As for the front porch, seniors in Dallas find
that they have a wide variety of housing
options that accommodate their budget, while
enjoying their lifestyle in a community that
encourages the development and pursuit of
their personal interests, goals and activities.
While aging is inevitable, medical advances
and healthy lifestyle choices help increase the
number of years a person may live, as well
as improve that person’s lifestyle. The result
is that the demographics of seniors in Dallas
have undergone some significant changes: the
term “senior” may describe an active person
in his/her late 50’s, or someone in his/her
early 80’s. Baby Boomers now entering the
senior arena are faced with the responsibility
of preparing not only for their own retirement,
but with making retirement and housing plans
for their elderly parents as well.
Fortunately, Dallas 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
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, fitness centers, etc. Again, being realistic on the front end helps determine smart
choices that will 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 many longtime Dallas resi-
dents. 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 secu-
rity and supplement social security, meet
unexpected medical expenses, make home
improvements, and more.
The money from a reverse loan may be paid
to the borrower in a variety of ways: a lump
sum, a regular monthly cash advance, as a
credit line account or in any combination
of the above. Typically, borrowers do not
have to pay anything back until they permanently move out of the home, sell, or pass
away. Eligibility for most reverse mortgages
requires that the home should be owned
outright by the applicant, and that the
applicant is 62 years of age or older. (Visit
AARP’s website and use their Reverse Mortgage Calculator: www.rmaarp.com).
A reverse mortgage offers retirees a distinct
advantage. Since most lenders determine
a borrower’s ability to pay back the loan
by reviewing the borrower’s income, many
retired seniors simply cannot qualify for
a traditional home equity loan. But a
reverse mortgage does not require monthly
payments, and therefore no minimum
amount of income is required for the loan
application. Most reverse mortgages require
no repayment as long as the owner, or any
co-owner, lives in the home.