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Guide to Financing Senior Care

Financing Senior Care

Many people are surprised to find that Medicare is not universal health care for people over 65 and does not cover long-term care costs for seniors. With the average lifespan increasing, more adult children than ever before are caring for aging parents who have depleted their savings. According to the 2011 MetLife Mature Market Study, the national average for assisted living base rates is $42,000 per year. A private room in a nursing home averages more than $87,000 per year. Paying for care requires understanding options through research and careful planning. 

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance helps pay for costs not covered by private medical insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. This type of plan can help minimize the financial impact of long-term health care needs. In general, long-term care insurance will cover the cost of home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer's care facilities. Most companies will not insure people with preexisting conditions, it's easier to buy LTCI before health issues arise.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage - also called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) - is a type of loan for homeowners over the age of 62 that turns the equity saved up in a home into cash. When someone secures a reverse mortgage, they are able to use the money from their home equity while also living in and retaining ownership of the home. There are no restrictions on how you can use the money from a Reverse Mortgage. Traditionally, the big disadvantages of a reverse mortgage are the relatively high closing costs, but if you need or want money for any purpose, and are concerned about not being able to make the payments on a normal loan, then a reverse mortgage may be right for you.

Life Insurance Settlements

 A life settlement is the sale of an in-force life insurance policy by the policy owner of a third party. This allows the seller of the life insurance policy to receive cash that can be used to pay for medical bills and other expenses such as senior housing and elder care. The most obvious benefit is that a life settlement provides the seller with a source of revenue by converting and expense into cash. Instead of continuing to pay the premiums for an insurance policy, the party that purchases your policy will be responsible for paying them. Life settlements can offer the highest payment possible based on an existing policy.

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