One of the biggest concerns that elderly individuals are faced with is the cost of senior housing. Seniors do have several options; however, these options can be rather expensive.
Housing is one of the biggest expenses for Medicare beneficiaries. Many seniors are looking to move out of their homes and move in to communities or assisted living facilities. There are various options and services depending on the seniors’ health condition.
Seniors need to consider the cost of these facilities. The cost of senior housing ranges due to a couple of factors including, level of care and supervision.
Paying for Retirement Housing
The first plan of action is to determine and choose what type of housing arrangement(s) will be the best fit for each individual and their needs. Many seniors will transition from more than one facility in their lifetime as they age.
It’s important to understand the options that are available to have a plan that not only fits the level of care needed but is also budget-friendly, so seniors can financially afford their housing with proper care.
There are three main types of senior living services most commonly used:
- Senior apartments; these communities provide freedom for their residents and give them the social access with other seniors.
- Independent living communities; these communities provide an environment for seniors to enjoy ‘senior activities’, receive around the clock emergency care while being able to retain their own living space.
- Senior co-op; this is where seniors live in a community and share the cost of services.
Assisted living facilities
- Provides seniors with more personal care services and one-on-one care; this typically includes hygiene, transportation, finances, medication and entertainment.
- Including dementia/Alzheimer’s care and hospice care; these are all in-home senior care services. These facilities and services focus their attention on each specific situation.
National Average Costs for Senior Communities:
Affordability for the costs of these communities and homes varies. Medicare-certified nursing facilities make up about 90 percent of facilities across the nation. Medicare senior care national average costs should be considered.
- Home Health Care: $693
- Adult Day Care: $1,492
- Assisted Living: $3,600
- Homemaker Services: $3,721
- Home Health Care: $3,812
- Semi-Private Nursing Home: $6.692
- Private Nursing: $7,604
Options for Assistance
When going on Medicare, you may experience a decrease in your income. Knowing your options for assistance can save you time and money.
Medicaid and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may be available to help cover the cost of independent and assisted living facilities. However, it’s important to remember that Medicaid only provides benefits to beneficiaries with assets that fall below a certain criteria level.
Medicare will pay for hospice care or short nursing-home stays. Although, Medicare won’t cover the cost of assisted-living or independent facilities.
According to the National Council on Aging, seniors ages 60 plus are insecure economically, meaning they live on less than $30,000 a year. This causes financial stress to seniors as they are dealing with the rising cost of housing, energy, food and transportation.
After adding the increasing costs of medical care and supplies for seniors, the financial obligations become extremely difficult to afford.
There is a variety of resources to help financially support senior living and make it more affordable. Financial resources include:
Social Security Income (SSI)
- Financial assistance for low-income individuals ages 65 and up.
- Blind and or disabled individuals.
- Cash each month for low-income individuals 65 and up to help pay for clothing, housing and food.
- In 2019, Social Security will increase benefits, courtesy of the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
- Largest financial source for long-term care in the United States.
- For those who need it financially, Medicaid and Medicare work together to provide a better health care benefit for its beneficiaries.
- Covers medical costs for seniors without private health care coverage due to financial inadequacy.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
- Offers social and medical services for individuals who are Medicaid eligible.
- Medicare and Medicaid offer this program to help cover costs for individuals that want to stay in their community instead of at an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
Nonprofit organizations and Social networking tools
- The best way to find one of the many nonprofit organizations that provide services for low-income seniors is through the Area Agency for Aging.
- Offices are located nationwide.
- The Area Agency for Aging will provide any information pertaining to the care and housing for individuals in need.
- As for caretakers, the agency has free care guides as well as articles to specific topics to help. Topics including but not limited to: incontinence, sleep disorders for seniors, Alzheimer’s disease and more.
Planning your Expenses
The second plan of action for affording retirement housing is to get started early. Start by making a list of all your assets; come up with a plan on how and when to spend them.
You should start planning about ten to fifteen years from retirement.
Professionals such as a financial adviser who specializes in elder care and retirement plans are beneficial to help get your finances and plan in order. Seeking proper professional advice is key!
For example, if you or your loved one believes you qualify for the benefits from Medicaid or the VA – seek out an “elder law attorney”.
These attorneys will be more knowledgeable about those government programs and will be able to push you in the right direction.
Most importantly, map out your expenses as a homeowner and include things like:
- Mortgage payment
- All utilities
- Any maintenance and repairs.
After you have those numbers, compare them to the cost of the monthly expenses of independent or assisted living.
Keep in mind that many communities will include meals, transportation, entertainment and much more in their monthly fee.
One of the most important tips to manage paying for retirement housing, is to create a folder with all the important documents:
- tax information
- mortgage information
- account numbers
- online usernames and passwords
- Any other medical information
- And any vital information that will be needed in the future
Most importantly, as a senior you should keep track of all your finances. Keep this information together; it will make the process of transitioning into retirement run as smooth as possible.
Working with a Broker
Finally, when you work with a Licensed Insurance Broker, you have an opportunity to get the best coverage for you for the best price available. Insurance Brokers, like the agents on our team, have access to multiple carriers; this gives you convenience and affordability in one spot.
Having a policy with us also means you have an entire Client Service Team dedicated to helping you throughout the life of your policy. If you ever have an issue, or a question they will be here to assist you with anything.
Still have questions? Call us today at the number above to speak with one of our Licensed Insurance Brokers. You can also compare rates online in your area, just click here. By planning your healthcare costs, you can simplify your housing and other retirement expenses.