According to WhereYouLiveMatters.org, powered by the American Senior Housing Association (“ASHA”), there are about 22,000 senior housing properties in the U.S. And there are different types of senior housing within that 22,000, so figuring out which one to choose can feel a bit daunting. Before you begin to explore senior living options near you, ask yourself two questions that will simplify your search.
How Much Can I Afford?
You may think senior living is expensive. But a lot of people are surprised at how favorably costs compare to homeownership.
First, figure out how much it costs to stay in your own home. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, you still have home owner’s expenses such as senior-related renovations and ongoing home maintenance issues, as well as expenses for utilities, taxes, groceries, dining out, entertainment, etc. Use this Cost Worksheet to get started. And don’t forget to add up any medical or in-home health care expenses.
Next, take all your financial resources into account. In addition to income and your assets, this includes long-term care insurance, veterans or surviving spouse’s benefits, retirement investments or other pension benefits.
Once you collect this information, you can establish a budget. Then you can eliminate any retirement housing options that don’t fit within it – making your search that much easier.
What Level of Services Do I Really Need?
Make an objective list of current services and support you need, as well as those you anticipate needing down the road. You may not need health services now, but the reality is that 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
Senior Care Continuum Guide
This guide can help you know more about your choices. And that can help you feel more confident as you make decisions with your family.