One question I am often asked by Seniors, “Should I age in place, downsize or rent?” This past month, during the Senior Social Hour I host every Monday morning, the hot topic has been about the proposed increases in property taxes and how Seniors can afford to live in their homes.

Often this decision is based on finances and health. It is also based on what social support a Seniors has. Basically, this is a very personal decision based on many factors.

If a Seniors is living solely on Social Security, this may be a breaking point for them; especially if they are living alone. Their advisors may have told them to spend down their savings in order to qualify for elderly waiver or medical assistance. Or they may be planning on having their reverse mortgage to cover the costs. For many Seniors who are in the “Forgotten Middle” are looking at their homes as their primary income source for their assisted living or memory care costs. For Seniors who are active and not at that stage in their life are excited to learn could sell their home for hundreds of thousands more than they expected.

The question then becomes, what does it cost to find a new home? Moving from a 4 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom town home, or condo has been the plan. These are highly desired homes for those in their 20’s and 30’s. Competition and living in closer proximity to those who have different lifestyle choices can be a difficult transition. Rent in Senior Communities average $2300 or more a month. If your home sold for $400,000, at $2300 a month, assuming the rates never increase, would cover rent for 14 years. Keep in mind, this does not include other living expenses. Looking long term, this may not be the best solution either.

What other options do Seniors have?

Our goal at Our Family Encounter is to provide tools and support for Seniors and their families so they can find a solutions for challenges facing them as they age. No one should age alone.