By Rehema Ellis Correspondent
NBC News
updated 9/8/2006 12:57:00 PM ET 2006-09-08T16:57:00

When Albert and Tina Yarur bought their house 21 years ago, they planned to raise their four children in it and then move elsewhere to live out their golden years.

"We were looking for a place we could stay when we're older, really old," says Tina.

But today in their 50s and nearing retirement, these two boomers have a new plan. Instead of moving, they're fixing to stay.

They added a master bedroom and bath to the first floor, and wider doorways throughout the house.

"Yet they're not noticeably wider to me, so I don't feel like I'm living in an old folks home," says Tina.

The Yarurs made elaborate changes, but experts say even some simple remodeling could meet long term needs, such as:

  • Enhanced lighting
  • Door levers instead of knobs -- for easier access
  • Outlets installed a little higher to reduce bending

Experts say over the next five years 30 million American boomers will be at retirement age. Many will want to stay at home as long as they can. Businesses are catching on — and cashing in.

"You begin to look at it as an aging in place thing," says Vincent Butler with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "[You consider] the full spectrum of the needs that a family might have in the house, then, really, you're talking every house in your market."

And there's a lot of marketing: New books, Web sites, even a course offered by the NAHB, specializing in boomer housing.

The Yarurs contractor took the course.

"Everybody would much rather be at home than anywhere else," says BarryCorbett, president of Corbett Home Design.

"And slowly we put together this plan," says Tina Yarur.

It's a plan millions of other boomers may follow — as they age gracefully — at home.

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