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The Empty Nesters’ Dilemma

The Empty Nesters’ Dilemma
Published

The Empty Nesters’ Dilemma

As tempting as it is to remain in your family home, practical considerations may pose challenges. For many people, a longtime home connects them to a community and a way of life they cherish, so it is easy to understand why older Americans might reject the notion of relocating or downsizing as they age. But the decision to stay in a home raises inevitable questions. Could taking care of more house than you need eventually become a burden for you? What about your kids — will they worry about you living alone as you grow older?

These suggestions may help you decide what you really want to do.

Think ahead. Talking openly about the pros and cons of staying in your house may help you think about the implications of your decision for family members outside of your household. Try to be honest with yourself as you consider questions about how you would handle the cost of future modifications to your house or what would happen if you suddenly became ill.

Budget for home improvements.  Homes age along with their occupants and a house that falls into disrepair may be more difficult to live in, or could become downright unsafe. A backlog of repairs and maintenance could also hurt a home’s value.

In addition to upkeep, the house may need to be remodeled to accommodate changing physical needs. If someone is in a wheelchair, more will need to be done, with ramps at entrances and doorways widened.

To cover the costs of renovation and home maintenance, you might consider bolstering your income from Social Security, retirement accounts and pensions with investments such as bonds and dividend-paying stocks that have the potential to generate income. Planning ahead for home-related expenses could help you avoid selling off long-term assets in an emergency. Establishing a line of credit, backed by your home or your investments, may help cover the cost of improvements and serve as a financial bridge in an emergency.

Anticipate future health-care needs. Get to know what services are available in your community before you need them. That could include transportation services if you give up driving or part-time help with daily activities.

Current and emerging technologies may also hold possibilities for helping you age safely in your home. According to the Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey, six in 10 retirees are interested in tools such as cleaning robots, heated driveways and innovations that could allow them to monitor their health at home.

Ultimately, the decision about whether to stay in your home is not yours alone. Your children will be affected by your choice, so share your desires and concerns with them, and listen to what they have to say.  In the meantime, planning ahead can help prepare you to enjoy retirement to its fullest — in the home you fell in love with years ago.

For more information, contact The Menashe Morley Group in the Rancho Santa Fe office at 858-381-8113.

The Empty Nesters’ Dilemma
Menashe Morley Group

The Menashe Morley Group, serving the community for over 30 years: David Menashe is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor, and Bruce Morley is a First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor and John Naviaux is a Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of the principal value invested.Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”) “Merrill Lynch” refers to any company in the Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., group of companies, which are wholly owned by Bank of America Corporation. Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured, Are Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value © 2014 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Photo by Andy Templeton

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