Posts

Smoking Inside of A RAL Home

I had a question recently about smoking inside the facility. Now here’s the reality. Most people are not going to want to have smoke anywhere near them whether the state allows it or not. But some residents, believe it or not, even if they’re 85 years old and having health issues are still going to want to smoke.

The laws regarding smoking in public places isn’t a federal subject, and therefore, the rules and regulations for smoking in public will vary by state. Since an assisted living community is also a workplace, it may fall under workplace regulations for smoking. 

Some assisted living communities will choose to have designated smoking and non-smoking rooms, while others may ban smoking entirely in residents’ rooms as well as common areas.

Most assisted living facilities ban smoking in public areas indoors, however, in states where smoking is permissible, there can be designated indoor or outdoor smoking areas. These areas should be situated so that the smoke will not enter “smoke-free” areas. Outdoor smoking areas should be physically accessible, protected from the elements, and located in such a way that smoke will not enter non-smoking areas, including individual rooms. And assisted living staff could have a choice of whether or not to accompany residents to smoking areas.

In all cases, assisted living communities should follow state or local laws regarding smoking in public places. In areas where there is no public smoking ban, an assisted living community may still institute its own “no smoking” policies for the health and well being of its residents and staff. 

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a fairly new topic to assisted living and are typically not (but can be) subject to the same rules and regulations as regular tobacco cigarettes. As of yet, there doesn’t seem to be enough consensus on the classification and regulation of this newer technology. Many facilities are not allowing it at all, while others allow it after the resident is deemed by the doctor or advanced practice nurse to be safe at handling the device. 

American Association of Public Health Physicians

As of April 2010, The American Association of Public Health Physicians (AAPHP) supports electronic cigarettes sales to adults, “because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years.” The AAPHP recommends that the FDA reclassify the electronic cigarette as a tobacco product (as opposed to a drug/device combination).

The e-cigarette is controversial. Currently, laws governing the use and sale, as well as the accompanying liquid solutions, vary widely with pending legislation an ongoing debate in many regions. If your facility decides to allow the e-cigarette, as with all other devices, you will need a policy on it that is reviewed and updated regularly.

If you have a loved one entering assisted living refuses to quit smoking or switch to e-cigarettes, ask about smoking policies and the availability of smoking apartments before you choose the community that’s best for you.

Advice from Gene:

What I would suggest that you do is have a designated outdoor smoking area, not indoor, outdoor, no matter what the state allows. And more than likely they’re going to say you can’t smoke in the house.

If somebody does want to smoke, it has to be a certain distance away from the house and do it outside, not inside.

Take the next step. Call us (480)-704-3065 or just click here and let’s get started.

Gene Guarino

Founder of the Residential Assisted Living Academy.

*Reference: https://www.publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/tclc-chart-ALR-50-state-summary-2016.pdf 

Does Medicare Cover the Cost of Assisted Living?

The federal government gives money to the state government for Medicare. The state then creates their own program based on the needs of the residents in their state. 

There are all types of care facilities and most assisted living facilities help with some of the activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, using the bathroom and meals. Whether they offer nursing services or help with medications varies by state. The definitions of the various care facilities and the services they provide will determine which ones are covered by an individual state’s medicare program.  

Most states have a formula that basically says that a senior should prove that he/she had no income and no assets.

Tip: Assets will be liquidated and spent on the senior’s care before the government’s going to pay

Their income, if they’ve got income (example: from social security $1,000 a month), the typical formula is they’ll say to that resident: “We’ll let you keep $100 of your own social security. We’ll take the other $900 and apply that towards the assisted living.” Then they’ll say, “We, as a state, we’re willing to pay $60 a day.” That’s $60 x 30 days/mo., that’s $1,800/mo. Out of your social security, you’re going to pay the first $900. The state will only pay the extra $900. That means the homeowner is going to get $900 from the state and $900 from the social security for a total of $1,800 a month. I’ve already told you the average cost is $3,750 per resident, per month.

Your Question: How can I operate a profitable business at half the rate of average?

  • You can’t have a lot of caregivers. 
  • You can’t have great food or a great facility. 
  • There’s not enough money on the table. 

That’s why I train you to focus on people who have the money to pay.

