Making the move to independent living or assisted living is part of a well-thought-out process, from deciding what your needs are to choosing the right place to call home. But before you start loading up the moving truck, it is important to think through the financial investment of senior living so that you can have peace of mind as you transition to this new stage of life.
How do I pay for senior living? Can I even afford senior living? These are some common questions that are all part of the process, and a little bit of research and planning on the front end can save you heartache and hassle when it comes time to actually make the move. Whether you are considering independent living or assisted living, these 3 financial tips can help you prepare.
- Review your budget. Before you make any decisions about when and where, it is important to know your expenses. You’ll want to document what you currently spend each month and then use that list when comparing the features and amenities at each senior community under consideration. You may find it helpful to download a cost of living worksheet that will help you think through all potential expenses. Many people discover that moving to a senior living community is actually more affordable than they think!
- Consider downsizing your assets. One of the benefits of moving into an independent living community is that many of the expenses you are paying for now are provided as part of the monthly cost–such as lawn care, utilities, internet, and more. Not only can you downsize expenses, but chances are good that the new home you’re moving to is smaller than what you currently own. Selling large furniture and other items you won’t need in your new home can benefit you financially by giving you money to put toward your move.
- Talk with a financial planner. Ultimately, talking with a trusted financial planner is the best way to make sure you have properly budgeted and are financially prepared to move to senior living. A financial planner will be able to talk with you about any investments, tax benefits, long term care insurance plans, and Veterans benefits (aid and attendance) that can assist you in paying for your new lifestyle. Additionally, a financial planner can help you think through future cost of living increases and other sometimes unforeseen costs.
If you are in the beginning stages of preparing to move to independent living or assisted living, now is the time to take the necessary financial steps to ensure a smooth transition in the future. Reviewing your expenses, downsizing your assets, and enlisting the help of a trusted financial planner are all important aspects of the process. Knowing what to expect financially can give you peace of mind that you’re making the right decision so you can enjoy this new life stage.