When to downsize?
Page 1 of 6 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 83
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canadian prairies
    Posts
    16,430
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    52
    Rep Power
    67

    Question When to downsize?

    How do you know when it's time to downsize?

    We live in a big old 1928 house with a boarder in the basement to help pay the bills. I have health problems, so DH does most of the yard work and house work, though I've tried to get him to hire it out.

    He'd rather have a condo and pay condo fees. I hate condos. They make me claustrophobic. But maybe a townhouse condo would be different? Not too many of those available in the city where we live...especially in our price range.

    At any rate, I'm only 55 and he's 63. He was even talking about senior's residences. I told him I was too young for that just yet. He just wants to quit doing anything when he retires in a year or so. I think he's going to be bored.

    We'd both love to move, just can't agree on what to move to. He is fixed on a condo. I am not. I'm thinking a bungalow would be nice. But it's still got a yard to maintain. I think he wants to get rid of that headache.

    Can you even run a business out of a condo? I have a small home-based business I have been working on for 2 years.

    Just not sure what our options are and what we want to go into...

  2. #2
    Super Moderator josantoro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    1,912
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    16

    Default

    There are condo developments, at least in my area, where you can have a detached house and the association takes care of all the yard work.

    My story - DH had a stroke in 2005 and we thought about getting one like that (we lived in the country, heated with wood, very rugged etc.) We decided not to (my decision, he went along with it.) When he came down with cancer in 2013, then it was time to move. I felt really bad that I had not let us move before, subjecting him to more work that he really did not care to do. I wish we had moved earlier rather than later, I would have had a base instead of bouncing between furnished condos.

    I was like you, DH was older and he was the one who wanted to move. Not sure about the business aspect, I guess it would depend on the type of business.

  3. #3
    Registered User hikr00's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    671
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    13

    Default

    We are in the process of doing that ourselves. We are both 52 and retired. DH has health issues. Our current home is 2 story with bedrooms and full bath upstairs and half bath downstairs. DH had a serious health issue in 2012 and was unable to climb the stairs for somewhere between 4-6 months. We had to have a hospital bed in the living room for him and he had to wash up out of the bathroom sink in the half bath. It became very obvious to us at that point that our house is very unfriendly to those with a handicap so we decided it was time to move.

    Because we owned the land we opted to put up another home that's all one floor, wider doorways for wheelchairs if that becomes a need,no carpeting so if wheelchair is here we can get around easily, putting in ramp in the breezeway from garage to house for ease in entry, vinyl siding so no need to paint house trim, smaller lawn etc. So the new house is a much better option for us as we age.

    At the time we decided to do it DH had emotional ties to our land because it was a gift from his beloved grandfather and he didn't want to ever not live on the land which is why we decided to build vs buy. Now that a couple of years have passed and his health has continued to decline (thankfully it's a very slow decline) he has said maybe a condo or townhouse is a better option for us and he feels ready to cut his ties with his grandfather's gift of the land. Our DD and her family live 40 minutes away and we have talked about moving closer to them in one of the units I mentioned. Neither of us really wants condo life. We live in the country and can see one house from ours. We have lots of trees and lots of privacy. We would have to give that up in a condo / townhouse etc. And we'd have to pay maintenance fees too. The plus side is for DH there's no mowing, no repairs (we'd simply call someone), no yard work for DH, closer to DD etc.

    So that's where we are. We are "this" close to pulling the trigger but the new house is almost done and we put in a pool and neither of us is ready to give up the pool just yet. So we are giving it a full year in the new house and then we'll decide whether to move or not. At some point we will, I'm positive of it but the pool is really the only thing holding us back at this point.

    I don't know about the home based business and condos but you could check with the association when you look at places and see what they say. I'd go take a look at some of them. Start with the bungalows and see what type of yard work you're looking at and then work your way to the condos / townhouses and see what they are like. You might be pleasantly surprised. I just know for us, the older we get the less we're loving yard work and repairs and all that stuff. I think, for us, it would be worth it to downsize into a condo or something but we'll start with the new house and work our way down from there. If something happens to one of us though and the other is left alone we've both said whomever is left will sell out and move ASAP to be closer to DD. Not too close though She needs her space too!

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FrugalVillage.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canadian prairies
    Posts
    16,430
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    52
    Rep Power
    67

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hikr00 View Post
    If something happens to one of us though and the other is left alone we've both said whomever is left will sell out and move ASAP to be closer to DD. Not too close though She needs her space too!
    We had this discussion last evening too. My health is such that if anything happened to DH I'd need someone I trusted nearby. It would be one of my DDs.

