Planning for Assisted Living Expenses

March 29, 2012 — 1,358 views  
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While working in estate planning, you will likely encounter a significant number of clients looking for retirement savings advice. In such conversations, it's possible that the topic of assisted living expenses will come up. As this can be a sensitive subject, you'll want to approach it in a fairly delicate manner, and offer general retirement savings tips while also supplying specific information related to assisted living options.

For example, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recommends that those saving for their retirement should have a sum set aside equal to twice their current salaries at 40 years old. By 60, that total should have risen to nine times their salary. This is a useful general tip that provides a fairly reasonable assessment of how much it will cost an individual to live on sheer savings (and a pension, if applicable).

With that said, delve into some of the specifics of senior living care. The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) states that the average monthly cost of a private apartment in a senior living center is about $3,022. More likely than not, this will increase with time. Medical expenses and related costs must also be taken into account.

In addition to instructing clients in the best savings strategies, also recommend ways they can collect income after their retirement - namely, renting or selling their homes or apartments and using the resulting funds to pay for senior living expenses.