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Independent Living | 08/17/21
Aging at home may be your retirement dream, but living the dream could be costing you precious time (and money).
If you’ve hesitated to explore independent living because you assume living at home is the economical choice, you may be surprised by what you discover when you calculate the toll home maintenance is taking on your leisure time and bank account.
Even if you only do minimum upkeep, taking care of a home requires time and energy. One survey suggests people spend an average of six hours each week on cleaning alone. How does that compare to your own chores?
Cleaning: You’ll need to account for the time you spend on dishes and keeping the kitchen in order; dusting; maintaining the floors by sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping; emptying the trash and recycling bins; and keeping clutter under control. Remember you also have periodic deeper cleaning duties like shampooing the carpets, cleaning fans and light fixtures, dusting blinds, etc.
Cooking: Remember that time that goes into preparing three nutritious meals each day isn’t just your hands-on time in the kitchen, although you can expect to clock an average of 43 minutes each day. You’re also spending time looking for recipes, shopping for ingredients, and transporting groceries home to put them away.
Home maintenance: If you’re handy enough to do it on your own, you’re dedicating a fair bit of time to keeping your home in good repair and the façade and landscape in good condition. There may be spikes as you do seasonal work to accommodate changes in the weather, along with regular duties like mowing the lawn, trimming shrubbery, and pest control. Even if you hire help, finding and engaging a reliable service provider requires time and attention, too.
Unless you keep a detailed budget, you may not realize just how much you’re spending to maintain your home. The average homeowner spends $2,000 a year on home maintenance, but other expenses like homeowners association dues and monitored security systems can drive that number higher. Cleaning supplies and equipment factor into your overall cost, along with service calls for routine care like HVAC maintenance.
Living at home incurs other expenses, too. You’re more likely to own or lease a vehicle, which means you have a loan or lease payment, insurance, upkeep, and gasoline to consider. You’re responsible for replacing worn carpet and any major repairs that arise, like replacing the roof or fixing a leak in the plumbing.
Don’t forget about food and entertainment. If you’re over 65, you likely spend upward of $6,000 a year on food, depending on your personal tastes and diet. In retirement, you have more time to enjoy leisure activities, but outings with friends, hobbies, and other related expenses add up quickly. On average, retirees spend more than $2,500 each year on entertainment.
If that seems like a lot, keep in mind that you still may have a mortgage payment, insurance, taxes, utilities, and medical expenses to consider.
After tallying all that time and money, you may see how the cost of independent living could actually be more economical than living at home. As a resident of a maintenance-free living community like Stonebridge at Montgomery, you have the freedom to enjoy your retirement years while we handle the housekeeping, outdoor maintenance, and more.
Our executive chef ensures you can savor each delicious, nutritious meal without chopping a single vegetable, while luxury amenities offer ample opportunities for entertainment and socializing within the independent living community. When you choose to venture out (with the city of Princeton nearby, you’ll have plenty to explore), transportation is available, meaning you have the option to eliminate the expense of owning a vehicle.
If you’re thinking about putting more time on your clock and money in your wallet, our caring and committed staff is available to show you what independent living looks like at a Life Plan Community like Stonebridge. Schedule a visit to explore our charming cottages and spacious independent living apartments, along with the beautiful grounds that make for an inviting, enriching retirement lifestyle.