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Old 12-30-2008, 09:37 AM   #21
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In my case I wanted to retire to do nothing and after 2 years of retirement I plan on doing a lot more of it.
Isn't it nice to finally discover something you're really good at.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:39 AM   #22
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:55 AM   #23
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In the months to a full year or so of FIRE, I was still very task/schedule driven and did a lot of running around doing things I never had time for while w*rking. It took me a while to settle down.
But I've become a slacker extraordinaire for the past 6 months. I feel guilty, let's say, every 6th day or so but I quickly (nanoseconds) get over it.
If the weather is nice, I am doing things.
If the weather stinks, I'm goofing off inside, usually here.
I set myself a goal of doing one useful thing at a minimum, each day. But I define the "useful" part.

chanting....I don't want to and I don't have to.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:18 AM   #24
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Once again, before ER everyone worries what they'll do all day. Once they're ER'd, everyone wonders what the heck they were worried about.

Or, as Khan says, "To do" vs "To be". I wonder how much less "busy" and more productive everyone's work would be if we spent more time on the latter than the former.

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There are things I want to do when I retire (or at least I think I want to do them), but if I lollygag around when I'm retired like I do when I'm on vacation, I'll only accomplish a fraction of them. Maybe I am just fooling myself about what I want to do or how strongly I want to do it.
It sounds like you see your choices as:
- Stay at work where you can make optimal use of your money and (your employer's) time.
- ER and work hard to finish your list, even if you're not enthused about it. In other words, working for yourself without pay.
- ER and screw off, but feel guilty.

A fourth choice might be to compare your post-ER priorities to your pre-ER priorities. You might also want to take a look at your deadlines-- in my case weeks moved into months and opened up more time for leisure/unplanned opportunities.

Philip Greenspun has a fairly cynical/bitter perspective on the subject:
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For those who are already retired, are you doing the things you had dreamed and planned to do after retirement?
Yep. If anything I tend to overschedule my time and not leave enough to be flexible or to screw off. I'm learning to plan nothing during the afternoon or nothing on one day a week. I'm still learning.

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Do you find that you have to cultivate some self-discipline even to do things you wanted and planned to do?
Sure. Especially if the surf is up. The other side of that is having the self-discipline to get things done today because you're pretty sure that the surf is going to be up tomorrow.

It helps if you have a spouse, partner, or exercise buddy who expects you to be present at a certain time/place to be doing something with them. Nothing succeeds like peer pressure.

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If you're not carrying out your pre-retirement plans, do you feel worried or guilty about it, or have you changed your mind and decided they aren't all that important to you?
Sounds like rationalization!

I've changed some things because they're just not worth the effort. For example I used to bicycle 3000 miles/year to work, fantasizing about all the recreational bicycling I'd get done when I ER'd. When I ER'd I realized that it was hot, sweaty, painful, gear-intensive, dangerous, and not at all as much fun as surfing. When you add in taekwondo or other activities you realize that you can be in perpetual workout/recovery mode or you can choose a couple activities that won't grind you down into a pulp. I haven't cycled in several years.

There are times when I find it necessary to go surfing four or even five days in a row. I know now that I will pay a physical price for pushing so hard, and I change plans as necessary.

Sometimes education changes your priorities for you. Reading "Younger Next Year" made me realize that I needed to do something active every day unless I was really sick. Before reading that book I used to have "workout" and "rest" days, and I try not to do that anymore.

Before ER I used to scramble to keep up with yardwork. In ER I've been able to sit back, decide what yardwork I want to do when I'm 80 years old (not much), and redesign the yard accordingly. Instead of "Prune the bougainvillea this weekend" it's been "How can we stop having to prune these so often?" We're using half the water, mulching a whole lot more, no more fertilizer, doing more ground cover, and moving plants to better places. Sounds very Zen but it's also a lot less work.

Our first two mango trees grow so tall that they obscure our view. I've planted a couple more mango downhill of them (OK, they planted themselves), I'm keeping them pruned back, and I'm using much less water. Next time I prune the first two mango it'll be with a 14" reciprocating-saw blade, in five more years it'll be with a chainsaw, and in 15 years I'll have someone cut them down. Maybe we'll get some funky end tables out of the trunk wood.

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Did deliberately taking some time to just sit around doing nothing for a while after you retired get the urge to be a slacker out of your system?
Absolutely. The first couple months of ER are better spent recovering from a career of chronic fatigue.

There's also the issue of forcing things. There are times I'll try to write a few pages on a topic and it's just not working. If I push it I can get two or three pages done-- and they're utter crap. Nothing makes you more aware of that than having your spouse give you "the look" and saying "You write better than this." You learn to go do something else for a while and wait until you feel like writing. That "feeling" is usually your brain telling you it's figured out the solution that you were previously trying to force. And when I try again, the writing goes much faster/better.

Right after ER we renovated our master bathroom. During our working years we would've planned the project, drafted a timeline, staged all the materials & equipment, taken a week of leave, and worked 14-hour days to get it done. "Enjoyment" would have been the satisfaction of a job well done.

Instead we spent nearly nine months on it. We'd work a couple hours almost every morning but we spent a lot of time discussing options, trying out solutions (oops), and changing the plan. We enjoy the process of home improvement almost as much as the results, and being able to stretch things out gave us a lot more creativity. We were also able to make sure that we'd be able to spend more time in the whirlpool tub rather than just taking pride in doing a good job.

Anyone can work their assets off. Being a slacker is a lot more challenging than it looks.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:06 AM   #25
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Perhaps the point to be made is: Retirement, early or otherwise is NOT a career. There is no room for advancement. Regression to relaxation is likely if not w*rked at.

I may be a minority, had no problems in instant adjustment to RE. I did have a few trial runs of intentionally being unemployed several times for over one year. About ten years apart starting in my mid twenties.
I also had three very distinct an non-related employment histories, which just shows that i had no patience for "digging the hole deeper", rather keep learning new stuff.

As for being a slacker, that is the point of it all.

Whew, time to take a break after being so long winded.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:07 PM   #26
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Before ER I used to scramble to keep up with yardwork. In ER I've been able to sit back, decide what yardwork I want to do when I'm 80 years old (not much), and redesign the yard accordingly. Instead of "Prune the bougainvillea this weekend" it's been "How can we stop having to prune these so often?" We're using half the water, mulching a whole lot more, no more fertilizer, doing more ground cover, and moving plants to better places. Sounds very Zen but it's also a lot less work......

......Anyone can work their assets off. Being a slacker is a lot more challenging than it looks.
Same here! I've been designing & redesigning the gardens and landscape.....many times by trial & error.....to get things so they'll be pretty much self-sufficient and self-maintaining. Like I plant mostly native perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees....being native to this region & area, they've survived & thrived on their own for hundreds or even thousands of years, so if I neglect them, they'll still be just as content & happy as ever...maybe even more so!!!

Also, over the past several years, and continuing still, I'm slowly but surely eliminating high maintenance cr*p like lawn space! Ya gotta cut it, ya gotta water it, ya gotta fertilize it, ya gotta weed it....BOVINE POOP!!! I ain't into that!!! I'm into natural stuff...like native prairies! Lots of grasses (not of the 'lawn' variety!) and wild flowers!!! They're LOW-maintenance to NO-maintenance! I like that!

I don't rake leaves either. I either mulch 'em in place, and let 'em replenish the nutrients in the soil, or else I mulch 'em and put 'em on my compost pile!

Every year I have less & less to do in the gardens and the landscape...and more & more time to sit and enjoy it....and enjoy all of the critters, creepy crawlies, & insects that thrive in their natural settings......I especially love the big ol' bumble bees...they are so cooool!!!

I figure by the time I'm in my 80's (or 90's), I'll be sitting out in the gardens, covered in vines and moss, and be slowly composting back into the earth!
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:06 PM   #27
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Same here! I've been designing & redesigning the gardens and landscape.....many times by trial & error.....to get things so they'll be pretty much self-sufficient and self-maintaining. Like I plant mostly native perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees....being native to this region & area, they've survived & thrived on their own for hundreds or even thousands of years, so if I neglect them, they'll still be just as content & happy as ever...maybe even more so!!!

Also, over the past several years, and continuing still, I'm slowly but surely eliminating high maintenance cr*p like lawn space! Ya gotta cut it, ya gotta water it, ya gotta fertilize it, ya gotta weed it....BOVINE POOP!!! I ain't into that!!! I'm into natural stuff...like native prairies! Lots of grasses (not of the 'lawn' variety!) and wild flowers!!! They're LOW-maintenance to NO-maintenance! I like that!

I don't rake leaves either. I either mulch 'em in place, and let 'em replenish the nutrients in the soil, or else I mulch 'em and put 'em on my compost pile!

Every year I have less & less to do in the gardens and the landscape...and more & more time to sit and enjoy it....and enjoy all of the critters, creepy crawlies, & insects that thrive in their natural settings......I especially love the big ol' bumble bees...they are so cooool!!!

I figure by the time I'm in my 80's (or 90's), I'll be sitting out in the gardens, covered in vines and moss, and be slowly composting back into the earth!
Sounds about right.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #28
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:42 PM   #29
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(snip)
It sounds like you see your choices as:
- Stay at work where you can make optimal use of your money and (your employer's) time.
No, even though I have a good job and good working conditions I am burned out on working full time. I am itching to "downshift" and work no more than part time, at something I could do well even half-asleep.
Quote:
- ER and work hard to finish your list, even if you're not enthused about it. In other words, working for yourself without pay.
<sigh> You make it sound so dreary. Basically, I'm just not an enthusiastic person about much of anything. I have never been one of these high-achieving, self-starting, Type-A personalities. I like to be able to look back on an accomplishment, it's getting up the motivation to do things so I have them to look back at that I find difficult.
Quote:
- ER and screw off, but feel guilty.
I think you have hit the nail on the head. I procrastinate, that's what it is. I don't know if I will ever be able to overcome that bad habit. I am like the dog on the porch in that old story—he howls because he is lying on a spike, but he doesn't get up and move because it doesn't hurt *that* bad.

