This topic is a serious one that affects thousands of seniors. Here at MRE Finance, we believe in empowering seniors with the information they need to make smart decisions. We respect the fact that you have worked hard for your entire life. One of the most difficult conundrums facing seniors is a lack of funds.
A surprising number of seniors that worked hard for many years are still coming up short on cash by the time they retire. This begs the question, what happens to elderly folks that don’t have any money? Here we will give you an informative look at the problem as well as a promising solution. We’ll also help you understand more about what happens to your Social Security checks when you’re in a nursing home.
Poverty in Retirement
The whole point of working while you are younger is to have something to fall back on and live comfortably when you’re older. Unfortunately, there are many seniors that for one reason or another never made their mark in terms of saving money for retirement.
So what happens to seniors that are living on their last dime? It’s not pretty. In truth, it’s a sad tale that plays out much too often. Seniors living in poverty are usually about to be kicked out of a nursing home for non-payment or living in squalid conditions.
The most tragic scenario is one in which a penniless senior spends the last days of their twilight years wandering the streets without enough money to buy any food. It seems like this would not be possible, and yet it happens to more people than most would care to know.
If the senior is already living in a nursing home, it clearly means that they require competent care. This means that if they were to be kicked out of the nursing home for being unable to pay, they would have a tragically low chance of survival.
Seniors aren’t built for living on the street, in fact, no one really is. There are solutions to the problem, but first, let’s take a look at how most seniors get into this predicament in the first place.
How it happens
While it’s easy to surmise that if a senior is penniless in their old age it must mean that they were financially irresponsible and recklessly wasted all of their money in youth, this would be a crass and misinformed opinion. The reasons behind elder poverty are much more complex.
For example, many seniors actually did a fine job of saving up money over the years. One of the most common scenarios involves young and unscrupulous family members taking control of the money. Imagine working hard every day for half a century to build wealth only to have it taken away from you by someone close to you. Oftentimes, relatives will argue that the senior in question is mentally unfit or otherwise incapable of managing their own money.
What to do if you are a senior living in poverty
If you are a senior living in poverty or are concerned that you won’t have enough money to fund your retirement, there are some things you can do to turn things around. Here are some helpful tips on how to free up more money.
Dipping into your Roth IRA
While it’s possible to free up some extra cash by dipping into your retirement savings such as a Roth IRA, there are some things you should know about this approach. First of all, you must have a Roth account for five years. Secondly, you must be at least 59 and a half years old to access your Roth IRA without incurring penalties.
Utilize your veteran’s benefits
In some cases, your veteran’s benefits can cover the costs for certain healthcare issues. If you meet at least one of the following conditions, your veteran’s benefits may pay for certain treatments like memory care.
- Have a cognitive disability serious enough to require special care.
- You require help to accomplish basic tasks including eating, walking, etc.
- You need to be 65 or older or have a condition that has rendered you permanently disabled.
- Proof of 90 days or more of consistent active-duty services.
- A minimum of one day of active service during wartime.
The first thing you need to do is start cutting expenses. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Think about scaling down to a more modest residence. The more costs that you cut at this stage in your life, the more money you will save.
Get a part-time job
For those of you that are physically able, consider taking on a part-time job. No one wants to come out of retirement because they ran out of money. That said, if you’re out of money, taking on a part-time job is a preferable alternative to being forced to live on the street in your golden years.
Sell your life insurance policy
Selling your life insurance policy is easy when you confer with the qualified and compassionate professionals at MRE Finance.
If you are concerned that you will still need a life insurance policy, consider this. How much longer can you afford to live the way that you are living or are the premiums too expensive? If the answer to that question is a couple of months or so, you should consider selling your policy as soon as possible.
In certain states, the transaction could take approximately 4-8 weeks from start to finish which is why you should get the jump on it now while there is still time.
Things to know about life settlements
Life insurance policies are valuable. If you have been wracking your brain trying to think of a way to scrounge up enough money to afford to live in your home or nursing home, you’ll want to consider a life settlement.
A Life settlement refers to the legal transaction between the life insurance policyholder and a third-party buyer known as a Settlement Provider for an upfront payment. Life settlement cash payouts are typically higher than your policy’s cash surrender value but less than the total death benefit of the policy. Some of the reasons why people choose a life settlement include unaffordable premiums, medical bills, supplementing retirement, emergencies, or if they no longer need the policy for their dependents or other personal reasons. A life settlement is usually a better alternative to lapsing or the surrender of a life insurance policy.
