The thought of an apartment that’s not in the city – with no room for Pop Up community is making me ill. They probably won’t allow Daisy [the dog]. I feel my insides squeezing even though I know that if I do it, I won’t have to worry about cash flow once the deed is done. At least not for a while.I am a aging woman and I have talked a lot about downsizing. I am just like everyone else...I worry about the mortgage and finances and debt. Money is the "tail that wags the dog" in many of our lives. When I began reading The Little Old Lady Stays Put this morning, it hit me one more time. What we want and what we must do are totally different things.
I am not a place person in any way. I spend my winters in a park model and live with the previous owners stuff. It doesn't take very many of my things to make me feel at home. Don't get me wrong, the living space is beautiful in my eyes but just not big or even permanent. But....
Here is the truth of the matter. It is ours...we own it and in our minds that is what makes it home. I have lived temporarily in an apt. within the last 10 years and it was very hard. AND we go back to Oregon in the summer for 6 months to live in a 1500 square foot home in a small 55+ community very near my children. School buses stops/pass by on the street across from our homes in both places. I cannot in all honesty call myself a fulltime small space dweller nor am I isolated from younger people in either place. I don't yearn for the bigger space when we are in Arizona but I know Oregon is there.
That is where The Little Old Lady Stays Put blog comes in. They have been running a series of stories about why some must sell their home and downsize. One post called "Death by Mortgage" talked about reverse mortgages and how the house can run out before the person gives out. It is a big gamble because we do know that the equity in our homes is a nest egg of sorts for many of us. Just the worry of that mortgage hanging over our heads could be awful.
If I were facing this and one of us suffered from dementia making outside help necessary, I can see how financial our homes would become a problem. We would probably start looking at selling our home and downsizing considerably in order to provide care for the person that needed it. I cannot walk in the another's shoes but the blog does give me a glimpse into the heart of the The Little Old Lady. Could I see the positives? I don't know.
So given the choice, would you move to an apartment and pay a monthly rent to let someone else maintain the lawn and the plumbing? Could you move permanently to a 55+ community and rent a very small space? Could you make the sacrifice in terms of space and privacy to save that nest egg for what may or may not come? How much space do you need to be happy? What do you think?