Thinking About the Monthly Fee

By Resident Reed Browning

If you are considering joining the Kendal at Granville community, you may want to ask yourself what savings in your annual budget might you expect if you make the move? The answer would of course depend on your precise situation. But I’d like to suggest some categories of regular expenses that might, after a move, be reduced or eliminated. I’m speaking only as a resident and observer, not an attorney or a financial adviser, but I can assure you that everything I mention below has affected either me or at least one of my Kendal friends. I hope this list is useful.

Bistro style diningCost of housing: This is the easy one. If you are currently paying a mortgage, renting a residence, or paying condo fees, these expenses will disappear.

Food items: Since the residency fee assures you a specified number of meals per month, the amount of money you will need to spend on groceries and food preparation equipment is likely to get smaller.

Home insurance: While you will want to retain insurance for personal belongings and personal liability when you live at Kendal, you will no longer need a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Utilities: Your Kendal fee will cover heat and air conditioning, water and sewage, plus basic cable. In effect, then, you will still need to pay only for phone and internet service.

Housekeeping: Your fee will cover biweekly cleanings of your residence, complemented by semi-annual “deep cleanings.” So, it will no longer be necessary to hire the services of a cleaner.

Repairs: For many residents the most attractive part of the guarantee of repairs if the built-in appliances or the toilet misbehave is the swiftness of the response of the maintenance staff. And that counts for a lot. But it is useful to remember that this guarantee probably means there are financial savings as well, since the repair service is covered by the fee.

Outdoor Maintenance: Your Kendal fee will cover:

  • Lawn care year-round, including mowing, raking and seeding;
  • Plowing, snow removal, and de-icing of paths in cold weather;
  • Daily garbage removal; and
  • Professional landscaping attention to the appearance of the Kendal campus.

If you currently pay for any of these kinds of services, you will no longer need to.

Other potential areas of saving: Here are some other categories of saving you might want to consider, since, depending upon your life style, they may be relevant.

  • Exercise equipmentFor example, there are transportation fees. That is to say, the costs of getting to medical appointments will be covered in part or fully.
  • Think too of subscription costs. Because the Kendal library provides a comfortable site for your daily enjoyment of the Columbus Dispatch, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Newark Advocate, and the Granville Sentinal, you may choose to dispense with newspaper subscriptions. The same reasoning may apply to magazines, since, thanks to residents’ generosity, a wide array of journals of all sorts is also available.
  • Then there are exercise club fees. If you currently belong to a club in order to get access to exercise equipment, you may decide you no longer need to pay for that access. After all, Kendal offers both a swimming pool and a room full of exercise machines and equipment.
  • Also, worth considering is the fact that your residency allows you to rent a guest unit if you’re inviting friends or family to visit you in Granville. Believe me, the price beats local hotel prices by a considerable margin.
  • Finally, if you are currently paying a parking fee for your car, that expense will disappear, since parking facilities at Kendal come with residency.

Taxes: There are potential tax savings available to residents, for you may no longer be responsible for a rental property tax or a real estate tax.

The big tax benefit: Here’s the major one! As the laws now stand (and have stood since Kendal at Granville opened up), residents receive a large annual tax benefit because a portion of the Kendal fee is eligible for tax treatment as pre-paid health insurance. In 2015 this benefit averaged over $1,500 per month for each resident.

My general point in this posting is that, while individual circumstances vary, there are almost certainly opportunities for reducing some important categories of expense that are available for anyone who chooses to live at Kendal at Granville. Look for them. Keep them in mind.

 View from a 3-season room in an apartment

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