6 Creative Ways to Pay for Assisted Living
For some families, the decision to move a loved one into assisted living is accompanied by sticker shock: Nationwide, the average monthly cost of assisted living is about $5,000 to $7,000. For people grappling with changes taking place within their family, the financial side of things can further complicate an already complex decision.
Fortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all path to paying for assisted living. Be sure to explore each of these options to help foot the bill.
Social Security | Alongside pensions, savings and other retirement income, Social Security provides a reliable and recurrent source of income for seniors that can be used for assisted living costs. Seniors whose spouse is deceased are also entitled to survivor benefits. The average monthly benefit is around $1,700, covering about a quarter to a third of the average assisted living cost.
Veteran’s Benefits | To receive Aid and Attendance benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans must meet service, asset, income and medical requirements. The application process is lengthy, but the payoff can be big—more than $2,200 for a single veteran, $2,600 for a married veteran, or $1,400 for a surviving spouse.
Bridge Loans | If you’re having trouble accessing assets quickly, a bridge loan can help pay for expenses immediately while other funding becomes available. ElderLife Financial Services offers these kind of short-term loans from $5,000 to $500,000 to enable families to get their loved one settled into assisted living while they wait for the sale of a home or for veterans benefits to kick in.
Long-Term Care Insurance | Did Mom see this day coming? Be sure to investigate if your parents purchased a long-term care policy, which typically starts paying benefits once someone can no longer perform some activities of daily living or has cognitive impairment. To take full advantage of this funding source, it pays to plan: The older you are when you purchase long-term care insurance, the more it will cost. If time is on your side, selecting a plan no later than your early 60s can save your family headaches down the road.
Life Insurance | If your loved one has a life insurance policy, be sure to also investigate if it can help pay for assisted living costs. Certain policies include long-term care riders, accelerated death benefits (which enable the policyholder to use a percentage of the death benefit in advance), or settlements that allow the policyholder to sell the policy for its current value in exchange for the future death benefit.
Home Sale | Selling your parents’ home can be an emotional decision, and it’s not right for every family. But a house is often among a senior’s biggest assets, and tapping its value can bankroll years’ worth of care. Not sure where to start? Check out this timeline from the American Association of Retired Persons for a step-by-step guide to fetching top dollar for the family home.
Contemplating the next chapter in your loved one’s story? Click here to learn more about Bickford Senior Living and to find a branch near you.