How to Budget For Assisted Living Costs

As we grow old, the need for senior care approaches. While it is possible to stay home with family, relatives or close friends, most seniors and retirees choose to live by themselves either for independence or to avoid burdening their loved ones. However, what most people are not prepared for is the cost of senior care. If you desire to live your retirement years with peace of mind, budgeting for senior living must be taken into consideration as early as possible.

But first, what options do you have for senior care? There are many facilities that take in people with health care needs, from hospice care to visiting nurses to telephone call assurance services. Basically, every facility offers slightly different senior care services to accommodate specific needs and goals of clients and tenants. It is important to familiarize yourself with these senior care facilities in order to determine which option best suits you or your loved one.

Options and Considerations

If you desire a sense of independence and find the idea of being able to mingle with other seniors via shared facilities including dining areas and gardens great, then perhaps the best option for you would be an assisted living facility, also known as a congregated home. An assisted living facility enables its seniors to live independently while still being provided with medical care and monitored regularly. Meals and social activities are also offered by assisted living facilities.

Unfortunately, what is disadvantageous about assisted living is the fact that it can be very expensive, particularly if the senior doesn’t have insurance or coverage for this specific expense. The cost of assisted living varies immensely depending on location and how much care and attention the client needs. Here are some things you should know about assisted living prior using their services.

How Expenses are Structured

Assisted living can be charged either on a monthly or buy-in basis. The latter basically pertains to the tenant either buying an apartment or paying a considerable lump sum. Whichever billing method you choose, you will still incur a monthly charge. Some tenants prefer paying a onetime premium as this results to cheaper monthly expenses.

The average monthly expenses can fluctuate significantly depending on what utilities are provided to the resident. Basic services in an assisted living facility include laundry, meals, personal assistance, recreational activities, etc. Personal assistance may be scheduled or unscheduled. Furthermore, medical staff can be dispersed onsite or on-call round-the-clock everyday. In some cases, the assisted living firm will allow the resident to personalize their service plan to better suit needs and demands. This is commonly known as an A La Carte Package. Other assisted living facilities provide a basic room and board charge. Typically, level of care fees are also included. The level of care is commonly identified by a health care service provider after assessment is accomplished. As the tenant grows older, the level of care increases accordingly.

Preparing a Budget for Assisted Living

First, devise a list of your monthly revenue sources. These includes your SS, retirement premiums, alimony, employment if any, and investments. Sum it all up to know how much you can shell out for the service. You can also include financial support from your family or friends.

Next, assess your properties. Point and sum your household, car, bonds and shares, bank savings and long-term healthcare insurance policy if there is any. These may serve as your alternative income source if your main ones fail to provide.

Third, identify your monthly losses and expenses. It is a fact that seniors have higher expenses than younger individuals since they require more specialized services and products. Include costs of your rent, taxes, loans and mortgages, car premiums, insurance premiums, food, medical bills, etc.

Fourth, calculate regularly disposable revenue by deducting your overall expenses from your overall profit. The sum will be the value that you can shell out for an assisted living. Ideally, you should consult a finance expert and collaborate on the information you’ve come up with. A financial adviser may be able to suggest and advice other income sources, idea of how much your assisted living expenses would add up, possible costs that you were unable to identify, and more budgeting strategies for your assisted living facility.

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