Best Advice for Homeowners Transitioning into Assisted LivingPublished on 16 September 2019
Moving into an assisted living facility is a big change, and any time you’re considering a major transition, life can feel pretty inside-out. Adding to the stress of the situation, homeowners need to figure out what to do with the property being left behind. Here’s important information to help shape your decisions regarding assisted living, your home, and your future.
Is Now the Right Time?
Assisted living is a smart option for seniors in a variety of circumstances. Maybe you’ve had to give up driving, or taking care of your home is more challenging than it used to be. Perhaps you struggle with some activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding yourself, or getting in and out of bed. Or maybe you’re having trouble staying connected with other people. Senior isolation appears to be linked with several health concerns, such as dementia, decreased immune function, heart disease, and depression.
If any of those issues hit close to home, it might be the right time to move into an assisted living community. These communities keep you connected naturally, as you can choose to join group activities, attend outings, or even enjoy life with a roommate. There are transportation and housekeeping services, and staff can help with tasks that aren’t as simple as they once were.
Assisted living communities vary significantly, so it’s important to explore them personally before you decide on one. Think about things like the amenities, atmosphere, and your budget. To get started, check through online guides, and to give you a feel for the expense, note Las Vegas communities typically cost between $1,500 and $8,395 per month.
Homeowners who decide to move to an assisted living facility often have a major dilemma: the house they are leaving behind. Even if the decision to make the transition is simple, the decision of what to do with your home often isn’t. There are several options available, and all bear consideration.
Boost Your Income
Since the former abode will be standing empty, seniors often decide to rent it out. Keeping it occupied means you cut the risk of it falling victim to theft or vandalism, it keeps things like water and air conditioning units from stagnating, and it ensures the property isn’t going to waste. On top of all that, ValuePenguin notes unoccupied homes require special insurance, as standard homeowners policies won’t cover certain events such as fires, liability, or vandalism.
One recommendation for seniors who go this route is to hire a property manager to oversee the home. These professionals can take care of things like screening applicants, collecting rent, and house and lawn care, alleviating your burden so you can enjoy the passive income.
The rent you receive can offset the expense of assisted living. As a rule of thumb, SmartAsset suggests a monthly rent totalling around one percent of your home’s value. A home value estimator can help you with calculations.
Offer it for Sale
Many seniors opt to sell their homes when they move into assisted living. It can be a smart way to offset the costs associated with the transition, and it gets you out from under the burden of routine upkeep. Selling a house is a lot of work, though, and if you intend to rely on Medicaid you should be alert to the five-year look-back period. Funds you earn could leave you subject to penalties on the sale of any assets.
Ask Family to Take Charge
Rather than jeopardize their Medicaid status, sometimes seniors leave their house in the care of a family member. Unfortunately, not only is the home vulnerable if it’s left standing vacant, you’ll still have bills coming in. There is property tax, utilities, your homeowners policy, and so forth, and you should consider a power of attorney.
Consider discussing your particular circumstances with an elder law attorney. That way you can protect your assets, your family members, and your future.
Moving into an assisted living facility is a major lifestyle decision. Take your time and explore your options carefully. Only you can decide what the right choice is for you.