Edina Realty used this commercial last year, and plans to build on it this year. After the Minneapolis Star and Tribune article yesterday about Seniors being "houselocked" I thought I'd pass this on. Hope it makes you smile.
I wrote about talking with a Minneapolis Star and Trib reporter about trends with seniors and moving into senior housing. The article was published today, and except for the claim I used to be a psychologist (should be psychotherapist) I can say I was quoted correctly, and Warren Wolfe did a nice job of accurately reflecting what's happening with seniors. He had to do it in one column, I've had 2 years to write on this blog, and don't think I'm done yet!!
It's always a little nerve wracking to talk with members of the media, because you're not sure in what context you'll be quoted. Thanks, Warren!
I was fortunate enough to attend the aging policy summit last week. I was able to hear local representatives, leading thinkers on aging, and my favorite, Skip Humphrey speak about our challenges and opportunities to address aging issues this legislative session.
The majority of the attendees were service providers, and most of them lived in the Twin Ciies Metro area (not surprising with the frigid temperatures keeping those outstate at home for the day).
During the summit they polled attendees to get feedback from there on what Minnesota priorities should be in regard to aging issues. I've pulled the most interesting from the discussions here:
1. The budget requires that legislators and the Governor make decisions about state revenues and spending. Regarding aging services across the continuum, should they…
a.Maintain current funding for aging services through tax/revenue increases b.Increase funding for aging services through (larger) tax/revenue increases c. Limit cuts in aging services through smaller tax/revenue increases d. Reduce aging services proportionately based on currently projected revenues
2. What is the most significant service barrier that prohibits older persons from remaining at thome as they age and require services?
a.Services are unavailable b.Services are unreliable c.Services are unaffordable d.Lack of knowledge about services e.None of the above
The attendees answered:
3. Do you think communities would find value in achieving designation as a COMMUNITY FOR A LIFETIME?
a. Absolutely-good for business, desirable fr retaining senior residents b. They would find value but find it hard to achieve c. Cities have too many other priorities d. Cities would not want such a designation
I'm flying high off the Obama Kool-aid injection. His inagural speech was a little like overdosing on spiked optimism kool-aid. . I give his inagural speech credit for this post.
I'm not writing as a democrat, or a republican, but as an optimist. If you tend to more of a skeptic or a glass-half empty type of person let me explain this optimistic mind set I'm experiencing. People close to me have called it entreprenurial angst, hubrus of youth, even naivite. It happens when you look at the world and ask "how can we get it done?" and not "these are the obstacles we face." You see, this optimistic take charge get-it-done kind of thinking gets you thinking about the next steps that need to be taken, and the problem solving to take them. It's a nose to the grind stone, get out of my way because I'm on a mission, bull in a china shop, take no prisnors kind of attitude. It's a head buzz, butterflies in your stomach kind of energy that makes you feel like you'll explode unless you move forward with the next steps on your mission.
THIS is how I feel when I'm working on solutions to help seniors whether it's to help them stay in their home, or move out of their home of 40+ years. It's what drives me to continue to write articles on Real Sage Advice, start a website that allows seniors and their familes to search for senior housing, write articles for the Gilbert Guide, volunteer with a block nurse program, teach classes on working with seniors to other real estate agents, hold seminars for seniors on real estate issues that effect them, and continue to educate seniors and their families on services available to them.
I often meet with families that have been dealing with loss and fear for a long time before I'm introduced to them. The phone calls I get from the adult children of aging parents have undertones of fear and panic combined with suspiciousness of this real estate agent who claims to know how to help.
The family has often spent so much time focusing on the obstacles that stand in the way of dealing with their aging parent they aren't able to problem solve around them. This paralysis keeps them from finding answers and taking steps to allieve both their own fear and worry about their parents, but also their parent's fear. Or, often, there's one member of the family trying to "do it all." Take care of their own family plus their aging parents to the physical and financial demise of all.
No matter what challenges you face this year, whether it's personal, business or family, my hope for you is that you find a way to navigate your way through the obstacles presented to you. Navigate your way uncover options and move forward. Perservere. Just believe that Yes, you can.
I see it all the time. Seniors who say "I want to move but [fill in the blank with one of the choices below]"
My house won't ever sell
I can't afford to move
I have too much stuff
I'm afriad my money won't last
When I worked as a project manager my job was to remove the obstacles for the project team so they could have their work done on time. I've been working on a project since last fall that addresses the obstacles (most of them self-imposed) that keep seniors who want to move, in their homes.
