Five Costs of Senior Living

By | February 9, 2015

All of your life, you’ve worked and planned for the day you retire. Freedom, relaxation and sailing away into the sunset are often the dream of most individuals as they approach the days of work-free worry. But, age has its own issues and can often come with a few unexpected expenses. Planning ahead can help lessen the impact these expenses can take. At the very least, you’ll be able to enjoy your time without stressing about finances.

Medical care

Most seniors know full well that they’ll have to deal with medical issues as they age. It’s a natural part of living and at some point you are likely to run into a medical emergency or other medical need. Participating in Medicare programs can help lessen the costs. Keep in mind that it’s possible Medicare won’t cover everything. It’s always a good idea to have some money set aside in case you need to cover additional medical expenses. In instances like this, look for what types of benefits financing you may qualify for to further reduce costs.

Some medical expenses you might not consider include walkers, reading glasses and over-the-counter medication or herbs for treating aches and pains.

Housing

If you are used to living on your own, the idea of moving to an assisted living or retirement home can be scary. The plus side of these communities is that they offer social opportunities as well as the presence of health care professionals. The biggest drawback: the cost. Try to have some money set aside in case you need long-term care or you want the option of living in a community where you can get help if you need it.

Transportation

It’s likely that as you age, your ability to drive will diminish. In addition to being uncomfortable for many seniors, it can be costly paying for a taxi service. Consider checking out public options for transportation or free transportation services to help you save a little money.

Traveling

If you are lucky enough to keep your good health for years to come, traveling is a great way to celebrate your life. Traveling as an older person can be more difficult. You’ll have to consider nicer hotels to accommodate your sleeping habits, different diets, travel restrictions and handling emergencies like forgetting your medication on the plane. Keep a little wiggle room in your travel budget to allow for some last-minute adjustments.

Help around the house

As you get older it’s going to be more difficult to maintain your home. You’ll likely have to pay for helpers to clean up your yard, make repairs and perform routine maintenance. You may even consider having someone clean your home and do your laundry once a week.

Will and Estate Planning

Ideally, this should be handled while you are young, but if you’ve still got some catching up to do, the cost of estate planning can be a little surprising. You can cut costs by keeping it as simple as possible. While creating a will is often uncomfortable, it can be a great service to your family later on.

Keep these expenses in mind as you age so you can plan ahead and avoid unnecessary stress.