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"I just turned 84. I'm staying in my two story house on five acres."

Good luck to you. Though the two-story home makes me shudder, I admit.

You sound like us. We'll both be 80 next year, and, yes, we have some minor health issues, but we want to stay right here in this home until it is physically impossible.

Mind you, we are mainly on one floor, on a ridge with a walkout floor/basement level (a second floor below has 2 bedrooms and a bath, plus the furnace and water systems, etc.) that is just a couple of steps above ground level. Our bedroom, main bathroom, family room (where we spend most of the time), nice kitchen, dining room, a foyer (and powder room), and living room are all on this level.

Our main bath was redone a few years back, and has a lovely walk-in shower (with grab bar) PLUS a separate tub for times when we want or need it, high toilet, and -- a must -- washer and dryer right there, behind bifold doors. We made sure the entrances to all rooms will accommodate a wheelchair, too, if need be. There are handles along the way for those needing them when walking.

Costwise, it is FAR, FAR cheaper for us to live right here than in one of those seemingly very costly "assisted living" apartments -- not to mention the fact that we would HATE to have to be surrounded by a beehive of other people! Even if we had to pay people to come and take care of us, the cost to live right here would be far less than the $10,000/month we hear quoted. And either of us could manage the cost alone, if need be.

We have the driveway plowed (yes, we both drive, though that may fade, we realize), and the walk shoveled, and could have the lawn mowed, when I am unable to do it any more (I still do it fine, with a push powermower AND rider mower). We are also blessed to have a daughter and husband who live a few miles away, and who are very attentive if needed, plus another daughter and family another hour farther away.

We all need to plan what will work for us, but we need to do so independently, not always blindly following along what others say we "must" do.

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