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Senior Living Options: How To Assess a NH Senior's Living Needs

Deciding If It Is Time to Move- Where to Start

A set of basic questions helping guide the assessment of a seniors living needs is essential to a thoughtful review of the situation. Considering senior living options can be a stressful and anxious task. After all- assessing our own housing needs is a difficult challenge to take on! Understandably, many people find approaching the subject with their senior family members to be incredibly difficult. There are many factors to consider- just as our interests and passions change over the years, so to do our housing needs evolve throughout our lives, so it is important to look at how needs will change. When they start out singles need a place of their own to establish their independence and begin to form their lifestyles. Growing young families often move to suburban areas to get more house and yard space for their children. Later, first generation retirees may want less home maintenance responsibility, and in many cases look to condominiums and other communities offering common area maintenance. Finally, housing options for second generation retirees may be dictated by a need for greater support and services. Many seniors choose to stay in their old homes and are perfectly satisfied to be there. Some find their desires turning to a new home, perhaps even to a totally new way of life. Yet others remain in their familiar homes while they are independent, but plan ahead to move to assisted living housing when physical limitations or healthcare needs dictate. Lets take a look the main considerations necessary to determine if you or older family members have reached the point where a move might be the best strategy:
  • ARE YOU OVER HOUSED?
Are you rattling around in your empty nest, paying more than you want for taxes, utilities and maintenance? If retirement means a reduction in income, would a lower-priced home, townhome or condominium be easier to manage on your resources?
  • DO YOU NEED THE EQUITY FROM YOUR HOME?
For many senior home owners the equity in their home is their main retirement savings. Giving the decline in the US property market over the past few years this can mean a significant reduction in resources to accommodate a seniors needs. Sometimes a move is necessary to convert that home equity into cash and income to be secure for the years to come.
  • IS YOUR HOMES UPKEEP MANAGEABLE & FINANCIALLY SUPPORTABLE?
Do you have the time, energy or interest to paint, clean, mow, etc.? Will the roof need replacing soon, or the heating/AC need repair? Are these repairs a wise expenditure of funds, or are they simply delaying major repairs that you can ill afford?
  • DOES YOUR HOME STYLE MATCH YOUR PHYSICAL ABILITY?
Are there too many stairs or step down rooms in your current home? Do you or will you need a wheelchair accessible residence? Is the yard more than you can handle? Are the safety, security, lighting, heating/AC systems adequate for retirement?
  • HAS YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGED?
If friends, relatives, neighbors, doctors and merchants have gone, maybe its time for you to consider moving also.
  • DO YOU WANT TO BE CLOSER TO FAMILY?
Do you want to spend more time with your children and grandchildren that live elsewhere? Maybe you would like to cut down on long trips to visit them.Perhaps they would like to have you closer in order to be of more assistance to you.
  • ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A LIFESTYLE CHANGE?
If extensive traveling appeals to you, for example, you may want to relocate to a more economical, lower-maintenance home (lock and leave, as we say in the business). You may want to be in a warmer climate to be more conveniently located for activities such as beaches, golf, fishing, or walking and biking trails. Or you may just want to move near old friends in a community where you can make new friends with interests similar to yours. Advance planning and sound, expert advice are crucial to a successful move. Seniors considering their living options- or their loved ones helping in the process- should consult their financial adviser or accountant to help assess needs and plan for the future. Please feel free to call me about senior real estate options that exist in NH, so that I can help you start the process with the necessary information. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, I have received focused education to help seniors through lifestyle transitions involving relocation, refinancing, and selling the family home. I have a wealth of experience both first hand and with clients and can be your single point of reference to help prepare for and execute a successful move. Help seniors and their families navigate this process is a passion of mine and I look forward to working with you.
About the author:This look at Assessing NH Senior Living Needs was created by Dick Cook. Dick is a realtor with over thirty years experience working for customers in the Granite State. A certified Senior Real Estate Specialist focused on Rightsizing, Relocating and Financing, Dick can be found online at SeniorLivingNH, offering a host of services for NH seniors and their families. Dick covers the NH Seacoast & Lakes Regions, servicing the following communities and many others:

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