22 Nov 2017

Financial concerns are a huge deal for many seniors, especially if they are looking into moving into a senior living community. Not just because they want to make sure they have enough money to live a happy, healthy life in their new home–but also because many want to be able to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. As the cost of medical care continues to climb (and life experience right along with it), how can today’s senior successfully plan for a comfortable future for both themselves and their heirs?

The answer may be easier than you think. With some long-term planning, a conservative approach and some creative thinking, it is entirely possible for seniors on all ends of the financial spectrum to be able to show generosity to their heirs while growing old in comfort.

Join Our Newsletter!

  • We take your privacy seriously! We won't ever share your information.

Financial concerns are a huge deal for many seniors, especially if they are looking into moving into a senior living community. Not just because they want to make sure they have enough money to live a happy, healthy life in their new home–but also because many want to be able to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. As the cost of medical care continues to climb (and life experience right along with it), how can today’s senior successfully plan for a comfortable future for both themselves and their heirs?

The answer may be easier than you think. With some long-term planning, a conservative approach and some creative thinking, it is entirely possible for seniors on all ends of the financial spectrum to be able to show generosity to their heirs while growing old in comfort.

Inheritance doesn’t have to wait for you to pass on.
When you think “inheritance,” people automatically think of a will reading following their passing. However, according to a report from the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, approximately 17 percent of inheritances happen during the giver’s lifetime. While part of it is because as lifespans get longer, heirs could be nearing or at retirement when it’s time to pass the financial torch, which makes an earlier inheritance of more benefit…another reason is, simply, that it allows the giver to see their gift benefit their loved ones. However, be sure to speak to a financial advisor about your needs before handing off large amounts of cash to your heirs.


Inheritance also doesn’t have to mean $$$.
For many people, the most important thing their parents or grandparents leave them isn’t money–it’s memories. Consider pairing an alternative approach to your inheritances along with cash. Does your daughter love tickling the ivories? Maybe gifting her a grand piano to enjoy will mean more than a lump sum. Does your family enjoy traveling? Take a big, once-in-a-lifetime trip with your kids and their families to a place you’ve always wanted to visit (and be sure to take lots of pictures). You can also look way down the road and set up trusts or investments for your grandkids (like 529s for college educations) that will continue to grow throughout the years.


Plan conservatively, but be reasonable.
When it comes to intensive, long-term care, the average stay ranges between 2-3 years. However, they’re just that: averages. According to Shirley B. Whitenack, president-elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a partner with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park, N.J., a good rule of thumb is to budget for approximately five years of care costs before gifting away any money.

However, don’t get too wrapped up in future expenses. “My father was worried he wouldn’t have enough money to pay for his living expenses when he moved into a community and still be able to leave a legacy for us,” says Val Smith, one of three daughters to a 91-year old reluctant to move to senior housing. “However, he was receiving $60K+ in income from investments and social security, and when he sold his house he netted $250K. The senior living community he moved to cost $5K a month…so even with a few expenses here and there, he discovered it would take a long time before he spent all of his money.”


The bottom line.
No matter what your personal situation, the best piece of advice we can give you is similar to what you hear on an airplane: Take care of yourself first, then worry about others. The greatest gift you can leave your children and grandchildren is the peace of mind knowing that you are well taken care of. And that knowledge–for both you and them–is priceless!

Learn more about SeniorVu today!

SCHEDULE A DEMO