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Old 04-17-2015, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,235 posts, read 5,901,687 times
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Yes, ranch house for retirement!
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
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We purchased land in rural Maine and built our own home. I mean - I literally built it myself, with 2 male relatives. I was 66 at the time. We built a ranch; 2 bedrooms and one bath. Plenty for just a couple. We later added a bunkhouse for when the kids and grandkids visit. It connects to the ranch.

A few months back, I purchased another piece of land, in Tennessee. This weekend, I will head down there to have a modular home delivered and set up. This one will also be one floor, with 3 beds and 1.5 baths. Plenty of room for family to visit. The grandkids love to camp, and will bring their tents.

I'm now 67, and wife is 65. Neither of us has any issues at all with climbing stairs. Both very active and healthy. All of our lives we have prepared for adversity - usually by avoiding debt and saving money. This time we have prepared for a different type of adversity. We own another property in Rhode Island, but will never spend time there. It has 2 floors, and NO bedrooms downstairs.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:02 PM
 
381 posts, read 352,562 times
Reputation: 1984
We bought a townhouse with a downstairs master, walk in shower, laundry, kitchen and living room on first level - with a two car garage. Second level has two bedrooms, small living room, and full bath, and a box room. This is a DRHorton development in Texas. Bought new but this floor plan is being built in several new areas here. Don't know where you are but the new townhouses may be marketed to baby boomers. Look at new ones.

I agree that you should plan ahead. We are certainly glad we have this arrangement because of gout, back problems, etc.

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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This is a philosophical question, it seems to me. Of course we all might need everything on one floor someday, or we might not ever need that. So the question becomes do we wish to plan ahead for something that we may or may not ever need?

At 71, I give the same amount of thought to climbing stairs (none at all) as I did when I bought my place 14 years ago. I am on four levels - garage lowest; then main floor with living room, dining room, kitchen, and half bath; then next floor up the two bedrooms each with its own full bath; and finally (on top) the loft. I do up and down dozens of times a day, probably.

I realize I am in the minority here, but I just don't see the point of assuming the absolute worst. (For me, the absolute worst would be not being able to go up and down stairs; at that point I would consider my life at an end and it wouldn't much matter what sort of temporary difficulties I would have to sort out.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,539 posts, read 44,010,725 times
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My uncle lived to 91 - and ran up and down stairs to the end. He was about 5' 9", wiry, fit, and weighed 150 lbs. My aunt, his wife, was overweight most of her life, and tended to be bedridden.

HE was the one going to the basement to do laundry, etc. She had all she could do to get from the bed five feet down the hall to the bath - and then couldn't do even that. Osteoporosis was a real issue for her - and even with all the preventives out there today, women are still very susceptible to hip/back deterioration.

If OP were alone, he might be OK. For his wife's sake, I don't recommend two stories. Unless one is very fit, multiple stories as one ages becomes quite daunting after a while. And, if one of you gets sick, the other will be the one climbing stairs to be nursemaid - or end up with a hospital bed in the LR - which has happened in my family, as well. Full bath on the 2nd floor - impossible.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,552,358 times
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My elderly mother lives with me. Her proximity to a bathroom rules her life. She can't walk up a flight of stairs for other reasons, but even if she could she would be wetting her pants every day if she had to climb to a different floor to reach a bathroom.

Doctors estimate that 1 in 3 older people (men, too, although it's more prevalent in women) have chronic bladder control problems. So it's not only orthopedic issues that make certain house layouts bad ideas for senior citizens.

Unlike my cyber-pal Escort Rider, with whom I am usually in blissful agreement, I believe in planning ahead. When I was in my early 50s I had an accident that left me with a broken left leg, a sprained left ankle, a broken toe on my right foot, and damaged ligaments in both feet. I was in a wheelchair May through July and on crutches for months after that. My home had it's only bathroom on the second floor, steep stairs separating the floors, stairs to climb to get in the front door from the street where I had to park since no garage. That experience totally informed the choice of my next house, even if I hadn't decided to take my severely disabled mother in to live with me. I recovered from my accident and can now climb stairs, but I already have arthritis in my hips and knees so I don't kid myself that I might not some day be in Mom's situation.

