An Inspired Future
It’s our job to be resourceful for your sake in as many facets of senior life as possible. When it comes to planning for the cost of senior lifestyles and senior care, be encouraged. There is a wide berth of financial solutions available beyond the retirement savings and investments you have so long built. We invite you to explore every viable option, from traditional ways of financing to innovative financial vehicles to under-used benefits.
See our Veterans page for a full explanation of the generous “Aid & Attendance” Pension issued by the US Department of Veteran Affairs.
Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance helps pay for senior care and protect personal assets by covering expenses up to the amounts set forth in the policy. Policy depending, LTC insurance pays for a variety of services in senior communities, and can offer care options that may not be covered through the federal subsidies of Medicare and Medicaid (see below section).
In reviewing your LTC policy, look first to the Benefits Summary, wherein you’ll find specifics on type of coverage, daily benefit, policy limit and elimination period, each of which are critical to understanding the full benefits extended. Premiums may be tax deductible, and benefits from tax-qualified plans are non-taxable, making this option even more attractive.
Leverage Life Insurance Policies
Whole life and universal life policies build a reserve of cash through interest-earning excess premiums (known as the policy’s “cash value”). In some situations, life insurance can be a source of ready funds through cash surrender, death benefit loans, accelerating death benefits and life (or viatical) settlements.
Before acting on any of these methods, consult a financial advisor, as there may be tax consequences. Life Care Funding can also help you determine whether a policy can be converted. Click Here
Approach Social Security (SS) benefits tactically. Historically, it was wise to take SS benefits early and invest them. Today, that’s not necessarily so. Maximized benefits may best be found through delayed retirement credits. Depending on your birth year, benefits increase by 3-8% annually. So if you wait until age 70 to collect, that monthly check could increase by 25% or more. And a surviving spouse receives the entirety of that benefit upon the worker’s death, making delayed retirement credits even more valuable.
With life expectancy after retirement now standing at 17.2 years for males and 19.9 years for females, that larger monthly check will be most welcome. For couples, special consideration should be given to who first takes the benefit when. One partner can file and suspend, choosing to continue working and accumulate delayed retirement credits, while the other collects spousal benefits immediately. Study the new rules to choose your best course. Click here for original source info.
Think of Medicare as health insurance for those 65 years and older, regardless of income. While Medicare never pays for assisted living, it is designed to help fund certain post-acute expenses in the first 100 days, namely hospitalization and rehab, as long as the person’s health is improving. Once you’ve plateaued, Medicare stops paying.
Benefits may be available for home health care, but only if certain conditions are met. Medicare Part A covers hospice (palliative care) for the actively dying, regardless of income, including in a senior living community. Click here for original source info.
In contrast, Medicaid is a federal government program that subsidizes the medical expenses (including certain health services and nursing home care) for low income people of all ages. MorningStar does not accept Medicaid.
Selling the Home
Private homes are typically the most valuable asset we hold. Its sale when transitioning to a senior community is often the best and most ready source of revenue.
When one partner needs assisted living, and the other partner chooses to remain in the home, reverse mortgages may make sense. They allow a homeowner to stay in the home while tapping into the equity the couple has built. Mortgage holders get taxfree cash flow as a loan against that equity, a loan that doesn’t need to be repaid until the house is sold or the owner moves out or dies. Reverse mortgages do not affect Medicare or Social Security benefits.
Be sure to vet lenders and their terms thoroughly before making any decision. The HUD’s website will help you locate a FHA-approved, reputable lender: Click Here.
While waiting for the sale of a home or for other assets to be released, some families have benefited from a Bridge Loan.
Bridge Loans are a unique line of credit that can fill a financial gap for up to 12 months. They are unsecured (no collateral needed) and approved quickly, with no penalty for early payoff, and affordable payments as low as $7 per $1000 borrowed.
Elder Life Financial specializes in solutions like this. Call them at 1.888.228.4500 or visit their website – Click Here.
They can also help with processing a claim on your LTC insurance policy, link you to an accredited VA agent for Aid & Attendance, and introduce you to a Senior Real Estate Specialist as it relates to the sale of your private home.
MorningStar offers Companion Living in its communities, where two unrelated people of the same sex share a suite, whether in independent living, assisted living or memory care.
Not only does this living arrangement enhance life by its camaraderie, it also extends savings. To read more on Companion Living – Click Here.
The IRS allows certain deductions on a federal tax return for the cost of housing and meals of those receiving long-term care in a senior community due to chronic illness or the inability to live alone.
Assisted living residents may qualify for these deductions if a physician certifies that they have been unable to perform at least two activities of daily living (such as eating, bathing or dressing) without assistance for at least 90 days. The same deductions can apply to those who require substantial supervision due to memory impairment.
An adult child paying for a parent’s care may also qualify for the tax deductions, if the child can claim the parent as a dependent.
Consult a tax advisor for further information or visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Click Here.
Reap the benefits of collecting all of your vital financial and medical records in one place for easy, protected access:
- Social Security and Medicare
- Stock, Bond and Mutual Fund Investments
- Insurance Policies and ID cards
- Bank Accounts and Safety Deposit Boxes
- Most recent income tax return
- Last Will & Testament
- Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney
- Mortgages and other liabilities and debts
- Deeds and Titles
- Credit card and charge accounts
- Property tax information
- Location of all personal valuables
- Family health history
- Personal health history