Posted April 20, 2007

Last night I attended a seminar on retirement planning. Besides being the youngest person there by about 40 years… I picked up a few bits of information on Continuum of Care Retirement Communities also known as CCRCs. 

On one hand they seem perfect because they have independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing and usually make a promise to continue to take care of you even if your money runs out. This of course is after you pass a medical and financial application.  And if you don’t qualify, you will be turned down.

However, I think its important to note – and I took this away from the class- that before you even go look at places to live (senior communities, assisted living, skilled nursing, retirement – whatever…) be sure you know what you are working with.

Here is what you should know as a minimum before you tour ANY community.

  1. What are your total assets? Value of home and investments
  2. What is your total available income?  In addition to your social security and pension if you have one, what would be your yearly income off investments and dividends should you choose not to reinvest them?  Some buildings will take this number into account on the financial application.  And not just the expensive places, affordable housing as well..
  3. What is it costing you now?  It will seem really expensive if you compare the monthly to your mortgage or rent.  But you have to add the following to your monthly living expense to get a better comparison.  For instance – your real estate/property taxes, your utilities, housekeeping, lawn care, maintenance, groceries, eating out, home owners insurance, any in home care you may currently be receiving.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you will still have the expenses of your doctor and hospital visits, your Medicare and any supplemental insurance as well as your prescriptions.  The only time this would be taken care of is if you were on Medicaid, which as we know is the health insurance for those with absolutely no money.

I can’t stress how important it is to know those numbers above before you look.  You do not have time to waste looking at places that you cannot afford financially.  In my business it helps me narrow down those choices for families and save time and frustration.

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