Buena Vida Offers The Good Life
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Buena Vida Offers The Good Life

Buena Vida Offers The Good Life

Continuing Care Retirement Community is Home, Without Surprises

In his iconic “Four Freedoms” series, artist Norman Rockwell portrayed “Freedom from Fear” with the image of parents safely tucking their children into bed. Freedom from fear resonates with all of us, particularly as we age, when health, financial and emotional worries tend to increase.

The concept of a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC, was created to ease seniors’ fears by ensuring care and services for the individual as they age in place. Buena Vida Estates, Brevard County’s only not-for-profit CCRC, offers residents the peace of mind that their needs will be met throughout their lifetime and without financial “surprises,” even if the level of care needed increases dramatically. 

“When you become a resident in our community, you no longer need to worry about financial security, the rising cost of health care, property taxes and insurance, and home maintenance costs,” said Teri Brant, director of marketing.

Sooner is always better than later when it comes to selecting a CCRC.

“Unfortunately, some people wait too long and may no longer qualify for continuing care coverage,” added Brant. “Moving to a CCRC before a need arises is the best decision you can make. It is also best to move while you are able to enjoy all that Buena Vida has to offer.”

Buena Vida Estates offers amenities that may feel like an ongoing resort vacation wrapped in the comfort of the emotional connections found at home: 

  • Chef-curated gourmet meals served at a casual yet elegant restaurant
  • Manicured and lushly wooded landscapes
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Robust calendar of recreational and social activities
  • Concierge
  • Fitness center
  • Business center
  • Wellness programs
  • Heated swimming pool
  • Pub and lounge
  • Gated dog park 

At Buena Vida Estates, new residents can select housing that best fits their lifestyle and budget, from expansive resort-style apartments to The Cottages — 24 upscale residences nestled amidst oak trees near Buena Vida’s main complex in West Melbourne. Should their healthcare needs change, residents are assured of assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing care, all on the campus.

“A resident will never be asked to leave for medical or financial reasons,” Brant said.

The Differences

As a true CCRC, Buena Vida Estates is regulated by Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and must adhere to the state’s strict guidelines for fulfilling contractual obligations to residents. Because non-CCRCs are not regulated by the OIR, they need not comply with impartial, third-party oversight. 

With a Type A, or Life Care CCRC such as Buena Vida, residents are ensured they will have a home with all levels of care at predictable rates, for their lifetime. The required entry fee offers long-term sustainability of the community and generally lowers residents’ monthly living fees, thus saving them money when compared to other retirement communities.

Unlike profit-making enterprises, Buena Vida reinvests its profits back into the community, overseen by a board of community leaders who base decisions on the continued wellbeing of the community and its residents. On the other hand, in profit-driven retirement communities, decisions are dependent on generating revenue, not necessarily in the best interests of residents. Additionally, should a for-profit CCRC be sold, the new owners may choose to not honor residents’ contracts.  

Some non-CCRC communities may exaggerate the levels of care they can actually provide or downplay the need for these services. There is the risk that if the individual depletes their assets while living at these communities, they may well be asked to leave once they cannot afford to pay. 

Painless entry fees

On average, new CCRC residents rely on proceeds from the sale of their home to cover the entrance fee without needing to dip into savings and other assets. They also can claim a portion of the entrance fee and monthly fees — at Buena Vida an average of 22 percent — as prepaid medical expenses.

A CCRC contract guarantees you know where you will be and what the costs are when you need life care, including assisted living, memory care and/or skilled nursing.  

“At Buena Vida Estates, residents choose the lifestyle apartment for independent living,” explained Brant. “Once they need life care, 70% of those residents will pay less for care than they did as an independent resident with no care. When they need care, they are guaranteed they will have the care they need at a cost that is discounted below any in the rental community.”

CCRCs are not only easier on the wallet, but they may also be better for your health. In 2018, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, together with Northwestern University, studied CCRC residents, who were found to enjoy greater emotional, social, physical and intellectual wellness than a control group of similarly aged individuals. CCRC residents were found to have lower levels of depression and better diets than their counterparts in rental communities. 

When Joan Sayyah researched a new home in 2017, she selected Buena Vida because it provided both freedom and peace of mind.

“I was one of the youngest new residents when I moved,” said Sayyah, who did not have any disabilities, but chose Buena Vida over the hassle of maintaining a home as a widow.

“I wanted freedom and the ability to do what I wanted. It was important for me to know my children would not have to care for me and to know that all levels of care are here for you at a CCRC.”

Like Joan Sayyah, Hugh Nicolay retired young. At 55, he and wife, Mary, traveled the world. The Nicolays opted for Buena Vida Estates because of the freedom it provided.

“We wanted a CCRC for carefree retirement going forward,” Hugh said.

Not having to fear or worry for the future has given the couple the time and energy to keep traveling.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Donna Borchsenius moved to Buena Vida Estates after hearing about the facility from fellow globetrotters.

“I had little to no family that would make decisions for me in my future, medical care if needed or help to do it, so I was concerned,” she said. “I was a caretake for Mom, Dad and friends for most of my life, and it sounds wonderful for someone to take care of me.”



Buena Vida Estates

2129 West New Haven Ave.

West Melbourne, FL 32904


Facebook: /Buenavidaestates

Instagram: @bvestates 

Linked In: company/buena-vida-estates/

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