NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Retirees often downsize or move to warmer states like Florida, New Mexico or Arizona. But many Boomers have an age-in-place agenda: They don't plan to leave their current homes until they are well into retirement -- and may never relocate at all -- according to a new survey from HomeServe USA, which provides home repair service plans.
“When an elder is healthy and socially active surrounded with friends or family, they will want to remain in their homes,” said Kristi Hood, author of Probate Pirates (JKH Publishing, 2015). “If they have confidence that someone will always be just a phone call away, they will want to stay in their own home."
This trend toward inertia is pervasive and potentially problematic: Some 41% of Americans ages 50 and over plan to live in their current homes until they're 81 or older, and the average age they say they intend to stay in their current homes until is 79. But aging at home offers no guarantee of safety, and retirees can be left particularly vulnerable.
“Older Americans run a greater risk of being taken advantage of when it comes to dealing with repairmen, and letting a virtual stranger into their home can really increase this anxiety,” said Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe.
The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network database, which collects consumer complaints and makes them available to law enforcement, found 26% of all fraud complaints were made by people 60 and older -- 123,757 in 2013 alone. And frauds targeting this most-commonly bamboozled demographic are on the rise: Elderly victims of financial fraud and abuse lost $2.9 billion in 2011, a 12% jump from 2008 estimates, according to MetLife.