The Quick Guide to Financial Planning for Senior Living


When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



When it comes to establishing a vibrant and fulfilling future, a little planning goes a long way.

Senior living is not an inexpensive proposition. Depending on the level of care, costs can run from $45,000 to more than $90,000 a year according to financial services provider Genworth.  While such figures may seem intimidating, there is much an older adult can do to prepare for a secure and satisfying lifestyle, and you may even find that these costs are less than full-time in-home care.

How to lay the foundation for such a future? Here are the key elements to consider as one explores financial opportunities in support of senior living options.

Download The Complete Guide to Choosing Between Senior Living Options

Aid and Attendance

Veterans and their spouses have access to a unique benefit known as Aid and Attendance, which can help to pay for care in the home, in assisted living, or in a nursing home. A veteran is eligible for up to $2,127 per month, while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $1,153 per month. Such assistance is available to those who need help performing daily living tasks such as bathing or eating, or who are bedridden.

Long-Term Care Insurance

A valuable tool in the older person’s financial toolkit, long-term care insurance can cover all or part of a long-term care need, greatly expanding the range of one’s options. Some view it as an investment that pays off over time, typically purchased when one is still relatively young. It typically helps to pay for hands-on care for an extended period of time, especially for those who cannot take care of themselves because of a prolonged disability, illness, or cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s.

Life Insurance

Some seniors opt to finance their retirement-community lifestyle by selling a life insurance policy. The process of obtaining such a life insurance settlement can be quick, usually under 30 days, and while you won’t get the full value of the policy, you’ll usually get a substantial sum, which typically is deposited into a trust that makes payments to the community. In addition to funding care, families also can set aside a certain amount as an inheritance.

Selling a Home

Many older adults view the home as the nest egg, and it is one of the most common ways to fund long-term care. There are various considerations that go into this: Are there other family members who might use the home? Are there outstanding mortgages? Is this an advantageous moment in the local real estate market? While selling a home may take some deep consideration, it’s often an option worth pursuing for those looking for a change of lifestyle and an opportunity to engage in a new and exciting community experience.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are key government programs that support senior care. Medicare covers a stay of up to 100 days in a nursing home, but does not pay for retirement or assisted living communities. Medicaid covers home care services for seniors who are blind or who have another disability that limits functioning. Some states also cover care in personal care homes.

In planning for the financial aspects of senior living, the key word is “planning.” Given the complexities around the subject, it’s critical that families begin these conversations early and that they enlist the aid of qualified professionals to help them understand the myriad choices. Realtors, financial advisors, bankers, and lawyers all can be key allies in the planning process.

In addition, senior living communities can provide a wealth of information. In exploring financial options, it makes sense to take a close look at the different lifestyle choices available, the various types of communities, the amenities they offer, and the associated costs.

Senior living community directors often are well versed not just in the ins and outs of the senior lifestyle, but also in the financial considerations that attach to the various choices. They can help to guide families through alternative scenarios and can be a valuable source of information and resources for those seeking to take a financially responsible and realistic approach to these decisions.

Those who plan thoughtfully typically find that, while not inexpensive, a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle is very much within reach.

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