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Shell Point Retirement Community

Retirement Living CCRC
Ted Benjamin, Sales Director
Lifestyle with Lifecare
239-466-1131 or 1-800-780-1131

15101 Shell Point Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Welcome Center

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Welcome Center hours - 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday - Friday

About this Expert

No matter how you've reached this point in your life, the bottom line is you deserve the best. Our award-winning retirement resort near the Gulf of Mexico has set the standard for retirement living. At Shell Point, this unequaled Lifestyle comes with Comprehensive Lifecare that protects you from many of the uncertainties that can accompany retirement.

Explore our site to learn why we are the destination for those seeking no compromise resort-style comfort and peace of mind that comes with guaranteed life-long health care.

When you retire at Shell Point you have the comfort of knowing that your needs will be taken care of, both now and in the years to come. 


I'm Glad I Came Early. Find out why moving to Shell Point early may be the smartest thing you do!

New Opportunities Await. Dick and Miriam discover that life at Shell Point is about new experiences, including making great friends.

A Gift To Our Children. Several residents speak on how coming to Shell Point gives their children peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I give up my home and independence?

In reality, you are GAINING independence. While leaving your home is never easy – emotionally or physically (the dreaded move itself!) – you will be making a change that is in keeping with changes that are taking place in your life. Living at Shell Point is totally maintenance FREE! You won't have to worry about mowing grass, cleaning a pool, repairing a roof, fixing a leak, or repairing or replacing a dishwasher. More importantly, you won't have to wait on repairmen, or worry about the cost or quality of their work. This in and of itself gives you more freedom to do the things you ENJOY doing – golfing, walking, reading, taking a class, etc. All the while you are enjoying MORE freedom, you and your family will have the peace of mind knowing that if anything happens that requires a higher level of care, you have already bought and paid for those services. FREEDOM and PEACE OF MIND – sounds like you would be gaining more than you would be giving up, doesn't it?

Do we have to wait until we're both 60 to move in?

Technically, the minimum age at Shell Point is 60. HOWEVER, you or your spouse, or even both of you, can move to Shell Point under the age of 60 by paying a premium – 5% of the Entrance Fee (not to exceed $10,000 per year) for each year you are under the age of 60. The Monthly Fee is NOT affected. This premium is paid one time only! We are seeing more people making the move in their 60s so they can enjoy what they have paid for for a longer time and give themselves and their families the security knowing that if anything happens in the future, they are in a community that is committed to taking care of them – no matter what!

What do I have to do to qualify to live at Shell Point? 

Generically speaking, there are two points of qualification: health (physical and cognitive) and financial. On the health issue, you need to be free of any pre-existing health conditions that would preclude you from being independent. For example, if you are living in an independent living residence and an alarm goes off, can you mentally recognize that the sound is an alarm, and physically exit the residence with no help (not even from a spouse) In terms of finances, Shell Point uses a simple equation to determine if you can afford to live in the residence you are most interested in contracting. Take the Monthly Fee associated with the residence that you are most interested in (if you have a spouse be sure to add in the second person Monthly Fee) and multiply this amount by 2.0. For example, if the Monthly Fee is $2,000, multiply $2,000 by 2 = $4,000. This tells you that you should have approximately $4,000 in Monthly income (before taxes) to qualify for that particular residence. The extra "cushion" factored into that amount is for items such as food, supplemental health insurance, auto insurance, clothing, buying gifts, traveling, etc.  It is Shell Point's desire that you not have to change your current lifestyle to afford to live in our community.

Is it true I have to turn all my assets over to Shell Point when I move in? 

Simply put, NO! Once you pay the Entrance Fee for the residence you are contracting and begin paying the Monthly Fee, what's left of your assets is yours to do with as you please. Of course, "doing with your money as you please" is within reason! One of the intangible benefits of coming to Shell Point (besides the healthcare component) is the fact that IF you run out of the funds necessary to live at Shell Point, through no fault of your own, there is an Endowment Fund that will potentially support you. NO one has ever been asked to leave Shell Point due to running out of money, of course, that does not mean running out of money by going to Vegas and gambling it away or prematurely giving your money away to relatives, charities, etc. Shell Point's Endowment Fund is accessed by those who run out of the necessary funds to live here THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. This should give you another level of security besides what the healthcare component offers.

How much does it cost to live at Shell Point? Do fees vary from unit to unit? 

Lifecare services at Shell Point are funded by two fees — a one-time up-front fee referred to as an Entrance (Founder's) Fee and a recurring monthly fee called a Monthly Maintenance Fee. The Entrance Fee is based on the size, type, and location of the unit. Each unit category has a range of Entrance Fees, the lowest of which is shown on the published price sheet. The Monthly Maintenance Fee is specific to the unit type, regardless of whether the Entrance Fee was in the high or low end of the price range. Entrance fees range from $87,550 to more than $548,000. Monthly Maintenance Fees range from $1,134 to over $4,972.

Does that mean the fee is doubled for my spouse?

