RBC Poll Shows Seniors Staying Put in Retirement

A recent poll conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) shows that an overwhelming 88% of Canadian seniors would prefer to stay in their own current residence during retirement, hiring home care as needed. The poll was conducted with 2159 people aged 50 or over, with household assets of over $100,000.

While the preference of most was to stay in their current home, they did cite health concerns, the death of their spouse, and downsizing for space considerations as key triggers for a possible move.

Why Boomers Want to Age in Place
Canada’s seniors are living longer, healthier, and wealthier lives than those of previous generations. This means that health concerns that we typically expect from age 60 and on may actually not manifest until later senior years, reducing the desire that most boomers may have for assisted living retirement facilities. There is also the traditional comfort of staying in your own home that you are familiar with and enjoy.

Planning for Home Care
With the increased demand for home care, it helps to have a plan in place early in your retirement years. The first, and most important, is to have a financial plan for home care in retirement if you plan to stay in your home. As demand increases for these services, their cost will also increase. So how to plan?

Call around to various home care companies in your area and get an idea of their pricing. Then, add 10-15% to the cost to account for possible increases in price, and make sure you have that money put aside in your retirement savings if you need it.

Don’t Rely on Government-Subsidized Home Care
In June of 2013, Alberta Health Services greatly reduced the number of home care agencies in Edmonton and Calgary. While senior’s groups are advocating for this decision to be reversed, this will not be an isolated incident as the demand for home care goes up and the financial burden on government becomes higher. Even if you are in a position where you could have subsidized care, plan financially for private to make sure you’re covered in the event of these kinds of cuts.

What if I’m Already Retired and Want Home Care?
If your retirement funds really just cover the cost of living in retirement without considerations for home care, consider a reverse mortgage to pay for medical costs rather than having both of you or one spouse move into an assisted living facility. You won’t have to repay anything as long as you stay in your home, and anyone 55 and over can get a reverse mortgage to take advantage of the equity in your home.

Contact Horizon Equity to find out more about reverse mortgages.