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Old 03-20-2015, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
My mother used to live in a house with 6A of land. They loved gardening and had enough produce to feed a small town. She now lives with my sister in a 1A home and they both love gardening. They converted the lawn into like an English garden in the front and the backyard is a veg/flower garden. They were thrilled that a garden tour bus stopped at their house last summer and asked their permission for a tour. .
For a retired couple, 1/4 acre of enriched soil is really all that's needed for a good yield kitchen garden. I don't see the need for as many as 6 acres, unless it's a wood lot for home heating (talking elderly years here). I do like converting every bit of land to something useful, even flowers/shrubs. I see so many, many rural homes (most) that have a lot of acreage and nothing, not even a small garden, on it. I sometimes wonder why some folks bother to live so rural if they're not going to grow food. Of course there's the "privacy" factor I suppose, but one can have that in many other kinds of situations. When we lived in St Louis we bought our organic produce from an elderly gardener who produced tons of produce on a tiny lot, everyone loved going to Angelo's. He rotated and fed his plot with rich compost. I think he lived there till he died around age 90.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,456 posts, read 1,158,755 times
Reputation: 5523
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
As with most studies it isn't necessarily a flaw in the methodology but the application of the results. The actual study identifies relevant results by demographic like actually retired.
I read the study carefully. I don't think the methodology was 'flawed' but the sampling was relatively small. Since it was a survey and not a statistical analysis of a large, broad database like the Census Bureau or moving companies' data, the results may be skewed based only on the answers of the responders. Since Merrill Lynch is a financial service company, their mailing list, list of potential clients where they likely to draw for the survey might have already skewed towards the more affluent segments to start with.

The summary headline is also somewhat misleading. The detailed statistics for retirees only showed 51% of people did downsize to smaller homes. This in combination of the likely biased results indicate that retirees or people approaching retirement like myself who want to downsize is more of the norm.

Unfortunately the builders' penchant to build big houses continue as discussed in this article:

Why Are Developers Still Building Sprawl?

“The homes being built here and in many cities across the country look very similar to the ones built during the boom. Some, in fact, are even bigger. The average single-family home built in 2013 was 2,598 square feet, 80 feet larger than the average single-family house built in 2008, and 843 feet larger than homes built in 1978, according to Census Bureau data.”

“Building bigger homes is cheaper than building smaller ones—developers can make a wall a few feet longer, and give buyers more square feet without costing themselves anything. Smaller homes, though, cost about the same to build, and because they’re smaller, cost buyers more per square foot.”

‘“There’s too many McMansions out there, for one thing,” he told me. “And then a lot of it is the product doesn’t exist that they want to buy.”

“I think that the building industry has been incredibly resilient at resisting change,” says Chris Leinberger, a land-use strategist who is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It’s somewhat akin to carriage makers not wanting to shift to making cars.”
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:57 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,514,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
Also, many have a lifetime accumulation of stuff and don't want to deal with getting rid of it.
Thankfully (I can say that now) I avoided that conundrum. When I separated and divorced at age 48 the ex took everything while I was away on a business trip and while I did get back some family antiques and a few mementos of my upbringing in other countries, she retained the vast majority. That saved me from the issue of divestiture in retirement. Guess I should have sent her a thank you card once the divorce was final when I was 50!

I'm now retired, have moved to another state and am staring age-69 in the face.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,456 posts, read 1,158,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
For a retired couple, 1/4 acre of enriched soil is really all that's needed for a good yield kitchen garden
You are right but some folks like my parents loved having acres of land to 'putter about' or 'labor on'. They had flower garden areas (like a small botanical garden!), chicken coop/rabbit hutch area, vegetables of different kinds for different season (asparagus can take up a lot of land, same goes for sweet corn, pumpkins, squashes etc). They enjoyed loading their car with produce and gave to friends, relatives, churches etc. My mom and sister are doing the same thing with their 1A land. They are feeding my family and many of their neighbors' families ;-) I gave up on vegetable gardens few years ago. We were able to keep the deer out with tall fence & netting but lost the battle to a big groundhog family!


Quote:
I sometimes wonder why some folks bother to live so rural if they're not going to grow food. Of course there's the "privacy" factor I suppose, but one can have that in many other kinds of situations.
Yes, some people like their privacy, ourselves included. My husband wants to have a house just like the one we are
living now where you very rarely see the neighbors (only when they walk to their mailboxes!), and we can sit in the patio of our backyard for hours and only have wild creatures for our companies.