At the RAL Academy we train students to focus their business model and cater to those that can pay for their own care, i.e. private pay. Obviously, not everyone can afford this and there are many homes that will accept whatever the state will pay for as well. 

This is one of the reasons we let people know that “you’ll be getting involved in Assisted Living, one way or the other”  you’ll either own the real estate, the business or both. Or you or a loved one may be lying in a bed paying someone else to care for you.   Its best to choose how you will be “involved” now and to be prepared. Even having just one home now, will provide for you today and protect you and your family tomorrow.

We can only take care of so many people. Let’s focus on the ones that can afford to pay us for the great service we will give them so we can help them, have a great product and make some good money doing good and doing well.

If you have more questions about residential assisted living and how you can get started, go to ralacademy.com.

Long Term Care Insurance

The financial landscape of long term care is changing. People are paying out of pocket, using home equity, hybrid insurance plans and more. There are many reasons traditional long term care (LTC) insurance is a fading fad. Long term care insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with long term care services.

This traditional insurance supports the costs associated with custodial care in a variety of settings, including residential assisted living. It covers the cost of many RAL homes, community organizations and other choice facilities that provide 24/7 care. Unfortunately, private health insurance usually does not cover the cost of assisted living.

This is why LTC policies thrive because they reimburse policyholders a daily amount when or if the benefit is needed for care providers. This reimbursement amount is based on a pre-selected limit, which is predetermined by a selected range of care options.

The Cost of a Long Term Care Policy is Based on a Calculated Formula:

  • How old you are when you buy the policy
  • The maximum amount that a policy will pay per day
  • The maximum number of days (years) that a policy will pay
  • And any optional benefits chosen, such as, benefits that increase with inflation

It is better to plan ahead when preparing for LTC policies. If you are in poor health or already receiving long term care services, it is likely that medical underwriting will disqualify you. Seniors who have paid policy premiums on long term care plans for upward of 30 years usually earn a benefit of $100 per day. However, many long term care policies maintain a cost of living increase of 3-4 percent. As a result, some policies payout a daily benefit of $200 – $250, which is roughly $6000 per month. This allows seniors the opportunity to live comfortably in convenient assisted living homes.

Fewer people are purchasing long term care insurance today, however, as insurance companies are steadily raising the premiums and cutting the benefits. In addition, long term care insurance is no longer available with many insurance providers. The need for long term care continues to be in high demand, and people are coming up with creative concepts to cover the expenses.

There are 5 major aspects to keep in mind when making decisions about long term care:

  • Problems with Traditional LTC Policies
  • Options Other Than Insurance
  • Non-Traditional Insurance Strategies
  • Reasons People Perpetually Pay for Traditional LTC Policies
  • Planning Ahead Pays Off

1. Problems with Traditional LTC Policies

“This is a classic story of market failure,” says Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, and the author of Caring for Our Parents. “No one wants to buy insurance, and no one wants to sell it.”

Traditional LTC policies require annual premiums in return for financial assistance “if” needed. The need must call for help with day-to-day activities such as bathing, dressing and eating meals.

Waiting Periods

After a waiting period of about 3 months, the benefits kick in for a maximum period of 3 years’ worth of coverage. For many modern-day seniors, these waiting periods and short term coverage options are not enough to accommodate their final years. The average $160 daily benefits for assisted living care services is no longer enough over a 3-year period.

According to the most recent AARP life expectancy report, the 65 and above age group will increase 89% over the next 20 years. The life expectancy of the 85 and older population will grow 74% during the same period.

People are Living Longer

Therefore, typical terms today require more coverage than traditional policies. In addition, these stand-alone LTC policies have a troublesome history of premium spikes and insurer losses. As a result, sales have fallen sharply.

2. Options Other Than Insurance

Many Americans simply cannot afford the cost of LTC policies. These policy premiums average about $2,700 a year, according to industry research. There are many other options seniors can consider for senior care expenses:

  • Policy discounts for couples are common, typically the savings total about 30% off policies that are purchased separately.
  • Medicaid is an option if your assets are few. Medicaid covers the cost of assisted living for individuals who are impoverished.
  • Personal Savings protect many people from purchasing high premiums by paying for future senior care out of pocket.
  • Home Equity is extremely beneficial for many senior care expenses.
  • Financial Support from children who can be counted on to pitch in is also a consideration.

