As we age, it’s natural to require more assistance with daily tasks. When living at home is no longer an option, many seniors choose to move into assisted living communities. These communities can provide a wide range of services, from help with activities of daily living to meals and housekeeping. However, assisted living can be expensive, and many seniors and their families struggle to afford it. In this article, we’ll provide four tips for financing assisted living.
- Understand The Costs
The cost of assisted living can vary widely depending on where you live and the level of care you need. According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national median monthly cost of assisted living in 2021 was $4,300. However, in some states, the cost can be much higher. For example, the median monthly cost in Alaska was $7,705, while in Missouri, it was $2,853.
When considering assisted living, it’s important to understand all the costs involved. In addition to the monthly fee, you may need to pay an entrance fee, a community fee, and additional fees for services such as transportation or medication management.
- Research Financial Assistance Programs
There are a variety of financial assistance programs that can help seniors pay for assisted living. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals, including seniors. Some states offer Medicaid waivers that can help pay for assisted living. Veterans may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, which can provide additional funds to help pay for long-term care. Additionally, some states offer non-Medicaid programs that can help seniors pay for assisted living.
- Consider Alternative Financing Options
If you don’t qualify for financial assistance programs, there are still other financing options available. One option is a reverse mortgage, which allows seniors to borrow against the equity in their home. Another option is a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which also allows seniors to borrow against the equity in their home. Additionally, some seniors may choose to sell their home and use the proceeds to pay for assisted living.
- Plan Ahead
One of the best ways to prepare for the cost of assisted living is to plan ahead. Many seniors and their families wait until a crisis occurs before considering assisted living, which can make it difficult to afford. By planning ahead, you can save money and make informed decisions about financing options. Consider purchasing long-term care insurance, which can help cover the costs of assisted living, or setting aside savings specifically for long-term care.
In conclusion, financing assisted living can be challenging, but there are a variety of options available. Understanding the costs, researching financial assistance programs, considering alternative financing options, and planning ahead can all help make assisted living more affordable. By taking the time to explore your options and make informed decisions, you can find the right financing solution for your needs.