A decade ago, I constructed Jim and Kathy’s first custom home. They had a dream home in mind. They wanted the perfect place for their young family with a warm and inviting home for sharing family meals and spending time together. Their home needed areas for their 6-year-old son Alex to play, do homework, and have friends over.
Fast forward ten years. Alex, now 16, is going off to college in a few years. Jim and Kathy are looking toward the horizon of the next phase of their lives. They came back to me and asked for a new home in a new location to meet the changing needs of their family.
Now that their son will soon be an adult, Jim and Kathy are ready for a new home—the last home they will ever live in. This new home has to take them from where they are now to where they will be in a few year’s times. Alex isn’t a little kid anymore, so the family’s needs have shifted. Who knows, maybe they will host grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the future.
Building a home for older adults is vastly different than one for a young family with kids. Looking to the future, Jim and Kathy will need a home with aging-in-place features. With purposeful design and thoughtful planning, their home can have beautiful and functional features that will support them beyond retirement.
The home will be ready for handrails or walk-in tubs later on. Placing the master bedroom on the main floor avoids trouble with stairs. And a guest bedroom over the garage is a gives options for a live-in caretaker someday. Large entryways accommodate the possibility of walkers in the future. A propane fireplace means they can enjoy a fire without hauling wood. Exterior features such as gutter covers and composite wood decking lower the need for home maintenance. By planning now, the couple won’t need to remodel later.
Planning Beyond Retirement
People are living longer. The average life expectancy in the US is 79 years. And most people want to live in their homes for as long as possible. Thinking about what life will be like after retirement prepares people for the road ahead. They can make the most of the later years and have more control over decisions. Making a plan gives people the best chance to have a satisfying and positive experience, and will help with aging-in-place.
Dreams change and so do the needs of your home. Are you looking for the last home you will ever live in? Give us a call to discuss your family’s needs. 908-781-0777.