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Old 03-21-2016, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
Reputation: 6716

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I live in two vacation homes. I telecommute from a ski resort in Vermont in the winter and on the Massachusetts coast near the Rhode Island line in the summer. The summer place is a small 1-level bungalow 10 minutes walk from the harbor village center. The town has a 7,500 undergrad state college and is a couple miles from a depressed but vibrant city of 90,000. It's my home town so it's my comfort zone and I really like the nearby Portuguese/Azores Islands-dominated diversity. Boston is an hour if it's not rush hour. The winter place is a townhouse condo with a stiff Vermont state school property tax and an ever-increasing condo fee that is double the ownership costs.

My retirement financial planning is all about managing to keep both places and the boat until I can't ski. I already have a lifetime pattern skiing every day I can in the winter and doing ocean-focused things like sailing, fishing, and bicycling to the beach in the summer. I've been divorced twice and I'm busily catching up financially so I can do that by age 65 1/2 but without the nuisance of work interfering with all my leisure activities. I'm already living on less than my projected retirement cash burn. As long as the telecommuting thing continues, I have no reason to change anything. My plan is to work another 7 3/4 years. If the telecommuting thing ends and I have to do a nasty metro-Boston commute, I'll likely re-plan...
That sounds somewhat similar to what we did at about age 50 (except for the work and the 2 places). Our area was an early retiree area when we first moved here 20 years ago. Known for golf and tennis and conducive to other outdoor activities (like running and bike riding). And we indulged. Today we are down to golf (husband has no ACL and isn't a good surgery candidate - I had rotator cuff issues - etc.). You do what you can do until you can't do it anymore (I guess I could have struggled through the pain to keep playing worse and worse tennis but it wasn't worth it).

Our neighborhood/HOA has changed almost 100% from lots of early retirees to families with young children (our county has the #1 rated school system in Florida). Most of the older people here have moved for various reasons. Like their houses were too big - 3500-4000+ sf - 2+ stories - etc. Or they had financial issues post-2008. Or they got sick/died (2 of the 3 husbands in the house next door - which has been sold several times - died - both when they were about 60!). We haven't had to deal with any of these things. And - in fact - our house is still almost ideal for us (we built a fairly small house for this area - < 3000 sf). Although we have more land than we want/need now.

So I just see us staying put for the time being. One limiting factor if we were thinking about moving is we really don't like cold weather. I don't even much care for the cool winters here in north Florida. We used to go to ski areas out west when we were younger - but our skiing days are far behind us. Note that my husband and I both grew up in New Jersey. Nothing back there for us. Except sky high real estate prices and taxes . And all the reasons we left south Florida are still valid (and things like traffic/congestion are even worse now than they were then). FWIW - one reason I'm so adamant about the single story house thing is because we'd be feeling a lot of pressure to move now if our house wasn't one story. We could probably live here almost forever if we wanted to (unless we needed care that we couldn't get at home). Robyn
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by I love boots. View Post
They are 78 and 79. We have thought about them and it is part of the reason they bought a little place were where my sister and I live. And my place has a small guest house they are welcome to anytime. Part of the reason I want to take my time looking is I would like this same sort of set up. Small guest quarters are a fairly common here in the older homes. Right now it is hard because they are in another state where none of their kids live. One day we know of course that will have to change.
Your parents are closer to our age than you are. If you're looking for a house/living arrangement where they can live with you - keep zoning and land use rules in mind. A lot of places that are zoned single family residential or similar make it hard/impossible for two or more generations to live together with a reasonable degree of privacy. On my part - I would have gone nuts with any of our parents living with us. Was glad to find that there were suitable living arrangements for both of our fathers that were reasonably close to us when we wound up needing them. Robyn
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,923,045 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
51 is a kid. You might want to think about a place with no stairs and closer to town when you're approaching 70.

