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Guide to Independent Living in New Hampshire

Around 18.7% of New Hampshire’s almost 1.4 million residents are aged 65 or more, which is over 2 percentage points above the national average. Finances are probably a factor because the state doesn’t tax income from retirement jobs, Social Security benefits, withdrawals from retirement accounts or earnings from public and private pensions. There’s also no state sales tax, so seniors in New Hampshire can hold on to more of their wealth than many of their peers across the country. The state also has one of the lowest crime rates and an average life expectancy above the national average of 78.8. 

Relatively healthy seniors choose independent living for many reasons, including the opportunity to reside in purpose-built or modernized facilities tailored to their age groups. Depending on the facility, seniors can pick from apartments, studios, cottages or duplexes. The communities also offer cleaning and laundry services and provide centers where residents can socialize, participate in mentally and physically stimulating activities and use in-house services, such as beauty salons and barbershops.

This guide examines independent living and other senior care costs in and around New Hampshire. It also lists senior-friendly resources that provide free support and assistance to older residents.

How Much Does Independent Living Cost in New Hampshire?

Note:There currently isn’t authoritative data on the average cost of Independent Living Facilities nationwide, so instead, we use the cost of Assisted Living to estimate it. Since the cost of Independent Living is typically 30-40% lower than the cost of Assisted Living, the numbers below were calculated by subtracting 35% from the cost of Assisted Living as reported in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

The typical American pays $2,925 for their independent living home. That is less than every average fee in every New England state and New York. It’s more common to find substantially higher fees, such as Vermont, at $3,413, and Maine, at $3,812. New Hampshire is somewhere in the middle, with fees averaging $3,934 per month. At the more expensive end of the scale are Massachusetts, where seniors typically pay $4,225, and Rhode Island, where $4,437 is the norm.


New Hampshire


The United States








New York


Rhode Island

The Cost of Independent Living in New Hampshire’s Top Cities

The only city in New Hampshire with costs published in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey is Manchester, which averages $5,240. This is at the top end when compared to major cities in neighboring states, such as Portland, where the typical fee is $4,241, and Boston, where the average is $4,432. Providence and Albany have the most affordable fees among the region’s capital cities, at $3,941 and $3,425, respectively. 




Portland, ME


Boston, MA


Providence, RI


Albany, NY

The Cost of Independent Living vs. Other Types of Care

The typical adult day health care center in New Hampshire charges fees of $1,842 per month for services delivered during business hours. An independent living facility is likely to charge more than double that figure, at around $3,934, as it provides accommodation, amenities and organized activities. These are also provided in assisted living facilities, but seniors in those communities usually pay $6,053 per month for trained staff to help them with daily tasks, such as bathing. Nursing home facilities are the costliest option because they deliver skilled nursing care around the clock, and fees average $10,950.


Independent Living


Adult Day Health Care


Homemaker Services


Home Health Aide


Assisted Living Facility


Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Independent Living in New Hampshire?

The short answer is no, Medicaid and Medicare do not cover the cost of living in an independent living community. That being said, those who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), may be able to take advantage of financial assistance programs in New Hampshire to partially or fully cover the cost of care in Assisted Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need help with ADLs, read our guide to Assisted Living in New Hampshire.

For more information about other ways to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc, read the section below.

How to Make Independent Living More Affordable in New Hampshire

It’s prudent to plan for independent living, as costs can stretch over a number of years and may exceed the senior’s savings and retirement income. For homeowners, reverse mortgages release home equity loans paid in installments up to the home’s value, with the added benefit of not putting the senior into debt because the loan isn’t repaid until the home is sold.

Many life insurance and long-term care insurance policies can cover costs, and some providers also allow seniors to combine both policies if there’s a shortfall in either. Another option is an annuity, where the senior deposits a lump sum or makes regular payments to the insurance company, which issues payments (annuities) over a predetermined period to meet monthly independent living fees.

Free Independent Living Resources for Seniors in New Hampshire

Many nonprofit organizations and government agencies offer free resources for seniors residing in New Hampshire. This short list includes programs that offer assistance for those struggling to prepare their taxes, help getting around town and support for seniors who aren’t getting the benefits they deserve. 

Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Services(800) 622-9230One of the purposes of the Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Services is to help U.S. military vets and their dependents identify and apply for the state and federal benefits available to them. It can also help vets obtain their military discharge records and, if deteriorating health requires they get additional care, support their applications for the Homebound Allowance or VA Aid and Attendance.
RSVP Southern New Hampshire Services(800) 322-1073Southern New Hampshire Services operates the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in the region. It connects seniors who want to volunteer their time with organizations that need help. Volunteer roles are varied, sometimes utilizing the senior’s existing skills and knowledge and other times requiring they be trained. All volunteers receive free accident and liability insurance during their working hours.
Friends Program(603) 228-1193The Friends Program is a nonprofit operating throughout New Hampshire that has volunteer opportunities for seniors. These include the RSVP program in Merrimack County and the foster grandparents program, where volunteers support local nonprofit childcare centers and youth service organizations. 
Bureau of Elderly and Adult ServicesMultiple LocationsThe Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services provides multiple supports for adults aged 60 and over through its Area Agencies on Aging. They are located in 10 cities across New Hampshire, helping seniors at home, in the community and in independent living facilities. The agencies work with nonprofit partners who provide varied free or low-cost services, such as legal advice and representation on civil law matters.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program(888) 687-2277The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program assists seniors who need help preparing and filing their taxes. They can drop off tax documents at one of the many locations across the state so IRS-certified volunteers can do most of the prep work and return later to help finalize them or get limited support online.

COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for New Hampshire Independent Living Communities

The following rules and guidelines were obtained from, as well as other state-level government sites. Among others, these rules apply to independent living communities and assisted living facilities.

This data has been most recently updated on 2/10/2022, but keep in mind that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, so all of the below information can change at any time. For additional questions and up-to-date information, you can contact your loved one’s senior living facility or your local Area Agency on Aging.

Visiting Loved Ones

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?Yes
Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?Yes
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?Yes
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives? Yes
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

Outings and Group Activities

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?Yes
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?No (Conditions Apply)
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?No
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?Yes (Conditions Apply)

Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus? Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?Yes

Safety Measures for Residents

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?Yes
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?No
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?Yes
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?Yes (Conditions Apply)
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