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Senior Finances

How to Afford Senior Housing and Assisted Living

Making the decision to move into senior housing or assisted living is difficult enough. When you consider the rapidly rising cost of long-term care, though, that decision can quickly become overwhelming. With that said, there comes a point in many people’s lives when senior-care housing is the best choice.

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If you want to be financially prepared to afford senior-care housing, if and when that day comes, here are some options to consider. Note: In this article, we’re largely discussing the care side of senior housing – assisted living, memory care, nursing homes, and perhaps continuing care retirement communities – as opposed to 55+ communities and retirement communities.

Use a Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage allows you to sell the equity on your home in exchange for regular payments that are made to you. You are still allowed to live in your home. However, once you die or otherwise vacate your home, it will be sold by your lender. If you are 62 years or older, you can use a reverse mortgage to start setting aside money for senior housing. Once you actually move into senior housing, you will no longer be able to receive reverse mortgage payments. But until then, a reverse mortgage is a great way to put some extra money aside.

[Read more about reverse mortgages from HUD and the Federal Trade Commission]

Enroll In Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is exactly what the name suggests – insurance designed to help people pay for long-term care not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or other health insurance programs. For individuals worried about the future expenses of long-term care, buying long-term care insurance can alleviate some of the stress and worry.

[Read more about long-term care insurance from the Administration for Community Living]

Build Your Savings (and Investments)

If you foresee assisted living in your future, putting back plenty in savings becomes all the more important. Of course, as with saving for retirement, the sooner you start the better. Money invested now will be worth much more than money invested 10 years from now. In addition to your retirement savings goals, it may be wise to factor in the costs of assisted living and put enough savings and investments aside to cover that expense as well.

I cannot stress enough that it’s never too late to begin investing. If you’re interested in trying it out, this article has great tips on how to start investing after retirement. Just be sure to have a complete understanding of any financial moves you make.

[Read more about investing from Rule One Investing]

Conclusion on How to Afford Senior Housing

Sometimes, long-term care and senior-care housing become a necessity. There’s no real way to know whether you will end up needing care or assisted living at some point in your life. With this being the case, it’s important to prepare for all possible outcomes by setting aside money for long-term care.

Through strategies such as a reverse mortgage, long-term care insurance, and putting aside plenty in savings, you will be able to rest assured that you are able to afford senior housing or assisted living without putting a strain on the finances of you and your family.

house made of money

Related articles from Phil Town:

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

How to Set Retirement Savings Goals in Three Steps

The Easiest Way of Saving for Retirement

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    Phil Town is the founder of Rule One Investing, a hedge fund manager, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, an ex-Grand Canyon river guide, and a former lieutenant in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He and his wife, Melissa, share a passion for horses, polo and eventing. Phil’s goal is to help you learn how to invest and achieve financial independence.


    1. Ms. Dale Goodloe says:

      I have to move by the end of April from a home I’ve rented for over 10 years. I’m 77 and would like to find an apartment for active seniors that I can afford. Unfortunately, in Georgia HUD and/or Section 8 will only consider GROSS income and not NET incomes.

      My GROSS income is a little too high; my NET/disposableincome is $17,000 b/c of my medical expenses. This is the poverty level.

      I can’t afford rents at regular apartments and would have to pay market rent at age restricted, independent living apartments. What can I do? I don’t want to be reduced to having to rent a room somewhere and give up my dog and most of my furniture.

      Will appreciate any suggestions or help you can give me. I’m beginning to feel desperate.

      • Hello Ms. Goodloe. I am sorry to hear about your current situation. We here at do not actually provide housing or participate in programs for those with disability or income challenges in finding rental housing (we are instead a resource for the consumer to review available housing that has been placed for advertisement with us). That being said, we would like to suggest that you look into the organizations (particularly in the non-profit sector) in your area that offer guidance in these matters. Examples of such might be organizations for those with disabilities and also those housing the homeless. The folks who work with the homeless often have connections with housing providers for people in your similar situation. Another option would be visiting for further assistance. While this might take some legwork (or finger work on a computer), the results may be helpful. In the meantime, we wish the best for your during this difficult time.

    2. Davie florida

    3. wilfredo santos says:

      Davenport florida

    4. I currently live in a Senior Apartment Complex, my rent is $660.00 a month. In May my lease is over and if I stay it is going to increase to $725.00. I don’t know how I am going to afford it and need to find something I can. How can you help?

      • Hi Sandy. We’re here to help. You can search over 40,000 Senior Housing, Assisted Living and 55+ Communities on our main page at Simply type in the city and state you’re thinking of relocating to at the top of the page. Best of luck with your housing search!

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