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Make your home ‘boomer ready’

Posted September 24, 2014 in Advice Column, Beaverdale

When it’s time to retire, do baby boomers just sit back and watch life pass them by? Not anymore. Boomers are known for getting involved in their communities, enjoying the outdoors and starting new — or restarting older — hobbies and spending time with family. Design your home to be exactly what you need for your retirement years. Downsizing into a new home — one that can adapt to boomers’ changing needs as well as accommodate their occasional desire to entertain guests — is a great way to enjoy retirement in comfort and style.

Consider the following customizable features in your home:

• Bragging wall. Every parent and grandparent loves to show off photos of their children and grandchildren. A wall designed specifically for hanging photos, awards and other proud mementoes gives parents and grandparents the perfect opportunity to share stories with visitors.

• Handy but hidden entertainment. When friends and family come over, consider how efficient it is to have a built-in cabinet that flips open to serve as a beverage station. When visitors are not around, tucking the beverage station away into a designated place makes the home more open. Another customizable feature is a support column that acts as a wine storage cubby with a built-in bench beside it.

• Accessible laundry. Placing laundry facilities close to the bedroom is great for baby boomers. The space doesn’t need to be large, but sometimes when a small space is designed for laundry, you lose out on those wonderful additional features, such as drying racks.

• Bedroom luxury. Enjoy a home that segregates the master bedroom and bath from the entertaining areas of the home. One way to make this private space perfect is to install a beauty bar. It’s a vanity station in the bedroom with a large mirror and chair so one can comfortably prep for the day without constantly standing.

• Fun space. Many retirees finally have the time to enjoy their hobbies to their full potential, and they’ll need to designate a space in their new home to accommodate the activity. Maybe they’re interested in physical fitness and need a place for equipment. Sometimes a craft room is required so the grandkids can come over and put their creativity to good use. Entertaining is an option, too, and having a separate room near the kitchen just for those planned gatherings might be exactly what is needed.

By efficiently utilizing living space that is specifically designed for their use, boomers can enjoy their retirement years in a home that is built to suit their new active lifestyles.

Information from BPT, provided by Jan Stehl, Iowa Realty Beaverdale office, 3521 Beaver Ave., 453-5993.

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