How to Pay for Assisted Living
If you’re looking into assisted living for yourself or a loved one, you are probably also thinking about how to pay for assisted living. At Hart Heritage Assisted Living in Street and Forest Hill, we work closely with you ahead of time to ensure you know you’re your assisted living costs will be, and what payment plans are accepted.
There are many options when it comes to the paying for the cost of assisted living. It helps if you’ve been planning ahead for the eventuality. We’ve scoured some of the resources and tips available, to help you figure out how to find an assisted living location that works for you, and some thoughts about how to finance the cost of assisted living.
1. Plan ahead and do your research. Start scouting out senior living locations and assisted living facilities ahead of time. If there’s one you really have your eye on, join the waiting list. If you wait until the last minute, you may end up paying top dollar for a community that doesn’t even meet your needs, but was the only place available.
2. Get it right the first time. Visit several assisted living facilities, and interview staff, check their licensing, have an attorney review their contracts. You don’t want to move from one facility to another because the first one is a bad fit for your needs and finances.
3. Ask about pricing and flexibility. The official cost of assisted living may not be set in stone. Ask about move-in incentives, discounts for making a referral, and whether they might be willing to negotiate the monthly price. See if they will meet the price of another location you have visited. It never hurts to ask.
4. Consider a different location. As with just about any type of housing, the cost of assisted living varies by location. Suburbs may be more affordable than cities. And did you know the median cost for Maryland assisted living is more affordable than the cost in Washington DC or the state of Delaware? Check out this chart with assisted living costs by state.
5. Think about long term care insurance. Long term care insurance can help pay for assisted living. Medicare only pays for short term care, and does not pay for assisted living, so that is something to be aware of.
6. Share a room. Sharing your room with a spouse or a good friend who is also in need of assisted living is generally more cost effective than a single room. Check on the cost differential for shared vs. single rooms.
7. Look into Veteran’s benefits. If your loved one or their spouse has served in the armed forces, they may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs that could help pay for some of the costs associated with assisted living. Check with your VA social worker. Hart heritage works with Long Term Care Agencies Veterans.
8. Consider selling or renting your home if you own it. If no one needs to live in the home, selling it outright gives you a lump sum to work with, where renting it gives you a monthly income that could help cover the cost of assisted living.
9. Consider a reverse mortgage. If one spouse needs to move into assisted living, but the other spouse is capable of living at home, a reverse mortgage could be a good option. It allows you to borrow money based on the equity you have built up in your home. Make sure to speak with a financial planner.
10. Private pay. Liquidating 401K accounts, IRAs and other savings to pay for assisted living.
11. Consider an annuity if you have sizeable savings. If you have a good deal of savings but you are concerned about outliving your financial resources, you might want to consider an annuity. When you purchase an annuity, you pay a lump sum to the underwriters, and then you receive regular payments over a period of time (usually the rest of your life). Talk to a financial planner about this option.
We hope this information is useful to you as you begin exploring your options in assisted living. If you are looking for assisted living facilities in Bel Air, Fallston, Street, Forest Hill or anywhere in Harford County, we hope you’ll consider scheduling a visit to Hart Heritage Assisted Living. We would be happy to give you a tour, and answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 410-638-6047 to get started.