What does retirement mean in today’s world?
It can mean many things to different people. Traveling. Having time for hobbies. Being financially set.
It also means having a certain level of peace of mind for the things that will happen in the future.
Aging in place has become a reality for many empty nesters as they head into their retirement years. And for good reason. Nothing gives you peace of mind more than knowing your home is well suited for whatever comes your way as you age.
There are a few important items to address and be aware of as you make your retirement plans. Start with these questions to help guide you along the way.
Is my home’s floorplan well suited for aging in place?
To be considered a place where it’s easy to move through the next phases of your life, it’s necessary for basic necessities to be in close proximity to one another. That means a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen should all be highly accessible without stairs or a lot of steps. Would it be easy to move between the rooms with a walker or a wheelchair? The easier it is, the better prepared you’ll be.
Are fixtures easy to convert?
With many aging in place products, you can easily change things based on needs. Countertops can adjust in height; fixtures can be changed to be accessible to all. Don’t just assume something will suit you in the coming years; work with an aging in place designer that can provide you quality products that will work for every stage of your life.
Will I be able to manage by independence?
None of us like to think about a time when we have to ask for help. Yet reality is we’ll often have to rely on others at some point in our senior years. Whether it’s family, professional caregivers, or a combination of both, do you have your financial house in order? Is it easy to pull together a list of all your accounts? Is it easy to pay your bills online? Do you have updated power of attorneys and wills? Don’t wait to ask the questions when you need them in place. Get your financial house in order while you still can make your decisions and change things accordingly.
What role will people in your life play?
You may assume a child will take full responsibility, but have you asked them? How will changes impact their lives as you age? Surprises are the most difficult things to manage. The more planning you do upfront, the more you can flow from one phase to another, no matter if it’s in an emergency situation or not. This can prevent fights where you didn’t anticipate them occurring.
Retirement can and should be one of the best times of your life. The more you plan for the future, the more prepared you will be with both the expected and unexpected.
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