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A detailed look at how to pay for memory care because I bet you think it's cheaper than it really is

Paying for memory care


"Memory care costs can range from around $3,000 per month to over $10,000 per month." Per month. And I have never seen anything close to $3,000. In St. Louis, the average is more like $5,000-$7,000 after adding on things like medication dispensing (priced per medication) and any other service you may need. This stuff is a la carte, and it's not cheap.


There are many things to think about when you’re planning for the future. Do you have enough money to last through retirement? What will happen if you get sick? As your loved ones age, these questions become even more critical. One of the most significant expenses that come with aging is long-term care—which is why we’ve put together a guide on how to pay for it.

Know Your Budget

Before you get started finding the right place for your loved one, you'll want to understand the cost of care. While this can vary depending on many factors, including location and amenities, it's important to know what's reasonable for your budget. You should also have an idea of how much you can afford to pay each month so that sudden increases do not catch you off guard.

If finances are a concern, there are several options available to help with paying for memory care. First and foremost is a reverse mortgage—a loan that allows seniors age 62 years or older to receive money from their home's equity while they continue living there (the value of their home will be paid back when they sell or pass away). Another option involves estate planning through either an irrevocable trust or life insurance policy; both allow families and individuals access to funds without having any cash outlay at all! These methods allow families more freedom over how much money goes toward care—and frees up other expenses such as food and bills."

Get a legal will

A legal will is a written document that tells the world what you would like to happen to your possessions and finances after you die. A legal will ensures that your wishes are followed, which can spare family members from emotional and financial stress.

By creating a legal will, you can:

  • Protect your loved ones from making difficult decisions in the wake of tragedy.

  • Reduce uncertainty about how best to manage savings and investments in retirement.

  • Make sure that any debts you owe are paid off before assets are distributed according to your wishes (e.g., if there's another person who's financially dependent on you).

Give your family Power of Attorney

If you are considering giving your family power of attorney over the affairs of a loved one, it is important to understand the differences between POA and guardianship.

POA (or “power of attorney”) differs from guardianship in giving someone else control over your finances and other decisions. Guardianship is a court order that allows someone else to act on behalf of an individual who cannot make their own decisions due to mental illness or disability. A guardian must file documents with the probate court before taking action on behalf of another person. Still, this step usually occurs automatically when someone gives POA rights over his or her affairs. However, if you revoke those rights later on down the road (for example, if you change your mind about having someone help manage your estate), then revocation is also fairly straightforward: just tell whoever has been acting as your agent since gaining power-of-attorney privileges that their time has come to an end here after all!


Find Assistance Through Government Programs

As you consider your options for paying for assisted living or memory care, it's important to know that there are a variety of government programs that may be able to help. The following is an overview of some of the most common government assistance programs:

  • Medicare

  • Medicaid (this is different for each state!)

  • Social Security Disability Insurance

  • Supplemental Security Income

Long-term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is a type of coverage that helps pay for long-term services and support.

Long-term care is the medical care needed by people who can't perform at least two activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, long-term or eating on their own; need help with managing their medications; or have an illness, injury or disability that requires assistance from another person.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, about 34 million Americans will require some form of long-term care at some point in their lives—and 85% don't have access to this type of care due to cost.* To provide financial resources for those who need help with everyday tasks like eating and bathing but aren't eligible for Medicaid yet, many turn to private insurance policies known as "long-term care insurance." If you are considering purchasing such a policy, there are some factors you should consider first:


The HSA (Health Savings Account) and FSA (Flexible Spending Account) are both types of medical accounts that can be used to pay for the ongoing care of a loved one.

  • HSAs: These are tax-advantaged savings accounts that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. You can contribute up to $3,500 annually as long as you have high-deductible health insurance coverage. Money contributed will grow tax-free, and withdrawals are tax-free if used to pay for qualified expenses.

  • FSAs: If you don't want your money tied up in an HSA, you can put it into an FSA instead—but only if your employer offers this option. FSAs allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars each year toward paying out-of-pocket expenses like dental care or prescription drugs through their health plan rather than having these costs deducted from their paycheck (like traditional plans). Money put into an FSA is separate from any other employer plan account(s) and, therefore, cannot be added together with other accounts such as 401(k), pension, or profit-sharing contributions to determine whether or not something qualifies as "medical."

Memory care is expensive, but there are ways to pay for it.

  • You can’t plan for the unexpected, but you can plan for the inevitable. What is the most important thing to remember when paying for memory care? It’s that you have options. There are many ways to pay for memory care, from government assistance and long-term care insurance to community support services and private funding sources.

  • When planning your finances, make sure that you look ahead at how much money will be needed to cover these expenses in the future.


Memory care is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With proper planning and some creativity, you can find ways to pay for it. Remember: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The people in your life who love you will be happy to pitch in with any costs they can manage—even if that means only donating a few dollars each month through their favorite charity. And don’t forget about the various government programs available for low-income individuals like yourself who need financial assistance.


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