No matter where you live, we’re all feeling the financial pressure of day-to-day life. Here in South Carolina, it’s no different. And when it comes to assisted living, we all face the same challenging reality: figuring out how to pay for it. Even if you have saved for this exact purpose throughout your lifetime, it still may not be enough. So, how do you get into assisted living with no money out of pocket? Shopping around for the best assisted living options, looking to your policies and benefits, and leveraging your home wisely can help you get your foot in the door without making a dent in your savings.
Shop smart for assisted living
One of the first moves to help keep your money in your pocket is to shop smart for assisted living options. Start by considering the building itself. Newer buildings with every amenity imaginable might be right for you, but it could also be way more than you need, driving up the cost. Carefully consider what you will actually use and need before committing to paying for extras. A slightly older building with a few targeted amenities that perfectly fit your desired lifestyle might be a better option and much more cost effective.
Also be on the lookout for lower cost rooms within the building itself. Rooms that have a prime location to amenities and common areas are no doubt more convenient, but may also come with a higher price tag. Opting for a room that is a little farther away from the action could save you money. Choosing a smaller room or splitting the cost of a larger suite with a roommate can also give you creative ways to get the most from your money. And if your facility of choice is experiencing a drop in occupancy, you may be able to take advantage and negotiate a better rate.
Don’t hesitate to ask about flexible pricing options either if available. Some all-inclusive payment options cover all the services provided, but that may be way more than you actually require. If you are relatively independent and only need minimal assistance, there may be options to pay for only what you need and use.
Explore and use your policies and benefits
Once you have the most cost effective choice for you and know how much you will need to pay for it, you can look to what you already have available to you in the form of insurance policies and benefits. Life insurance policies and long-term care policies can give you an immediate way to pay for your transition into assisted living. For a life insurance policy, you can borrow from its cash value, withdraw what you paid in premiums, or cash it out entirely which will require you to pay tax. You can discuss options with your life insurance company to determine which way to go when it comes to applying the value of your policy to assisted living care. If a long-term care policy is a part of your toolbox, you’re in an even better position to fund the care this type of policy expressly covers.
For veterans, you may be eligible for veterans benefits to help you get started with assisted living. If you or a spouse has service-related injuries or disabilities, or is disabled with a low income, you might be eligible for an increase in monthly pension benefits through the Veterans Administration. This enhanced, or special monthly pension as it is called, can help offset any costs associated with your assisted living expenses.
Leverage your home
Like insurance policies and benefits, your home may provide a huge boost to your assisted living payment options, and it’s already at your fingertips. If your home is one that you would like to keep in the family, renting it out might be a good option. Renting to a tenant can keep the home in your possession until a family member is able to take it over. The rent generated can help with your assisted living costs. You can even rent it directly to a family member from the start to help give you peace of mind that your home is being taken care of by someone you trust.
Home loans and reverse mortgages are also options to help you take advantage of the value of your home. If you want to keep a home in the family, you can borrow against the value of your home by taking out a home equity loan or equity line of credit to secure the funds you need to pay for assisted living. A lump sum, monthly payment, or line of credit from a reverse mortgage can also help you cover the costs of assisted living if it fits your situation. And while it’s not the best solution for everyone, it can be an option if you own your home outright, have a small mortgage, one homeowner is over the age of 62, and if you can have one homeowner stay in the home.
Check out our contact page to speak with one of our staff members about the financial resources available to you.