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Selling your home can provide tax relief too
Senior Moments
Rich DeLong is executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

It’s my favorite time of year again my friends — tax season. I’ve written many articles in the past related to tax deductions for seniors; so this year I thought I would put a different perspective on how seniors can save money, including paying less taxes.

Even with the economy picking up slightly, saving money will never go out of style.

Although home ownership is the American dream, it can also be a nightmare as many have discovered over the past 10 years. As we age the challenges of home ownership and upkeep are numerous.

My mom was one of the lucky ones who sold her home in 2007, just before the market downturn. But it wasn’t as much for the money as it was for the relief from all the upkeep, not to mention all the safety concerns that she was experiencing as a widowed older adult living alone with no family members close by.

She was blessed to able to sell her house when she did and trade in home ownership for more freedom and less stress. After moving to a senior living community, mom began to realize other benefits that came with renting versus owning a home.

She gave up her monthly mortgage payment for a monthly rent bill. Rent was actually higher, but the additional value in the form of goods and services, and tax relief, far offset the increase. She eliminated her property taxes, which were about 2 percent the value of her home. She also had no need for homeowners insurance or flood insurance, although she could still purchase renters insurance at a fraction of the cost.

All of her utilities (heat, air conditioning, lights, cable, water, lawn maintenance, and garbage removal) are now being covered by the senior living community. Housekeeping and laundry services are also part of the package. She also has peace of mind knowing that repair and maintenance of all her appliances are covered. And no more worries about broken water heaters or the leaky roof.

Another advantage that came with her move was instant oversight, safety and security from the senior living staff. Plus, she was given a personal help button to use in the case of an emergency, like a fall or sudden illness. Wow! But wait, there’s more.

Mom has not gone grocery shopping in the last three years. Why? She doesn’t have to. Three squares a day and snacks to boot keep her full and content.

She has no more car expenses either. Transportation to doctor appointments and local shops is an amenity of most senior communities. And monthly events such as supper club and outings to a farmer’s market, theater, ice cream parlor and the like enhance her overall social experiences.

On top of all this, mom is now close to family. Being near loved ones is important to a lot of people as they grow older. And, if we do move, mom can move too if she desires because there are no long-term leases. With a little research we can surely find another senior living community close by.

We don’t often hear this but, certainly as we age, there can be much value found in renting versus owning a house. I think the real American dream, no matter where you call home, is to live well my friends.

Contact him at 912-531-7867 or email him at:

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