Often, people have questions about what living independently looks like and will it work for them. We wanted to provide answers to some of the basic questions that many will have, given by trusted area professionals.
As we travel along the path of life, we all face challenges of varying degrees. Some of these challenges will have minor impacts to our quality of life while others may significantly degrade our once fruitful and active lives.
It's an undeniable fact that as we get older we will face challenges with our health, mobility and abilities to perform once seemingly easy tasks. However, with proper planning and preparation the challenges of life can be navigated with ease. Independent Living, sometimes called "aging in place" can be a useful tool in the preparation of one's golden years. Years that can be filled with freedom and independence rather than isolation and challenges.
Typically homes are not built or designed with our "golden years" in mind, and, therefore, present challenges in our sunset years when we least expect them. Getting an early start on the planning and design of an Independent Living lifestyle can be essential to freedom in your later years. Although it is never too late to get started, an Independent lifestyle at any stage of life can be much more cost effective than assisted living options, which can reach well into thousands of dollars a month!
Helping you create a free and independent future in your golden years is something we would like to help you achieve. Feel free to contact our office so that we can schedule an appointment with our team to help you create an independent lifestyle.
For most people, home is more than just "a roof over your head." It contains a lifetime of memories, is a symbol of independence and adds immensely to the quality of our lives. As we age, however, maintaining and continuing to live independently in that home can present unique challenges that place demands on our resources.
One option available to help meet those financial demands is a Reverse Mortgage. Also known as an FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), Reverse Mortgages enable homeowners age 62 or older to access a portion of the equity in their home. Received either in a lump sum, a line of credit, a series of monthly payments or a combination of a LOC and monthly payments, the proceeds from a Reverse Mortgage are paid out as a tax free loan (consult your tax advisor) that requires no monthly payments. Borrowers need not repay the loan until the home is sold, they no longer occupy the home as their primary residence or their estate is settled.* At that time, the lender is repaid the existing loan balance, which includes any funds advanced plus interest accrued.
Contributing significantly to homeowners' peace of mind is the fact that Reverse Mortgages allow them to remain in their homes. They retain full ownership and control as long as property taxes and insurance payments are made and their property is kept in good repair.
Properties eligible for Reverse Mortgages include 1- to 4-unit primary residences, certain condominiums and planned unit developments (PUDs). Homes placed in a living trust or life estate may also qualify. Mobile homes, second homes, investment properties and co-ops are not eligible.
A credit score is not considered when qualifying for a Reverse Mortgage. The amount of equity available to the homeowners is based on the age of the youngest homeowner, the expected interest rate and the market value of the home minus any liens that must be paid off. The Reverse Mortgage process requires receiving counseling from an independent HUD-approved counseling source; and interested borrowers should consult a tax advisor.
For many senior homeowners, day-to-day activities once taken for granted, such as getting in and out of the tub, can become more challenging and may necessitate making changes to improve accessibility, comfort and safety. A major advantage of access to the homes' equity made possible by Reverse Mortgages is the ability it gives senior homeowners to meet those special needs by making home improvements such as:
*So long as all taxes and insurance are paid and the property is kept in good repair.
The ability to continue to drive safely becomes a critical question for many older people. Knowing one's strengths and limitations is crucial to safe driving.
Driver Rehabilitation's goal is to keep you safe and on the road. You will benefit from our services if there are concerns about your ability to safely handle the challenging tasks of driving because of a physical or mental disability or the aging process. Click here for video form ABC World News on DRHV
What is the number one misconception about landscapes? That to have a great landscape you must devote a great deal of time and energy to maintain it. While residents of the Hudson Valley do have a variety of landscape companies that they can call on to complete tasks and install new landscapes, Garden Gate Landscape designs and installs landscapes that fit our senior clients' needs, now and in the future.
There are a variety of ways to install low maintenance landscapes that will stay low maintenance. It's true that you have to invest a small amount of time, energy and or money into them, but it is possible to have a beautiful landscape with only a spring and fall clean up.
