Everyone dreams of retiring one day to do the things you want to instead of the things you have to do. If we were able (and smart) we started saving for that day when we were young. As we age and the date gets closer, it dawned on us that we need to do some planning. Having to participate in my mother-in-law’s aging issues brought it more into focus. The recent death of a brother-in-law reminds us that we will get old (God willing), and we need to face some very basic matters. (Like where will our earthly remains be buried).
While my wife, Angela and I have had some rudimentary discussions, we are now just seriously thinking about what we need to do be ready. One is housing. We love our current home with its east facing kitchen and mountain view, but even though most of our living space is on one level, the garage is on the basement level and two other bedrooms are upstairs. It is difficult to face, but one day, we won’t be able to negotiate those stairs.
We have been here 25 years and as anyone who has a house knows, there is always work to be done to maintain a large house. We can afford the utility bills now, but, a smaller home would be less costly to operate, preserving funds for other things.
So, we have pretty much decided we want to move to a smaller place, all on one level, with less maintenance so we can stay reduce our expenses and live independently as long as possible, maybe even age in place.
With that decision in place there are still many questions come to mind that we need to address:
- Where do we want to live? Do we stay in our hometown, or move somewhere else?
- Rent or buy?
- How much can we afford to spend?
- Age in place, or eventually move to a facility that can provide everything we need?
- Which decisions do we need to make now and which can we defer?
Future blog posts will address these housing issues and many more.
Before I wrap up today’s post, I want to note that there are a lot of resources out there on the web and on bookshelves, so many that is almost overwhelming. However, there is one book that I have found fascinating in how it lays out our options for positive aging, focusing on aging as a gift. “New Aging” by Matthias Hollwich is a very positive narrative of what is possible. The biggest lesson I got out of it is that we do not have to age like our parents did. I highly recommend it.