Select Home-Retirement to Protect Your Support System

Home-retirement may be our best and most affordable option. The check list for a permanent move to another area of the country (or world) could be extensive. Retiring at home would avoid the need to move to a strange city and sell a home that we may have lived in for 20 to 40 years.

Retiring at home would eliminate the necessity of leaving a local network of friends which were developed over many years. This network makes up a big part of a support system that everyone needs. How many truly good friends does each of us have in this life that we could count on when we needed them? Such people don’t come along that often and are tough to leave.

In addition to simply learning to navigate in a strange city, the move would also involve:

  • Selecting a new home or retirement community
  • Hiring and scheduling a moving company for your furniture and personal property.
  • Replacing your trusted health care provider network including your personal physician, who is familiar with your needs.
  • Finding a new church. This could be tough if you have been a member of the same church for a long time. Your church family is a strong part of your support system in times of trouble.
  • Changing the registration of your automobile to a new state including new license plates.
  • Getting a new operator’s license for you, which in most states could require both a written test and a driving test.
  • Getting established with new utility companies can be burdensome. Some require a personal visit and extra deposits even with good credit.
  • Developing a new banking relationship.

Preparing for home-retirement

If you decide on home-retirement, will your home’s design support your need to “age in place?” If not you may want to consider some modifications to your home. Depending on your current health and mobility status, needed modifications can be made over time.

Planning modifications can be daunting but there are places where you can get help. There are local contractors, who would be willing to give you a free professional opinion. You can also find assistance at your area Council on Aging or a local chapter of AARP. State and local governments often have departments established to assist the elderly. Florida, for example, has the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

The following is a list of some home features to consider in planning your home-retirement:

  • Is your home one-story or two-story building? If it is a two-story home, is there a bedroom and bathroom on the main floor? As you age, stairs will be harder to navigate.
  • Is there a bathtub or a shower in the main bathroom? If it is a bathtub, are there grab bars in place or can a modification be made to add grab bars when needed?
  • Does the home have an entrance without steps? If there are steps, can a modification be made to accommodate your needs as you age?
  • Do the doors in your home have levers instead of knobs?
  • Are the doorways and halls wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair? It probably would not be practical to modify hallways but in some cases doorways can be widened.

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In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham  Lincoln

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