Paying for long-term care can be tricky for many seniors, especially after a certain point past retirement. Many seniors are on a fixed income, making it difficult to pay for health care should they lose mobility or become ill. No one can see into the future, but to a certain extent, many seniors must try to do just that when it’s time to plan for their own care. Not only that, but long-term care can mean many things, from hiring someone to help them out at home to staying at an assisted living facility, so it’s imperative to plan for a variety of needs.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to plan for the future. From figuring out how much your assets are worth to acquiring supplemental health insurance, there are many ways you can ensure that your future needs are well taken care of. Sit down and make a list of all the things you need to plan for, and do a little research on what the average cost is for those services, as well as what your insurance plan will pay for. Medicare, for instance, will only cover so many days in the hospital or in an assisted living facility.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to pay for long-term care.
Find Out How Much Your Assets Are Worth
It’s important to find out how much your assets are worth because they may come in handy when it’s time to gather a nice lump sum of money for medical expenses or care. Your home will likely be your biggest asset, and it’s relatively easy to find out how much it’s worth. Also, it’s important to take into consideration the year it was built, what similar homes are worth in the area, and what the neighborhood itself is like.
Look for a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy
Many seniors who are on a budget feel that a long-term care policy is out of their reach, but they are a lot more accessible than they used to be, especially if you buy one before you’ve reached retirement age. You can also add a rider to your existing life insurance policy, which allows for accelerated benefits that you can use before you have end-of-life needs. Check with your insurance provider to find out the details, and make sure you understand exactly how it will work so you aren’t left with a nasty surprise down the road.
One way to garner a large lump sum of money to pay for medical bills or care costs is to downsize your home and use the money from the sale. It’s beneficial in more than one way, as moving into a smaller home can help you stay safe, mobile, and independent during your senior years. Consider looking for a smaller, less expensive home to live during retirement and take advantage of the sale price to pad your nest egg. Keep in mind that you may also need to factor in the price of home modifications to help you safely age in place.
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
It can be hard to think about making changes that will affect your future; you never know what will happen five or 10 years from now. However, making positive changes, such as losing weight, letting go of bad habits, and exercising daily to improve strength, balance, and mobility, can help you stay healthy, meaning you may not need long-term care in the future.
Paying for long-term care can be a huge burden to many seniors, so it’s imperative to start thinking about the best ways to handle it sooner rather than later. Preparing now will give you peace of mind and will allow you to cope with anything that comes your way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hazel Bridges is the creator of AgingWellness.org, a website that aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.