4 Financial Tips for Senior Living Planning
Saving for retirement can seem like a daunting task. After providing for a family for decades, many seniors suddenly transition to a life with a fixed budget. Even if you saved for your future during your career, budgeting often changes after you move into retirement.
We know that senior living planning can feel overwhelming at first — but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little know-how and some helpful tips, you’ll find the right senior living arrangement for you or your loved ones.
Financial Planning for Seniors
Paying for a senior living community often requires some amount of planning. By comparing income, assets, and retirement accounts, and measuring those against communities that match your needs, you can find a home that provides the right care at a cost that fits into your budget.
As you save for retirement and budget for a senior living facility down the road, keep these four financial tips in mind:
1. Avoid Fraud
Older adults often have excellent credit, so they’re prime targets for con artists and other financial frauds. A senior can minimize the risk of fraud by never signing blank claim forms, providing identity-related information over the phone, and scrutinizing any request for financial information.
2. Don’t Underestimate Healthcare Expenses
Soaring healthcare costs can create big expenses if you have long-term health issues or a serious illness. Between gaps in coverage and the complexity of understanding what is covered under Medicare, it’s important to ask questions, seek help from professionals, and budget accordingly. Chances are, you need to save more than you think.
3. Protect Your Savings
Seniors often feel compelled to be generous, gifting family members and loved ones with financial contributions. Remember not to overspend, and always maintain a safe savings account so you can live comfortably. An easy way to make sure that your assets are passed onto the people you love is through estate planning.
4. Grant a Power of Attorney
Many seniors find peace of mind in granting someone power of attorney. This person is then responsible for handling financial obligations and planning requirements. You don’t have to make this decision overnight; consider who is right for this responsibility and discuss your wishes with them when the time is right.
Decide What You Need From a Community
It’s important to know your options as you move into senior living planning. But it’s also important to know what is most important for you to have access to at your future senior living community.
If you or your family member experience memory loss, you might look for a place that offers a specific memory care program. If you are worried about a senior living community slowing you down, you might look for a place with a fitness center and other amenities that will keep you engaged after you move into the community.
Knowing what you need out of a senior living community, versus what you want, is important to know as you plan for your next step. Not all communities offer everything — and the more a location offers, oftentimes the more it costs. Knowing what you need, versus what you want is an important list to make as you budget for your next step.
Cut Back on Senior Living Costs
When you’re deciding which senior living community is best for you, don’t be afraid to ask about the flexibility of prices and seek out cost-saving options. For example, The United States Department of Veteran Affairs offers senior veterans and their spouses senior living assistance if requirements are met. Don’t be afraid to ask communities if they offer move-in incentives to help defray some of the costs, or if they offer resident referral programs. These opportunities for savings add up over time, and they might make the difference between not being able to afford a community and scheduling your move-in date.
Get Started With Our Financial Planning Guide
There are a number of ways to plan for potential senior living payments. It all starts with planning ahead and doing a little research. By starting early, you can take the time you need to carefully evaluate different senior living communities and find the one that is the best fit for your needs and budget. All of this financial planning makes your transition plan that much easier when the time comes to move into a senior living community.
If you aren’t sure where to start with your budget, download our free financial planning guide.
Walker Methodist’s Senior Living Communities
The biggest element to successful financial planning for senior living is finding the right community. Spend time in each of the senior living communities as you compare them to determine how well the staff, management, and fellow residents understand the needs of residents and see if the community just feels right.
Remember, the best senior living community isn’t the cheapest; however, it is the one that provides appropriately and meets all the needs you or your loved ones have for senior living. At Walker Methodist we know we have the perfect option for you.