A growing trend among older homeowners is remodeling for retirement. With the kids out of the house for some time now, you may be considering changing your living space to better accommodate your golden years. As you get older, your needs are changing. Perhaps you want a kitchen that’s designed for increased function. Or perhaps you’re looking to increase your living space to include a large master bath with safety features. Whatever you’re going for, strive to create the best in accessible and universal design features.
Age in Place
Kiplingers calls it “aging in place” – a growing trend among older homeowners who want to stay in the home they’ve lived in for decades but retrofit it to meet their needs as they approach retirement and beyond. The key is to install the features you want now, in your 50s and 60s, so that your life will be much more convenient when the time comes that you need them. Fortunately, many remodelers are more than eager to share their expertise and ideas when it comes to remodeling for retirement.
This is a movement that blends attractive, easy-to-use appliances and other devices into your original décor and layout so you don’t have to convert your house into an assisted-living center later. When you update these accessories and add-ons, you’re looking at an additional five percent to your projects’ upfront cost; however, 10 or 20 years in the future, you won’t be paying through the nose to hire a contractor to install handicap railings in your bathrooms because you took a bad spill. The money savings will generally be seen later on in life, a factor that may dissuade a homeowner at first. However, just think about the lower price of remodeling later on.
The changes don’t have to be so major: in fact, it can be as simple as installing door handles rather than door knobs. Those with arthritis know all too well how difficult it can be to accomplish the simplest of tasks – such as operating doors. Another area of concern is lighting. Failing eye sight is a big factor in growing old, and no one wants to have to squint and struggle in their own home as they go about preparing dinner, reading a book or opening the mail. Older adults may want extra illumination that works FOR them rather than against them. Quality lighting will prevent glare, which is an annoyance for the elderly.
Say you’re in your early 60s and are facing a remodel. You may still be as active as a spring chick, with the thought of installing grab bars in your shower the furthest thing from your mind. However, if you’re renovating your master bath now, it’s a wise idea to install the plates now to make it easier and cheaper to install the actual bars 15 years from now.
You may have a great 401(k) through work, and you may have a solid investment plan on the side, but consider remodeling for retirement as a way to save for your golden years.