The prospect of a loved one moving into an assisted living setting can be emotionally and financially challenging. Fortunately, there are many unique options for securing financial assistance.
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Residents may choose to pay privately, use long-term care insurance, or tap into funds from the Veterans Administration. They also consider using the cash value of a life insurance policy.
Often, the best way to get started is by conducting research and touring various assisted living locations. This can give you a sense of each location’s social environment, dining options, and overall feel.
Using this information, you can list potential locations and their costs. Then, consider any family contributions, long-term care insurance, or home equity benefits that may be available.
While many families assume they can pay for assisted living with private funds, it’s important to understand the full scope of their financial situation. Review all savings accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and any other assets they have on hand.
Some communities offer an all-inclusive model where one monthly fee covers various services, including room and board, meals, laundry, cleaning, and security. This can be more cost-effective than a traditional retirement community where each service is separately charged. And it can also make the transition to assisted living much easier for your loved one.
Know Your Options
Fortunately, there are plenty of options to consider when funding assisted living. Many seniors pay for this care from their resources (“private pay”), including personal savings, pension payments, and retirement accounts. Long-term care insurance is another option that can help cover some of the cost, although it’s important to consider its limits and restrictions. In addition, some Veteran’s Administration monetary benefits may also be used to pay for the costs of assisted living in Sarasota, Florida, depending on the individual’s situation.
You should also closely examine the assets your loved one has, such as stocks, property, and life insurance policies. It’s not uncommon for adult children to be unaware of the extent of their parent’s wealth. A cash-out on a life insurance policy may provide the funds needed to afford assisted living. In addition, 44 states currently offer Medicaid resources that can assist with care costs for eligible individuals.
Take Care of Yourself
Moving to assisted living is a big change, but one that can be made easier by following a few simple tips. The first step is to take the time to visit potential facilities. Talk to residents, tour the apartments, and find out what amenities are included – and what isn’t. For instance, a throw rug can pose a tripping hazard, so many long-term care facilities will not allow them.
Also, find out if there are additional costs like utilities and phone service. If the retirement community offers all-inclusive rates, that can make financial planning for assisted living easier as it will require a single monthly invoice. It’s also important to know what happens if your loved one becomes hospitalized for a prolonged period. Does their apartment get turned over to another resident while they’re away? Does the facility have a hospitalization plan for residents? This information is vital to help ease the stress of a hospitalization.
Have a Plan in Place
As you research what assisted living facilities offer, talk with a financial planner. They can help you understand what your family can afford now and in the future and ensure you properly document any long-term care insurance payments so they are tax-deductible.
Many people pay for assisted living through private funds, including personal savings, pension payments, retirement accounts, and contributions from family members. If your family has significant assets, you may want to consult a Medicaid planning specialist who can explore ways to protect them while still being eligible for assistance from the state.
If your loved one decides to move into an assisted living facility, double-check with their doctor and pharmacist to ensure that all medication prescriptions are being transferred. They will also likely have to change health care providers and transfer medical records. Also, depending on what contract they choose with the facility, it may be necessary to sell their home or rent it out.