Keep in mind that individuals who have a family history of dementia are at a higher risk of needing care. That means it is even more important to consider options early on. Strategize to save more by planning early.

3. Non-Traditional Insurance Strategies

As traditional LTC insurance continues to spiral downward, new insurance plans are launching with great success. Perhaps you’ve heard of whole life insurance. Whole life is a type of life insurance contract that provides a lifetime of coverage. Upon the inevitable death of the contract holder, the insurance payout is made to the contract’s beneficiaries.

Most importantly, these policies include a savings component, which means it accumulates a cash value. This cash value is one of the key elements of whole life insurance. As a result, the benefit enables policy holders to draw from a whole life policy for long-term care. Unlike traditional LTC insurance, these policies will return money to your heirs, even if you don’t end up needing long-term care. Also, there are no rate hikes, because you lock in your premium upfront.

Do Your Homework

Since whole life insurance policies are long-term investments, your relationship with the insurance company will literally last a lifetime. Choosing a reputable company with the highest ratings is the key. A company with financial stability and quality customer service are aspects you should search for.

4. Reasons People Perpetually Pay for Traditional LTC Policies

There is a reason some seniors continue paying for traditional LTC policies. If you “only” want cost-effective coverage, traditional LTC insurance is cheaper. However, you run the risk of losing everything if you never need help, which is the nature of many insurances.

On the other hand, whole life policies, often called hybrids, are usually 2-3 times more expensive, offering the same amount in payouts, with different options that limit loses. These policies offer a mixture of payout options and benefits. Ultimately, with hybrid policies, you’re paying extra, specifically as a guarantee of getting money back. Hybrid policies are used as alternative forms of savings, rolling over existing life insurance, and merging them with your annuities. Hybrid policies are more complex. As a result, there remains a small clientele for traditional LTC policies.

5. Planning Ahead Pays Off

At the latest, start looking for insurance in your 50’s or early 60’s. Afterward, premiums rise sharply. As we age, declining health rules out robust coverage. Every year you delay, the premiums will become more expensive. Within a simple one-year age hike, premiums can increase as high as 10%.

It is a savvy strategy to seek independent insurance agents who sell policies from multiple companies, rather than one insurance company. This will afford you a more advanced level of expertise and a wider option of policy choices. And planning ahead will afford you more opportunities to make better choices to benefit your future.

The RALAcademy Solution

There is one more strategy we like to share for those without a long term care insurance policy.

We teach owning and oporating your own assisted living home, that means you have a retirment plan and care plan by living in the home designed to take care of you when the time comes.

If you have more questions about insurance for assisted living, Residential Assisted Living Academy is ready to walk you through the process.

Contact us to learn all the details, from A-Z about the assisted living care industry or to get started in owning one yourself.

Visit www.RALAcademy.com to learn more about the role of LTC insurance on the residential assisted living industry.

Transforming Your Home Into Senior Housing

After The Kids Graduate Then What?

Empty nesters everywhere are making decisions about their homes. Your kids have moved out and now the empty spaces in your home feels far too large.

With all the empty bedrooms and extra living spaces you find yourself wondering what to do.

After living in a home for years, it’s now time to transform your way of thinking about what’s best for you. How will you best benefit from all the empty space without downsizing?

Many homeowners are using this opportunity to get connected to the largest market growth opportunity in a generation.

Did you know that there are 70 million baby boomers, and about 4000 seniors are turning age 85 everyday?

Perhaps yours is the perfect house to conform, transform, convert, or renovate into an assisted living home.

Every home is not senior safe, there are a few factors to consider.

The Assistant Living Network specializes in teaching home owners how to transform homes into senior residents by renovating and converting it for safe senior living.

Let’s start with the groundwork. There are two senior living models to consider:

Independent Living: An arrangement for seniors and/or individuals with special needs, usually in their own unsupervised living space, affording them as much independence and autonomy as possible.

Assisted Living: A housing or living arrangement for elderly, infirm or disabled, in which housekeeping, meals, medical care, and other assistance is available to residents as needed.

What Are the Requirements of Independent Living?

Independent living is a safe way for seniors to live on their own.

Homes designed for independent living often have hard wired smoke detectors connected to the alarm system. They have grab bars in the bathrooms, wider doors for wheel chairs and walkers, and slip prevention measures for trip hazards.

