The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

The Many Benefits of Aging in a Community

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

There’s comfort in being around people who share common interests, goals, and challenges. That comfort in a community doesn’t wane with age – it actually deepens. Whether it’s proudly talking about grandchildren or lamenting the fact that our eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, it helps to be around people who not only understand what we’re saying but actually feel the same joys and concerns as well. That’s why many boomers are deciding to move into an active adult community. In the latest 55places National Housing Survey, they were described by one out of three seniors as an “outgoing, social community of likeminded people.” Bill Ness, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of 55places.com, explains:

“Baby boomers are now reaching the age when moving to an active adult community is the ideal opportunity for them…Many boomers now want to downsize, experience a maintenance-free lifestyle, and pursue more social opportunities. It’s exciting that there are so many choices for baby boomers.”

There’s still a desire, however, among many seniors to “age-in-place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, aging-in-place means:

“…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”

The challenge is, many seniors live in suburban or rural areas, and that often necessitates driving significant distances to see friends or attend other social engagements. A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults addressed this exact concern:

“The growing concentration of older households in outlying communities presents major challenges for residents and service providers alike. Single-family homes make up most of the housing stock in low-density areas, and residents typically need to be able to drive to do errands, see doctors, and socialize.”

The Kiplinger report also chimed in on this subject:

“While most seniors say they want to age in place, a much smaller percentage of them actually manage to accomplish it, studies show. Transportation is often a problem; when you can no longer drive, you can’t get to medical appointments or to other outings.”

Driving may not be a challenge right now, but think about what it may be like to drive 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. There are also health challenges brought on by a possible lack of socialization when living at home versus a community of seniors. Sarah J. Stevenson is an author who writes about seniors. In a recent blog post for A Place for Mom, she explains:

“Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for reasons such as retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility.”

Thankfully, research from the same article suggests if you’re spending time with others in a community, thus reducing the impact of loneliness and isolation, there’s less of a risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and early death. Though the familiarity of our current home may bring a feeling of warmth, comfort, and convenience, it’s important to understand that staying there may mean missing out on crucial socialization opportunities. Living with adult children, joining a retirement community, or moving to an assisted living facility can help us continue to be with people we enjoy every day.

Bottom Line

“Aging-in-place” definitely has its advantages, but it could mean getting “stuck-in-place” too. There are many health benefits derived from socialization with a community of people that shares common interests. It’s important to take the need for human interaction into consideration when making a decision about where to spend the later years in life.


Presented as a public service by:

 



 

 


Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

 

A desire among many seniors is to “age in place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means,

“…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”

There is no doubt about it – there’s a comfort in staying in a home you’ve lived in for many years instead of moving to a totally new or unfamiliar environment. There is, however, new information that suggests this might not be the best option for everyone. The familiarity of your current home is the pro of aging in place, but the potential financial drawbacks to remodeling or renovating might actually be more costly than the long-term benefits.

A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults explained,

“Given their high homeownership rates, most older adults live in single-family homes. Of the 24 million homeowners age 65 and over, fully 80 percent lived in detached single-family units…The majority of these homes are now at least 40 years old and therefore may present maintenance challenges for their owners.”

If you’re in this spot, 40 years ago you may have had a growing family. For that reason, you probably purchased a 4-bedroom Colonial on a large piece of property in a child-friendly neighborhood. It was a great choice for your family, and you still love that home.

Today, your kids are likely grown and moved out, so you don’t need all of those bedrooms. Yard upkeep is probably very time consuming, too. You might be thinking about taking some equity out of your house and converting one of your bedrooms into a massive master bathroom, and maybe another room into an open-space reading nook. You might also be thinking about cutting back on lawn maintenance by installing a pool surrounded by beautiful paving stones.

It all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? For the short term, you may really enjoy the new upgrades, but you’ll still have to climb those stairs, pay to heat and cool a home that’s larger than what you need, and continue fixing all the things that start to go wrong with a 40-year-old home.

