Senior couples laughing on a bench in a park

If you aren’t sure, ask and answer three key questions.

Even if you don’t dabble in stock futures, this month’s Wall Street panic has probably left you feeling shaken. And with good reason. The biggest stock market drop since 2020 could significantly impact your investment-linked retirement plan or the value of your home. For example, after market dips in the first quarter of 2022, the number of Fidelity customers with at least $1 million in their 401(k) accounts, the benchmark figure for a comfortable retirement, is down by almost 30%. It also looks like the Fed’s bold interest rate tactics could negatively affect the property market.

If you’ve been considering joining the independent living community at Fellowship Village, you might be wondering how a tumultuous financial climate plays into your decision. In truth, even the experts aren’t sure how things will play out over the next few years, given unpredictable factors like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But asking yourself these three key questions can help you decide if the time is right to make the move.

Should I Sell or Should I Wait?

It’s a tricky time for the real estate market, with many buyers priced out due to rising interest rates. While the pandemic property boom is undoubtedly behind us, lower demand is offset by a smaller inventory due to the decrease in home construction. Prices may have dipped slightly, which could mean less money in your pocket if you sell your home now. Still, you need to consider whether you want to wait out a period of decline that could stretch over several years. Opinion is divided about what will happen next, but savvy sellers might want to take a tip from Ivy Zelman, whose 2005 housing bubble-bursting prediction earned her the moniker “Poison Ivy.” The uncannily accurate analyst is forecasting an 8.8% plunge in home prices over the next couple of years. What’s more, data specialist ATTOM reports six New Jersey counties are among the most precarious real estate markets in the country. All of this suggests you might want to consider selling now.

How Much Would It Cost to “Age Proof” My Home?

While nearly 90% of Americans between 50 and 80 want to stay in their homes as they age, far fewer have made the necessary alterations for this to be a realistic option. From widening doorways and installing chair lifts to revamping the kitchen with accessible fixtures, this can be an expensive proposition, especially if you own an older home. As Porch.com reports, it’s particularly pricey in New Jersey, which has the highest home-maintenance costs of any state. According to a Better Homes and Gardens article that cites estimates from Morristown’s Archuleta Builders, an entry ramp can set you back at least $2,000, while an ADA-compliant bathroom remodel is typically between $25,000 and $50,000. Throw in the current supply-chain issues and labor shortages, and you may decide it’s simply not worth the time, cost and effort. Whether you feel ready to downsize to a modern apartment with a stylish open-concept floor plan or prefer a two-bedroom villa with a den, our gorgeous homes feature fully accessible spaces and sought-after design elements, including high ceilings, stainless-steel appliances and a patio or balcony.

Can Independent Living Provide a Cushion From Inflation?

Even without making upgrades, the average homeowner in the Garden State shells out more than $18,000 a year in property upkeep, according to Porch.com. But what if you didn’t have to worry about roof repairs, mowing your lawn or even changing a hard-to-reach recessed lightbulb? Fellowship Village has an on-site team to take care of all those tasks and more for independent living residents. Housekeeping, basic utilities and interior and exterior maintenance are no longer something to worry about, protecting you from potential price surges. You’ll benefit from an array of valuable extras, such as the BRAVO Wellness Program and a flexible meal plan to enjoy award-winning cuisine. Best of all, you’re covered for high-quality long-term care should you need it.

If you have more questions about whether it’s the right time to make the move to Fellowship Village, we’d love to continue the conversation. Call us at 908-580-3840 for more information about our maintenance-free independent living community or to schedule a tour of our beautiful campus.