"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

senior couple in their home

House Upgrades Before Retiring

Provo-Orem is home to the happiest and healthiest seniors in the country. With lower rates of diabetes, heart problems, obesity, and Alzheimer’s than the rest of the nation. Provo-Orem residents are almost sure to reach past their 80s, which means you need to prepare for the next 15 years upon retirement.

Solar Panels for Free Electricity

Solar power systems are practically free in Utah. With federal and state incentives, an 8-kW system should cost $10,000-$11,000. An 8-kW system produces enough electricity to cover your house’s electrical consumption during the day, sending extra power to the grid to cover your electricity use during the night. It should cut your electricity bill to zero or close to it, saving you $80-$100 a month. Under a sound 10- year financial plan, you can cover your monthly payments with the saving on your electric bills.

You might pay a little extra in the first ten years, but you’ll get free electricity once your payments are made. Most solar panels are guaranteed for 25 years (at 80 percent performance), and they usually last for 35-45 years. Social Security will probably be cutting benefits by 2030 (after expending its reserves); an extra $100 of savings a month will soften the blow.

Minor Changes for Ease of Access

You might not have problems during your first few years of retirement, but what about the next 5 or 10 years? Take into account your later years and make changes a few changes around the house. Replace your existing doorknobs for lever-type ones. You might take your grip strength for granted, but you could develop problems as you age. Try to level your floor to avoid tripping and get rid of rugs and mats or anything that can slip from under you. Install motion-activated lights in your hallways. Slips and falls are common among seniors, and not seeing where you’re going raises your chances of getting into an accident.

Bathroom Remodels for Safety

home bathroom

If there’s one room that needs good remodeling, it’s your bathroom. 1-in-3 seniors suffer a fall that requires hospitalization each year, and 80 percent of those falls occur in the bathroom. Bathrooms are slippery, and their hard surfaces make extremely dangerous. Make your bathroom safer by installing grab bars or supports at strategic places. Supports near the toilet are essential; you’ll be making multiple trips as you get older, and sitting down as well as standing up puts a lot of strain on your knees.

Regular showers or baths are out of the question. Soapy water while showering is risky, and bathtubs are almost impossible to get in and out of if you have mobility and balance issues. Walk-in tubs provide an ideal alternative. You can safely take a bath while sitting down without any risk of slipping or falling. Safe bathrooms ensure fewer (if any at all) trips to the emergency room, keeping your retirement fund intact.

Provo-Orem seniors live long, healthy lives. A bit of remodeling around the house is necessary, especially since you have a few more decades to enjoy life.

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