Studies show that given a choice, a vast majority of elderly people would love to spend their golden years in their own home and age gracefully in place, rather than moving to a nursing home or an assisted living facility.
However, there are several expenses associated with aging in place, which you need to plan for if you want to spend your golden years comfortably.
Here are six costs associated with aging in place that you need to plan ahead for.
Property taxes and maintenance costs can account for a significant portion of your annual budget. In addition to this, you might also have to deal with unexpected expenses like replacing a water heater, fixing a burst pipe, or repairing the roof.
It’s important to have an emergency fund that you can dip into to meet these expenses from time to time.
One of the first things you need to do if you plan to age in place is to make modifications to your home to accommodate your needs.
This might include non-slip flooring (especially in the bathroom), non-slip bath mats and rugs, walk-in showers, wider doorways, ramps, and step-free entrance.
Replacing door knobs, which can be difficult to grab if you have stiff joints, with lever door handles might be better.
If you live in a multi-storied property, you should consider adding a stair-lift or elevator as well.
As long as you are physically fit, you might be able to mow your own lawn, weed the garden, clean gutters, and take care of other outdoor maintenance tasks by yourself.
However, as you get older, you might find it increasingly difficult to carry out these tasks.
Similarly, if you have heart disease or any other medical condition, it might not be safe for you to engage in physically strenuous activities. In such a scenario, you might have to hire people to help you with outdoor maintenance.
As you grow older, medical expenses are likely to increase considerably. Apart from health insurance premiums and prescription drugs, you might also have to plan for expenses like physical therapy and home health care – depending on your health condition.
If you are unable to drive by yourself due to your health condition, you might have to rely on public transportation (if and when it is available) or use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.
With the average cost of a ride becoming more and more expensive, it is important to earmark a portion of your income for transportation costs.
Cost of care
Data shows that 50% to 70% of seniors might require assistance with their day-to-day tasks as they get older. With that said, you might eventually have to hire someone to assist you with chores like washing clothes, buying groceries, preparing meals, cleaning the house, and paying bills.
Depending on where you live, the cost of home care can be anywhere from $16 to $28 per hour.
On a monthly basis, it can cost you up to $4,500. The cost of home care is undoubtedly the most important expense you need to include in your budget.