    Hmm...sounds like I need to really consider this then and narrow down options. I don't want to get stuck with this house if anything happens to DH.

    We went through the relocation process in "The Joy of Retirement" by Borchard and Donohoe last night and determined we want to stay in the community we're in, despite the fact we don't really like it or the people. It just has everything that we rate highly here - quality health care and affordability.

    We checked MLS listings for our city and found the area of the city we want to live in has no condos for sale. Period. It's mostly single family dwellings. Means we'd be looking at a bungalow. There are a few townhouse condos, but they are multi-level with no bathroom on the main floor, making them a no-go. Checked out 3 BR apartment condos too. None available in that area. Guess it's a good area of town.

    However, I have friends that live there, so I'll ask them to keep an ear to the ground. They might know something we don't.

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,166
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by josantoro View Post
    My story - DH had a stroke in 2005 and we thought about getting one like that (we lived in the country, heated with wood, very rugged etc.) We decided not to (my decision, he went along with it.) When he came down with cancer in 2013, then it was time to move. I felt really bad that I had not let us move before, subjecting him to more work that he really did not care to do. I wish we had moved earlier rather than later, I would have had a base instead of bouncing between furnished condos.

    I was like you, DH was older and he was the one who wanted to move. Not sure about the business aspect, I guess it would depend on the type of business.
    I'm sorry to hear this

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,166
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    when I got separated and then divorced I bought a town house, it was the least expensive way to own and still stay in our school district. Dues for keeping up the common grounds was $250/yr. I loved it, it was 3 stories, almost 2000 sq ft, I was so proud of paying a mortgage myself. I had to maintain my grounds, but mowing the lawn took less than 30 mins. I paid for snow removal. Even though I had neighbors on either side, I never heard a peep through the walls, not even dogs barking. I backed onto a common grassy field and some gorgeous trees, but rarely had to rake because they didn't end up on my land. The kids had all the area behind the home to play. I had a tiny fenced yard for the dogs. I was closer to people, thought I'd hate that, but it was like living in a normal house.

    Thank God I sold and bought a handicapped accessible home with family seeing as how I have been hit by illness, I could never have done those stairs. Loved everything about it right up to when I sold. It's really hard to find ranch townhouses, we had a few in our development. But at least around here, you do not have to pay monthly maintenance and have fewer restrictions in a town house, than in a condo. The offset is doing the work yourself and likely stairs and unless newish, not handicapped friendly.

    good luck deciding!

  8. #7
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    19,481
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    88

    Default

    My mom's doctor told her if she's asking the question, she's moving about two years too late. I think there might be some truth to that. People tend to put off big changes because it's easier than going through the whole difficult, exhausting process of moving, selling a house, making big decisions, etc.

    For us one big question would have to be "Does our current house serve our needs?" From things you've said over and over, Peanut, it does not sound like your house serves the needs of either of you, even if you do love it. And IIRC, it's something of a money pit, too, when you're already concerned about your finances after retirement.

    Are your kids settled? If they're not likely to move and either of you would need their help if you were alone or even if you weren't, IMO that's a huge consideration to cut the ties with your current community and move closer to them. My mom moved up here from southern Minnesota and the town she had been in for nearly fifty years where all her friends were, because my brother was in South Dakota and never paid any attention to her anyway, and we were settled here. She knew she would need us and she has and still does. It wasn't easy for her but she knew it was time. She was about your husband's age when she moved, and it's easy to see it would have been much harder if she had waited even a few years.

    If your husband isn't interested in yard work and you're not interested in yard work and you can't afford to hire people to do it, then that sort of forces a particular decision, too.

    My mom just moved to a townhouse this spring and loves it. It's actually better for her than home ownership because when she had her house she constantly had to deal with maintenance and finding people to do everything, repairs, the whole bit. With the townhouse, she has none of those worries because the housing authority takes care of all that. She's in a duplex so has one common wall with a neighbor, but she has never heard a sound from there. The manager told us he's never had a noise complaint in the entire complex and that it was because the common walls were made extra thick with extra insulation.

    Don't discount the idea of a senior village. You're not a prisoner there, so you can still visit your friends and have them visit you and associate with people of whatever age you prefer. Here, seniors are often defined as those 55 and older so the residents might not all be as old as you would expect if it's the same thing there.