The ideal home is single level and have the capacity to be converted to four bedrooms with at least two bathrooms.

These are important criteria homeowners should consider for a conversion.

If this is a description of the home, your nest no longer has to be empty.

You can help others while reaping the benefits by transforming your current home into senior housing.

Living Life Like It’s Golden

Susan Harris created a television series that aired on NBC from 1985 to 1992. It was about four single older women who shared a home in Miami, Florida.

Blanche was the home owner, Rose was a widow, Dorothy was a divorcee, and Sophia was Dorothy’s 80-year-old mother. Together, the comedic elderly women were called The Golden Girls.

The series finale of The Golden Girls was watched by 27.2 million viewers. As of 2016, it was the 17th-most watched television finale.

Think of independent living like golden girls and golden boys coming together.

There’s ideally four different people living in these types of homes.

They’re probably not related, sometimes they are friends or develop a friendship in the process of living together.

Learn How to Profit Off Your Home

The Assisted Living Network seldom incorporates the concept of charging rent, because this practice is not used in residential assisted living.

Independent living is the only time I’m going to discuss it rent.

With residential assisted living, we have residents, they don’t pay rent – we provide a service for them.

In the independent living model, the golden girls and golden boys pay rent.

The rent that you charge could be anything that you want.

Usually, rent for independent living homes is calculated with higher premiums based on the following 6 amenities and conveniences:

6 Amenities and Conveniences

  1. Easy to Access Location;
  2. Unlimited Utilities;
  3. Maintenance Upkeep;
  4. Cable, Internet and Phone Services;
  5. Worry-Free Bills; and
  6. Care-Free Living.

Calculating the Premiums of Independent Living

You could split all the bills amongst all four seniors. However, instead of renting the house for $1,200 or $1,500 a month, rent each bedroom for $1,000 monthly, including the amenities and conveniences.

Instead of collecting $1,500 monthly household rent, independent living homes collect rent based on bedrooms.

As a result, four bedrooms at $1,000 per occupant, produces $4,000 a month. That leaves plenty of extra money to pay for monthly utilities and routine upkeep on the home.

These are expected responsibilities and expenses on any rental properties, although seniors are low impact tenants. Seniors do not have pets, do not host events and do not pose the risk of destroying property.

As a result, the profitability of independent living is very beneficial.

A lot of property owners question what they should do with empty and unwanted houses.

Some people rely on short term Airbnb or traditional renting methods. While these are profitable sources of income, they pose repeated risks and loses associated with cleaning and vacancies.

More people have been deciding to sell without considering the rapidly growing market of independent living.

Whether it’s yourself or a loved one living alone in a house with extra bedrooms, independent living is wise to consider.

Start thinking differently.

If you have questions about how to turn your home into senior housing, we have the answers and suggestions that will make your process much easier.

In many cases, we can even help you fill your home.

Transitioning from Independent Living to Residential Assisted Living

Seniors transition into assisted living models for the long term. The next step after independent living is usually assisted living.

You’re probably wondering could your current model become a form of assisted living?

Well, the answer to that question depends on your willingness to transition the home from independent living to assisted.

Remember, assisted living is just that, assisted. That means somebody is there to take care of the residents.

Senior housing can evolve from independent living, because the conversions are covered in the initial startup. Senior safe homes are usually pre-equipped with the following:

  1. Bathroom grab bars in the tubs and next to the toilets;
  2. Carpets with thick padding underneath;
  3. Slip prevention measures for trip hazards;
  4. Widened doorways for walkers and wheelchairs;
  5. Hallway grab bars;
  6. Outdoor sprinkler systems;
  7. Available parking;
  8. Digital surveillance and alarm monitoring system; and
  9. Electronic systems like hard wired smoke detectors.

The Residential Assisted Living Academy trains homeowners and operators how to build successful and sustainable businesses leveraging the best real estate opportunity for the next 25 years.

Perhaps your thinking, you don’t want the hassles that come with assisted living.

Remember, owners are not always operators, and someone else can manage the daily operation of cooking, cleaning and caregiving.

Assisted Living Is About Providing Quality Care

In addition to operating a senior safe home, converting your house to assisted living must consider the care that will be given.

Most importantly, assisted living requires assistance. That means there will be caregivers available 24/7.

