Older People Want To Age In Place – And They’re Not Too Worried About How They’ll Do It

A recent poll found that older adults want to age in place and they actually worry less about it as they get older. 

According to the Associated Press:

The older you are, the less you fret about aging in your own home or community.

That’s a key insight from a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which found that U.S. adults ages 65 or older feel much better prepared to “age in place” than those 50-64, who are mostly still in the final stretches of their working years.

The poll also documented greater insecurity around aging in place for older Black and Latino Americans, the likely result of a deep-rooted wealth gap that markedly favors white people.

Aging in one’s own home, or with family or a close friend, is a widely held aspiration, with 88% of adults 50 and older saying it’s their goal in an earlier AP-NORC poll.

The outlook among those 65 or older is upbeat, with nearly 8 in 10 saying they’re extremely or very prepared to stay in their current home as long as possible.

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But doubts creep in for those ages 50-64. Among that group, the majority who rate themselves as extremely or very prepared shrinks to about 6 in 10, according to the poll.

This relatively younger group is especially likely to say their financial situation is the main reason they don’t feel very prepared to age in place. And they’re also more likely to feel anxious about being able to stay in their communities, get care from medical providers and receive backup from family members or close friends, the poll found.

Part of it may be due to fear of the unknown among people who’ve relied on a paycheck all their lives.

“When you’ve never done it before, and you are only going to do it once, you’re sort of flying by the seat of your pants,” said Leigh Gerstenberger, in his late 60s and retired from a career in financial services. “I spent a lot of time talking to people ahead of me in the journey,” says the Pittsburgh-area resident.

Also, people approaching their 60s may question if Social Security and Medicare will truly be there for them. Stacy Wiggins, an addiction medicine nurse who lives near Detroit, figures she’ll probably work at least another 10 years into her late 60s — and maybe part-time after that. Older friends are already collecting Social Security.

“In my group, you wonder if it’s going to be available,” Wiggins said of government programs that support older people. “Maybe it’s not. You will find people who are less apt to have a traditional pension. Those are things that leave you with a lot of trepidation toward the future.”

Read the entire article here.

Reverse mortgages have long been a strategic way to help fund aging in place. By utilizing a reverse mortgage, the borrower is able to remain in the home mortgage payment free, while accessing the equity in the home to pay for needs that may arise such as improvements to the home or caregivers. 

Reverse mortgages are available to those 62 and over, including married couples. The funds from a reverse mortgage can be accessed via a lump sum, line of credit, monthly installments, or to purchase a home. If you have questions let a specialist guide you in the many scenarios that are possible and the two of you can think creatively about your needs and desires.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.