As You Age, Should You Stay, or Should You Go?

As You Age, Should You Stay, or Should You Go?

July 16, 2019

Our homes are where we raise our families and build our lives, so it’s no wonder most Americans would prefer to age in their homes rather than relocate.  That’s why deciding where to live as you age is anything but easy—and a decision that’s often put off if possible.

In many cases, the discussion doesn’t go far beyond one critical question: Where can I afford to live in retirement? But the financial side is only one of many factors to consider. What about having access to the people and places you love? How does your choice of where to live impact your health—mentally, physically, and emotionally? The following checklists can help you consolidate the overwhelming number of factors that go into this important decision and serve as a starting point as you discuss what’s right for you and your family.

The Costs of Aging in Place

As we age, our homes don’t adapt to our changing physical needs. But there are many modifications that can make it safer to stay put as our needs change. The list of common modifications and their average cost can give you a sense of what might be necessary to make your home aging-in-place safe.

Sample Aging-in-Place Projects and Associated Costs*

16-foot ramp that allows you to enter your home using a walker or wheelchair $1,600-$3,200

Grab bars at entry points to the shower and beside the toilet $140 for three grab bars

Door widening to at least 34 inches to accommodate a walker or wheelchair $700 per doorway

Chair lift to access to upper levels $3,000-$12,000

Full bathroom remodel including flooring, toilet, sink, faucets, and shower $3,000-$35,000

Curbless shower for a barrier-free entry $5,000-$6,000

Changing faucets to those with lever handles for those with arthritis $400

Handrails on either side of steps to safely navigate stairs $100 per linear foot

Installing anti-slip ADA approved American Olean bathroom flooring in the bathroom $1,300

Walk-in tub for accessibility for those with mobility problems $5,000-$10,000

Raising or lowering countertops and cabinets for those who have trouble bending or those who need a wheelchair $15,000-$20,000


Core content sourced from Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC, Member FINRA. This material is provided as a resource for information only. Hartford Funds and their affiliates, nor their representatives provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You are urged to consult your own legal and tax advisors for advice before implementing any plan. *Source: How much does it cost to remodel to adapt a home for aging in place?, 3/21/17. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.