I received a letter from one of my readers and it really hit home with me. It captured all I have been writing about as well as dedicating my career to this very situation. There is confusion about your retirement plan whether to stay or move. Taking that to the next level if you do move do you want to be closer to your grandchildren or stay in your present community? If you stay do you want to downsize to a smaller home, a condominium or apartment? The following is an excerpt from the wonderful man who took the time to share his situation as well as his desire to make the right decision;
“Letting go is hard for me and not seeing the daylight ahead. I feel comfortable in my home but know it will get to be a burden. We are in our 70’s, both retired on a fixed income. We are in relative good health.
My wife is seeing the reality and need for selling with all good reason. She is looking down the road a bit thinking about future changes to our health, and increased expense maintaining our home. My question is where to move? We have been in our home and community for over 40 years. We were thinking of moving near our son’s home in another state. Maybe buy a condo near our current home and then spend a few months traveling to our son’s home and renting near him for a few months each year.
I know what I have. It isn’t perfect but it is comfortable. My wife feels that by selling we will have more money to do things together and not have the burden of a house for the remaining years of our lives. Any insight would help and be appreciated. “
Does this sound like you or a friend or relative? Change is tough! We know what we know and we fear uncertainty. So take some time and assess what truly makes you happy. None of us want to lose our independence and ability to sculpt our future. All of you want to design your remaining years to meet your wants and needs. Too often we procrastinate and put off changes that we know would lead to a happier more fulfilling life.
Here is my answer to the inquiry from this kind man;
Thank you for sharing your feelings and your insights with me. I took some time to read this and you really hit it on the head! So many of my clients call with the same motivations, but you have put it into words in a way one can understand. You are not alone!!
First I would have a heart to heart with your wife asking where both of you would be most satisfied. Location is critical as that is where you will be spending the majority of your life. Where do you feel most comfortable? It sounds like the area in which you currently live. If that is the case, selling, freeing up funds to travel and enjoy life makes sense as long as your next living situation makes you both happy.
As for buying a condo, it would depend on what funds you have available. Condo living is not for everyone. You have rules and regulations. If you find that the condo you purchased is not fitting your needs, you would then have to sell and move again. If you start with an apartment or senior community, you can move again without the worry of selling.
Also, by purchasing a condo you are tying up the funds just as they are in your home. So, I think a senior independent rental complex would be a good idea, and then travel to see the family when you want but you will have a home base you truly love. Location is foremost.
Now, this is not the answer for all of you. Each of us have complicated and unique circumstances. The common thread is taking advantage of the years remaining in your lives. Successful moves begin with critical thinking and planning. It starts with a conversation. Sharing your feelings and concerns as to how you want to craft your future will open doors to thoughts and ideas that may lead to a more secure and fulfilling life. The one phrase from the letter from my reader that stuck is, “by selling we will have more money to do things together and not have the burden of a house for the remaining years of our lives.”
If you are staying or moving, just make sure you enjoy each and every year to the fullest. Your home is a critical component of your happiness and security. My wish for all of you reading my articles is that in the end sharing thoughts and ideas from those I meet on my journey will impact you in a positive way. My articles depend on your input. Thank you for taking the time to read my articles and know that you are not alone in your feelings, fears and hopes for a safe and fulfilling future!