0 comments on “What’s Your Plan?”

What’s Your Plan?

The AARP membership letter arrived in the mail, you receive numerous invitations to “Plan Your Retirement Seminars”, and Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans haunt you. But you don’t feel that old until you look in the mirror or try to run up the stairs multiple times to retrieve forgotten items. Now is the time to plan for your future living options before it is too late.

You might physically be able to take care of the yard today but what is going to happen in the future? Several concerns need to be addressed when deciding on living options as you age. Physical safety and financial security top the list. Also take into consideration the proximity of family, doctors, and friends.  We all want to stay as independent as possible so we need to consider the following:

  1. Is it feasible to remain in your current home? Is your home all on one level with easy access? Or are extensive renovations such as front entry ramps, bath bars, wider halls and doorways, zero entry showers or sit- in tubs required? Renovations can be quite expensive as well as messy and frustrating to live through. Making renovations still doesn’t answer the question of who continues to maintain the house and yard. You must also consider whether asking family or hiring help will become both financially and emotionally overwhelming for all involved.

2. Consider purchasing or renting a barrier- free home. If your home requires extensive costly renovations maybe it is time to make a move. Purchasing or renting a barrier-free home or apartment may allow for aging in place more independently.  Choosing a location near family and friends or in a senior living community can help to alleviate loneliness, isolation, and depression.

3. Buy or build a granny pod or a multi generational home with family. Home plans are available with separate wings for privacy. Another option if there is enough space is to build a granny pod in the backyard that allows for easy access.  Some families buy duplexes/ side by side homes so they can continue to care for each other. These types of living situations can benefit both the older generation and the younger ones; especially those with younger grandchildren.

The decision to age independently in place requires planning. Be sure to involve a trusted financial adviser as well as your family when planning for your future.

If you are interested in learning about your home’s value, the selling process, and/or finding a new property, please reach out to me.

 

0 comments on “Your Kids Don’t Want It All- Really!”

Your Kids Don’t Want It All- Really!

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The garages and basements of the sandwich generation overflow with both their parents’ belongings and their children’s’ leftovers. It is an overwhelming task to sort through when deciding what to sell, keep, pass on, donate, and throw away. Especially if you, the generation who inherited it all, are also thinking about resizing your home and making a move.

Planning ahead before parents move into senior living or pass on gives everyone a little more peace of mind. It not only makes dealing with the estate and selling the house easier, it can also help reduce family tensions. As a Realtor helping seniors move, and as one who just lost a parent, I feel qualified to speak about planning ahead. I’ve had clients who want to move but lament that it might take them years to clear out the garage and basement of the belongings of their family’s’ past generations. Don’t put that burden on your children.

Go through your home with your children and grandchildren. Make a list of who wants or gets each piece of jewelry, art, and furniture. If there are collections that might be valuable, get them appraised and decide what to keep or sell. Also any valuable property might need to be factored into an estate plan. Likewise, if items are of sentimental value, they should also be listed. All items listed should be kept with a will so there is no question of what has been decided.

Don’t guilt your children into holding onto items that have little or no economic or sentimental value to them. Also, work together to get rid of the many items that haven’t been used for several years or are simply worn out. Long before moving into senior living start decluttering and simplifying your life. Planning ahead and preparing your home for moving or your death, reduces the stress for all; especially if the home needs to be sold to pay for the next step.

Some resources that might be useful include; senior move specialists, churches, A Place for Mom, and estate sales professionals. Dealing with the loss of a parent is hard enough but to be burdened with all of their belongings often completely overwhelms the family. As a Realtor, I help my clients to strategically simplify the process and recommend resources. If you are looking to move your parents or yourself, please contact me and I will help make it as smooth as possible.

 

0 comments on “Miles and Milestones”

Miles and Milestones

Our lives are full of milestones and mine is really no more special or better than others. But my husband and I have reached major ones and we decided that we needed to celebrate by putting on the miles.

