It has been a couple of weeks since I have posted here. The new baby has made it hard enough. Then last week I spent the week in India talking to 15 different tech CEOs there. I was last in India in April last year (Here is the post I made based on what I learned on that trip). This was the return engagement. I was hoping to write up my summary of the trip on my flight home, but I ended up sleeping and watching the Hunger Games instead.
Expect the India Part 2 update in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, yesterday I did an interview with Money.com (part of the Time group). The impetus was APFM’s release of a price index for senior housing. There are lots of senior housing price index’s out there, but all of them are built on self-reported data from the communities. But APFM is the only one in the industry that knows what people actually pay.
Each method has its advantages. The self-reported data allows indexes to track changes in the asking price for care, our index allows tracking of changes in what people actually pay. If discount levels change over time, our index will catch that (the traditional indexes will not). If the average care requirements of seniors moving-in are going up (or going down) over time that would not change list prices (traditional indexes) but it would affect our index (because actual prices paid would be going up).
Again, each method has its own advantages, but until now there has only been one method to get any data at all. I’m excited we’ve pulled together the unique data set we have to expose what people are actually paying across the country. It’s our attempt at bringing a little more transparency to the industry.
Phil Moeller at Money.com was a pleasure to talk to. What started as a discussion just about the index went much broader. We talked about the challenges people have looking for care. How it is much more expensive than many people think; How important it is to start thinking about it early; How the housing bust in 2008 is now causing prices in senior housing to increase as supply has not kept up with the recent spike in demand; How those increases in prices are causing people to wait longer, driving down demand, and increasing the average age of the seniors who move.
His full write-up on our interview can be found here: http://time.com/money/3757215/retirement-community-prices-choose/
EDIT 3/26/2015: Senior Housing News has also picked up the story. Their version is here: http://seniorhousingnews.com/2015/03/25/a-place-for-mom-launches-national-senior-living-price-index/