Are you – or someone you know – deciding whether to downsize and move or age in your home? This is a huge decision with many considerations. Most importantly, the “right” decision will vary from person to person, so what is best for one person may not be the same for you. If this is weighing heavily on your mind and heart, please talk with your family, healthcare providers and financial advisors so you have all the information you need about your own personal circumstances in order to make informed decisions.
Our Aging Population
First, I thought you might be interested in a few current demographics regarding our 65+ population.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the U.S. the over-65 population is on track for to nearly double in size from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, an increase from 16% of the general population to about 23%. The age of retirement has fluctuated over the years, but the current trend is for Americans to work longer into their senior years. In 2018, 24% of men and 16% of women age 65 and older were still working. By 2026, those percentages are expected to increase to 26% and 18%, respectively. However, don’t read too much into this because even the experts’ crystal balls are not shiny enough for them to agree on what the future holds for aging Baby Boomers. (Data is from prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/)
Additionally, the increase in divorced seniors, combined with those who have been widowed, has increased significantly. The overall total of those living alone rises with each age group (75 – 84, and 85 and older).
Things to Consider about Where to Age
Let’s explore some of the questions you should ask yourself to choose which option will work best for you now, and going forward. Some of these questions may be difficult for you to answer in the respect that sometimes we do not want to admit that our capabilities have changed as we have aged. Honest, thoughtful answers will help you reach your best decisions.
Do you worry that you may be a burden to your family? This is often an unspoken concern. Your family wants the best for you and is hopefully willing and able to work with you to achieve that. Open lines of communication are important. Say what you think and feel and give them a chance to verbalize their concerns as well. Once your loved ones know you are healthy, safe and happy, they will worry less, and so will you.
Do you know your options? There are many. Determine which are best for you and your individual situation. The list above is not exhaustive, but it will help you consider your needs and options.
Feel welcome to contact us for referrals to experienced professionals who can advise you.