The Senior Relocation program is a feature-packed program that answers many of the obstacles I hear from seniors.
My home won't ever sell in this market
The Guaranteed Sale. List your home with me, and if it doesn't sell within 120 days, my partner will buy it.
If we do buy it, and there is any profit left from the sale, we'll return the profit to you.
I have too much stuff
Roses Daughters, a local senior move management company that is willing to defer payment for
decluttering, sorting and moving until the closing on the sale of your home.
We'll make sure you have a plan for a safe investment for the money you'll get from the sale of your home.
We know you want your money to last as long as possible.
I know the fear and intimidation of moving are very real. I also know that lots of seniors before you have moved,and I almost always hear "I wish I would have done this 10 years ago." Moving is not impossible. Lots of seniors do it every month.
I also see a lot of houses every month where seniors have lived in their home too long. The house is falling down around them, and they live most of their days alone. The obstacles that keep them in their home are keeping them from being able to live where they want, and becomes a quality of life issue.
The Senior Relocation Program is in response to what I've heard seniors say they want.
As of January 1, 2009 there’s another new way to help seniors overcome the fear of running out of money. There is now a Reverse Mortgage Loan Product that can be used to purchase a home.A senior 62 years or older that owns their home outright (or has a very low balance that can be paid off) may use an FHA HECM (Home Equity Converstion Mortgage) to purchase a home and never have a monthly payment.
Imagine, a senior who owns a home worth $200,000 and wants to purchase a condominium for $250,000. After selling their home and paying closing costs, there would be as much as $186,000 left from the sale of their current home. Using an FHA HECM reverse mortgage, they would need $89,035 to purchase the new condominium.
The best part? No monthly mortgage payment unless they move, or die. As long as taxes, insurance and those association dues are kept current, you do not need to repay the loan. You don’t have to worry about outliving the loan.
There's a new page on Real Sage Advice with a video library featuring the best of the best of the senior professionals in the Minneapolis St. Paul area. As you know, there's a lot to talk about when it comes to seniors, aging and senior housing. Check back for new videos!
I had a conversation with Warren Wolfe from the Minneapolis Star and Tribune last week. He asked me what kinds of trends I was seeing with seniors in the current economy. He was wondering if I was seeing seniors become “stuck” in their homes because of dwindling retirement accounts and homes that weren’t selling. I think he was looking for new trends and I’m afraid my answer wasn’t quite what he was looking for.
Senior’s aren’t inventing any new excuses to not move (note, I said excuses and not reasons).The objections raised to not moving usually fall into a few predictable categories.
1.Pride: My house is a badge of honor that symbolizes a lifetime of hard work and saving. It symbolizes success. I’m not ready to give it up.
2.Emotions: My house is where I raised my family and I have emotional ties to the memories. I’m not ready to give it up.
3.Identity: My house is in a community where I feel like I belong. My neighbors have been my social support for more than 40 years. I’m not ready to give it up.
4.Stuff & House Preparation: What will I ever do with all the stuff in the closets, basement, attic and garage? My late husband put up this wallpaper, and I just can’t take it down even if it keeps my house from selling. I can’t possibly go through all this stuff and I’m not ready to give it up.
5.Money: I don’t pay a mortgage and I don’t want to start having a monthly payment again. I’m afraid of running out of money.
6.Fear of the unknown.
Author's Note: I’m not trying to make light of our current economic state. It’s very true that home prices have depreciated, and seniors’ retirement accounts have lost value. This is also not applicable to seniors who are dependent on state funding aging services, nor a commentary on seniors who are struggling to make ends meet. I'm painfully aware of our shortcoming in serving seniors.
However, I am saying that if a senior says they want to move, there’s a way to make it happen. I have yet to be introduced to a case where, with the help of other professionals, we haven’t been able to make it happen.
Warren from the STRIB was looking for verification of a new trend.The new trends just might be increased fear of making a financial mistake, a mistaken myth that by waiting to move the home will appreciate enough in value to make it worth waiting, and the belief that the home will never sell. With education, everyone of these fears can be overcome. Seniors who are homeowners and own their home outright are no more stuck in their homes now than they have ever been.
Afterall, we humans are very adept at creating our own self-imposed limitations. What paradigms, thoughts or self talk are keeping YOU from accomplishing something?