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Hoping to Age in Place? Some Important Home Renovations to Consider

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Surveys repeatedly report the same outcome: most active seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes as they age. It’s called “aging in place,” and it’s a great idea – but it requires planning, and probably some remodeling, to make sure your home is both safe and livable now and in your future years. Aging in place has become such a popular topic that there are scores of websites and other resources explaining how to plan and prepare for it. (If you don’t believe us, simply search for the term “Aging in Place” and you’ll see what we mean.)

For many seniors, the alternative to aging in place may involve being forced into institutional care against their wishes. That’s something no one wants! At the same time, some features of your present home may simply not be suitable or safe for your needs as you age. So how do you plan for the improvements that will make your home livable ten, twenty or thirty years from now – not just for you but for someone who will buy your home in the future?

We first provided a link to this article about Aging in Place some months ago, but the information is still highly relevant and helpful. This piece first appeared on the “Money” website of US News, and it provides some helpful information about renovating your home to make it an ideal place to grow older and live safely and happily. The article points out how the principles of “universal design” can make your home suitable for residents of any age – not just for seniors. In other words, the same renovations that make your house suitable and desirable for retirees today can also make it a comfortable, attractive home for future buyers, no matter how old they are.

Some of the renovations suggested in the article may be relatively complex and costly – such as relocating or remodeling a bathroom. Others, like replacing door knobs with levers, are far simpler and less expensive. But for many seniors, remodeling their own home to age in place may be less costly and more satisfying than selling your home and moving.

The US News piece lists nine remodeling suggestions. Some of them include:

• Adding lighting. “Whatever you have, you need more,” says one design expert in the article. Lighting (including natural light) gets more important as we get older.
• Adding creative-looking grab bars. “The days of the grab bar looking like the gas station rest room have gone away,” said one professional, adding that something that’s useful can also be beautiful. Look for attractive designs that add beauty and function.
• Replacing kitchen cabinets with drawers and pull-out shelves for easier access.
• Replacing tubs with showers – actually less expensive than the other way around.

There are more ideas, of course, so once again we suggest you click here to read the entire article if you’re considering ways to make your home more senior-friendly. Aging in place could be your best housing choice in the years ahead.

Of course, there’s much more to a solid retirement plan than an upgraded house. Housing is just one aspect of what we call our LifePlanning process. That’s our term for the kind of comprehensive plan we offer our clients so they can approach their retirement years with confidence and security. In addition to planning for your housing options, we will also help you prepare a comprehensive financial plan. We’ll make sure your legal affairs are in order. We’ll assist you with planning for your medical care costs. We’ll even counsel you on the best way to make sure your family members are fully informed of your wishes and plans. Imagine how much more confident you’ll be with that kind of plan in place.

To begin the process of preparing your own LifePlan, we invite you to attend one of our free LifePlanning Seminars, taking place at locations all around the Puget Sound area. For details and registration, click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website. LifePlanning seminars fill up fast, so register today – and we’ll look forward to meeting you at a LifePlanning Seminar in your area soon.

(Originally reported at

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