Monday, October 05, 2015

Downsizing and retirement: Probably a good idea when the kids are gone (or when there are no kids)


Assisting living centers like Emeritus and Sunrise sometimes offer seminars on “downsizing”.  Harriet Edelson has a story in the New York Times, “Downsizing offers a fresh start for older adults”, here.

Indeed, in my situation, I’ve disposed of some quantity of mother’s material goods, but a lot remains.  It’s incredibly time consuming to go through it and physically dispose of it.
  
For my own life’s possessions, the CD and record collections are valuable, but I like the way younger adults build their collections in the Cloud with mpeg and pdf’s.  Books can be kept on Kindles or Nooks (which could, however, fail – but then it seems Amazon or BN will move the collection to a new device).


The biggest problem that older adults, still active, have is taking care of oversized older houses, that have components that overt time can break.  Travel requires extensive preparation, which gets a lot easier if you move to a modern high rise (even not for seniors, just a well supervised building).
For me, the most convenient location in the world would probably be around Columbus Circle in NYC – high enough to be safe from floods and hurricanes, but close to everything.  (The Village and SoHo are exposed, as is lower Brooklyn).  But that’s why Donald Trump can charge such unaffordable amounts for his condos in the area.  They are convenient.   Security is generally good. 
  
They do make life for some independent people work smoothly, where you don’t need a car and so much is within walking distance, let alone subway.

I’m not the kind to put a lot into a Barbara Cochrane-style showing of a house.  Imagine owning one alone in a flood-prone coastal area (like S.C. this week – even far inland), or wildfire-exposed area in California.  You’d need contingency planning done A+.

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