Surveys conducted by various financial services providers continue to show a disconnect between retirement reality and U.S. baby boomers. In a recent such survey, use of home equity as retirement income tool came front and center.
I have developed a pattern now. Most of my stays back in the “big house” in Brentwood now include at least one trip to the county dump and/or to Good Will. The alternative is to do it all at once, when we sell this house in a couple of years. But I have also learned that I do not want to wait until then.
Several weeks ago I was interviewed by a journalist who was researching a story about retirement downsizing. She found me because I write this blog and sell a retirement planning tool at Failsafe Retirement. I suppose that gives me some credibility because it shows that I at least think and care enough about retirement issues to research and write about them.
It’s been two weeks since my past post. A lot has been going on. A big part has been preparing our large family home to sell. We are spending more time in our condo now. Condo living is a definite lifestyle downsize, from 4500 square feet on three levels (with a yard to maintain) to 1500 square feet on one level.
As part of our ongoing downsizing efforts, we have sold a dozen or so items on Craigslist over the past few months. Furniture, bicycles, a jukebox and today, a car. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Even from this single experience, I learned a few things about Craigslist car shoppers that some of you might find interesting.
This week was a “downsizing week.” I made our first attempt to sell-off unneeded items that were taking up space in the basement level and garage. I took photographs of the items to be sold, opened a Craigslist account (free), learned how to post items for sale with photos (easy), and off I went.
Things have been quiet this week at Go To Retirement. We took another step on our downsizing path. We drove a U-Haul truck up to the Long Branch Lakes condo with some furniture, closed on the sale, and then have been working hard to settle in. Moving is not a fun process but the excitement of trying life in a brand-new 1500 sq.ft. condo took over. Read more
This is an interesting time for baby boomers contemplating downsizing and perhaps relocating to an area having a lower cost of living. Home prices have fallen in general due to difficult economic conditions. Foreclosures and short sales have generated bargains galore in many areas and including the vacation home market. Mortgage rates are at all time lows, although we should strive to avoid mortgages altogether as we prepare for retirement. Still, there is a serious question to be asked as part of the downsizing issue: Rent or buy?
I have written often about downsizing, including our own plans for condo living. Saving $1000 or more on monthly living expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc.) is the equivalent of adding $300,000 or more of income-generating assets to your retirement nest egg.
For the past year or so we have been openly discussing downsizing from our primary residence after our youngest son graduates from college next spring. We would take the proceeds from the sale and either buy something smaller in the area or, more likely, rent. Now we are rethinking that strategy. Read more