Almost 90% of Americans 50+ Desire to Age in Place

The desire to “age in place,” is defined as the ability to stay in one’s home or current living situation in the years ahead, and is the preference of almost 90% of Americans over age 50 according to recent survey results from the National Council on Aging.

Of the 1,000 respondents in NCOA’s survey, 85% said they are confident that they will be able to live in their homes without making any significant modifications.

In addition, the downturn of the real estate market is having an impact on the desire to remain at home, with nearly a quarter of respondents reporting they do not believe they will be able to sell their homes in today’s market.

Those numbers, combined with the fact that 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next decade, indicate it is very likely that older Americans will need to rely increasingly on their communities for support that will allow them to remain independent. But how prepared those communities are remains in question.

“More than a quarter of boomer respondents in their 60s say they are not confident that their community will have all of the resources and services they need to help them be healthy and independent over the next five to 10 years,” said NCOA.

Those resources might include transportation, walkability, the availability of community centers and safety services. For example, about a third says that high-quality transportation services are not currently available.

However, there are some independent resources that are available and will help people remain in their home, especially in light of rising concerns about home values.

One of those resources is the Federal Housing Administration’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program (aka Reverse Mortgage). It allows borrowers who are at least 62 years of age to draw down on the equity that they have built in their homes over time using a reverse mortgage.

It can be a great way for someone to remain in their home while offering a boost to monthly cash flow by eliminating mortgage payments. The loan does not need to be paid back until the borrower moves from the home or passes away.

In home care services, which also aid in helping an older person remain in his or her home, can include companion services or take a more health-focused role as in providing medications or administering other kinds of treatment that must be done by a registered nurse. Many seniors are taking advantage of the reverse mortgage loan to pay for in home care.

Ultimately, the decision to age in place is an individual one, but the numbers indicate it is the strong preference of the majority of Americans. The responses do vary depending on age, with NCOA reporting those between the ages of 60 and 69 say they find it very easy to live independently and 20% of those over 70 say they cannot live independently or need substantial assistance to do so.

Wherever you fall within the aging demographic, there are likely some services available to help. Contact us to find out how a reverse mortgage can fit into your individual plans for aging in place.

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