Housing Decisions

Typical Process of Decision Making for Seniors and their Loved Ones.

Linda has seen at first hand the intricacies of making decisions about future housing needs as we age. It took her five moves to downsize to her satisfaction. Along the way, she made some mistakes. Now she wants to use her forty years in the real estate business in the Bay Area along with her experiments at moving as a senior to help others and their families avoid those mistakes.

As she sees it, the decision making process from about the age of 50 goes something like this:

  • The kids are gone, we don’t need such a big place and we absolutely don’t want to continue to work as hard as we have been to maintain a home.
  • Oops, but the kids want us to keep their childhood home, and of course, we want to have a place for them and our grandchildren to visit.
  • The same dialogue goes on if you are single and have no kids. It is modified by phrases like “I have always loved this home” and “I don’t want to get rid of this furniture (art, collectibles) I have spent a lifetime collecting”.

Then around 60, the dialogue shifts:

  • I hope I can retire at 65 or 70, but I don’t know if I can afford to maintain my standard of living.
  • Or, if monetary concerns are not an issue, I absolutely, positively don’t want all this maintenance work.
  • Let’s look around and see what’s out there.
  • At this age, if health is good, there are many options, often the Active Adult Retirement Community makes sense.
  • If health is iffy, the Continuous Care Retirement Community may be an attractive option.

Around 75, the dialogue shifts again

  • Often, it is sensible to think about aging in place in your home and to check out care options even if you don’t need it yet.
  • Sometimes, independent living (having your own apartment, but sharing meals and having housekeeping services) is the right option.
  • If resources are available, the continuous care retirement community (CCRC) might be just the ticket.
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