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Old 03-18-2016, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,165,697 times
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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?
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,761 posts, read 7,689,871 times
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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.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,723,738 times
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You are asking some excellent questions, but there is no answer to them! Or to put it another way, the answers are different for each person and have more to do with one's philosophy than any objective data.

I am like you in that I just don't want to assume the worst for myself. I have a place with stairs and I will turn 72 next month. I have no more trouble negociating the stairs than I did at age 25. Despite having heard stories here on City-Data about people who bought their dream property way out in the country and then had to move when their health went bad, I say go for it if that's what you want to do. Do it with the realization that it may not be forever. Having to sell the place and move to town would not be the worst thing that could happen to you. Living in a place you don't like might be worse than that.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,460,873 times
Reputation: 27565
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?
Some people plan for the worst and others plan for the best.

I use to tease one co-worker who worried about how far from the hospital he lived.
Told him that he should rent a room in the hospital when he retired so he wouldn't worry so much.
He was healthy too, just worried about the future.

I bought a 45 acre ranch when I retired at 54.
When it gets too much I'll sell it and downsize.

But for now I'm enjoying my country life.

Picked up 10 baby chicks this morning at Tractor Supply !
I already have 8 chickens, 3 donkeys, a nice big vegetable garden and lease a pasture for cows which gets me a free calf every year for meat.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,355 posts, read 3,689,532 times
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I guess the answer first depends on your current health and not your age. The next benchmark for me would be when you think your are buying your last home. Then I would think of livability IF I had problems. Livability would include access to medical facilities, shopping etc. so the country would be out for me.

At your age (and good health?) I would not worry about a handicapped acceptable home. But putting grab bars in the shower are a good idea for all.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,388 posts, read 9,131,891 times
Reputation: 13025
Quote:
Originally Posted by I love boots. View Post
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?
When you decide to be old and infirm!

Stairs will keep you strong. What is far from the hospital? We are twenty minutes from the regional hospital-in the woods. When Mrs5150 had a heart issue a couple of years ago, I called 911 and the EMTs where there in a flash and the ambulance arrived in five minutes. She lived. And is 100%!

Hey, life is to short to be worrying about the "what ifs". Enjoy what your dream may be. You may die before your above mentioned concerns MIGHT come to pass. Sadly see below.Then what!

Think as an old person and will fulfill that reality.

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.
Sorry to hear about your wife, but I disagree with your over 60 mindset.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,165,697 times
Reputation: 3210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You are asking some excellent questions, but there is no answer to them! Or to put it another way, the answers are different for each person and have more to do with one's philosophy than any objective data.

I am like you in that I just don't want to assume the worst for myself. I have a place with stairs and I will turn 72 next month. I have no more trouble negociating the stairs than I did at age 25. Despite having heard stories here on City-Data about people who bought their dream property way out in the country and then had to move when their health went bad, I say go for it if that's what you want to do. Do it with the realization that it may not be forever. Having to sell the place and move to town would not be the worst thing that could happen to you. Living in a place you don't like might be worse than that.
I like your attitude and it seems to match our own, but this whole thing got me thinking how realistic it is. A friend I have in her late 70's that recently broke her foot walking upstairs. She let it heal and didn't move house. I guess we never know what will happen.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:30 PM
 
536 posts, read 631,086 times
Reputation: 1473
I have lost several college friends in the last few years--one of a disease that robs her of mobility and one (who was a NYC powerhouse) of lung cancer. My age is 67. One gradual loss of mobility was foreseeable, but then there are bolts from the sky as well.

I once lived in half a garret of a 6 floor walk up in NYC. No problem. Right now, I would not want to move to a home above the first floor--even when I was young and feckless, the part where you actually haul furniture up six floors, and a boatload of books, was a real test of my friends' affection for me. I did get them down to somewhere fancy for a celebration the next day.

So I think about the hospital. (I've been to the ER once in the last 15 years, but if/when you need one, it's best if it's close. I have gotten to like living on one level and in New England, that is often a cheaper house, so it's likely that is what I will get.

I already live in 1200 sf and what I will not do is downsize further. The 400 sf in the garage I do use for storage but advisedly, because it is not heated or cooled.

I cull and donate ferociously twice a year. My storage consists of a goodly # of kitchen cabinets but only 3 coat closets. That's it. It's barely doable, but it can be done. I need wall space for paintings, too.

So for me, living out in the middle of nowhere--I might think of it as inviting some kind of disaster, such a a CA diagnosis far from any specialist. I could live with stairs, I don't think I would cross off a house for that. Still, I have gotten used to one level and it is way easier to keep tidy.

My main concerns, a COL that is not likely to either tank or zoom in the next few years, cultural attractions, a nearby international airport and (this isn't going to happen) opera close by. I'd like to live on a lake or pond, too, if that is conformable to my other specs.

I know so many people who have done what you would like to--moved to a beloved area and to the country. One couple had to sell the first house and move closer to their kids because of poor health care. These were avid skiiers and it did not work out forever, but until there was a chronic illness they could not find adequate treatment for, they had a blast. Three years of bliss isn't all that bad. They were both just over 70 when they retired to a skiier's paradise in Montana.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:31 PM
 
10,812 posts, read 8,054,817 times
Reputation: 17010
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.
I'm 67 and DH is 65. We've lived in a 3-level house since 1992. Kitchen on the 1st, living on the 2nd, our bedroom on the 3rd, so we are up and down stairs all day. We have zero mobility problems, not even morning stiffness. His mom and 2 of his siblings have had knee replacements but his knees are great.

I regularly jog/run 3 miles a day and do yoga; he walks 45 minutes every day and does some strength training. So it's hard to say to what extent the stairs help but we're convinced they play a big part in keeping our joints healthy - plus our neighborhood has steep hills that give us a workout.

That said, we know anything can happen (so sorry augiedogie, about your wife) so we have contingency plans. Even something simple like a broken foot would make our current arrangement unliveable. If something happens, we can move our master bedroom stuff into a 2nd floor bedroom and put a stairlift between the 1st and 2nd levels (we had a consultant look at it and he says no problem.)

Follow your dream but be proactive and prepared to make accommodations.
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Old 03-18-2016, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,830 posts, read 4,940,887 times
Reputation: 17284
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?
If you are in your early 50s it's hard to imagine how you will be doing at 80. Thirty years is a long time.

So two moves might be fine.

But rest assured, in spite of how virile you now feel, if you live into your 80s you will appreciate having a single floor residence in town within a short drive to a medical facility.

Life is terminal. Better plan on that.
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