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There are many options when considering how to pay for residency in a Senior Living Community.
As you assess assisted living and memory care community options, it is good to have a budget in mind of what you can afford. It is best to get a clear understanding of your finances and assets, as well as if any family members want to contribute, to create a budget. You may need to consider selling or renting your home. Like any apartment options or real estate investments, the expenses (or savings) of an assisted living community can be determined by the location and the amenities offered. We encourage you to tour multiple properties to understand and compare costs.
Long-term care insurance is different than traditional health insurance. It is designed to cover the costs of services and support when you can no longer care for yourself — whether that is in your home, at an assisted living community, memory care community, respite care, hospice care, or in a nursing home. Most communities can help determine your eligibility when using your Long-term care policy. Services can include caring for the ADLs, such as bathing, toileting, and dressing; skilled nursing; and occupational, speech, or physical therapy.
Under the VA Aid and Attendance Special Pension, also known as the A&A Pension, qualified veterans or their surviving spouses can receive a tax-free monthly sum meant to help with the costs of assisted living or memory care. A single veteran may receive $2,229 per month. Two married veterans may receive up to a maximum of $3,536 each month in 2023 for this purpose, while a veteran and his or her spouse may receive up to $2,642. A surviving spouse may be entitled to $1,432 monthly. The community you are moving into can connect you with someone to help with the process.
The need for senior living can be unexpected and sudden due to a medical emergency or the realization that living at home is no longer safe. Many senior financial services will provide a bridge loan to help cover the costs during the transition. If you want to use a line of credit to cover the cost of senior living, you can explore your options with Elderlife Financial. Their services are designed to help seniors move into the community of their choice or supplement their move while waiting for funds from a home sale or other benefits. Because they offer low monthly payments, this is an option to consider if you need to move to a community quickly and easily. Availability and terms may vary by state. For more details, go to www.elderlifefinancial.com.
Medicare can help cover the costs of some services received while living in a community, like medication, preventive medical services, outpatient care, or wellness programs. It also may help cover some expenses of assisted living, but there is an income restriction and it should not be depended on in your plan for covering these costs. Medicaid is administered differently according to the regulations of each state. It is best to work with an eldercare attorney or speak with a free, confidential counselor from SHIP (State Health Insurance Program) to determine what Medicare or Medicaid benefits are available. Not all assisted living communities accept Medicaid. Check with the community to find out whether they do or not.
Most individuals purchase life insurance with their loved ones and beneficiaries in mind. Some life insurance policies can be used toward “living benefits,” where the company will buy back the policy for around 50-70 % of its value. Some policies may offer a “life assurance benefit or conversion program” which can convert the policy benefits into long term care payments. If your policy does not allow for this accelerated benefit, you can sell your policy to a third-party company in return for what is called “life settlement,” which also is typically 50-75% of the face value. Check your policy for options related to long term pay out.
Do you own your home, or are you close to paying it off? A reverse mortgage may be a solution. It allows you to cash out the value of the equity that you have in the home. The bank may pay in full or over a series of monthly payments. The borrower can stay in the home until they pass away when the loan needs to be repaid in full, which often requires selling the home. This can be a good solution if one parent needs assisted living or memory care, and the other parent wants to remain in the house. To qualify, the homeowner needs to be at least age 62 and continue to live in the home. Each individual situation is different so make sure to weigh the pros and cons with a professional.
Your home may be an asset to sell or rent. You can either use the rental income or home sale to pay for senior care. Some may not be ready to make the decision to sell a family home, and others may not want to be landlords, so you will need to make a decision that works best for you. If you choose to keep your house as a rental, you could consider using an outside company to manage the rental to ease the burden of dealing with renters. SASH Sell A Senior's Home | Pacific Northwest | sashservices.com could be a good resource.
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