Senior care and housing may be more affordable than you think, and knowing your funding options can help you take the first step towards making a senior living choice that can give you and your loved ones priceless peace of mind.
Why it’s so important to plan for future care
You or an older loved one might be enjoying good health at the moment, so the possibility of ever needing long-term care can seem remote. However, the statistics are worth considering as you contemplate options for funding senior care:
- Until the year 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will reach the age of 65 every single day, according to the US Census Bureau.
- People aged 65 and older have almost a 70% chance of needing long-term care in their remaining years.
- Women have a higher likelihood of needing long-term care because they typically live longer than most men. Statistics from the World Health Organization also show that women require care for an average of 3.7 years — longer than men at an average of 2.2 years.
- If you have a family history of, or currently live with, a chronic health condition (such as diabetes or high blood pressure), you face an increased risk of needing long-term care.
Does Medicare help with funding senior care?
Many people incorrectly assume that Medicare will cover their long-term care. Here are the facts.
Medicare only pays for long-term care if you require skilled nursing services or rehabilitative care:
- In a nursing home for a maximum of 100 days, however, the average Medicare-covered stay is much shorter (22 days)
- At home if you are also receiving skilled home health or other skilled in-home services. Generally, long-term care services are provided only for a short period of time
It does not pay for non-skilled assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), which make up the majority of long-term care services.
Download our Financial Planning for Retirement Living Guide.
Funding senior care: consider the options
Many seniors opt to use the value of their home as a source of funding senior care, either by selling the property or as a rental. In addition, a reverse mortgage is a type of home equity loan for homeowners 62 or older that may be a possibility when one spouse can remain in the home.
Your savings and investments
Review your investments when exploring how you will be funding senior care. Maybe you’ve been saving for this for years. Or you decide that liquidating stocks and bonds is a strategy that works for you. Be sure to consult with your financial advisor before making a final decision.
Your Veterans’ benefits
Wartime veterans or a surviving spouse with limited income may be eligible to receive a non-service-connected pension to assist in paying for long-term care such as assisted living, home health care, adult day care or skilled nursing. The VA Aid & Attendance benefit is designed to take care of veterans and their spouses over the long-term, even as their needs change. Benefits are paid monthly and are tax-free.
Another plus is this benefit opens more options when it comes to choosing the senior living community that fits your needs best, even if those needs change over time, as you are able to remain in the community longer than your budget otherwise may have allowed.
Your life insurance
Many people don’t realize that converting a life insurance policy into a long-term care benefit plan is an option for funding senior care. Yet, anyone with an in-force life insurance policy can transform it into a pre-funded financial account that disburses a monthly benefit to help pay for long-term care needs such as home care, assisted living, skilled nursing and hospice. Unlike life insurance, this account is a Medicaid-qualified asset.
Your long-term care insurance
This policy covers home care and home health care services, assisted living, adult day care, respite care, hospice care, nursing homes and Alzheimer’s facilities. Be sure to carefully review the details of your policy, as policies vary in which services they cover.
Get the facts before you decide
Don’t let long-term care “sticker shock” keep you from investigating all the possible sources for funding senior care. Chances are, you will discover that there is more assistance and information available than you thought.
Senior living, the LSS Senior Living way
At LSS Senior Living, our goal is to offer seniors quality care and comfort in a friendly and warm environment that feels like home. We offer a continuum of services to lend a helping hand when you need them. Find out more about our communities: