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Living on Your Own in Retirement

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Living on your own is the natural choice for many seniors who reach retirement age. However, there are a number of important issues to consider before making that choice. The issues run the gamut from finances, health to the available alternatives. Here are some pros and cons that go along with living on your own as you grow older.

Benefits of Living on Your Own

  • Comfort. The home you now live in is what you know best and is furnished and arranged with your comfort in mind. That doesn't mean that a senior apartment - whether independent or assisted living - wouldn't be just as comfortable and homey. But it's also possible to move and not enjoy the new living accommodations.
  • Stability. Most people do not enjoy change, particularly as they age. If you are living on your own in a home, that arrangement is part of your daily routine. Even if you are living without a spouse, the home holds those memories and offers a special kind of stability that many seniors value.
  • Independence. Leaving your home is an admission that you are no longer completely independent. That's a difficult admission for some senior citizens to make.

Issues with Living on Your Own

  • Health. Unfortunately, your health tends to deteriorate over time. It's difficult to anticipate that, especially when you are independent and taking care of all the daily necessities of life. But will you continue to be able to drive to the store, doctor's appointments and other errands? If you fall ill, who will take care of you?
  • Finances. It isn't unusual for the finances of a senior citizen to be tied up in their home. Do you have sufficient disposable income to take care of your monthly needs and handle emergencies that could affect a car or your house? For some seniors, the best financial decision is selling the house, moving into a senior apartment complex and putting any leftover money into an annuity.
  • Loneliness. Do you have family and friends available who can help if they are needed? Beyond that, do you regularly see other people? One of the values of senior housing for many people is the camaraderie of a senior community. Living on your own and maintaining your independence is great, but if you are lonely, is it the best choice for retirement?

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