7 Housing Options for Seniors

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Retirement brings with it many changes. Your income may be reduced and your lifestyle may evolve as well. The big house where you raised kids may no longer  meet your needs or your budget. If you’re ready to move someplace new as a senior, here are seven options to consider:

Aging in place • Moving in with the kids • House sharing • Independent living communities • Assisted living
Life plan communities • Subsidized housing


Before you sell your house, decide whether you really want to start over someplace new. With a few modi cations, such as moving a bedroom to the main  oor and installing grab bars in the bathroom, many homes can be safe and comfortable places for retirees to live. Known as aging in place, this living arrangement is feasible for almost any senior. In-home care can make it possible for even those with declining health to stay in their homes. Personal care workers perform services such as cooking, cleaning and running errands. For those who need skilled care, some agencies may be able to provide therapists and nurses who can assist with medication or other hands-on needs.


Although certainly not for everyone, moving in with an adult child – or having them move in with you – can be a win-win. It can immediately slash living expenses in half. Plus, there’s the possibility of fringe benefits for both parties. Busy parents may end up with built-in babysitting, while seniors, particularly those who are single, bene t from an active household that will stave off loneliness and the health risks linked to it.


If you’d rather not live with a family member, consider renting out space with another senior. Home sharing with another retiree provides similar  nancial bene ts without the complicated relationship dynamics that can come along with moving in with the kids. Seniors who still own a home could fi nd a housemate covers much of their living expenses, and renters can halve their monthly bills.


Residents have their own private living space but also get access to amenities that may include on-site theaters, golf courses and restaurants. Planned social activities and excursions may also be offered to residents. While retirement communities are o en associated with sprawling suburban developments, there are also opportunities for retirees to remain in cities if they like.


For those who need some help with daily tasks, assisted living may be the best housing solution. These properties may have individual apartments for residents along with communal spaces for meals and social activities. Staff may help with a variety of tasks related to housekeeping, personal hygiene and medication reminders.


Life Plan Communities combine several living arrangements on a single campus to allow seniors to move from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care, if needed. Some communities are all-inclusive and include meals as well as other activities.

SUBSIDIZED HOUSING There are a number of different federal housing programs that can help subsidize or stabilize the rents of seniors. “At the state and city level there are a bunch of different programs as well,” says Amy McDonald, a licensed real estate salesperson with Triplemint in New York City. However, subsidized housing programs at all levels can be complex to navigate. Each may have its own eligibility criteria and application process. “The systems can be complicated and feel daunting,” McDonald says.

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