Costs to consider when aging in place

Most people would like to stay in their own home as they get older. Almost 90% of Americans over 50 …

Most people would like to stay in their own home as they get older. Nearly 90% of Americans over 50 prefer to stay at home and “age in place,” according to a 2021 online survey by Capital Caring Health and WebMD. “Independence and the ability to age in place add to the viability and overall mental and physical health of older adults,” says Cleamon Moorer Jr., president of American Advantage Home Care, which provides home care services. in the Detroit area.

However, choosing to age in place can lead to various expenses, especially for retirees who have health problems.

When aging in place, the costs to consider include:

– Housing costs.

– Age-related renovations.

– Exterior maintenance.

– Care expenses.

– Medical care.

– Social activities and commitments.

Here’s a rundown of what expenses to include in your budget if you plan to stay home during retirement.

Housing costs

If you live in your own home and don’t have paid off your mortgage, you will have to continue the payments during retirement. “Unlike moving to an age restricted rental community or retirement community with continuing care, keeping a home during the final years of retirement means retaining some significant costs associated with the home,” says James Ciprich, a partner and wealth advisor specializing in working with seniors in transition at RegentAtlantic in Morristown, New Jersey. “These include ongoing property taxes and regular maintenance. ” There could be unexpected costs well, like a new water heater to replace a broken water heater or a major roof repair.

[Read: 7 Housing Options for Seniors.]

Age-related renovations

In addition to ongoing housing costs, changes may be needed to account for declining health conditions and levels of mobility. This could include setting up a bedroom on the first floor to avoid having to climb stairs or lower kitchen counters to make them easier to access. Other safety devices include ramps at exterior entrances, wider doors to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs, a stairlift or elevator for the home, non-slip floor mats, and grab bars in bathrooms. Walk-in showers and raised toilet seats may also be required. “For those who need to modify their home for accessibility, the cost of construction will depend on the scope of the project and the construction costs,” says Andrea Pezel, head of services at Grayce, a San Francisco-based company that provides advice on family care across the country.

Exterior maintenance

As you get older, it can be more difficult to perform activities like mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, weeding a garden or shoveling snow. Yes family members live in the area, they can offer help with landscaping and exterior maintenance. If they cannot come regularly or live far away, you may need to hire a service to maintain the property. “The ‘gig economy’ has helped provide direct access to some of these services, but they still come at a cost,” Ciprich explains.

[READ: 10 Important Ages for Retirement Planning.]

Costs of care

Over time, it might be helpful to have help with housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation. The nationwide median monthly cost for housewife services was $ 4,481 in 2020, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. “There may come a time when driving to the supermarket becomes too difficult and you will need to do your shopping,” says Christina Steinorth-Powell, a registered psychotherapist in Nashville, Tennessee, who specializes in working with aging adults and their families. “In the event that you require a grocery delivery, there will either be a flat charge for each delivery or the food will have an additional cost built into the order for delivery.” Transportation services for doctor’s visits or purchases may also be available.

Medical care

Home help and trained nurses can come to your home to help you with therapy, medication, or other health services. Sometimes arrangements can be made for a healthcare professional to come once a week, every day or even to stay 24 hours a day. There may also be insurance premiums and drug costs. on prescription to consider. “Veterans and Medicaid recipients may be eligible for subsidized care programs,” Pezel explains. “However, most people depend on long-term care insurance or private savings to pay for their care.” The national median cost of a home help was $ 4,576 per month, according to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

[Read: Medicare Out-of-Pocket Costs You Should Expect to Pay.]

Social activities and commitments

Meeting friends and being connected to networks can help accomplish social needs in getting older. When staying at home, it can be important to take the initiative to participate in group activities, which may include joining a club or gym. “Some of these can be relatively inexpensive for local activities, but travel clubs or country clubs can be on the higher end of the cost spectrum,” Ciprich said.

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