If you don’t earn much and you can barely pay your bills, the idea of saving money might seem laughable. When you only have $5 left at the end of the month, why even bother to try saving? Because saving money gives you peace of mind, it creates options, and the more you save, the easier it becomes to accumulate additional savings.
During the government shutdown in January 2019, it became painfully clear how many Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, forced to turn to food banks after a month of not getting paid. They not only did not have the recommended 6-month emergency fund to cushion life’s setbacks — it’s highly unlikely that a lot of them have any plan in place to pay for the eventuality of long-term care and retirement living. That’s tragic and alarming.
Here at Regency Retirement Village, we see it in the faces of family members when they realize that an aging parent needs more caregiving than they can provide at home, which can add up to thousands of dollars per month in some cases, regardless of which senior living community they choose.
Grown children sadly realize that mom or dad invested years and small fortunes raising them, putting them through college in some cases. It’s obvious they want their loved one to get the care they need in an environment where they’ll be happy and active. It’s even more troubling if the parent shows rapid decline from Alzheimer’s or other dementias. They may be forced to reconcile that will mean a new expense they probably didn’t anticipate at the start of the year.
The good news is that financial solutions do exist to assist residents in need:
In many cases, the transition to Assisted Living involves moving mom or dad out of their longtime home into an apartment in Assisted Living or Memory Care in Regency Retirement Village. With the house vacant, family may labor to make repairs and cosmetic touches to try to increase the value before it goes on the market. With ElderLife, the senior is able to move in immediately and Regency takes care of getting the house ready for realtor showings while rent in one of our apartments comes out of a line of credit tied to the home selling.
For many seniors, retirement can feel lonely. With this arrangement, a resident can share a space with another person, becoming close friends with their “roomie” and lowering the cost as compared to a private apartment. Planned activities give residents plenty of opportunities to explore our community and be social.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can determine eligibility for Aid & Attendance Benefits for wartime veterans 65 and older, spouses, and other dependents. Funds may be impacted by the veteran’s yearly family income and net worth meeting certain limits set by Congress. Net worth includes all personal property owned (except a house, car, and most home furnishings), minus any debt owed.
Many people, in younger years, presume that Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid will provide the money to pay for retirement living. That is a mistake. Some conditions may apply such as mandatory companion living, and residents may be required to use private pay until they run out of their own money to pay for residency. The amount provided out of the federal coffers usually comes with a maximum cap. Programs can vary from state to state. Elder Resource Benefits Consulting provides insight into state and federal programs for seniors. For more information on long term care or assisted living payment options, please call 423.581.7075.
Life Care Funding Group
Did you know a life insurance policy can be converted to pay for care with Regency Retirement Village? Life Care Funding can help fund your care by converting your existing life insurance policy into an immediate Long-Term Care Benefit Plan.
Gift Tax Exemption
A must for families at tax time is speaking with their accountant about the IRS gift tax exemption of up to $15,000 per individual per year. This can go a long way in covering the cost of assisted living.
Long-Term Care Insurance
The trick with long-term care insurance is qualifying as young and healthy enough to make premium payments for an undetermined number of years into the future. Usually, that’s around age 55. Starting too young can mean paying in more than they will get out of it.
Invest Savings in Something that Will Generate Income
Whether it’s stocks or property that can turn into rent from occupants, seniors looking for a way to put their savings to work over the long-term need to choose some conservative enough investments to grow their nest egg rather than being subject to a volatile stock market or plummeting property values.
Consult the Experts Before Acting
Consultation with tax and elder law professionals is strongly advised before making financial decisions that can have a strong impact on the quality of retirement years. We want all of our residents to feel safe, secure, and well cared for, rather than feeling like a burden on their loved ones. The programs we mention in this month’s blog help us to achieve that outcome.
For more information about these programs, please contact a community consultant at 731.661.9888.