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For baby boomers, securing a home is not cheap

"We wanted to find a home where we could literally live for the rest of our lives," said Dennis Cavner. "We specifically looked for a one-story house that has plenty of room to grow old."

For some seniors like the Cavners, money is not a big problem. But an increasing number of people expect a financial crisis as they seek to plan their future with a fixed income and are not sure how much their savings and retirement funds will extend.

Aging on the ground may be a big financial commitment This conflicts with pensioners' plans to reduce their lives and budgets and cash in anticipation of rising health costs.

A report released Wednesday by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies may fuel these concerns. She cites growing income inequality for older Americans in the aftermath of the Great Recession, saying that "ensuring retirement and financial security will be a struggle."

For the 65-year-olds and older, it states: "The number of Households with The housing cost burden has reached an all-time high. "

Bankruptcy Concerns

By 2050, according to the Census Bureau, nearly a quarter of Americans will be 65 or older. Surveys conducted over the last decade show that older adults tend to age mostly in their homes.

Yet many homes are not fit for "aging on the spot," said Abbe Will, associate project director of the Remodeling Futures program at Harvard.

"At the moment many people do not live on one floor ̵

1; especially in certain parts of the country. There are many stairs and multi-storey houses if land is more valuable, "she said. And "many homeowners do not necessarily have the means to do the aging on the spot."

House conversions and costs vary greatly, from the simple safety features in the bathroom or the lever handles throughout the house, to extensive changes, eg expanding the door openings or lowering the light switch to wheelchair height. Will said simple retrofitting such as handholds could cost "several hundred dollars," but "rebuilding the entire bathroom would cost thousands or tens of thousands."

"We do not know how we're going to age," said sociologist Deborah Thorne of the University of Idaho, lead author of a study that found a rapid bankruptcy rate in 65-year-olds and older.

The Harvard report led The debt burden for those aged 65 to 79 Almost half of the homeowners who carry a mortgage were retired in 2016.

James Gaines, economist at Texas A & M University, writes Increase in debt at late age too. "On the job market and job losses and let older people go first.It can force them to retire, whether they are willing or not.The retirement income may not be enough to cover their debts and they do not have enough savings. "

" The top tier of baby boomers has not reached 75 yet, "said Jennifer Molinsky, lead author of the Harvard report s. "If you think of the next five, ten, or fifteen years when they are over eighty, the needs will really change."

Molinsky said what financially disadvantaged senior citizens should do in terms of housing is a good question and a difficult one. "Many states have loans and subsidy programs for renovations when people with a proven disability live." However, we need more programs to help you do that before you need it. "[19659002] Molinsky said communities need to create housing near city centers so that seniors do not have to drive. And in the suburbs, communities need to offer more multifamily options, including condominiums and apartments for sale and rent.

"We only need options," she said. "It's important to think about housing options that help people stay in this community, low-income people need affordable housing, some people want to trade this house for a condominium, others want to re-estimate their money, and their house for rent Not everyone wants the same thing. "

$ 300,000 Reconstruction

Most people in the US have moved in with relatives or gone to a care facility to spend their final years of life, and baby boomers do not want it either and those with resources have generally come up with the modern idea of ​​adapting their lifestyle to age and retrofitting their homes to suit the aging process.Planning and construction firms are developing security features that look good too, make the house an age-old one House in front.

The Cavners are watching the details of the renovation u, but this dramatic move in late life was not a hard decision.

They are rebuilding their home – estimated at $ 700,000 the time of sale – from a shell. The conversion could easily cost $ 300,000 on the hot Austin market.

The Cavners leave nothing to chance and pay for a number of modifications they may never need. For example, nobody uses a wheelchair, but the contractors make all the doors one meter wide – just in case. The flat and rimless roll-in shower of the master bathroom offers room for maneuver. In the kitchen, drawers instead of cabinets allow easy access in wheelchairs.

Don and Lynn Dille, both 75, built their home in Austin with the intention of staying there for a long time. After living in California, Virginia, and elsewhere in Texas, they moved to Austin in 2012 and within a year began drawing plans for an energy-efficient home with an architect to make it all right.

This summer, her home featured Austin's annual Cool House Tour for its design, which makes the most of natural light, cross-ventilation and solar panels, as well as above-average wide doors and even wheelchair-accessible floors.

An essential feature of the design is that it confirms this. You may need help in practice to avoid long-term care. Just as the Cavners could convert a bedroom and bathroom on the opposite side of their new home into a nursing home, the Dilles built a second floor above their detached garage that could be converted into a living space.

"We think we have a separate apartment there. We could have a janitor or help with part-time maintenance on our property, so we can stay where we want to be and be independent," Don Dille said retired from the Federal Government.

The renovations are designed to meet personal needs, but that does not mean that they would not appeal to others and even increase the resale value.

Dennis Cavner, investment advisor and co-founder of a new Care start-up, said he will reveal what they are spending on renovating the home in the coming years: "The changes we make will not be less desirable do. It will feel more spacious.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a non-profit news service that deals with health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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