Making the move to an independent living community can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. If you’re like most people, one of your biggest worries is financing the move.
While it's true the initial costs may seem steep, it's also true that there are ways to realize this dream without breaking the bank. There are a variety of financial strategies that can help make the move more affordable. Are you sure you have explored all opportunities?
Resources to explore to fund your senior living options:
- The savings you have put aside for retirement: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(K)s, pension, personal savings accounts, and any other investments.
- Social Security income.
- The sale of your home. You likely have a substantial amount of equity in your home.
- Downsizing your belongings. What is the value of furniture, vehicles, and assets you’ll no longer need in your new home?
- Veterans benefits. If you are a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may qualify for Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension.
- Long-term care insurance. These insurance policies can be very helpful financially, but vary as far as premium, daily benefit, elimination period, what is covered, and method of reimbursement.
- An annuity. Annuities provide a way to take a pension or other "nest egg" of money intended for retirement and use it to obtain a guaranteed income that pays out until your death. Annuities are particularly useful if you have savings but are worried they won't last as long as you need them to in order to pay for independent living.
As you research your financial options, make sure you talk with a trusted accountant or financial advisor. Also, ask financial questions as you tour senior living communities, such as: What costs are included? What costs extra? Are fees refundable? What’s the resident financial qualification?
Lastly, don’t forget to conduct a cost comparison of senior living communities to your current living expenses. It will help ensure you include all expenses, make a fair comparison from community to community and allow you to easily lay out and compare costs.