Four Steps to Determining What you Can Afford for Assisted Living
By CarePatrol of Fox Cities
When we first start working with families and seniors, the first thing we hear is “We can’t afford assisted living”, but when we start putting things into perspective, they realize just how much they can afford it.
Before we start touring with our clients, we look at doing an analysis to determine what you can afford. This is something you can easily do on your own. Here’s how!
Step 1: What are my housing costs? Gather together your housing costs for the month. Include expenses like your utility costs, what you spend on maintenance such as snow removal, landscaping and yard care, etc. Don’t forget about preventative maintenance costs such as your furnace inspections. Also take your property tax and divide that by 12 for a monthly average.
Step 2: What are your monthly utility costs? Every month you are paying utility bills for heat, electric, water, sewer and even in some cases garbage pick-up. Get those bills together and figure out how much you are spending every month.
Step 3: How much are you spending on groceries? Most of the time you don’t consider this an expense to factor in, but most assisted livings offer a meal plan. Some you can opt out as well, but it’s important to consider those costs when determining what’s all included in your monthly assisted living expenses.
Step 4: What are your income sources? The reason we suggest looking at each source is that you might be bringing in more income than you realized when you factor in such things as pensions, 401(k), investments, social security, long-term care insurance. If you are selling home, how much are you anticipating getting, how long will you need it to supplement your income?
Once you’ve got all of your numbers, add together steps 1-3. This will give you a total on what you’re currently spending on housing costs. Reviewing your income sources, taking into consideration other factors such as health and age, you’ll be able to use that information to determine what you can afford each month. If you’re still unsure, reach out to a Certified Senior Advisor for assistance. Some charge, others, like CarePatrol are a free service. Together we can find you an option that fits within your income while meeting your care needs.