You’re worried about an aging parent. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re struggling in their current home. You have concerns about their safety or their ability to look after themselves or their social isolation or a combination of these. You think they need some form of senior housing that has a care component, but you’re worried it will be out of their price range.
You could chip in to help them out with the cost, but that might mean dipping into your retirement savings or siphoning off money that was meant for your kids. You’d prefer to avoid that.
You’ve even considered having them move in with you, but you realize it will cost a considerable sum to make your place liveable for them.
You feel stuck. What can you do?
Are assisted living or memory care affordable senior housing options?
If you’ve looked at assisted living or memory care in a senior living community for your parent, the monthly payment may have given you pause. If your parent is on a budget, you may not see how they can afford it.
But before dismissing this type of senior housing, you may want to take a closer look at the numbers.
The first step is to look at what it costs your parent to live in their current home. Even if they’ve paid off their mortgage, they still have a variety of other living expenses, things like property tax, utilities, home insurance, property maintenance, groceries, and eating out. If your parent is paying for home care services, factor that in as well.
To get a better sense of how these costs add up, use our handy online calculator.
Subtract that total from the cost of living in a senior living community. If the difference is smaller than you expected, that’s because many of the expenses your parent is currently paying (property tax, utilities, property maintenance, and meal expenses) are often included in the fee charged by senior living communities.
Once you have a clear picture of the cost difference for your parent to live in senior housing versus their current home, the next step is to figure how to make up that difference.
One significant source of money to consider is the proceeds from the sale of their current home.
Other possible sources of funds include the following:
- Long-term care (LTC) insurance.
- Life insurance conversion. Does it make sense for your parent 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 they’ve put away for a rainy day. Investments.
Be sure to explore all of these potential sources of money first before chipping in your own money.