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We all are comforted by the thought of aging gracefully in our own homes. Does this mean staying in the house in which you've spent your working and child-rearing years? Everyone's needs and lifestyle change over time, as you undoubtedly have observed while watching your own parents and other loved ones age. So as you contemplate your future, ask yourself:
- Will I still need and want as much house as I have now?
- Will I want the maintenance of a house and yard?
- Will I want to focus more on me, and less on a house?
- Do I want more time to do the things I enjoy and to have new experiences?
- Would a different living environment, whether it's a change of climate or a move to a different type of house, be better for my overall health and longevity?
- Are my children, and maybe even grandchildren, in a different part of the country?
- Will my retirement savings last longer in someplace else with a lower cost of living?
- Is my house in an area with the cultural attractions and activities I'd like to enjoy when time allows?
As you sort through lifestyle questions, this is also a good time to think about the physical dwelling where you'll live in the future. It's a given that our physical abilities will change as we age. You can live independently and comfortably at home for years to come if you either adapt your house or eventually find another better suited for your senior years.
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