The Four Main Considerations for Aging in Place

    

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Author: Rick Bryan 

Aging in Place Factors, Considerations, and Strategies

As our clients know, financial planning is in our DNA and a major component of our day to day work. Not only do we enjoy the financial planning process, but most of our clients embrace the process as a means to gain clarity, articulate goals, and develop a roadmap to move through life with purpose and a sense of financial freedom. One interesting outcome of working through all these financial plans is that – despite having a highly diverse mix of clients - certain financial goals and concerns come up time and time again. One example of this is the strong desire to successfully age in place (at home) for as long as possible.

For our Baby Boomer and GenX clients, many have had the experience of visiting a friend or relative in a professional elder care environment, whether in a continuing care development, assisted living facility, or with comprehensive nursing care. As a result of that experience, some have expressed a strong desire to age in place for as long as possible.

The ability to stay in your home as you or your spouse age will be influenced by many factors, some of which might be out of your control. Health, financial capacity, family and social networks, and your physical environment will impact the viability of aging-in-place. That said, if your goal is to remain at home, one thing you do have control over is creating and implementing an action plan before circumstances dictate a different, less desired course.

Aging-in-Place Considerations

Items to consider when developing a plan to successfully age-in-place at home:

                • Health: Your health is of course the biggest wildcard when implementing a plan to age in place. Even though certain aspects of your health remain out of your control, one component of aging at home is keeping yourself as healthy as possible by staying physically active, maintaining proper balance and flexibility, eating properly, and staying mentally and socially engaged. With proper planning, it is possible to mitigate the impact of slow-progressing health issues like arthritis, declining hearing, vision impairment, , and mobility issues as they impact your ability to manage activities of daily living (ADLs).
                • Financial Capacity: Having the financial means to age in place at home is multi-faceted. It does take financial resources to implement an aging-in-place at home plan for elder-friendly home renovations, increasing home-centric services, and then for the significant costs associated with any in-home care. 70% of people over the age of 65 will face the need for long-term care at some point in their lives, so all of us really do need to budget for these inevitable expenses. Long-term elder care help is not inexpensive. In the Seattle metro area, as with other expensive urban areas, the cost of in-home care for a home health aide will cost approximately $200 a day for 8 hours of care. If you required 24/7 in-home care, your daily cost could easily exceed $800 a day.
                • Family and Social Networks: Family, friends, and social networks can make or break the success of aging-in-place at home. Aside from the significant need to mitigate social isolation, you might also require oversight of your living situation. Often, family will manage and coordinate the care and services you might need to age at home. For those of us without children or family living nearby, there is often the need to hire out for those resources.
                • Physical Environment: Devising a plan for potential mobility and safety issues should be carefully considered and incorporated into any aging-in-place at home plan. Some houses or apartments will only need slight modifications to accommodate you, but more often than not, the required home modifications could end up being significant with respect to cost and coordination. Will a bathroom need to be reconfigured for a walk/roll-in shower? Does a bedroom need to be relocated to the main floor? Are the doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Is there space for an in-home caregiver? Seniorlink’s 50 Home Modification Tips is a good starting point for planning to make your home environment a safe and functional place to age.

Planning for your future is what we live for here at EP Wealth. If you feel overwhelmed by tackling the subject of aging and its potential impact on your best laid plans, we would be happy to start the dialogue and partner with you to secure a sound future. If you have questions, please contact me anytime at rbryan@epwealth.com or use the form on my Advisor Bio page.

 

Disclosures:

EP Wealth Advisors (“EPWA”) makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information presented in this opinion piece. Information presented is general in nature and should not be viewed as a comprehensive analysis of the topics discussed. It is intended to serve as a tool containing general information that should assist you in the development of subsequent discussions with the appropriate professionals. Content does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice nor is it intended to supplement professional individualized advice.  


 

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