How to Pay for Assisted Living – Crowdfunding

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The #1 question that I get asked about assisted living is…

“How do we pay for assisted living?”

Assisted living is expensive. Most people are shocked by how much it actually costs.  We want to help you come up with some ways to pay for it.

How to pay for assisted living is almost always an area of concern.  We go over several different options to see if there might be money available that you didn’t know you could tap into, including long term care insurance, Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits, selling the house, reverse mortgage, life insurance cash in, bridge loans, family contributions and the most out of the box option – crowdfunding.

Let’s start with crowdfunding and how you can use it to help fill the gap when paying for assisted living. Crowdfunding is a relatively new concept and most of my clients don’t really know what it is or how it can be used to help pay for assisted living.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is simply raising funds for a cause by collecting small sums of money from a large number of people.  This group of people usually includes family, friends and the general public.  It is usually done online and publicized through social media to drive awareness and donations from all over the world.

There are many websites that make it quick and easy to set up a page for you to reach out and ask for donations.  I want to highlight 2 specific sites that focus crowdfunding for medical needs.

  1. YouCaring.com. This site is my favorite because they don’t charge a fee to use their site.  They pay for their overhead through donations so 100% of the money collected goes straight to the beneficiary.  The 3 founders spent 2 years on an international mission trip and wanted to continue to help others when they got back to the U.S. so they started this site.
  2. GiveForward.com. Another great site for crowdfunding.  This site does charge a 5% fee but asks the donor to cover 5%.  They say that 95% of donors choose to cover this fee.  I like this site because it offers 4 options for giving.
    • Give a donation
    • Give a meal
    • Give a note of encouragement
    • Give Wishlist items from Amazon.com or Target.com

Tips for a successful campaign

  • Have realistic expectations.  You may be able to fill the gap when paying for care but you probably won’t be able to fund the entire bill.
  • Create a team and tap into existing communities.  Besides friends and family, start talking about your cause with your local community, church and support groups.  You might be surprised at how many people will rally to help.
  • Write a compelling story with pictures and/or videos.  Help your potential donor feel moved by your story.  People are compassionate and want to make a difference.  Show them why they should help you and your loved one.
  • Use the power of social media.  Spread the word to the entire world. AND keep doing it.  You can’t just throw up a webpage, send out 1 post and expect it to go viral.
  • Contact the local media and engage the community. Prepare a simple press release with all of the details. You might get it published or get an interview. Also,ask for support from local businesses and give a mention of their support on your page in return.
  • Communicate with your donors.  Every person who makes a donation to your cause should receive a personalized thank you letter or email. This is important because it will make people feel like their contribution was truly appreciated, and it will also make them more inclined to donate again in the future.
  • BE ALL IN.  You have to put yourself and your story out there and ask for help in order to raise money via crowdfunding. If you are uncomfortable with that, then maybe this isn’t the right avenue for you.

We would love to hear from you, whether it’s a question about crowdfunding or going over all of your senior living options, we are here to help.

Please share this post with your friends; you never know who might find this helpful.