Most Americans over age 50 prefer to remain in their current home and community as they get older, according to AARP — but to do that, many will need to increase the accessibility of their home by making home modifications.
“What not everyone considers is that you can save money by doing the right home modifications,” says DeDe Jones, a certified financial planner and managing director of Innovative Financial in Lakewood, Colorado. “The longer you can safely live in your home, the less you will need to pay for assisted living care, something that is not cheap.”
What is an aging-in-place home modification?
Home modification means physically changing your home in order to make it easier to move around, remove potential hazards and support independent living. There are many different types of home modifications, which can range from low-cost to expensive.
How to pay for home modifications
There are a number of ways to pay for home modifications. One option is a home improvement loan, either a home equity line of credit (HELOC), home equity loan or personal loan. Other alternatives include a reverse mortgage, or seeking assistance from your state housing agency.
If you’re 62 or older and own your home, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage, which converts a portion of your equity to cash while allowing you to continue living in the home. One of the most common kinds is a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM).