Is your home prepared to age with you?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared in a November 2018 brief that the life expectancy for the U.S. population is 78.6 years as of 2017. Life expectancy for females was consistently higher than males. The average woman in the United States will live to 81.A survey done by the National Council on Aging and reported in Stria News showed 60% of women 60 years of age and over are worried health care costs will exceed retirement income.
Other important survey findings
51% of women 60 years of age and older are worried about outliving their savings
59% of women 60 years of age and older are worried about losing their independence
How does this knowledge impact your future housing strategy? You need to make a plan now to address these concerns.I have covered in a separate blog article the costs to live in assisted living is not cheap. Many seniors remain healthy and active for a much longer time and with the right planning can create a home that will accommodate your aging needs. This can also allow you to hold on to your independence longer and make your savings go farther.
Simple modifications done now in your home can pay big dividends for your future. Start with the right kind of lighting in your home. Do you have enough light and is it in the right places where you will need it? For example, are you a cook and need bright light in the kitchen to read your recipes? There are great LED options that are bright and can help reduce your energy usage. How about accessing your shelves in your upper cabinets? There are shelving solutions that can be retrofitted to your existing cabinetry which will glide-out and can be lowered to eliminate the need to reach things in upper shelves. Do you have adequate lighting in your bathroom? Speaking of bathrooms, if you believe you might have a tough time climbing into a bathtub in the future, think about remodeling to a curbless shower or having your tub retrofitted to lower the side of the tub where the step in is much easier to enter and exit. Make sure a grab bar is placed where you can get to it to steady you as you enter and exit. Don’t forget to look around the outside of your home. Sidewalks and entryways can become trip hazards over time. One time I had a tree whose root buckled my front sidewalk. This became a trip hazard and I had to tear out the sidewalk, cut back the tree root and pour a new sidewalk. No more trip hazards getting to the front door by me or any visitors. I thought it was money spent wisely.
Creating a plan of action is easier than you think. If you would like to have an assessment done on your home environment, please call me for an appointment at 865-637-1675. We will work together to create the right plan for you and your home.