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Independent Living

Everyone wishes to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

Independent living may include several options, some of which are staying in the family home, or selling that home and buying a smaller patio home, condominium, or a smaller more convenient single family dwelling. It may also include moving from an owned home to one that is rented, to an apartment in an area convenient to shopping, medical care, and transportation, or to a senior housing complex which may include meals served in a congregate dining room, transportation and a social director.

Options for future housing and care for those who own their own homes that can be considered are:

    • Home modification, including equipping the home for easier access and convenience for the older owner/occupant, and modifying the home to accomodate a live-in care provider.
    • Reverse mortgage (using the equity in one's home paid on a monthly basis to increase cash flow or in a lump sum which would pay for necessary home modifications. It is important to have counseling around this important option. You may want to check out AARP's web page regarding reverse mortgages. In addition, local counseling services are available at the following:
      • Neighbor to Neighbor
        424 Pine Street Ste 203
        Fort Collins, CO 80524
    • Sale Leaseback, where the home is sold to an investor, family member or close friend and the owner pays a monthly rent to remain in the home for as long as he wants.
    • Home equity loans, used to finance home modification.
    • Selling current home and buying (or building) a new one.

A real estate professional who is familiar with the local community and options available for retirees, has had experience with real estate transactions for and with older people, and has a reputation for listening and working well with seniors is an essential partner in this process. When you are ready to begin exploring possibilities, it will be important to talk clearly about your expectations and goals for the process.

Real estate professionals who are particularly interested in helping folks in retirement with their real estate needs are to be found in every community. It is important to identify an agent or broker who understands the market and who understands that this decision is a complicated one for the mature client who may need more time, support, and information than some. The final decision to buy and/or sell often comes after several changes of direction, and can be frustrating for some real estate professionals who feel pressured to "close the deal."

A partial list of real estate professionals in Fort Collins who have made the older retiree market a special niche:

    • Terry Anderson. REMAX Advanced. (970) 221-5995
    • Bruce Hansford REMAX Advanced (970) 221-5995
    • Mary Ellen Humpal. Humpal Century 21 Real Estate.(970) 224-1800
    • Dawn Mathis.  Keller Williams Real Estate (970) 226-0999

There are, of course, financial considerations to each of the above options. Consultation with your financial planner/advisor and an attorney who specializes in real estate and elderlaw should be at the top of the list of planning priorities.

A list of local independent living facilities and of subsidized senior apartments is posted on the the Larimer County Office on Aging web site.

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Nancy Hazelrigg
Nancy Hazelrigg
Waddell & Reed
2950 E. Harmony Rd, Suite 299
Fort Collins, CO 80528

Financial/Insurance Services : Financial Planning & Investments

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