For many American seniors, figuring out how to pay for future care needs can be stressful. Long-term care can be expensive, and Medicare doesn’t pay for everything. If you, your spouse, parent, client, or partner have health issues in the future, you may need to stay in a nursing home or hospital for an extended amount of time, which might affect your financial well-being if you aren’t careful. Planning now will not only ensure that you can pay for your care down the road, but it will also give you peace of mind.
The key is to look at all your options. Do some research when it comes to all the ways you can save money now for your future needs. Some options will be more appealing than others, but there are many ways to start preparing, from taking a good look at your health insurance to options on downsizing to a smaller home.
Keep reading for four tips on how to figure out the costs of long-term care.
Downsize to a smaller place
Downsizing can be a big move, but it can save you quite a bit of money and ensure your safety at the same time. As we get older, injuries from falls become more of a risk, but moving to a smaller place that has no stairs can reduce that risk significantly. You’ll also save money every month with a lower rent or mortgage payment and lower utility bills, meaning you can save extra for the future.
Consider a reverse mortgage
A reverse mortgage is a big step, but if your home has a lot of equity, it might be a smart move on your part. There are several pros and cons that come with this option because it’s a complicated move. While you’ll get a cash infusion immediately, a reverse mortgage could significantly impact your estate upon your death. Be sure to do your research to find out if a reverse mortgage will meet your financial needs.
Look at your insurance policy
It’s imperative that you look over your policy to get an idea of what you’ll be expected to pay for and how long Medicare will pay for a stay in a nursing home, if it becomes necessary. Out-of-pocket costs can be overwhelming, but being prepared and knowledgeable will help prevent any nasty surprises down the road.
Plan for aging in place
If you’re going to age in place, it’s imperative that you make sure your home is safe and meets all your needs, both now and in the future. You may need to research the costs of making home modifications such as widening doorways to allow for a wheelchair or adding grab bars in the shower to prevent falls. Make sure you have everything you need without facing any monetary surprises.
Planning for long-term care can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself during this time. Relax as often as possible and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety by practicing a hobby and getting daily exercise, and ask for help from friends and family when you need it. With a good plan and some assistance from your loved ones, you can ensure that your long-term care needs are in place.
Ms. 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.