Upon retirement, most seniors choose to continue living in their homes instead of moving to an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, most homes aren’t properly created for you or your loved one to live comfortably and safely as old age approaches.
If you are planning to spend your next journey in your current residence, we recommend you start planning for the challenges of aging. Our team at Idaho Reverse Mortgages recommends taking the following areas into consideration as you prepare your house for retirement!
As you prepare for retirement, you are not the only one who goes through this process. Your home is also subject to drastic changes during this time of your life.
Retirement planning can be a difficult process if it is left on hold until the last minute. Taking the time to plan your retirement will help the transition occur naturally and stress-free. When taking the time to make this plan, it is necessary to focus on the topics of finances, home repairs, and senior-friendly hacks.
With finances being one of your focuses, you can prevent unexpected expenses from attacking your fixed income. One of the most common financial shocks to retirees is expenses that stem from major home repairs and upgrades. These massive costs can be devastating to a fixed income. It is smart to start budgeting for possible repairs while you are still working and living in your current home.
Housing studies show that building your equity before it is time for retirement is essential because it can drastically supplement your income and help with any repairs or renovations you will need to complete in your home.
Evaluate the Home
Conducting a home inspection can provide you with an adequate picture of what you wish to change about your home. Notice that your home’s exterior needs a facelift? That your kitchen’s appliances aren’t operating like they used to? Or your downstairs bathroom has a clogged drain that’s been like that for years? These can all be reasons for repairs within your home, and with these complete, you can truly start settling into the retirement lifestyle.
Downsizing into a smaller home can be great for your budget, as well as for potential decreased mobility that can develop as the years go on. A smaller home is easier to maintain when tidying up becomes more difficult. Because of this, if you find that your current home is slightly out of your comfort zone in size, it could be time to find you a new one that better fits your lifestyle.
The Stairs Situation
If your current home is a two-story house, you might want to consider a way to access your second level in the event that it gets difficult to walk up the stairs.
Having a one-story home is preferred over a two-story one. If your current home is a two-story house, you might want to consider a way to access your second level when it gets difficult to walk up the stairs. However, if your two-story house has a bedroom and full bathroom on the entry-level, then it should be perfectly fine. It is easy to transition your bedroom space to the ground floor if needed.
If your house fits this description, focus on renovating your downstairs area and making those spaces more accessible. If you plan to continue moving between two stories, investing in a motorized chair lift can make climbing your stairs a breeze. This technology hack doubles as a safety precaution that will make moving around your home a breeze.
Implementing Smart Technology
In our current day and age, the internet and wifi are large reasons for high monthly bills. Investing in energy efficiency by purchasing new energy-saving appliances or installing a smart thermostat can help deter big bills in the future. Instead of having your air conditioning run 24/7 during the summer, a smart thermostat can turn on at scheduled times of the day when it gets the hottest to ensure your home is at a comfortable temperature while also saving energy–and money!
Given Idaho’s sunny weather during the summer, installing solar panels can greatly reduce your energy costs as well.
When heading into retirement, there are several home improvements you may want to consider that will make life a little easier.
Designing your kitchen to supplement the way you cook can make the daily task of cooking meals much easier. An example of this is keeping your coffee supplies in a cabinet right above your coffee maker.
Lazy Susan shelving is a crafty way of utilizing wasted corners in your cabinets. That spice cabinet that you haven’t organized in years? A Lazy Susan organizer can help you see all of your spices without the need to go digging in your cabinets.
A good investment can be an entire cabinet remodel to limit the need for a step stool that can be unstable and cause accidents. Moving everything to a reachable height makes it easier and safer to grab things when you need them.
When undergoing the process of relocation of your main living space to the entry-level of your home, ensuring that you have an accessible full bathroom is essential. Going in and out of a steamy and slippery bathroom can be dangerous, which is why it is important to implement safety-conscious features in your bathroom before your retirement begins.
A great way to ensure safety in the bathroom is to install non-slip flooring that will not become a hazard when wet. You can achieve this by installing new non-slip floor tiles, or by applying a non-slip coating on your existing coating.
A zero-step entry or curbless shower tub can do wonders for making shower time an easy task. To ensure safety in the shower, we recommend installing a non-slip mat on your shower floor and grab bars along the walls to prevent slips when coming in and out of the shower.
A well-publicized alarm system and secure locks can keep you safe from home invaders who target seniors. These alarm systems can call the police when activated so you don’t have to.
Generously distributed signs and stickers can let potential criminals know details about you and where you are living. For example, if your car has stickers for each member of your family, that minuscule detail can be useful to a criminal looking to target your home.
Making sure your windows click securely is a small but important detail in ensuring your safety at home. Windows that don’t click shut can mean that they aren’t closing and locking properly. If this is the case, it could be time to schedule a repair.
A panic button can help in moments of an emergency. This acts as a quicker way to reach the police or an ambulance than the traditional dialing of 911–which becomes a difficult task to do quickly as we age.
The Importance of Lighting
Lighting is one of those low-cost upgrades that you can make to make it more lively inside your home. Having good lighting in your home makes it easier for you to get around and see everything around you.
Placing light switches by the door where you enter and exit the room can ensure you never have to walk across rooms in the dark where tripping becomes a hazard.
With a reverse mortgage, you don’t need to worry about living solely off retirement savings. A reverse mortgage allows you to tap into the equity of your home in order to pay off bills, make needed home renovations, and more – all without having to make another monthly mortgage payment!
Without a monthly mortgage payment, you can start spending your money on things you have always wanted to. You and your spouse can begin to travel places you’ve never been, buy more properties, and spend more time with your family.
At Idaho Reverse Mortgages, we are here to help guide you through the reverse mortgage process so that you can start living life the way you want to! Visit our website today to learn more about if you qualify for a reverse mortgage!