Age in Place: Enough money for retirement?


A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.

~ Winston Churchill

Scott Fulton has been one of the savviest thinkers on the topic of aging in place that I’ve encountered in recent years. He’s a strong advocate for his clients and is not only a university lecturer and teaches a comprehensive course on Aging in Place–but actually does built-environment design. This is a guy with one foot in theory and the other in practice. This piece will get you thinking… I encourage you to look into his offerings.


Guest post by Scott Fulton


Enough money for retirement?

In this example, Aging in Place improvements protects the family from running up a ~$500,000 debt by making improvements early, allowing them to remain living at home 4 more years. The result is a net benefit of over $600,000! Which situation would you choose?

The odds are not in favor of waiting, in fact, they’re stacked so badly you could argue it’s rigged.  The couple below started with $1.45M in total equity, but a hospital visits and sudden need to move to a facility would have wiped them out, leaving their heirs with nothing but debt and regret. That’s not the way anyone would plan their retirement, yet we’re seeing this occur more and more as people fail to make realistic plans.

A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

Adult children of aging parents need to step up and get engaged early as well, as once the free fall starts, the good options are long gone, and they can be left holding the bag.


A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

Much like the foundation that supports your home, fit and function are the cornerstone of any great design and not something you can easily go back and change once the build is complete. The finished project should look fabulous and speak to your own unique tastes, but if the result hasn’t materially improved the quality of your life or markedly improved the equity of your home, you’ve missed out on a big opportunity. My first renovation project was in 1975, the basement of the house my father built. My pitch was “if you buy the materials, I’ll do all the work”. Little did I  ze then, at age 16, that it would define a big part of my life. Four decades later, my passion to build, innovate and improve people’s lives is stronger than ever.

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