There may come a time when living in the same home you’ve lived in for years may not be the best circumstance for you or your family. When contemplating a move, there are four indicators to consider: hazards in the home, maintenance issues, finances, and loneliness.
Hazards - The family home can at some point present many unsafe conditions. Larger spaces and several flights of stairs
may become difficult to navigate. Older bathrooms may not be easily accessible for those with mobility issues (and may not be on the main floor). Rugs, old flooring, and poor
lighting may also present opportunities for falls.
Maintenance Issues – Unless completed on a regular basis, deferred maintenance can lead to unexpected emergency repairs which can be costly. Often these crisis situations
leave a homeowner overwhelmed as to how to pay for and even coordinate the repair process. With increasing states of disrepair, a house becomes a less enjoyable environment for the owner. In the end, the house loses value compared to homes more modernized and maintained.
Finances- Homeowners may find themselves facing higher costs to support a home much larger than their current needs. Taxes, insurance, fuel, electricity charges, water and sewer charges, and lawn care/shoveling are being paid to maintain a home for a larger family. However, at this point is costly to
maintain, and a burden to heat and cool extra rooms.
Loneliness – As people remain in their home as aging progresses, many may not acknowledge the isolation and loneliness they feel. Adult children are busy with their
own schedules with little time for visiting. The ability to drive becomes more limited, incurring dependence on others and adds to frustration.
Before you, a family member or loved one is facing a crisis situation, it is best to think about different living options or down-sizing to a smaller home or apartment. Explore all
options including adapting the current home to the latest safety features and guidelines. Talk with your accountant, financial planner, elder law attorney and realtor to review the
impact of your decision on your budget and estate plans.
As they say “There’s no place like home”, however, there may come a time when moving to a safer, more manageable and
less isolating setting makes sense!
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