Is it better to stay at home or move to a senior living community? That’s the question a lot of seniors face. And one major consideration for them is the cost of senior living.
When some people look at the monthly cost of senior living, their immediate reaction is “I can’t afford that.”
What they often don’t realize is that much, if not all, of that cost can be offset by moving from their current home.
Why is that? Well, often they don’t think about how much it costs to live in their current home. Some of those costs will disappear once they move. Others are included in the monthly fee for senior living.
And if they own their current home, they may not have considered how the proceeds from its sale can help pay for the cost of senior living.
The costs of living in your current home
Costs of living in your own home include things like property tax, utilities, home insurance, property maintenance, groceries, eating out, and so on.
To get a better sense of how those costs add up, use our handy online calculator.
If you move to senior living, you no longer have to pay for property tax, utilities, home insurance, or property maintenance. Those are costs the senior living community picks up.
If your meals are included in your monthly fee, then you won’t have to purchase your own groceries anymore. That’s another significant saving.
The costs of home care vs. assisted living
If you require paid home care to support you in your current home, the hourly costs can quickly add up.
At a certain point, it’s more expensive to receive care in your own home than in a senior living community. Check out our article that provides tips on how to compare home care and assisted living costs.
Calculating the cost difference
If you want to know how the cost of senior living compares to living in your current home, here’s how to work it out.
Start with the monthly fee for a senior living community you’re considering.
Subtract from that how much it costs to live in your current home *and* the monthly cost of home care.
You may find the difference smaller than you anticipated. In some cases, it may even be cheaper to move to a senior living community.
But even if the monthly cost of senior living is more than you’re paying to live in your own home, there are still ways to cover additional monthly expenses.
Sources of funds to pay for the cost of senior living
We’ve already mentioned that the equity in your current home can go a long way to paying for your future living expenses, including the cost of senior living.
But there are other possible sources of funds that are worth exploring as well:
- Long-term care (LTC) insurance.
- Life insurance conversion. Does it make sense for you to convert a life insurance policy into a Long-Term Care Benefit Plan that provides a monthly income?
- Veteran’s benefits. Particularly the Aid & Attendance benefit.
- Your income. Things like Social Security, pension income, dividends from stocks.
- Your savings. Money you’ve put away for a rainy day. Investments.