Even though you know a senior care community is the right choice for Mom, you may be concerned about the costs. For most families, this decision will mean reviewing a variety of funding sources and possibly pooling multiple financial streams.
Consider these 7 options for financing Mom’s retirement community.
If you anticipate you’ll be supplementing Mom’s savings in retirement, start putting away a set amount as early as you can. Even $50 here and there can make a difference in the long run, especially if a move is down the road a bit.
- Consider long-term-care insurance
If Mom has a long-term care insurance policy, it might help cover her senior living expenses, especially if she requires health care or daily living assistance. (It’s better to get these policies as early as possible to lock in the lowest premium rates.)
- Reach out to family
Budgeting for the cost of Mom’s senior care doesn’t have to rest squarely on your shoulders. Reach out to other family members such as your siblings to ask for assistance with her expenses. Whether family members can offer financial support or emotional support, it’s important to discuss what resources each person might be able to provide.
- Explore a bridge loan
If Mom needs to immediately move into an assisted living community, a bridge loan can help cover short-term costs. A bridge loan is an interest-only loan that pays the community until Mom can free up other money, such the proceeds from selling the family home.
- Investigate veteran’s benefits or pensions
If Mom is a veteran or a spouse of a veteran, she may be eligible for benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. If she doesn’t initially qualify based on the amount of her assets, it may be possible to reallocate or adjust her assets so she can qualify. If Mom was a government employee or a union member, she also might qualify for a pension. While these benefits may not cover all of her expenses, they may alleviate some financial stressors.
- Look at what each senior living community includes
Often the price tag of a senior living community isn’t the full story. Before choosing a community with Mom, look at what you’re paying for. Do your research and make a list to compare the services and amenities that each offers—and take her preferences into consideration. If Mom’s not a golfer, maybe a community putting green isn’t a good value; if she’s an avid reader, an in-house library may be worth its weight in gold.
- Compare current to anticipated costs
While there will be expenses associated with living in a senior community, remember that Mom is already covering monthly expenses at her current residence. For example, if she’s been paying for yard care at her house, you can expect that she’ll no longer have that expense. Compare what she’s been paying for groceries to the meals that are offered in the residence cost. And recognize the value of her not having to cook for herself or find transportation when she needs to run an errand. Realistically review the separate costs of what she’s paying now against the more inclusive costs of a community and you may be pleasantly surprised at the balance.
Weigh your financial options for your parent’s senior care with a financial planner or an elder law attorney, and call on the senior care experts at Life Care Services for more information as you make your decision.