Surveys tell us that 80% of seniors want to stay in their homes, but less than half of those think they will be able to do so in the event of future physical limitations, mental decline, financial concerns OR EVEN loneliness.
Clearly there is a gap between what people hope for and what they will need. They want to stay in their homes, but know deep down that isn’t likely.
This creates a need for clear, conscious efforts to discuss future housing needs as people age. Unfortunately, many seniors have not saved enough to cover their living expenses in the event of medical need. As these baby boomers are getting older and living longer despite chronic health conditions, our country is headed for a senior care crisis.
Those seniors who have managed to build a healthy retirement savings account assume that their savings will fund their lifestyle and future care needs (if any.) However, nobody can predict the full scope of what those needs might be. The reality is, as a whole we are living longer, but also living with more chronic health conditions. Most seniors do not consider how housing choices can significantly impact their finances as well as their mental well- being. We need to specifically bring the topic of housing into retirement planning discussions.
Those who cling to an idealistic view of their lifestyle, despite warning signs, often end up in crisis. However, the right decisions at the right time can increase the chances that their nest egg will last and that they will stay in control of their lifestyle to have a successful aging experience.
If the decision is to stay home, there are likely going to be needs in the future to assure safety and comfort. Consider planning ahead financially and emotionally for grab bars, bathroom modifications, in home care providers, caregiver support groups, and socialization opportunities.
If the decision is to make a move, there will be questions about where to move, when to move, what to take, and how to get it all done. Having a team that is intimately familiar with the details of the process will provide invaluable support and guidance.
I bet you have never said… ”I need to think about my future housing needs.”
But, you may have said or thought:
- ”I am afraid to get home after dark.” Ask yourself, “What makes me feel uncomfortable when I arrive home after dark?”
- “I nearly fell yesterday getting in the tub.” Ask yourself, “When I almost fell, how did I feel?”
- “The yard is just too much for me to handle.” Ask yourself, “What could I be doing instead of yardwork?”
How can you solve these problems? Be honest with yourself. Do you need to make some plans for change?
You can always reach out to me for guidance about your housing future.