Francisco CastroApril 8, 20192750
An estimated 10,000 baby boomers retire every day in the U.S.
For many, the end of work days brings reinvention as full-time grandparents, volunteers or travelers. Maybe it could mean learning something you’ve been aching to do since childhood or just playing tennis or golf and relaxing with friends after a long, demanding career.
But with the end of employment days also come new financial adjustments. For many, this means tapping into pension and retirements funds saved over a lifetime, but according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), 34% of retirees receive 90% of their income from Social Security.
For the latter, that means paying for nearly everything with $1,411 average retirement check from SSA, not enough to cover bills and basic necessities in most major cities. And if the person hasn’t paid his or her home, certainly not sufficient to cover mortgage payments.
Investing in solar panels for your home can help bring peace of mind, reduced payments in the future and more money in your pocket, all pros of solar energy in retirement age.
This is especially true for electricity rates that go up every couple of years, putting more and more pressure on customers.
As with any major purchase - such as your home or automobile - you should view the cost of solar installation in your residence as an investment.
The cost of the system will depend on its size and your individual needs (check out our price checker). For the most part, experts recommend you purchase instead of lease, in part because the installation of solar panels in your home also allow you to take a 30% federal tax credit; states also offer an array of rebates and incentives. If you pay upfront, it also saves you in interest payments.
If you can’t pay it outright, some other options include tapping into a home equity line of credit.
But even if you opt to lease solar panels, you will be saving money in the long run.
However, as with any investment, even if you don’t pay it upfront, the payments reduce over time until you finally own the solar power system. From then on, it’s free. And in the case of solar panels, the savings (check out the solar savings estimator) begin as soon as you turn on the switch because you’re generating electricity instead of relying on a utility company selling your that energy. And if your system provides more than what you need, you may be even sending power to the electricity grid, which transforms into a payment from the utility to you.
On average, a homeowner who opts for solar energy achieves payback in about 7.5 years with the savings incurred. That means that even if your paying your loan for 10 years, the last 2.5 years the system is free.
Remember also that having a solar power home increases the value of your property if you decide to sell your residence and move to a sunnier, more affordable state. In fact, a 2015 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found that homes with solar panels sold, on average, for about $15,000 more than similar homes without a solar energy system. And another study by the office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy found that solar-powered homes can sell twice as quickly as those without it
Even if you’re already in retirement, solar energy can be a boost for your wallet.
Take for instance the case of Lynne and Richard Adams of Wilmington, North Carolina. Already in their 80s, the couple decided to install solar panels in their home a few years back and so far they told Yale Climate Connections that “the savings have been remarkable.”
And there’s also the environmental legacy.
It is estimated that 72 percent of water pollution stems from coal-fired plants. Electricity production also accounts for 31 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Aside from the savings in their electricity bill, the Adams feels good about living a cleaner, better planet for their grandchildren.
“We sleep very well at night knowing we’re doing out little bit toward the environment…I would say, if you can do it, do it,” Lynne told Yale Climate Connections.
Solar power can even benefit retirement communities. KOTV Channel 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just reported that Zarrow Pointe Retirement community instituted new programs around renewable energy after the suggestion of their residents.
Among the features of that program are solar panels added to the resident parking, which now produce 1.7% of the daily electrical power used at the retirement home.
So, it’s never too late to start taking advantage of the power of the sun.
HahaSmart is here for you, regardless of your age. Let us help you decide on what you can afford and how much you can save by going solar today.
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