Is your loved one considering an assisted living community? If so, you may feel concerned about the costs associated with this decision. While assisted living costs can be high, there are a range of options to help pay for the care your loved one needs.
Learn assisted living costs in your area
Reliable financial surveys say that assisted living costs on average $3,500 per month, though there are wide regional variations. Your homework? Explore the costs of high-quality assisted living communities in the area.
Learn what Your Loved One can afford
This step requires tact and sensitivity, but it's crucial. Determine what financial resources are available so you can help determine how to pay for assisted living. If necessary, there are financial planners who specialize in helping seniors navigate this process.
Understand the rules for Medicaid and Medicare
Many seniors and their adult kids find it surprising that Medicare does not cover assisted living costs. Most seniors pay out of pocket for assisted living for the entire length of time they live there. Alternatively, they may pay out of pocket until they qualify for Medicaid, which requires them to have limited assets. Eligibility varies by state, but typically your loved one must have less than $2,000 in assets, excluding home and car, to qualify. Be sure to check Medicaid rules in your state, and reach out for help with this complex area.
Consider what to do with the family home
The family home is a valuable asset to help pay assisted living costs and selling the home outright is not the only option you may wish to consider. For example, a reverse mortgage allows dad and mom to cash out the value of home equity; however, this option requires that one homeowner is over 62 years old and one person must stay in the family home.
Another option when no one wants to sell the family home? Rent it and use the rental income to help pay assisted living costs. The main drawback is that someone in the family must agree to be a landlord, or if that doesn't seem feasible, hire a property management firm.
A third option that some seniors utilize, especially when a move to assisted living becomes urgent, is a bridge loan that supports them until the family home sells. These are short -term loans that provide the needed funds for a quick move into assisted living. As with other financial options, be careful about who you work with, avoid unscrupulous lenders who prey on seniors and families.
Consider veteran's benefits
If your loved one is a veteran, explore what financial assistance is available through the VA. This process can take awhile, so do this in advance of a move to assisted living.
Look into insurance policies - cash out life insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities, etc.
In step 2, you will have discovered if your loved one has a long-term care policy or holds life insurance policies. Perhaps, your loved one could cash out an annuity to pay for assisted living costs. These are all complex financial instruments, so a good senior financial advisor can be your valuable partner.
In conclusion, there are many options to explore to help cover senior care costs, and making assisted living affordable for your loved one is possible. Have questions about the cost of senior care? Contact us and learn more about our exciting senior living communities.