Tag Archives: Senior Finances

Senior Financial Care And Planning

The cost of both aging in place and the cost of private care in an assisted living facility or nursing home continues to increase. It’s anticipated that by 2028 the cost of private nursing home care will double from its levels today. Additionally, the government has forecast that there could be a 50% increase in those individuals aged 65 or older and that could put a strain the resources available for nursing home care.

Aging is something that should be anticipated, especially as it typically means more time for travel and relaxation and time spent with family and grandchildren. For peace of mind, though it is imperative that steps be taken to address the need for care as you age, whether that care will be in your own home, a private facility or with a family member. Leaving the task up to your caregivers is a daunting one as they may be unaware of your wishes or your finances. Spending time with family members to formulate a plan for either aging in place or making a move to another location should be done well in advance of the need arising. While it is not an easy conversation to have, it relieves the burden on your potential caregivers and helps assure that you will have the care you desire as you age.

Here are some items to discuss with your family:

  • Your financial situation
  • Where your medical records and other medical papers are stored
  • What options you’d prefer as it relates to in-home care or moving to an assisted living facility or whether you’d move in with a family member
  • What state or federal benefits you have available to pay for your care
  • Access to your health and life insurance policies and information
  • What steps you’d like taken in your care and the signing of a health care proxy
  • What steps you can take to make your home more secure and safe as you age and the potential of installing a medical alert device in the home to make certain that if a health issue arises, you have access to immediate medical emergency care.

An essential element in your retirement and health planning will be funding the lifestyle to which you’ve been accustomed and would like to retain. Working with a financial adviser or a family member to arrange your finances to accommodate your needs is a task better done sooner rather than later to assure you have the cash flow necessary when the time comes to retire.

Easing the Financial Burden for Caregivers

It’s natural to ignore the consequences of spending large sums of money with all the emotional and medical aspects that arise while caring for elderly parents. Too often  adult children dig themselves into debt or forgo their own savings and retirement accounts from the financial strain of taking care of their parents. In the United States around 30 percent of adult children provide finances to their parents’ care, paying on average $2,400 a year, according to the Pew Research Center. However, your golden years don’t have to be leveraged or sacrificed while caring for your elderly parents by blowing your own nest egg.  Dedicating a few hours to surfing the Web will aid you in finding a variety of programs and services that can help you lessen the financial burden, while simultaneously improving the quality of your parents’ lives. The following Web sites provide a solid start:

  • Alzheimer’s Foundation of America : The AFA provides a respite fund designed to assist caregiving families. The program provides a $500.00 per family grant which will provide 40-50 hours per year. Note that there is often a wait-list.
  • Medical alert bracelets can ease the strain of a caregivers’ job by providing a backup plan when you aren’t with your parent. For $24.95 the device will notify your designated doctor, family and friends in an emergency.

 

  • Eldercare.gov: Eldercare Locator is a public service that aids in finding local agencies in the U.S. that can help caregivers and the elderly access home and community-based services. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code to explore anything from assisted living facilities to caregiver support services.

 

  • BenefitsCheckUp.org:  BenefitsCheckUp provides information for older people regarding their eligibility for benefits from existing federal, state and local programs. Benefits range from heating and energy assistance to income supplements. There are numerous programs available to seniors,  if only they knew how to apply for them.

 

  • GovBenefits.gov: hosts information on government programs your parents can utilize.