Some people question whether they can afford senior living. Before assuming you can’t, follow these 3 steps. They should help you weigh your options and may uncover sources of funding you may not have considered.
Step 1 – Gather and organize financial documents
You may already have assets and sources of income that will help to offset senior living expenses. To figure out whether this is indeed the case, take a look at the following types of information:
- Bank and brokerage account information
- Deeds and mortgage papers
- Insurance policies
- Monthly or outstanding bills
- Pension and other retirement benefits
- Social Security payment information
- Stock and bond certificates
Step 2 – Get the family together to discuss putting a financial plan in place
If you’re helping an aging parent, start by getting them to talk about their wishes, needs and goals. Where possible, make sure other members of the family are part of the discussion. It can help avoid misunderstandings down the road.
If your parent is having trouble handling ongoing financial duties such as paying bills, managing benefit claims, making investment decisions, and preparing tax returns, discuss how this should be handled in the future.
These sorts of discussions can be contentious. If this is true for you and your family, consider getting a neutral third party to facilitate the discussion, someone like a senior living advisor who’s familiar with senior housing options as well as rules about who can and cannot legally act on your parent’s behalf if it comes to that.
Step 3: Consider consulting a financial advisor and/or estate planning attorney
To get a complete understanding of possible funding sources for senior living, you’ll likely want professional financial and legal advice. Try to find someone who understands elder care and/or long-term care planning. Here are some of the topics you’ll want to discuss with them:
- Insurance options
- Pension, retirement benefits and personal property that may be potential income
- Programs your parent is eligible for
- Potential tax deductions
- Analyzing investment portfolio with your parent’s long-term needs in mind
For more on this topic, check out our funding guide.
If you need help deciding how to talk things over with your parent and other members of the family, we may be able to help. Simply contact us.