Home to stunning volcanoes, expansive deserts, evergreen forests and pristine lakes, rivers, and coastline, the state of Washington combines natural beauty with luxurious cities and world-class arts and culture. These are just a few of the reasons why the state’s 1.2 million seniors enjoy a high quality of life. USA Today ranked Washington as one of the ten best states for older Americans

Independent living communities provide housing for seniors who require very little or no help with daily activities. In most cases, they are 55+ or older locations with a variety of amenities designed to make life easier and more pleasurable for older adults. Pools, gardens, courtyards and activity centers are all common in independent living, and many also include luxury features such as libraries, movie theaters, spas and gyms. The average cost of independent living in Washington state is $3,738 per month.  

This guide provides more detailed information about the costs of independent living in Washington as well as programs that can help pay for it. We also link to helpful resources related to independent living. 

The Cost of Independent Living in Washington

Independent living in the state of Washington costs an average of $3,738 per month. We calculated this figure using assisted living cost information from Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey for 2020. Generally, independent living is 30-40% less expensive than assisted living. The actual cost for seniors will depend on location and the amenities and services offered by each community. 

The average cost for independent living in Washington is about $1,000 more expensive than the estimated cost for the United States as a whole, which is $2,795. Washington is also one of the more expensive states in the western region. Only Alaska has higher independent living costs at $4,311 per month. Both Idaho and Oregon directly border Washington and have significantly less expensive independent living estimates of $2,389 and $3,028, respectively. California is also slightly less expensive at $3,250 per month despite Washington having a lower overall cost of living. 

$3738

Washington

$2795

The United States

$4311

Alaska

$2389

Idaho

$3028

Oregon

$3250

California

Paying for Independent Living in Washington

Seniors in Washington have quite a few ways to pay for independent living. For property owners with a lot of equity, selling a home can provide more than enough cash long term. Seniors who don’t want to sell can use a reverse mortgage to receive monthly payments based on the value of their property. Home equity loans or renting are also popular funding options. Long-term care insurance may fund certain aspects of independent living depending on the policy. Investments made during working years, as well as pensions from public institutions or private companies, can pay for significant portions of independent living. In some cases, cashing out a whole life policy may be the right choice. 

Independent Living Resources in Washington

Washington state has many resources available for seniors to maintain and even improve their health, social life and finances. Below are some government and nonprofit organizations to be aware of. 

ResourceContactService
Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)(360) 725-3548ADRCs in Washington run programs throughout the state that connect seniors and families with home and community supports that enhance independent living. These programs, which include legal and nutritional services, transportation and senior centers, are accessed through county Area Agency on Aging offices. Representatives can help families smoothly transition from home to independent living communities or long-term care options. ADRCs have strong partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare. 
Washington State AARP(866) 227-7457 AARP is a nonprofit organization that has more than 900,000 members in the state of Washington. Their mission is to enhance the lives of retired persons through advocacy, community development, financial assistance and a variety of other local resources. AARP also plans events that benefit seniors in cities throughout the state. While membership is available for a small fee, many of the services are available at no cost.
Community Living Connections(855) 567-0252Community Living Connections (CLC) helps Washington seniors explore independent living options and search for resources that enhance their health, mobility and safety. Their planning service allows families to find services while considering the costs and legal implications of each decision. CLC is staffed by real people who can talk to seniors about their unique situations and options. CLC also has a self-service portal where seniors can save their searches and even request direct assistance. 
Office of the Insurance Commissioner(800) 562-6900Due to the complicated nature of Medicare and other types of insurance, Washington state offers direct help for seniors who have questions or concerns about their coverage. Specialists are available to assist with complaints, surprise medical bills, insurance claim denials, fraud reports and long-term care coverage. The Insurance Commissioner also has valuable information about car, home, dental, business and other types of insurance. 
Northwest Justice Project(888) 387-7111 The Northwest Justice Project operates the CLEAR Hotline to help low-income seniors with a variety of issues. This nonprofit deals with civil issues, such as evictions, property rights and government benefits. They also help seniors negotiate barriers that may prevent them from finding the right independent living solution. Applications are required before help is provided. Eligibility is determined during the application process, which can be done online.