreational opportunities for retirees. Among the state’s most well-known attractions is Stowe Mountain Resort, which has dining and shopping amenities and gondolas that carry sightseers to the summit for scenic summer and autumn views of the region. The state also has a large park system with fishing lakes, trails, bird-watching and boating. Its overall cost of living is about 5% below the national average, making it a budget-friendly option for retirees. Year-round temperatures are relatively pleasant, and while winters are very cold and snowy, the rest of the year is comfortable.  

Independent living communities, also known as 55+ communities, are ideal for older adults seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle. These communities offer services, such as meals, housekeeping and grounds services, social and recreational activities and transportation services. On average, seniors in Vermont pay $3,452 per month for independent living services, which is several hundred dollars higher than the national median.

This guide highlights options for covering local services and lists some statewide organizations that serve older adults. 

The Cost of Independent Living in Vermont

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, Caring.com 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 Vermont and its 1 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in Vermont's Top Cities

When it comes to independent living in Vermont, costs vary widely. South Burlington costs an average of $3,032, which is much less than the state average of $6,710 per month. Across the border in New Hampshire, Concord is the least expensive, averaging $2,050 monthly. Dover and Exeter are less affordable, with both averaging $3,909 per month.

Vermont

$4,950

South Burlington

$3,032

Concord, NH

$2,050

Dover, NH

$3,922

Exeter, NH

$3,909

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

Due to inflation, it's getting more expensive to pay for independent living in Vermont. Between 2022 and 2023, costs increased by 1.1%, reaching $4,950 per month on average. According to recent estimates, costs may increase by another 6.5% by the end of 2024. Compared to the U.S. average, Vermont is 67.5% more expensive.

Vermont also has the highest costs in the region. Average costs have decreased in three nearby states — by 25.3% in Maine, 17.7% in Massachusetts and 19% in New Hampshire. Residents of New York are paying 20.7% more than they did in 2022.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
Vermont$4,895$4,950$5,272
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162
Maine$4,703$3,515$3,420
Massachusetts$4,258$3,506$3,733
New Hampshire$4,777$3,874$4,313
New York$2,793$3,372$3,875

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

In Vermont, assisted living costs average $6,710 monthly for 2023, which makes it more expensive than independent living arrangements. Memory care facilities offer specialized services designed to keep residents with dementia safe and secure. Therefore, the cost of memory care is much higher, averaging $9,639 per month. Seniors should think carefully about their needs to make it easier to choose the right care option.

Assisted Living

$6,710

Memory Care

$9,639

Independent Living

$4,950

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

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 Vermont.

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 Vermont

One of the primary things for an individual to consider before transitioning to an independent living community is how they can pay for costs. While medical insurance, including Medicare, doesn’t pay for services in these communities, long-term care insurance, certain Medicare Advantage plans and Medicaid may cover some costs, reducing total out-of-pocket expenses. Some older adults opt to sell their homes and use proceeds to cover costs, while those who want to retain ownership may rent out their homes or take out a reverse mortgage. Other options include cashing out a life insurance policy, tapping into long-term investments or choosing a community where costs, such as meals and transportation, are included in the monthly rate, which may free up some income for other expenses.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Vermont

There are many resources in Vermont that assist seniors in their retirement. Caring.com 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
Vermont Area Agencies on AgingVermont's Area Agencies on Aging are a vital resource for older adults to remain independent. Services available include pickup and home delivery of hot and healthy meals, access to free online classes to socialize and learn new skills, caregiver support and home medication help. Older adults in Vermont can also get help through various AAA programs, such as tai chi for fall prevention classes and phone services for keeping housebound seniors connected.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Vermont 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
Vermont 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, Vermont 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
Vermont Choices for Care (CFC) Waiver802-241-0294Vermont seniors who need nursing home level care may be eligible for the Choices for Care waiver. This waiver provides long-term services to avoid nursing home placement, allowing seniors to live more independently in their own homes or a lower-level facility. With a set number of slots available, some applicants may find themselves on a waiting list before approval.

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 Vermont seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Vermont Meals on WheelsVermont Meals on Wheels is part of a nationwide network of food assistance programs. Seniors must be 60 years of age or older to start the application process. Nutritious meals, a watchful eye and companionship are important components of the program. Well-balanced meals are served in congregate settings such as senior centers for those mobile enough to attend, and they're delivered daily to the homes of immobile seniors. Additional services may include pet meal delivery, emergency meals and transportation to doctor appointments.
Vermont Foodbank800-585-2265The Vermont Foodbank works with partner agencies throughout the state to connect seniors and low-income residents with emergency food providers in their local areas. Its late-summer Apple Days program provides 2,000 free pecks of apples to Vermont residents every year. The organization also plans fundraisers, such as the annual Point to Point bicycle ride, that support local food bank operations.
Vermont 3SquaresVT800-479-6151Vermont's 3SquaresVT program helps seniors and low-income state residents purchase healthy, nutritious food at grocery stores, convenience stores and farmers' markets. Single adults of 65 years of age or older receive their monthly benefits as direct deposits to bank accounts, while individuals under 65 receive electronic benefit transfer cards. To qualify, seniors should have a gross household income that's under 185% of the federal poverty level, though in some cases seniors with limited resources may still qualify.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Vermont Assistive Technology Program800-750-6355The Vermont Assistive Technology Program offers seniors the opportunity to borrow assistive technology to try it out. If the device is acceptable, the program provides vendor information or seniors can search for the product on the exchange site.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Vermont Home Access Program802-224-1827Low-income Vermont seniors who need home modifications to improve accessibility in their homes may be eligible for assistance from the Home Access Program. The Vermont Center for Independent Living offers this program which provides modifications to bathrooms and home entrances.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Vermont 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
Vermont Legal Aid Senior Law ProjectThe Vermont Legal Aid Senior Law Program provides legal advice on civil matters to low-income seniors aged 60 and older in the state. The program provides advice on subjects including consumer issues and housing.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Vermont 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
Vermont 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 Vermont 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
Vermont Property Tax Credit for Disabled Veterans802-828-3379Seniors who classify as disabled veterans may be eligible for a property tax exemption. If they meet qualifying criteria, the program grants an assessment reduction of $10,000 to $40,000. Surviving spouses of previously qualified veterans may also be eligible if they have not remarried.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Vermont Fuel Assistance800-479-6151Seniors who meet income guidelines may qualify for assistance with their home heating bills, whether they are homeowners or renters. Application approval also automatically qualifies the participant for free weatherization services
Vermont Green Mountain Power Energy Assistance Program (EAP)800-775-0516Seniors who qualify for the Green Mountain Power Energy Assistance Program will receive a 25% discount off the cost of their first 600 used kilowatt hours each month. If the account is already in arrears, the program also offers a one-time forgiveness of the outstanding charges.

Veteran's Services

Vermont 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
Vermont VA Benefits and Health CareOne of the benefits of serving in the military is access to health care and financial benefits from Veterans Affairs, which Vermont residents can access through the Vermont VA Benefits and Health Care offices spread throughout the state. To be eligible for these programs, seniors need to be qualified veterans. The primary benefits center and VA medical center are located in White River Junction, and satellite locations are spread throughout Vermont.

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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