A recent Transition to Retirement Study found that soon-to-be retirees mainly want three things from this time of life. They want more time to spend with family, to relax and to travel; the flexibility to do what they want; as well as freedom from financial worries. Yet the AARP cites that nearly 90 percent of Americans want to age at home for as long as possible. To us, this represents a bit of a conundrum because there’s nothing that ties you down more than owning a home. We suspect many retirees agree, but automatically dismiss senior living as an option because they assume they can’t afford it. You’ll love being wrong here because we’ll show you how senior living can help you achieve what you want in retirement and be more viable than you think.
Vitality Can Be Viable
The ‘wants’ above - more time, flexibility and freedom – each speak to the vitality retirees want as they age. Today’s retirees don’t want to slow down, they want to live and grow and just enjoy life. But what’s the best way to do that? Let’s tackle each ‘want’ with a comparison of its viability at home versus senior living.
- More Time – Well for one thing, owning a home comes with a lot of to-dos. There’s the yard work and maintenance, housekeeping, laundry and cooking to start. Even if you outsource help with these tasks, not only may the cost become problematic (especially over the long term), you’ll also have the hassle of managing everyone you’ve hired. On the other hand, in senior living all the tasks mentioned above are taken care of for you - and typically included in your monthly cost – freeing up plenty of time for family, travelling or well-deserved relaxation.
- Flexibility to Do What You Want – It’s hard to get up and go on when you have to worry about the house while you’re away. Is it secure? What if a problem comes up? The mail? The flowers? And so on. The ability to do what you want also means having access to those things. At home, that may not necessarily be convenient if there are transportation and/or mobility issues. In senior living, life is lock-and-go and also offers you access to a host of social opportunities, classes, fitness options, activities, outings and more for any interests – all right outside your door.
- Freedom from Financial Worries – Again, it’s hard to enjoy retirement if you’re always worrying about when the next big home expense is going to pop up. And quite simply, it’s hard to feel free when there’s little to no predictability over your future living or health expenses. Senior living can help take that weight off your shoulders because these communities typically offer a range of pricing options, from all-inclusive of every service and amenity offered, to tiered pricing, to a la carte in which you pay a base rate and have the option to add the services and amenities you want and need. Knowing how, when and what you can expect is invaluable piece of mind.
The True Test of Home Versus Senior Living
What often goes overlooked when comparing home versus senior living is the true cost of living at home. It’s not just mortgage or rent. You also pay for food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, entertainment and healthcare. Then factor in the cost of at-home care and/or modifications you may need down the road for a true comparison. Once you’ve done this, you may
find senior living is actually less expensive! Or at the very least, much more viable.
And don’t forget options such as the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit, Long-Term Care Insurance and Life Insurance Conversion, which can also help you offset the cost.