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Old 11-15-2008, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,411 posts, read 5,939,783 times
Reputation: 7141

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I'm getting a Westie (West Highland White Terrier). Had one before (20 years ago)....had to give her up to Westie Rescue at age 8 (long story, and she was adopted immediately by an adoring new owner) but my mother has always been sad about that. I want to give her the joy and happiness of another one, while she's still here to enjoy it. The funny thing is, the Westie puppy's photo was the first one that popped up when I was just casually browsing the local classifieds, and that was unusual because they're not listed that often. Then I noticed the puppies were born on Mom's birthday. I'm big on "signs". Anyway, I'll pick up our new baby boy in a month.

Back to retirement plans -- my fallback plan, if I could no longer afford my new condo, was to sell it and move in with Mom in FL. She has a lovely condo with a very small mortgage balance. She asked if I would keep her place after she died, and I said no, I would probably sell it because I wouldn't want to live there permanently. I mean, I hope she lives for many years but that had been my strategic plan -- sell both places eventually and move to Laguna Woods, CA.

But now, with the market meltdown, my plan is sure going awry. As I mentioned, my place didn't sell and I will try again in the spring. But even if it does sell, the price may be less than the mortgage balance....and I put 20% down! Not to mention my 401k, which I can't even look at anymore because it's too depressing.

I know many people are suffering with this economy, but it's ashame that we "near-retirees", who have tried so hard to plan for a comfortable future, now have our plans disrupted or nearly impossible due to something so out of our control.

 
Old 11-16-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,246,084 times
Reputation: 2651
Quote:
rmebrt: Anyway, this site had one community in particular that I found interesting and I wonder what ya'll think about this? My thought is if I keep my expenses down I can retire at 62 rather than 66 - at least that is what I'm hoping for! At 62 I could still do some work that fulfills me (working with animals or in a pre-school or somesuch) and live on a smaller paycheck...we shall see! But anyway I'd love to hear your thoughts. Maybe I've been watching too many Golden Girls episodes? In any event here's the link:
Cohousing Directory - Community View | The Cohousing Association of the United States
I did go in and read it, however, it doesn’t look like they have gotten too far. Did you email them about where they are at in their formation process? It looks like they’re still even looking for land…. I agree that they seem open and accepting, and have nice ideals, only we need a place that actually exists in “real” time to settle into. I, too, have been thinking much more about this type of setting. Maybe those of us who are into it could meet in “real time and space” and see how it feels. It would require obtaining land, or purchasing a series of homes near each other to make a community. Or a big Victorian someplace. I never thought I’d be thinking about living with at least several other women before, but now, with age advancing, I think it is very wise to consider.

Quote:
Tesaje: Well, I'm currently spending my savings on caring for my elderly cat who just developed kidney disease.
I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty. I have three, and I know how heart-wrenching it is when something happens to them.

Quote:
adventuregurl: Somehow I just felt like I had to be a part of this group...perhaps at some point I'll start another thread for gypsies at heart .
I think there are a number of us who have lived in many different places, and like that sense of adventure from living in various locations. My dad used to joke that I had inherited his gypsy blood! For me, I think I need a central place to be now, close to some interesting cities, and then I can take long weekend trips. I think at this age, I need to make sure I have roots, although I still love exploring.

Thanks for the info on the mobile home parks – that is the problem I keep reading about with them – especially parks in nice places – they get you in and then keep raising the space rent. It’s happened around here, I know – you can get a really nice home for cheap, but the space rents are so high, you still have to be wealthy to live in the mobile home park!

Anomoly has been doing the RV thing and seemed to enjoy it. Unfortunately, for me, I hate, absolutely detest, driving. So, although I would love to have that freedom, I just couldn’t do the driving part. Now, if there was someone who did the driving for me….then I’d consider it!

Quote:

Avalon08:
But now, with the market meltdown, my plan is sure going awry. As I mentioned, my place didn't sell and I will try again in the spring. But even if it does sell, the price may be less than the mortgage balance....and I put 20% down! Not to mention my 401k, which I can't even look at anymore because it's too depressing.
Unfortunately, I hear you! I feel the same way. My plan was to retire this year….but no longer. I am trying to get my mind in a place where I can adjust to the fact that I may be working full-time much longer than I thought. It IS depressing.

If I can (could) sell my home in the Spring, I will do so. Only, no one seems to be either buying OR selling. You’d think you’d see massive “for sale” signs around, but not much of anything. People seem to be laying low.

If I can sell, which is a big if, and if I can make a little more than what I owe on the mortgage, then I will consider renting in town, if I can get a place that will take the pets (it’s always so hard to get a rental with pets…). Honestly, the stress is so much about trying to figure out how to make it in this economic climate, that I’d rather just be done with the house thing, and rent a place for now. My property is too large for me to handle on my own, my daughter’s in college, so it’s just me and the pets.