I am 61 and have no problems with stairs; my wife is 66 and has some problems but not enough to make her want to move. 70 sounds right; maybe a little older.
The issue comes down to whether you want to face the very real possibility of having to move 20 or so years down the road simply because a house has stairs. I really like the concept of being able to age in place if you want to. Especially if you're contemplating a move in your 50's (as opposed to a move when you're in your 20's and 30's - when you might be talking about raising a family).

5 Universal Design Needs for Aging in Place*|*Reader's Digest

Note that the only problem we have in parts of Florida (and other places) in terms of universal design is "no-step" entries (we couldn't build our house "slab on grade" and get flood insurance). Some day - we might need to build a ramp (no big deal). Robyn
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:29 AM
 
13,880 posts, read 7,391,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
The issue comes down to whether you want to face the very real possibility of having to move 20 or so years down the road simply because a house has stairs. I really like the concept of being able to age in place if you want to. Especially if you're contemplating a move in your 50's (as opposed to a move when you're in your 20's and 30's - when you might be talking about raising a family).

5 Universal Design Needs for Aging in Place*|*Reader's Digest

Note that the only problem we have in parts of Florida (and other places) in terms of universal design is "no-step" entries (we couldn't build our house "slab on grade" and get flood insurance). Some day - we might need to build a ramp (no big deal). Robyn
That was my thinking at age 51. The last thing I want to do is be faced with moving when I have mobility problems.

I haven't had intact ACLs for decades. Both have been reconstructed but I subsequently tore them again. The last time a orthopedic guy was in a knee a couple of years ago to clean up some torn meniscus, he told me to stay out of the moguls but I should be OK for quite a while with the level of arthritis I have. At some point, I'll have fake knees and a lengthy knee replacement rehab period where stairs would be a problem.

After I selected the town, single level but not just a boring rectangle of a ranch was pretty much top on my list. I spent 4 years remodeling the place; well, more like reconstructing it from the inside-out. I widened all the doorways as much as I could and used a lot of pocket doors. I don't have 36" doorways but I made sure everything is at least 30". It's really more "walker-friendly" than wheelchair accessible. If you want to live somewhere with old housing stock and you buy a small house, it's what you have to do.

I spent my 50th year unemployed when the Great Recession killed the tech startup I was doing. I was unemployed for 14 1/2 months. That very much put me in the mindset that I wanted a paid-for low ownership cost place to live. Excluding cable, my property taxes, insurance, utilities, and the rest of my operating costs are less than $5,000. No matter what happens, I have a roof over my head for the rest of my life. I'm done with the big houses and high ownership costs.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:41 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,216 posts, read 6,313,926 times
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OP, my husband and I bought our house with retirement in mind. As my husband put it, we actually have a bungalow with upstairs storage. Well and 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. But if we need to, we can live downstairs because there is a bedroom and full bath downstairs. We have a yard but no mowing is necessary, no grass. Once a year, I might need to hire people to trim the bushes and stuff. Not expensive. And the hospitals are down the road, less than one mile.
I like stairs and garden, I wouldn't dream of not living in a house without stairs. I broke my foot and ankle once but on another house with stairs so I managed somehow. My stairs are not steep. 4 steps and a landing so it's doable. I'm careful when I walk down the steps, I hold on to the rail in case I misstep. So it can be done. I suggest making sure you have a house that you can at least live downstairs.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:30 PM
 
Location: In a vehicle.
5,026 posts, read 3,211,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I love boots. View Post
Not quite retired yet. In my early 50's, not sure when we will retire, but we look ahead a prepare for it. Here is my question. I haven't wanted to do this before now, but we think we would like to buy a place on some acreage and live out in the country a bit or more than a bit. Depends on what we find. House not too small and I prefer to have stairs in it because I think going up and down stairs has its health benefits. And I feel like the whole being old thing is a long way off. I feel young.

What happened? I sell real estate and recently helped some friends around my age buy a cute little house in town. Their criteria. No stairs because they have to think about how they might fall and break a hip. No yard or almost no yard because the maintenance may be too much for them to maintain at their age. They even considered one house that was handicapped accessible because it may some day come in handy. And they have a handicapped placard on their car and don't seem at all handicapped. I know that's none of my business and no I didn't ask. And yes, I know it just may be there are things coming up with them that they know about and I don't. For them they are happy with their cute little house and I'm glad, but it really just got me thinking about some things.

