How to Pay for Senior Living
As you or your older family member begins to plan for the future, you might be wondering how extra assistance or senior living fits into the budget. It’s a common concern, with about half of older adults worrying about the potential of outliving their savings. Even with careful financial planning, the idea of paying for senior living can send seniors and their loved ones rushing to their advisors to see if the option is feasible.
We’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know about the costs of senior living, how to offset those costs, the benefits of the investment, and your next steps.
The Real Costs of Senior Living
The first step in knowing how to pay for senior living is knowing how much senior living actually costs and how those costs relate to your current expenses while living at home. It is common for people to think that senior living costs more than it actually does, as senior living communities are often lavish, featuring fancy amenities and perks. However, assisted living and residential care homes are often quite affordable for many older adults.
According to the latest Genworth survey of senior care costs, the average assisted living monthly charge in Texas is $4,500. Skilled nursing care in a healthcare community is more expensive, while residential care is often less expensive.
While $4,500 per month can seem jarring, it is wise to take a moment to write down any monthly expenses you are currently paying while living at home. Your list should include your mortgage, homeowner insurance, and utilities as well as your transportation costs, home care expenses, groceries costs, and entertainment expenses. Then, compare this number to the senior living monthly cost. Most senior living communities charge a monthly fee that includes activities, food, care and support, utilities, home expenses, and much more. You might be pleasantly surprised to see that your current expenses are comparable to the senior living fees.
Offsetting Senior Living Expenses
There are some ways to decrease the cost of senior living, beyond just choosing a community with lower costs:
If you or your partner is eligible for Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits, these can be applied to your monthly senior living costs.
While many assisted living and memory care communities do not accept Medicaid, some do. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you might need to get on a waiting list for a community that accepts that payment so be sure to do that sooner than later.
Medicare does not cover assisted living, residential care, or memory care. However, you can use your benefits to offset the costs of any durable medical equipment you might need in the community as well as any prescribed outpatient therapy services
Benefits of Senior Living
While senior living can feel expensive, it is also a genuine investment in your health and wellness. Senior living communities are designed to support their residents, giving personalized assistance and access to amenities designed to make wellness more convenient. In addition, senior living communities are social hubs of activity with welcoming neighbors and plenty of ways to kick loneliness to the curb.
You or your loved one might benefit from senior living if you can answer “yes” to any of these questions:
Do you feel lonely most days?
Is keeping up with household chores and tasks overwhelming at times?
Do you spend most of your energy on personal care tasks?
Do you wish you had more time to try new things and meet new people?
Could you benefit from the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone is always there to help you or check in on you?
If you are able to begin researching senior living options before a medical crisis, you can take your time making a confident decision. Unfortunately, taking this extra time is not always an option. Whether you are starting your research early or if you find yourself needing to make an immediate decision, having someone by your side who understands your needs and budget can make all the difference.
At iNavigate, our team of experts are here to get to know more about you, your needs, and your situation. Our services are completely free to you and we will help you identify
communities that meet your financial and personal care needs, as well as your location preference. Contact us to schedule your free assessment today.
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