I am well into my second year of being a “downsize prepper”. (Do you like that term? I just made it up!) By this I mean that I am still living in an oversized house but stuff is leaving this house every week – permanently. I am working diligently on stuff removal so that I can be ready to make a downsizing move on short notice. Clothes, books, CDs, DVDs, knick-nacks, furniture, and stuff lurking in the garage and attic for years are my targets. My sons are afraid to be around me when I am in an active downsize mode because I constantly ask them if they want to have what I don’t want.
I have been seeing movies at the theater regularly, at least once per week. I watch blockbusters (and not-so-much-blockbusters) at my local megaplex. I also became a member at a nearby “art house” theater that screens documentaries and other films that don’t receive major distribution. This theater also has a full bar and high quality snacks, which adds to the experience. Even the popcorn is healthier (I asked). I tend to go to late afternoon matinees because the tickets are half-price.
The AARP recently published a slide show that first irritated me then caused me to think more deeply about this relentless process of aging. The slide show illustrated age 70+ celebrities whom the AARP labeled as “age defying.” All of them were women. I would bet substantial money that most of them had invested substantial sums in plastic surgery.
Because of a personal tragedy I have been away from this blog for an extended period. I may write about this tragedy when the time is right but for now, I need to return to retirement planning and related topics. The need for retirement planning and living has not ended. Today, the topic is long term care insurance. There have been some important developments worth sharing.
I have been back from Alaska for a week and away from my blog longer than that. The Alaskan trip was all I could hope for.
To refresh your memories, this trip was sponsored by my Dad, organized by my sister, and joined in by 32 total family members spanning four generations. (But for a broken ankle limiting travel, another family of three would have been included.)
We continue with our downsizing plan by preparing to sell our large house in middle Tennessee. In 2012, we gutted and remodeled our master bathroom. Although the bathroom finishes and fixtures were not over the top, it was a significant investment. However, this money had to be spent so that this house would be marketable to anyone other than house flippers. At least we are getting to enjoy the new and improved master bath for a time before we sell. We are about to begin phase II of the remodel.
When we are in our “big” house in Tennessee, I remain in a downsizing state of mind. If I am not taking stuff to Goodwill or the dump, I am at least thinking about what should go next. At the same time, I am cognizant of an attachment to certain “stuff” that has been in our lives for many years. Today I had successes in both categories.
I continue to critically examine the cost and complexity of our lives to look for easy ways to simplify and reduce recurring expenses. We made some recent moves to do just that.
So much is written about the transition to retirement being – at least in part – a “reinvention” of you. Retirement experts and those who are content with their retirements all seem to project this message. I think I get it. I feel the reinvention process taking place in me.
I found a new favorite store this weekend to save money – lots of it. I am probably late to this particular frugal spending strategy compared to many of you but better late than never for me!