Money & The Economy

Most Senior Citizens Would Rather Not Give Up Their Homes as They Grow Older

WASHINGTON, DC – The labor participation rate of older Americans is increasing for a variety of reasons. The National Council on Aging [NCOA] reports that one in five seniors are still working.

In fact, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]: “The term, ‘retirement age,’ may become irrelevant in the 21st century.  For one thing, modern medicine is giving seniors a second wind, making them healthy enough to continue working.  Technology is making it easier for them to stay on the job.  But, perhaps the biggest reason for not retiring, is the fact that the rising cost of living makes it more difficult to live on a fixed income,”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than a third of men and women between the ages of 65 and 69 and at least 19% of those 70 to 74 years of age are still on the job.  And, the NCOA reports that 69 percent of senior citizens say they continue to work for economic reasons.

And, among those reasons, perhaps, is that they have a strong desire to continue living in their current homes as they grow old.  In fact, as AMAC reported earlier this year, the Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that “the vast majority of elderly people receiving assistance (80%) live in private homes in the community, not institutions. It turns out that most seniors want to age in place – their own place to be exact.”

But, if you are a senior who fears that the cost of remodeling in order to make your home safe and accessible may be out of reach, you may be surprised to learn that a makeover can be quite reasonable.  The RetirementLiving.Com says that the ‘price tag on most remodeling projects is under $10,000,’ a bargain compared with the cost of assisted living, which can run as high as about $7,700 a month or more than $92,000 a year.”

The actual cost of fixing the impediments for senior citizens that may exist in your home will vary based on what your physical needs are and what they might be in the future.  If it is just a matter of installing a walk-in tub and entry ramps and widening a few doorways the cost can be quite reasonable.

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John Grimaldi

Editorial contributor at the Association of Mature American Citizens.

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