Sunday, July 15, 2012

Questions and Answers

Yesterday was the second yard sale we have held this summer. The first one was in April. Each time we've gone slowly and carefully around the house and been VERY selective. This is extremly important, at least for me. We always think about what we are decluttering. Instead of when in doubt throw it out, our mantra is when in doubt put it back. This mantra is just the opposite of many downsizers and "simplifyers".  Many would say "throw it out, you can always get another one".  I'll share more about our downsizing choices in future threads, room by room.

I did want to address some comments in my blog. First I wanted to make it clear. I really cannot to stay where I am. As I've often written on this blog, my hope is to always live richly in retirement. I am a creative frugalista and can stretch a buck and be happy. However, at this point there is limited creativity involved in the housing situation. I believe that in another year I will be making five hundred or more on my quilting business.  That would by me alot of creativity.  However, this is now, not then.  I've also shared how important travel, freedom, and not working full time are to me. Suggestions for me to stay where I am are unworkable, without an influx of money which would mean a family loan. I am unwilling to borrow from siblings who are also working to make it or supporting kids. At the same time I am unwilling to live the lifestyle mentioned above. I have too many other things that are equally important to my life.  I understand this is adifferent view from many. I think it's a valid point. I need to do the things that are most important to me now, not later.

 I have not meant to be negative with regards to suggestions. I don't think I'm  a negative person.  I also tend to be pretty realistic.  Many were suggestions that I will take into account later, and some are things I want to think about more.  It's important to note that if my comment was negative, there is one basic reason. I don't know where I want to spend the rest of my life and am not willing to "buy in "until I do. Deciding on that place is going to take me awhile! I have inlaws and one kid in Texas, and sisters and brothers in Denver, and there may even be a third option. Moving here was done spur of the moment at the beginning of widowhood. I'm unwilling to take any more major jumps without some thinking first. In theory, I could take that equity in my house what little it is and buy a condo or something-I'm not ready to do that. Its also important to note that except for my dogs, I would not be upset to be a vagabond for a year. Just in a car, not an RV.

Suggestions such as to buy instead of rent, buy in a 55 plus community, or get a park model and rent elsewhere half the year are all viable options I plan to research but will not work for me at this moment when I leave this house. Yesterday my sister in Denver (long term single) suggested she sell her home and together we buy a four bedroom home in the next year or so. This is also a viable option assuming moving to Denver is my  location choice (I want to be near family-but oh, the weather!)

A year or so down the road any or all of these suggestions my be perfect. In fact, I do plan to write about my experiences researching these options and ask for the experience of others. Right now though my goal is only to come away with some extra house money if I can, find a really affordable but workable place to live for a year, do a little travel and expand my business. Once I've made that other decision, then I will look at my living options, my financial status at that time and investigate all the options that have been put to me here on this blog and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, I'll update you on my experiences and challenges and continue to write about living richly in retirement in general. Coming soon, the further adventures on a single retiree looking for non-romantic social interaction.

Yesterday, a commenter suggested that my last blog entry was "sad" and I sounded like I had given up. I certainly hope that this is not what most of you think-it sounds honestly like this commenter was seeing my choice through her own set of problems. I have not "given up". I have chosen to adjust my lifestyle to my income-something I have been encouraged to do by many folks commenting on this blog, and something I have mentioned needing to do before. In theory, I can afford the home I'm in, but the reality is affording a home is not just the month to month expenses. I have some equity.  But right now, I am "house poor" both in terms of energy and money. All my extra money is put into the house, all my energies are put into this house. That's not the kind of lifestyle I want.

Recently I did an I want list, which looked something like this: 
  • An affordable house with room for kids to come home to
  • Liquid cash savings
  • the ability to travel frugally three or four times a year for personal enrichment or volunteering
  • A homebased business that brought in income but allowed me my own flexible hours.
  • to be able to have a small luxury now and again (hello Restaurant Week)
  • to be near family, friends and a supportive church.
I believe that the steps I'm taking will lead to long term satisfaction. If I'd been in this house for twenty years instead of barely five, I might have different attitude.  So what do you think dear readers. Am I giving up, or taking control of my life?  Feel free to share-honestly and kindly.


  1. Well, honestly, I don't know you, but it doesn't sound to me at all that you're "giving up." In fact, it sounds like you're trying to develop optimistic, but realistic options for yourself for the future. I'm sure you "get it" that you have to live someplace; but I sympathize that a house can sap not only your finances but your energy, and that you might be more comfortable living in more modest, or even unconventional conditions (like living with someone else.)

    Of course you want to think things through ... seems like you're doing that. And so . . . good 4 you!

  2. I don't see you sad or giving up.
    It sounds like you have made some decisions that are yours to make. I voiced my concerns, only because I do care where you end up. You are checking those possibilities out, reading those contracts, making those repairs and moving forward.

    I , to, would be anxious to be out of a high expense house. I continually tell my husband the first thing that will happen after his funeral (if he goes first) is the house will be gone! No way that I can maintain this place...and I can live MUCH smaller!

    Looking forward to your journey.

  3. Janette I love comments, even if I dont always jump on them right away-it's always good to have outside perspective. I think there are alot of women out there who are great at the do it yourself thing-I know a few single gals who are amazing at that stuff including my sis. In our huouse it was the hubby-heck he even meditated with the lawn, trying to be one, lol.

  4. I don't know you either, but I have never had the opinion that you were giving up. Far from it. I think you have a lot of decisions to make and you want to make sure that you make the right choices for your life.



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