by: Tehila Mörtl
As we continue discussing seniors moving, let us delve into financial considerations and a few checklists which will be of some assistance.
Second to a seniors health and care requirements, are financial considerations when selecting a new home. If your elder does not already have a financial advisor such as, an accountant, financial planner or tax advisor, it is advisable that such a service be obtained. Neither my spouse nor I were familiar with the ins and outs of finances which, in truth, had a somewhat unfortunate effect on our savings; however, he was kind and thoughtful enough though to arrange for a financial advisor, through our bank, prior to his passing. Doing so allowed us to secure my own financial future and affords me an individual to go to whenever advice on money matters is needed.
Prior to your senior moving, it is important to review all aspects of your elder’s income, savings, investments, etc. to establish what he or she can afford. To begin with, which type of housing would your senior like to consider?
____ Affordable Housing might be an option if your elder’s income is below the median for the county or urban area in which they wish to reside. To meet eligibility parameters their income must be 80% to 50% below norm; however, different housing agencies have varying eligibility requirements. Therefore, please check with each community you and your elder find of interest. Be prepared though as there is typically a wait list for affordable housing. If is best, in these situations, to plan as far ahead as possible.
____ Month-to-Month Housing communities require a month-to-month rental. One should be aware that such small and large, independent and assisted communities require a small to moderate entrance fee.
____ Continuing Care Retirement Communities, on the other hand, require a sizeable entry fee upon signature of contract. Prospective residents must also meet specific financial and health requirements. Once a resident of the community, the CCRC will continue care on the same grounds or in close proximity, regardless of what health issues arise in the future.
A worksheet on your elder’s income, assets and what type of community he or she can afford:
In consideration of seniors moving, should your elder have a financial advisor with whom you can both review the following it will be extremely helpful:
Savings Account $
Checking Account $
Social Security $
Interest Bearing Savings Account$
Interest Bearing Checking Account $
Interest from Stocks or Bonds $
Monthly Income $
TOTAL Annual Income $
Next, one must consider expenses. Please note that a number of one’s current expenses (i.e. food, cable, internet, utilities) automatically included; thereby, eliminating the necessity of paying for them separately. That said, when considering independent or assisted living, on must inquire as to what exactly is included. Once it has been established what is not covered, please add the expense(s) to the following worksheet:
Meals [All or Some] $
Laundry and/or Linen Service(s) $
Medication Administration $
Personal Care Assistance $
Social Activities $
Home Maintenance $
For continuing care, please include:
Health Care Cost Increase $
Entrance or Membership fee $
Generally, the financial responsibility of payment falls on one’s elder or family. However, there are exceptions which include some skilled nursing homes that do accept payment via Medicare and/or Medi-Cal or even Medicaid if outside the state of California. As discussed in a previous Blog, there are also some senior communities which are subsidized by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, one might possibly seek the help of a private organization who can offer reduced rental rates.
To research affordable senior housing utilizing the Housing and Urban Development website, please click on the following link: http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm.
As mentioned, a number of skilled nursing facilities do accept Medicare or Medi-Cal. If your elder is likely to run out of funds, it is advisable to consider entering a facility that will allow a changeover to Medicare or Medi-Cal in order to avoid necessitating a move.
For information on Medicare and how eligibility can be obtained please visit:
www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227
For information regarding Social Security please contact your local:
Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213.
Information on Medi-Cal can be acquired at:
www.medi-cal.ca.gov or by calling 1-800-541-5555.
Whether you are ready to move as quickly as possible or you are just starting to think about this as an option, we encourage you to give us a call at 646-820-9202 and speak with one of our senior care consultants. They will be able to assist you with making all the necessary arrangements and answer any questions you might have to begin the process. Most of the services we provide for our elderly clients and their families are completely free since we work on referral basis with firms we trust. If you are in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or the Bronx please get in touch with us to learn how we can help you today.