Caregivers do not necessarily live in the house with the residents.

Assisted living will never provide a skilled nursing or nursing home dynamic inside the residential home. Residential homes are not nursing homes or hospitals. However, some homes do offer a live in caregiver.

If this will be your approach, provide a room that’s designated specifically for the caregiver, preferably on the second floor.

Experience has taught us that an ideal floor plan calls for seniors on the first floor, caregivers on the second level, and a basement area for a break room.

This blog is not an all inclusive plan.

Residential Assisted Living Academy outlines the complete requirements for assisted living.

Contact us to learn how you can get all the tools you need to transform your home for senior living.

Assisted Living Strategies for Interior to Exterior

Residential Assisted Living Academy introduces owners and operators to an advanced perspective of senior living, from the interior to the exterior.

For example, location is also Key.

Living nearby different activities such as Libraries, grocery stores, shopping centers, movie theaters, those kinds of things are important, even more so for independent living.

For either model, the exterior of the home is essential.

It’s important for residents to be able to easily pull up in a car and get out at the front door. Therefore, circular driveways are great.

Parking should also be considered. Seniors in independent living will need somewhere to park their vehicles, assisted living residents typically do not have cars.

What a home looks like to people pulling up or passing by will determine the success of your business – curb appeal is always a plus.

Providing the exterior maintenance and landscaping is a big part of word of mouth marketing.

Let us help make this transition a reality for you.

Instead of renting or selling, get excited about the low risk transformation of your house into senior housing.

Whether it be golden girls and golden boys’ concept, or residential assisted living, we can help you maintain and maximize your ownership by transforming your home into senior living.

How EASY Is It To Open An Assisted Living Home?

Real Life Is More Than a Quick Fix

Show-and-tell is an easy way to walk newcomers through the process of motivating bright minds. This is because most people would rather hope for greatness rather than work for it.

Once you see it how things work, and try them for yourself, sometimes you learn it’s not as easy as it looks on video.

Recently, I got a gift. It was a pair of traditional roller skates with two wheels in the front and back, instead of the inline skates that I was somewhat familiar with.

It all started when I watched a video of advanced skaters gliding through the wind with no care in the world.

While zooming around with speed and twirling through the air with smiles on their faces, they made it look really easy. So, I ordered two pair.

I called it a gift because it was a present to myself, and I intended to give the second pair to someone else. That’s the way we do it in our house.

I remember being so happy opening the boxes, putting them on my feet, and then suddenly it happened. I immediately realized, this is not nearly as easy as the people in the video made it look. The music stopped and the lights came on in my head.

When you first try something, it’s never as easy the first time around.

For those of us that own and operate assisted living homes, we find so much irony in the question, “Is it easy?”

The first time I tried it, I ran into roadblocks, obstacles and pitfalls – it was not easy at all.

As I learned new things about it, watched others do it, and continued to repeatedly try, it became easier and easier each time.

Opening an assisted living home is just like learning how to roller skate. Once you get it, you can’t forget it.

Whether it’s roller skates, bicycles, speedboats or skiing, our muscle memory maintains the skillset.

Clicking into Greatness

Recently I went skiing. It had been 16 years since I’d been on the slopes. Putting the skis on my boots was the hardest part, but I did it. I got in the chair lift, went up to the top and prepared to come down. In that moment, it clicked in.

I remember reminiscing about when I first got started, my mind morphed back to grade school. It was as if I was child again, going uphill.

During those days, there were not a lot of friendly people to teach me the HOW TOs of skiing. I had friends that took me to the top; afterward, I was left there to figure out, on my own, how to ski back down the hill.

I remember standing on the sidelines of that slope studying the kills of strangers. I noticed every movement of their bodies that determined the directions of their skis. After observing a while, I tried it, again and again.

After repeatedly trying, instead of falling six times on my way down, eventually I only fell twice. That’s how the learning process works.

The next time, perhaps you fall down twice the entire day. Before you know it, you’re making it look easy to somebody else. That’s the way life is.

So, when somebody asks me, “How easy is it to open an assisted living home?”

The answer is simple.

It’s easier for me every time, because I’ve done it again and again. How easy will it be for you?

That’s a question you have to ask of yourself.

I don’t know your background, what you’ve done, what makes sense to you and what doesn’t, or how passionate your heart is.

