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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

7 Home Improvements

That Will See You Retire in Style

Jane Brown

Most people age 60 and older would wish to retire in their current community, probably in their current homes. However, as a homeowner who’s about to exit, you might want to make some changes to maintain a quality life. Below are some of the practical improvements to consider if you’re planning to retire in peace. From adding convenient doors, such as barn doors, to creating fall-proof stairs, we’ve got it all covered.

Adding convenient door handles

Door handles and knobs may seem simple, but they can be very significant as you age. Old door handles are hard to grasp and can be stressful for people with poor balancing or arthritic conditions. That explains why modern public buildings aren’t fitted with traditional door handles.

You can decide to go for lever door handles that are simple to grip. They’re more straightforward to use, enabling you to open your doors with the weight on your hand comfortably. What’s even more interesting is the stylish look new lever handles bring to your home.

Upgrade the shelving and storage designs

As you age, you don’t want to strain to pick or store items for daily use. Consider the height of your drawers, counter, shelves, and storage racks in areas like the kitchen. Ensure that you keep your items compact, organized, and easily accessible. You can also store your cookware in racks or dowels rather than stacking them to avoid the movement of heavy pans and pots.

It is essential to replace or fix the sticky drawers, push latches, and lever handles to improve accessibility. Don’t forget to add a comfortable kitchen prep table of your height.

A new hobby room or office

Retirement doesn’t have to be after your 50s. You can retire early and still feel the need to do a few errands at home. You may not need to go to work daily, but you might want to have a place to run your businesses and look over the bills from home. Having an appealing office allows you to have a productive workspace away from other distractions.

Whether you want to make use of a spare bedroom or to create a small addition, the investment is quite worthwhile—not forgetting that you still have returns on investment (ROI) once you decide to resell your property.

The cost of repurposing a room into an office will depend on your preferences, local prices for supplies and labor, and the room size. Consider different bids from contractors and compare the prices before you embark on the project.

Create fall-proof stairs

Falls can result in broken bones, hip fractures, and worse still, head injuries. The good news about falls is that you can prevent them by considering the following steps:

   •           You can replace a ramp with one or two steps where you have minimal changes in height

   •           Improving lighting, particularly at the bottom and top of stairs. Make sure that the stairs are usable even in the middle of the night

   •           Create handrails on both sides of curved or winding stairs. Handrails come in handy and, if possible, install them on both sides of the stairs

   •           Use rough finish on stairs or a slip-resistant on stairs that easily get wet

   •           Avoid placing objects like loose rugs on landings, steps, or at the bottom of the stairway 

Installing curbless showers and walk-in tubs

Navigating the house can be quite a balancing task, particularly as you age. The appeal of installing walk-in tubs and curb-less shower is obvious, especially if you have a slippery wet bathroom.

A walk-in tub is a bathtub with a watertight door and, in some cases, a seat. A walk-in tub is ideal for people transferring from wheelchairs. Other safety features are handrails, anti-scald valves, and non-slip flooring.

A curbless shower is more open than a conventional shower and may not have a door. The floors slopes toward the drain, and there no trip overs or lip to step. You can also incorporate features like grab bars and non-slip mats for more safety.

Creating an easy entrance

Ensure you have at least two entrance doors to ensure that you can increase ways to come in and out of the house as you grow older. You can also widen the doorways by removing flower vases and other items that may minimize the walking space.

Use a ground floor bedroom

It might seem straightforward to climb stairs now, but an illness or disability may make that trip challenging as you age. Consider relocating your bedroom from the upper floors to the ground floor.

Love your house’s location and design but still can’t figure out if it’s suitable for your retirement? Consider the steps mentioned above to improve your home for a better and peaceful retirement.

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

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