The senior citizen population in America is growing, and while there are more than 46 million people above the age of 65, it is projected that there will be almost 90 million people in this age bracket by 2050. Statistics like these are why housing options and a solid financial plan for seniors are areas that their children and caregivers need to pay close attention to as time passes. 1st & Main Investment Advisors outlines some things that you’ll need to consider when choosing the right home.
Immediate and Future Needs
As people age, their various needs change, and they’ll need to think about how their living arrangements will meet these needs. Seniors are generally prone to diabetes, dementia, osteoarthritis, cataracts and hearing loss. It is also more likely for other complex diseases to manifest themselves when we’re older.
Seniors also need special diets that center on giving them less calories but more nutrition. They will generally need foods that are high in protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, and certain considerations will need to be made if they have illnesses that require special nutrients. Finally, seniors benefit both mentally and physically from maintaining social interaction with others. Staying in touch with friends and family keeps seniors physically active and makes them less prone to depression. Make a list of what you need now and what you may need in the next five to ten years to aid in your housing decision.
The housing options for seniors vary depending on what they need. For example, assisted living facilities are best for seniors who are still physically active enough to be independent but may need help with daily activities such as grooming and basic household chores. Some facilities also arrange outings and schedule exercise sessions so that seniors can remain physically active as they age. Senior Living notes that the costs for assisted living will vary as the average monthly rate for a place is $4,300, per Genworth Financial.
According to an AARP survey cited on Leisure Care, 90 percent of seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes as they age. While there are benefits, you’ll have to think about how you can successfully undertake aging in place. You can either modify your home or purchase a home that is best suited to meet your changing needs.
For a senior-friendly home, you’ll want to make safety a top priority. This means ensuring the home is well-lit, is set up in a way that prevents trips or falls, and follows basic fire safety rules. Also check into smart home technology, like smart locks, which allow you to conveniently lock and unlock your door from your phone or laptop. Find a locksmith locally that specializes in installing these types of locks. Also, if you are not as independent as you once were, then you may need to get a caregiver to help with daily activities and exercise.
Finding ways to finance any changes to your home can often be difficult, which is why many people look into various refinancing options. For instance, veterans can look into VA streamline refinance options to help them free up cash for any necessary modifications. There’s no appraisal required, and the eligibility requirements are a bit more flexible.
If you need to sell your home to buy a new one, then it’s recommended that you know both the value of your home as well as how much you can afford to spend on a new one, so research home prices in your area. Once you’ve established those numbers, you’ll also need to calculate the money you’ll need to have for the down payment and other costs associated with buying. It’s also important to understand the ins and outs of downsizing.
Choosing the right housing option is crucial to maintaining your quality of life in your senior years. While this article provides general guidance on what you should consider when looking at your options, it’s important that you take your personal situation into account when deciding what’s best for you. 1st & Main Investment Advisors can step in and help you strategize your financial future, which is vitally important when determining where you’ll spend your golden years.