Authored by Maggie Douglas Photo source: https://unsplash.com/photos/jNnR4ZnC7d0
Here at AZNHA, we’re big proponents of living out our golden years in the comfort of our own homes, but we know there’s a lot to consider when it comes to housing for seniors. Whether you’re looking for your forever home as you approach retirement or are helping an aging single parent with finances, costs are one of the biggest factors.
We spend our whole lives working to save money for our golden years. Between maintaining our health, taking that dream vacation, and, of course, spoiling our grandkids, the various costs of retirement can add up quickly. The last thing you need is for housing to throw another wrench into your financial plans.
Keep reading for some of the biggest pros and cons of in-home care so you know your time and your money are going to be well spent.
One of the most important benefits of “aging in place” at home is the complete freedom over your personal care. As opposed to an assisted living facility where you have no control over your care staff, when you live at home you’re able to vet your own caregivers, establish a routine that works for you, and visit the doctors’ offices of your choice when needed.
Making personal choices like this also provides independence in financial decisions. You can rest easy knowing you’ve made the best decisions for yourself and your wallet — completely on your own.
It’s called “the comfort of your own home” for a reason. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed or having a little peace and quiet in the place you spend most of your time.
Plus, family gatherings and holidays are all the more lovely in your own space. Think of all the memories you’ve made in your home and the ones still to come!
Retirement should be spent exploring new places and having exciting experiences. When you live at home, there’s no one to monitor your whereabouts. You’re free to travel, grab lunch with a friend, and attend community events at your leisure. Feel free to visit the farmers market on the weekends or see a movie on a random Tuesday afternoon without clearing your absence with a front desk. Your schedule, your self-care, and your daily life are in your own hands.
The autonomy of living at home isn’t just about your own schedule — you want the freedom of family visits without the rules and regulations that come with living facilities. When you live in a facility, your family must be cleared to enter, and sometimes designated visitation hours are imposed. Living at home allows you to be closer and more accessible for the people and the moments you don’t want to miss.
Of course, all of these benefits come with a cost, literally and figuratively. First, living at home means working to maintain a social life, while senior housing facilities come with a built-in community. Facilities also provide the convenience of caregivers at the ready for emergencies, as well as accessibility features your home may not have.
If you’re looking to make your home more accessible as your physical needs change, keep in mind that such renovations aren’t exactly free. There are also costs of insurance and in-home care to consider. These costs are typically not offset by Medicare or Medicaid if you age in place in your own home.
As you’re setting yourself up for success in retirement, be sure your choices and your budget are in agreement. For help crunching the numbers and to see the bigger picture for all options, use an assisted living cost calculator from our friends at RetireGuide. This tool can help you calculate all your expenses for long-term care.
Maggie Douglas is a professional editor. An alumna of The University of Texas at Austin, she now lives in Orlando, FL. In her spare time, she enjoys a good book and playing along to Jeopardy! with varied accuracy.