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If you’re a natural planner—and even if you aren’t—you may be wondering how to approach retirement planning, especially as it relates to your living situation. Particularly if you’re hoping to take some of the stress and cost out of your senior living equation, you may be considering moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). But how much will this cost? Can you afford a CCRC? What is the best way to save for senior living?

Fortunately, you can avoid making costly mistakes when it comes to financial planning for life in a CCRC. Here are some of the most common mistakes seniors make in retirement planning and what you should do instead.

Common Financial Mistakes Seniors Make in Planning Retirement Living

In general, the best way to avoid the financial pitfalls of preparing for senior community living is to start planning early, enlist the help of legal and financial advisors, and do your research. Steer clear of the following costly errors:

 

  1. Waiting until you need skilled nursing care to join a retirement community. The more care you need when you enter a CCRC, the more expensive your contract type will be. There’s also no guarantee that a residence will be available when you need it. By doing your research and moving in while you can live independently, you’ll keep costs down, which helps you financially qualify for a residence. You’ll also ensure that you get into the community of your choice and can upgrade to the care level you need later on.

 

  1. Not ensuring that you financially qualify for the community you want to move into. Just as you may have had to qualify for a student or home loan in the past, you’ll also need to meet the financial criteria established by the CCRC of your choice in order to secure a residence there. There are many ways to pay for your community home and care, so do your research on each and choose the method that works best for your current financial and living situation. You can find more information about this here.

 

  1. Assuming that Medicaid and Medicare will cover all of your future care costs. Although many CCRCs accept Medicare and Medicaid benefits, these can only be used to cover certain services, and most CCRC residents don’t qualify for Medicaid. Find out how much you are eligible to receive in Medicare or Medicaid benefits and create a fund to pay for medical and care costs that won’t be covered by these programs. Similarly, it’s essential to educate yourself on what long-term insurance does and doesn’t cover.

 

  1. Supporting adult working children. Remember that your adult children have far more time to recover from financial difficulties than you do. Rather than taking on serious financial responsibilities for them, allow them to take on their own; you can always contribute small gifts as you are able. In addition, giving large or lump-sum monetary gifts to your children can prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid and/or financially qualifying to live in a CCRC. Planning for yourself first can ultimately place less of a burden on your children.

 

  1. Poor asset management, or poor communication with your financial advisor. If you don’t currently have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), you may be missing out on smart asset management and other financial strategies for funding your retirement lifestyle (as well as stress relief and peace of mind). Be sure to communicate as much about your retirement plans as possible to your CFP, because it should factor into the investment strategy they create for you as well as other aspects of financial planning.

Enjoy a Loving and Financially Sound Way of Life With Chapel Pointe

Chapel Pointe is a faith-based continuing care retirement community. We commit each day to serving and enhancing the quality of life for people aged 62+ in Central Pennsylvania. We’re honored that our greater community sees the servant-heart of our nonprofit organization and consistently selects Chapel Pointe as “The Best of Cumberland County.”

Nestled in eight beautifully landscaped acres in Carlisle, PA, our welcoming campus is filled with interesting places to explore and amenities that make life easy and enjoyable. Bird-watch from the gazebo, take a quiet moment in the chapel, curl up with a book in the library, join a friend for coffee in the sunroom, use the free internet in the café, take the shuttle for a daytrip, or just pull up a chair for some good conversation.

Since the beginning, our team's mission has been to ensure that every resident is treated with love and the utmost respect. Experiencing our core values—trust, integrity, faith, service, and innovation—lived out every day at Chapel Pointe reassures seniors that they are making the right decision by welcoming us into their lives. Contact us to learn more about our community or support our mission by making a donation today!

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