Baby boomers who are considering downsizing to a smaller home for retirement usually aim for a space that’s easier and less costly to maintain. However, it’s crucial to also focus on specific features that can make life easier as you age. Experts suggest planning well in advance and opting for homes with a single level or, if it’s a multi-level home, one with the master suite on the ground floor. Molly Shomer, head coach of The Eldercare Team, emphasizes the importance of eliminating the need to climb stairs.
Here are six features you should not compromise on when downsizing:
- Casual Dining Area: Large, formal dining rooms may be unnecessary as you age. A smaller, casual dining area, ideally near or in the kitchen, is easier to maintain and more practical.
- Extra Bedroom: Even if you’re downsizing, having an extra bedroom can be useful for various purposes like an office, library, or storage area. It should be easily convertible into a sleeping space for visitors.
- Ground Floor Entrance: Ensure that your new home has at least one entrance on the ground level to avoid the need for climbing stairs.
- Non-Slip Flooring: As you age, non-slip flooring can be a life-saving feature, even if you currently prefer shiny hardwood floors.
- Handicap Accessible Bathroom: Even if you’re in good physical condition now, a handicap-accessible bathroom is a must-have feature for many seniors.
- Doors That Close: While open spaces are appealing, doors that close are important for safety, especially in case of a fire, as they can slow down the spread of smoke and carbon monoxide.
These features are not just for your convenience but also for your safety and well-being as you age.