5 Ways Senior Couples Can Make the Most of Their Golden Years
Published by: Harry Cline
Whether you're starting a new marriage or are in a long-time relationship, there's plenty you can do to make your golden years as comfortable as possible. It just takes a little bit of preparation. From Home Care 4 Seniors, here are five important things you should consider when getting ready to wind down with your partner.
1. Make Your Home More Accessible
One of the first major decisions in a marriage is figuring out where to live. If you both decide to move into one of your homes together, make sure it's senior accessible. There are dozens of potential modifications you could make to your home to make it safer and more ergonomic as you age. For example, kitchen appliances and cabinets shouldn't put extra strain on your back and your knees, and showers should have reinforced grab bars to save you in case you slip.
Depending on the modifications you need, you will have to hire a contractor to do the job. Search for ‘bathroom remodeling near me’ and check their ratings and customer reviews before settling on one. To save money, find a contractor that offers special deals to seniors.
You can also refinance your mortgage to pay for the extra modifications. What does refinancing a house mean? This is where you take out a larger mortgage to pay off your old mortgage and receive that difference in cash. How much money you can get depends on your home's equity, your credit score, and your debt-to-income ratio.
2. Find the Right Place to Live
If you want to start fresh, you could consider moving to another city. Studies show that Texas cities are some of the best-rated places for seniors to retire. Where you end up depends on your situation, though. You might want to remain close to other families or settle in a vacation destination. Wherever you want to live, research the average home price in that area. In Dallas, homes are priced close to $500K on average. Try to search for accessible homes or homes where you can easily make those modifications.
3. Continue With Estate Planning
Estate planning isn't just about writing a will. It gives you control over how your assets are divided. Otherwise, you're leaving it up to state law. As you get older, continue to make updates to your wills and life insurance policies to account for your spouse, new assets, or new family members.
4. Make a Plan for Long-Term Care
Long-term care involves assisting seniors with basic daily functions rather than providing medical services. There are several types of elder care available, from in-home care to nursing facilities. If you think you or your partner might need some form of long-term care, start planning early, because financing can sometimes be a challenge. Unless you have a long-term care insurance policy, Medicare and Medicaid most likely won't cover elder care. You may need savings or a reversed mortgage to help cover the costs.
5. Start an Emergency Fund
Emergencies happen, and you may need extra cash to cover some unexpected expenses. You can start building your emergency fund a little at a time by cutting costs, such as using public transportation, downsizing, and adjusting your insurance plans. Saving a little here and there can make a huge difference down the road.
Your golden years can be easy living if you plan ahead. Find the right place to settle, plan your estate, and save what you can to make the most of your senior life.