Where will you live when you retire? Will you live in your current home, and for how long? What other options are available? There are several things to consider, including the cost of living, health and mobility, and personal preferences.
Money is always a consideration, especially when you retire and are on a "fixed income." Will you be able to maintain your lifestyle, travel, enjoy recreational and social activities, and enjoy family on your retirement savings?
Have you paid off your mortgage? If not, can you make your mortgage (or rent) payments, including taxes, utilities, and normal household and property maintenance, on your retirement income?
As you get older and your health declines, the question must be asked if your current home is age and disability-friendly? If you move, this will be a key consideration.
Can you receive in-home care in your current or future home if you need long-term health care? If you have Long-Term Care Insurance, it will pay for the care but is your current home a good setting for you as you get older? If you don't have insurance, can you afford the care and your other expenses?
Hopefully, you have prepared for these questions before retirement. Planning ahead is always easier than planning in a crisis.
There are affordable housing options available if your budget is very tight. Here are some of those options:
Move-In with Your Kids
This option seems far-fetched for many, but it is worth considering for some people looking for cheap housing. Much of the decision-making will not come down to you but your family, as you'll be their new permanent roommate. This option requires you to have a strong relationship with your kids, but it could be very fulfilling. You can spend time with your grandkids and enrich your children's lives. So if this option is viable for you, it's worth exploring.
However, living with your adult children and their family is one thing - having them become caregivers if you need help with daily living activities is another. Even if you have an excellent relationship with your children, having them be your caregiver in addition to their roommate adds another level of stress which is undesirable.
Caregiving is physically and emotionally demanding. Family caregivers must juggle their career and family responsibilities along with being a caregiver. When you live with one of your children and their family, the problem never goes away. This is too much to ask.
Families in this situation will often bring in professional caregivers to take on that role. However, if you are independent but have limited financial resources, living with your kids could be an option.
Live in a Senior Community
These independent communities come in various shapes and sizes. Still, they all have a similar theme: they offer homes, townhouses, condos, or apartments in a community where all the residents are age 55 and older.
No matter the name, retirement villages, active adult communities, senior independent living, or senior housing, residents have their own private living space and access to amenities, including on-site pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and restaurants. Many communities have common areas where you can host private parties. These communities typically have many social activities that are available for their residents.
These are housing options that allow you to remain active and independent and be around people of your own age group.
Senior subsidized housing is a consideration for those with low income and few assets. There are federal housing programs that can help subsidize or stabilize the rents of seniors that are often administered on the local or county level. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides funds and administers these programs; however, some have long waiting lists due to the high demand for subsidized housing.
There are income and asset requirements for these programs, and generally, you must be age 62 or older.
Sell Your Home and Go Mobile
This option sounds dramatic, but it's a fun way to do something different that you've always wanted but never had the chance to do. A mobile lifestyle is not for everyone, but it is a great way to see the country and never have to stay in one place.
Are you ready for the RV? There are permanent and semi-permanent RVers who have sold everything – homes, condos, cars, furniture, and see the country coast to coast.
It can be hard to sell your home and get rid of many of your items, but it can also feel liberating. You will need to sell your home and belonging other than what you need in your RV. Some people will put some stuff in storage or get a small condo or apartment to call their "home base."
Selling your house can sometimes be a long process. Some people use the short sale. Considering the short sale process for your home, if other options don't seem reasonable, it is an option many people don't think about that could be very beneficial for getting you closer to retirement and out on the road if that's what you want to do.
Life Plan Community or CCR
A continuing care retirement community (CCR), sometimes known as a life plan community, is another for people with available assets. These communities offer a continuum of aging care needs—from independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care—which can all be met within the community. You buy into these communities and then sell them at the end.
There are monthly costs, and they can increase a bit if you need long-term health care. These costs initially are lower if you own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. The regulation varies depending on which state you live in, so check on the available consumer protections that are available in your state.
Finding the correct housing options for when you are nearing retirement is challenging. However, finding the right choice can be very rewarding. Your home is your sanctuary at the end of the day, so don't settle for something that makes you unhappy. Instead, pick the best option for you and go for it.
About the Author
Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.
Contributor since September 25th, 2020
Few people want to think about getting older and becoming dependent on other people for their daily living activities. Few people want to buy insurance either.
Most people can agree that long-term health care costs are rising rapidly, and the financial impact is substantial. Most people would also agree that they don't want to place the burden of being a caregiver on their adult children. They understand the stress and anxiety that being a caregiver would have on those they love.
Family caregivers are also untrained and unprepared for an all-encompassing job. Your loved ones have responsibilities for their careers and families. Your loved ones want time to be family and not burdened with being caregivers.
The affordable solution is Long-Term Care Insurance. Long-Term Care Insurance provides you with access to your choice of quality care options, including in-home care. You will not only protect your assets from the high costs of long-term care services, but you will also give your loved ones the time to be family instead of caregivers.
Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Every insurance company has its own underwriting rules. Be sure you share all your health information with a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who works with the top companies so they can find you the best coverage at the best value.
Get Expert Assistance in Planning
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A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
LTC NEWS Offers Many Planning Tools and Resources
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Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad
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Start by reading our four guides -
- Finding Quality In-Home Care | LTC News
- Adult Day Care Centers (ADCCs) | LTC News
- Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities | LTC News
- Finding a Quality Nursing Home | LTC News
If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
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Many insurance companies have issued Long-Term Care Insurance policies over the years. Filing a claim can sometimes be complicated unless you know what to do or get expert help and assistance.
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Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance. You might be eligible at younger ages as well.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, and even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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