By KELLY GREENE
Instead of moving his mother into an assisted-living apartment three years ago, Eli Portnoy rented condos for both of them, two floors apart, at Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, Fla.
His mother received many of the same services and amenities that would have come with an assisted-living facility—on-site doctors, healthy meals, a gym and all kinds of wellness classes—but in a far more appealing setting.
The kicker? Mr. Portnoy, a 57-year-old branding consultant, estimates that he saved $50,000 to $75,000 a year—even including round-the-clock private nursing aides—over what he would have paid for an assisted-living apartment luxurious enough for his mother, a retired New York art dealer who died in December at age 90.
A growing number of intrepid retirees, wary of spending years in an assisted-living facility or staying at home, are opting for arrangements that provide them with a full range of services and a greater sense of adventure—fully staffed homes in Costa Rica, backyard bungalows on their children’s property, so-called cohousing arrangements, full-time spa living and even serial cruises.