As you get older, it’s essential to start thinking about financially preparing for the senior living lifestyle you want or may need. Even if you never require long-term care and simply want to downsize and enjoy the ease of independent living, you should ensure your finances are organized so you have the money you need as you embrace retirement.
Here are some budgeting tips to help you prepare your finances for senior living.
1. Meet with a Financial Advisor
In the middle of everyday life, it can be hard to think beyond everyday expenses! This is where a financial advisor (also called a financial planner) can really help. The first step in preparing your senior living budget is to meet with a financial advisor. As an expert in budgeting, they can help you review current assets, prepare your investments, and create a plan to save for retirement and senior living expenses.
Even if you’re close to retiring or are already retired, a financial advisor can help you review your income and expenses and adjust your budget accordingly. They can also help you avoid overpaying on your taxes and make the most out of your investments.
2. Pay Off Outstanding Debts
If you have any unpaid debts, focus your efforts on handling those first and foremost! You want to go into senior living completely stress-free — And this includes navigating all current financial burdens. Ridding yourself of any outstanding debts will help you to go into retirement with peace of mind and allow you to focus all of your budgeting on senior living and care needs.
3. Review Financial Documents and Assets
While you will go through most of this with a financial advisor, it’s still a good idea to independently review your financial documents and assets to ensure you have everything organized before transitioning to senior living.
Assets are a great resource for funding your senior living expenses, and it’s important to understand how much financial security you have. Here are some common assets older adults may have to aid in funding senior living:
- Social security
- Capital assets (house, vehicles, property, businesses, etc.)
- Retirement savings (401k, IRA, pensions, annuities)
- Long-term care insurance
- Life insurance
- Stocks and bonds
Additionally, consider any savings and checking accounts along with any ongoing income sources that may continue until retirement or after.
4. Calculate Senior Living Expenses
Now that you have a solid grasp of your financial situation, it’s time to evaluate what your senior living expenses will look like. Keep in mind that your expenses may change as your care needs change.
St. Anthony’s Senior Living is all-inclusive, covering everything from utilities to food to your spacious apartment all in one monthly rent payment. This makes planning your monthly expenses much easier, as you’ll eliminate variable utility payments. To help you anticipate your senior living expenses compared to your current expenses, we’ve created a cost of living calculator you can use, along with some other financial planning resources to aid the decision-making process.
5. Look Into Healthcare Programs for Seniors
Several healthcare programs are available to aid seniors, including local programs and communities for low-income seniors. Even if you do not need extensive financial support, some national programs can help you pay for higher levels of care like assisted living. Here are a few options to look into:
Medicaid qualifications vary from state to state. In Missouri, seniors are eligible for Medicaid based on income and resources, and increased medical expenses can increase the chances of eligibility. Because many seniors are eligible for Medicaid, this can really help with your healthcare expenses, freeing up your other assets to pay for senior living.
Credit for the Elderly or Disabled
Adults who are either disabled or over the age of 65 are eligible for a tax credit known as the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled, or the Senior Tax Credit. Ranging from $3,750 to $7,500, this tax credit can mean significant tax savings for you that can significantly help with senior living budgeting!
Oftentimes, your finances are tied up in assets that you have to sell in order to get the funds for senior living budgeting. One of the most common of these assets is your home, which may not sell right when you need it to. If you or a loved one are in urgent need of assisted living care, you often don’t have time to wait for the house to sell. A bridge loan can help cover your senior living expenses until the house sells, at which point you can quickly pay off the loan and begin covering your own senior living costs.
6. Talk to Your Family and Set Up POA
When the time comes to start preparing for senior living in earnest, you should discuss the matter with your family. Your care needs may change in a manner that makes it difficult for you to advocate for yourself, so having a family member or close friend who you trust to make decisions on your behalf and manage your finances can make entering seasons of greater care need much smoother. Consider giving this trusted individual power of attorney so that they are legally able to take care of things on your behalf.
We’re Here When You’re Ready!
Once the time comes to make the move to senior living officially, we’d love to welcome you to the St. Anthony’s family! When you come to stay, play, and pray with us, we’ll simplify your budget to one simple monthly bill that can be automatically set up so you don’t need to worry about a thing beyond relaxing and enjoying our thriving community and all of the luxurious amenities that come with it.
If you’re interested in starting life’s next big adventure at St. Anthony’s, get in touch with us to schedule a tour!