Financial, How To, Lifestyle

Planning To Age In Place After Retirement

Man holding a jar of money

There are many decisions we all need to make as we edge closer to retirement, especially where we plan to live. Some choose to make arrangements for a senior care facility or to stay with family, while others prefer to age in place. Essentially, that means you will stay put in the house you own. It’s a great way to save money and remain in a familiar place, but planning is required. Here are some important considerations if you plan to age in place after retirement.

Managing Your Money

Once you hit retirement age and choose to accept benefits, you will start getting Social Security to hold you over. However, the money you get may not be the same as when you had a job, and if it isn’t, then financial planning is essential.

You need to create a budget. Do your research and check websites like the calculator at the SSA website to learn how much money you will make in retirement, and then look at your monthly expenses to see if you can pay for everything without fail. If not, you may have to make some cuts. You could cut out your coffee or restaurant costs. Or, if you want to keep those perks, you may want to sell things around the house or even start a side job. You’ll want to get these arrangements in order before you retire so you aren’t panicking when the time comes.

Some people choose to stay out of the retirement village but instead decide to downsize and move to a smaller home with a reduced monthly payment. However, remember that by doing so, you will be on the hook for a new loan, closing costs, and more, so that’s a consideration. It all depends on how much money you have now and what you’ll have then.

When in doubt, a financial planner can come to the rescue. They can help you plan for retirement and prepare you for any potential emergency expenses that may arise. They can also help you set up an estate plan, so you can get your life insurance, will and trust, and beneficiaries squared away.

Modify Your Home

As you get older, you’ll inevitably need at least some assistance getting around. If you have a current medical condition or you believe you’ll be facing an uncertain medical future, it’s wise to start modifying your home for your older years.

For your general safety, there are many accessibility modifications that you’ll want to consider for your home. Start with reinforcing your railings and installing grab bars in the bathroom, including the shower, near the toilet, the tub, and anywhere else you feel you may need assistance. You can typically install bars about 34 inches from the floor. Consider adding non-slip flooring into the bathrooms as well.

If your mobility is an issue now, you will want to plan for the eventuality that you may require a wheelchair, even if you’re not thrilled about the thought. A ramp may be necessary if the entrance to your home is elevated above the ground, and you’ll want to ensure that the doorway is wide enough to allow a wheelchair or walker. Since you may need to enter the home at night, install a sensor light above the entrance so it will turn on automatically and you can make your way safely into the house.

There are other miscellaneous fixes you should also consider, such as modifying the hardware and handles on your cabinets so they are easier to open. Faucets and kitchen appliances can be adjusted to operate with a lever or pedal. You may also want to adjust the height or placement of light switches so you’re sure you can use them regardless of your reach.

Tips To Thrive During Your Retirement Years

While money and home modifications are essential, there are many other considerations you might not often think about. One of them is how you plan to get around when you get older. Even if you still have a car, you might get to an age where driving becomes dangerous, so you’ll need someone to take you to the grocery store and doctor appointments. If you know this may be an issue, recruit some younger family members who might help you out when the time comes.

One of the perks of the retirement home is that there are nurses who can check your stats and encourage you to exercise. When you age in place, you’ll need to stay on top of that yourself and stay active, regardless of how old you get. A healthy lifestyle is important in retirement, so make it a point to exercise with daily walks and stretches. As an added benefit, you could get reduced insurance premiums, and if you walk with a group, you can keep up your social life.

You’ll also need to think about security as you get older and moving around the house becomes a bit more difficult. Look into a comprehensive security system now that includes cameras and alarms. A smart doorbell with a camera is a good idea so you can get an alert to your phone and see who’s at the door to determine if you need to get up or call the authorities.

Aging in place is an excellent option if you truly love your home and want to enjoy it until the very end. Make these modifications and fixes, and you can ensure you’ll continue living a happy and healthy life within those familiar four walls.

More on this topic:

Retirement Village vs Aged Care: What’s the Difference?

Retirement Village vs Aged Care: What’s the Difference?

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Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can find more of her writing on