If you’re exploring senior living options for yourself or a loved one, you may be uncertain where to turn for advice about funding senior living expenses.
Senior Living fees and rates can vary greatly, depending on the level of care needed, services and amenities offered and the geographic location of a community.
While the process of finding the right community can seem daunting, funding senior living expenses doesn’t need to be confusing if you follow a few simple steps.
Take a look at the following information to help guide you through the process.
Funding senior living: determine the type of care needed
If you haven’t already, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different types of senior living communities and which one offers the services that maybe the right fit for you or a loved one.
Independent living: Offers maintenance-free personal residences, activities and amenities for independent older adults who are looking for an active and more convenient lifestyle.
Assisted living: For older residents who need a helping hand with daily tasks but still live independently, these communities provide the support needed, private residences, activities and healthy dining.
Memory care: Those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia require additional care and attention. Memory care communities are designed to keep their residents safe and engaged while maintaining a quality of life.
Funding senior living: consider all sources that may be available
When creating a budget for funding senior living, begin with understanding all financial sources that could contribute, including the following:
Life insurance policies
Long-term care insurance policies
Veterans benefits if eligible
3 tips to consider when budgeting for long term care
Working together to determine how best to budget for funding senior living, these three tips can help you successfully navigate the process:
Tip #1: Create a budget with accurate numbers
One struggle families often face is trying to budget for costs without correct information. This is not the time for ballpark estimates. Whenever possible, talk to the communities of interest and obtain fees and an understanding of everything the fees include.
This is important if you are considering remaining at home and bringing in outside services. Make sure you include all home expenses including taxes, mortgages, insurance, utilities, landscaping, maintenance and upkeep.
If home care or day programs will be used, you’ll want to confirm you have an accurate cost of their services to add to the budget.
Tip #2: Gather all financial information
It’s essential that you understand the amount of funds of which you have to work. Remember to adjust available finances if only one parent will be moving into senior living and the other will remain at home.
Gather all checking and saving account information, pension and other retirement plans, and any long-term care insurance. Certain life insurance policies allow for conversion to cash to pay for senior living. Home equity is another common source of funds.
For budgeting, you’ll want to ensure you understand any current or existing debt that might need to be settled before a move to senior living. The goal is to create as clear a picture as possible of the financial situation.
Tip #3: Be respectful of financial conversations
Beyond having conversations with your loved ones about moving into senior living, families often find discussions about finances to be one that is most difficult. If you are assisting your parents, encourage them to understand that you are only trying to help them create their long term budget.
While sorting through finances, avoid any comments on the amount of money available, such as being surprised that there isn’t more in savings or asking how money is spent. Financial matters are very private for most people, so be respectful and considerate when having these conversations.
Life at a Milestone Community
If you’re looking at options for retirement living, we invite your family to visit one of our Milestone communities - designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life.
We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. We also offer studio, one and two-bedroom apartments in our independent living communities.
Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs and secured outdoor courtyard spaces.
Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible and be reassured that help is available whenever needed.
In addition to our personalized services, we offer:
Full-service dining room and bistro/bar
Clubroom with large screen and theater style seating
Family gathering room
Resident accessible chef’s kitchen garden
Senior-inspired fitness center
Hair and nail salon
Resident-shared laundry rooms
Elegantly designed common areas
24-hour on-duty care staff
Direct access to adjoining walking paths and parks
If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit one of our communities. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to arrange a personal tour.