Many middle-income seniors today do not have enough financial resources to pay for specialized housing and health care needs. The current makeup of senior housing and health care providers are often out of the financial reach of many of this country’s eight million middle-income seniors.
The ability to tap home equity in funding these services and to age in place makes a sizable difference in the ability of seniors to afford more of these services. Many seniors have limitations on their mobility, while some have “high health care and functional needs.” The people in the middle really do not have a lot of options available. Most can not afford to move into an assisted living facility, they may not have the money to pay for extensive in-home care. In terms of aging in place, staying at home is often the preference either by choice or by financial necessity.
But the issue is that even as people may want to age in place as they begin to have mobility challenges or cognitive declines, living independently becomes harder. So, they may need some form of support, whether it be from a family caregiver or from a professional.
Tapping into home equity helps provide a substantial increase in the possibility of affording these specialized services. There are insufficient policy proposals right now and questions still about what the government’s role is in helping to fund long-term care and whether the government will be able to fund long-term care in the future.