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Old 07-25-2014, 06:23 AM
 
4,348 posts, read 6,062,523 times
Reputation: 10448

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Part of the fun of getting to this age is to know that life comes in stages. When I started my family I wanted a big back yard and all the bedrooms on the same floor, then shortly thereafter I wanted the privacy of a secluded bedroom away from the family fray. I've had a rec room in the basement, great for teenagers, and I've had the big great room off the kitchen. I've had the laundry in the basement, on the second floor level, in the kitchen and I've had a separate laundry room off the MBR. Again they all worked at the time.

I don't expect that any amount of planning is going to get me the right house to suit my needs for the next forty years. When we retired to Florida, what we missed most was stairs. My butt fell off from lack of exercise. Now we live in a 3-level townhouse and hello again, butt! For now we relish the free exercise but in time maybe we won't. We've got extra sleeping places for 5 to accommodate grandkids and guests but we know that soon the grandkids will stop coming to visit and then they'll start up again. We're already finding ourselves discouraging guests. They're a lot of work!

I hope I remain flexible enough to roll with what's thrown at me. We talk about staying put, we talk about the possibility of two smaller houses, and we talk about going back to Florida someday when the little ones have outgrown us. I don't want to become so rigid that I'm the grandma that says, "Look, we moved back to be near you. Why don't you come to visit?" I don't want to bang around in a too-big house and I don't want to feel squeezed into a premature coffin of a small house. I'll know when it's time to upsize, downsize or organize.

The thought of a final house, a small square footage of accommodation to take me through to my death disgusts me. I'm not going to plan now for when my legs don't work when I'm walking 10,000 steps a day!
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:30 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,194 posts, read 2,860,347 times
Reputation: 4889
I love your positive attitude, ipoetry.

My spouse thinks that the house we build for retirement will be the last place he lives.

I don't think so.

He's made assumptions on a lot of things than have never panned out.

I see us living there maybe 10-15 years - 20 tops - then either assisted living or a condo with a lot of help.

Never say never.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,397,767 times
Reputation: 16288
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipoetry View Post
Part of the fun of getting to this age is to know that life comes in stages. When I started my family I wanted a big back yard and all the bedrooms on the same floor, then shortly thereafter I wanted the privacy of a secluded bedroom away from the family fray. I've had a rec room in the basement, great for teenagers, and I've had the big great room off the kitchen. I've had the laundry in the basement, on the second floor level, in the kitchen and I've had a separate laundry room off the MBR. Again they all worked at the time.

I don't expect that any amount of planning is going to get me the right house to suit my needs for the next forty years. When we retired to Florida, what we missed most was stairs. My butt fell off from lack of exercise. Now we live in a 3-level townhouse and hello again, butt! For now we relish the free exercise but in time maybe we won't. We've got extra sleeping places for 5 to accommodate grandkids and guests but we know that soon the grandkids will stop coming to visit and then they'll start up again. We're already finding ourselves discouraging guests. They're a lot of work!

I hope I remain flexible enough to roll with what's thrown at me. We talk about staying put, we talk about the possibility of two smaller houses, and we talk about going back to Florida someday when the little ones have outgrown us. I don't want to become so rigid that I'm the grandma that says, "Look, we moved back to be near you. Why don't you come to visit?" I don't want to bang around in a too-big house and I don't want to feel squeezed into a premature coffin of a small house. I'll know when it's time to upsize, downsize or organize.

The thought of a final house, a small square footage of accommodation to take me through to my death disgusts me. I'm not going to plan now for when my legs don't work when I'm walking 10,000 steps a day!
Well said - my thoughts exactly. I'll dwell on getting old and infirm when I'm old and infirm. It would be like moving into a nursing home now in prep for the day when I will have no choice. Such a waste of time. I believe it's wise to have your future in mind when making major decisions but again, why live that life any sooner than necessary.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,544,616 times
Reputation: 27566
Heck, I'm thinking smaller because I just don't need the big space. Less to clean and lower property taxes.
I have 2 extra bedrooms now that are rarely used.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
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I don't see all small houses as a "coffin" necessarily. That's a rather sweeping generalization. And for those who want a large home at this stage, that's fine. Those of us who want a smaller home feel content in smaller spaces, which doesn't have to mean unpleasant or cramped. My niece has a 1200-1300sf home that I'd love to have, it's a great design concept and just gorgeous. I've been in friends' enormous houses and felt what an unnecessary waste of space, fine for them but wouldn't be for me. Affordability in terms of maintenance, heating/cooling, and property tax plays a primary role for many of us. The good news is that small can be really nice too.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:53 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,637 posts, read 39,998,659 times
Reputation: 23795
Rural senior housing co-op
A Look at the Satisfaction of Rural Seniors
Senior Cooperative Foundation

Not the right solution for most, but I have toured many and done nearly 10 yrs of study / research on it. It will work for me (likely After age 80, as it will take me that long to build it!)

