As a senior citizen, there may be a variety of reasons for wanting to purchase a new home. You could want to downsize and eliminate expenses, to leave a worthwhile investment for your loved ones, or to have a comfortable place to call your own. 

Whatever the case may be, there can be many financial challenges during such a big transition. According to an article published by The Washington Post, three of the biggest financial hurdles for seniors include coping with debt payments, understanding loan terms, and recovering from financial scams.

An article published by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) suggests that you hire an attorney or financial advisor to help map out an estate plan. Other options include hiring a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) to help you get started. 

Applying for a reverse mortgage is a popular option for seniors who may not have the cash to afford a new home. A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan that allows people aged 62 and older to turn the equity in their home into cash to supplement their income. This can be done either as a line of credit, monthly payments or a lump sum. Unlike a traditional mortgage, however, you don’t need to make monthly mortgage payments. The mortgage is paid off when the senior moves, sells the home or dies. 

Another similar option is a reverse mortgage for purchase. This is essentially the same thing as a traditional reverse mortgage, except the loan proceeds can be used to purchase a new residence.

It is important to note that seniors who opt for a reverse mortgage are still required to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance. Seniors who fall behind on their payments may be at risk of foreclosure. It is also essential to verify that the income generated from the reverse mortgage is enough to cover monthly expenses before signing.

During this transition, it is crucial to be aware of your rights as a senior home buyer. The Fair Housing Act protects Americans — including senior citizens — from discrimination when buying a home. Those who feel their rights have been violated can contact the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. 

It is also vital to be aware of the many scams that target senior citizens. Such scams can claim to “modify” loans, stop foreclosure, or offer false assistance. The Federal Trade Commission states that you don’t have to pay any money to a company until it delivers the results you want. They must also disclose key information about their associations and practices. 

There are also programs for disabled homebuyers. The Federal Housing Administration offers government-insured programs for people with disabilities. For those who have served in the military, the US Department of Veterans Affairs offers grants to veterans who have disabilities related to their service. 

To determine what kind of house is affordable, consider your assets. How much can you afford to put on a down payment? Twenty percent of the total cost of the home is standard. If that isn’t possible but you have good credit, consider a combination mortgage or an FHA loan. 

If you plan on selling your current home, look at the current market and sell when it is most profitable. You may want to seek the help of a professional to ensure things go smoothly.

Consider your monthly income. Can you keep your housing expenses to around 30 percent of your gross income? Factor in any grants or other financial assistance you may be getting. There are many online mortgage calculators to help you determine what is affordable based on your current income.  

Purchasing a home as a senior is a daunting but rewarding process. With some careful planning and the right professionals at your side, you can soon be on your way to living in a comfortable home that is all your own.

Photo from Pixabay

Caring for an aging loved one is a full-time job, even if they remain independent. But thanks to tiny devices and internet connectivity, you can have a helping hand in keeping your loved one safe and sound. Here are just a few of the ways technology has streamlined senior care.

 Smart home monitoring that can alert you of changing patterns

 HGTV reports that many security monitoring companies now offer technologies specifically to assist with senior care. A home may be designed with strategically placed sensors that monitor the senior’s movement. For example, a pressure-sensitive mat placed next to the bed will indicate when he or she is — or isn’t — up for the day. Medicine cabinets, likewise, can be monitored to ensure the senior has taken their daily medication. Any unusual activity can be sent directly to the caregiver or monitoring agency’s connected device instantly.

 Assistive furniture to increase independence

 While not yet widely available, Assistive Robotic Tables (ARTs) are an emerging technology that will offer seniors an added degree of freedom and ease caregiver requirements. ARTs are interactive tables that may be controlled remotely, and eventually, learn to adapt to user needs. Lift chairs, foot stools, and sit-to-stand aids offer balance and support for seniors with visual or mobility impairments. Many of these assistive devices can be purchased at medical supply companies, and some are covered by insurance.

 Digital health technology that may replace the need to leave the home for routine care and concerns

 For seniors, healthcare costs can skyrocket drastically. Many are forced to choose between medicine and food. But digital technology may ease the burden for some seniors. The same sensors that can alert a caregiver to changing patterns may also be used to passively collect data healthcare providers can evaluate and determine if intervention is necessary. reports that these types of sensors reduced hospitalization in a study of nearly 300 elderly patients. Videoconferencing with healthcare providers has also become popular over the last five years. Many physicians now offer online office visits for non-life-threatening conditions. MDLive, a nationwide network of board-certified physicians, offers virtual care for everything from urinary tract infections to the flu, both common concerns among seniors. Having the option to receive care from the comfort of home can reduce stress and lower the potential for automobile accidents for elderly drivers.

 Voice-controlled hubs improve senior quality of life

 Smart home technology has been widely adopted over the last four years as Amazon, Google, and Apple continue to release devices and services that simply make life easier. Seniors may benefit from devices such as the Amazon Echo, which allow them to enjoy music, listen to audiobooks, and play interactive games. Each of these activities may help improve the cognitive function of the senior in question. More than entertainment, smart home hubs can help the mobility-impaired control their lights, home security system, and even HVAC system. Telephones with built-in screens and cameras offer the opportunity to video chat with friends and family, which can stave off boredom, depression, and loneliness.