Last month, in their Retirement Report, Kiplinger addressed the point,

“Renovations are just a part of what you need to make aging in place work for you. While it’s typically less expensive to remain in your home than to pay for assisted living, that doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk to stay put. You’ll still have a long to-do list. Just one example: You need to plan ahead for how you will manage maintenance and care—for your home, and for yourself.”

So, at some point, the time may come when you decide to sell this house anyway. That can pose a big challenge if you’ve already taken cash value out of your home and used it to do the type of remodeling we mentioned above. Realistically, you may have inadvertently lowered the value of your home by doing things like reducing the number of bedrooms. The family moving into your neighborhood is probably similar to what your family was 40 years ago. They probably have young children, need the extra bedrooms, and may be nervous about the pool.

Bottom Line

Before you spend the money to remodel or renovate your current house so you can age in place, let’s get together to determine if it is truly your best option. Making a move to a smaller home in the neighborhood might make the most sense.


Presented as a public service.

 



 

 


Charting the Growth of Renters Over the Age of 60

Charting the Growth of Renters Over the Age of 60

Presented as a public service by Joe Peters of Coldwell Banker

Cities in the South have seen a marked uptick in the share of households with renters aged 60 or over in the past decade.

Recent research from RentCafe illustrates that with the average age of Americans creeping upward, the share of renters aged 60 or older has risen dramatically in the past decade in many cities.

According to RentCafe:

Our top 30 oldest cities all have a median age over 39.6 and are mostly retirement cities in Florida, California, or Arizona. In fact, Florida is home to 12 of the oldest cities, with Cape Coral, first in our top, boasting a median age of 47.9, followed by Hialeah, with 46.5. Sunny Scottsdale, AZ is third in our top, with a median age of 46, proving once more its high popularity among retirees in search of warm days and entertainment.

The research also found that renter households aged 60 and over drove the past decade’s surge in renters, with a 43 percent increase, from 6.55 million to 9.37 million in 2017, greatly outpacing younger age groups. Those aged 35 to 59 grew by 17 percent from 16.33 million to 19.11 million, while renters aged under 35 posted the slowest increase rate of 7 percent, rising from 13.99 million to 14.90 million.

According to the firm:

According to our projection based on the trend witnessed between 2007 and 2017, we expect the year 2035 will mark a major demographic shift with the share of 60+ renter households reaching somewhere around 31% and becoming the second highest share among all age groups. Despite being the majority, those aged between 35 and 59 will likely see a decrease in their share of renter households, dropping from 44% in 2017 to an estimated 43% in 2035.

The following gallery features a list of the 25 cities and how the share of renters aged 60 or older has risen over the past 10 years. In addition, the there is data on the total number of 60+ renters as well as the shares of 34-59 renters and 34 and under renters and the median age of all renters in each city.

 


Presented as a public service by:

<

<

A 50+ Home for the Next 50

A 50+ Home for the Next 50

Flexible design, health focus, sustainability and technology create a whole new kind of aging in place.

Reposted from Builderonline.com

According to a 2016 Freddie Mac survey, more than 18 million people 55 and older are going to be in the market for a new home in the next few years. This supports data from KB Home’s exclusive market survey data that finds a jump of 11 percentage points in 55+ buyers of both new and resale homes in our markets over the last decade. But today’s older buyers are worlds apart from previous generations and so is their dream home. That’s why we chose to focus our new KB Home ProjeKt on the 50+ home of the future.

“ProjeKt is a 50+ home for the next 50,” said Dan Bridleman, senior vice president of sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing for KB Home. “This isn’t your father’s retirement. People are living longer, working longer, having children later, creating flexible new family structures and work lives. And they want a home that reflects that.”

Inspired by the huge leaps we’ve seen in this market over the last few years, the new ProjeKt envisions and demonstrates how a new concept of home can offer an entirely different way to look at 50+ living, one that integrates health, sustainability and technology-driven innovation into a home that supports holistic wellness for both its residents and the environment.

