I turned 55 years old on my birthday this past Sunday. I did some revamping and organizing of things and put my horoscope icon on the home screen of my smart phone (along with Revolar, Words with Friends and the camera). This is what it advised today:
Working as a group: Cooperation with others is easy and you seem to get on effortlessly with those close to you, particularly the women in our life. You concentrate on encouraging others and spend a great deal of time on them. Everyone seems important, make sure you don’t overdo it or use up an excessive amount of energy considering difficulties that are not your own.
Since I typically enjoy problem solving, the advice above can be difficult for me. I find it especially difficult when the fix seems obvious and/or tweaking my own plans can mitigate them.
The obvious one to me seems to be living expenses and housing for myself, my mom and my sister. I hope to retire in 4-5 years and to purchase a home or condo a couple of years before that. My mom dislikes living alone (and probably shouldn’t) and has a difficult boyfriend as a housemate now. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to like any of the choices I’ve offered about retirement and I’m not devastated. My sister closed her business, lost her housing and moved in with her boyfriend as a “temporary” measure. Temporary began more than a year ago and his mobile home is falling apart.
Since my mom and I have stable incomes, she could sell her place as the down-payment for a joint purchase. Together she and I could cover the living expenses of mortgage and utilities. My sister could cover her own expenses and help where she could. My mom is finding it difficult to evict the boyfriend (with the alcohol issue) and my sister doesn’t want to relocate permanently unless it is to the desert. Waiting for my mom isn’t a show stopper as I want to pay off more bills and be in a better financial situation. But what happens if she has to evict the boyfriend suddenly?
If our mom does wind alone before I’m ready to buy, I’ve suggested that my sister might want to move in with her and commute to her Everett classes. Maybe she could stay with her boyfriend a few days a week to teach and live with our mom? She has multiple reasons about why this wouldn’t work, the primary ones being that it would be too hard on her aging van and that she wouldn’t have a place to pursue custom work. Portland isn’t far from our mom’s location and rental spaces are probably available. She might be able to teach classes at this end and rent studio space (either using someone else’s equipment or setting up her own). But this is happening here and not the desert, so …
If mom wants to put her place up and move sooner, she would need to co-finance the purchase of the new place and we’d have to decide how much space we need and how far I’m willing to commute for the remaining years. With just she and I, we could get a smaller place with two larger bedrooms. Or, we could get a larger place with three bedrooms (one for my sister). Or, we could get a place that has bedrooms on the opposite ends, allowing us to share the kitchen/dining room and split the living room/family room/den/office so that we each had more autonomous spaces to call our own. (This would be ideal if I were bringing my boyfriend with me.)
On my own, I will probably downsize to a condo or similar housing around 900-1000 square feet in a 55+ community. I want a patio or balcony with a nice view, a single story (or a building with an elevator) and within easy walking or a short drive to lifestyle amenities. I tossed out the idea of “tiny homes” with shared storage and hangout areas while we maintain our own places around 500-800 square feet. That could mean building small, buying a trailer or camper, or remodeling existing buildings. Nobody was as excited as I was and that would only work for me as part of some kind of community. I don’t want much, if any, yard or facility maintenance.
In any case, change is the only constant. I am just tossing out ideas and brainstorming my options while get those bills paid down. Funny where a simple horoscope can take you.