Community Service, Redefined

Posted by Amy Ford on Jun 30, 2021 8:00:00 AM

 

As we prepare for the Fourth of July holiday and take a moment to reflect after a difficult 15 months, we can see the American Dream is evolving. For decades, the rhetoric and messages we have received have been about the importance self-reliancethat being self-made and independent is simply part of being AmericanBut when the pandemic made the formal and informal social connections and communities in our lives instantly inaccessible to us, the repercussions were severe. We learned that perhaps being “independent” isn’t always in our best interest. 

 

We’ve all internalized the narrative that to be successful we need to do things on our own, but we know from experience that success is rarely if ever achieved in a vacuum or on an island. Even though we know we need each other, we insist on denying our interdependence. We judge and shame others and ourselves for needing help—even though all of us need help at some point(s) in our lives. How much better would our world be if we could embrace our interdependence and let it inspire us to create solutions that benefit us all? 

 

Homesharing in Portland: Finding a Roommate in PDX

Posted by Silvernest Team on Jun 24, 2021 3:13:36 PM

 

The abundance of tech jobs. The beautiful natural scenery. The environmentally-conscious lifestyle. There are plenty of reasons to fall in love with Portland, Oregon, no matter what you’re into. The City of Roses has a unique culture and universal appeal: it was ranked as both the #1 best place to live for seniors and as one of the 10 Safest Cities for Families with Young Children. It’s also been highlighted as a tech hub in recent years as well as a dream destination for hikers thanks to its 180 miles of trails. While the rain can be a downside, what few realize is that almost any climate you desire is only ever 90 minutes awaybeach, year-round skiing, dry desert. It’s all within reach if you need a quick escape.  

 

With such diverse appeal, it’s no surprise that Portland has exploded in popularity and population. In the last decade alone, the city has seen an influx of nearly 400,000 new residents. This growth has led to a spike in rent prices and overall cost of living: the average Portland renter looking for a one-bed apartment can expect to spend $1,500/mo in rent, while home buyers are facing a median home price of $500,000.   

Rethinking Retirement: Ideas for Your Income Mix

Posted by Amy Ford on Jun 14, 2021 2:25:58 PM

 

We’re long overdue for a redefinition of “retirement.” According to the U.S. Census, the percentage of Americans at the traditional retirement age of 65 or older has more than doubled since 1950—and, with the Baby Boomers reaching their golden years, that percentage is projected to continue to increase.

 

If you are among the 63% of Americans who are unsure about the sufficiency of their retirement savings, you may be wondering what you're supposed to do as age 65 approaches (or is already in your rearview). After all, the average Social Security payout of $1,177 is a far cry from the 80% of current annual income that the IRS recommends having saved to comfortably retire.

 

To make things even more complicated, the definition of “comfortably retiring” has changed over the years. Especially after COVID-19, we’re acknowledging that our health and relationships are the most important things in life. Retirement isn't about life on the golf course or walks on the beach for most people—it's about finding creative ways to stay financially stable, socially connected and a valued and contributing member of society.

An Argument Against "Aging In Place"

Posted by Emily Reynolds on Jun 7, 2021 2:11:42 PM

 

According to multiple studies, the vast majority of Americans want to age in placewhich the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as [living] in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It’s no surprise this idea is so popular—as a society, we have begun moving away from institutional living and back towards our homes and communities 

 

But if I didn’t know the definition of “aging in place” and someone asked me if I wanted to do it, I would probably say no. Honestly, aging in place doesn’t sound that great. The term suffers the same mistreatment as many ideas and catchphrases we use to talk about the latter years of our lives—it’s negative, joyless and lacks nuance.  

 

So “aging in place” has a branding problem—who cares? I think we all should. Language shapes the way we see the world and even helps us recognize objects, and my suspicion is that we are narrowing and stifling what aging can be aging by the way we describe it.  

What Is Homesharing?

Posted by Silvernest Team on May 11, 2021 12:22:03 PM

 

Question: what is homesharing?

It’s pretty simple, really. Homesharing is another example of the sharing economy, like ridesharing or coworking. It’s shared housing in which a homeowner chooses to live together with at least one other non-related person in exchange for rent (and sometimes, in exchange for help around the house). 

