If you’re looking into the best senior living option for you or your family, the unknown costs associated with this transition can seem intimidating. We’re here to be a resource when it comes to your questions about how to pay for the retirement years. Don’t hesitate to come to us if you’d like help in planning how to finance senior care for yourself or a loved one.
Different Ways To Pay For Senior Living
How much does senior living actually cost?
The cost of senior living can vary by quite a bit and depends on a number of factors, which can include the location, levels of care, and provided services and amenities. In 2018, the national median costs of care for assisted living services were $4,000 monthly and $48,000 annually, according to a survey by the National Center for Assisted Living.
Is financial assistance available?
You can research your options for financial assistance. U.S. wartime veterans may qualify for the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit, which covers veterans as well as their surviving spouses. It is a monthly benefit in addition to a veteran’s regular pension and helps cover the costs of assisted living or nursing care. As what is considered a “pension benefit,’ Aid & Attendance does not depend upon service-related injuries for compensation. It can take some time to process an application; however, most veterans qualify.
For seniors who fall below a certain income level, the Medicaid program can help cover a portion of their senior community or nursing costs. The regulations can vary by state, so be sure to look into the process of requesting Medicaid assistance for your own state.
Is senior living covered by long-term care (LTC) insurance?
It depends on the type of policy, but long-term care insurance benefits can often be applied to assisted living and/or nursing costs. Those with long-term care insurance need to look into how to collect on their policies. Some policies even cover needs ranging from adult daycare to assisted living to skilled nursing, with a few policies even paying a family caregiver for in-home care. You also might realize tax benefits; however, premiums can be costly and increase in cost with age and poor health, so experts recommend individuals begin planning between the ages of 52-64.
Does Medicare cover senior living?
It’s often a surprise for families to learn that Medicare does not cover assisted living costs – outside of 100 days skilled services or rehabilitative care for a qualified stay. After a standard yearly deductible, Medicare Part A only covers hospital stays, short stays in a nursing home for certain kinds of illnesses and hospice care in the last six months of life.
Are there other ways to pay?
The most valuable asset of most Americans is their home; so many families first try to pay for nursing costs with the profits made from the sale of a house. Or they may also decide to look into other options, like renting the house or using the house to qualify for specialized loans. One such loan is a bridge loan, designed for individuals who need access to funds right away but are waiting for a home to sell. It’s an interest-only loan that uses a home’s equity to pay senior living expenses until the home sells, at which time the borrower pays off the loan with money from the sale of the house.
Seniors may also have funds invested in a life insurance policy which can be used for financial support to move. In order to cash out a policy, individuals would look into “accelerated” or “living” benefits. The insurance company that originally issued the policy buys it back for 50 to 75 percent of its face value, although different rules apply depending on the company and type of policy. Another option, known as a “life assurance” benefit or life insurance conversion program, allows seniors to convert the benefit of a life insurance policy directly into long-term care payments.
If you have additional questions about senior living and how to pay, we encourage you to contact us at Highpoint at Stonecrest so we can provide you with the information you need to make the best choice for you or your loved one.