This year, another crop of baby boomers will hang up their work boots and begin their retirement. According to a recent article by Sonya Stinson for Forbes, one of the biggest barriers for retirees who want to stay in their home is keeping up with maintenance on their property.
Fortunately, there a few options out there to help seniors save money and stay put in their homes, including recruiting local volunteers, doing preventative maintenance, and hiring quality contractors who may offer senior discounts. Below, we’ve shared some tips and guidelines from Stinson for seniors.
Local Volunteers: Some seniors live in aging-in-place villages which offer a network of volunteer and paid service providers offering help to residents. There are currently about 170 such communities in the U.S.
Hiring a Contractor: If there isn’t a local volunteer organization to provide assistance, retirees can check with a home contractor referral business such as Aging in Place Referrals, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List or HandyPro. When seeking out help, Stinson recommends following these three guidelines:
- Be wary when help comes to you first: A contractor who knocks on your door and says he’s been working in the neighborhood is a red flag.
- Get several references: Get at least three customer references and ask the contractor for a trade reference who can tell you if the contractor pays their bills on time.
- Look for experience: Stinson recommends seeking out contractors who not only have years of trade experience, but also have been running their own business for some time.
- Get your heating and cooling system tuned up twice a year and change the air filter at least every three months.
- Insulate your attic and seal air leaks around windows, doors, plumbing fixtures and electrical outlets.
- Keep your gutters clean.