Financing Senior Care: Understanding Your Options

With the average lifespan increasing and costs of living rising, more and more aging adults that need care are finding their savings accounts depleted. The cost of care then falls back onto the family, who have financial burdens of their own, and often get overwhelmed by expensive care options.

According to the Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey, the average annual cost of a one bedroom apartment in an assisted living community is $42,000 per year, and a private room in a nursing home averages more than $87,600 per year. Independent home care is generally less expensive, so many seniors and their families opt for this option because of the potential for savings and the benefits of aging at home. However, quality in-home care providers with screened and trained professionals are still relatively expensive, and thus financing senior care requires understanding options through research and careful planning.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance (LTCI) helps pay for costs that private medical insurance does not cover, and  minimizes the financial impact of long-term health care needs. In general, long-term care insurance covers the cost of home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer's care facilities. However, most companies will not insure people with preexisting conditions, so it is best to buy LTCI before health issues arise.

Learn more about long-term care insurance

Life Insurance Policy Conversions: Long Term Care Benefit Plan

Rather than allowing a life insurance policy to lapse, the owner can convert their policy into a Long Term Care Benefit Plan. It is a unique financial option for seniors because it pays for immediate care needs, all health conditions are accepted, and there are no premium payments. There are also no wait periods, care limitations, costs or obligations to apply, and no requirement to be terminally ill. Policy owners have the right to convert an in-force life insurance policy to enroll in this benefit plan, and are able to immediately direct tax-exempt payments to cover specific costs like senior housing and long term care.

Government Funded Long Term Care

Contrary to popular belief, Medicare is not universal health care for people over 65, and it does not cover long-term care costs for seniors. However, Medicare, Medicaid and the US Department of Veteran Affairs do offer assistance programs that can help pay for eldercare in certain circumstances. You can also follow some tips to make sure you are making the most of your Social Security benefits.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage - also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) - is a kind of loan for homeowners over the age of 62 that turns home equity into cash. When a reverse mortgage is secured, the money from the home equity can be used while still living in and retaining ownership of their home. There are no restrictions on how the money from a reverse mortgage can be used. The relatively high closing costs can be a disadvantage, but it could be useful if there is concern about not being able to make the payments on a normal loan, or the money is needed for any purpose.

By planning ahead, financing senior care doesn't have to be such a burden on you and your family. Your financing options can be a part of your long term retirement plan, and can help you and your family feel prepared and secure. American In-Home Care offers affordable, compassionate, and qualified in-home care services. Contact us today at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule your free in-home consultation to assess your care needs and determine the care options that are right for you and your family.

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