March 3, 2022
3 Financial Options for Senior Living
If you’re interested in senior living for yourself or a loved one but are unsure if you can make it work with your budget, take heart. There are actually a number of financial options to help put the cost of senior living well within reach. Here are some of the most common.
1. Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit
This financial option is all too often overlooked, but it can be extremely helpful for eligible wartime veterans or their surviving spouse to receive this non-service-connected benefit to help pay for senior living. The benefit starts with the basic pension and, depending on your medical need, gives you or your loved one a rating which could add more money to your monthly pension. However, the military service criteria as well as the medical requirement and the financial requirement must all be met to qualify.
2. Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
LTC insurance is another financial option to help you or your loved one pay for senior living as it covers care services that health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid typically do not. You can expect a LTC policy to pay benefits after an assessment has determined that you or your loved one need help with two or more Activities of Daily Living or has cognitive impairments (known as a benefit trigger). But be mindful of the fact that it is typically necessary to be in good health to qualify for a LTC policy so if higher levels of care are already needed, you or your loved one may no longer be eligible. What’s more, the older you are when you purchase the policy, the more expensive your premium might be.
3. Life Insurance Conversion
Families often don’t realize that if you or your loved one has an in-force life insurance policy you can typically transform it into a pre-funded financial account that disburses a monthly benefit to help pay for senior living. Unlike life insurance, this account is considered a Medicaid qualified asset. The conversion process simply transfers ownership of the policy from the original holder to an entity that acts as benefits administrator. Because the original owner no longer holds the policy, it won't count against you or your loved one in the Medicaid spend-down process.
Additional Ways to Stretch Your Budget for Senior Living
Before making any final decisions, we recommend taking a step back to consider your current financial picture in it’s entirely. You may actually have more resources at your disposal to pay for senior living than you may think. Here are some additional ways to stretch your budget:
- Selling or renting your home
- Selling things you don’t need whether it’s furniture, décor, or that second car you rarely use
- Using savings, stocks, bonds, or annuities you or your loved one may have
- Using income from Social Security or a pension
- Minimizing the taxes, you pay by making sure you’re taking all the deductions in which you qualify
Also, keep in mind you’ll automatically be decreasing your expenses in senior living because many utilities as well as dining and entertainment costs that you now pay out of pocket for will be included in your monthly fee. Check out our cost comparison sheet for a side-by-side look at your current expenses versus what’s included in our senior living communities.
To learn more about senior living at GenCare Lifestyle, contact us and one of our team members can answer any questions you may have!