I was a Girl Scout and took the motto "Be Prepared" to heart.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
My elderly mother lives with me. Her proximity to a bathroom rules her life. She can't walk up a flight of stairs for other reasons, but even if she could she would be wetting her pants every day if she had to climb to a different floor to reach a bathroom.

Doctors estimate that 1 in 3 older people (men, too, although it's more prevalent in women) have chronic bladder control problems. So it's not only orthopedic issues that make certain house layouts bad ideas for senior citizens.

Unlike my cyber-pal Escort Rider, with whom I am usually in blissful agreement, I believe in planning ahead. When I was in my early 50s I had an accident that left me with a broken left leg, a sprained left ankle, a broken toe on my right foot, and damaged ligaments in both feet. I was in a wheelchair May through July and on crutches for months after that. My home had it's only bathroom on the second floor, steep stairs separating the floors, stairs to climb to get in the front door from the street where I had to park since no garage. That experience totally informed the choice of my next house, even if I hadn't decided to take my severely disabled mother in to live with me. I recovered from my accident and can now climb stairs, but I already have arthritis in my hips and knees so I don't kid myself that I might not some day be in Mom's situation.

I was a Girl Scout and took the motto "Be Prepared" to heart.
You have made an excellent case. I was already aware that my opinion would be a minority one here. Who knows? Someday I might be posting, "Oh dear, if I had only listened to Jukesgrrl!"
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,043 posts, read 17,354,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkk1057 View Post
We are a 50+ couple headed toward retirement in the next 8 years or so. My wife is concerned that our current home does not have a bedroom/ bathroom in the main floor. I don't see this as a problem for the next 15 to 20 years (perhaps because of a severe lack of imagination) and after that who knows.
If you are 50 plus (let's say 55) and do not expect any problems before you are 70 or 75 years old. Maybe you are right and maybe not. Maybe you will be lucky and maybe not.

In my case I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in my early 50s, I am very thankful that strong medication has been keeping me able to climb stairs, but my time may be up at any time. Even now, I greatly limit my stair climbing, most days I only go up & down twice, and there are days that need to crawl up the stairs at bedtime.

My husband was diagnosed with nerve damage in his legs at age 60 and this has limited his ability to climb stairs as well. He has fallen while on the stairs several times.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:32 PM
 
340 posts, read 488,278 times
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A potential flip side argument is that the stairs may keep you in shape in your twilight years - whether you like it or not, you will need to climb those stairs at least once each day. My parents bought a house in a retirement village that was on one level and it wasn't long after that stair climbing at other venues (such as my house when they visited) became a challenge since they weren't using those muscles on a daily basis and those muscles became weak. Similarly, all of the electrical outlets at their new home were located about 24 inches or so above the floor. It looked weird, but the thinking from the retirement village was that some folks have trouble bending over, so it would be better to keep them high to suit everyone's needs. My opinion at the time (which I kept to myself) was that bending over is good to keep one's flexibility and it might be best for one's health (not everyone, but for at least some folks) to keep the outlets at a normal, lower height and get more stretching in a daily routine.

Regardless, I appreciate the opinions expressed above -- especially for folks that have broken a hip. I think it would be best if your home at least allows to you to live on one level when it becomes necessary.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,469 posts, read 859,976 times
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We retired from a two story home to a home with a Master on the 1st floor and 2 more bedrooms upstairs...We are early 60's and even if stairs weren't a problem I would still want the Master on the 1st floor....If you go to the hospital for any reason and have to go home and try to climb stairs to shower or go to bed you may find yourself doing bowl baths and sleeping on the couch. I would rather be able to go home from the hospital and be able to comfortably sleep in my own bed & not take bowl baths!!!
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