Although I talked in that post about downsizing and other options, much of what I wrote there was 'stream of conciousness" stuff. I need to do some more seriously thinking and get a really good grip on exactly what I wanted. While I still don't know exactly what I want, I am much closer to have a really good grip in that area. Getting there required sitting down with pen and paper and setting priorities as well as looking at the future. As I said before, I'm not necessarily doing anything today or tomorrow, but my thoughts are more "jelled" if you will.
When it comes to my house, I still think its a good idea to sell.. Unlike many retirees (including many readers of this blog) my house is not paid off or close-I have been here five years. While I did put down a hefty down payment, I'm looking at mortage payments for quite some time. Also, I am not a do it yourselfer when it comes to repairs. I could learn some things, but some things are out of my area of expertise.some things are physically impossible. For example, my knee will never allow me to climb a ladder again-even into my attic. This means that I must pay for most of the improvement and mainentance done in my home. My husband was the do it yourself guy. We lived in a 1940s brownstown duplex for many years. I've done the fixer upper thing-from top to bottom.
I still dont know what I would do after that, which means I would probably rent a smaller house or condo locally while I made that decison. Moving from 2600 square feet with two livng rooms, two dining rooms, four bedrooms and two bathrooms would both cut my costs and free up energy and time for other things.
This could mean I may never buy again. I may rent long term, banking what I get from my downpayment. I may buy again, but if not it's not a deal breaker or a requirement in terms of lifestyle, as long as I find a decent long term rental. I realize many retirees, even today consider their house their retirement. I am more interested now in freedom.
As for the things I do want, I have not made a "five year plan" or anything close. but I do have some specific wants (even needs), that would be more reachable with downsizing, and the frugality that I practice.
- I want to seriously establish my quilting business. I still want to work when I choose, vacation when I choose and sit on the patio with that mimosa. On the other hand, I would prefer to take my quilting from an "income stream" to something a little bit more. It would still be a seasonal, when I feel like it thing. But in order to make big custom projects and make more bucks with a little effort, I need to invest in some machinery and other items.
- I want to increase my major road trip travel to a minimum of four times a year for a week or so. I love travel, have put some major limits on travel in the last year, and want to loosen up-like now! I need to be able to visit my daughter in the Cayman islands, even travel back to Germany at some point.
- I want to be able to travel and see my family in denver whenever I get the urge. I have not thought about living there, but it may be a long term option, although it would also increase my pain level.
- I want to be able to make some major volunteer committmens, even volunteer travel committments (like chaperoning the youth group to Hondurs for three weeks) without worrying about money.
- Finally, if I want to sit for three days and do............nothing, I want to be able to do that. without feeling like I HAVE to do something-right now.