At what point is buying the house with stairs, maybe a little far from the hospital a bad idea? At what age should someone really be thinking about this stuff? If I do it how many good years do I have to live there?
Well, I'm 56 (June) now will (At times) walk the stairs down. Have a sciatic nerve pinch and while have had chiropractic, I still get winded (COPD) and so I prefer the elevator....I'd hesitate to buy a house with stairs...
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,662 posts, read 3,239,300 times
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I live in a senior complex that has stairs and an elevator.

Over a year ago I had a total knee replacement and spent 14 days in a rehab place to regain full use of my knee etc.

Before the surgery the stairs were a problem. Following the surgery and rehab, I did stairs OK. But needed to keep it up on regular basis to regain all the strength I had lost. Part of the rehab was to learn how to do stairs with a cane, eventually without the cane.

I was very persistent in my recovery. I don't like being disabled.
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,627 posts, read 4,686,468 times
Reputation: 27916
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
After I selected the town, single level but not just a boring rectangle of a ranch was pretty much top on my list. I spent 4 years remodeling the place; well, more like reconstructing it from the inside-out. I widened all the doorways as much as I could and used a lot of pocket doors. I don't have 36" doorways but I made sure everything is at least 30". It's really more "walker-friendly" than wheelchair accessible. If you want to live somewhere with old housing stock and you buy a small house, it's what you have to do.
Did you post pictures of your remodel? I vaguely recall something like that...
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,025 posts, read 17,335,191 times
Reputation: 41321
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
It depends on what happens to you. Personally, I think the no stairs thing is good past 60. Climbing stairs isn't as easy as it used to be, even for me, and I've never had knee problems. It especially comes into play when someone gets sick, and that tends to happen more when you get older. In our case, it just happened. My wife retired last year at 64 and is now fighting advanced ovarian cancer. Getting around the house isn't as easy for her once she started chemo. She's been in pretty good health and then this hit us out of the blue. It happens.

I agree with not buying a house with stairs once you are 60.

If you have a house that has a bedroom and a full bath on the first floor and a way to get inside with a wheelchair or walker, you could probably live there for quite some time.

My aunt was 88 before she moved out her house (she had lived there over 50 years). There were four or five steps in the entrance way and she went into the basement several times per week and managed it perfectly well. She even lived alone after she needed a walker and still went up & down the stairs by herself.

Heck, one of my neighbors, was completely blind and used a walker, and still lived alone in her home for twenty years after her husband died (but she did not go up the stairs to the second floor). She did not move into a nursing home until she was about 95.

OTOH, my mother could not even go up one step by the time that she was in her early 60s and was almost completely bedridden by her middle 60s. She needed to be able to get in & out of the house with a wheelchair.

My husband fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a TBI at age 63, we did not have either a bedroom or a full bath on the first floor so we needed to move as soon as he was released from the hospital. After his fall he never spent another night in our home of over 30 years.

Obviously, people are different.

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-21-2016 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:36 PM
 
284 posts, read 259,249 times
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We're looking to move to an active adult community in the next couple of years. Along with lots of activities and a good social network to make friends easily, quality healthcare is one of our must have criteria. I'm 56 and hubby is 62 and he has a chronic health condition that requires regular monitoring, so for us health care is important. For others, maybe not so much, but I think it bears consideration as we enter our 60's. For me personally, I'm planning our next location and the design of our next house to suit us now and hopefully for the next 20+ years. I've seen some of the issues my folks have had as they've aged and am taking those things into consideration. Since we're thinking of building, it'll be important to have all main level living and I'm seriously considering putting in roll in showers, levered door knobs and wider door openings as well. I don't think I'm being a pessimist at all, just want to be able to stay put if one of us has health issues that limit our mobility down the road.
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