If you’ve decided on senior living for retirement, your next question may be: can you afford it? The answer isn’t as overwhelming as you may think due to funding options to control costs – we can help you make the most of your budget. Check out these tips to help you pay for senior living.
- Consider the Level of Care – When it comes to what you’ll pay for senior living, generally the higher the level of care you need the higher the cost. So, for example, if you’re making the move to have more freedom from the responsibilities of homeownership and you don’t need daily assistance, you could choose independent living now and pay less. Then, as your needs change down the road, you could transition to a higher level of care if needed.
- Choose the Location Carefully – Surprisingly, senior living is similar to the real estate market in that location matters in terms of cost. If you’re looking for a community in the heart of a bustling city, then you’ll pay more. So if budget is a concern, consider looking at senior living communities in the suburbs, nearby smaller towns, or if it’s realistic, even in a different state, to bring costs down.
- Know That Care Levels Add Up – There are certainly a number of conveniences typically included in the monthly cost for senior living like home maintenance, housekeeping, meals, social activities, cable, and scheduled transportation, for example. But you may also need care, which is available at different levels for an extra charge.
- Figure Out Your Funding Options – There may be some options to help you offset the cost of senior living that you aren’t even aware of. One that’s often overlooked is the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit for qualified wartime veterans or their surviving spouses. You might also consider long-term care insurance, life insurance conversion, or perhaps a reverse mortgage as well.
- Start Saving Now to Pay for Senior Living – You may be wondering how this will help if you’re ready for senior living now, but again you may be surprised how quickly savings can add up. You could consider holding off on collecting Social Security in order to maximize your monthly benefit and talk with your financial advisor and accountant to maximize your investments and tax deductions. Don’t forget to look at ways to decrease your spending in daily life.
- Downsize Now – Again, you may very well be fairly far along in the process of this if you’ve already decided on a move to senior living, but if there is a gap between what senior living will cost and what you can budget, downsizing can help; this is the perfect opportunity to sell those items you no longer want or need like décor or furniture, the proceeds from which can really add up. And of course, money from selling the car and the house will really help your budget as well.