In our area, having a generator during a power outage is very beneficial. As experienced this past winter, Central Hudson comments that it was the worst winter on record. A generator can provide peace of mind and may actually be life-saving or, at the very least, ease an unpleasant experience such as an extended power outage due to something like a storm. As long as proper safety considerations are followed, having a generator can be incredibly valuable during a power outage. If an emergency arises, you will be glad you took this extra step. While generators can be a great tool for people of any age, they tend to be especially valuable for the elderly.
The elderly face more distress than the average person. Elderly individuals tend to get the most benefit from having a generator. Because they are more susceptible to temperature variations and are at greater risk for hypothermia during the winter months than younger individuals, being without heat or air conditioning for an extended length of time can be detrimental to the health of elderly individuals. Many elderly individuals also rely on medications that require refrigeration. If an extended power outage occurs, the medicine can go bad, which can cause serious complications. For an elderly, insulin-dependent diabetic, keeping a power supply to the refrigerator is crucial.
Having a generator in case of a power outage is a wise decision. A generator can provide added peace of mind until power is restored by keeping power supplied to your house. We often forget how much we rely on power to keep perishable food and medication that require refrigeration to be stored at the proper temperature.
If you have any elderly family member who currently doesn't have a generator, consider getting them one as a gift or having other family members chip in with you so the cost isn't too prohibitive. It's a gift that could literally save a life.
Approximately 90% of seniors are now retiring in our area. There is a dire need to provide better housing for our aging population. Unmet demands for this segment of the population are crucial, although senior housing has come quite a ways in the past few years. Seniors, as we know, are used to and are attached to the dwelling they've been occupying for many years and, for most, their desire is to remain in their homes and the comfort of their surroundings. Having to give up furniture, space, and family gatherings is emotionally draining on many. Their concerns on how furniture will fit in a new dwelling are common for many who have had their belongings for years as well.
Retrofitting their current homes is a very viable way to satisfy their desire to continue toenjoy their homes where there lifestyle needs little change and they can continue to accommodate the gathering of family and friends. Retrofitting also means making changes both in the interior and the exterior of their home to accommodate the aging process and any challenges that may arise during their "golden years' journey. One of the advantages to the home modification process is allowing baby boomers who are coming up on their "golden years" to have homes available to them for sale that currently fit their lifestyle, that of a spouse or will be prepared for them for the future and any issues that may arise.
This is an untouched market that will flourish in the coming years. Having been the listing brokerage for a Senior Development, I was made aware first hand of the wants, desires, concerns and burdens of seniors having to give up their homes & downscale to a new location. Considering changes of furniture, space and family gatherings is often overwhelming for many of them. The concerns of how furniture will fit in a new dwelling is a common concern for many who have had their belongings for years, as well, and who are attached to things from the past. Retrofitting homes to accommodate the aging solves a myriad of problems for both current seniors and baby boomers soon to see this lifestyle a reality. As a REALTOR I would much rather see contented home-owners who can, at some point, pass on their home through sale to those with similar needs in the future. There is an abundance in the market for retrofitting and new senior housing to co-exist and satisfy the wants and desires of the senior population both current and future.
The most valuable possession you have is the CONFIDENCE that you are secure in your home and that your home is secure when you are away. The most valuable security system is the one that doesn't change your lifestyle, is EASY TO USE and is installed and maintained to be TROUBLE FREE.
A properly designed system takes your priorities and your lifestyle into account. Intrusion security can be designed so that you can leave windows open without concern, allows your pets to roam, (allows you to roam too!), and stops an intruder while he is still outside your home.
A personal medical emergency response button (PERS) is fully portable and will work within 100 feet of your home. It will allow you to maintain a comfortable level of physical activity with the assurance that help, if you need it, is literally, at your fingertips.
Interior motion sensors can also act as Activity Monitors. If you are alone and unable to leave your room, your alarm system will be able to communicate the unusual lack of activity. It's nice to know that you can have your privacy and independence without fear.
Monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors sound local alarms for your notification and more importantly, communicate an emergency signal to the central station for rapid dispatch to fire authorities. In a life threatening situation first response professionals can assist in your timely evacuation.
Adult children and friends will appreciate knowing that you have the tools you need to maintain a safe and independent lifestyle. Monitoring of medical, intrusion, fire and carbon monoxide sensors will provide an immediate dispatch of first responders and the people you designate. You will help when you need it (only when you need it) – FAST!