By Realtor Craig Michaels
When we reflect on major life changes, our minds often wander back to our youth. But as the years advance, life continues to evolve, and our choices shape the way we age. For some older individuals, their golden years bring about significant lifestyle decisions, including the place they call home. Whether it’s the cumbersome stairs of their long-time residence, the demanding yard upkeep, or simply an abundance of unnecessary rooms, seniors are faced with the decision of where to spend their later years. Sometimes, it’s not just the house but its location that no longer suits their needs, be it due to noise and congestion or isolation from essential amenities. During this phase of life, many seniors ponder the concept of “aging in place.” This term refers to the choice made by older individuals to continue living independently in their own homes as they age, rather than transitioning to a residential care community.
While the desire to age in place is a common aspiration among seniors, the financial aspect can be a daunting hurdle. As previously mentioned, one cannot solely rely on Medicare, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance to cover the associated costs. However, there are options available, contingent on your income, credit score, and available funds. Here are some avenues to explore:
VA Housing Assistance: Veterans and surviving spouses who meet specific eligibility criteria may qualify for a VA direct or VA-backed loan to purchase their homes.
Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program: Administered by HUD, this program aims to assist low-income seniors in securing the financing they need to purchase homes designed and maintained with older citizens in mind.
Mortgage Options: Thanks to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, financial institutions cannot discriminate based on the applicant’s age. If you can demonstrate a consistent monthly income during retirement (usually for three years), your application must be taken seriously.
Finding Your Ideal Retirement Community
For those seeking the camaraderie of fellow seniors, shared community spaces, and the opportunity to build lasting friendships, a retirement community may be the perfect setting for aging in place. These communities offer unique social benefits that set them apart from downsized homes in standard, all-ages neighborhoods. When embarking on the journey to find your ideal retirement community, consider the following steps:
Define Your Priorities: Establish a budget and create a checklist outlining your must-have features and those you are willing to compromise on. Think about the community’s location and its proximity to attractions and the convenience it offers for visits from loved ones. Additionally, assess the facility’s capacity to meet your educational, social, and spiritual needs.
Visit and Evaluate: Schedule visits to facilities that meet your criteria, preferably during significant daily events such as mealtimes and classes. This allows you to gauge how the community operates during busy periods. Don’t forget to sample the cuisine, ask questions about security measures, staff training, and emergency protocols. Following these steps will help you narrow down your choices to one or two facilities, making your decision more manageable and confident.
If you are exploring senior housing I Have lived in the desert for 35 years and can provide valuable insights into your options locally in the Coachella Valley. To delve deeper into 55+ communities or other housing options give me a call at (760) 880-3848.
Written by: Realtor Craig Michaels
Better Homes and Gardens Desert Lifestyle Properties