Ways to Afford Assisted Living
We know that many people feel that they cannot afford a quality assisted living community. And even those that can worry about escalating costs or missing opportunities to reduce the cost. We understand, and have compiled these resources to assist you in making the best choices, and accessing monies that are out there that you may not even be aware of! The most common are listed below, but also don’t hesitate to talk to our sales counselor, who can help assess your particular situation and guide you to the best solution.
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Veterans Benefits
- Own Home or Assets
- Existing Life Insurance
- Caregiver Tax Credit
Although the cost of living in a senior living community like Maple Ridge can be surprisingly comparable to maintaining a separate home, many families still find themselves with a gap. Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance can help bridge that gap but the benefits can vary widely from policy to policy. Premiums are normally based on age at the time of purchase, benefit amount, and deductible.
Wading through insurance coverage can be confusing, but a clear understanding of the benefits of your policy is vital to make sure you are able to maximize the coverage you are paying for. For instance, your LTC insurance company may cover only licensed or approved facilities or require proof that you or your loved one requires assistance with at least two ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) such as bathing, eating or transferring from bed to chair. Often all that is needed a quick call to your insurance provider to gain clarity on your benefits. We are proud to say that both Maple Ridge memory Care and Maple Ridge Lodge qualify as approved facilities for the purposes of long-term care insurance.
This is a little known benefit that many are surprised to find out they are eligible for. If you or your spouse served in the armed forces for even a short time, irregardless of if they receive any other related benefits, both the person who served and the spouse may be eligible for substantial monthly benefits. It is shocking, but less than 10% of qualified individuals apply for Veterans Aid and Attendance, which can be used to cover the monthly costs of your senior housing and care, as long as there is a health need for assisted living and you meet the criteria for financial assistance. Many people who own a home and have some money in the bank will qualify, so be sure and ask!
It’s important to note that VA benefits can take 6-9 months to process, and will require military discharge papers and medical documentation; so advance planning is important. The payments begin after the senior moves into assisted living, so be sure to ask our sales counselor how she can help you with the free application process, we know about this benefit!
If you or your loved one is a homeowner, the house can be sold to cover the costs of living in a Senior Retirement Community. If the time is not right to sell the home, converting it into a long or short term rental can be a great interim step to cover senior living costs.
You may also consider a reverse mortgage if you wish to keep the home in the family. This allows a borrower to draw cash against the equity built up in your home in either a larger lump sum or over a period of time.
The best place to start with exploring either of these options is by contacting a local Real Estate professional that specializes in senior issues.
Do you or your loved one have an existing life insurance policy that is no longer needed or wanted? More than 70% of Life Insurance taken out, never pays a claim because people’s needs change and they cancel or change their coverage. There are several ways this insurance may be used to ease the cost of living in a Senior Living Community.
- In the event you or your loved one is in need of Assisted Living Benefits, it is possible the policy has what is commonly referred to as a ‘Living Benefits Rider’. This rider allows the policy owner/insured to receive benefit from the policy now and the remainder would go to beneficiaries.
- In some cases it is possible to sell this policy to an institutional investor – third party for an amount that is greater than the cash surrender value, but less than the total death benefit (usually 15- 40% of the total). This transaction is called a Life Settlement. The process typically takes 3 – 6 months and it is important to utilize a licensed Life Settlement Broker and/or the support of your Financial Advisor. The proceeds from the sale of your policy can then be used toward the costs of your retirement living or anything you desire.
- If you want to keep your policy in place, it may be possible to adjust the payout amount for your beneficiaries, and borrow against the existing cash value. Not all policies allow for this option, so it is necessary to contact your insurance provider or financial advisor.
- You may also be eligible to convert your existing life insurance to a long-term care plan, however, this can significantly reduce your policy value as for death benefit and not all life insurance policies have this conversion feature.
Note: cashing out your life insurance policy and/or participating in a Life Settlement can have income tax implications. Please consult with a tax and financial professional prior to considering these options.
If you are paying a significant portion of the cost of assisted living for your loved one you may qualify for a credit to your own taxes. It is advised you contact your tax professional to learn more about this Tax Credit.
Remember: The most powerful thing you can do to minimize the financial adjustment to living in a Senior Living Community is to plan ahead .
One of the most important ways to navigate the many transitions of senior living is to prepare ahead of time before the need or desire arises. You or your loved one may not be quite ready for the move right now, which makes this the perfect time to begin doing your research and learn about options and how to get the financial end in line, long before it is needed. Waiting till the last minute can intensify the stress of the transition, financially and otherwise, and could mean you end up in a location that isn’t a good fit, increasing the chances of needing to move again – with all of the financial implications.
Even with options, the logistics can be overwhelming. Scheduling a tour and consultation at each senior living community you are considering to fully explore the financial options and assistance available at each community. Our Sales Counselors at Maple Ridge are expertly trained in helping you navigate all aspects of Senior Living, including financial.