If you’re a recently retired homeowner with your mortgage paid off or nearly paid off, congratulations on reaching a major milestone of the American Dream. The years ahead are open for a wide variety of fun and adventure, meanwhile, there’s the security of knowing you always have a home waiting for when you get back.
If you’re planning on living in the same house for the foreseeable future, it might also be time to tackle some home improvement projects you’ve been meaning to have done. But before you get started, it’s important to consider the years ahead; as you get older, mobility will become increasingly limited, vision may deteriorate, and the same can be said for hearing. Home renovation plans put together during retirement should, therefore, incorporate the realities of aging.
Basic home improvement tips for those in retirement:
While seniors need to stay active through regular exercise, they should be trying to cut down on the amount of turning, walking, and other movements they have to do in their own home. For instance, when designing an outdoor kitchen, you want to make sure countertops and cooking elements can be accessed with just a step or two this way or that way. Having to routinely walk several paces, maneuver around islands, and overcoming other obstacles just to make dinner will add up to increased aches and pains over time.
Efficient / No-Hassle Appliances
Another effective home improvement tip is to upgrade your appliances! Avoid the hassle of appliances breaking or not functioning properly and upgrade to modern technology appliances. For example, you can search from a wide variety of washer and dryer sets that range in price, while maintaining your standard of quality.
Invest in security
When retirees think of security, they tend to focus on preventing their identity from being stolen and other forms of wire fraud. However, physical security of yourself and your property remains something to seriously consider when you retire. Now is the time to replace flimsy door and window locks with no-nonsense upgrades. Go further by having motion-detecting live-feed security cameras installed, complete with real-time remote viewing capability.
Walk through the house and scrutinize places where slips and falls are most likely to occur. Common spots include the bathroom, laundry room, and stairwells. If these spaces lack handrails, have some installed. More importantly, make a habit of using them so that in the event you need to suddenly grab one, you reflexively know where to reach.
Think about maintenance
Lastly, it’s important for retired homeowners to think about maintenance when devising plans for major home improvements. A koi pond may sound like a nice touch to add to the backyard landscape, but are you game for the sometimes labor-intensive responsibility of looking after one? Consider how you will be able to keep up with maintenance as your body continues to age. If it seems like it would be too much of a challenge to meet the minimum requirements for upkeep, it’s probably best to pass on the project.
Newly retired homeowners are in a position to fulfill the home improvement projects they always dreamed about. However, they ought to be factoring in their aging into the decision making process.