Life has been kind enough to allow you a place to live, but cruel enough to not let you fully enjoy it. Reclaim your future.
Deciding is hard
One of the worst parts of getting old is feeling mentally slow much of the time. Technology has advanced faster than our fingers and eyes can follow. Your grandkids are talking about FaceTime and TikTok but all you really want is a regular phone with push buttons. Big buttons.
Real estate can feel baffling too. This group wins the real estate survivors award. You have all held property for a longer term than the 30 year mortgage you probably needed when you bought your home. You probably voted in the election when Prop 13 came into being, so you have avoided the significant increases in local taxes your new neighbors pay. Meanwhile, a lack of new construction sufficient to let the state grow has created rapid increases in housing value. It’s fair to say your house is probably your greatest asset.
I am sure you worked hard raising kids, holding jobs, paying the rent or mortgage every month, and making sure your personal life was as orderly as life allowed. Many have had divorces, bankruptcies, or health issues along the way to complicate things. The unlucky have had an “all of the above” life and are poorer financially for it. Life is cruel when things are going badly.
On the other hand, the cost of living has increased relentlessly since you bought your home. A car today costs as much as a house did then. Medical costs are through the roof and it’s much harder to stretch a pension or social security to cover all the costs every month. Major repairs to the house just aren’t in the budget, and gardeners and maintenance people are expensive even for minor jobs. The tension between being housing rich and cash poor has never seemed higher.
At the same time as house values and costs go up and your income stays flat, you have to plan for the next stage of your life. We all way to live at home and age in place. We get to keep our neighbors and favorite shops and parks.
I am not selling anything, but I do have something I want you to do. That’s to listen carefully and see if what I am describing sounds familiar.
Your histories are all unique. The friends and groups and families you hung out with make sure of that. The towns and cities you grew up in had a hand in shaping you, as did the schools you attended.