We're excited for this guest post from Claire Wentz on this important topic!
Making the decision to move to be nearer to a senior loved one or to move them closer to you so that you can be an active participant in their care isn’t easy. But it is sometimes necessary to ensure that your aging or ailing parent or grandparent is cared for. Although it will be a significant disruption, if your loved one can no longer live alone or with remote assistance, a new house may be in someone’s future.
Today, we share a few tips that might help you throughout the process.
Start the Conversation Early
When you’re talking with your parents or grandparents, keep in mind that they are used to being the ones in control. After all, they raised you, and they have not been children for many decades. But, the fact remains that they are losing some control of their lives, and perhaps even their bodies. Treat them with respect, and open up the conversation about moving early. This is especially important if their living arrangements will change, such as if they are moving into assisted or independent living.
Discuss Options Related to Their Home
For many seniors, moving into assisted living means selling their homes. While this is certainly an option, some may choose to keep it in the family or rent out the property. This decision can be difficult both emotionally and financially, so approach it with kindness and realistic expectations.
If selling seems like the better option, it might be helpful to share how the proceeds of the sale could help get your loved one the care and support they need now and in the future. Look at recent home sale prices in neighboring areas to get an idea of their potential sale price and talk with them realistically about their equity and current expenses.
Regardless of what direction your family chooses, chances are good you might need to bring the property back up to speed. Things like basic maintenance often drop off when seniors experience age-related challenges. You might take on tasks like cleaning yourself; be sure to use non-carcinogenic cleaners. Alternatively, you can outsource cleaning to trustworthy professionals.
You will likely also want to invest in some adaptive equipment to help your loved one in their new or renovated space. Ask SAMIE's On Demand Assessment helps you determine your loved one’s most important needs and then recommends products and services based off of that assessment. Knowing what your loved one needs is an important step in helping them be as independent as possible.
Get Finances in Order
If you are the one that will be moving, it’s never too early to calculate your debt-to-income ratio, figure out your credit score, and determine your home equity. Your DTI is one of the most important numbers that your lender will look at. It shows what your existing monthly debt is stacked up against your gross monthly income. Your DTI should be less than 35% and your credit score higher than 620 for your best chance of qualifying for a loan with a good interest rate.
If you have a senior loved one who is moving and needs to sell or close their business, there are several steps you can take to help them through the process. Business News Daily notes that it's important to assess the value of the business and determine the best course of action based on its financial health. You may need to enlist the services of a business broker or other professional to assist with this process.
Once you have a clear understanding of the business's value, you can work with your loved one to develop a plan for selling or closing the business in an organized and efficient manner. This could involve advertising the sale of the business, negotiating with potential buyers, or liquidating assets if necessary. Throughout this process, it's important to provide emotional support and guidance for your loved one as they navigate this major life transition.
Decide on a Location
Whether you are buying or they are buying, your location matters. Even though your aim is to be closer to your aging parents, you still have to consider the school zone, crime rate, taxes, and everything else pertaining to you and your family. You also want to decide how far away you want to be from them. Most adults think that 15 to 45 minutes is a good distance, but if your loved one is in poor health, you may want to be even closer so that you can react quickly if you are needed.
Balance Work and Caregiving
Many caregivers choose to have a job apart from caring for their loved one. If you want (or need) to hold a job, consider online work or even entrepreneurship. Starting your own business can keep you focused on your own passions and goals while earning some extra money. If you choose this path, you may want to start an LLC in Missouri to protect your personal assets and provide you with tax benefits, too!
Start this Important Conversation
When it’s time to buy a new home to be closer to a loved one or to move a loved one closer to you, there are many decisions that you have to make. The advice above only scratches the surface, and your situation will be unique. If you still need help, talk to your agent about other possible scenarios, such as purchasing a multi-generational dwelling.