Figuring out how you’ll be funding assisted living can feel like an avalanche of details—all the options, the paperwork, the terms you may or may not understand, and more can feel overwhelming. At The Herrick House, we’d like to simplify the process as much as possible for you.
Funding Assisted Living Expenses: How to Get Started
If you are wondering how you can ever wrap your mind around all the decisions that have to be made, here are 3 steps to get you on your way.
1. Get financial files and policy paperwork together
Before you can even begin to think about funding assisted living for yourself or for a loved one, you need to know where you are starting from. You might begin by making a list of everything you already have that could be pertinent, such as:
- Bank accounts
- Brokerage accounts
- Recurring and outstanding bills
- Deeds and mortgage papers
- Social security benefit information
- Stock and bond certificates
- Insurance policies
- Annuities and pensions
It might take you some time to collect everything, as some documents may be stored in a safe deposit box, others might be online. If you are assisting an older loved one, you may have to do some digging, as they may not be able to remember where information is located, or have difficulty giving you contact information or passwords. You’ll want to try and get the most up-to-date version of each, so take your time and do a thorough search.
Download our free Financial Planning for Retirement Living Guide to learn more about funding assisted living care.
2. Get your family together
Making decisions for a loved one can be difficult if you try to do it all by yourself. It’s best to involve family members so that everyone understands the situation, and can assist in whatever way possible. If tension exists among siblings, let each person know that this is a group effort, that everyone’s opinion is welcome, and that you need their cooperation.
Getting on the same page with your family concerning funding assisted living will require more than one conversation. You’ll want to discuss how your loved one’s situation has changed, and why they should no longer be living on their own at home. For example, some of your family members might not realize the level of need—staying safe, mobility issues, eating properly, taking mediations correctly and on time, mental decline, and more. Bringing these issues to light will make it easier to communicate the importance of choosing the right level of care for your loved one.
At the end of your first phone call or meeting, recap what you’ve discussed, and set a time to talk again. If more research needs to be done at this point, ask for help, and assign tasks.
3. Get together with a financial advisor
Now that you’ve alerted your family to the situation, and have your financial information in hand, consider meeting with a professional who specializes in elder law or long-term care planning. They will be able to educate you further on many options for assisted living that you may not be aware of, such as reverse mortgages, Veterans benefits, or life insurance conversion.
Other ways a financial advisor or estate planning expert can help is by helping you understand tax deductions, the role of personal property as income, and how to work with living wills and power of attorney. Elder law attorneys are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of seniors, and their assistance can offer you great peace of mind.
Funding Assisted Living Is Just Part of the Process
If the time has come for you to seek a greater degree of safety, personal care assistance, and social interaction for yourself or a loved one, we invite you to explore how we can help. At The Herrick House, making everyone feel right at home and maintaining quality of life is our work, our mission, and our expertise. You can depend on us.