We’ve all heard the expression that we need to “Save for a rainy day.” Sometimes that rainy day is an unexpected breakdown that puts our car in the auto shop for costly repairs. Other times, it may take the form of a sudden injury that lands us in a hospital. But other times, that rainy day lies far down the road of life like a faraway destination we know we’ll eventually reach. We know it’s coming eventually, and we need to prepare to finish the journey.
With this in mind, Regency wants to remind anyone reading this about the importance of thinking about, discussing with family, and preparing for long-term care and residency during retirement.
Some people move to an Assisted Living community like ours because they recognize their house is more than they need with the kids moved out and want to make more friends their own age, but for others, relocation comes in reaction to concerns that family caregivers can no longer sufficiently safeguard the wellbeing of an aging parent. For the latter group, finding out the cost of Assisted Living can come with sticker shock, especially if they or the parent have not adequately saved for retirement. It’s easy to do when everyday life demands so much from us.
So, what are seniors and their families to do if money is tight, but the need remains? In this blog, we discuss a few options for funding a move to Assisted Living when personal funds, pensions, savings, and income from stocks aren’t enough.
ElderLife: Home Equity Solutions for Retirement Funding
How it works: The senior moves in right away with a line of credit while Regency takes care of updates/repairs to their home, allowing realtors to do showings sooner and without disrupting their lives on short notice. A key benefit of this is the speed with which mom or dad can start to enjoy their new residency.
Get a Roommate
You did it in your college dorm as a way to save on expenses, so sharing a living space can also work in an Assisted Living community. Daily, scheduled activities ensure that “roomies” have lots of opportunities to share time together or spend it apart.
A wartime veteran or spouse may be eligible for Aid & Attendance Benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A monthly pension of up to $1,800 per month could apply. For more information, speak to our community consultant at (205) 942-3355.
Some state and federal programs can pay for healthcare-related costs, but most do not contribute to Assisted Living residency costs. Learn more at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/paying-care
Convert a Life Insurance Policy to Pay for Long-Term Care
Life Care Funding can switch your existing policy into an immediate Long-Term Care Benefit Plan. Applying to see if you’d qualify is free and easy.
Gift Tax Exemption
When family pays for the senior’s expenses, they may want to take advantage of the IRS gift tax exemption of up to $15,000 per individual per year.
Long-Term Care Insurance
While not as appealing as it once was, this can be another financial option. The key is to begin the policy at just the right age, around 55, so you don’t pay too much.
Invest Savings in Something that Will Generate Income
Some seniors may have retirement savings they can afford to spend on a conservative investment of some sort, such as a home or apartment that tenants will pay monthly rent to call their home.
The senior needs to have their estate in order and designate a trustee so family or friends with their best interests in mind can step in to manage financial affairs if they eventually become capacitated.
Consult the Experts Before Acting
It’s important to remember that several of the funding programs to help seniors may involve meeting certain limits that require you to exhaust your own money before the assistance begins. For this reason, we recommend speaking with an elder law attorney, ideally, several years before there’s a need to move to Assisted Living. Consultation with a tax professional is strongly advised before making financial decisions.
You can also ask our community consultant at Regency about ElderLife and other options to pay for Assisted Living by calling us at (205) 942-3355. For more information on Birmingham Assisted Living financial assistance, see https://regencybirmingham.com/birmingham-senior-care-resources/birmingham-assisted-living-financial-assistance/ and https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/paying-care