The Rising Cost of Elder Care

Green Settlements Staff

Subtle shifts (and a few not-so-subtle transformations) are likely to take place as you get older, several of which will inevitably impact your overall quality of life. Everything from your health to the status of your social relationships can have an effect on your mental and physical wellbeing, and your personal finances are no different. In fact, AARP and other industry experts have revealed through countless surveys that nearly half of older adults expect to retire at an older age than their parents’ generation, due primarily to concerns about money—or more accurately, a lack thereof.

Without steady income, seniors run the risk of retiring without a large enough nest egg. The loss of a spouse presents a profound change, as well, and is often one that can shape your financial future.

If you lose a loved one, or if you’re no longer able to remain independent in your own home—or if you simply want to downsize your current living situation—you might consider some form of elder care. This relatively broad term is used to describe any service that facilitates a healthy senior lifestyle, and it encompasses everything from nursing homes and assisted living to home care or even hospice care. Whatever your needs may be, you have options when it comes staying happy, safe and healthy well past retirement.

While certain senior care services, such as home health care or skilled nursing services, may be covered by Medicare, many are not. Private and semi-private nursing homes, for instance, typically wind up costing residents and their families thousands of dollars per year, or even per month: Though prices vary by state, one month in a nursing home can cost you or your family $5,000-6,000. Assisted living and in-home adult care are expensive, too, as evidenced by recent reports comparing the average costs and rates paid for various types of adult care around the country.

It’s also worth noting that as the aging population grows, these resources will continue to dwindle, and prices for senior care services may spike as a result. This puts extra strain on seniors who are limited in terms of generating fresh funds, especially when healthcare costs become a burden or it’s time to move.

What many seniors don’t realize is that their life insurance policies can provide financial relief if and when they choose to sell their insurance in exchange for a life settlement. Whole, universal and even term policies may be eligible on the secondary market, giving older adults more options for attaining their post-retirement goals.

To qualify, policyholders must be over the age of 65 and own a policy with a face value of at least $100,000. After applying for a preliminary evaluation, you may be asked to provide basic details about your health and medical history, as well as information specific to your life insurance plan.

A life settlement shouldn’t be considered a panacea to solve all your financial ills, but it can certainly help you afford necessary expenses without breaking the bank.

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