Tips for Funding Senior Living Expenses
Many people are uncomfortable talking about money, especially with loved ones. However, it may be time to discuss a strategy with your siblings for funding senior living for your parents. Here are three suggestions of how to get organized, get the family on one page, and get professional advice from trusted financial advisors.
Funding senior living: 3 steps to come up with a strategy
1. Get organized
Keeping up with paperwork over the years is no easy task for anyone, and your parents might need some assistance in locating important documents, even if they are presently living independently. They also might be reluctant to share everything, simply because it might be uncomfortable for them. Remember to be both kind and respectful. Make sure they know you are not prying or suggesting they don’t know how to do this; you are simply trying to help them secure their best future.
If you feel awkward as well having this conversation, admit it to them, but reinforce that you feel it is important for their happiness and wellbeing, both now and as their needs change. Once they feel comfortable, tell them the first step is to gather and organize financial documents, including:
- Bank and brokerage account information
- Deeds and mortgage papers
- Insurance policies
- Monthly or outstanding bills
- Pension and other retirement benefits
- Social Security payment information
- Stock and bond certificates
2. Get the family together
You might have a sibling who doesn’t realize that moving to independent living could free your parents from all worries of maintenance, chores, daily obligations and more. Or, if your parent is in need of supportive care, an out-of-town sibling may not be aware of how their situation has changed.
This is your chance to bring everyone together with the same information so that you can get a financial plan in place for funding senior living. During your meeting, whether in person or through an online video chat, discuss your wishes, needs and goals as well as how to handle ongoing financial duties, including paying bills, managing benefit claims, making investment decisions and preparing tax returns.
Sharing information with your family members from the beginning will help reduce tensions or any misunderstandings later.
3. Get professional advice
You also might consider getting the perspective of an accredited financial advisor or expert in estate planning who can give you the confidence that all options for funding senior living have been considered. In addition, an elder law attorney can help you determine the best route of action you should take to care for you or your loved one’s assets. Working with these professionals can help ease your family’s worries and protect your financial interests and assets as you contemplate funding senior living.
In your meetings with an advisor or attorney, be sure to cover the following:
- Insurance options
- Income from pensions, retirement benefits and personal property
- Programs in which you are eligible
- Potential tax deductions
- Analyzing investment portfolio with our loved one’s long-term needs in mind
The value of being ready for the future
Senior living offers countless benefits, and having a plan in place before there is an urgent need gives your parents an opportunity to enjoy a carefree lifestyle now.
Avalon Park is an independent living community that welcomes adults aged 62 and older to live the lifestyle they want in a neighborhood that’s friendly as it is thriving. Your parents can trade the worries of home upkeep for a lifestyle of wellness, companionship, and peace of mind. Should health needs ever change, care and support are right here—a local health and home care agency has an office conveniently located on site and will coordinate and provide any services needed.
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