Financial Planning Resources for Senior Living
We understand that financial considerations are a key part of the decision-making process for those considering a move to a senior living community.
Five Steps to Help You Prepare for Senior Living
Whether planning for yourself or a loved one, there are ways you can streamline financial conversations as you prepare to choose a senior living community. Taking these steps and gathering this information can also provide you with a clearer picture of your finances.
You will likely have multiple income sources in retirement. Set up automation of as many as possible, such as automatically depositing Social Security payments. Consider using automatic bill payment for items like insurance premiums.
Begin activating any retiree health benefits your employer provides. Check your Medicare eligibility and apply for coverage three months before you turn 65. If you’re already receiving Medicare, ensure you have the right coverage and supplemental plans for your age and health needs.
If you decide to start taking Social Security, contact the U.S. Social Security Administration to receive necessary paperwork to file for payments.
Ensure that your withdrawal strategy is finalized and you have enough income drawn from your assets each month to cover your expenses.
Depending on your retirement goals, be sure to evaluate all of your options to make those dreams a reality. It may be best to downsize from your large home, or if you wish to travel, you may appreciate the added security and conveniences an active adult community like Terova can provide.
Checklist: Planning for a Loved One’s Move
If you are in charge of your parent’s or spouse’s finances prior to a move into senior living, it can be overwhelming. Use this checklist to help organize what you need to do and what documents you’ll need.
Locate your or your loved one’s designated power of attorney. You will need access to accounts and records. If your loved one is in declining health, plan for this as early as possible. Collect computer login information, bank account types and locations, tax records, insurance policies, loans, mortgage and investment accounts. If your loved one has a financial planner, they may be able to help you compile this information.
With access to all your loved one’s records, you can begin to complete the checklist of important documents. Locate these documents, make copies of them and store one set in a safe place so it’s easily accessible; stow the other set for safe keeping. Documents include:
- Bank accounts,
- Birth certificates and marriage license
- Credit card statements
- Deeds and mortgage documentation
- Insurance policies — life, health, and property
- Investment documents for savings bonds, stock certificates, accounts etc.
- Loans and other debts
- Membership dues and subscription fees
- Monthly bills including utilities, rent/mortgage
- Pension, 401k, IRA and annuity documents
- Social Security benefit verification letter
- Social Security statements
- Tax returns – three years
- Vehicle titles
Streamline and consolidate accounts. Document monthly payments and automate bill payment when possible. Look for long-forgotten subscriptions and cancel them. Close out accounts with small balances or seldom used credit cards.
When Is the Right Time to Make the Move to Senior Living?
It’s a tough decision: When should you break open that retirement nest egg and fund the life you’ve been looking forward to for years? Should you wait for the “ideal” market or go ahead with your plans to take distributions from your retirement savings? Here are some considerations to help you make the decision.
Deciding when to crack open your nest egg isn’t necessarily tied to how the stock market is performing today. It’s about recognizing the value of what you’re trying to accomplish and securing the future you want in retirement. As part of the process, it’s important to review all sources of income and health care coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, VA benefits, long-term care insurance, etc. Looking at the big picture allows you to see how tapping into your nest egg may impact your overall goals.