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Navigating Senior Living: Understanding Your Senior Living Financial Options (Part 1 of 4)

Mar 11, 2021

Moving into senior living can be one of the best decisions of your life – but at the same time, there are many factors to take into consideration. Besides determining what type of community you want to live in, determining your location, weighing the options between various communities and the like, every future resident has to deal with the question of, “how will I pay for this?”

“Finances are some of the biggest concerns seniors have when moving into senior living,” says Barbara A. Keller, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Peter Becker Community. “It’s important to weigh your options carefully so that you’re comparing apples to apples and making the right choice for you.”

The good thing, she says, is that you may have many more options than you may think at first. “A lot of seniors may look at their bank accounts or retirement funds only, but there are other avenues you can pursue in order to finance your senior living lifestyle,” Barb says.

“At Peter Becker Community, we offer entrance fee plan choices for future residents. Both of our plans offer a refundable amount, known as residual value. Our easy entry plan offers the lowest initial entry fee and amortizes to zero residual value in 48 months. Our standard plan has a moderately higher initial entry fee and amortizes to a floor of 25% residual value in 36 months.

Our monthly service package will not vary regardless of the entry fee plan selected.

We also recommend that you speak to a financial planner who is well-versed in managing situations such as these so you can know your options and build a plan that will ensure the best senior lifestyle for you now and in the future.”

The Different Types of Senior Communities 

Before we dive into payment options, let’s discuss the different types of financial situations at different types of senior living communities. Depending on your health, lifestyle and financial situation, it’s possible that one option will be better for you than another.

Rental Community. These types of senior living communities can range from age-restricted communities (with minimal fees like you’d find in a HOA) to more traditional senior living communities where you can “add on” services to truly all-inclusive situations. These can be more affordable in the short-term basis, but as care needs increase, so do costs.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). These communities operate on a “buy-in” basis, meaning that residents pay an entrance fee that ensures their residency for life, no matter what may happen to their health or care needs. These communities are truly all-inclusive and offer a full spectrum of care on-campus, from independent living to memory care services.

Paying for Senior Living

There are a number of different ways of paying for senior living. Many individuals choose to pay for senior living with personal funds. These types of private funds can come from anywhere, including:

  • Personal funds – This includes retirement savings, investments and private savings. Selling a personal home is also another way many people fund their senior living lifestyle.
  • Life insurance or long-term care insurance – These policies can offer different options for accessing funds. Depending on the situation and the rules of your policy, you may be able to cash them out or use the funds to pay for certain aspects of care.

How to Get Started with a Financial Plan 

If you don’t already have a financial advisor, it’s generally a good idea to find one to help you map out your financial plan for the future. Since regulations and tax codes change on a yearly basis, an expert can help you navigate any new rules and assist you in finding options that can help reduce your costs or manage your money in a more efficient manner.

It’s best if you can start planning for your senior lifestyle well in advance – in other words, making it a part of your long-term financial plans. However, as the old adage goes, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now.” It’s never too early or too late to start making plans that can help you better manage your financial situation.

Here are some tips for helping find the right financial planner for your situation:

  • Ask for referrals. The best place to start is asking friends and family, but you can also get a wealth of information from communities and chat groups online.
  • Check industry databases. There are many professional associations that can help you locate financial planners in your area who are registered and reputable. One great resource is the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
  • Choose a fiduciary – these certified professionals are legally required to work in the best interests of their clients.
  • Narrow your list down to two or three individuals and meet them in person. You want to make sure you “click” with the person you’re working with, and the best way to do that is to meet with them. Remember, this isn’t a decision you want to rush.

Your Moments Are at the Heart of What We Do

At Peter Becker Community, it’s our mission each day to celebrate your individuality, whether you reside here full-time or are here as a temporary resident of our Health Care Center. Our support and encouragement are always expressed one-on-one. As a Continuing Care Retirement Community, we provide an environment that empowers you to remain active and independent, while ensuring your future needs will always be met. As a not-for-profit community, we are focused exclusively on the well-being of our residents.

We offer a full range of services – from independent Residential Living, to Personal Care, to Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation services, to compassionate Memory Care in our secure Memory Care neighborhood. Life here is good – it’s enriched by the time, choices, connections and involvement you’ll discover at our Continuing Care Retirement Community.

With our spectrum of activities, amenities, dining options, maintenance-free living and so much more, you’ll discover you spend more time enjoying our lifestyle and less time worrying about the details of life. You’ll find choices to build a secure life, connections that build closeness, involvement in the world at large and time to explore it all.

For more information about the services provided at Peter Becker Community, or to schedule a personal visit to our Continuing Care Retirement Community in Montgomery county, please contact us at (215) 720-1087 to begin the conversation.