Friday, August 23, 2013

Finance Dos and Don'ts for Elders in Assisted Living

Many seniors have a hard time managing their finances with assisted living because few people prepare for this lifestyle. Not only that, but only a small percentage of people have enough money for an easy retirement. At the same time, there are some things that you can do to make your money last as long as possible. Here are some things to consider about your finances if you have assisted living arrangements.

Consult a Financial Expert


Now is the time to consult a financial expert. He or she will be able to create an effective budget that ensures that you have enough money for all of the essentials. The expert will also be able to properly invest your money so that it grows, which gives you more to work with. While you can make a budget without a financial expert, he or she will be able to consider many factors that you may not think about.

Don’t Assume


You can’t assume when it comes to money. Some elderly patients assume that their assisted living care won’t become more expensive, but then something happens and they have to pay for additional medication or care. Assuming can lead to mismanaged finances. You might even run out of money years ahead of time.

Make sure that all of your numbers are correct and leave a cushion so that you can pay for additional financial burdens.

Keep Extra Money


Aside from leaving a cushion, you should also leave some extra money around as a rainy-day fund. This should be enough to cover your expenses for at least six months, but having more is also a good idea. If your investments go awry or if there are any other problems, then you can take some of this money to pay for the essentials.

Many experts say that you should have at least $12,000 set aside for each adult.

Don’t Overspend


Assisted living can be boring sometimes. It’s hard to go outside and there are few things that you can do. This leads some seniors to spend money on things to keep the boredom away. While there’s nothing wrong with buying one or two things every now and then, major overspending can kill your budget.

Do whatever you can to stay within your budget. Going a little over once or twice may not be terrible, but it can hurt your finances if this happens continuously.

Ask for Help


If you need help, then ask for it. Chances are that you have friends and family that are willing to help if you need it. While many seniors have a sense of pride about finances, sometimes it’s better to just ask for money. This doesn’t mean that you should make a habit of it, but ask your family for money if you really can’t afford something that you need.

If you show that you really need help, then your family should have no problem giving you some money.

Don’t Pay Out of Pocket


You should have some type of insurance or protection that can help you pay for certain things. For example, there are many policies that can decrease your medication costs by a significant margin. Check your insurance policies to see if you can save any money on your assisted living and other medical costs.

You might be able to save hundreds of dollars a month by just going through your insurance paperwork.

Pay Expensive Debts


If you have any expensive debts, then you might want to consider paying for them right now. Many of these debts have high interest rates that will increase how much you pay over the life of the debt. For example, you might save hundreds or thousands of dollars by paying the entire debt right now.

Go over your debts and see if you can save any money by paying them right now. This isn’t always viable, but it can be useful.

Conclusion
Paying for assisted living can be difficult financially, but many seniors are able to pay for it and maintain their lifestyle at the same time. You just need to make the right financial moves to keep yourself afloat and keep your senior housing options open. If you do this, then you shouldn’t run out of the money.



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