real estate

4 urgent home fixes before you retire

Urgent home fixes before you retire
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A leaking roof, a burst pipe or a skyrocketing electric bill are headaches no matter when they happen, but when you're on a fixed income and unprepared, they can become a financial crisis.

Most people 45 and older want to stay in their home as they age, says AARP. If you're among them, plan for and make your repairs now while you can still increase your income or make spending choices that allow you to pay for the repairs comfortably.

"If you wait until a critical thing happens to you, it's going to be more of a financial burden on you and your family," says Esther Greenhouse, an environmental gerontologist. "Secondly, you don't want to deal with these issues in a crisis. The more control you have over your environment, the more control you will have over your life when you plan for it."

Make a plan

If you plan to stay in your home, look for a licensed and insured contractor who is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, or CAPS, who is certified by the National Association of Home Builders. Draw up a schedule for repairs and how you'll pay for them, Greenhouse says.

Get a quote now, save up for the repair and stash the money in a certificate of deposit or money market fund -- anything unaffected by the stock market's volatility and that's likely to grow with the rate of inflation.

Here are four things to take care of before you retire.




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