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May 31, 2020

Aging in Place: Key Financial Considerations

Guest Author: Ali Rennoll

61% of older adults prefer to remain at home even if it means living alone, according to a survey by Brookdale Senior Living and OnePoll. While the idea of aging in place is becoming more popular, it’s important to have a plan when it comes to the financial aspects of doing so. From having a budget plan to making smart investments and more, here are several financial considerations to keep in mind when planning to age in place.

Smart at-home investments

Making smart purchases to improve your home is a great way to financially plan for aging in place, as you can potentially save a lot of money in the long run. This can be particularly true when choosing to invest in smart technology, as it’s a great way to plan for aging at home since many innovative devices can be especially beneficial to seniors. For example, security cameras and video doorbells can make aging at home feel much safer – especially for those who will be living alone, or for those who may have mobility issues and may have a difficult time maneuvering around the house. Other smart devices like voice assistants can also be useful, as they can remind seniors when to take medication without having to mess around with more complex technology. Not only can such devices reduce the stress of family members who may worry about an aging relative, but it can make aging at home simpler and easier for the senior as well.

Making other smart long-term purchase decisions, such as by investing disposable income now on home modifications ahead of time can allow you to reap the benefits of an accessible home as you age. For example, installing a walk-in tub could become a good investment for those who may experience frequent falls. And, for those with mobility issues, ramps, assistance rails, and stairlifts can make things much easier for getting around the house independently.

Planning for all aspects of care

In addition to making senior-friendly home modifications and investing in helpful smart tech devices, it’s important that you plan for other aspects of home care as well. While it’s possible that your insurance might help to cover some expenses relating to home health care, there are some programs to be aware of that could also be helpful for those who are eligible. For example, programs such as Meals on Wheels can help seniors who are living at home and are unable to prepare their food by delivering meals regularly. Local, low-cost or free community programs and events could also help when planning for the financial aspects of aging at home too, when available (such as free senior yoga classes, etc.), and can help greatly when it comes to keeping active and social at an older age in an affordable way.

The importance of budgeting

When planning to age at home, it’s important to have a budget — after all, aging in place can be considerably expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that making senior-friendly home modifications to your home can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, and caregiver services could cost around $4,000 each month, though these costs can greatly vary depending on needs, of course. By having a budget, you can clearly see how much money will be going towards the necessary expenses, which can give you more control over your money. Not only that, but it can help you to better understand your finances and allow you to spend and save as needed as well.

There’s no doubt that the idea of aging in place is becoming more and more popular. However, it’s necessary to keep in mind that aging at home comes with a lot of financial responsibility, which is why it’s necessary to budget, plan, and invest accordingly.