As if talking to your parents about whether it’s time to move to senior living in Somerset County wasn’t difficult enough, learning whether or not they are financially prepared for it can be even more complicated. Money tends to be a delicate topic of discussion for most families and any conversation around senior living is likely to be emotional, whether your parent is agreeable to the idea or not. That makes it even more important to take the right approach to have positive, productive discussions. These tips can help you talk to your parents about paying for senior living.
What You Need to Know
First, let’s consider what you need to know about your parents’ financial picture to get a better handle on what their budget might be for paying for senior living. The basics include:
- The market value of their home, what they owe, and home insurance policy details.
- What they owe on their car if they still have one as well as auto insurance details.
- Their savings and investments.
- Income such as a pension and/or Social Security.
- Outstanding debts and/or monthly bills.
- Medical insurance coverage – Medicare, private health insurance, and/or a long-term care insurance policy.
- Life insurance policy details.
- Estate planning details like their will and power of attorney.
You’ll also need to know where the above information is stored and how you can access it if needed in paying for senior living.
How to Talk to Your Parents about Paying for Senior Living
Now that you know what you need to learn about your parent’s finances, how do you even bring up the conversation? In reality, this isn’t just one conversation; there’s simply too much to cover so instead think of it as creating an open dialogue. Often, it’s best to talk about the idea of moving first and then discuss paying for senior living with your parent. Regardless, it can be helpful to put yourself in your parent’s shoes and imagine how you’d want the conversation to go. But in general, your parents will be more receptive if you’re respectful and collaborative instead of taking over the decision-making about senior living in Somerset County.
Conversation starters could include:
- Bringing up a current event such as Medicare enrollment, an IRA distribution, etc. as a segue to talk about their future and/or finances.
- Recalling a concern they had about daily life at home and what the options might be to improve it.
- Talking about an experience that happened to a friend or neighbor that got you thinking about paying for senior living.
- Be honest that you’d like to know more about their needs and wants for the future, their financial picture, and their thoughts about senior living in Somerset County.
Download our Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing.
Why Senior Living in Somerset County Is Worth It
Chances are, your parent won’t be jumping at the idea of moving to senior living in Somerset County. So, you’ll have to convince them of the benefits. Luckily there are many, including:
- Different types of care – independent living, assisted living, memory care – to fit different needs and wants with many communities offering multiple types on the same campus for added peace of mind.
- An environment that fosters independence with accessible design, expertly-trained staff at hand when needed, and options for accommodations as well as support services.
- A more convenient and carefree lifestyle with freedom from the burdens of home maintenance, cooking, and housekeeping.
- Amenities such as concierge services, restaurant-style dining, a gym, a beauty salon and barbershop, a library, and scheduled transportation.
- A full calendar of social, fitness, and enrichment opportunities to help residents stay active, engaged, and make the most of life.
There are also benefits to planning ahead when it comes to paying for senior living including:
- Having the time to truly think through their needs, wants and budget to find the best fit.
- Being able to carefully research your options without pressure so your parent feels more confident in the decision.
- Being able to take control of their future rather than reacting in a crisis, or leaving it up to someone else.
- Having more time to save and budget for senior living
- Less stress and burden on the family when you know your parent’s wishes and what they can afford instead of guessing in a crisis.