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Can I Really Afford Assisted Living?

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November 24, 2014

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Avanti

 

Is Assisted Living Possible for Me?

Are you trying to decide if assisted living is right for you? If so, the first question is usually, can I afford it? It’s a big decision, but when considering affordability, there are plenty of options that can reduce the costs or help with the costs associated with assisted living. Keep in mind that affordability does not mean you have to compromise safety and security. Planning ahead and considering the following cost savers can give you affordability and the safety and security you desire.

Plan Ahead
Thorough planning and research on the front end will increase your chances of finding a community perfectly matched to your needs. Start planning before you need it so you don’t feel rushed to make a decision. Most communities have waiting lists, so put a deposit down and get your name on the one you like quickly so you aren’t left taking what you can get when you need it. If you wait too long, you may have to select a community that is outside your budget or one that does not offer all the options to meet the needs of your loved one.

Location
Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to selecting the location of your assisted living community. In many cases there are more affordable options just outside where you may be looking, such as in the suburbs or just across county lines.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance can cover financial gaps often left by private funding. Benefits of long-term care insurance also include asset and savings preservation. It eliminates being forced to turn friends and family members into caregivers. So what may seem like an added expense now can save you money over the long haul.

Share Space
You can reduce your costs easily by sharing a room. This option is preferable for those seek companionship after years and years of living with a loved one.. Those who wish to share a suite can opt for a two-bedroom apartment. IF you opt for a community with two bedroom apartments, a roommate can save on average 10%-20% or $4,000 – $8,000 annually.. Having a roommate will keep you socially engaged, as well as offer laughter, support, and a sympathetic ear when needed.

Veterans’ Benefits
One benefit of being a veteran includes potential offsets to costs through the Department of Veteran Affairs. A benefit known as A&A, or Aid and Attendance, and Housebound Improved Pension, helps cover the costs of assisted living. However, most veterans do not even know this benefit exists; in fact, Jim Nicholson, the former Veterans Affairs secretary, called the program “underused.” The amount of financial help provided by this benefit is $2,019 per month for a veteran or $1,094 for a veteran’s widow.

Care Cost Calculator
Finally, use an online care cost calculator to compare communities and the types of services each provides. This will allow you to get a truer picture of how much assisted living will cost you. You can then compare it with the expenses of independent living to decide if assisted livingis best for you. Several calculators are available online, but be sure to find one which notes that its costs are based on data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Assisted living can be affordable. Do your homework to research and compare. Living at home can be more expensive than you believe. Look for cost saving options, but knowing a loved one is safe and well cared for as well as having a higher quality of life is worth every penny!

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