Posted on Nov 14, 2019 in Senior Living
Making a move into senior living care can be unsettling for an individual before they even divulge into the financials associated with the move.
If you don’t have adequate financial resources from private funds and you’re not eligible for much by the way of government assistance, what can you do?
Well, we’ve got a batch of workable solutions for you today if you’re considering a move to an assisted living facility but you’re faced with a financial shortfall.
Before that, how much does senior living actually cost?
Obviously, prices vary dramatically depending on where the facility is located and what services are offered.
As a benchmark, a residency fee would normally be roughly comparable with an apartment of similar size with all utilities included. The fee will also reflect the cost of going out for a meal three times daily and engaging a housekeeping service.
You’ll then need to consider the type of care you’ll be needing since this will also impact pricing.
How can you make sure you’ve got the capacity to pay for senior care if you’re low on cash reserves?
Perhaps the most crucial element of your move to senior living care is to prepare in plenty of time.
With proper planning, you’ll be able to interview and shortlist potential facilities to make sure they are affordable and provide the level of care you need.
If you put this decision off and leave things until the last minute, you’re quite likely to end up compromised and forced to move somewhere that’s right at the upper end of your budget or that simply doesn’t provide what you need.
Getting the move wrong and needing to relocate can increase costs further. The chances of this happening when you move in a rush are magnified.
So, get organized and start your preparation early to make it as cost-effective as possible.
As with any property, location is paramount when it comes to costs.
Try widening the scope of your search for assisted living locations and consider an out of state move. Clearly, you don’t want to be isolated from family or so far away that it’s problematic for people to visit you, but you could think about moving further away if the price is right.
Another sound strategy is to explore assisted living facilities in suburbs and outlying communities where things are slightly more affordable.
Are you a sociable person who prefers company to solitude? If so, you could think about a shared living space. This will inevitably cost less than a private apartment.
Maybe sharing is something you left behind in college and you wouldn’t even consider this type of arrangement.
Instead, look at smaller rooms. Opting for a studio instead of a one-bedroom apartment will obviously reduce costs. Sharing a one-bedroom apartment by converting the living room into a bedroom is a feasible way of saving up to 50% on rent depending on the facility. You could also look for rooms a little further from the dining room. If you’re mobile enough, this is another potential way to spend less.
Every facility takes a different approach to pricing. Normally, though, the costliest pricing model gives you access to all services. From three meals a day to transportation, from a private apartment to aides permanently on call, everything you need is included.
If you’re able to manage with less care, this is a further way to save money. You should be absolutely certain that this won’t impact your safety and wellbeing, though.
Some assisted living facilities adopt a fee-for-service pricing model allowing you to only for what you need.
In the majority of cases, once you choose a pricing structure, you’ll be locked into it so make that decision with care.
If you’re a veteran or a veteran’s survivor and already eligible for a VA pension, you might qualify for an increase in your monthly benefits known as a special or enhanced monthly pension. Certain physical and mental restrictions are required in order to qualify for this.
To qualify for pension benefits, you’ll need to have served during a period of conflict. It’s also essential to meet age/disability requirements and there are also caps on income and net worth in effect. These asset tests are not rigid and any decision will be made by the VA representative processing your application.
Surviving spouses also need to meet certain requirements, too. If you need assistance with your daily activities or you’re housebound through disability you might also attract an enhanced pension.
You can find out more information right here.
If you’re a homeowner and you’d like to keep the property within the family rather than selling, a home equity loan or line of credit might work well.
Some home equity finance allows for interest-only payments during a period of up to 10 years. If you plan to sell your home within this period, this can be effective. If not, the floating interest rate means you’ll weather more risk than if you took out a fixed-rate home equity loan.
Speak with your financial adviser for more specifics. Do not make any investment decision lightly.
Are you aged 62 or above and looking to enter senior living care while your partner remains at home?
If so, reverse mortgages allow you to use your home equity as cash. This can be taken as a lump sum or drawn down when required.
You can borrow more the older you are up to a maximum of 74% of the home’s value.
Reverse mortgages are not cheap and you’ll face substantial costs to the tune of thousands of dollars. Ultimately, though you’ll have the funding you need in place.
The loan is not due to be repaid until the homeowner dies or moves out. Failure to make repayments could end up with the loss of your home.
If you’re looking to make a move into senior living care, we’ve got five assisted living communities that might be suitable for your needs. Get in touch if you’d like to arrange for a free tour of Landmark Senior Living or advice on any aspect of financing senior living care and we’ll be more than happy to help.