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Ask McEnearney: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Peter Crouch of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Peter at 703-244-4024 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Should I stay or should I go?

Answer: When the punk rock band The Clash put a song with this title on their 1981 album release, they surely never imagined the classic lyric being used in a Senior Housing context.

Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) along with the Alexandria Bar Association is proceeding with its annual Senior Law Day — only virtually this year. Instead of the usual half-day program, it will be broken into three virtual panel discussions. The overall theme, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” addresses housing for older folks, financial concerns around housing and care, and estate planning. Experts from these fields will speak on three successive Fridays beginning September 11.

The first panel will address the big picture of housing, from Aging in Place to Downsizing and Home Modifications to Senior Communities — plus the legal documents that go with such options.

The second panel will address financial concerns such as long-term care, Medicare/Medicaid, what the different housing options may include, as well as tax breaks and funding home modifications.

The third panel will cover Estate Planning, from basic documents, powers of attorney and other “agents,” and the impacts of such documents — or lack thereof.

The first panel on September 11, features Rachel Baer, Esquire, to address legal documents related to housing, Heidi Garvis of Caring Considerations to address the costs of home care vs. community care, and myself — Pete Crouch, Seniors Real Estate Specialist at McEnearney Associates, Inc. to speak to housing options.

As for housing options, there are many, many choices to consider as we age. The first is clearly Aging in Place, which, as the name implies, means staying put in your current housing. It does require, however, making a plan for potentially changing health and financial considerations. Houses, condominiums and apartments can be modified to make them more compatible with such considerations over time, and a well-thought-out plan can make all the difference.

We are also very fortunate in our area to have many options for housing. A large number of older Alexandrians have chosen to move to condos and apartments. The idea is to lessen the maintenance burden of single-family dwellings, provide one-level living, and enhance social interaction, among other benefits. In fact, almost half of the members of our local Senior Village — At Home in Alexandria — have downsized to condominiums and are Aging in Place there.  Again, financial and estate planning considerations can be crucial.

Another option is our local Senior Communities. These range from Independent Living to Assisted Living to Memory Care to Life Plan Communities (also known as CCRC’s — Continuing Care Retirement Communities). Each has its strengths and its appeal.

I encourage you to register for Senior Law Day(s), so you can learn about all of the topics covered in this article and more. Registering once gives you access to all three panel discussions, starting September 11 from 2-3 p.m. Take in your housing education from the safety of your home! Please join us!

Register here for 2020 Senior Law Day.

Pete Crouch is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, which means he is well-versed in all aspects of moving as we age. His own downsize gave him tremendous insights into what is involved, from emotional matters to real estate considerations. Pete is a Board Member of At Home in Alexandria (AHA), our local Senior Village, and was the 2018 National Recipient of the “Outstanding Service Award” by the National Association of Realtors for his work with Senior Moves. Text 703-244-4024 or email [email protected] for a copy of his Downsize Alexandria! Booklet about living more simply in Greater Alexandria.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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