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You're Retired, Now What?
By Kyle Thomas Haley, Fri Dec 9th

For years you've lived in that sprawling house where you raisedyour children . . . it's home. But now you don't need all thespace and the upkeep is becoming more difficult every year.

You now have to consider things that weren't issues before. Whenyou were younger, you never thought about how many times a dayyou went up and down the stairs. You didn't mind having thebedroom upstairs and the laundry facilities in the basement.Now, all those steps are taking their toll.

Washing windows isn't as easy as it was before either, is it?Climbing an extension ladder to reach the second story becomes abit scarier with each passing year. As you age, you become moreconcerned about falling.

You may be thinking it's finally time to move into a home that'sa bit more senior-friendly, but what are your options?

*Smaller, single level houses



*Retirement communities

*Assisted living facilities

Let's take a more detailed look at these options:

Smaller homes built on one level with convenient laundryfacilities may be what you need.

Look for a house that requires little outside maintenance. Abrick or vinyl-sided house won't require painting. An open floorplan may be helpful if you're ever confined to a wheelchair. Asmaller yard allows you to garden but still keeps the yard workto a minimum. An attached garage is a helpful feature,especially in the winter when icy sidewalks can cause falls. Ofcourse, finding a location that's close to shopping, publictransportation and medical facilities is also important.

Condominiums provide privacy without a lot of maintenance.

Like individual houses, there are many different types ofcondominiums from which to choose. The main advantage of a condois that outside maintenance of both the structure and the yardis usually provided. Most condos include a small area where youcan plant flowers


but the lawn and other common areas aremaintained by the association. There are additional fees forthis mandatory service so be sure to find out if they will fitinto your budget.

Apartments require no maintenance.

One of the main advantages of apartment living is that youaren't responsible for any maintenance. You don't have to worryabout painting, replacing major appliances or yard work.Apartments also give you a certain degree of freedom because youdon't have to worry about them if you travel a lot. It'simportant for laundry facilities to be easily accessible andthat there is an elevator if your apartment is to be on a higherfloor. You won't have as much privacy and your only personaloutdoor space may be limited to a small patio or balcony, ifthat. Rent is likely to increase and is not tax deductible onyour Federal returns.

retirement communities or assisted living facilities give youthe highest level of security.

Both of these options are specifically designed for seniors andoffer many safety features not found in regular housing. Theamount of privacy you have depends on which community youchoose. Your medical condition will usually dictate whether aretirement community or assisted living facility is your bestchoice. Some retirement communities offer private living space,much like individual homes, as long as you're healthy and thenprovides assisted living if your health deteriorates.

Giving up the home where you've lived for many, many years mayseem a little scary. But, often a new home that brings lessresponsibility and greater peace of mind will make you feelyears younger.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.