Some believe when we retire, we must move somewhere else. While that is true for many, it’s not true for everyone. Is there a way you can be safe, healthy, and happy while still living in your own home? For many, the answer is “yes”!
There are many factors to consider and questions to be answered. Here are a few:
How is your health?
Do you require assistance performing daily tasks? This does not mean you have to move. It does mean you will need to do some research to see what’s available in your particular area.
For example: what agencies are available to assist you? There are a variety of services available for every task imaginable IF you live in a metro area. Rural areas have many fewer options. In Oklahoma, start here. If you live in another state, you can search your state DHS office or Area Agency on Aging. Since the latter has 622 offices in the U.S., there should be one near you.
Other places to look for assistance in the home, whether that means cooking, cleaning, running errands, or mowing the lawn, include your local church or senior center. Sometimes a college student will help in exchange for room and board. Other times a single or widowed adult might be happy to help for extra income or in exchange for a place to stay. Junior High or High School kids can be great at yard work, laundry, or other tasks.
Is transportation available from your home?
There are options in most cases, (Uber, Lyft, taxi) and even government programs providing rides at a discounted or free rate for qualifying seniors. In Oklahoma, it’s called Sooner Ride. Search the Health Care Authority in your state for local options.
Is your home accessible to you?
For example, a three-story house isn’t practical for a person in a wheelchair. Can you easily get from room to room? Some modifications might be required for your continued safety.
There are programs in place to help you fund any needed home repairs. The Home Modification Information Network has a list of agencies or programs available to you depending on your state.
Do you have a support system at home?
Do family or friends live close by to help in case of emergencies? If not, you might want to consider assisted living or moving to a senior neighborhood.
Is your home safe?
What will it cost to stay in your home?
Even if your home mortgage is paid, there are other reoccurring costs such as phone, internet, cable, property taxes, HOA dues if applicable, and utilities. You will also need to be prepared for unexpected costs like repairs or any assistive equipment that needs to be installed.
A great resource of things to consider as well as assistance doing research or providing direction can be found at RetireGuide.com. The article: Aging in Place | A Guide to Growing Older at Home (retireguide.com) will prove particularly beneficial to you as it covers a wide range of information related to staying in your home throughout retirement.
To read about relocation options on this site, please visit Changing Pace: Relocation After Loss
How can I make sure I have enough money through retirement?
This article explains 401k's, IRA's, and many different financial options. https://learn.financestrategists.com/finance-terms/retirement-planning/