4 Ways to Pay for Senior Care
Talk to anyone who is navigating the transition to senior living for themselves or an aging loved one, and questions about how to finance senior care are sure to follow. Most families are so focused on care and housing needs that they have no time to fumble through the maze of financial options to sort through which one is the right one for them.
“There’s so much to learn about all the different kinds of senior care options out there,” says ElderLife Financial Services. “Learning about how to pay for them can be just as complicated and it can have real implications for finding the right kind of care at the right time.”
To help families get up to speed as quickly as possible, ElderLife Financial offers what it calls Senior Living Financial Aid offices to help answer questions and get people started on the right path.
“The reality is that families often need to develop a short and long-term plan to pay for care, and that’s where a financial professional trained in eldercare issues can help,” says Roque Santi, President and CEO of ElderLife Financial Services.
How to Pay for Senior Care
Here are four ways to help pay for senior care, whether a family is planning a future move or in the process with a deadline near at hand:
1. Accessing Veterans Benefits for Senior Care
Most veterans don’t know there is a benefit provided for veterans and their spouses who have served during a time of war, often referred to as the Veteran Affairs Aid & Attendance Pension benefit. There are various health and financial requirements that must be met to qualify, but this benefit often goes unused because people don’t know about it.
A financial officer who specializes in eldercare needs can help get you started on the application process.
2. Paying for Senior Living with Bridge Loans
Families want to see that their loved ones are getting the care they need, when they need it. Delaying care while waiting for a home to sell or for other funds to become available can be a safety concern.
Companies such as Elderlife Financial offer affordable bridge loans that can make funds available within 24 hours if needed. Bridge loans can be used for care, home repairs, packing and moving or even miscellaneous expenses. The application process is simple, there are no upfront fees and the loan is structured to be paid off when the home sells or other funds become available.
3. Tapping Into Life Insurance to Fund Senior Care
Life insurance is a resource that many seniors don’t realize can be used to pay for senior living because they don’t think of it as an asset. People buy life insurance and once they don’t think they need it any longer, or no longer want to pay the premiums, they let the policy terminate and lose the value of the death benefit that has built up over many years of paying premiums.
As part of the process of understanding your ability to pay for care, an eldercare financial advisor can help review your assets. If you have a policy with a $100,000 death benefit, for instance, there are two ways to monetize your policy. You can borrow against the policy, allowing you to retain the death benefit, or sell the policy. In both cases you no longer have any obligations to continue to pay premiums.
4. Unlocking the Value of Real Estate to Finance Senior Care
Many families use the equity in their home to help pay for their care. The first step is to learn how to access those funds. That could range from a sale of the home, rental of the home or even a reverse mortgage.
No one solution is right for everyone, but a licensed financial advisor can walk you through the options to help you save time and make better choices.
Consulting with someone who specializes in eldercare financial planning can help families focus on the issues they care most about –finding the right kind of care – while minimizing concerns about how to pay for it.