Home Remodeling and Your Golden Years

If you’re thinking ahead to retirement, chances are you’ll check your 401(k)s and IRAs to see if they’ll generate a sustainable income stream. You may also spend some time figuring out the most advantageous Social Security claiming strategy. But there is another, smart but less obvious way to prepare: getting your home ready for old age. An AARP survey found that nearly 90 percent of people age 65 or older want to stay put in their current home, a trend often referred to as aging in place. Yet a 2015 study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that less than half of homeowners above the age of 55 who plan to remodel or renovate in the next three years are focused on making their homes friendly for their golden years. That could be a mistake. “The time to do renovation projects that will help you age comfortably in your home is when you don’t yet need those features,” says housing design expert Marianne Cusato, who prepared the HomeAdvisor Aging in Place report. “If you wait until something happens it ends up costing you more, and the work done often looks like it was quickly done.”



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