Although senior living can be costly, there are usually reasonable options that compare to your current living expenses. It’s important to find out what fees you will pay and what payment options are available, as this can vary from one community to the next.
Once you decide that a move to senior living is right for you or your loved one, it’s best to create a financial plan and budget for your expected costs. Here are five tips to consider when paying for a senior living community.
Consider These 5 Ways to Pay for Senior Living
1. Personal savings and investments
Review all your statements for savings, investments, checking, and retirement accounts. Are you receiving pension payments or Social Security benefits?
Determine if there is personal property like land or a home that can be sold. Has money been invested in stocks, bonds, or annuities? Draft a comprehensive list of all the accounts and the total amount of savings available to budget for senior living.
2. Reverse mortgages and home equity lines of credit
If you or your loved one owns a home, you typically have a few options for using your home to pay for senior living: a reverse mortgage or a bridge loan. Both have specific criteria that must be met for homeowners to qualify, and you’ll want to consider the interest and fees that will accrue with the loans.
A reverse mortgage is used most often when one spouse requires assistance, and the other spouse remains in the home. A bridge loan is normally used while you’re waiting for your home to sell. Consult with a financial advisor to see if either is a good option for you.
3. Life insurance benefits and settlements
Life insurance is another way to pay for senior living care. Through a life settlement, policyholders can choose to sell their right to collect the death benefit in exchange for a lump sum of money.
Life insurance conversions are another way to use the value of the policy in exchange for care. This choice may provide the greatest value, but you’ll want to discuss the pros and cons with a financial advisor.
4. Veterans’ benefits
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers monthly benefits to qualified Veterans and survivors through the Aid and Attendance program. According to the VA website, you may be eligible if at least one of the following is true:
- You require another person’s assistance to perform daily activities, like bathing, eating, or dressing
- You have to stay in bed for the majority of the day due to an illness
- You reside in a nursing home due to mental or physical decline from a disability
- Your eyesight is limited to 5/200 or less, even with glasses or contact lenses
Veterans or survivors who qualify for this benefit still receive their normal monthly VA pension but will also receive an added amount for the Aid and Attendance allowance.
5. Long-term care insurance
Typically, you can use long-term care insurance benefits when you need assistance with at least two activities of daily living and reside in a long-term care or skilled nursing community. Sometimes, long-term care insurance benefits can be used in assisted living communities. You’ll need to discuss your policy with your senior living community’s finance team to see what benefits they accept.
To use this benefit, you’ll likely need to enroll in a long-term care policy at a younger age, before you turn 60. Unfortunately, premiums for long-term care insurance can be high and increase as you age so you’ll want to weigh the costs with the benefits you can receive.
Life at Golden Bell Senior Living
Senior living communities like Golden Bell provide the comforts of home with the added benefits of supportive care, engaging activities, and a maintenance-free lifestyle. With your daily needs met, your loved one will live more independently and have opportunities to meet friends, discover new interests, and live each day to the fullest.
Golden Bell Senior Living, family-owned for over five decades, offers a full continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, and respite care. Residents have personalized care plans, are treated like family, and are greeted by name in a warm, welcoming environment.
Amenities and activities include:
- Beautiful accommodations
- Landscaped grounds and gardens
- Community outings
- Recreation and social activities
- Chef-prepared meals
- Scheduled transportation
- Beauty and barber shop
- Housekeeping and maintenance services
Please contact us to learn more about our communities or set up a tour. We’d love to hear from you and are happy to help answer any questions you have about senior living.