The Gig Economy Isn’t Just for Twentysomethings

More workers of every age are earning their living as freelancers, or supplementing their income with gig-economy jobs to earn additional money for retirement. More than one in three workers currently are freelancers and of those freelancers over 55, 49% are using supplemental work to help fund their retirement, according to a 2018 Betterment report on the Gig Economy and the Future of Retirement. In addition, workers today are much more likely to transition into retirement with freelance work and small businesses instead of just throwing the switch one day on a traditional retirement. A recent Gallup poll found that 41% of workers today plan to work past the age of 65, up from just 12% in 1995.

The ProjeKt home reflects this new reality with flexible spaces that are ideal for a home office or yoga room during the day and an entertainment area at night, making the same square footage do double duty in an efficient, thoughtfully designed way. These same spaces can later be adapted to become an additional bedroom for an adult child, elderly parent or caretaker.

Supporting Shifting Family Structures and Needs

The home of the future has to be flexible, particularly for today’s 50+ buyer who may pack a lot of life stages into their years in their home. More homes today have multiple generations living under one roof, whether older relatives who may be helping with children or adult children returning home while making career or life transitions, or any number of other family configurations. The KB Home ProjeKt is designed as a traditional two-story family home that can accommodate any number of family configurations. But the innovative ProjeKt design also allows for literal “downsizing” within your existing home, with a second floor that is designed to be easily separated into an independent unit that’s ideal for adult children, older relatives, live-in caretakers, or even short- or long-term rental income.

Today’s 50+ Buyer Wants Connection Not Restriction

ProjeKt is not designed for the buyer looking for typical age-restricted communities. It’s for the buyer who wants to be part of a thriving community that includes strong connections with their neighbors of all ages.

“When we hold focus groups, many 50+ buyers tell us that they don’t like age-restricted communities. They say it feels like high school, just 40 years later,” said Bridleman. “Today’s 50+ population wants to be a part of life, not apart from it. They’re looking for connection and community — and that spans generations.”

Inspirada, a master plan community in the Las Vegas area and home to the KB Home ProjeKt, is a great example of this trend.

“Our Inspirada community, for example, is located near an age-restricted community and we actually have multiple sales from buyers literally driving away from those restrictions. They’ve stopped by our community on the way out and found what they’re looking for in a thriving community that spans all ages,” said Jen Haack, KB Home’s senior manager of strategic marketing for the Las Vegas division.

KB Home is all about relationships. The relationships between builder and buyer, homeowner and home, home and community, neighbor and neighbor. That spirit and commitment are reflected in the design of the ProjeKt community. ProjeKt is more than a single home; it is part of a larger virtual community designed to support this new vision of future living and greater inter-connectedness to serve as an antidote to today’s increasingly isolated lifestyles.

Redefining Home Health Care

Every day we are learning more about how important our living environments are to our health. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that physical and social environments are the largest determinants of our health. Having a home that supports long-term health is going to be increasingly important to all home buyers in the future, but in particular the 50+ buyer who is likely to spend more hours in their home as they wind down their work life outside the home. The KB Home ProjeKt is designed to actively promote health with restorative and rejuvenating features, from circadian lighting that promotes sleep and greater mental health to biophilic design elements that bring nature into daily living. In addition, a suite of technology-driven connected capabilities create an innovative health partnership between homeowner and home and greater control, comfort, safety and independence for the years to come.

All of these features are creating where tomorrow lives for the 50+ home buyer of the future and inspiring how we serve the evolving needs of today’s 50+ home buyer. KB Home, its innovations collaborators, and its partners at Builder and Hanley Wood are unveiling the 2019 KB Home ProjeKt in Las Vegas in February 2019. Sign up here to receive updates as we continue to share more details and sneak previews of the home in-progress.

 

 


Presented as a public service by:

<

 

 

Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement?

Will Your Current House Fit Your Needs in Retirement?

 

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.1

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to afford your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association (HOA) fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $16,300 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or moving in to a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Having to install handrails and make sure that your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

 


Presented as a public service by:

<