Long gone are the days of mandatory retirement at age 65, and with it, the idea that
one’s golden years were to be spent simply
sitting quietly on the front porch in a rocking
chair as they watch life. To begin with,
forget about that rocking chair –how does a
morning spent in a yoga studio or pedaling
along the waterfront sound?
As for the front porch, seniors in the Portland area find that they have a wide variety
of housing options that can accommodate
their budget, while enjoying their lifestyle in
a community that encourages the development and pursuit of their personal interests,
goals and activities.
The Wall Street Journal profiled Portland
as one of the best places to retire in the
past recent years. Why? The primarily the
restaurant scene and walkability, combined
with the overall "culture of kindness" of
Portland. And, it sounds like the word's
out. Retirees are contributing to a projected
106% growth in the number of people 65
and older living in the metro area between
2010 and 2030, according to the Action Plan
for an Age-Friendly Portland.
While aging is inevitable, medical advances
and healthy lifestyle choices, are responsible
for increasing the number of years a person
may live, and improving one’s quality of
life. The result is that the demographics of
seniors in Portland, Oregon have undergone
some significant changes: the term “senior”
may describe an active person between their
late 50’s, or early 80’s. Baby Boomers now
entering the senior arena are faced with the
responsibility of preparing not only for their
own retirement, but also with making retire-
ment and housing plans for their elderly
parents as well.
Fortunately, Portland offers a wide array
of options to accommodate the different
requirements and lifestyles of its seniors.
From upscale retirement communities
offering residents a choice of social, cultural,
travel and sporting opportunities, to active
seniors, to full-care facilities specializing
in caring for the elderly with mental and
physical disabilities, there is a senior citizen
living solution to fit every need.
TAKING STOCK OF YOURSELF
When making retirement housing plans,
there’s no denying that the number and
diversity of choices available might make
the process feel overwhelming. Begin by
taking a personal inventory that takes into
account personal living expenses, health,
interests and expectations.
Budget Inventory: Make a list of monthly
expenses, from rental or housing fees to
day-to-day living expenses such as dry
cleaning and energy bills to current or
anticipated medical expenses. The point is
to be realistic about everyday expenses now,
so there are no rude surprises later.
Lifestyle Inventory: Active golf enthusiasts, for example, might want close
proximity to a local golf course. Those
who want to use this time for community
involvement might want to live close to
schools, churches or community centers,
while others who want to continue developing and pursuing an active lifestyle might
want easy access to hike and bike trails or
fitness centers. Again, being realistic on the
front end helps determine smart choices
that can only benefit later.
SHOULD YOU STAY OR
SHOULD YOU GO?
Staying Put: Packing up and selling a loved
home with so many memories is a difficult
decision for any longtime homeowner. One
viable option open to senior homeowners is
the reverse mortgage, which allows homeowners to turn the value of their home into
cash without having to move or repay the
loan each month. Guaranteed by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD offers seniors a federally
insured private loan as a means to provide
financial security and supplement social
security, meet unexpected medical expenses,
make home improvements, and more.
Photo courtesy of Willamette View Senior Living