    As for your business, why even mention it to anyone? It's pretty much all mail order, isn't it? Who would have to know? Call it a hobby and no one will be the wiser. It's not like you're going to open a retail shop there. I work at home and technically I'm supposed to carry something like a million dollar liability insurance on my property because of it. Yeah, sure, that's going to happen. So my writing, for which I've been paid at a professional rate for about twenty years now therefore making me a professional and my writing a business, is a hobby. Why do I need liability insurance when no one comes here as a customer? That's just crazy.

  9. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canadian prairies
    Posts
    16,430
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    52
    Rep Power
    67

    Default

    Well we just had a talk with our financial planner. She doesn't think we should sell just yet. The market is down and sluggish here for houses. She is suggesting we wait till DH actually retires in a year or two and decide what to do then. Gives me a couple years to enjoy my new kitchen I guess.

    DH admitted a lot of the problem with this house is his attitude. That's a big admission coming from him. He resents "having" to do all the work. Which I find odd, because I constantly suggest hiring someone. In fact I saved enough of a slush fund to hire a friend to do most of the weeding this summer. DH was so embarrassed he actually finished the job. Guess that's one way to get things done around here!

    DH has money issues. He is very insecure in that area. So my paying my friend must have bothered him, but he didn't say anything at the time.

    But, aside from all that, you are right SD. This house does not meet our long term needs. We mentioned that to our planner and she agreed we would need something else, but just what was up in the air. Right now I cannot even have Dad visit because we have no main floor bath or bedroom.

    She suggested we take the next 2 years and de-clutter our stuff. Good idea. However if I don't know what I'm going into, it's kind of hard to know what to get rid of, kwim?

  10. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    218
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peanut View Post
    We had this discussion last evening too. My health is such that if anything happened to DH I'd need someone I trusted nearby. It would be one of my DDs.

    Hmm...sounds like I need to really consider this then and narrow down options. I don't want to get stuck with this house if anything happens to DH.


    We went through the relocation process in "The Joy of Retirement" by Borchard and Donohoe last night and determined we want to stay in the community we're in, despite the fact we don't really like it or the people. It just has everything that we rate highly here - quality health care and affordability.

    We checked MLS listings for our city and found the area of the city we want to live in has no condos for sale. Period. It's mostly single family dwellings. Means we'd be looking at a bungalow. There are a few townhouse condos, but they are multi-level with no bathroom on the main floor, making them a no-go. Checked out 3 BR apartment condos too. None available in that area. Guess it's a good area of town.

    However, I have friends that live there, so I'll ask them to keep an ear to the ground. They might know something we don't.
    If you moved to a smaller home with a smallish yard, couldn't you just have someone do all the yard work? That could equal to what you would pay in condo fees perhaps?

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    218
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    8

    Default

    We were not really ready to downsize but were forced to go through this process early. We had such a downright rotten neighbour who was, not only rude with a couple of noisy dogs, but his yard looked like a wrecking yard which was affecting the value of our property. We figured this was only going to get worse, so we put our beloved home on the market (lived there 22 years). Thankfully it sold fairly quickly to a business fellow who planned to use it as a rental and didn't care about the messy neighbour.

    Prior to putting our home on the market, we got rid of soooo much stuff. We ended up buying a smaller home in a good neighbourhood. This home has so much less closet space so it forced us to purge which truly was a good thing. Now we only have stuff we actually use all the time. We still have two kids at home but, even when they move out, we'll be fine for a while (until we can't do stairs any longer). Hubby is 62, I'm 55.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    19,481
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    88

    Default

    I don't know that you need to know exactly what you're moving into to start the decluttering/downsizing process. As I'm sure you know, it IS a process. You can't do it once, you have to do it several times in stages. What we're doing is starting with dumping the things we know we don't want. As for the rest, we're asking ourselves if we're willing to pay to move it. And we're counting on downsizing, too, if the time comes that we do move, so we're getting rid of some things we might rather keep, but don't really need. We're getting rid of things we can easily get from other sources too, like books we can get from the library or books that have info easily found online. Then we don't have to store all those books and/or pay for moving them or give up space in our current house for them. My goal here is to get rid of excess we know we don't want, and then get into the second stage of getting rid of some things we are undecided about for various reasons. In some areas, we're already at stage two. I'm hoping that will set us up for a big move, if it comes to that, and that we will then have only the things left to get rid of that we would not have space for in a smaller house, and/or things we're really not willing to pay to move.

