As you settle into retirement, it may become necessary to determine where you’ll spend your leisure years. Many seniors choose to spend them at home, a wise decision when their budget is a concern and the home can be modified. Others make the move into a 55-plus community and then transition into independent or assisted living. Others still enjoy the diversity of non-age-restricted living and buy an accessible home near their friends and family.
The Choice Is Yours
If you aren’t sure of your plan, ask yourself a few questions:
- Am I healthy enough to live alone?
- Is it lonely in this big house?
- What do I want to do with my life in the next 10-plus years?
If you are healthy overall and don’t have a family history of physical or cognitive impairments, such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s, living at home might make sense if you take the time to outfit your property to make it more senior-friendly. Conversely, staying in your home can be a hazard to your health. If you are a widow or widower, for example, isolation can cause depression and a decline in your health. When you are active and want to remain so, a senior community is a great option that gives you the benefits of accessibility, independence, and recreation in an environment with like-minded people.
When your final decision has you leaving your home for a smaller space, there will be a ton of work to do before your relocation. In addition to sprucing up your property, you will also need to go through your belongings and decide what you’ll pack and what you’ll send packing. Even if the choice to move was an easy one, getting rid of family heirlooms and sentimental pieces may be more challenging. If you are having trouble letting go, you can rent a storage unit in Berkeley for around $105.45 (according to data from Sparefoot throughout the last 180 days or so). You can keep your lease for as long as you need without feeling rushed.
Another benefit of having your items in storage is that it makes your home easier to stage. This will help you sell faster so you can get serious about choosing your next living accommodations.
If you are looking for a sense of community, start by asking your realtor about 55-plus communities. These master-planned neighborhoods are an attractive option for older adults. Private Communities Registry asserts that retirees and pre-retirees will find an active lifestyle and low maintenance living in a senior-oriented development. Further, since these neighborhoods are planned with convenience in mind, they are often in close proximity to lifestyle amenities, such as public transportation, golf, and shopping.
If you don’t have a mind to leave the place you call home, you can extend your independence with a few tweaks. Sometimes, these modifications may be as simple as adding non-slip materials to the shower or changing the brightness of the light bulbs throughout the home. Unfortunately, if your vision and/or mobility begin to decline significantly, it can cost thousands of dollars to install a wheelchair ramp, widen doorways, and install a walk-in bath or shower. If it becomes necessary to extend the width of the hallways, add a stairlift, or adjust the height of your kitchen countertops, you could be looking at $8,000 or more for each change you make.
The only person who knows what’s truly best for you is you. However, be honest with yourself about your abilities and the enjoyability of your current property. If you still aren’t sure what you want, be sure to talk to your doctor. They may be able to give you valuable insight into your health that might sway you in the right direction.
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