Paul Tarins, RICP®,WMCP®,CSRIC™
As retirement approaches, you have to make some important decisions regarding how you plan to spend your retirement years, where you plan to live, and how much income you need to lead the life you desire. Among these, deciding where you will live is often the hardest decision to make.
According to a survey by AARP, 90% of seniors in the USA wish to continue living in their homes for as long as they can. Unfortunately, most homes are not designed to accommodate your needs as you age. This is where senior living facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) come in. These facilities are specially designed to offer you the care and support you need as you grow older. But f you do not want to move out of your home, you’ll need to have a plan for aging in place. Let’s take a look at some of the most important considerations and how they contribute to retirement planning.
What’s involved in aging in place?
Aging in place may require making structural changes to your home to accommodate your needs as you grow older. It also involves the possibility of getting full-time or part-time help to help you with medical care, household chores, personal care, meals, and other important aspects of your daily routine.
The biggest advantage of aging in place is that it allows you to maintain some level of autonomy and lead a more independent life. You can continue to live at home and remain surrounded by your loved ones, neighbors, and other members of the community. This can significantly improve their quality of life.
What do you need to consider when planning for this phase of your retirement?
Creating a plan primarily depends on:
- Your individual requirements – this includes your retirement income, daily activities, medical and preventative healthcare, spirituality, and recreational activities.
- Where you live – this includes your residence, planning for home modification, and the environment in your community.
- Your support network – this includes your family, friends, neighbors, transportation facilities, and your involvement in the community.
To develop a successful plan, you must account for all these aspects. For instance, if you do not feel comfortable creating a network of formal and informal caregivers, then aging in place may not be the best option for you. Additionally, if your home requires extensive structural modifications to feel safe and accessible in old age, then you may have to consider other options.
What Are the Costs?
Planning for aging in place comes at a cost, and the sooner you get started, the better. Let’s review some of the things that you will need to invest in, and the costs associated with the same.
Remodeling your home is an essential part of preparing when planning to stay in your home. According to Retirement Living Magazine, some of the essential changes you will need to include while remodeling your home include:
Widening the entrance door for wheelchair accessibility
$200 to $700
Widening the hallways without making structural changes
$800 to $1400
Installing non-slip flooring
$6,400 to $11,000
Installing a walk-in tub or shower
$3,000 to $15,000
Installing a ramp
$874 to $1,751
Installing entry handrails
$700 to $1,200
Installing lever taps on faucets
$154 to $332
Remodeling bathroom to increase space
$2,500 to $24,800
Adjusting the height of kitchen countertops
$15,000 to $20,000
$550 to $1,050/window
Note: These costs will vary as per location.
In comparison, the costs of a senior living facility are:
Nursing home (semi-private room)
$6,844 per month
Nursing home (private room)
$7,968 per month
Assisted living facility
$3,628 per month
Adult day health care center
$2,040 per month
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
$2000-$4000 in service fees or $3000-$6000 in the rental fee for an independent living unit
Remember, preparing for aging in place takes time and effort. If you get started early, you can also spread out the costs of remodeling your home over the years and retire in peace.
Healthcare and Homecare Costs
According to LongTermCare.gov, home health aide services cost $20.50 per hour. Genworth estimates that this can lead to a cost of $4,385 per month. Additionally, if you need homemaker services, this will cost you $20 per hour or $4,290 per month. Homemaker services typically help with meal preparation and running errands. They provide you with a personal care assistant that can help you carry out your daily activities.
Planning to meet the costs
If you plan to stay at home as you grow older, then it is important you start preparing as soon as possible. The potential expenses should be included in your planning when you determine how much income you’ll need in retirement. That way, your investment plan can take them into consider. Long Term Care Insurance can be an option to consider before or early in your retirement. There are several types of Insurance and alternative products available, so educating yourself will be important when planning to age in place.
Wrapping it up
While it’s fun to think about the beginning, active stages of retirement, it’s also important to think through how you’ll approach the later stages. Making a plan now will ensure you continue to live the life you want.
Paul Tarins is an investment adviser representative of and offers investment and advisory services through Portfolio Medics, a registered investment adviser. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation for investment advisory services. Sovereign Retirement Solutions and Portfolio Medics are not affiliated.