    IMO, if you only have two years to get ready for a potential move, that's not very much time. Can you start by making lists of furniture you wouldn't want to pay to move or would be selling in case of downsizing? That might help you get started. You wouldn't have to actually part with them, just have the plan in place for when the time comes. Then take a look at the categories of stuff that you have the most of. Here, it's books, fabric, crap stored in the garage, kitchen ware, camping stuff, cookbooks, canning stuff (reminds me I need to purge jars), music CDs, and a few other things. Some of it we've made great progress with, some we've barely started. I have a mental list of furniture I wouldn't move if we moved out of state, and it's the same stuff we'd dump if we downsized but stayed local. I know I'd hit my sewing room hard in the case of downsizing or moving very far. I have a lot of stuff I don't love, but I hang onto it in case I need it which I often do because of the dearth of fabrics and supplies here in town. A lot of stuff is being downsized via attrition, in that there are some things I just don't replace as it's used up.

    Just some ideas.

  13. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,166
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    one thing to think about when moving closer to your kids is sometimes this isn't was easy as it sounds. I did regular home care for 10 yrs and hospice home care for 10 yrs. Patients picked up and moved near their kids when they got a bad diagnosis and the kids really had intentions of helping a great deal. But they usually worked, had kids, houses to maintain and adding in ill parents was sometimes the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not saying don't move closer to your kids, just for the emotional and social support this is great. Just be aware if you get to the point that hands on physical care is needed they may not be able to drop everything and do it. As long as you realize that could potentially happen with your kids and go into it with eyes wide open, and maybe a willingness to hire an aide sometimes, you should be fine. The bad cases were when a parent expected a child to leave work every single time the ill parent was incontinent and got mad when the children could not do that. Not to sound harsh, I've just seen it a ton and it's not because everyone doesn't love each other, one person can only do so much

  14. #13
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    19,481
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    88

    Default

    Excellent point, Bernice. It's hard when expectations don't match up, so if you're planning to move near kids, an honest conversation or two or six or twenty would be a good thing ahead of time.

  15. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canadian prairies
    Posts
    16,430
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    52
    Rep Power
    67

    Default

    All good posts with good points. Thanks everyone.

    Momoffive: We have actually looked at bungalows too. I think that would be a good compromise. But I think DH's idea is to get rid of all the yard work period...and the housework. So I don't know if it's a good idea. At least in a condo we'd be rid of the yard work. The housework could be hired out. But ideally, yes, I'd like a bungalow.

    SD: yes, de-cluttering is a process. I just can't make decisions easily, so I need someone to help me through the process. DH isn't willing to do that. He just wants all my stuff out. I must admit, I have a lot of stuff. I am creative and have a lot of hobbies. I've been hanging onto them for something to do in retirement. I have enough stuff for projects for the next 10 to 20 years here. That's without rug hooking.

    Bernice: Thanks for the heads up. We're actually waiting to see what happens with one child. One is safely ensconced in one location and will stay there, but she's not the child we would chose to be near. She and I do not 'click' like the other one and I do. I would not expect home care from either child. We'd have to live in separate living arrangements - separate mother-in-law suite, side-by-side duplex, or totally separate arrangement in the same community. Because I don't think my one DD's DH and I could live under the same roof.

    One thing we talked about today were upcoming changes to Canadian laws and health care. There is a lot of privatization going on right now. And a lot of services springing up to take care of seniors. The government's new objective is to keep older people in their homes as long as possible. That being the case, what I'm actually hoping is that if we lived in the same community as the kids they might only have to check on us once a week or so. Like come for dinner or lunch or whatever. Just to make sure we are still functioning on all cylinders, so to speak... I'm not talking about them providing home care. I wouldn't want that actually. I didn't raise very nurturing children I'm afraid!

  16. #15
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1,763
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    11

    Default

    We live in a condo and pay a monthly condo fee. The fee pays for people doing all the outside work.

    I am thinking that the money we pay for a condo fee might not be less than what you would pay someone to do it for you. The condo has professional to do it, but you could probably higher a teen who wanted a little spare cash.

    Either way you are paying someone to do it, it is just that you do not think about the condo payments because they are automatic.
    KathyB

Page 1 of 6 1234 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Struggling with whether to downsize cable service
    By Jilly in forum Question and Answer
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-10-2009, 09:24 PM
  2. Trying to sell items to downsize
    By freeze in forum Frugal Living
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-24-2009, 01:35 PM
  3. Retirees unable to downsize
    By HandyMom in forum Debt Reduction & Money Management
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-08-2007, 01:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •