Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ageing at Home

A growing trend among retirees is the desire to remain in one's home as long as possible. In fact, a recent study quoted by AARP shows 87% of those 65+ want to age in place for as long as it is safe. Even among those 10 years younger, 71% would opt to stay put. Familiarity and community ties are the biggest draws.

In BC 93% of seniors live independently, with 80% owning their own homes and 20% renting. The three biggest challenges to senior homeowners are:
  • Taxes and utilities increasing faster than inflation
  • Maintenance costs
  • Major repairs may force a move
  • Home equity becomes difficult to assess.

The biggest challenges to senior rentals are
  • Affordability
  • Availability
  • Appropriateness

 The following chart from the office of the Senior Advocate of BC shows how in BC senior renters and homeowners are in trouble:

Homeowners and renters Living expenses 2016
Metro Vancouver
Home Owner
After Tax Income
Total Homeowner Expense

Basic Cost of Living

Remaining Funds

Average Rent 1 Bedroom

Basic Living Costs

Safer Subsidy*

Remaining Funds

*Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

So We want people to age in place, but we make it almost economically impossible to do this, so we have to advocate the government to give more consideration to this particular aspect of ageing. 

The research shows that if more seniors end up in homes than the health care costs will go very much higher. This issue is not just an issue for us in BC, but it is an issue in almost every jurisdiction. Allowing seniors to age in place reduces costs to society, and makes ageing a more pleasant experience.

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