As you age, finding ways to pay for the eventual need for assisted living becomes a more pressing concern. Individuals make plans for their golden years and retirement with the assumption that they will remain healthy and be able to age in place.
Many people fail to plan for what it would cost if assisted living becomes a necessity for one or both of the partners in the marriage.
The costs for assisted living can very quickly dissolve a savings account and leave you wondering how to pay the expenses and this could potentially fall to the children. Planning for the possibility of assisted living arrangements should be done while making plans for retirement. There are various levels of assisted living facilities and the costs, which include:
- The size of the living space desired
- The level of healthcare needed
- The location of the community
- The amenities provided
In many cases, the costs associated with assisted living are paid for out of pocket or through a combination of Social Security, Veterans benefits or other pension funds as well as savings.
There are ways to plan for the time when you or your relatives may no longer be able to age in place and need more assistance with day to day living. When making plans for retirement and beyond, here are some things to look into for paying for assisted living:
- Long-term care insurance is a private paid insurance option that can pay for assisted living expenses. The earlier these policies are purchased, the less expensive the premiums. The prices and coverages can vary dramatically depending on the company from which it's purchased. The premium will also be based on the age, health and level of coverage desired. Read the fine print to see what will be covered and what needs to happen to be able to access the coverage.
- Medicaid, a government-run program, may assist with certain bills associated with assisted living as each state determines the way in which Medicaid is implemented. The levels of assistance provided are based on the individual's net worth and income level. Medicaid is typically provided to individuals who have few economic resources or those who are disabled.
- Medicare is another government program, which provides limited assistance to individuals. It typically will pay for care that is deemed medically necessary and may even provide funds to pay for professional caregivers.
- Veterans benefits, designed for qualified veterans and their spouses, can help with qualified assistance living expenses. Call the local Veteran's affairs office to see whether this tax-free pension benefit can help.
As with any life event it's best to plan early for care needed as you age. Making decisions while under pressure or in crisis mode makes the decisions more difficult and may leave information on paying for assisted living expenses unexplored.