NORTH ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts – The first wave of baby boomers is beginning to retire. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island ranks ninth in the country for those 65 and older. As these older Rhode Islanders transition into retirement, selecting a retirement home should be high on the list of priorities.

Research shows the majority of older Americans want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Therefore, smart decisions should be made when choosing the right home for senior years.

According to Jean Allard, Senior Real Estate Specialist and Vice President of Keystone Real Estate Group, Inc., planning ahead is critical as this demographic begins to compete for appropriate housing. The firm has a dedicated division specializing in home sales for seniors and Allard has received additional training to best serve the unique needs of older clients.

“Find a home with single-level living so that stairs won’t be an issue,” said Allard. “As people age, mobility issues may arise. A retirement home should be ready to accommodate physical needs as they change.”

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Allard suggests purchasing in a neighborhood that fits an age-appropriate lifestyle.

“Think about city living, and being able to walk to shopping areas. If suburban life is a preference, one may want to move closer to adult children who can be there to assist if an emergency arises,” said Allard.

Although property maintenance and grounds keeping may be of interest now, Allard cautions that retirees should make thoughtful considerations about the level of upkeep a property may need. Health factors in later years made impede the ability to maintain a home.

Allard states that seniors who are relatively wealthy can afford the comforts of independent or assisted living. However, these options can cost upwards of $6,000 per month. Many amenities, such as hair salon services, and food plans, are offered on an a la carte basis which drives up monthly costs.

“Those who are in more desperate financial circumstances may qualify for subsidized housing whereby the government supplements their housing costs,” said Allard. “Waiting too long to apply for this option could be devastating. Many have waiting lists of two years or more.”

Allard is an active member of the Rhode Island Assisted Living Association, as well as the Senior Agenda Coalition, the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. Allard serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Resource Network. President and Principal Broker Dan Awde was recently named to the Board of the Hope Alzheimer’s Center.

About Keystone Real Estate Group, Inc. (

Founded in 2002, Keystone Real Estate Group, Inc. is headquartered in North Attleboro, Massachusetts with a satellite office in Cranston, Rhode Island. Led by Dan Awde, SRES and Jean Allard, SRES, the firm has over 26 years of experience in the real estate industry specializing in commercial and residential brokerage services, construction management and inspections, OREO (other real estate owned) management/dispositions, marketing and broker evaluations.

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