Are you over 50? What are your housing plans for the next 20-30 or more years?
That’s the question we addressed for two days in Boulder while getting our Senior Real Estate Specialist certification. The National Association of Realtors created a course that set out in detail the issues and concerns that come with aging and housing. We covered everything from the impact on retirement funds from the economic downturn to housing options to the ins and outs of reverse mortgages.
But I didn’t need the class to tell me that only 30% of the housing stock in Fort Collins is ranch-style which can help baby boomers age in place. I bought my one-level home 12 years ago, knowing that a car accident when I was 16 would eventually lead to this decision. Stairs are not my friend.
We need more patio homes, more attached homes that are one-level, and condo and apartment buildings with elevators. And while I’m asking, how about some land set aside for small and tiny homes with shared facilities like gardens and community buildings? I like the idea of shared housing, too, where people can share living quarters and companionship. Yes, like the Golden Girls.
The idea of extended families living together is coming back but it’s not always an option. We have millions of baby boomers ready to retire, too many without funds for expensive independent living situations or assisted living.
But there are some options like reverse mortgages, shared housing, retrofitting homes, co-housing, etc. I’ll be addressing ‘the over 50 housing issue’ in the next month and looking for options, interviewing housing advocates and asking a few of you to step up and offer your suggestions.
We need to re-think housing for the 21st century.