We all hit milestones in our lives, we learn how to walk and talk, go to kindergarten, learn to read, graduate high school, go off to college marry, have kids, and watch them go through the  same milestones. But this year is special and frankly hard to wrap my mind around. Not only did my husband, best friend, partner in everything and I celebrate 38 years of marriage (wow almost 40), we celebrate BIG birthdays. Lee turned 65 at the end of May and I’ll be 60 next week. Holy cow! Where did the time go? Except for really bad knees and the grey hair I cover up, I’d never know I’m 60, unless I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Of course, if I say so myself, I really don’t look 60.

Since, with a summer birthday, I’m one of the younger ones from my high school graduating class, I’ve been watching others celebrate their 60th on Facebook and thinking, “wow, look how old they are”, but wait a minute, so am I. So what does turning 60 mean to me? First of all, when I look at my family’s lifelines, it means I could potentially live another 25-30 years. So maybe, I am not so old after all. But you never know what will happen tomorrow. So my plan is to start having more fun and enjoy the miles I’ve yet to travel. My husband and I started celebrating our big birthday year by getting in the car, traveling over 1300 miles, and checking some items off our ( well mostly his) bucket list.

We planned a trip to Colorado Springs and Santa Fe, New Mexico. We put in a lot of windshield time and are still happily married. Our trip was full of awe and wonder. This was actually our second time we driving out west as Lee dropped me off in Tempe, AZ. for my senior year in college. We camped in a pup tent on our way out but don’t remember being as enamored with the scenery as we were this time. Most likely the difference in age and maturity makes a difference as the first time our love was newer, we were heartbroken at being separated, and our eyes were mostly on each other . Now in our mature years with a deeper love for each other, we took joy in sharing the beauty of the world together.

We drove to the top of Pike’s Peak with our hearts beating so loudly we could almost hear each other’s. I thought I’d lose Lee right there and wondered how I would ever be able to drive down the mountain myself. We visited charming Manitou Springs, people watched, picnicked by a fresh mountain creek, and enjoyed the best iced coffee and raw cacao candy. We dined in Old Colorado Springs with some cousins and checked out the local shops. We visited the Garden of the God’s and ogled the natural geological sculptures. We then traveled to Santa Fe, where we visited galleries, met the nicest people, ate the locals’ favorite spots, went hiking through cliff dwellings, and visited some turquoise mining towns. Our days were filled from 8 am to 8 pm, when we would finally collapse at our adobe VRBO and watch the beautiful sunsets and twinkling stars over the clear mountain skies.

My husband always wanted to go white river rafting in the west so I agreed even though I was sure I would die of a heart attack. ( I admit, I am not the bravest person in the world.)  Obviously I survived or I wouldn’t be writing this  long blog. It was AWESOME!! The spectacular scenery along the Rio Grande enthralled us as did the quickly flowing river full of rapids and boulders. The guide and our fellow rafting partners made the trip even more enjoyable as they assured me I wouldn’t fall out. Again, I survived.  We hit a Class III rapid and I slid slightly into the raft off the side. As I tried to right myself we hit a huge boulder on my side and I went over. I couldn’t grab onto the rope on our raft and went right by them. I tried to grab the next raft but missed that too. I still held onto my paddle for dear life and tried to hook it onto the paddle of the guy trying to rescue me since I couldn’t reach his paddle with my arm. That didn’t work and eventually they got close enough that I could grab his paddle and he pulled me into the raft. Once in the raft, I raised my paddle and yelled with elation “Happy Birthday to me.” I celebrated another milestone and lived to tell the story which was caught on a Go-Pro by my rescuer. The whole rescue was merely a matter of a few minutes.

I don’t feel that turning 60 made me wise or privileged, except for the senior discounts I now receive. Age made me more mellow and I don’t sweat the small stuff. I find that each beautiful sunrise and sunset add joy to my day as do the flowers in my yard and others, my dog greeting me at the door, my husband selflessly doing me favors, and the sound of the children playing. I look forward to more fun and traveling miles with Lee as we explore our world, near and far. Oh, and apparently age gives me the right to babble.

Enjoy a few of our pictures.