Selling Your Home vs Aging in Place: 3 Options for Safe Senior Living

Posted on June 10, 2021

2



The following is a guest post, written by Karen Weeks. Karen is a Senior Lifestyle blogger. She struggled to find a new sense of purpose after retirement which made way to learn a new skill and took a computer course. She then created ElderWellness.net as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies and spirits well.


As assisted living prices soar over $40,000 a year, families across the country are grappling
with how to afford senior care. Aging in place, long considered the budget option, isn’t
necessarily cheaper than long-term care facilities. In addition to home remodeling, staying home
also means paying for in-home care services that rival assisted living in cost.
Luckily, many seniors are sitting on a great asset: their homes. Whether you want to age in
place or move into a care facility, your home can help you pay for safe, comfortable senior
living.


How to Age Well in Your Home


Most seniors prefer to age in their current home. It’s comfortable, familiar, and most importantly,
paid off (or close to it). That doesn’t mean staying put is free, however. Most homes need
renovations to become safe for senior living, including costly projects like bathroom remodeling
and reframing doorways.


With home equity loans and lines of credit, you can finance a remodel using the equity you’ve
built in your home. However, before borrowing against equity, make sure you can afford the payments. Since these loans use your home as collateral, defaulting could mean losing your
home.


When calculating what you can afford, include the cost of in-home care. In-home care averages
$21 an hour nationwide, with costs rising as more skilled care is required, and for the most part
Medicare doesn’t cover it.


Need to Move? Two Options for Selling Your Home


If remodeling costs put your long-term financial security at risk, moving may be a smarter
financial decision.


No matter where you’re moving to, you need to understand your home’s value and the local
housing market. While many seniors have seen their home’s value rise over the years, they may
have less buying power than they expect in today’s competitive real estate market. Online
research is a good place to start learning what you can expect to get for your home, how much
you’ll pay for a new home, and what’s a fair price per square foot in the current market.
However, when you’re ready to list, you’ll want to talk to an agent for a full comparative market
analysis.


Selling to Pay for Assisted Living


If you need a considerable amount of help at home or expect to soon, you might want to move
to assisted living rather than aging in place. It’s common to be wary of assisted living, but the
reality is there are many great communities out there. This directory can help you find the right
fit for you in your area.


Downsizing to Age in Place


There’s no need to rush into assisted living if you’re still in good health. Instead, consider selling
your home and buying a more accessible and affordable home instead. Even with rising home
prices, it’s still possible to sell your home and purchase an affordable property in a
neighborhood with great amenities and value. Use an online calculator to determine what you
can afford.


Of course, there are other costs associated with a new home, like closing costs, moving
expenses, and storage fees if there are items you can’t bring but aren’t ready to get rid of.
Storage prices can be high, but sellers can save by buying the smallest practical unit and
checking for sign-up deals or looking a bit farther away from their city’s center.

It’s a good idea to explore all your options and to plan ahead, when all decisions are in your control. None of us can predict the future, but we can all do what we can now to avoid leaving a lot to chance.

Posted in: aging, baby boomers