Financial Checklists For Senior Living
If you’re sold on the benefits of senior living, the next step is to figure out the finances. By understanding payment options and what affects the costs, senior living may actually be more affordable than you realize. Not to mention it may provide more financial predictability than you’d have at home! That said; it’s important to make sure you’re financially prepared. These checklists can help.
You can’t truly know what you can afford without your complete financial picture so get these items together. A checklist might look like our example below. Download a convenient copy of all of these Senior Living checklists at the end of this post!
Apply Your Funds
Now that you have your financial information together, think about what assets you could put toward senior living costs. A copy of this checklist in a Yes or No format is included in the download at the end of the post.
Would you sell?
Would you rent?
Rainy day funds?
Veterans Aid & Attendance?
Life insurance conversion?
Long-term care insurance?
Next, consider talking to a financial advisor and/or estate planning attorney to discuss how you could maximize your resources for senior living. This checklist would also require Yes or No answers.
Are there additional tax deductions you should take?
Is my investment portfolio focused on the right objectives?
Are you eligible for any state or local benefits?
Take Control of Your Senior Living Costs
Senior living offers a tremendous value with many things included in the monthly cost that you’d be paying out of pocket for at home such as meals, housekeeping, laundry, home maintenance and entertainment as well as access amenities such as a pool and fitness center. But there are factors which can increase or decrease what you pay such as:
LEVEL OF CARE
We’ve talked previously about the different levels of care available in senior living, as well as what you can expect in terms of monthly costs for each. But the gist is this: the higher the level of care, the higher the cost. However, communities like ours offer multiple levels of care on the same campus. The benefit here is that you could pay less for independent living now with peace of mind you could move to a higher level of care if needed later.
Senior living is similar to the real estate market in this sense because where the community is located affects the cost. According to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in the District of Columbia costs $11,288 per month (the most expensive area by the way) whereas assisted living in Georgia costs $3,335 per month (the least expensive area). If budget is a concern, you might consider communities outside the city or in nearby towns, even a different state.
This is definitely one in which you can take control of your costs. It’s really needs versus wants (versus budget) as luxury and convenience come with a price in senior living too! That’s why these options usually come with a separate charge in addition to your standard monthly cost. Add-on options can include the type of residence you choose (private, semi-private, studio, one- or two-bedroom) as well as pet fees and whether you’d like concierge services and/or private transportation.
Know Your Payment Options
Lastly, you may not realize that many communities offer different pricing structures to allow you more financial predictability. Common options include:
All-Inclusive –Every service and amenity the community offers comes included in one monthly cost.
Tiered – Different levels of pricing available, each one with a different variety of included services.
A la Carte – The monthly cost may include some basic services then you’re charged a flat or per-hour rate for every additional service or amenity you use.