Downsizing – the journey begins

Nov. 1, 2018 – for 'Senior Connections' publication
By Dale Kovar

My wife and I have reached the point of considering downsizing.

The government says our “full retirement age” is still several years away – something to pay attention to, but not close enough to get excited about.

There are all the statistics about how much money people will need for retirement. Only the most wealthy can say with any certainty that they are set.

For the rest of us, it’s a blind target because WE DON’T KNOW HOW LONG IT’S GOING TO BE!

If we knew for sure that we only had two more years, then we’d punch out tomorrow and go travel the country, seeing places we’ve heard of but never made it to.

On the other hand, it’s possible we’re only two-thirds of the way through this earthly journey, in which case it’s more likely you fellow taxpayers will be needed to help pay for whatever facility becomes our final landing spot.

In the meantime, downsizing is on our minds.

Maybe you’ve been through it already, are in the process, or similarly have thought that it might be a good idea.

Like my other writings for Senior Connections, I claim no professional capacity to advise – just some observations from experience.

We believe we can exist with less, so the goal is to potentially find a new (different) home that makes our lives cheaper and easier.

Less space, less work, less cost.

I have conceded there will be no perfect answer. To have all the specific features that fit our tastes would drive the price out of bounds. There will be compromises.

We have the usual considerations. We don’t want to have to ever paint again. Small lawn to mow. Short driveway to shovel. For longer term, fewer steps are better.

Then there’s the question of where. Which towns would we be most comfortable in? Not too big, not too small, where we already know others, close to our current patterns.

Match all that up with prices and it becomes quite a puzzle. There are many attractive options, but we bring that back to the cheaper/easier test vs. what we have now.

Fortunately, we have no gun at our heads to make a hasty move, so even if it takes a couple years or more to find the last place we want to call home, so be it.

As I said, I offer no magic solutions – just another traveler along life’s path.

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