Report: Homesharing and Public Health

Posted by Silvernest Team on Apr 30, 2021 10:40:57 AM

The Loneliness Epidemic was raging long before COVID-19, but the events of the past year have only highlighted the struggle that nearly 1 in 5 Americans over 65 face daily. The effects of a pandemic on top of existing isolation have disproportionately impacted older adults, and a variety of modern approaches will be required to address their needs.

Homesharing is not a new concept. People have long kept lodgers, tenants and roommates. What’s new for most people is the use of digital tools to make homesharing modern, scalable and practical for how we live today. Making those tools user-friendly and reassuring for older adults is more vitally important than ever. Our mission is to enable and operationalize homesharing as a part of population health initiatives designed to help combat loneliness and isolation among older adults.

In our latest report, we examined the intersection of healthcare and isolation, positioning homesharing as a holistic intervention for individual health. You can read and download the full report for free by clicking the link below.

How to Bridge the Generation Gap and Enrich Your Life

Posted by Silvernest Team on Feb 17, 2021 11:00:00 AM

 

It might surprise you to learn that the term “generation gap” was only defined as recently as 1992. It’s a concept as old as timethe idea that, as VeryWell puts it, the “differences between generations... cause difference in opinions and communication.” For as long as there have been parents, there have also been children whose habits and perspective feel foreign. So, then, why have we only recently decided to label it as a gap? 

The answer is that there’s more distance between generations than ever beforeBecause we’re living longer than ever, the senior population is larger than ever and is projected to grow a whopping 84% between 2010 and 2030.  

At the same time, boomers are remaining in the workforce—and working alongside the massive contingent of millennial professionalsuntil well into their 60s and 70s. As Gen Z comes of age, we’ll see and unprecedented three generations working alongside one anotherand sometimes struggling to communicate. 

While it takes creativity and cooperation to form relationships across generational lines, the benefits are well worth the effort. And with these larger dynamics at play impacting our society for decades to come, it’s in all our best interests to open ourselves to the possibility of intergenerational relationships. 

Homesharing in Denver: How to Get Started

Posted by Silvernest Team on Jan 27, 2021 11:48:52 AM

 

There are plenty of reasons Denver was recently ranked as the #2 Best Place to Live in The U.S by US News and World Report. There’s the amazing natural beauty, outdoorsy fun and hundreds of days of sunshine every year. There’s also a solid and diverse economy, with lots of jobs in technology, aerospace, agriculture and more. We can't forget the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and Avalanche… and, of course, the fantastic local beer and brewery culture. 

Denver has seen explosive growth over the last 10-15 years, but the housing supply has not kept up—leading to skyrocketing prices. According to Westword, the median home price in metro Denver has increased nearly 35% over the past five years. And despite the pandemic, the crazy housing market “remains red-hot. 

Homesharing in LA: Finding a Roommate in Los Angeles

Posted by Silvernest Team on Dec 18, 2020 1:11:03 PM

When it comes to housing costs, Los Angeles is one of the toughest markets in the nation. According to a recent analysis by Zillow Research, LA renters spend 45% of their income on the typical property (spending more than 30% is considered “cost-burdened”). Homeowners in the area aren’t much better off, spending nearly 44% of their income on the typical mortgage (based on current prices). To make matters worse, if you’re among the many San Francisco or San Jose residents found by Zillow to be earning a lower income, you have a whole lot less to live on after paying those high housing costs.  

5 Takeaways for Homeowners from Our Interview on Torchlight's Eldercare Illuminated

Posted by Amy Ford on Dec 9, 2020 10:00:00 AM

For many of us in 2020, our homes have never seemed more like protective fortresses. Even in our protection, however, far too many of us are still feeling the financial impact of this unprecedented time. If you’re one of the 1 in 3 Americans who’ve found difficulty covering usual household needs this year, this should come as no surprise.

Thankfully, your home can protect you from more than just the elements – in fact, it’s an incredible asset. Homesharing is a great way to earn passive income while also benefitting from social connection with a compatible housemate.

When I spoke to the Torchlight team on their Eldercare Illuminated podcast, I kept the impacts of the pandemic in mind. Beyond the finances, there’s a lot to gain from homesharing for those of us nearing retirement or caring for a loved one. Let’s take a look at five discussion points from the interview that felt most pressing for today. We were only able to cover a portion of the podcast topics in this blog, but please click here if you’d like to listen to this special episode of Eldercare Illuminated in its entirety.