“Easy” Isn’t Worth Your Time

Most importantly, I don’t know what you’re willing and committed to make happen in your life. I am absolutely confident that you can pretty much do anything if you are willing and committed.

If you’re not truly willing and committed to do whatever it takes, at some point you’re simply going to give up.

I love listening to victorious testimonials from people that we’ve trained on how to open assisted living homes. I’m a sucker for success stories from people who have faced obstacles, but refused to throw in the towel.

It’s really easy to hit a roadblock and just stop. Quitting is easy.

Failure is when people easily quit.

The higher you set your ambitions and aspirations, the more challenges you are likely to face. True success is never easy.

The second time is easier than the first. The third time is easier than the second, but if you’re truly aiming to maximize your full potential, it will never be easy.

Navigating the Road to Success

Success always requires effort, which makes the idea of it being easy an interesting word.

We’ve talked about the effort required in roller skating and skiing, now let’s talk about assisted living homes. I’ve been privileged to train thousands of people on how to open, own, and operate homes.

There are three common denominators in every discussion that successful home owners say I’ve help with:

  1. Saving time
  2. Saving Effort
  3. Saving Money

I have a simple strategic suggestion about achieving your most risky goal. Find somebody who has done it before that makes it look easy.

This will empower, engage and educate you to navigate all the right turns. Whether it’s driving a speed boat, race car, skiing the slopes, roller skating or whatever, there is always a road to success.

Learning what to do and what not to do will equip your plan of execution.

The Value of a Good Teacher

Even the world’s greatest athletes have coaches, whether you consider the NBA, WNBA, NFL or USA Olympics.

Find someone you can ask questions and someone willing to share their secrets to success. In our case, find someone that will tell you the do’s and don’ts of assisted living.

Personally, I love teaching and coaching professionals that profit from their passion of helping others. That’s one quality I look for in a good student. There’s a few qualities you should look for in a good teacher.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a teacher that will let you experience the field firsthand.

After you’ve mastered the first lesson, a good teacher is prepared to provide you with the next lesson. It’s important to learn assisted living step-by-step, while gaining some virtual experience that will prep and make your journey easier.

Afterward, you’ll be able to share the same strategies with others. Soon, you’ll make it look easy, and people will ask you, “How can I do it?”

Good teachers will always inspire you to pay it forward.

I am truly a believer in education. I’d much rather learn from your experience, than making my own mistakes. I willing to pay for expertise, rather then figure it out on my own.

I’d rather work for success, rather than merely hoping to survive with my finances, time, energy and commitment.

For me, teaching other people how to make it look easy is one of the most rewarding things of all.

How easy is it to open an assisted living home? Well, it depends.

If you’re listening to a teacher who’s done it before, that will make it much easier than trying to figure it out on your own.

Register for the Residential Assisted Living Academy

As the founder of Residential Assisted Living Academy, I teach thousands of successful RAL home owners and operators across the country.

Some RAL businesses move at the rate of rowboat, others sail through situations even slower, but RALAcademy will accelerate your process like a speed boat.

We’ll show-and-tell you how to make your assisted living experience easier. All you need to do is get on board.

I want to share with you the secrets to how to do well financially, while doing good in the process.

RAL Academy has the best teachers nationwide and we’re here to help you make your dream of owning and operating an assisted living home a reality.

Contact us today to learn an easier way to get connected to the largest market growth opportunity in a generation.

Business Plans For Opening An Assisted Living Home


Gene Guarino: This is Gene from the assisted living network. Business plans for assisted living, specifically residential assisted living. I’m going to give you the two keys to having a successful business plan and the five p’s to making it happen. First of all, the two keys, number one reason I have a business plan is for you so that you have clarity of vision of where you’re going, what it is, who you are, what you’re doing, and where you’re going. You see, you can get anywhere even without a map, but the question is where is it that you’re going to end up? So the business plan, the first key is it’s for you clarity of vision. The second key is to help raise capital. If you don’t have a business plan, no bank is going to give you a loan. No private investor or a lender is going to give you the money.

