Hotels, Cruises and Communes! Unexpected Ways to Afford a Little Help as You Age
Most of us are going to need some extra support as we age. Cooking, cleaning, running errands and more are called “activities of daily living” and it can be nice to get help with these tasks as you age. Is retiring to a Holiday Inn the answer?
Living independently can be extremely difficult as we become a little more frail. But, getting help can be exorbitantly expensive.
What Does Getting Help with Daily Living Really Cost as You Age?
Many people simply can’t afford to get help as they age. Whether you are looking at living in an assisted living facility or hoping to have help come into your home, these services are expensive.
Cost of an Assisted Living Facility: According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the annual cost of a private one-unit in an assisted living community ranges from a high of $111,195 in the District of Colombia to a low of $34,128 in Missouri. The national average is $48,000.
Homemaker Services: Homemaker services for 44 hours per week for 52 weeks run at a national average of $48,048.
Home Health Aide: The national average annual cost for a home health aide (working 44 hours per week for 52 weeks) is $50,336.
What Are You to Do?
Whether you are planning for your own life, or helping a loved one, if you are looking for ways to make assisted living more affordable, you may want to get creative.
Here are three unique solutions to handle aging when you need a little extra help!
1. Check into the Holiday Inn
In 2019, over 112,000 people shared Terry Robison’s wacky but perhaps brilliant idea to check into a Holiday Inn instead of a nursing home!
Robison wrote on his Facebook post: “I’ve already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn. For a combined long term stay discount and senior discount, it’s $59.23 per night. Breakfast is included, and some have happy hours in the afternoon.”
According to his calculations, nursing home care for he and his wife in his area costs $188 a day. So, he figures that if he is staying at the Holiday Inn, he’ll have an extra $128.77 for lunch, dinner and other living expenses.
He thinks this is more than adequate and Robison cites the wide variety of perks that come with hotel living:
- They provide a spa, swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc.
- Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap.
- $5-worth of tips a day and you’ll have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
- They treat you like a customer, not a patient.
- There’s a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free.
- The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you fake a decent limp).
- To meet other nice people, call a church bus on Sundays.
- For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there.
- While you’re at the airport, fly somewhere. Otherwise, the cash keeps building up.
It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today .
- And you’re not stuck in one place forever — you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.
- Want to see Hawaii ? They have Holiday Inn there too.
- TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem.. They fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience.
- The Inn has a night security person and daily room service.
- The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they’ll call an ambulance . . . Or the undertaker.
- And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation.
- The grand-kids can use the pool.
“What more could I ask for?”
2. Book a Cruise
Life aboard a cruise ship can be glamorous, exciting and extremely luxurious — assuming anyone will ever feel safe enough after the pandemic to set sail.
Cruising can also be a lot cheaper than living at home — especially if you need help maintaining your property.
Yard work, housecleaning and preparing meals can be a struggle and hiring help is beyond the budget for most retirees.
So, why not sell or rent out the home and set sail for a life on the high seas? Aboard a cruise ship, your meals and homemaking are all taken care of, you have a built in social life and can see the world!
Mario Salcedo has spent the last 20 years aboard cruise ships. According to Traveler Magazine, Salcedo budgets around $60-70,000 per year for his travels, paying for the voyages by credit card so that the miles earned will cover any flights in between sailings.
Cruiseweb lists 40 different benefits of living at sea compared to life in a retirement community or assisted living facility.
Naysayers point out that price comparisons between cruises and assisted living are flawed — particularly if you need medical assistance and not just help with activities of daily living.
3. Create a Commune with Friends
Your friends are probably experiencing the same financial and health stresses that worry you.
There are various ways to use co housing as a method for addressing your shared concerns and create a community to meet your needs.
- Buy or rent a home with friends and spread responsibility for chores across residents.
- Live with friends and hire people for cooking and cleaning and share the costs.
- Rent out rooms in your home and hire the services that you and your residents need.
- Help family members do any of the above.
Explore more about co housing:
- The Golden Age of Golden Girl Style Living
- Expert Interview with Golden Girls Network
- Have You Considered Cohousing or Housesharing for Retirement?
And, Explore the More Expected Ways to Fund Assisted Living, Longevity or a Long Term Care Need…
Getting creative is almost always a good idea, but a good plan and a good plan B is a better tactic. Besides, retiring to a Holiday Inn will really only get you so far.
How to fund a long life, especially one where you might need assistance is not easy to do.
However, creating a financial plan for growing old is one of the key objectives for retirement planning.
Some people have enough assets to pay for long term care out of pocket, the rest of us need to explore other possibilities. In the NewRetirement Retirement Planner you can model the following tactics for funding a long term care need:
- Using your home equity
- Purchase long term care insurance
- Purchase a deferred lifetime annuity — use an annuity calculator to see if this is an affordable option for you…
- Rely on family members
- Use up savings and then qualify for Medicaid