It feels like I hear a story every day about the challenges of paying for the rising cost of long-term care. A recent study conducted by Long Term Care Colorado concluded that the average annual cost for an Assisted Living Community is $45,000 and $83,000 to $93,000 for Nursing Home Care. This was shocking to learn considering that Colorado’s median annual household income, as reported by the US Census Bureau, is only $59,000.

Aside from the typical methods of paying for long-term care such as cash, Medicaid, VA programs, reverse mortgages, long-term care insurance and life insurance policies there are 5 other options to consider.

Senior Care

Have an estate sale

If you’re considering selling your home to move to an Assisted Living Community or Nursing Facility having an estate sale is an excellent way to fund some of your care needs. While an estate sale will not cover all the cost of all of your care needs it’s certainly a better option than paying to store these items. More often than not it’s a family member who will have to deal with these belongings later during a time of grieving. Consider hiring an agency to assist you such as Caring Transitions

Get a bridge loan for senior care

Very often, when it comes time to move to an Assisted Living Community or Nursing Home, a person will need to sell a home. The sale of the home can cover a significant portion of care although has some challenges. The need to move may arise before the home is ready to sell or sold. If this happens and you have good credit you may qualify for a bridge loan. This interest-only loan will cover the cost of senior care before your home sells with the expectation that the loan will be paid back using the proceeds from the sale.

Verify you’ve considered all benefits

The National Council on Aging offers a Benefits CheckUp, which is the most complete resource we’ve seen. With this quick survey you will get a list of long-term care, medical, utility and housing programs you may qualify for. What’s available to you or a family member will be based on some basic income and expense information.

Put family agreements in writing

Those with adult children willing to help we recommend putting those family agreements in writing to avoid disputes. Some programs such as Medicaid, VA Aid and Attendance, and long-term care policies allow you to pay relatives the market rate for caregiving. These written agreements should outline the level of care needed.

Written agreements can also be used when the adult children are contributing to your care with money, time, or a combination of both so that they can effectively be settled with the estate after a person passes.

Crowdfunding

If you don’t mind sharing your situation online than Crowdfunding is another good option. Crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe allow you to post your story to raise money through friends, neighbors and anyone else who might see your page. It’s not uncommon these days for people to use this method to raise money for long-term care. Using this tool will cost around 5% of the money raised.

The rising cost of long-term care is quite alarming considering the shrinking number of options for those who are financially challenged. We can only hope and advocate for changes in legislation to assist those who are out of options.

May you enjoy peace, love and happiness,

Timberli Graham

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