(Cottages, gardening, domestic livestock, net zero energy, workshops, community rooms, apartments for guests and caregivers, cash flowing OT/PT center and cafe on site.)
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:36 PM
 
1,075 posts, read 1,118,972 times
Reputation: 1416
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipoetry View Post
Part of the fun of getting to this age is to know that life comes in stages. When I started my family I wanted a big back yard and all the bedrooms on the same floor, then shortly thereafter I wanted the privacy of a secluded bedroom away from the family fray. I've had a rec room in the basement, great for teenagers, and I've had the big great room off the kitchen. I've had the laundry in the basement, on the second floor level, in the kitchen and I've had a separate laundry room off the MBR. Again they all worked at the time.

I don't expect that any amount of planning is going to get me the right house to suit my needs for the next forty years. When we retired to Florida, what we missed most was stairs. My butt fell off from lack of exercise. Now we live in a 3-level townhouse and hello again, butt! For now we relish the free exercise but in time maybe we won't. We've got extra sleeping places for 5 to accommodate grandkids and guests but we know that soon the grandkids will stop coming to visit and then they'll start up again. We're already finding ourselves discouraging guests. They're a lot of work!

I hope I remain flexible enough to roll with what's thrown at me. We talk about staying put, we talk about the possibility of two smaller houses, and we talk about going back to Florida someday when the little ones have outgrown us. I don't want to become so rigid that I'm the grandma that says, "Look, we moved back to be near you. Why don't you come to visit?" I don't want to bang around in a too-big house and I don't want to feel squeezed into a premature coffin of a small house. I'll know when it's time to upsize, downsize or organize.

The thought of a final house, a small square footage of accommodation to take me through to my death disgusts me. I'm not going to plan now for when my legs don't work when I'm walking 10,000 steps a day!
I couldn't agree with you more. Well said!
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,562,583 times
Reputation: 29033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
Well said - my thoughts exactly. I'll dwell on getting old and infirm when I'm old and infirm. It would be like moving into a nursing home now in prep for the day when I will have no choice. Such a waste of time. I believe it's wise to have your future in mind when making major decisions but again, why live that life any sooner than necessary.
I take care of my 88-year-old disabled mother in my home. I not only know more than I ever wanted to about her physical state and financial affairs (and most of my elderly relatives and her friends), I have multiple contemporaries who are in the same boat and we commiserate constantly.

People who don't make detailed plans for their old age when they are of sound mind with plenty of time to consider sensible options usually end up wasting a tremendous amount of money. The few options available in a time crunch are not usually the most economical. When choices have to be made in the middle of an unforeseen medical drama, they are usually make-do and inadequate decisions.

Also, they often end up being decisions made for you by other people. Usually children who have inadequate information to work with and are in the dark about all your desires. What you think your children may know about you is often not correct. I have many contemporaries who have suddenly had to fit into their busy lives of work and children caring for a parent. And that parent sometimes lives thousands of miles away and has made no plans for where they should/want to/can afford to go when they are unable to live in a home that they physically (or mentally) can no longer reside in.

Not to mention if you wait until you are "infirm" to make these decisions you may think you are old and wise but in fact may no longer have the brain power (or even just up-to-date knowledge) necessary to consider all the varied, complicated matters that need to be addressed. The majority of elderly people (usually widows) I know who have had to sell their houses are not only doing it in a time crunch but haven't engaged in a real estate transaction for decades, are clueless of all it entails, and are ripe pickings for the unscrupulous.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:05 PM
 
4,348 posts, read 6,062,523 times
Reputation: 10448
We had neighbors in Florida, mid 80s, who built their dream house. It brought them great joy. I can't get caught with tunnel vision that only sees the end of life scenario.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,544,616 times
Reputation: 27566
I guess the definition of "coffin" differs.

I've been most comfortable in a 1500 sq ft home but that was a rental.
When I built it was 1980 sq ft and I had people ask me why I built so small.
I thought the house was huge

To me 1100-1200 sq ft isn't that small.
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