Older and Alone
That is probably what most baby boomers fear the most. What happens if we get older and there is no family close to you? Read this article in the New York Times online subscription about a woman 71 years old divorced and childless. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/business/elder-orphans-care.html this is an example of having to make difficult decisions and life changing circumstances. The statistic that stood out to me is that 22% of people over 65 years old are either childless or estranged from their children.
Approximately 16 million head of households are currently 65 or older. That is over 1 in 4 households. That number will increase to 1 in 3 by 2035. At the same time more people live longer therefore we have more senior single person households. The really difficult issue for seniors will be cost of housing vs their income. It is usually considered that people should not pay more than 30% of their income for housing. For most seniors this will almost be impossible as stated in the Harvard study here: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/housing-a-growing-population-older-adults
According to AARP www.AARP.com most seniors will seek to age in place. However, their homes and their communities are not equipped to accommodate this desire according to the Bipartisan Policy Center https://bipartisanpolicy.org/ study on “America’s Growing Senior Population”. This study also stated that a major issue for seniors will be the inability to pay their cost of housing.
Creating a Plan
What these studies show is that as people approach becoming senior citizens they need to figure out a housing plan before it becomes a critical issue. If you’re living by yourself, consider looking at some communities of adults where you can interact with other people and make connections not only for emotional health but for safety. In the case of the woman in New York she ended up moving to North Carolina where housing cost are much lower and she found a community of seniors with activities and living accommodations to fit her personally.
Planning on living in place, then you need to start determining how to pay the cost of remodeling your existing home to function for your needs or find a home close by that has the floor plan that you desire. Some people consider purchasing a smaller one story home close to family and community services now, and rent it out until they want to sell their existing home. The idea is to make a plan now so your life is easier later on.
Jim Clifford has been helping people buy and sell real estate for more than 40 years. If you live in South King County or Pierce County Washington and want to know your current home value and or what might make good sense for future housing give Jim a call (253-826-7513) or email him at [email protected]