Retirement & Financial Planning Report

If you decide to remodel your house, consider these improvements to make the house more liveable for yourself as you grow older.

* Install kitchen appliances at a convenient height. This will reduce the need to stoop over dishwasher racks or reach up to a freezer.

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* When making major alterations, install doorways at least 36 inches across and widen hallways so they are wheelchair accessible. An extra-wide hallway can be lined with bookshelves.

* Install a bench and grab bars in your bathtub, making it easier to get in and out.

* Replace doorknobs, cabinet handles, and faucets with items that have been designed for the elderly. They are easier to grip and turn.

Even if you choose to sell the house at some point, such amenities will increasingly add value to your house as America ages.

What if you want to stay in your home but that becomes a challenge financially? Homeowners 62 and older may be eligible for a reverse mortgage. The amount they can borrow will depend on home equity, the borrower’s age, and the location of the house. For this type of mortgage, income doesn’t count.