After Fifty Living user “Beeples985″ wrote into the “Where To Live After 50″ forum recently. “Looking to downsize soon. Ugh, the thought of all that and moving too….” Beeples985 got me thinking – there really are so many issues and options to consider in the “stay put or move” decision-making process. Here are four issues to consider – but there certainly will be others. Let’s hear from you about what else we need to consider!
-ï¿½ Are you now located relatively close to (within an hour’s drive of) any family members who you trust and get along with. As you age, these family members may be come significant “players” in your life.
-ï¿½ Do you have friends relatively close with whom you can engage in social activities. At all stages of life, including our years After Fifty, we need social stimulation. If driving or transportation is an issue now or in the near future, then you may want to consider a living situation that has “built-in” social opportunities.
-ï¿½ Do you have (or will you have) ready access to medical service providers and facilities who you respect and can have access to. Include on your facilities checklist hospitals, rehab facilities, pharmacies (including those that deliver), and fitness facilities.
-ï¿½ Do you have (or will you have) ready access to other service providers, such as beauticians, barbers, dry cleaners, housekeeping services, yard maintenance services, and home repair professionals.
-ï¿½ Start by considering the size of your home. People may be telling you that “you don’t need all that space” – but those people don’t “live in your skin.” Do you think if you were to move to a smaller residence that you would feel “closed in?” Or do you feel overwhelmed now by all the space you have? Also, consider that as we age, specialized equipment frequently becomes a part of our living environment. Consider where you would put that walker, wheelchair, scooter, motorized bed, etc.
-ï¿½ Consider your home’s layout. Is it amenable to aging-in-place? How much would it really cost to do the renovations that would make it a reasonable, safe place in which to age? If you can afford those renovations, then you need to consider whether actually doing them would price your home out of the market in which it is located.
-ï¿½ Finally, consider the current condition of your home – and how that might change over the next several years. Is the need to deal with housing “infrastructure” issues something you’re willing to handle?
-ï¿½ Consider your climate. You may not be thrilled with your current climate 100% of the time, but at least you know what to expect. And we all need to remember that no place is perfect for everybody in terms of climate.
-ï¿½ Next, consider the issue of “locale.” Consider: are you near culture, higher educational institutions, and a thriving (or dying) business environment. If the environment/locale around you is dying, then its tax base is also dying. When the tax base goes, special services, including those for the aging, become a thing of the past.
Put simply, will you be able to afford your living situation, not only today and tomorrow, but well into your future. If you own your own home or condo, there will be taxes and maybe fees. There will be upkeep issues and, most certainly, surprises.
So, mulling over these four considerations may help the best solution come to the forefront. But what other things do we need to consider?