Boomers: Home Sweet Home

The comforts of home are what a large majority of Canadian’s who are retired and those nearing retirement are looking for.

Despite potential health care issues that may arise in their life to indicate they should move from their current residence, an RBC poll shows more baby boomers are choosing to stay home.

The annual Retirement Myths & Realities Poll surveyed Canada’s Boomers, typically born between the years of 1946 and 1964, about their preference on future living options in case health care issues arise.

“Remaining in familiar surroundings – in a home of their own, in their current neighbourhood and close to family and friends – is definitely how Canadian Boomers wish to live when future health changes occur,” said Amalia Costa, head of Retirement Strategies & Successful Aging for RBC.

“Taking future health care needs and related finances into account when planning for retirement will help ensure Canadians can enjoy the retirement lifestyle they have in mind.”

The top three most appealing living arrangements for boomers, according to the poll, is staying in their own home or a home in their current neighbourhood close to family and friends; staying in their current home and paying for home care as need; and thirdly living in an assisted living facility.

The least favourable option for Canadian’s would be to receive care in a long-term care facility.

The top three factors for boomers to move out of their current living situations are health changes, downsizing and the death of a partner.

“Making the decision to leave the family home is never an easy one and there is even more to consider when the move is prompted by changes in health,” noted Audrey Miller, managing director of Elder Caring Inc.

Miller said that now there are many options for those who do need to leave their homes from condos to senior’s apartments to retirement residences and long-term care facility, all of which offer a variety of support and medical care.

“You just need to take time to do your research,” said Miller.

Part of that research, Costa added, is that boomers should plan ahead and explore their future home options sooner before health limits the options.

“If you are younger and heading into retirement, you should also ensure that the role of your home – often one of your most significant personal wealth assets – is taken into account as part of a comprehensive retirement income plan,” said Costa.

Other steps in planning ahead for future housing options include letting your loved ones know your plans and concerns, along with understanding what resources, such as support groups, are available if you need to access them.

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