No. The second person's fee are as follows: +$13,000 on the Entrance Fee and +$370-$436 on the Monthly Maintenance Fee depending on the contract selected.

Are taxes included in these fees?

No, Shell Point does not include taxes in the Monthly Fee, while most not-for-profit retirement communities do. Allow us to explain further. The tax being referenced in the question is called an ad valorem tax (a Latin term meaning "in addition to"). This tax is based on real estate. For example, even though Shell Point is a not-for-profit organization, we pay a property tax to Lee County. In turn, each resident pays a portion of that tax based on the age and size of his/her residence (i.e. a resident in the smallest unit, a studio, pays as little as $260 per year, while a resident in the largest unit, a 3 BD/2.5 BA, will pay several thousand dollars annually.) Again, the tax equates to a "user's tax" (residents are paying a tax for the use of their residence).  The good news is that if you are a Florida resident and your residence at Shell Point is your primary residence, you can still claim a $25,000-$50,000 exemption. Rather than absorbing this in the Monthly Fee like most retirement communities, Shell Point makes this tax a separate line item to be paid annually. In this way, Shell Point residents know they are paying a tax and they know how much they are paying.

Does that mean I own or rent my apartment? 

Shell Point residents do not own their apartment in the typical real estate manner.

Does the monthly fee ever increase? If so, how much and how often? 

The Monthly Maintenance Fee at Shell Point increases annually. In Shell Point's 42 year history, this fee has never been raised more than the Consumer Price Index, except once. To give you an example, the average increase in the last 10 years is approximately 3%. While this small rate of increase is not guaranteed, it has been Shell Point's desire to perpetuate monthly fee increases limited to the Consumer Price Index.

Can I get a medical deduction on my income taxes?

Yes!  The IRS recognizes that one of the many reasons you are choosing to move to Shell Point is to provide for your future medical care.  Therefore, they do allow a one time deduction of a percentage of the entrance fee in the year it is paid, and also a deduction EVERY year for a percentage of your monthly fees.  This percentage is calculated every year by Shell Point and provided to the residents, with a statement of amounts paid in that year, to deduct on their income taxes as a medical expense.  The deduction in 2010 was 37.8%.

Is there a refund if you choose to leave, or if you change your mind?

The answer to your question is based on the contract type you choose. With the A and B contracts, the initial Entrance Fee is refundable subject to two discounts: A 4% administrative fee is initially applied; this is coupled with a cumulative discount of 2% per month of occupancy. Another way to say it is that the Entrance Fee on an A and B contract is refundable on a pro-rated basis over 48 months. On the 48th month, the Entrance Fee is completely used and there is no refund. If you elect the C contract, the Entrance Fee is 100% refundable upon resale of your residence.

In the event of the unexpected early death, is a refund available?

If you elect the C contract, a 100% refund is available to you in death (or if you choose to leave for any reason) upon resale of your residence. With an A or B contract, there is no refund of the entrance fee in the event of unexpected, early death at Shell Point.  But keep in mind, in the case of a couple, either spouse has the ability to cancel the contract.  So if, you should unexpectedly lose your spouse, the remaining spouse has the ability, should they choose, to cancel the contract under the refund policy above.

Does my family get my place when I die? Why not? 

Your family does not "inherit" your apartment or contract when you die.  Remember, you are purchasing a contract of care with Shell Point through our Lifecare product.  Therefore, there is no equity from your apartment to leave to a family member.  However, with the benefits of Lifecare, your family will also not be required to pay for any of the costs of assisted living or skilled nursing care for you and/or your spouse.

What if I want to keep another home elsewhere? 

One of the wonderful things about Shell Point is the ability to live here independently and maintain the lifestyle that you choose and are accustomed to living.  Some residents do choose to maintain a second residence elsewhere.  However, they still pay their fees year-round at Shell Point on their Lifecare contract.  Many choose to start in the apartment that they eventually want to live in full time, while others choose to start in a smaller apartment (to keep fees lower and since they will not be using the apartment year round) and possibly transfer to a larger apartment at a later date.  Shell Point has very flexible apartment transfer options available to fit individual needs.

What services are included in the monthly fees?

There are so many things included in the monthly fee, that it is much easier to tell you what is not included.  The monthly fees include all utilities (including cable TV) except for your phone bill or internet service.  In addition, there are no meals included in the fees and there is a separate property tax that is passed on to the resident.  Although most activities are fully included in the fees, there are some activities such as golf and concerts that do include an additional charge.

Is transportation available and/or included in fees?

Shell Point offers free transportation around our campus as well as providing free transportation during the week to the local grocery stores and various shopping centers.  In addition, there is a list of volunteer drivers that can transport people for individual trips in the local area for a fee of $10 to $15, depending on the distance.

Are meals included in the fees?

Currently, there are no meals included in the fees at Shell Point.  However, discounted meal plans are available for the four restaurants located at Shell Point.  Meal plans are in the form of spending accounts that are valid for a four-month period and provide residents with a discount of 15 to 30 percent off the published prices at the restaurants. 

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