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Retirement planning - housing
Old 03-13-2013, 05:23 AM   #1
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Retirement planning - housing

Interesting article in this morning's paper:

"Finding the right home for retirement, whether it means moving to a new location or renovating a current home so you can age in place, involves being realistic about your long-term physical needs, your financial resources, and what kinds of facilities are nearby to support you, financial and aging experts say. It's important to align "the emotional, social and financial parts of retiring,'' says Denise Leish, a financial adviser in Silver Spring, Md. "Very often my clients will tell me they want to stay in their home, but they haven't thought about how their health needs might change. They haven't thought about the stairs they have to take to get into the house and the additional stairs they have to take to get up to the floor where the shower is."

I plan to use my condo in my later years. Close to major airports, located downtown, close to everything I need.

Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:26 AM   #2
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If you are looking for a place to move to it makes sense to make sure places you consider are well set up for potential disability. When considering aging in place in your current home (our situation) you need to evaluate whether you can retrofit with things like stair chairs as/if the needs arise.

Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Also as people decide to move rather than stay they absolutely should take the time to research the area thoroughly. Learn all they can about it. Forums are a great resource with people from all over are there.

Edit to add our plans.

DW pictured on the left there and I are planning on a 55+ gated and single story. I already have knee problems but they still work. The wife is good with her knees but we are getting older. Part of our plan involves travel so a gated community is a great idea. One that does yard work making the home lived in and attractive. Plus the houses are closer together but not so close that you feel clostrophobic. At least that is my sense. In this summer we will be looking at a couple of places in our first choice of areas. We are also looking to get away from snow heaven here.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:36 AM   #4
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I really like the Continuing Care Communities imoldernu has talked about here. Once we're done with gardening I'd love to move into one of those. Since we don't have kids, at some point we'll definitely need to move into a senior living complex of some kind, so we can get rides to the doctor, grocery store, etc. Better yet to have them within walking distance!
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Maenad View Post
I really like the Continuing Care Communities imoldernu has talked about here.
We're leaning in that direction too. I'd like to have that settled within the next five to seven years.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #6
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If it were to be a house, single story building will present less of the challenges of stairs to the retirees who may start having problems with knees and mobilities.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:27 AM   #7
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We live in a 2-story house with 7 steps up to the porch but are an easy walk (less than half a mile) from almost everything (DH just walked into town to get some bagels). I figure the walking will help maintain our stair climbing abilities, but we could turn a first floor room into a bedroom if need be. No plans to move.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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A few years ago DW and I discussed the "fix it up or move" issue and decided to spend a bunch of accumulated cash that was earning less than 100bps on fixing up our 30YO home. It looks great now and we're about half way thru, I am advised.

We may decide to also move someplace after it's all lookin' pretty but this (mortgage free) place is in a nice community even though it's got about 1000 sf to much space.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
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In addition to the cosmetic changes we've made (and continue to make) to our place, we are also making it "accessible". We have replaced incredibly skinny bathroom doors with 36 inch doors. We may or may not put in one of those self-contained bath tubs (the ones getting all the late-night hype). But, we have replaced the master bath tub with a walk-in (make that "wheel-in") shower. When DW had foot surgery recently, it was a real Godsend that we had already taken this particular (relatively expensive) measure. She simply could not walk for 8 weeks (unable to use crutches). With a shower stool and grab bars all around, it was easy at shower time.

One thing we had not considered was carpet. It is much more difficult to push or otherwise utilize a wheelchair on carpet! We are in the process of tiling every square inch. Here in Paradise, cold floors are not the issue they might be in colder climes. But wheeling about in a chair will be a breeze for us. For those areas we might want the "warmth" of carpet, we will use area rugs - once we live with tile for a while.

Evaluating our place for the true long-term, I can see some issues which could eventually cause us to move into assisted living. But, for the near long-term, we have accomplished a lot. There is a real sense of security knowing that we can care for each other in a comfortable setting that is attractive yet accessible. YMMV
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:34 AM   #10
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Hubby and I bought a house about 5 years ago when he retired that is only two blocks from a very nice grocery store (HEB for those of you in Texas). The house was not our dream home but the location was. We can easily walk to the drugstore, the movie theater, several moderately priced restaurants, a park, yogurt shop, coffee shop and of course, the grocery store. We've spent the last few years tweaking the house to meet our needs and hope to stay in it until one of us becomes too frail/disabled to live here. It is a modest and manageable size with a small yard that has now been converted over to native Texas habitat. We replaced all of the carpet with tile or wood floors (better for mobility as noted before). I still work full time as an RN and I am pretty realistic about what needs we potentially can have. We are now eyeing that big old "garden tub" in the master bath and considering replacing it with the walk in/roll in shower.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:20 AM   #11
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We are slowly fixing up our small 50's concrete block house in a residential town located a couple of blocks from the beach and on a street where 2/3 of the houses have been torn down and replaced with 4000 to 6000 sq ft homes. We have been there for over 30 years. The property values are up with a 3% limit/yr in what they can charge for our low taxes. We are within a few blocks from the police /fire department and elelmentary school and a mile from the military base with it's exchange, commisary and medical facilities.
We recently built a large pergola with hot tub in the back yard, a nice vegetable garden and fruit trees, and plans for converting a block outbuilding to a ceramic studio.
Tennis courts for my wife are next to the police dept. and my fitness center is only a mile away. Bicycles and kayaks are waiting their turn to be used.

This has all been to good luck, planing and hard work.

We figure our next move will be when they have to put us into a nursing home.

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:37 AM   #12
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We moved into a 1700 sq ft one story townhouse 4 years ago (won't have to climb stairs). A number of retired people close to 80 are making this townhouse complex work for them. However, our ceiling is too high, and we don't need to be on ladders in 15 years. Doors are not wide for wheel chairs. Neither of us are handy. We may move yet again to a smaller, more easy to maintain, more old folks accessible home.

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