I can’t afford to buy a big house to rent out rooms to others, but I’d be willing to go in on one with several women. At this point in our lives, we need to be practical. As much as I have always been super independent, I am trying to come to terms with physical changes of age. Women seem better at respecting each person’s privacy and needs, while guys (in my experience) often look toward a woman to care for them. I think that this generation needs to redefine aging and while still maintaining an active lifestyle – even for those of us who may not have oodles of money or a partner to help us.

I love the co-housing concept, however, all of the ones I’ve seen are really expensive. I would like to see a builder put up a co-housing development with small cottages. I certainly don’t need a 2,000-3,000 sq.ft. home – I just don’t understand this craving for “bigger is better.” I’m not into the “Keeping up with the Jones’s” thing anyway, I just want quality in my life, not quantity. Anyone know any builders, personally, to ask them about a smaller concept? From the little research I’ve done, the ones who have built small homes are selling them like hotcakes! Maybe the problem is it is younger builders putting these things together, and they are hooked on “BIG,” and not on logical concepts of quality, rather than size. We need to seek out a builder/construction company that has people our age in it, so that they can empathize with what we are looking for.

Ideally, I would love to live in a community with little cottages, with hiking trails, near shopping, and I wouldn’t care if the cottage was even a one-bedroom. If I had a whole lot of rooms, they’d probably just fill up with junk, anyway!

Anyone with construction connections?? Maybe that’s where to start…..
 
Old 11-16-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: SW US
2,224 posts, read 2,042,478 times
Reputation: 3839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post

...As much as I have always been super independent, I am trying to come to terms with physical changes of age. ....
..........
I love the co-housing concept, however, all of the ones I’ve seen are really expensive. I would like to see a builder put up a co-housing development with small cottages. I certainly don’t need a 2,000-3,000 sq.ft. home – I just don’t understand this craving for “bigger is better.” I’m not into the “Keeping up with the Jones’s” thing anyway, I just want quality in my life, not quantity. Anyone know any builders, personally, to ask them about a smaller concept? From the little research I’ve done, the ones who have built small homes are selling them like hotcakes! Maybe the problem is it is younger builders putting these things together, and they are hooked on “BIG,” and not on logical concepts of quality, rather than size. We need to seek out a builder/construction company that has people our age in it, so that they can empathize with what we are looking for.

Ideally, I would love to live in a community with little cottages, with hiking trails, near shopping, and I wouldn’t care if the cottage was even a one-bedroom. If I had a whole lot of rooms, they’d probably just fill up with junk, anyway!

Anyone with construction connections?? Maybe that’s where to start…..
I'm seeing that age, and the need to be near services, is going to be a big factor in where I end up.

And I would love to find a co-housing type place that has little cottages and is affordable. Thus far I haven't found such a place, at least not in the areas I've looked for one.
 
Old 11-16-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,411 posts, read 5,939,783 times
Reputation: 7141
The book "Leisureville" was really eye-opening about over-55 communities. As the original communities get older, the facilities and infrastructure need more maintenance and hence higher fees. The populations of the communities are aging too, and younger retirees aren't coming in fast enough to replace them as they die off. In my mother's small community in FL, she said there are fewer and fewer "events" and social activities, because the usual organizers have gotten too old or have moved away. They can't even get enough people to be on the Board anymore, and were at risk of having some kind of state takeover (they finally got three volunteers). It is something to think about. I'd recommend the book to anyone thinking about moving to one of these communities. I haven't changed my mind completely about it, but I'm much more educated about the benefits and risks now.
 
Old 11-16-2008, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,063 posts, read 9,131,410 times
Reputation: 3441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
The book "Leisureville" was really eye-opening about over-55 communities. As the original communities get older, the facilities and infrastructure need more maintenance and hence higher fees. The populations of the communities are aging too, and younger retirees aren't coming in fast enough to replace them as they die off. In my mother's small community in FL, she said there are fewer and fewer "events" and social activities, because the usual organizers have gotten too old or have moved away. They can't even get enough people to be on the Board anymore, and were at risk of having some kind of state takeover (they finally got three volunteers). It is something to think about. I'd recommend the book to anyone thinking about moving to one of these communities. I haven't changed my mind completely about it, but I'm much more educated about the benefits and risks now.
Thanks for the info on that. So far it seems great here and they have managers, a couple and we have activities galore, a breakfast and dinner at the club each month, lunch out, and all kinds of other things...they bring in an aquafit instructor 3 times a week when the pool is open and bring in a line dancing person (clases are free), it's never ending. I don't attend much as I'm younger and have my own buisness.
 
