Like most Americans, as you grow older, you probably want to stay in your home for as long as you can. And living the good life here in Bluffton, you might never want to leave.

However, as life goes on, it might become harder to do all the home chores on your own.

Older Americans often think of their home as a nest egg. If they need some extra money, they can tap into their home equity (which is the difference between the value of the home and what they owe on any mortgages).

A reverse mortgage is one way that home equity can be converted into cash, while allowing you to live in your home for as long as you want, with no monthly payments required.

For more information, consult an attorney, accountant, or a reverse mortgage expert.

Is that the best way to use the equity in your home? It might be, but it is a decision that you should consider carefully.

It might be better to sell your home and buy a home that is better suited to your specific needs.

If you are planning to remain in your home, as abilities might diminish with age, assistance and-or changes might be needed to maintain your independence and safety at home. An occupational therapist could offer suggestions that are specific to your needs, skills, environment and budget.

If you are thinking about right-sizing, there are many home ownership options that are available here in our Lowcountry paradise that might be perfect for you. These include moving to a townhome, villa or condominium with lots of included amenities.

Or you might consider some type of assisted living arrangement.

Living in a villa or a townhome requires less maintenance and could be a more comfortable living experience.

You could even turn your new digs into a smart home, so you never have to worry about turning off the lights, locking the doors or forgetting about something else in the house that you were supposed to take care of.

Or consider assisted living, with delicious chef-prepared meals in a nice, comfortable dining room, onsite services such as hair salon and snack bar, and free transportation to shops, movies and plays (if and when you want it).

The possibilities are many, so consider your personal requirements and wishes before making a decision.

Larry Stoller is the broker-owner and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry. or