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Kristen Heyen Noble's Blog

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Housing Options for Baby Boomers


Baby boomers are looking forward to retiring.  Maintaining a home is both timely and expensive.  There are many housing options available to meet the needs of this generation.  Although many mature adults made plans for their housing futures, changes in the economy may now have an impact on those previous decisions. 

The United State’s Census Bureau concluded that there has been a 21.1% increase in the population of adults ages 62 and older since the year 2000.  The average life expectancy for males is 76 and 82 for females. Life expectancy has increased for both males and females by two years since the year 2000.  

Long term care insurance is available to cover all various levels of services for aging adults.  Acquiring this insurance gives peace of mind to those covered.  Options are available to cover health care needs.   Coverage and cost vary depending on the services chosen.  The insurance can provide for both formal and informal home care, adult day care, assisted living, hospice, and nursing home expenses. 

Baby boomers are now faced with several factors they may not have anticipated regarding downsizing in their golden years.  According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in their 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, 70% of those workers polled state they are not where they need to be financially in order to retire.  Individuals stating they are, “on track” has declined 37% since the 2005. This change is likely due to make up for losses in the stock market, a lack of faith in Social Security, a change of employment situation, debt, and health care prices sky rocketing.  When choosing a future housing plan, make it clear to your loved ones verbally and in writing.   

The simplest option, one that my husband and I chose, is to renovate our home in order to live on the first floor in our golden years.  I live in an 1870’s farm house on 5 acres of land surrounded by 13 acres on the Erie Canal.  My husband is an avid outdoorsman and gardener.  Moving to a 55+ development is not in our future.  The only way he’s leaving the house is being brought out feet first.

Home care combines both health care and services for the homebound allowing them to remain in their home and be independent.   Formal home health care can include nursing services, physical therapy, and medication assistance.  If medical assistance is not needed, an informal home care provider can do light housekeeping, chores, cooking and agreed upon household activities. These fees vary.  In addition to long term care insurance, some insurance policies provide for these services.     

Many no longer want the responsibility of maintaining a home.  An assisted living facility is a great option.  The Legacy, who has 7 locations throughout the Rochester area, allows residents complete independence and many benefits.  Residents, who must be at least 55, can rent a studio, 1 bedroom, or 2 bedroom apartment with full kitchens.  Their rent includes weekly housekeeping, breakfast, dinner, utilities, and two trips to the doctor each month.  They provide transportation to Wegman’s each week and offer a wide array of social activities, according to Ronnie Caccamise, Social Director at the Legacy at Park Crescent. Resident services are available 24 hours seven days a week.  This ensures that all requested repairs can be attended to around the clock promptly.  Residents can stay in their homes as long as they wish even if outside home care services are needed.

There are beautiful 55+ housing developments.  Recent clients of mine purchased a home at McCormick Place in Brockport.  The home, built by Don Hibsch, has 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.  Each home is individually designed keeping in mind the future possible needs of the homeowner with many handicap accessible features.  As with most 55+ neighborhoods, there is home owner’s association fee.   My clients will be paying $137 per month.  Their fee will cover all exterior maintenance; lawn care, refuge removal, snow plowing, sidewalk shoveling, as well as the roof and siding of the home.   Living in a tract like this gives mature individuals or couples the opportunity to live in comfort, have social opportunities, and less home care responsibilities.  When choosing a development it is important to learn if there is a home owner’s association fee and what it covers.    

You hear it every day.  Life is short.  Make the most of it.  Plan ahead and enjoy your retirement in the setting of your choice.

 

Comments

By Pat and Steve Pribisko,  Sat Jun 18 2011, 17:33
The Boomer's numbers are increasing every day. We need to help them prepare.
By Allan Erps,  Sat Jun 18 2011, 19:34
Very informative information here. Need to embrace the new boomers!

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