The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 24, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Movin’ On

No, I'm not talking about the big ranch house in the sky. In spite of what many of us say, there can come a time when we need to relocate to a more aging-appropriate setting.  When that time comes, here are a few suggestions:

If the discussion is about going out of state, visit the area extensively. That means at different seasons as well as for long time periods. After all, there are facts about Florida in August that just aren't evident in February.

In addition to the weather, there are cultural differences, as well as medical and social options to consider.  It is also important to investigate how income and property are taxed and, if necessary, local pay scale, job opportunities and work rules.

If the choice is to go to an adult or progressive care community, the finances of the organization that runs it are as important as the costs to be there. What are your rights and what happens if the move is not a successful one? Are there plans for expansion or for significant changes in the area.

While it sounds easier if the move is within Vermont, remember that even places close to each other can be significantly different. We had a conversation just this week with a woman who moved from Dorset to Manchester. "I never dreamed the noise and commotion would be so loud," was her comment as she shook her head.

Maybe it is a matter of staying in the Green Mountains, but down-sizing. Actually, right-sizing is a better way of putting it. Often people are moving to more services, a newer home or one with more aging-appropriate features like an attached garage or a master bedroom and bath on the ground floor. It's not necessarily a smaller house.

Whatever the move, money will always be a consideration. A new option to make housing dollars go further, or to leverage the change to increase retirement savings, is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase. In any case, make sure to involve trusted advisors as you weigh your financial options.

Finally, we need to consider whether there will be another move to come. Are we really solving future problems? Maybe we need to lay the ground work a future move during this one.

Wait a minute! Nothing was said about moving in with family or building an in-law apartment onto the kids' house. We'll have to tackle that another time. It deserves to be a subject all its own.

Aging in Place, it doesn't happen by accident.

Scott Funk is Vermont's leading Aging in Place advocate, writing and speaking around the state on issues of concern to retirees and their families.

Tagged: Aging in Place