Talking about aging with family members is always a difficult subject. The subject gets no easier when the senior independent living costs continue to get larger. One way or the other, these conversations are essential to have with your family and the primary decision-makers. It is important to discuss preferences with each member of the family to understand their hopes and dreams.
The degree to which these members of your family can safely maintain independence and what amenities they will require ultimately dictates the costs you should expect.
In many cases, aging individuals prefer to maintain as much independence as possible when they grow older. Of course, you want to do everything in your power to ensure safety first, but there are still plenty of ways to maintain individual independence and personal pride along the way.
Understand these independent senior living costs to prepare accordingly
Independent senior living costs range so dramatically from state to state that you could be looking at a difference of thousands of dollars per month for very similar services. It is important to understand the distinction between independent senior living and assisted living. Assisted living provides more round-the-clock emergency service should aid be required while still maintaining as much independence as possible.
Independent living, on the other hand, is more devoted to that title of independence. In many ways, the offerings available in assisted living exist with independent living as well. The degree to which individuals would like to have access to these offerings can impact what the independent senior living costs will look like.
Entertainment and community gatherings are regular offerings in what are often apartment-like living situations. Services could be quite expansive if options include fitness classes, beauty parlors, game rooms, and much more.
How to pay for independent senior living costs
Medicare and Medicaid will not cover independent senior living costs. For this type of living set up, you need some private funds. The way this will look for each individual can change depending on what their retirement savings look like and what assets they still own.
Beyond that, some family members may have objections to liquidating particular family assets. This is where family communication becomes more critical than ever. Working with a qualified financial planner can be extremely valuable. If at all possible, work with a fee-based fiduciary advisor. Fiduciaries have a legal obligation to recommend only what is in your best interest and are not incentivized by commissions.
A good advisor can guide you to the best plan to make sure you have enough money to keep your family members living comfortably. Of course, there will not be much planning to do if you don’t have any money or assets to work with. If this is not an immediate need, start preparing now to make your life easier when the time comes.
How soon are you or your family member planning to move into independent living? Are you prepared and, if not, what more do you need to know or do?