Now more then ever, there are several options when considering a move when the house you’ve lived in for so many years has become too big or too much of a burden.
The dream of retiring from the rat race and moving to Florida isn’t as typical as one may think. Making the decision to retire elsewhere can be overwhelming, even if the warm weather is tempting. Robert Strauss, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, stated in a New York Times article on May 14, 2013, “The biggest movement of people is actually in their 20s and early 30s, looking for work and going around the country.” He further noted that seniors might move from their homes once they retire, but often will move somewhere close.
Pulte Homes, whose Del Webb subsidiary made its name building retirement communities in warm-weather areas, discovered over the years that people prefer to stay near family and friends and have built many communities outside those areas. We even have our own Sun City in nearby South Carolina.
Not all seniors care to live alone, even in their own home. The option of moving in with another senior is a great way to have control of personal expenses, develop friendships and still have independence. Annette Leahy Maggitti, co-president of the National Shared Housing Resource Center, said the most common reason seniors give for renting out a room is financial. But she adds that older people, some living alone for the first time, feel happier and less anxious after a home sharer moves in. Simply living with someone who can drive, do household chores and provide simple caregiving can help seniors remain independent longer.
However, if all other options are not possible because of health issues, the choice of assisted living is one that can also be taken into account.
“The key difference is quality of life. Not only is assisted living financially equal to living at home, it’s such a dramatically different way of life,” explains Pam Talon, A Place for Mom’s Market Development Coach for the Northeast region.
Most people underestimate how much money they spend on food each month, and forget about all the miscellaneous expenses that crop
up, Talon says. Mentally, they simply add up rent or the mortgage and utilities, guess on how much they spend on eating, and come up with a figure that’s not accurate.
Assisted living costs include all basic living expenses such as rent, utilities and food – but also includes 24-hour security services, housekeeping, health monitoring services, lawn care, property taxes and insurance, trash removal, repairs and maintenance, and the most frequent things people forget to include-social activities and entertainment.
In fact, many seniors living at home cut back on entertainment as a way to save money.
“With a senior living at home, the monthly budget usually has a blank space next to social and entertainment,” Talon says. “We point out and say, ‘Look at what your mom or dad are spending on socialization and entertainment – nothing – and that’s not a good thing.’”
Once the housing decision has been made, it is a perfect time to call a real estate problem solver. Regardless of what the move will be, a real estate problem solver can help by purchasing the home “as is” so the remaining decisions will be much easier. If you or someone you know has a home that has become a burden and is no longer the best environment, now is a perfect time to call a real estate problem solver.
This article was written by Karen Craig, Cave to Castle Homes, LLC