A Few Steps to Make Your Life Better as You Age

Fidelity sent out a letter recently with some great ideas about retirement. Some about living at home through retirement were so good I wanted to share them with you.

It quoted a recent AARP survey that stated 90% want to live at home over any kind of assisted living or long-term in-patient care options.

From a financial perspective, it is easy to see why. Assisted living facilities can run over $3,000 a month. Full care is even higher.

[ad#Google Adsense 336×280-IA]But to make it at home into your 80s and 90s requires a whole lot more than just the financial side of the equation.

A move after retirement more often than not requires leaving your social network behind and your community contacts, changing medical professionals, and literally starting over.

Most of us don’t remember how difficult and stressful moving can be.

Doing it in your 70s or 80s can be a nightmare.

The psychological impact of all these changes late in life can have a negative effect on anyone.

Your social connections alone are listed as one of the key factors in healthy aging.

Staying socially connected is essential to avoid falling into the isolation and the loneliness that can result from aging – and the depression that results from those.

On the more practical side, the Fidelity information recommended a safety check. It suggested a home modification professional who can be a big help identifying things that make being elderly at home hazardous that aren’t so obvious to most of us.

Stairs are the easy one, but ways to work around them may not be as obvious.

Here are a few other steps to take to ensure your home is less hazardous as you get older:

-Moving furniture that obstructs walkways

-Installing handles instead of doorknobs

-Raising electrical outlets above floor level

-Installing brighter outdoor lighting

-Setting up automatic lights in frequently traveled areas at night

-Removing rugs that tend to slip

Of course, there are lots of options to consider, and none are prohibitively expensive to fix.

Think also about transportation. All or most of us will someday have to stop driving. Think now about how you will get to and from the store, doctor’s offices, pharmacies and all the other places we need a car for.

Make sure your plan to stay at home includes transportation options other than driving.

Put together a list in lieu of friends and relatives who can step in and help if needed; caregivers.org was one resource Fidelity listed.

And make this an ongoing process. As you realize your mobility and abilities are becoming more limited, be ready to adjust your plan to suit your changing needs. This is not a one-and-done effort.

Staying at home can be a great way to wind down this rodeo. But aging gracefully doesn’t just happen. It requires planning and preparation. Make sure you understand all the changes necessary to make it happen.

Thanks again to Fidelity for all the great ideas.

Good investing,

Steve

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Source: Wealthy Retirement