My husband and I have been part of the “sandwich generation.” With moms who lived into their 90s, mostly in their own homes, we can speak to the pros and cons of that. Now navigating our own pre-retirement years — with an eye toward health costs, housing options and quality of life — we know there is no script to follow.
Maybe ahead of schedule we all can consider options in housing as we age. Housing changes need not be crises of sudden adjustment; instead, they can be studied moves — this could living out of state (for example, relocating to year-round warm weather), staying where you are or going into a development where costs and maintenance are low.
It’s hard to maintain four bedrooms plus ample yard when they are no longer necessary. Does it support your lifestyle? says Lee-Ann Spacek, owner and founder of North Coast Residential Relocation.
“When I give presentations, I share what my aunt told me years ago: ‘Be careful what you get used to because you can get used to anything,”’ Spacek adds. “That goes for the dripping faucet, the wavy roof, the electrical outlet that doesn’t work and, possibly, the damp corner of the basement.”
She has helped hundreds of individuals, couples and families weigh factors in choosing a residence as their needs change.
“I ask my clients to ask themselves: ‘To whom is this house best suited?’” Spacek says. Consider the answer honestly. Letting go can be difficult but also freeing.
PUT TOGETHER A PLAN
“People should start looking at their choices within five years of retiring,” Jim Patena, administrator of independent living at Jennings, says. “They can take their time to see what is out there and either find something that fits their desires or at least have ideas if the time comes that they desire a move.”
“With less things and removing household chores ....