This post Ditch Senior Living and Stay in Your Own Home appeared first on Daily Reckoning.
A lot of Americans diligently save up for retirement, but it doesn’t occur to most to plan for home renovations in their later years.
It can be hard to picture yourself having trouble with stairs, using a walker or wheelchair or needing assistive devices in the shower.
But three quarters of Americans aged 50 and over say they want to remain in their homes as they age, according to a survey by AARP, yet very few are taking any action toward that goal.
In fact, most people don’t take any steps to try and make their homes more accessible until disaster strikes, typically after a bad slip or fall.
According a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 65 million households in the U.S. are now headed by someone over the age of 50. Yet, only 3.5% of the U.S. housing stock incorporates three vital features for aging in place: single-floor living, no-step entries, and extra-wide halls and doors, says the report.
The good news is there are clever ways you can save some money and make your home more age friendly.
Instead of installing a chairlift on a staircase to access the second floor, it often makes more sense to convert a room on the main floor into a master bedroom.
Living on a single floor can reduce renovation costs. For example, it might allow you to only widen a few doorways versus many on both floors.
Another bonus in taking action now is with the right documentation, certain aging-in-place modifications will give you a tax write-off.
A wheelchair ramp may qualify you for a deductible medical expense. And veterans may also be eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Here are three of the most practical aging-in-place modifications you should consider, along with cost estimates.
Note: costs may vary by contractor and location. Also, if you’re thinking these modifications sound expensive, consider the cost of inaction and the price of a nasty fall.
Here are three home renos to make if you want to live independently for as long as possible:
One in four Americans age 65-plus falls each year, making falls the biggest cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older Americans. And the place where people fall the most? The bathroom.
For fifty bucks each plus another hundred for installation, you can retrofit your existing bathrooms with grab bars. This will eliminate you having to remove your bathtub and install a walk-in shower.
However, if you’d prefer a walk-in shower, you can install one for around $4,000-$6,000.
Additional add-ons like hand-held shower heads that move toward you, rather than having to move yourself are also worthy of consideration.
When you shop, look for ADA compliant products, there’s a surprisingly large selection of ADA product …read more
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