The benefits of aging in place

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Working people frequently struggle with mortgage payments and home maintenance costs. And, if they’re like a lot of Canadians, they finally get the mortgage paid off right around the time they’re set to retire.

For many people, a family home is also their most valuable single financial asset – and one they’d like to keep to ensure that future generations inherit something that’s truly of value.

Which is why, if you’re healthy, it often makes sense to age in place in that home, rather than selling it and downsizing, or moving full-time to the cottage or a retirement community.

It can also be more cost-effective, providing your home is paid for and you have a good handle on monthly utility and maintenance costs.

Beyond the financial considerations, there are personal reasons to stay put.

Your home cost a lot of money, and during those years when you were rushing off to work you really barely saw the place. You slept there, had breakfast there and, if you were lucky, ate dinner there most weeknights. But a lot of the time, you were away.

Your later years, then, are an opportunity to truly connect with your home.

Explore the gardens, and make new plans to convert them into a dream oasis. Roll up your sleeves to make long-delayed improvements or renovate the kitchen into a true hub for family gatherings.

Replace worn furnishings you bought when the kids were small – those ice-cream stains may be sentimental to you, but if you start entertaining more the guests might disagree.

Over time, you’ll also want to add features like grab bars in the shower and railings on stairs or hallways to ensure you can navigate the house as you get older. You also may need, one day, to reconfigure space for a live-in care worker.

The beauty of aging in place is that it lets you deeply connect with a familiar place that holds precious memories. If you’re able to manage both physically and economically, it can be a great option for your peace of mind.

 

CPP Investment Board, investing today for your tomorrow.

The content on this site is provided for information purposes only. CPPIB is not a financial advisor, and the content on this site does not provide financial advice. Every person’s financial planning needs are different. For advice on how you should prepare financially for retirement, please consult a credentialed professional financial advisor.

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