Making Cents of Senior Living: Financial Considerations
Paying for Assisted or Independent Living
Finances are an important part of choosing a senior living community. Whether you’re researching for yourself, an aging parent, or a loved one, know that you can balance affordability and quality care.
Calculating the Cost of Senior Living
First, you need an accurate assessment of current monthly expenditures. All housing costs, including groceries, utilities, entertainment, and other categories of personal spending should be included.
Next, tally up each expense in a senior living community. For a simple table that helps you quickly compare costs, be sure to download the helpful resource at the end of this article.
Costs can vary widely amongst senior living communities. When interviewing and touring communities, make sure you understand everything that’s included (and not included) in the base monthly rent. You might even be surprised to find that the savings are substantial compared with the total cost of at-home living.
Financial Considerations in Independent Living Communities
In independent living communities, determining the base monthly rent and what’s included is straightforward: The resident pays their monthly rent, which often includes things like basic utilities and access to community social events. Additional services like laundry, housekeeping, and meals are billed separately.
Financial Considerations in Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living costs vary widely — in Colorado the average monthly cost currently ranges from a minimum of $2,050 to a maximum of $8,850.
Many quality assisted living centers are owned and operated by for-profit companies who charge accordingly. There are also non-profit organizations, like The Argyle, who provide a high standard of assisted living care at an affordable price.
The cost at a non-profit community could be half as much as a private community, which frees up money for savings and future care needs. For example, The Argyle’s Raleigh Gardens offers an all-inclusive support package for residents with higher needs for less than $5,000 per month.
How to Pay for Senior Living
Caring for an aging parent, sibling, or loved one is an expression of love. It can also be a financial challenge. Ultimately, most families use a combination of resources that include personal assets and savings, state and federally funded programs for seniors, insurance policies, and more.
Many seniors also have access to programs, resources and other benefits that include:
- Tax benefits
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Life Insurance
Developing a Financial Plan
Financing senior care can be complex, so it pays to be proactive. Create a long-term financial plan early, particularly when you begin considering assisted living communities.
With a clear financial picture, you can plan for a comfortable and consistent lifestyle.
The Cost of Waiting
Being proactive about transitioning into senior living offers several advantages, including concrete financial benefits. You’ll also have plenty of time to find the perfect fit, without the stress of an unexpected move. For many seniors, quality of life improves after moving into a senior living community. When assessing the financial side of this transition, don’t forget to include these factors into your calculations.
For more information about making a financial plan for senior living, download this free resource that includes a cost comparison table, information about which experts to work with, details about programs for low-income seniors and more.