The Real Cost of Retirement Care Hidden Fees and Added Services
services, they are easy to add to your payment package. However, it’s important that you read the terms and conditions detailing any services you decide to include. Otherwise, you may end up paying for a service your loved one doesn’t need.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of seniors is growing. Projections indicate there will be 56 million seniors in the U.S. by 2020 and 74 million by 2030. As the number of seniors increases, so does the need for senior living facilities. While you can still find plenty of traditional nursing homes, assisted living facilities have soared in popularity over the years, as have continuing care retirement communities. While these types of communities have many benefits for seniors and their families, it can be difficult to parse exactly what you’ll be paying for. Pricing structures and contract details require careful consideration before you decide on an appropriate facility for your loved one. Prices for assisted living facilities vary significantly. Because they offer a slew of services, you need to be fully aware of what you’re paying for. The base price you are quoted will usually include rent, meals, and activities offered on the premises. Some companies may offer a few additional basic services included in this cost, but as a rule, you can expect that any extra services will increase the price. Add-ons for assisted living services can range from basic hygiene needs to medical costs. If your loved one needs help dressing, expect an additional fee. The same goes for medication reminders, escorts to meals, incontinence care, and many other services. On-site activities are usually folded into the base rate, but be sure of that before signing. Access to a gym, pool, or pharmacy, for example, may incur extra charges. One advantage of the pricing model of assisted living facilities is that you can add services at any time. Many care facilities house seniors of varying health and ability levels. In the event that your loved one needs more
For some folks, an assisted living facility may not offer the complete care they need. This is where a nursing home may be necessary. They offer more medical services and around-the-clock care. A nursing home may be an option for a loved one with a progressive illness, such as dementia or Parkinson’s. Alternatively, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may be a possibility. CCRCs come with an impressive array of options that also fall under the assisted living or nursing care umbrellas. The difference is that these communities place great emphasis on independence, and residents typically live in a home all their own. Additionally, residents move in when they are still active and healthy and can continue to live in the community long-term, since the community adapts to their needs as they age in place. Aging in place at a CCRC doesn’t necessarily cost more than a traditional assisted living facility, but in every case, read your contract thoroughly, regardless of where you may choose to live as you or a loved one ages. You can also consult an estate planning or elder law attorney to ensure that you’re fully aware of all charges and possible future costs. the elderly are known acquaintances, such as family, friends, neighbors, and caretakers. What can you do to protect yourself, your family, and your estate?When you are still of sound mind, that is the best time to plan for power of attorney, as well as how to handle health care matters in the future. You want to make everything as clear as possible. Never sign anything that you don’t have a clear understanding of, such as financial documents. Always ask for clarification or have someone you trust go over the details with you to make sure it is truly in your best interest or the best interest of your heirs. For folks with aging parents, be sure to keep in regular contact with them through visits or phone calls. Ask them about their friends and the people they associate with, including caregivers and neighbors. This isn’t about being suspicious; it’s about knowing who is a part of your parents’ lives.
THE PROBLEM: FINANCIAL ELDERABUSE What You Can Do About It
Financial elder abuse is a major issue that’s not often discussed. Recently,
however, the subject made headlines due to high-profile legal battles. One of those battles centers on Stan Lee, one of the biggest faces behindMarvel Comics. He’s 95 and sits on an
estate worth tens of millions of dollars. Lee alleges that an acquaintance and memorabilia collector has made attempts to take over his estate. So far, Lee has obtained a restraining order against the collector, but a legal battle continues. While Lee is willing to fight a legal battle to save his estate, all too often the victims of financial abuse avoid taking legal steps to protect themselves and their assets. This is particularly true when family is involved. Often, victims don’t want to cause rifts in the family. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, upward of 90 percent of those who take financial advantage of
2 • CampbellWealth.comcampbellwealth.com
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