Reverse mortgages: A good way to pay for long-term care?
December 01, 2023
While many older adults sell their homes to help finance the costs of a senior living community, it is often a very complex and emotional decision even for those who have planned for it. Here are some tips to better navigate the challenges and deep feelings that come with helping your parent sell their home.
Many older adults selling their homes have lived there for 25 years or more. Their homes are familiar and hold many cherished memories, so it’s understandable that moving somewhere different with new people and experiences can be fraught with anxiety.
Whether your parent is selling their home to pay for independent living, assisted living or memory care, helping them understand what to expect in their new surroundings will make the transition easier. Once your parent has chosen a senior living community, it helps to learn and experience more than either of you may have gathered from your initial tour.
Chances are your parent has accumulated more furnishings and household possessions than their new senior living apartment can accommodate – but deciding what to keep can be very emotional. Here are a few ways to make downsizing easier for you both:
Downsizing can be physically demanding and, as your parent is leaving a part of their life behind, will inevitably entail a mix of emotions. If either of you start to feel overwhelmed by the process, consider hiring senior move managers to help.
Once you and your parent have made the decision to sell their home, you may wonder whether it’s better to sell before or after they’ve moved into their senior living community. Financial needs, stress and timing are key factors to consider.
Selling before moving to senior living – If the sale will be used for the primary funding of their senior living, it makes sense to sell before moving. If it takes longer than expected to sell the house, you might be facing extra costs on top of the senior living costs, like mortgage payments, utility bills, insurance and any ongoing maintenance. Be sure to discuss this with a trusted financial advisor.
Selling after moving to senior living – If your parent is unable to live alone or has had a recent accident or health issue that benefits from having more immediate care, then moving to a senior living community before their house is sold may be the best option. What’s more, living in their new community reduces any stress they might have felt trying to keep their house clean and vacating the premises while it was being shown – plus an empty house can often be more appealing to buyers.
A parent dealing with memory loss poses additional challenges for families when selling their home. Typically, only the homeowner can legally transfer their home to a buyer, but obtaining power of attorney (POA) and guardianship can allow you to make decisions on behalf of your parent.
Your local Atria community director can answer any additional questions you may have and connect you with a financial advisor.
At Atria, we understand the difficulty involved in selling your parent’s house and all the financial and emotional complexities that come with that decision. Learn more about the prices and tax benefits of moving into a senior living community, and plug some numbers into our affordability calculator – which can help you compare the costs of senior living with the costs of staying at home – it may be more affordable than you think.
As a leader in the industry, Atria Senior Living is happy to share our expertise and offer any support we can – even if the support you need is from someone other than us. We can call on our trusted relationships with financial advisors, real estate professionals and resources to put you in touch with the best solution for you and your family, whether you’re moving to Atria or not. Feel free to reach out to your local Atria Community Director today.