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    There’s no place like home — especially as you age.

    Most adults ages 50 and up — 77% — want to stay in their homes long term, according to AARP.

    Yet many are putting off the necessary improvements and upgrades to their homes to make that possible.

    “People might say, ‘I want to age in place as the default plan, because that’s what I’m already doing,'” said Carol Chiang, CEO of Evolving Homes, a company providing personalized consulting for individuals and families who want to age in place.

    “But they’re not really considering, ‘Well, what does that mean?'” Chiang said.

    Chiang’s clients typically fall into three categories — those who have an urgent need after a first-time fall or other emergency, those who have a neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson’s disease, and those who are proactive adults planning ahead.

    “They’re the ones who know that if they ignore something on the front end, they’re going to pay twice as much on the back end,” Chiang said of the latter category. “And I kind of wish everyone was like that.”

    More from Personal Finance:
    How one beach city is helping residents age in place
    What happens to your Social Security benefits when you die
    62% of adults 50 and over have not used professional help for retirement

    Carolyn McClanahan, a certified financial planner and physician who helps clients prepare financially for retirement, recently took her own advice when she enlisted Chiang’s help for her own home.

    “She made us think through what an aging-friendly bathroom would look like,” said McClanahan, noting that because she and her husband do not have children they wanted to get an early jump on planning for their elder years.

    “People are usually remodeling their homes every 10, 15, 20 years,” said McClanahan, a member of CNBC’s FA Council. “So making certain — especially when you hit your 50s and 60s — that you remodel it … does make it easier as you get older to stay home.”

    The costs of the upgrades necessary to age in place can vary, experts say. Chiang said she has seen the prices of bathroom upgrades vary within Florida, where her practice is based.

    Curt Kiriu, an aging-in-place specialist and president of CK Independent Living Builders in Mililani, Hawaii, also said costs can vary based on location. While Kiriu does most of his work on Oahu, neighboring islands may face some challenges finding cost-effective access to materials and contractors.

    A home remodel for aging in place may range from $30,000 on the low end to $80,000, according to Chiang, depending on the scope of the project and where you live.

    “At a very, very basic level, thinking about a remodel, you should be planning for at least $70,000,” Chiang said.

    The upside is that it is a one-time cost to fix up a home, notes Kiriu. In comparison, the annual national median cost for a private room in a nursing home is around $108,000, according to Genworth.

    The upgrades can also significantly increase the value of your home, according to Chiang. Some estimates point to universal design features — such as wide doorways and hallways and no-step entry — adding up to 30% to the value of a home, she said.

    “That will probably go up as you get more and more boomers getting older,” Chiang said.

    To make sure your home upgrades are successful, experts say it’s wise to keep several things in mind.

    Start as soon as possible

    Think beyond the bathroom

    Have a contingency plan



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