by Erin Guidry
Retirement is a time most people eagerly look forward to. You've had a long career and maybe raised a family, and now it's time to enjoy some time for yourself. If you're like many older Americans, though, you've decided that you prefer to stay in your own home rather than move into a retirement community or assisted living facility.
Staying in their own home is a natural choice for many people, but there are some things you need to do to ensure that the environment remains a safe and pleasant one for you as you age. Below are the three biggest keys to consider when mapping out a plan to stay in your own home after retirement.
Chances are you haven't reached this point in your life by just flying by the seat of your pants! But adequate preparation is a huge part of safely and successfully staying in your own home as you age. This preparation comes in many forms. The most vital of these is probably medical directives. If you haven't yet, now is the time to handle your Advance Care Planning. In case of a medical emergency, you want your wishes to be clear to your family and any medical professionals caring for you.
This is also a good time to think about what services and/or help you may need in order to stay in your home. If you're not driving, for instance, you may need to arrange for grocery delivery or transportation services. Then there's house cleaning, laundry, home maintenance, lawn care, and more. All the responsibilities of being a homeowner will still be on your plate, but you won't always be able to do it all yourself. Now is the ideal time to figure out how you'll get those things done (we can help there!)
Good preparation goes hand-in-hand with being proactive. Rather than waiting for things to break, try to stay ahead of the curve by doing preventative maintenance on things like HVAC systems, large appliances, and automobiles. Likewise, if you're facing any mobility issues, now is the time to make home repairs and updates to help you move around your home more easily and safely.
Proactive planning also comes into play when you consider financial needs. You'll want to consult with a lawyer for things like wills and property deeds, but it's also wise to sit down with a certified financial planner to discuss how best to budget for your retirement. There may be expenses you're not considering, and it's so helpful to have a third party who specializes in finance to help you create a detailed plan that keeps you ready for any eventuality.
Isolation is a battle many retirees fight, regardless of where they choose to live. But staying in your own home can certainly remove you even further from support networks. To head this off at the pass, make sure you're engaging regularly with friends and family. Modern technology can help close geographical gaps with the beauty of video calls. Also work on finding hobbies and activities to fill your time and identifying communities with similar interests so you can stay plugged in and connected with others who enjoy doing the things you do.
Lastly, while choosing to stay in your own home as you age might seem like a no-brainer to you, that won't exempt you from having family members and friends who may worry about the wisdom of your decision. When speaking to concerned family and friends, stay positive and share your plan with them. Once they see that your choice is well-thought out and powered by smart, intentional planning, it will help set their minds at ease.
At Dorvie, we understand the desire to stay in one's own home and we're here to help you do just that. From resources on aging in place to our customizable platform of services delivered by well-vetted local providers, we want to help you enjoy your golden years. Because you've earned it. Enjoy Life, Let Dorvie Handle It!