More on the Housing Choices Dilemma

This week’s earlier post about the multiplicity of housing choices for the post-Boomers (and often Boomers ready to downsize or make other shifts) touched on just a few of the possibilities out there. The staying put option is one that many, including my friend Berta whose current consideration of home changes was cited, would choose. The question is addressed at some good length in today’s New York Times:

Stay put or sell?

That’s the question many older people ponder as they move into their 70s and beyond.

Most older people settle on staying put, according to a recent survey by the Home Safety Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing home-related injuries. (From the source of the survey, you can see where this column is heading, right?)

Staying put makes economic sense. It is not only more comfortable to live out your life in your own home, it’s much more affordable.

Those posh retirement condos and assisted-living facilities might seem easy-living and attractive, but crunching their numbers can take the shine off their attraction fast.

The average annual fee at an assisted-living facility — a place where older people live independently but also receive a host of services like medication monitoring and meals — is $34,000. And in the nation’s most expensive metropolitan areas, including New York, the costs may be closer to $70,000.

The Times article goes on to cite the case of octogenarian Catherine Fisher, who chose to adapt her New Jersey home to her own needs rather than take those needs elsewhere. Sooner or later, countless Americans will face similar choices.  Guidelines to what is becoming “an entire service industry… taking shape around the goal of letting people age in place” are worth a quick study now, for whenever “later” comes.

via Patient Money – Cost-Effective Ways to Make Homes Safer for Older People – NYTimes.com.

2 responses

  1. So the cheapest option costs about $2,833.00 a month. How many of us will have a steady $2,833 every month to rely on from Social Security and, perhaps, with additional income from savings and perhaps,increasingly unlikely, also from a pension? As we’ve seen, interest rates on accumulated capital (if you have any) can inconveniently plummet to 1 or 2% while you need much more than that to live on.

    • You’re right, affordable options are virtually nonexistent. Some creative aging-in-place choices are being developed, and I look forward to exploring & explaining some of them.

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