Learn more about the different available funds for seniors to utilize, and which ones might be right for you.



Savings and low risk investments are usually one of the first sources of available funds for seniors to tap into for help to fund their long-term care needs. Advice from a licensed Certified Financial Advisor and/or Tax Advisor can help you set up a plan on how to best use and possibly grow these assets. Your net worth does not need to be high to get good financial advice. CFA’s who are Fiduciary‘s, work with all people from all economic backgrounds. A Fiduciary is legally bound to act in your best interest when investing your money.


These investments are usually long-term and were set up with the intent of securing a senior’s future retirement needs. The earliest time one can access funds from a Traditional IRA or 401K Retirement Plan, without incurring a penalty, is age 59 ½ years of age. At age 70 1/2, the accountholder must begin withdrawing and paying tax on Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s). Unlike a Traditional IRA or 401K, the distributions from a Roth IRA are tax-free. However, taxes can apply to distributions made from a Roth IRA account that is less than 5 years old. A licensed Certified Financial Advisor (who is a Fiduciary) or Certified Public Accountant or Tax Advisor should be contacted for more information regarding investments and how to minimize your tax liability.


Money is borrowed against the equity in one’s home (used as collateral) is another source of income that can provide funding for a senior’s long term care. A HELOC is set up like a second mortgage and is typically paid off when the home is re-financed or sold. Contact your bank or mortgage lender for more information. 


A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a mortgage loan secured over a residential property enabling a borrower to access the value of their home. The loans are typically promoted to older homeowners age 62 and older, and typically do not require monthly mortgage payments. Borrowers still own the title to the home but are still responsible for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, as well as property maintenance. Reverse mortgages allow elders to access the home equity they have built up in their homes now, and defer payment of the loan until they die, sell, or move out of the home.  One family member or owner must live in the home. The borrower (or the borrower’s estate) is not required to repay any additional loan balance in excess of the value of the home. The borrower must meet with an independent government counselor to ensure he/she understands the nature and details of a reverse mortgage. Counselors approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development are available here.


By taking advantage of the Federal Gift Tax Exemption, a family member can gift up to $15 thousand per person each year (2019). They can also make a lifetime gift of $11.4 million total (2019) to a family member(s). Both gifts are tax-free to the donor. Contact your Certified Public Accountant or Tax Advisor for help in understanding how you may be able to make use of this gift tax exemption. Learn more about estate and gift tax here.


Residents and their families may be eligible to deduct some or all of their in-home care, assisted living care, or other long-term care expenses as unreimbursed medical expenses (UME’s) on their federal tax return. Contact your Certified Public Accountant or Tax Advisor to request help.



Some life insurance options, i.e., Life Settlement Insurance Policies can be sold at their current value for cash to help cover long term care costs. Other life insurance products might offer a tax-free cash advance on your life insurance death benefit capped somewhere between 50%-100% of the total death benefit. Contact your life insurance agent for more information.

Annuities are another financial option to consider when planning long-term retirement costs. A life annuity will provide periodic payments — an income stream — for your entire life, no matter how long you live. It is highly recommended to research different types of annuities to get a full understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each one. For more information, you can contact an “annuity provider.” These providers may include insurance companies, independent brokers, banks, and other financial groups.


A portion of one’s care may be covered by his/her LTC insurance plan for in-home care, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care. Coverage of care is based on the plan the senior originally selected. Contact your Long-Term Care insurance agent for specific information about your individual plan.


One must be at least 62 years of age to begin collecting social security benefits. If one begins receiving benefits prior to his/her full retirement age, benefits will be permanently reduced. If one is able to wait until age 70 to collect social security, he/she can maximize their benefit and can be another good financial resource to help cover one’s care. Go here or call your local Social Security office for more information on your benefits.


The Aid and Attendance Pension benefit provides benefits for war era veterans and their surviving spouses who require the attendance of another person to assist in at least two activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing/undressing, transferring and toileting. Veterans, who qualify for the Aid and Attendance option of the Veteran’s Pension benefit, are paid a maximum of $2,984 per month for two veterans (who are married), $2,230 for a married veteran, $1,881 for a single veteran and $1,210 for a surviving spouse (2019). These benefits are tax-free. To learn more, click here or contact a VA accredited attorney/agent or your local Veteran’s Administration.


If a low income senior is age 65+, or is blind or disabled, and have less than $2000 in liquid assets, he/she may qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. The senior’s home, personal vehicle, IRA, KEOGH, and other work-related pension plans, and some personal items may be exempted as countable assets. Get more about Medi-Cal eligibility here.

If one qualifies for Medi-Cal, which covers long term care in a skilled nursing facility, he/she may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income. Click here for specific information regarding qualified benefits.


We currently provide senior placement services for residents to the following areas in San Diego County: Scripps Ranch, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, 4S Ranch, Escondido, Fallbrook, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Del Mar, Carmel Valley and University City. On occasion, we may be able to help you find a new senior community in other areas of San Diego County as well.

PHONE: 858-395-3333    FAX: 858-724-3348

Contact Next Step Senior Care Placement today for a free consultation on how we can guide you in taking your "next step" to find the perfect senior living solution for you or a loved one's needs!