U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: Tipping point toward downsizing/move
Cannot afford house, location, taxes, costs. 15 40.54%
Dislike location and move to more rural/more urban 15 40.54%
Move where kids/family is. 7 18.92%
Stay put till it gets really bad, then rent an aprtment 3 8.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
Old 03-09-2015, 04:25 PM
3,093 posts, read 1,717,786 times
Reputation: 3459


There is another thread on aging in home being oversold. basically saying it has become a bonanza for contractors and really does not do much for seniors. what seniors need, the article says, is really a different kind of housing.

in our case we revisit this point every year and then decide we are not ready to move. location wise i like where we are even though we are not near family. we have been here for 35+ years, know the area, it is a pleasant town, walkable with lot of natural resources and easy commute to boston, many opportunities for volunteering, fitness trails, and an active senior center.

we would like to escape the winter particularly the one we just had. we rented for a month in So Cal where one child lives, which was very nice but i was really happy to be back home, snow and ice and all. we consider florida but cannot really work up an enthus. for it even if many of our friends have moved there. nor too many places in the south. state tax wise most other places, like NC, an area my husband would like to move to, are the same if not higher. moving costs money as well even if housing may be cheaper in the south in some parts.

should we downsize? we revisit this every few months but we cannot really see a reason to. right now we are able to afford the maintenance, pay for services we cannot/do not want to do ourselves. we like the size. but i worry as we get older, (my husband is quite a few years older) if we want to deal with all the repairs that it needs. right now the snowmelt is leaking through the roof and it is all going to need repair, fixed, painted. we have squirrels getting into the basement, make a mess, and die from eating the insulation. we had a bat fly into the chimney. mice that come in for warmth. would a condo solve all this? but a nice condo costs more than what our house will sell for.

i have women friends who continue to live in their house, bigger than mine, and they all seem to manage even as they complain. i think this is what we will end up doing as well. stay put and ocmplain because it is not bad enough to move but the work it takes to keep it going is a bore.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 03-09-2015, 04:43 PM
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
Reputation: 16632
You talk about downsizing, but, it sounds like the real issue is updating from an older money pit, to a newer place with less maintenance concerns. There may come a time when you are simply no longer able to keep up with the maintenance, but, most are more resistant to "change" than maintenance.

You motivation is the key factor. Is someone pressing you to move or 'downsize' ... or do you simply feel like you are at a age where you 'should' consider something a little warmer with less maintenance? - A move is never going to get any easier; plus, the older you get, the more difficulty you will have getting re-established somewhere else. But, there is no 'rule' that says one must relocate at some point.

Instead of a 'tipping point' on downsizing, it sounds like you may instead reach a 'tipping point' where you simply feel too old or established where you are - to face another move.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 04:48 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
Reputation: 15649
May I ask where you are in New England? That makes a fair difference in terms of property tax. As I've been known to do, I complain about the property tax which yes, should rise each year, but not at the rate that it's been rising since we moved here. Danged new unnecessary town developments have shot up the taxes and I often wonder how many even middle-income seniors are going to be able to support the waste in this town.

The tipping point is often health. Right now DH is hale and hearty and has been shoveling, snowblowing, and raking the roof all winter as usual. He tends to the lawns and gardens and does all the big stuff on the house, currently still in renovation mode. One day in early Feb (a month ago), having spent the better part of the day snow-raking the roof, he came in and sat down and stared straight ahead. He NEVER sits down unless he's at work. I knew something was up. He is VERY resistant to doing anything easier, and balks at a condo or apt. I finally pried out of him that he was wondering about a condo. I nearly fell over. He would never ever say this and yet here he was saying it.

I just hope he/we do not forget this winter. Because even if northern winters don't get worse, they're not going to get better, and I do not want to see a man (or woman) age 70+ snowraking a roof and plowing. My sister knows a woman whose husband was up on his roof three winters ago and he slipped off and fell into his driveway, cracked open his skull and DIED. He was only 63.