Gene Guarino: You need to have a business plan to be able to show to other people, hey, I know what I’m doing and where I’m going. You need to know where it starts, where we break even, where we’re profitable, what’s my reserve and all of the details. But the two keys to a business plan or one clarity of vision for you and to the ability to raise capital, a clear vision that you can share with others so they can buy into or lend to you. Now, five p’s for successful business plan. I’m going to give this to you if you want to write it down, feel free. But number one, people, people meaning me, you, whoever is inside and operating within this business, the first thing that somebody is going to look at as an angel investor, first thing I look at a banker, first thing they look at, who are the people involved?

Gene Guarino: What experience do they have that is similar to or even related to what it is that they’re getting the money for? Raising the capital for. So that people element is very important. So one of the keys is who are you? What do you do now that relates to what it is you’re raising the capital for. And if you don’t have something, who else can you put inside Your Business Plan? Maybe on a board of advisors to be of help to you? A team of people is better than having just one person. A little side story before we get to that. I remember when I was an angel investor investing in a project and I had over a half a million dollars invested and I was on what at one time I was on one side of the table talking to the entrepreneurs are raising capital and I was writing checks to them and after 50,000 another hundred thousand other hundred and 50,000 now we’re at 500,000 I eventually ended up on the same side of the table as them and now boom, we’re here as a team and now we’re looking to somebody else who is going to be an investor with us.

Gene Guarino: So I went from, I’m investing in to now I’m a part of the team and now we’re looking to somebody else. And I remember distinctly, and here’s the lesson, they were much older than I worked 30 years older than I was and they said, you know what? I’m not sure about the business. I’m not sure about the business plan, but I like you and what he meant was not knee, knee, but all of us, that team of people, he was betting on the jockey, not the horse, and that’s a key critical point. First P is people. Second is the product. In Your Business Planning, you got to lay it out. What is it that you’re doing? What is it? Is it a product? Is it a service, is it whatever? What is your product itself? You need to explain that clearly. We’ve seen your house when we’ve got it down to a tee, we know exactly what it is.

Gene Guarino: The third p your position, when I say your position, are you the most expensive and that’s what makes you best and better than everybody else or you’re the least expensive, makes you available to everybody and everybody will use you. The government will leave and pay for it. If you can. Are you summer? What is your position now that’s important because you’re not all things to all people. You don’t want to be the cheapest one because then you’re just always battling on price. Somebody else squeeze, you can get in a little bit cheaper and to be the top of the top, the cream of the crop. There’s very few clients or customers at the top. So many times the best position is to be a high quality, not at the bottom, not at the very top, but somewhere above the middle. That’s what we call the sweet spot.

Gene Guarino: So we taught people, we talk product and we talked position. Now at some point we do have to talk about projections. Seeing a business plan, if you’re buying an existing business, there’s a past, there’s a present, and then there’s the projections into the future. But most people who are raising capital for a business, they’re going to look at, the projections were here today, ground zero, never done it before. It’s a complete startup. This is where we’re at. And then this is where we’re going. So when you’re looking at the projections, I’m always going to encourage you to be conservative, be conservative, whatever you think it is, reduced it a little bit more. If you think the vacancy rate is going to be 10% make it 15% if you think the income is going to be $4,000 per person in rent on your assisted living home, make it 3,800 or 3,600 be conservative.

Gene Guarino: Don’t go overboard, but make it more conservative to give you some breathing room to make sure that you can under promise and over deliver when it’s all said and done. Another P to take a look at is the exit plan, and I have to say this plan to exit exit plan is one of the key elements that most people miss the notice. I didn’t even talk about the profitability because I assume that you know that, that it must be profitable. That investor, that lender doesn’t want to know how much money they’re gonna make. What’s in it for them initially, they need to know their money is safe. They need to know there is a purpose. They need to know that you know what you’re doing. You’ve surrounded yourself with the right people. They need to know the you know your position, you know your projections.

Gene Guarino: The profit should be self evident. It needs to be clear and I know that you know that you have to have the financials in place in your business plan, but those projections will give you that profitability. But again, that investors looking for number one safety of capital, that is their number one concern. And that final piece, that plan to exit or exit plan is a piece that most business plans are simply missing. Think about it, when you go to a bank and say, I’m wanting to borrow money to buy a house, they give you a 30 year amortization, what’s the plan to exit? And you pay it off in 30 years. Now some banks will lend the money saying, we’ll do a 30 year amortization with a balloon in five years, which means we’re going to do the payments as if you’re paying for 30 years.