What happens to your Social Security check when you go into a nursing home?
There are approximately 1.5 million seniors living in nursing homes in the U.S and the costs can be high. It’s worth noting that Medicare won’t pay for nursing home costs. Medicaid, however, can help you cover nursing home costs.
Living in a nursing home is not always easy. Even after you have resigned certain responsibilities to a nursing home, there is still a lot to manage as a senior citizen. Many seniors living in nursing homes like to retain as much control over their own affairs as possible which is perfectly natural.
The more control you have over your own affairs as a senior, the better. It has become concerningly common to see family members and other parties try to exploit seniors once they have moved into a nursing home. This begs the question, what happens to your Social Security check after you go into a nursing home?
If this question has been keeping you up at night, read on, we have all of the info you need. Many seniors rely on their Social Security checks for an income, especially those that have already moved into a nursing home.
What happens to Social Security checks when you’re in a nursing home?
Once you have moved into a nursing home, you still have a great deal of control over where your Social Security checks go and how they are spent. The Federal government does not play an active role in determining where the checks are sent which is in your favor. This means that by law, Social Security checks are not required to be sent directly to a nursing home. This is good news for you because it helps prevent nursing homes from abusing access to the checks.
Although your nursing home may request the Social Security checks to be sent to the facility, you are not obligated to do so. That means that you have the power to choose to either have the check sent to the facility or simply pay the nursing home directly while retaining control of the check. When Social Security checks are sent directly to a nursing home there is always a risk that someone working in the nursing home will abuse their access to the checks and exploit the recipient including overcharging for services.
What happens if you have SSI for a disability?
If you receive SSI payments because you have a disability, you should know that your payments can be affected when you move into a nursing home. For the most part, your SSI disability payments will be significantly reduced or negated entirely.
The type of nursing home that you move into determines exactly what will happen with your SSI disability payments. If for example, you move into a public nursing home without Medicaid, you will lose your SSI benefit.
If you recently moved into a public nursing home and you are thinking about applying for SSI benefits, you can save yourself some time by choosing not to apply. You should not apply for SSI disability benefits in this scenario because you will be denied.
However, if you move into a nursing home where Medicaid pays for over half of the cost for care, you will be able to claim some SSI benefits. Keep in mind, the amount of money that you will be able to claim will be reduced.
Finally, if you are living in a private nursing home, you can still receive SSI disability payments. The only caveat here is that you may be disqualified from receiving SSI disability payments if your income is too high. Of course, most people that can afford to live in a private nursing home typically have an income that is higher than SSI’s threshold.
How to handle SSI checks when living in a nursing home
When you are living in a nursing home, Social Security will not make payments to the facility directly on your behalf. This is why it’s important to retain control of the checks so that you can allocate the money to cover the cost of your care independently.
While you can elect to ask a family member or loved one to help you allocate the payments on time, it is not recommended. When you are a senior residing in a nursing home it is imperative that you retain as much control over your finances as possible.
What happens if your Social Security checks aren’t enough?
Many seniors find that their Social Security checks don’t provide enough money to live comfortably. Seniors that don’t have much money saved or set aside, struggle financially even when they are getting the full amount for their Social Security checks. After all, Social Security checks typically don’t provide a great deal of money. These checks are typically designed to act as supplemental income assuming that the recipient has saved enough for retirement independently.
So what do you do when your Social Security checks are not enough? You have to explore other options. One of the best and most popular solutions to this problem is to sell your life insurance policy.
When you sell your life insurance policy for a life settlement you receive a one-time cash payment. You can use this money for anything you want. Therefore, if you are struggling to pay the bill for staying in a nursing home, a life settlement can help you afford to live there for many more years and you no longer have to pay for the policy premiums going forward.
Now that you know how advantageous a life settlement can be, you might be wondering how to go about selling your life insurance policy. MRE Finance has a team of compassionate specialists dedicated to helping seniors interested in selling their life insurance policy.
Want an estimate for the potential value of your life insurance policy? Try our free life settlement calculator, answer a few basic questions such as age, state you live in, policy value and health status and receive your estimate of your policy’s potential value right on your screen! Or call us at 1-800-521-0770 to get your free estimate with one of our specialists.
Once you have an estimate for the value of your policy, you will be ready to sell. MRE will guide you every step of the way and answer any questions you might have so you can start your journey to financial freedom.
Why wait? Contact our team of specialists today and ask for an estimate!