When you no longer feel comfortable living alone or you would like a reprieve from the stresses that come from owning a home, senior living is a great option. By beginning the research into senior living communities you can be prepared to make decisions in the future.
To start, it’s important to figure out your current monthly expenses. This will give you a good baseline to understand all that you are paying for living independently. Most of these costs (and more!) are covered under the monthly cost in an independent or assisted living community.
Next, begin looking at assisted and independent living communities. Speaking with a representative from each community and visiting in person will give you an idea of which you are most interested in and want to live in.
Once you've decided where you would like to live, it's time to figure out how to pay for it. Let's look at how to cover the cost of an independent or assisted living community:
Examples of personal funds are savings account, retirement fund, or investments. This is the most common way to pay for senior living.
Social Security and Pensions
Seniors receiving Social Security payments or other types of annuities can use those funds to pay for senior living expenses. While Medicaid or Medicare may be used to pay for certain health-related costs at some senior living communities, Social Security is more lenient on what it can be used to cover.
Another common way to afford senior living is to sell your home or other real estate holdings. If you are contemplating independent or assisted living because home ownership has become unmanageable, it would make sense to sell and receive the benefits. If you want to retain your home, but have other real estate holdings elsewhere, consider selling off those investments.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Depending on your policy, some insurances cover in-home or home care. If you intend to receive care while living in an senior living community, your insurance may reimburse you. These benefits can then be put towards the cost of the facility itself.
If you or your spouse served in the military, you may be entitled to Veterans Benefits that cover living in an independent or assisted living community. If you are not currently receiving Veterans Benefits, please visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/ for more information.
Before making any decisions about senior living, we recommend consulting your financial advisor who can assist you in selecting the form of payment that is right for your unique situation.