Aging in Place Presents Financial Challenges

It’s no secret that America’s aging demographic is continuing to grow, and many prefer to age in place. 

But one of the barriers seniors face are homes that are not able to support their specific needs as they age, notes the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) in a new report.

“Nearly 30% of homeowners age 65 and over live in homes built before 1950 that may require more maintenance and are less likely to have been updated, thus presenting financial challenges to maintaining the home and aging in community,” n4a says.


The income of people age 80 and older is less than half that of households led by those who are 50-64 years old, data show.

“At least one-third of older adults say they are not confident their current home will remain affordable as they age,” n4a says. 

By the year 2030, nearly 20% of Americans will be age 65 or older, up from 13% in 2010, data show.  

“Older adults frequently find themselves living in homes that are too large, too remote, too inaccessible, or otherwise no longer suitable as their needs change,” n4a says. “In some cases, aging in place home modifications can enable individuals to remain in their homes for many more years.”

Read the report here

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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  • This is the first place where I have seen a rational criticism against the aging in place philosophy presented. Aging in place is not for everyone and should only be encouraged where appropriate.

    For example, if aging in place is being attempted by those who live in a home with substantial functional obsolescence, the question becomes will replacements be sufficient to stave off unlivable or marginally liveable conditions before the senior no longer wants to live in the home? Also why get a HECM where the home is in external obsolescence? That can take decades to turn around. Too many times, seniors try to keep a home when they live in horrific physical obsolete. Yes, repairs may help but who knows what lies below the surface?

    Aging in place sounds great on the surface but one must look at the home in terms of the three most significant types of obsolescence before encouraging it to anyone: 1) functional, 2) external, and 3) physical.

    But as we all know many other issues must be considered. The home is too large for the senior to maintain it. The cost of maintaining the home is no longer manageable. Steps are too narrow and too high and other structural issues make the home no longer functionally safe or convenient for seniors.

    Sometimes moving is the best solution and that is where the HECM for Purchase can bring a solution. That are number of reasons other than downsizing where moving is the expedient answer.

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