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Senior Lifestyle

Financial Planning for Seniors: Ensure Safety & Comfort

Written by Haley Burress
Last Updated :

The New York Post highlights a stark reality: 80% of aging adults in America lack the financial means to afford two years of nursing home care or four years in an assisted living community. [1]

Similarly, despite their preference to “age in place”, 60% of older adults cannot afford in-home care.

As care needs evolve, the high cost of long-term care can quickly limit options for those who haven’t been financially prepared.

Thankfully, thoughtful financial planning can enable seniors to afford high-quality care in their later years and enhance their golden years’ experience.

You may be wondering, ‘How do I optimize benefits correctly?’ Let’s delve into this topic and explore some strategies…

Optimize Your Benefits

Care needs inevitably change with age, and optimizing benefits can maximize your ability to manage these needs.

Remember that Medicaid may cover some long-term care costs depending on your state of residence, while Medicare generally does not.

SENIOR WOMAN CHECKING HER FINANCES

Fortunately, long-term care insurance can help defray the cost of at-home care or nursing home fees, with the average monthly benefit falling between $2,000 and $10,000.

To allow you to leverage your cash, feel free to explore popular options such as hybrid long-term care plans. You may be wondering, “how do they help?” [2]

These plans allow you to receive benefits and cover approximately four to five times greater than your initial investment.

So don’t be afraid to explore other helpful plans, such as different pension plans and retirement benefits.

Indeed, many seniors aren’t unaware they might qualify for state-specific programs that can provide financial aid for long-term care needs. 

You might be eligible for more benefits than you realize – for example, surviving spouses of veterans could qualify for a VA survivors pension, providing up to $2,200 monthly for care expenses.

Now that we’ve explored benefit optimization let’s delve into an unexpected potential source of revenue—your collectibles.

Explore our other articles, such as “Psychological Effects of Loss of Mobility,” to gain further insights into this important subject.

Value Your Collectables

Liquidating some of your collectibles and high-value items can be an excellent source of income.

Not only can it enable downsizing when required, but this is especially important for living expenses in later life.

To start, get your collectibles professionally appraised and focus on gold coins. Here’s why:

Gold coins are a highly-liquid investment, which can be sold readily anytime. [3]

In fact, a ½ ounce American Eagle gold coin has a face value of $25, while a one-ounce coin’s face value is $50. Hence, begin by having your collectibles professionally appraised. [4]

SENIOR FIGURINE BESIDE THE COINS

To do this, visit your local antique store and don’t hesitate to ask if they can advise a specialist to evaluate your items.

If, for example, you possess fine art, a specialist can give you a more accurate valuation based on its condition than a general antique dealer.

With the added cushion from your valued collectibles, let’s turn your attention to other opportunities available to homeowners – exploring the concept of a reverse mortgage.

Explore Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage can be a helpful tool for seniors who own their homes.

To elaborate, this allows you to tap into your home’s equity for additional income while you continue to live there.

It’s essential, however, to understand the implications – including the need to repay the loan if you move out of the home, before deciding on this path.

In addition to all of these financial strategies, there is one more aspect to consider for long-term comfort and safety – starting home modifications early!

Looking for an easy workout? Don’t miss our fun guide on ‘Chair Yoga for Wheelchair Users‘. You’ll love it!

Begin Home Modifications Now

Starting home modifications while you still have mobility allows costs to spread over several years, thus preventing a sizeable financial burden later in life.

HOME RENOVATION BLUEPRINT

Simple changes, like installing grab bars in the bathroom – typically costing around $20 – can make a significant difference.

Ensuring that any aged or unstable decking and railings are repaired is also essential to prevent falls.

In terms of larger investments, consider an elevated toilet, costing under $500, which can enhance bathroom safety.

As with planning in general, intelligent financial planning is crucial for anyone, including seniors.

Financial planning for seniors involves more than just crunching numbers.

It’s about making strategic decisions and taking proactive steps – like early home modifications – to ensure a comfortable and secure future.

After all, these steps combined make for an effective strategy in planning for your golden years – the ultimate gift for a lifetime…

Financial Planning for Seniors

References

1. Rudy M, News F. Most senior citizens in America can’t afford nursing homes [Internet]. NYPOST. 2023. Available from: https://nypost.com/2023/04/27/most-senior-citizens-in-america-cant-afford-nursing-homes/

2. CLU® DC ChFC®. Life Insurance With Long-Term Care Hybrid Policies | The Motley Fool [Internet]. www.fool.com. 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/insurance/life/life-insurance-long-term-care/

3. United States Mint 2023 American Eagle (W) Silver Proof Coin Available on March 2 [Internet]. Yahoo Finance. 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 9]. Available from: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/united-states-mint-2023-american-165200272.html

4. 2023 1/2oz Gold American Eagle Coin [Internet]. www.usgoldbureau.com. [cited 2023 Jun 12]. Available from: https://www.usgoldbureau.com/2023-1-2oz-gold-american-eagle-coin

About Author

Haley Burress
Haley has been working with seniors and their caregivers for more than 17 years. She has held local and national leadership roles in a variety of senior services and senior care agencies. Today, she is a sought after writer specializing in topics for older adults, their family members, and professional caregivers. When she isn't at her computer sipping coffee, you can find her hiking with her husband, son, and dog or trying a new cookie recipe in the kitchen. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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