Saturday, June 19, 2021

Should I go or should I stay now?

I am a big believer in serendipity so when in three conversations over a few days, I heard about seniors housing I thought there might be some interest in this topic. One of the people I phone as part of the Phone Buddies program I am involved in was talking to me about moving. They were in their mid-80’s and they were thinking of moving into a smaller home or a retirement home. Another person I knew stated that Baby Boomers do not want to move into Retirement living arrangements.

Nine in 10 seniors intend to continue living in their current homes over the next five to 10 years.Leading reasons for wanting to stay in their current homes include liking where they currently live (85 percent), having family and friends nearby (66 percent) and not wanting to deal with the hassle of moving (50 percent).

Finances also play a role in this decision: 26 percent of seniors planning to age in place, say they cannot afford the cost of moving their belongings and more than one in five (23 percent) believe their home would not sell in the current market.

Most groups report high levels of confidence that they will be able to stay in their homes without having to make any significant home modifications (85 percent of respondents aged 60 to 64; 82 percent of respondents aged 65 to 69; 86 percent of respondents aged 70 or older).

Nearly one in five baby boomers aged 60 to 64 (18 percent) believe the housing options available to them are unaffordable.

There are other reasons for wanting to age in place some of them are:

We are retiring later than any other generation and most of us are still in the workforce, making us the workforce’s fastest-growing generation. There are a few reasons why this is happening. Like me, many others retirement plans took a hit from the 2008 financial crisis, some have not saved enough for retirement and others are staying in the workforce because it keeps their mind sharp and days full. According to an AARP survey, 40 percent of Baby Boomers said they plan to “work until I drop.” In Canada 5 million boomers set to turn 65 in the next 10 years, the age of retirement will continue to creep up.

Boomers will live longer because of healthier choices and advancements in technology. From 1950 to 2014, the average life expectancy rose steadily. Men’s life expectancy rose from 65.6 to 71.,1 and women’s rose from 76.1 to 81.1. Higher life expectancies mean more opportunities to be active including working and truly enjoy the later years in life, which is exactly what we are doing.

Many of us who think of retirement homes think of the idea that one size does not fit all, nor does it fit most. When it comes down to the life we want to live, what we want for ourselves isn’t going to be the same as what someone else wants. We are helping to shape the senior living landscape by wanting customizable living options through their housing, amenities or community events. They’re also seeking out living arrangements where it is easier to connect and make friends with the people living in the community.

We see retirement as the time to dive into life’s joys: hobbies, passions and making sure you have the amenities available to pursue those and for most of us that means living at home, not moving to a retirement community.

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