BTW, we almost bought a house with 16A of land in Port Townsend in our visit to Washington's Olympic Peninsula last December. We came across a real estate page for an uniquely beautiful Japanese style home. We asked to see it anyway even knowing that an offer was pending. We made a backup offer after seeing it in person. The first offer went through so we lost out on the house. Even though we were not ready to relocate, we loved the aesthetically pleasing, energy efficient, exceptionally high-quality house, the land, the garden, the fruit trees, the private and beautiful location so much that this seemingly 'spur-of-the-moment' relocation decision felt just the right thing to do!!

Last edited by BellaDL; 03-20-2015 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,203 posts, read 11,826,310 times
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from the article
Quote:
Move or no move, Dychtwald said many retirees want to turn their empty nest “into a welcoming home where the kids and grandkids can come and stay and have fun and make memories.
That's what my parents did, and they loved that the grandkids ran tame through the house. My son considers it his second home and is completely comfortable there. It's a larger house than the one I grew up in, although most of that is larger rooms as opposed to more rooms. It fits having 3 generations gather on a regular basis.

Last edited by emm74; 03-20-2015 at 04:14 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:03 AM
 
14,266 posts, read 24,021,014 times
Reputation: 20101
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
You are right but some folks like my parents loved having acres of land to 'putter about' or 'labor on'. They had flower garden areas (like a small botanical garden!), chicken coop/rabbit hutch area, vegetables of different kinds for different season (asparagus can take up a lot of land, same goes for sweet corn, pumpkins, squashes etc). They enjoyed loading their car with produce and gave to friends, relatives, churches etc. My mom and sister are doing the same thing with their 1A land. They are feeding my family and many of their neighbors' families ;-) I gave up on vegetable gardens few years ago. We were able to keep the deer out with tall fence & netting but lost the battle to a big groundhog family!
!

My father gardened two acres until age 75 and at least one acre until age 80. He quit a few years ago as he was producing far more produce that we all could use. He tried to donate the surplus to the local food bank BUT they would only accept it if he would deliver it 15-20 miles away.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Beach
1,501 posts, read 1,193,542 times
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I guess I'm the exception to the rule. I've lived in cities all my adult life and never really enjoyed any aspect of gardening, outside of a few house and terrace plants. I am moving cross country when I retire to a place where the green spaces are maintained by someone else. My new home is slightly bigger with room for guests. To each his own.
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Old 03-21-2015, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire in MB View Post
I guess I'm the exception to the rule. I've lived in cities all my adult life and never really enjoyed any aspect of gardening, outside of a few house and terrace plants. I am moving cross country when I retire to a place where the green spaces are maintained by someone else. My new home is slightly bigger with room for guests. To each his own.
I believe that I developed a life-long aversion to gardening and lawn work as a child when my father forced me to help him in the yard all day long on weekends. He had a work ethic on steroids and wanted to make sure I didn't become lazy. Well, fair enough, but I am so glad I have a townhouse.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,341,108 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
For a retired couple, 1/4 acre of enriched soil is really all that's needed for a good yield kitchen garden. I don't see the need for as many as 6 acres, unless it's a wood lot for home heating (talking elderly years here). I do like converting every bit of land to something useful, even flowers/shrubs. I see so many, many rural homes (most) that have a lot of acreage and nothing, not even a small garden, on it. I sometimes wonder why some folks bother to live so rural if they're not going to grow food. Of course there's the "privacy" factor I suppose, but one can have that in many other kinds of situations. When we lived in St Louis we bought our organic produce from an elderly gardener who produced tons of produce on a tiny lot, everyone loved going to Angelo's. He rotated and fed his plot with rich compost. I think he lived there till he died around age 90.
You sound like a "city girl" or maybe a suburban one, newenglandgirl.

People who live/have lived in the country tend to like to have land around them whether it's "used" for something or not. The only reason that I'm not going to live on the remains of the old family farm when I retire is because it's too far from amenities that I consider essential for my quality of life, especially in the winter. OTOH, if I find a nice small house on 2-5 acres within 5 miles of my city, I'm gone.

Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, finding smaller homes isn't always easy.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:50 PM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,340,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Great thread, thanks for starting it. Lots of great posts.

So here's the thing: some expert asks questions of a few hundred or a few thousand people, and the "results" get all the news. BUT we are making decision to suit two people who think pretty much alike, and what the other 7 billion earthlings think does not really enter into it. I've never been one to want to do what everyone else is doing anyway.

Some posts about gardening in this thread: bully for you! I have this picture of arriving in Hell and getting handed a rake or a hoe. To each his (or her) own.

Then add in downsize or right-size, move far or stay close, warm weather or four seasons, beach or desert or mountains, work in retirement or not, rural or urban, home or condo....and you end up with as many different stories as there are people.

That's what makes the world!
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