HOUSING

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR SENIORS - IS IT REALLY AFFORDABLE?

Work Your Budget To Get That Affordable Housing for Seniors

Searching for affordable housing for seniors is no picnic especially if you have not had to do so in the last 15-20 years. There are many housing options, but the question is,is it affordable? While you may be in love with a particular house, will it fit into your budget or allow you to remain within your means? Affordable housing is defined as rent or mortgage payments proportionate to the individual's income; in other words, affordable or reasonable depends on your income. Most mortgage or lending institutions deem 30-35 percent of one's income as a reasonable figure for housing. The types of housing in this category span the market in terms of cost, location, neighborhoods and surroundings. The question is what are you looking for, what will make you feel comfortable, how will you define the place you want to call home?

Affordable housing that is affordable for seniors requires careful planning and searching; but it needs to take place before you decide to call a place home. What will be practical for your need of decent housing? Some of the housing options in the market today include:

Single Family Houses
Apartments
Townhomes
Condominiums
Patio Homes
Co-op Housing
Senior Housing
Assisted Living
Inter-generational Housing

To determine what is reasonable for you, you first need to set up a budget for yourself to determine what you can purchase or rent and remain within your means. Remember it is not just the house or apartment, you have to consider, but those expenses that go along with a house. How will you pay the utilities, (water, heat /air, telephone, garbage) insurance, association fees, maintenance of house and or yard? Often times there are additional charges to get these services set up or turned on initially. Will you need to purchase furniture, appliances, fixtures, etc.? How inexpensive will these things cost? What will it cost to transport yourself to and from on a daily basis? These are some of the above mentioned things you will need to include in the budget.

How often is your income replenished? Will the check for your retirement come at the beginning or middle of the month? Social Security has a planned date for your individual check to be delivered and it should be noted as such on your benefit statement. This is important because it will help you in juggling your funds to pay bills. Certain bills for instance may be paid at the first of the month, while others will come to be paid the middle of the month. Either way as a responsible person you will need to manage your bills in a responsible manner. Remember creditors are usually willing to work with you when mishaps take place if you have a history of being responsible. Some of you may recognize this to be true since you have had this responsibility, but others may not since a spouse or other parties have done this for you.

Downsizing
is another way to stay within your means; it is a process of getting rid of, moving to a smaller place or to another city to make life simpler, more livable and or affordable. If you are handy with tools and have the know how to renovate this is an option also to make your affordable housing for seniors more affordable. That house your kids grew up in may now be too much for you to keep up financially or physically. Other forms   of housing choices may better meet your needs at this time. Sometimes it is very difficult for the elderly to change their way of living, because we become emotionally attached to our stuff. Throwing out old outdated things becomes a necessity. This very act, is freeing and also practical; it allows you to move on or forward with life. So get moving, sorting and eliminating things that will unclutter your space and your life. It may take a reasonable amount of time to accomplish what has to be done; just pace yourself, get others involved and it will get done. Breathe, it will soon feel a lot better.

Should you have elderly parents, you might want to consider them in your plans for affordable housing for seniors. Should either become unable to live alone, will you have enough space to bring them in with you or you with them? No one knows what the future holds, but planning for the what if's makes life a lot easier later, when the unforeseen happens. More and more seniors are having to consider their parents as a way to make housing affordable not just for the individual but for the family. Converting a guest bedroom is a lot cheaper than having to add additional space later. Many households now have become inter-generational because we are living longer and costs have forced us to do so.


Active Senior Living Complements Independent Living!
Many Desire Independence Yet, Active Senior Living As Well

Active senior living and communities are hot right now, simply because the majority of seniors are looking for new experiences that will complement their idea of a new life.

Many desire to be independent yet active, while others are trying to find their niche because they do not want to fall prey to dysfunction. Staying active is a good thing, for it allows one greater well-being and promotes better health.

Who wants to sit around and recount all the things wrong with you? Again we all have choices to make. Why not spend your time doing those things you find enjoyable which will give you the active senior living you desire.

Builders and contractors are busy developing active senior living and communities where everything (shopping, banking, post office, restaurants etc.) is close by.

Sidewalks are seen everywhere. In some independent living communities, members have golf carts at their disposal to carry them places they may have difficulty reaching by foot. The key focus again is presentation of an active adult community. Visit the National Association of Homebuilders.org for further information.

Living environments, whether luxury senior housing, low income senior housing, or affordable housing for seniors, are designed for easy accessibility. In the event there are physical impairments, designs reflect beautiful surroundings, yet low maintenance and upkeep. If you are retired or an empty nester, certainly a home without stairs and accessible features will work better for you.

Rooms provide plenty of air and light; colors are chosen that will enhance more positive moods. Some units are equipped with universal designs because these amenities better accommodate the aged. For example: grab bars are inserted into the dwelling to stabilize balance, cabinets are lower to minimize reaching, materials used in flooring help to prevent falls, lighting provides a higher level of brightness for the resident to see better, etc. Some are set up to provide monitoring of an individual and to assist them in their daily routine. These areas often use an assortment of terms to define themselves:

• Active Adult Community • Senior Adult Community • Golden Girls Housing
Retirement Community • Assisted Living

You've worked most of your life, raised a family and made the necessary sacrifices for yourself and others; now it's your time. Time to enjoy life, to experience some things prior to now you didn't have the time for. Monday - water aerobics and Spanish learning luncheon; Tuesday - horseshoe contest in the afternoon; Wednesday - tips to improve your golf game; Thursday - local Fishing trip with a cook-out on the grill using your catch; Friday - Shuffleboard or weeding the community garden (can't decide which). Saturday - an evening of jazz and dancing; Sunday - Yoga class and shuttle to local churches. Living life to the fullest includes....All forms of exercise, classes of various sorts, speakers on every subject imaginable, and entertainment to boot are available. The good thing is that you get to choose, it's your choice to engage yourself, with something for everyone on all physical levels.

You may be thinking all of this cost money I do not have…….. think again! In some independent living communities if you are a resident, the activities are free or minimal.  Other resources for activities include: + Your local Parks & Recreation department + local t v's community calendar + Office on aging + area/local churches have large senior populations + community college or university(especially those that offer geriatric majors) + your local YM or YWCA + Neighborhood associations (if not get together with neighbors and create one). Just look around your community you are sure to find active senior living listings to your liking.