Sheryl Lee Ralph is all about the next generation. She’s a mother and grandmother. Her husband of 40 years is retired.
They’re part of the emerging group of seniors who are investing in their own homes to stay independent and avoid costly nursing homes.
“I think we’re at the beginning of a new way of life for seniors, when people start to understand this is the new normal,” said Ralph, 67, a retired realtor and owner of E.C. Ralph Realty. “They’re just starting to catch on to the concept of, do I want to stay independent or do I want to be in a place that you can’t leave and you can’t get to.”
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Since 1982, more than 8,500 retired people have received a monthly pension through The Colorado Association of Retired Persons and spent the money on homes and other major upgrades.
The money helps pay for home maintenance and repairs, and retirement savings accounts or other investments.
More: Colorado seniors on average $1.5 million richer thanks to new Colorado Association of Retired Persons investments
While Colorado has a large number of seniors and there are fewer homes for sale than there are available for sale, there are still plenty of homes that older people, especially those with low incomes or disabilities, could afford to buy.
“The number of homes available for seniors has been declining a little bit, but not substantially,” said Amy Miller, a realtor with the real estate division of Denver-based Real Estate Alliance, who is working with the Colorado Association of Retired Persons. “Still, it’s a very attractive market. The average price of a single-family home purchased in the Denver area is between $220,000 and $235,000.”
When people retire, they often change their work and personal lives, which can include moving from the east side of town to the west side. Sometimes older homeowners, many of whom are in the early stages of declining health, decide to sell their homes before they have completed major updates such as kitchen or bathroom upgrades.
More: Here’s what you need to know about Colorado’s long-term