Old 11-16-2008, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,063 posts, read 9,131,410 times
Reputation: 3441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Wow, Sedona. If you don't mind sharing, what kind of business do you have that you can be so mobile? That is very interesting.
I just realized that I forgot to answer this question

I have really followed my passion and am an intuitive, animal communicator, and life coach, and teach Teleclasses (which are classes on the phone) and I have anumber of related products. Basically it's ecommerce.
 
Old 11-16-2008, 08:35 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,561,853 times
Reputation: 6928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
...
I love the co-housing concept, however, all of the ones I’ve seen are really expensive. I would like to see a builder put up a co-housing development with small cottages. I certainly don’t need a 2,000-3,000 sq.ft. home – I just don’t understand this craving for “bigger is better.” I’m not into the “Keeping up with the Jones’s” thing anyway, I just want quality in my life, not quantity. Anyone know any builders, personally, to ask them about a smaller concept? From the little research I’ve done, the ones who have built small homes are selling them like hotcakes! Maybe the problem is it is younger builders putting these things together, and they are hooked on “BIG,” and not on logical concepts of quality, rather than size. We need to seek out a builder/construction company that has people our age in it, so that they can empathize with what we are looking for.

Ideally, I would love to live in a community with little cottages, with hiking trails, near shopping, and I wouldn’t care if the cottage was even a one-bedroom. If I had a whole lot of rooms, they’d probably just fill up with junk, anyway!

Anyone with construction connections?? Maybe that’s where to start…..
I believe to live simply, one must start with a much smaller house. Since, I am retired, disabled, a small house is all I need and because I have trouble walking, all essentials are on one level.

I live in a very small ranch with a full basement. A ranch is the most economical type of housing in this area because it is easier to heat and cool. I do not have air conditioning and never had a need, because the house is cool in the summer. I do not have any homeowners fees and I am mortgage and debt free. Within 1/3 mile from my house is varied shopping with a King Soopers; there is bus transit and a future rail station all within this distance. In addition, there is a park, about 1/8 mile, a lake reservoir with trails about 1/2 mile and a planned regional park, about 1 mile along an already existing trail system and wildlife preserve along Clear Creek, a major waterway from the mountains that runs through Golden.

This article just appeared in The Denver Post From McMansions to modest - The Denver Post
It has some links to builders in the area that are now building small homes in the Denver area.

However, every area has homes that are small. They are older but many are all brick and are good values for remodeling. Many of these older homes are in neighborhoods that do not have any homeowner associations and fees.

Some of the neighborhoods in the Denver area are well established with good walkable accessibility to shopping and public transportation. Nearby shopping with real basic stores, not "fluff" overpriced boutique shopping is very important to me. In addition, public transit is a necessity. I would not consider new developments that are built farther out and lacks these amenities. What I would consider in new housing would be a infilled development where these amenities are in place.

In Denver, there is an increasing demand for these small older homes in neighborhoods that are becoming appealing and are being gentrified. Denver is now attracting many more people because it is clean, safe and progressive city and consequently all neighborhoods are in some stage of renewal.

I have looked at co-housing and do think they are overpriced for the level of construction. Colorado has been a pioneer in this type of housing and the research I have done tell me there are many issues in living in this type of cooperative housing. However, I do find the age restricted co-housing communities more appealing and there are some infilled age restricted co-housing in Denver and Boulder.

Livecontent
 
Old 11-17-2008, 01:48 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,693 posts, read 40,062,283 times
Reputation: 23839
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryC11 View Post
...And I would love to find a co-housing type place that has little cottages and is affordable. Thus far I haven't found such a place, at least not in the areas I've looked for one.
I have only seen the 'cottage' version of co-housing in the NE and East, But there is talk of one Near Port Townsend, WA., that one is also trending toward a 'senior / downsize' solution. They have had a tough time getting started, as have most cohousing that is not done by a developer. I will try to get to the annual cohousing convention in Seattle (June), and try to find a builder that specializes in cottages, as I feel they are one of the few housing options that will be affordable and desirable in the future. I toured a cohousing unit today, and as usual, there were a few 'nut-case' members who are a bit out of balance to make for an enjoyable community experience. There are lots of meetings and decisions that could be a real problem to gain a consensus. I see some great benefits to cohousing, but some real potential problems too. I did a cost analysis and I think the developer is making out pretty well (understandable since they have borne the risk), but they have all been overpriced. It would be much cheaper to get a group together and build (or remodel) your own, but the dynamics of making QUICK decisions during the building process does not fit the 'consensus model'. I'm afraid the group would fracture during the process (very common, too bad).

I feel a smaller core of 'ownership' (2-4 people) with significant equity each, would be better, and very selectively lease out the other units to provide cash flow and service the debt. You could tailor a method that would allow some 'profit / equity sharing', and not have to relinquish control. There are a lot of folks interested in this, but the ownership dynamic complicates decision making. It could get ugly, and you don't want to 'enable' that aspect. (today's discussion was surrounding pit bulls and outdoor vs, indoor cats, and keeping chickens in front vs. 'outback'. Pretty much 'no-brainer' issues, but wrought with anguish...). They had a great video of cohousing from Denmark, and they seem to 'get-it' (for over 30 yrs now) better than the average USA housing consumer, tho I'm sure they have similar issues. Most of them have been living in concentrated community all their life, a tad easier to merge than U.S. 'independent' types.

