There is an old adage that says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This adage holds true in the area of planning for later life, whether it be for ourselves or our loved ones. Many people engage in retirement planning in the sense that they endeavor to set aside money to live on after their working lives come to an end. Relatively few people, however, carry this planning to the next logical step and plan for the other aspects of living a better later life. In addition to having the funds to pay for our needs and our wants after we retire, I believe that it is important to plan for our housing needs, our healthcare needs, our transportation needs, and our community and social interaction needs. As the new chairman of the Western and Central Virginia Aging in Place Council, my goal is to provide tools and resources to help people in this planning process.

Granted, if your plan is to move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community or other senior housing community, many of these needs will be provided for you by the community. However, my research shows that upwards of 90% of people would prefer to remain in their own homes as they age. Aging in place gives you the right to make your own decisions about most of the topics regarding your care, but you will also carry the responsibility for the outcomes of these decisions. You won’t be alone however. By 2030 the number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to be over 70 million, nearly twice the number that there were just a few years ago. The fastest growing segment of the population, those over the age of 85, is increasing at the rate of 3,000 per day. I would strongly encourage each and every one of you who is even considering aging in place to begin to put together a plan for a better later life.

Your plan should include housing, healthcare, personal finance, transportation, and community and social interaction. Your plan should answer the following questions about your later life. Where will I live? Who will take care of me? How will I pay for it? If all of this seems a little overwhelming and you would like some help, the aging in place council has a 20 page planning guide that will help you walk through a questionnaire to help you assess your needs, then prioritize and summarize these needs to help you get them met. Members of the council can help you with a wide variety of goods and services to help you successfully age in place. Just give us a call at 540-339-7891 or send us an email at We would be more than happy to help you plan for a better later life.

In addition, as always, if you need help building a new home that will meet your changing needs as you age, remodeling to adapt your current home, or consulting to help decide which option is a better choice for you, please get in touch with me. You can reach me at 540-384-2064 or Whether you are in the market for a new home, a major addition, a bathroom remodel, or a few grab bars to help prevent falls, Senior Remodeling Experts is your trusted source for a lifespan design home for a lifetime of living. Please let me know if I can help. And thank you for reading Housing Matters.

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