A lot of people believe that staying in their home is less expensive than living in a retirement residence. Although remaining in your familiar and comfortable home may seem like the more budget-friendly option, there are some hidden costs and disadvantages of home ownership in retirement that often go overlooked.
The hidden and overlooked costs of living in your home for retirement
- Maintenance expenses: For anyone who has ever owned a home, they know that houses tend to be in a state of constantly needing repairs and updates. From fixing leaky roofs to upgrading finishes to replacing major appliances, these costs can add up quickly. Add to that the upgrades necessary for aging in place safely – like adding ramps, widening doorways, and installing walk-in showers – and you’re facing thousands of dollars just to ensure your home remains safe and comfortable.
- Isolation and loneliness: While your family home may hold many cherished memories, it can also be a lonely place for older adults as children grow up and leave, neighbours move away, and friends pass on. Without an active circle of friends and acquaintances, loneliness can negatively impact your mental and emotional well-being.
- Healthcare costs: As we age, our healthcare needs tend to increase. Staying at home might require home healthcare services and specialized equipment to accommodate mobility issues such as chair lifts, shower seats, and grab bars, all of which can be expensive.
- Household chores: Everyday chores like cleaning, cooking, and yard work can become challenging or impossible to do as we age. You might need to hire professional help, which is an added expense, or rely on family, which can be a burden on them.
- Utilities and entertainment: Keeping the lights on, the heat going, and the water running costs a bundle each month. And if you’re like most people, you’re paying a hefty price each month for cable television.
Now that we’ve identified some of the hidden – and expensive – costs of living in your home for retirement, let’s explore the advantages of moving into a senior living community.
The advantages of retiring to a senior living community
- Cost-effective: Surprisingly, senior living communities in Ontario can often be more cost-effective than maintaining a home. Your monthly fee typically covers housing, utilities, meals, services and amenities, entertainment, and more, leaving you with a clear idea of what your monthly budget entails.
- Social connections: Living among peers in a senior community fosters social interaction and friendships. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage in activities, events, and outings. This can stave off loneliness and enhance your quality of life.
- Health and wellness: Many senior living communities offer on-site healthcare services and wellness programs. This can reduce the need for external healthcare costs and ensure you receive the care you need when you need it.
- Safety and security: Senior living communities prioritize safety, often providing 24/7 security and assistance. This peace of mind is invaluable to both residents and their families.
- Maintenance-free living: Forget about mowing the lawn or fixing the plumbing. In a senior community, you can enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle, allowing you to focus on what truly matters to you.
When choosing where to live as you get older, it’s essential to weigh the costs and benefits carefully. While staying at home may seem like the most straightforward and economical choice, it’s crucial to consider the hidden expenses and potential downsides.
Senior living communities offer an affordable, social, and secure alternative that can greatly enhance your well-being.
It’s your retirement. Think about what makes you happiest and most comfortable. It’s all about creating a lifestyle that suits you best.
Want a first-hand look at senior living? Come visit one of our communities near you. Download our Family Decision Toolkit for tips on making the best senior living decision.