Rethinking Retirement Living

America is in the midst of a culture shift when it comes to aging and in particular, senior retirement living.

The 2015 annual Houzz & Home survey of residential remodeling, building and decorating activity supports this growing movement, reporting that this year, aging in place made it to the list of top concerns.More than half of the over age 60 households indicate that they plan to stay in their homes indefinitely, with many taking on renovation projects for this reason.*As more baby boomers become aware that aging-in-place renovations are beautiful, functional and more comfortable alternative to assisted living options, they’re beginning to do more advanced planning when it comes to retirement.

Aging successfully is highly dependent on making lifestyle adjustments – before necessity or crisis. It is important to take a close and honest look at a multitude of areas in order to make informed and realistic decisions regarding a retirement lifestyle. Here are just a few of the many considerations:

 

Renovation Expense: While home renovations of any kind generally improve resale value, they can be expensive. Homeowners should consult with a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS), who have completed a program developed by the National Association of Home Builders in collaboration with AARP to understand priorities and options and then weigh the costs associated with remodeling against long-term care expense. According to an annual study by Genworth**, last year’s NJ median annual cost for home health care aids was $48,506; NJ annual median cost for assisted living was $68,700 and NJ annual media cost for a private nursing home was $127,750.

 

Maintenance and Upkeep:An empty nest home may simply be too large for a couple or an individual to maintain regardless of how it’s renovated to meet their changing needs.It may be more cost-effective to move, using some of the equity from the original home for aging-in-place modifications on a more manageable home that requires less upkeep.

 

Social Network: Consideration should be given to an individual’s social circle, especially for widowed or unmarried seniors. Aging in place for someone who is away from family or friends, can lead to isolation and loneliness – ultimately resulting in emotional or mental health risks. In these instances, moving closer to family, friends or into a senior community may be a more realistic and beneficial option.

 

Emotional Health: For many, the emotional stability that comes from comfort and familiarity may trump all other considerations. Aging in a home that carries memories and allows a homeowner to feel capable, comfortable and in control is often paramount when making important lifestyle decisions.

 

Aging in place is the preference of many seniors – however, it is not the right option for everyone. Like most major life decisions, it’s a choice that requires a careful and candid examination. AIP Designs’ pairing of an award winning interior designer and medical qualifications of a physical therapist allows us to guide you in this decision making process.

 

*http://www.houzz.com/press/138/Millennial-Homeowners-Are-Active-Renovators-and-Decorators–Houzz-Survey-Finds

**https://www.genworth.com/corporate/about-genworth/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html

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