As technology continues to become increasingly affordable, more seniors will have the option of aging in place. This means caregivers may also continue to monitor the safety and security of their loved one regardless of physical distance.

It’s an unfortunate fact that disaster can strike at any time no matter where you live, whether it’s a natural weather phenomenon, a fire, or an earthquake. While it can be stressful to live under the threat of a disaster all the time, it’s important to be prepared for any event, because many of these occurrences happen without much notice, if any. Knowing that you have the right tools to help you get through a stressful time — especially if you have mobility limitations — will give you peace of mind and will allow you to breathe a little easier. 

You’ll need to think about the little things. For instance, packing a bag in case you need to evacuate quickly is a good idea, but does your bag have an ID tag on it? Your belongings might get separated from you during the hustle and bustle of an evacuation, so make sure it can easily be returned to you. 

Read on for more great tips on how to prepare for any disaster.

How to pack

Put together easy-to-carry bags with enough clothing for at least three days, any medication and toiletries you’ll need, and paperwork such as your passport and a copy of your ID. Food, water, extra blankets, and other supplies — like your first-aid kit — should be kept in a container that has wheels or will be easy for you to carry.

 Other disaster supplies include:

  • flashlight
  • batteries
  • knife
  • manual can opener
  • loud whistle
  • prepaid cell phone with charger
  • list of phone numbers for friends and family

You should change out the clothing in your go-bag every season. Make sure the food and medicine you’ve packed is fresh, and change out anything that’s about to expire. Label all medication and items such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes with your name and address. 

Make a plan

It’s always a good idea to have a plan in place in case disaster strikes. Talk to your family members and go over where you’ll meet up if you’re separated when the event occurs. If you or a loved one has a caregiver, make sure that person is included in the plans. Make sure everyone carries the names, addresses, and phone numbers of immediate family members in their wallets or purses just in case cell phone service is out after the disaster. If you have mobility issues or other special needs, also make sure to take a look at this booklet form FEMA. 

Identify evacuation routes

Your neighborhood or larger community likely has an evacuation route in place in case of a snowstorm, flood, or fire, so find out what the route is and go over it with your family members. It might be helpful to do a dry run in the car with your loved ones to make sure everyone knows where to go.

Make a plan for your service animal

Service animals (and all non-service pets) will, of course, have to be brought with you in the event of an emergency, but keep in mind that they’ll have needs, too. Pack enough food and water for your pet for a few days, plus a collapsible bowl set, a blanket or bedding, any medication they need, a collar with an ID tag, a leash, and any items they need for relieving themselves. It might also be helpful to have a list of names of nearby pet hotels, veterinarians, and kennels in case the place you end up staying in after the disaster occurs doesn’t allow animals. 

It can be scary to think about preparing for a disaster, but knowing that you have everything you’ll need to keep yourself and your family safe will help ease your stress about the situation. Do some research about the area you live in to find out more about the types of disasters that could occur and what you can do to stay out of harm’s way.

Photo from Pixabay

We look forward to retiring our entire working lives, and then when we get there, it can sometimes be… a bit boring. It can feel like a let down, but the truth is that retirement is what you make of it. You finally have time to do all those activities and learn all the skills you never had time to while you were doing the daily 9-to-five grind. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to learn when you tap into the resource that is the internet. You can find classes online for just about anything, from cooking to learning a new instrument to immersing yourself in art. 

Read on for some great ideas on fun new skills for seniors to learn online. 

Learn how to play an instrument online

If you want to add a little music to your life, why not use your free time to learn a new instrument? Learning how to play an instrument can help with cognition and creativity. The music helps boost your mood, and the daily practice can help prevent arthritis from developing. Best of all, you can learn how to play from the comfort of your own home with online lessons. There are many instruments that are great options for seniors to learn, so check out some options online.   

Learn how to cook online

If you’ve always felt helpless in the kitchen, there’s no better time to learn how to cook than now! Cooking your own food is not only fun, but it’s healthy too. When you make food yourself, you can control the amount of sugar, salt, and fat each dish has so you can tailor each one to your needs. 

Online cooking lessons are plentiful. You can find recipes on YouTube or via other free resources. You can even order the ingredients you need for a meal online and have them delivered to your door. Over time, you’ll see that not only is cooking fun and healthy, it can be more convenient than going out!

Learn about art online

The best museums in the world are offering people access to their collections with interactive classes and instruction that teach people all about the artists and the history behind their work. It’s the perfect activity for someone who doesn’t necessarily need to learn a new skill, but wants to expand their mind by experiencing something beautiful. 

You can find courses on just about everything from beginner’s art history to modern street art. Most of them are free and come with materials that college students pay big bucks for.


Your senior years and retirement provide you with ample free time, so why not use it to learn something you always wanted to? With internet access, you can do so from the comfort of your own home. If you would like to fill your life with music, online lessons can teach you how to play an instrument, which can boost your brainpower. If the only thing you ever make in the kitchen is a mess, now is a good time to learn how to cook. It’s a healthy habit that can be more convenient than carry out. Finally, if you want to expand your mind, the best museums in the world now offer online classes so you can experience the world’s best art and the history behind it. Whatever you choose to do, just do it! Learning a new skill or information is the perfect way to make the most out of your golden years.

Photo from Pixabay