Gene Guarino: But at the end of five years it’s all do. So the exit plan is for you to reapply for a loan or go someplace else to get the money and pay them off or to sell the property and pay it off one way or the other. It’s an exit plan at five years. In a normal business plan, when you’re talking about a business startup, especially something as simple as and as straight forward as residential assisted living, somebody wants to know that their money is safe. They know what the collateral is, they know what the positioning is, they know all of that. But a two to five year exit plan is a good plan. Two years, meaning your money is committed for two years and our plan is to either sell or refinance. Once that business stabilized and within five years, meaning that’s the outside right here, we will have either sold or refinanced, but that investor, that lender wants to know that they’re going to eventually get out of that deal. So two to five years on an exit plan is that key. So we talked people positioning, we talked about the product, we talked about the profit, the projections, and we also talked about the plan to exit. There’s a lot to know on a business plan, but the two keys are clarity for you, clarity of vision for you and the ability to raise capital. This is Jean from the assisted living network saying, do good and do well. If you like what you’ve seen and heard, please subscribe.

Transportation for Residential Assisted Living

There is more than one way to get to where you’re going.

Founder of Residential Assisted Living Academy, Gene Guarino, provides the highest quality of training for RAL home owners and operators.

A lot of details are involved when caring for seniors, and there are a lot of ways to meet their needs. 

Some RAL business decisions can be quite costly without consulting professionals who have paved the way in the industry. 

During a recent presentation, Guarino addressed the role of transportation in assisted living.

DO I NEED TRANSPORTATION TO EFFECTIVELY RUN A RAL HOME?

One frequently asked question is, “Do we need to offer transportation for residents in our care homes?” 

Obviously residents will need to go to doctor’s visits and want to go on occasional day trips. 

Let me explain how my perspective on transportation progressively evolved.

Guarino owns several very successful RAL homes.

When he first got started, he assumed that he would have to purchase a huge van to collectively transport seniors to various locations.

He had big plans for getting senior out and about.

“I was going to escort seniors to the opera, ballet, senior centers, and local libraries,” he said. He wanted residents to experience the best of retirement life. 

Suddenly, it hit him.

Grandma isn’t mobile enough to comfortably commute to various locations citywide. 

Seniors do not seek to travel as frequently as they did during their younger years.

Guarino’s overzealous ideas about transportation faded fast. 

ADDING UP UNNECESSARY COST 

His concept of transportation quickly transitioned once he added up the cost. 

Shortly after his initial epiphany, he counted up the cost of purchasing a van to have access in case it was needed.

Some conveniences simply are not business savvy. 

Be mindful of the liabilities involved with purchasing a vehicle that your business uses to provide transportation. 

Perhaps it’s just sitting in the driveway most of the time, but you’ll be forced to pay added insurance all of the time. 

Your expenses won’t stop with the vehicle cost and monthly insurance premiums; you’ll also have to pay a driver. 

Making sure that managers and caregivers are licensed drivers becomes an added responsibility that deviates from caring for residents.

These are the reasons Guarino chose not to offer onsite residential transportation. 

ALTERNATIVE TO PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION

Most of the time, even during doctor’s appointments, RAL homes have physicians that make onsite visitations.

When there’s an outside appointment, family members often prefer the privacy and personal care of picking up their loved ones.

During rare instances when seniors need to secure transportation, RAL homes charge an additional fee or suggest calling a cab company, Uber or Lyft. 

If they prefer having somebody with them in addition to transportation, a staff companion can be provided for an extra charge.

Ultimately, owners and operators must discover what works for your RAL home, your residents, and your care staff.

Remember, there’s more than one way to get to where you’re going.

RAL ACADEMY ACCELERATES THE PROCESS

Some people take rowboats, others travel on sailboats, and then there are those that use speed boats to get to their destination the fastest. 

RAL Academy empowers students to get the fastest and most effective results. 

Gene Guarino is teaching students how to maximize their potential in the RAL industry by offering years of experience and ongoing support.

Learn more savvy business practices and how to make a residential assisted living work in your financial favor. 

Contact www.RALAcademy.com today and join the next 3-day RAL course. 

During this intense 3-day RAL course, you’ll learn everything from A-Z about owning and operating your own assisted living home.