Six Key Housing Factors to Consider as You Age

Can you age in place, or do you need to move? And ice cream might actually have more to do with making tough housing decisions than you think.

An older couple laugh together as they walk along a city street and eat ice cream.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As with anything in life, our individual preferences and circumstances will vary. Some may want to “age in place,” while others may need to consider other housing options.

The ability to age in place — or live in your own home or community as you age — is based on factors such as health, home accessibility, social support and financial considerations. It’s important for individuals, couples and families to carefully assess their own unique situation and make informed decisions about aging in place or other housing options based on specific needs and circumstances.

Where you live when you retire takes planning. Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D., director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, asks, “How will you get an ice cream cone in retirement?” We all love ice cream, which (soft) serves as a good metaphor to explain a high-quality retirement. As you weigh intentional aging in place vs. moving as you age, there are several key considerations to keep in mind.

Thomas C. West, CLU®, ChFC®, AIF®
Senior Partner, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors

Financial adviser Tom West, CLU®, ChFC®, AIF®, founded Lifecare Affordability Plan (LCAP) to address a critical need for actionable planning that integrates finances, healthcare and senior housing. Tom has nearly 30 years of experience guiding families through financial and healthcare decisions. By bridging the gap between finance and healthcare, LCAP’s experienced team works with individuals and financial advisers to provide families with a financial strategy that meets changing healthcare needs while preserving the caregiver’s quality of life.