10 HECM Facts

At some point in your life, you may decide that you need at-home care. It is a big step that might seem overwhelming right now. But you have many options when it comes to in-home care. In addition to different levels of care, there are many different ways to afford this next step.

Count the Cost

Once you have decided that you need in-home care, you need to decide what your needs are. You may need 24-hour help, part-time assistance, or just companionship. You can determine what level of care you need based on your condition, medical requirements or personal preferences.

Next, you need to decide how much it will cost to pay for your required services. If you’ll need full-time care, that will be much more expensive than drop-in help. At-home care costs will vary based on your needs. Fortunately, there are many ways to pay for these services.

Explore Your Options

You have the option to hire help or rely on family members for in-home care. If you have family members that are willing to help there are several potential ways to compensate them for their time. These payment options can also apply for hired help.

Here are some options that could help you cover the cost of in-home care:

  1. Veteran benefits. If you were injured in any military conflict after 9/11 you may be eligible for financial assistance. In 2010, a law was passed that allows for a monthly stipend to be given to the primary caregivers of these injured veterans. Contact your VA office to find out if you are eligible.
  2. Medicaid. The program has a way to assess the needs and local pay rates to determine a fair wage to pay your family member. In some states, the program will help you pay for a family caregiver. However, the rules and eligibilities vary greatly by state. Contact your local Medicaid agency to determine if you are eligible.
  3. Long-term care insurance. If you have long-term care insurance, then you may be able to pay your family member or hired help through that policy. In most plans that allow this, your family member would have to become a certified caregiver before qualifying for this option. Check with your provider to see if this is an option.
  4. Other earnings and assets. You may have other resources available to help pay for your at-home care. It is possible to pay your family members out of those resources. It is a good idea to consult an attorney or accountant to discuss the arrangement between you and your family member.

Not all of these options will be available depending on your situation. It is a good idea to thoroughly check into all of these options before you consider more extreme solutions.

Limited Resources?

If you’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t have the resources you need for the in-home care you need, you might want to consider a reverse mortgage.

This is a financial product that allows you to tap into your home’s equity in order to receive regular monthly payments. These payments could support your retirement lifestyle by providing additional income that could help you afford the in-home care that you need in retirement. For more information, you can check out how a reverse mortgage works.

Aja McClanahan is a freelance writer and owner of www.principlesofincrease.com.