Forget about clapping your hands to turn the lights on and off. That’s old news! Today’s smart home gadgets can do so much more. Your robot vacuum cleans your floors while you watch your smart TV. Your curtains close and open without you moving a finger. And you can turn your lights on and off even when you’re not home.
Smart homes are not only about nifty gadgets that save time and effort. They also make your abode more secure, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly.
Moving into a smart home in your 50s and after retirement can make life easier. Read on to explore different aspects of a technologically empowered lifestyle before deciding which smart home technologies are best for you.
Statista smart home research shows that more than 57 percent of households in the United States will own a smart home device in 2025. That is not surprising because the functionality and convenience of smart homes can improve the quality of life.
A typical smart home installation rests on three pillars: internet connection, WiFi-enabled products, and a device that controls and manages networked gadgets and appliances.
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit are three well-known smart home platforms. Plus, there are many smaller providers. Until recently, devices made for different platforms couldn’t talk to each other. That is now changing. Many manufacturers have agreed to adopt the new smart home standard (called Matter) that allows communication across platforms. However, interoperability is not always achievable. You should check whether a new smart device will fit in with your ecosystem.
Smart home systems allow you to monitor and control your appliances remotely through the internet or from a unit based in your home. For example, you can turn on your oven, lock the doors, and regulate irrigation based on the weather.
While automating many tasks, smart home technology also helps you track your energy consumption. Your home can be more energy-efficient and environment-friendly.
Lowering the electricity bill and saving money is one of the main incentives for introducing smart home technology. Enhanced security is also a highly ranked benefit of smart home technologies.
Tech is now an integral part of more and more appliances and devices, from lights and door locks to fridges and sprinkler systems. Some of the best smart home products currently available include:
Hubs, smart speakers, and displays: You can use one of these devices to control all connected products from a central point in your home. Your smartphone will typically perform the same task, but hubs, speakers, or displays are handy when the internet connection drops. Smart speakers let you control devices like TVs with voice commands. They also play music and broadcast the latest news. Smart displays offer the same functionality, plus touchscreen controls and streaming videos.
Smart plugs: Smart plugs are the simplest smart home accessory. They allow you to manage appliances remotely. No worries if you forget to turn off the heater before leaving home! You can do it through your smartphone.
Smart bulbs: You can control smart bulbs with a remote, from your phone, or by giving voice commands. Alternatively, set them to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. Some models let you change the brightness, colors, and warmth.
Video doorbells and door locks: Making your home safe is one of the main benefits of new smart home technologies. With video doorbells, you can see who is at your front door and keep a record of comings and goings. Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your door remotely.
Smart thermostat: Your smart thermostat optimizes your home’s heating and cooling, saving you money on power bills.
Robot vacuum: Nobody likes vacuuming, and cute little robots are there to help. However, some models can’t clean the corners or go under the furniture if they don’t fit.
Healthcare and wellness: Smart blood pressure or glucose (blood sugar) monitors let your doctor view your condition remotely and act promptly. An intelligent technology pill dispenser keeps track of prescriptions, allocates proper doses on time, and notifies you when refills are needed.
Entertainment: Everyone loves home entertainment, and innovative technology delivers top video and audio experiences via the internet. It’s never been easier to get the content you want, such as TV shows, movies, or music. You can enjoy these on your phone, laptop, tablet, smart TV, or a regular TV hooked to a streaming media player.
Solar panels: Solar panels can help power smart homes, saving electricity and reducing your carbon footprint. They are a great solution in case of (admittedly rare) power outages. Smart solar systems also provide performance monitoring and data visualization.
More and more appliances have smart tech built in. For example, a smart washing machine can turn itself on when energy consumption is the lowest in your area, and a smart fridge can let you know how much milk you have left.
Moving to a smart home can feel like time travel into the future. It can be bewildering to close your drapes, dim the lights, and play music at a voice command or by a tap on your smart home control unit.
Smart devices and appliances can make life easier. They can boost your quality of life and allow you to live independently in a safe and comfortable environment. However, before moving into a smart home in your 50s or after retirement, consider these factors:
Cost: While smart home appliances will save you money in the long run, the upfront costs can be steep. Remember to budget for the initial investment and the ongoing costs of running a smart home. For example, you may need to pay a monthly subscription for storing footage that video cameras capture.
Your comfort with technology: Most smart home systems and devices are user-friendly, but you may need help setting up everything. If you get confused at first, don’t fret. Repeated usage will make your interaction with innovative products a breeze.
Compatibility: Check that the smart devices you bring into your smart home are compatible with the existing ones.
Security and privacy: Implement a high wireless security protocol and use strong passwords. You don’t want to allow hackers to get into your system. Also, be aware of potential privacy risks and understand how data is collected and used.
Outages: An internet or power outage can render a smart home dysfunctional. Without the internet, you can’t control your smart devices remotely (you’ll still be able to manage them with mobile data or through your smart home unit). Only devices with a battery backup will continue to work when the power is out. Typically, door locks come with a battery, so you don’t need to worry about being locked out.
Maintenance: Keep your smart devices clean, dry, and updated. Most devices connected to the internet will update automatically, but check whether you need to do this manually. And since technology evolves rapidly, you may need to replace or upgrade devices over time.
You may wonder what happens if you move into a smart home but have to relocate a few years later.
As a rule, smart homes attain higher prices than traditional homes. According to a 2020 Realtor’s smart home research, buyers are interested in smart homes. They are more likely to view a technology-enabled home. Many real estate agents are adding smart home features as a selling point in property listings.
Most people value at least some degree of home automation. For example, they want to control lights or temperature settings from one point. Many also like automated blinds and curtains or the ability to pre-warm their oven as they drive home. However, other buyers dislike all the commands and apps needed to operate smart home systems.
If you decide to take most of your smart devices and appliances with you when moving, the best option is to keep your router and network name. Then plug in your smart plugs, speakers, light bulbs, and cameras and watch them recognize the network and automatically reconnect themselves. Of course, changing your internet provider means you’ll have to set everything up from scratch.
For devices that are permanent fixtures in your smart home, such as door locks or thermostats, reset them to factory defaults, delete your administrative account, and cancel any subscriptions before moving out. As a courtesy to new owners, leave all instruction manuals. Of course, the previous owner should have done the same for you before you moved into a smart home.
Even if you prefer to press the light switch each time you want your lights to go on or off, you will appreciate the smart moving technology that AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft brings when it’s time to relocate to your new home.
Shyft is dedicated to making your move smooth and stress-free. Start your Shyft moving experience by downloading the handy moving checklist to keep track of everything. Then enjoy peace of mind while your dedicated Move Coach oversees your relocation door-to-door.
Shyft is a technology-enabled moving marketplace. Shyft uses digital tools to take your inventory virtually and connect you with reliable movers. With its vast network of vetted professional moving companies, Shyft can provide any type of move and every moving service you require.
Your dedicated Shyft Move Coach is always ready to lend a helping hand, ensuring you have a smooth and stress-free moving experience.
AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft is tailor-made for people over 50 because Shyft understands they may need special services and extra support when relocating.
Shyft aims to make every relocation a safe and secure experience. The main advantages of entrusting your move to Shyft are:
AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250 every time they move, regardless of where they move.
It is easy to book your move with Shyft. Follow these steps:
Relax and enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your dedicated Move Coach will oversee your relocation. Then settle in your new home and start building your exciting new life.