The AARP membership letter arrived in the mail, you receive numerous invitations to “Plan Your Retirement Seminars”, and Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans haunt you. But you don’t feel that old until you look in the mirror or try to run up the stairs multiple times to retrieve forgotten items. Now is the time to plan for your future living options before it is too late.
You might physically be able to take care of the yard today but what is going to happen in the future? Several concerns need to be addressed when deciding on living options as you age. Physical safety and financial security top the list. Also take into consideration the proximity of family, doctors, and friends. We all want to stay as independent as possible so we need to consider the following:
Is it feasible to remain in your current home? Is your home all on one level with easy access? Or are extensive renovations such as front entry ramps, bath bars, wider halls and doorways, zero entry showers or sit- in tubs required? Renovations can be quite expensive as well as messy and frustrating to live through. Making renovations still doesn’t answer the question of who continues to maintain the house and yard. You must also consider whether asking family or hiring help will become both financially and emotionally overwhelming for all involved.
2. Consider purchasing or renting a barrier- free home. If your home requires extensive costly renovations maybe it is time to make a move. Purchasing or renting a barrier-free home or apartment may allow for aging in place more independently. Choosing a location near family and friends or in a senior living community can help to alleviate loneliness, isolation, and depression.
3. Buy or build a granny pod or a multi generational home with family. Home plans are available with separate wings for privacy. Another option if there is enough space is to build a granny pod in the backyard that allows for easy access. Some families buy duplexes/ side by side homes so they can continue to care for each other. These types of living situations can benefit both the older generation and the younger ones; especially those with younger grandchildren.
The decision to age independently in place requires planning. Be sure to involve a trusted financial adviser as well as your family when planning for your future.
If you are interested in learning about your home’s value, the selling process, and/or finding a new property, please reach out to me.
The garages and basements of the sandwich generation overflow with both their parents’ belongings and their children’s’ leftovers. It is an overwhelming task to sort through when deciding what to sell, keep, pass on, donate, and throw away. Especially if you, the generation who inherited it all, are also thinking about resizing your home and making a move.
Planning ahead before parents move into senior living or pass on gives everyone a little more peace of mind. It not only makes dealing with the estate and selling the house easier, it can also help reduce family tensions. As a Realtor helping seniors move, and as one who just lost a parent, I feel qualified to speak about planning ahead. I’ve had clients who want to move but lament that it might take them years to clear out the garage and basement of the belongings of their family’s’ past generations. Don’t put that burden on your children.
Go through your home with your children and grandchildren. Make a list of who wants or gets each piece of jewelry, art, and furniture. If there are collections that might be valuable, get them appraised and decide what to keep or sell. Also any valuable property might need to be factored into an estate plan. Likewise, if items are of sentimental value, they should also be listed. All items listed should be kept with a will so there is no question of what has been decided.
Don’t guilt your children into holding onto items that have little or no economic or sentimental value to them. Also, work together to get rid of the many items that haven’t been used for several years or are simply worn out. Long before moving into senior living start decluttering and simplifying your life. Planning ahead and preparing your home for moving or your death, reduces the stress for all; especially if the home needs to be sold to pay for the next step.
Some resources that might be useful include; senior move specialists, churches, A Place for Mom, and estate sales professionals. Dealing with the loss of a parent is hard enough but to be burdened with all of their belongings often completely overwhelms the family. As a Realtor, I help my clients to strategically simplify the process and recommend resources. If you are looking to move your parents or yourself, please contact me and I will help make it as smooth as possible.
I have a summer obsession, well to be honest a few summer obsessions. The great thing about these obsessions is that they really help to forge new relationships, especially since we are relatively new to the area. As you can see, my biggest summer obsession is probably creating a beautiful garden. Wherever we have lived, we spent years toiling in the yard cultivating beautiful gardens. Not only do we love them, we get visitors coming to check them out. In one of our previous neighborhoods’, we had people walk up the driveway to sniff and admire the flowers. In our new neighborhood, we have people visiting the backyard to admire the gardens. Cultivating a garden helps to cultivate relationships. We give tours, talk about each others garden joys and woes, and share perennials.
Of course once you establish a garden, you attract other visitors. Now that several of us have gardens, we have also bonded over attracting the Baltimore Orioles, hummingbirds, finches, and butterflies, and unfortunately the occasional rabbit. One obsession leads to another. I love working in my sunroom so I can enjoy the beauty of my garden and catch a glimpse of the birds and butterflies.
My third obsession that helps me to meet new neighbors is walking my furry friend. Who doesn’t want to stop and pet this adorable cavachon. We have children ask to pet him, adults stop to talk about how cute he is, and our “adopted granchildren” ask to run with him. Of course we meet other dogs and get to know their owners.
Moving to a new city and neighborhood can be very difficult. It is even harder when you don’t have young children that help pave the way to new introductions. You need to find a way to meet and get to know your neighbors. Fortunately, my summer obsessions help do just that.
As a Realtor, I help my Buyers find ways to get to know their new area and neighbors. Let me know if I can help you.
Hope you also take pleasure in some of our pictures.