So it's not just a matter of "downsizing," it's a complex set of decisions we're looking at at an age when we'd rather not have to make any. Where to get the energy to make one more move is beyond me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 05:03 PM
3,093 posts, read 1,717,786 times
Reputation: 3459
newenglandgirl, we live MA. many of our friends have moved to NH for lower taxes but i love NH for its beauty but would not want to live there.
So it's not just a matter of "downsizing," it's a complex set of decisions we're looking at at an age when we'd rather not have to make any. Where to get the energy to make one more move is beyond me.
yes, spot on.

luckily my husband was never the one who liked to do stuff around the house although he did mow. put up shelves, put in central air. etc. but not any more and i am glad he does not take risks such as getting up on the roof.
besides the expense, there is the matter of finding competent people to do the work at a fair price. but i am not sure moving is going to solve that. a condo might. but we like where we are and cannot afford a condo in our town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 05:08 PM
3,093 posts, read 1,717,786 times
Reputation: 3459
Instead of a 'tipping point' on downsizing, it sounds like you may instead reach a 'tipping point' where you simply feel too old or established where you are - to face another move.
perhaps, you may be right. but it is more like we cannot think of a place that we want to move to - other than near our daughter in LA. and that is tricky and more complex than merely downsizing. if we moved we will very likely get a condo, a smaller place. but we don't see a reason to move. this is the dilemma.
so i wanted to see how others here make the decision to downsize/move.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 05:10 PM
Location: Dover, DE
1,801 posts, read 3,833,293 times
Reputation: 2495
Ours came when we were tired of the snow of western PA including hubby having to snowblow a very long driveway and then came the fun thing of driving up and down the hill to get into our development. Then there was the mowing of 1.5 acres on the hill that the house was located. The house was a 4 level split level and my arthritis yelled everytime I had to run up and down for laundry or to watch TV. We were just tired of all the day to day crap of all that plus the maintenance, too. Plus we had gathered up so much "stuff" over 34 years and it was taking over our storage. And being very rural we had to drive at least 20 minutes to get to literally anywhere.

We went from that to a one level 1980sf house where the lawn is taken care of and we have lots of things to do. Most anything we need isn't far away and we can go further if we want. We got rid of a bunch of stuff, got more comfortable furniture and sit and watch others do the work. We are currently moving to a bit larger home (hubby wants a man cave), but still lawn taken care of and there they will even remove the snow from the driveways and walks if it is over 2". We are getting a loft for hubby's man cave and our spare bedroom, but everything else is on one floor. So as long as hubby takes care of his loft, I don't have to go up steps there either.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 05:32 PM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,147,825 times
Reputation: 22373
Health was our tipping point. Hubby was forced into retirement. He had planned to work into his 70s. He simply can no longer do anything with maintenance or in his beloved garden/yard. So the joy is gone for him with home ownership (he was an inveterate DIYer) and gardens just mean frustration. He wanted to buy a townhome with no maintenance outside, and wanted something smaller as we don't use part of this present home anyway since the kids are gone.

We found a 1800 sq. ft TH w/ a sunroom. We are keeping our mountain home, which is very low outdoor maintenance and which is "home" - we have had it for 22 years - but it is very small! Less than 1200 sq. ft. and a very quirky design (it is octagonal!).

Who knows what the future will bring . . . but we think this could be a workable "forever" plan. His health is rather tenuous so it was important to me that he lives where he wants, how he wants.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 06:38 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,726,438 times
Reputation: 32304
cb2008, I know from experience that it's impossible to construct a poll that covers all the bases, so this is not a criticism, but my situation is that the downsizing of my living quarters will never be necessary because I have never in my life had over-sized living quarters to downsize from. (Therefore I didn't vote in the poll).

Part of this is that my ex-wife and I agreed before we got married that we did not want children, so the maximum number of people I have ever had to accommodate was two (the ex-wife and I).

My current quarters are not tiny - about 1500 square feet - but are not wastefully large either. It is a townhouse (two bedrooms plus loft), so I am not and never will be personally responsible for exterior maintenance or gardening. And it happens to be located within easy walking distance of almost everything, so that even if the near worst conceivable thing in life were to happen (namely that I would no longer be able to drive), I would still be O.K. here.

My townhouse is paid-off (no mortgage), and there is no scenario short of a total societal melt-down and collapse in which I will need to sell it for financial reasons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 06:39 PM
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
3,976 posts, read 2,535,133 times
Reputation: 8492
Calif. has propisiton 13 so my property tax is based on my houses selling price of 25 years ago. If I moved and remained in Calif my property taxes would be much higher. Fortunatly I like my house even though its not in a prestigous area and I despise Los Angeles and California goverment.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-09-2015, 07:49 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,132,535 times
Reputation: 10910
We plan to age in place, but not in our current house (zillions of steep stairs and other hazards that will be a bad deal when we're old). And not in our current location (seriously over priced real estate, which has caused us to spend money on getting, fixing up and maintaining our home - which would have been considered a ghetto shack in most other geographies - instead of having the money go into retirement savings). So it's a double whammy. Need to get out of aging-unfriendly house, and, need cash from house. We will downsize and relo in one fell swoop, when the time is right. Probably prior to 2027 or so.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top