So you think you can't afford senior living?
Unfortunately, finding the funds to pay for senior living can be a big challenge for some families. A senior may look at her income and limited assets as compared to the monthly cost of a community she is interested in, and come to the conclusion that she can’t afford a senior community that will meet her needs.
Seniors with doubts about their ability to afford senior living serve themselves well when they are willing to explore creative financing options, or willing to explore communities that aren’t first on their list. They may find that a community that’s practically perfect for them was attainable all long.
If you are concerned about paying for senior living, consider some of these strategies:
Pool Family Support or Crowdsourcing
Many grown children help fund their parents moves to senior communities. They see it as a responsibility and a way to pay back their parents for the love and nurturing that they received. A new, related trend, is crowdsourcing using sites such as GoFundMe.com to help raise money from friends and family to help pay for care.
Cashing in Life Insurance
This is called life-settlement. Essentially a company will invest in your life insurance policy, giving you money now and then collecting more when you pass away and your insurance pays out. Obviously, this is not something you want to take lightly if your loved ones are depending on this life insurance. But if your beneficiary or beneficiaries are independent financially and will not need that money, it can potentially be put to use now.
Reverse mortgages allows you to borrow money based on your home’s equity, which is paid back when you move out. It might seem that this wouldn’t apply to a senior seeking assisted living because of the stipulation about returning the money when the residents move. But it does help in cases in which one spouse needs to move to a senior community while another wishes to remain home. Reverse mortgages can also to help pay for homecare.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Unfortunately, only 3% of American adults have long-term care insurance, but for those who do have it, it can be a godsend. While long-term-care insurance does not typically pay for independent living, it will pay for seniors care when they come to need help with activities of daily living. In all cases, the contract is important, so read long-term care insurance contracts before you make any assumptions about what it might help to pay for.
Look Outside Your Perfect Location
Like any type of real estate, senior living costs are indeed largely about three things: “location, location, location”. A senior set on a downtown location might find an equally nice community in the suburbs or outside of town that is significantly less costly than the urban location.
Consider a Smaller Living Space
For cost reasons, couple moving to senior living together might consider a one bedroom apartment rather than the two bedroom apartment they initially preferred. Or a single resident could consider a nice studio apartment instead of a one bedroom. Yes, most of us prefer more space, but sometimes in life compromising is our best choice.
Ask About Move-in Incentives
The marketers at senior communities often have some discretion in terms of incentives that they can offer to prospective new residents. If they recognize that a family or senior is struggling (but close) to finding funding to pay for senior living, it’s quite possible a generous incentive may be available.
Want some additional information about the benefits of living in a retirement community? Discover more about Holiday Retirement’s senior living communities.