If you haven’t planned for how you would like to enjoy the next phase of your life, then the answer is simply “not quite yet”. And, you’re not alone. There is a surprising number of people who do not tackle the process of planning in advance, and in many cases, this causes complications when it comes to living in your first choice community, being able to enjoy amenities and services to the fullest, or receiving needed services in a time of need.
Future planning is something that many of us hesitate to think about, considering where we are in our active lifestyles. However, it never hurts to be ahead of the curve, especially as you consider down-sizing or moving into a life plan (formerly CCRC or continuing care retirement) community.
It’s not entirely necessary to have all your steps completely planned out in order to transition into retirement living, but it can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to sorting through all of the elements of downsizing, “rightsizing”, and living a complete and fulfilling life.
Planning for a successful retirement is an opportunity to account for all of your assets, verbalize your goals and wishes, and establish your pathway to a successful and healthy future. Another aspect to consider is that your plan doesn’t just include you! Think about those who you consider to be your essential support network, and take time to have quality conversations about these individuals’ involvement in your support plan.
Yes, planning ahead can be a daunting task. But breaking it down into a few key elements can provide a better understanding and an easier way to approach the entire process. Here are the top 6 tips:
Thinking about the future can feel like a difficult task to navigate, so developing your plan with the help of trusted family or friends will make the process much easier. Hiring a financial advisor, tax professional, and estate planning attorney can help you ensure your plan is complete and developed to fit your needs, finances, and overall situation, as well as make it easy to understand by all parties when the time comes to apply it.
If you’re considering a move to a CCRC, we recommend gathering information about entrance fees and monthly fees and qualification criteria so that they can also be discussed with your advisor.
As part of the application and residency process for a CCRC like Homestead Village, complete documentation of assets and income is required for financial approval. Creating an inventory of assets is a great way to make sure that your financial application is complete.
It’s important to include all of your assets when working on your application. Tangible assets may include your home, land, real estate, vehicles, collectibles, and any other personal property. Intangible assets include bank accounts (both checking and savings), stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, retirement finances, health savings accounts, and business ownerships. For each of these possessions, it will be necessary to assign an estimated value to each item. This can be done by official parties, such as appraisal officers.
CCRC’s often require copies of power of attorney paperwork, living wills, and other information that may be needed in time of an emergency. Talk to your advisor about completing these important documents, and establish and communicate a storage plan for the documents so that they can be secure yet easily accessible if needed.
Beneficiaries can be named on various documents, accounts, or policies as they are set up—with life insurance being a prime example. Make sure that all beneficiaries named across the board are the updated, correct people that you want for each item within your estate, as various accounts can actually outweigh a will.
Additionally, make sure that no beneficiary assignment is left blank. When it comes time, your state’s rules for distribution may be applied instead of how you would have preferred. Contingent beneficiaries are another best practice to ensure your estate will go to where you intend even if your primary beneficiary has passed when it comes time.
If you are applying for CCRC living, be sure to disclose any unique beneficiary designations or prenuptial agreements on your financial application. For example, if you are in a second marriage or desire specific designations for children in a blended family, these arrangements may affect financial eligibility at the community of your choice. Be sure to discuss these scenarios with your financial planner and your sales counselor at the CCRC. The CCRC will typically ask an applicant to certify that all assets on an application are slated to be used for the individual’s residency and care services.
From state to state, and region to region, cost of living fluctuates. Evaluate CCRC options in different locations to learn about the value that Lancaster PA can offer.
Homestead Village offers two entrance fee plans that residents may select from. The Plan I entrance fee amortizes at 2% per month over the first 50 months of residency. After 50 months, there is no refundable portion of the entrance fee. The Plan II entrance fee plan features a 60% refundable portion that amortizes over the first 22 months of residency. The Plan II is a slightly higher entrance fee, but 60% is refundable to the resident if they move away from Homestead or to their estate. When working on an estate plan, do remember to include information about the entrance fee refund and who it should be payable to.
You may find CCRC’s feature different contract types: A-Life Care, B-Modified Fee for Service, and C-Fee for Service. If you’re researching multiple communities, be sure to ask each community about the specifics of their contract type and entrance fee plans.
If you ask our Residents, we’re pretty sure they’ll all recommend that it’s never too soon to start planning for a successful future. So if you’re just getting started, great job! While you’re making the decision of where to live after retiring, it’s the ideal time to inventory your assets in order to make the best financial decision or even properly downsize your belongings. It also helps simplify your application process because you’ll have a complete, up-to-date portfolio of your assets.
Give us a call to learn more about the topics covered in this blog, ask questions, and be empowered to plan for your best future.
Homestead Village is a luxury Life Plan Community nestled in the heart of Lancaster, PA—notably one of the best places to live after retirement. We provide a full community lifestyle for older adults; featuring independent, maintenance-free homes and apartments, regular activities for our residents, in-home care services, and more—providing complete peace of mind for those transitioning into retirement and their loved ones. Make sure when you’re sitting down to consider retirement living and estate planning, you consider Homestead Village as part of the equation. We can help you navigate the financial side of the transition when finding the perfect new home for you. Contact us today for more information.