Holiday Inn

64-year-old Terry Robison is a working-class retiree trying to make his money last throughout the remainder of his life. And Holiday Inn is the clear winner.

That’s according to a Facebook post from Robison in which he evaluated the per-day cost of staying in a retirement home for seniors and the daily cost of staying at a Holiday Inn. Robison found out that when applying the senior discount he qualifies for, the Holiday Inn would cost less than $60 per day. The senior home, on the other hand, cost around $188 per day, making it more than three times more expensive than the hotel chain.

“That leaves $128.77 a day for lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, gratuities and special TV movies. Plus, they provide a spa, swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc. Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap. $5-worth of tips a day and you’ll have the entire staff scrambling to help you,” Robison wrote in a Facebook post. “They treat you like a customer, not a patient.”

No nursing home for us. We'll be checking into a Holiday Inn! With the average cost for a nursing home care costing…

Posted by Terry Robison on Thursday, February 7, 2019

“It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today,” he added. “And you’re not stuck in one place forever — you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.”

“The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they’ll call an ambulance… or the undertaker,” Robison continued. “If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.”

Over the course of a year, Robison would pay approximately $21,900 to stay at a Holiday Inn at the senior discount rate for 365 days. The retirement home he looked at would cost $68,620. And that’s typically the price for a senior home, according to Forbes. In 2017, the outlet examined the cost of retirement homes, and found that while many senior homes weren’t transparent about pricing, the data they could find suggested a retiree could pay up to almost $100,000/year.

“Median annual cost for assisted living, according to the 2016 Genworth Cost of Care Study: $43,539; for a private room in a nursing home: $92,378,” wrote Forbes’ Richard Eisenberg.

Dan Brewer, who works for a company that invests in private-pay senior housing facilities, wrote in 2018 that senior housing can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $6,000/month, or $18,000 to $72,000 over the course of a year. With those prices, it’s no wonder Terry Robison is choosing the Holiday Inn for retirement living.


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.


  1. One more point, during the year, it would also be possible to slip in a cruise or two for about the same money it would take to stay at the Holiday Inn.

      1. Actually, for some cruises, the per day cost per person can be as low as $50 for an inside cabin, and that includes food. Even less if you are a frequent cruiser of certain lines.

        1. i read where a woman uses cruises as her retirement living…all inclusive and cheaper than a home as well (provided one doesnt need nursing home facilities)

          1. Not really if you consider that you spend most of your waking hours either by the pool, in the casino, or feeding your face. Our first cruise was an inside cabin that we used to sleep, bathe, and change clothes! Our last cruise was a balcony, but to retire, an inside cabin at the bottom of the ship would be fine! (I think) ….LOL

  2. The guy’s lucky that, at least for now, he is self-sufficient and independent, and remaining so depends a lot on his choices but also on luck/genes. The reason retirement homes cost so much is that the level of service they provide is at least intended to be much higher than that at a motel.

    1. Most independent living homes provide very little in the way of services. Minimum transportation and meals and housekeeping. You pay a lot and are still on your own. Went back to an apartment. Much cheaper.

  3. I agree Nanorama, it could be a great option for now, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to tip high enough to persuade the maid to bathe you, or yet change your ‘depends” should it get to that.

  4. This article only compares the Holiday Inn to a retirement home. The services these two options offer are not comparable—retirement homes offer more just a room and housekeeping. Since Terry is a young 64, he has a lot of other housing options if he doesn’t need any of the special services a retirement home offers. Could he have stayed in his home and hired people to assist with cleaning, gardening and cooking for less than staying at the Holiday Inn and eating out? Could he have just got a regular apartment or shared a place with someone else?

    1. No, he couldn’t. The people he would like to come in to assist with those daily duties charge $15 – $25 hr. and if even one person came 1/per day per week, for say, two hours @ 20. That’s $140/wk and $620/month, he still has to pay for heat light water taxes and maintenance even if his mortgage is paid. When he began to need “personal care” the price is even higher. If he can make his hotel room cozy, well go for it. I hope he isn’t dissolving all his equity, he could live a long time.

      Also, one Really Important factor. In the hotel he interacts with different people all the time. It’s a hotel. At home he’d be more isolated, and even in a retirement community, an increasing number of one’s neighbours are sliding into dementia, and not as stimulating. He is staying fit because it is right there, all year, but less pleasant or motivating to go out in brutally hot or cold weather.

      If these numbers reported are correct and if the Holiday Inn would accept these kinds of guests, well, it makes another opening on another list somewhere.

      1. The other “tenants” staying at the hotel would come and go daily or weekly, so it would be hard to make friends, except for the staff.

        At a retirement home he would be able to make friends with some of the (non-impaired) residents, and he would have access to regular planned social activities.

        Still, it seems like an interesting option for someone in fairly good health with no mobility problems.

  5. In TX at least if you stay in the same hotel for more than 3 weeks you get your Hotel Tax Refunded. Which will make it even cheaper.

  6. Till he starts pooping the bed, wondering around the lobby in crusty skid marked drawers, and doing that wheel chair walk thing up and down the halls.

    1. I think he is intelligent and resourceful enough to realize he would need to look at other options then. I applaud him. The system rapes thevelderly and their families and does not allow them to live with any type of dignity or quality of life. This man is just smart enough not accept the inevitable growing old issues.

  7. Just wanted to ask a question! Is this option of living at the holiday inn the same for Canada ones? Also if so what is the prices then? Ty

  8. Food for thought. Although hotels are well within their right to refuse to let you “live” there year round especially since nightly rates fluctuate but some hotels are def open to it. I worked at a hotel as a room attendant and one on floor they had a permanent resident and it was a good arrangement for them it seems. He’s still relatively young but even if he did that til 70 or 75 could still work out in his favor financially.

    1. The “extended stay” places can be a better choice for some. They generally have more room, and usually also have a mini-kitchen: fridge, sink, two-burner stove, microwave, dishwasher, and supplied pots/pans. I’ve stayed in them before on extended consulting gigs, and was very comfortable. I just checked, and an Extended Stay America not far from me has a queen bed and a sofa sleeper in case someone wanted to stay over, flat-screen TV, free wifi, pool, on-site laundry, free breakfast, etc., etc. $69.20 per day with their regular twice-per-week cleaning, and $79.20 with cleaning service every day.

      If I were a single retiree, no problem with this! Even with two people in the room, it only adds $5 per day.

  9. In Answer to Mary.S, Holiday Inns in Canada are expensive. In fact, everything in Canada is expensive. Trivago-dot-ca has a search engine that is helpful, but I found it maxed out at a stay of 81 days. The best deal was in Whistler, BC. (great for me as I’m an old mountain biker)

  10. That’s funny, we were just informed from a recent client of ours, of their expected cost of a nursing home and suggested that it would be cheaper to live at a resort or on a cruise ship in comparison to what they were paying for this home. Granted they don’t require medical attention either so that does make a difference when weighing your options at that age.

  11. Extended care facilities are SUPPOSED to take care of needs of people as they become frailer. One must have an advocate, even at the best places. Most of them are understaffed, and for individual help one must pay for a private aide. Knew a woman who lived full time at a Holiday Inn. She loved it, but while I am independent, I like to cook for myself at times. Don’t want to eat every meal out.

  12. Better option is Central America. A friend here in Nicaragua pays $400 a month for a live in RN that even fixes meals and cleans house. The US trained Dr charges $40 to come to the house, and does not charge for follow up visits, unless he has to do other treatments. Rent on a 3 bedroom furnished house is around $300 a month, depending on where you live. $600 a month with pool.

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