I too, would be plenty happy with a one-bedroom cottage, with space for a garden and shared workshop / craft / entertainment space in a big barn! Usually cohousing offers 'guest' rooms in their common house, which would work for my needs.

Life is definately a 'process', ,,, next page please - I may look more seriously at 'fractional ownership' (multiple owners on one property.) I think it would work best with a semi rural place, or something with a couple guest house options (Apartment in Garage, separate Studio, daylight basement with full services, separate entrance.) I'm thinking I'm too old for 'roommates'

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 11-17-2008 at 01:59 AM..
 
Old 11-19-2008, 12:29 PM
 
Location: State of Confusion
86 posts, read 321,756 times
Reputation: 74
I have not been on c-d for a while, so have not kept up with this on-going conversation about the retirement issues. However, it seems to me from what I have read in the past several posts that most of you are in the western half of the U.S. If you are looking for retirement options that are truly affordable, I would suggest you broaden your options. States on each of the coasts, or near the coasts, have a much higher cost of living than the Midwestern states. Someone here wrote about the possibility of a mobile home, but said that space rents were high and parks keep raising the rents, making mobile home buying an undesirable option. I am retired and over 60. I live in the Midwest, near a big city, but in a country-like setting. I can still get anywhere I need to go withint 15-20 minutes and not much traffic. I did a lot of research before purchasing my mobile home last July. This is a very nice, well-maintained park, and they have not increased the lot rent in several years. The lot rent is $305 a month. We have paved streets and sidewalks, a swimming pool, clubhouse, etc., and beautiful, mature trees. The homes are not crowded together as you sometimes see in mobile home parks. The prices of mobile homes are so much less here, as well. My friend in Las Vegas purchased her mobile home, a 1989 I think, and paid well over $30,000 for it. That is a cheap price for the western part of the country. She visited me in September and could not believe what I paid for mine. She said mine was so much larger and nicer than hers, and the park was much nicer, as well. I have a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, with one covered deck and one open deck, on a corner lot, with the back yard fenced for my dog. I can plant anything I want to plant. My home is a 1995, in almost-new condition, and I paid $13,500 for it. I spent another $5,000 in upgrades so that it no longer has "builder's grade" stuff like ugly wallpaper and vinyl floors. I put in 12x12 porcelain ceramic tiles on the bathroom floors and countertops, and wood laminate flooring in the kitchen and living room. My master bath has a garden tub, a separate shower, two-sink vanity with lots of drawers and storage, and a linen closet. I'm not telling you this to be bragging. I'm just trying to point out the fact that the cost of living here is so much more affordable than it is where most of you live and want to live. Sure, CA and CO, etc., have some great scenery, etc., but cost of living is outrageous and hardly worth it, as I see it. To get what I have here in one of the western states would cost at least four times as much as I pay. I've seen how high the lot rents are in and around Denver, for instance, and they are outrageous. The city near where I live is comparable in population size to Indianapolis and Cleveland--not huge, but not small, either. In fact, according to recent statistics, these three cities are considered the most affordable places to live. I stay informed about the gas prices throughout the U.S., and we always have the lowest. I didn't intend to get so carried away, just wanted to give you something else to consider. Yes, we do have four seasons, so if you want 365 sunny days a year, you won't get it here. But you will be able to retire much more comfortably and affordably than most anywhere else in the country. Just some food for thought. Hi to Anomoly and Wisteria. It's been a long time. You will notice I changed my user name?
 
Old 11-19-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
11,724 posts, read 11,565,311 times
Reputation: 12484
Interesting reading, I haven't posted on this thread for awhile. I'm in the midwest, too but did the opposite of Rocket Dog.

I sold my mobile home (16 x 70 North American 1986) and bought a house in Wisconsin. I loved my mobile home, it was in a seniors only park, but the surrounding area was getting to be the pitts. I was just plain tired of NE Illinois, the roads, congestion, etc. so here I am in Wisconsin.

Considering I did this last year, I'm not quite 62 yet, not the most financially sound move I could have made. I was working for Manpower and probably should have held off but who can second guess? I saw a cute Cape Cod I wanted and went for it! I love living in a small town where I feel very safe can go outside in the dark without being scared.

I've always lived in the midwest so adjusting from NE Illinois to Wisconsin, not that big of a deal. I've always said even when I was working, if you can't make it in the midwest you can't make it anywhere.

Last edited by susancruzs; 11-19-2008 at 03:04 PM.. Reason: paragraph
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