Quote:
A fourth choice might be to compare your post-ER priorities to your pre-ER priorities. You might also want to take a look at your deadlines-- in my case weeks moved into months and opened up more time for leisure/unplanned opportunities. (snip)
It is leisure activities, and flat-out inactivity swallowing up everything else that I am worried about.

Quote:
It helps if you have a spouse, partner, or exercise buddy who expects you to be present at a certain time/place to be doing something with them. Nothing succeeds like peer pressure.(snip)
I bet it would. At never-married and fifty-plus, a spouse or partner is probably not in the cards (which is fine by me), but maybe I can find someone to bug me about these things in a nice way, and I will bug them about theirs if asked to do so. A mutual instigation society, that's what I need to find. Is there any such thing?
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:03 PM   #30
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bet it would. At never-married and fifty-plus, a spouse or partner is probably not in the cards (which is fine by me), but maybe I can find someone to bug me about these things in a nice way, and I will bug them about theirs if asked to do so. A mutual instigation society, that's what I need to find. Is there any such thing?
We had a neighbor who was 72 and a widower, kids living in different cities, and all his old friends gone. We got to know him pretty well and he definitely needed some other activities to fill his time. DW gave him a copy of the latest circular listing all the current community college offerings and talked about the spanish classes she was taking - extremely inexpensive for seniors. He signed up for one or two classes. It was a great success - met some like-minded folks of a similar age and even started going to senior exercise classes with some of the folks he met.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:04 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
(snip)Before ER I used to scramble to keep up with yardwork. In ER I've been able to sit back, decide what yardwork I want to do when I'm 80 years old (not much), and redesign the yard accordingly. Instead of "Prune the bougainvillea this weekend" it's been "How can we stop having to prune these so often?" We're using half the water, mulching a whole lot more, no more fertilizer, doing more ground cover, and moving plants to better places. Sounds very Zen but it's also a lot less work.

Our first two mango trees grow so tall that they obscure our view. I've planted a couple more mango downhill of them (OK, they planted themselves), I'm keeping them pruned back, and I'm using much less water. Next time I prune the first two mango it'll be with a 14" reciprocating-saw blade, in five more years it'll be with a chainsaw, and in 15 years I'll have someone cut them down. Maybe we'll get some funky end tables out of the trunk wood. (snip)
Same here! I've been designing & redesigning the gardens and landscape.....many times by trial & error.....to get things so they'll be pretty much self-sufficient and self-maintaining. Like I plant mostly native perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees....being native to this region & area, they've survived & thrived on their own for hundreds or even thousands of years, so if I neglect them, they'll still be just as content & happy as ever...maybe even more so!!!

Also, over the past several years, and continuing still, I'm slowly but surely eliminating high maintenance cr*p like lawn space! Ya gotta cut it, ya gotta water it, ya gotta fertilize it, ya gotta weed it....BOVINE POOP!!! I ain't into that!!! I'm into natural stuff...like native prairies! Lots of grasses (not of the 'lawn' variety!) and wild flowers!!! They're LOW-maintenance to NO-maintenance! I like that!

I don't rake leaves either. I either mulch 'em in place, and let 'em replenish the nutrients in the soil, or else I mulch 'em and put 'em on my compost pile!

Every year I have less & less to do in the gardens and the landscape...and more & more time to sit and enjoy it....and enjoy all of the critters, creepy crawlies, & insects that thrive in their natural settings......I especially love the big ol' bumble bees...they are so cooool!!!

I figure by the time I'm in my 80's (or 90's), I'll be sitting out in the gardens, covered in vines and moss, and be slowly composting back into the earth!
I am thinking along the same lines. I also plan to consult with an "Aging-in-Place" specialist to make sure I will not be forced out of my house by age/disability. My parents have a house which would be very difficult to adapt to wheelchair accessibility. In the last few years my mom has had heart surgery and my dad has had two joints replaced, which has been a real heads-up for all concerned. If it ever became really impossible for one of them to go up and down stairs, they'd have to move, and that would be a pity, they really love that house. I want to build the house myself, and I'm planning it so I can live in it for the rest of my life. The gardens too. There is a book called The self-sustaining garden : the guide to matrix planting, by Peter Thompson. Basically matrix planting is replicating the way a natural ecosystem works, but with ornamental plants, so they re-seed themselves, smother weeds, and generally look good without a lot of tinkering. Then if you want something to tinker with, you can grow higher-maintenance sorts of plants in containers as an accent. And I plan to use permaculture techniques in growing food.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:24 PM   #32
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If the weather is nice, I am doing things.
If the weather stinks, I'm goofing off inside, usually here.
Interesting to hear someone else say this. While I was unemployed this year, I got something of a taste of what ER would be like (although the part/full time job of networking, interviewing, applying, etc. kind of spoiledthe effect). When the weather was nice, I did tons of stuff: frequent camping trips, hikes, fishing trips, travel, etc. When the weather turned lousy, there was the gym, cooking, and the TV. Makes me really think that when I am finally able to hang up my spurs I may seriously consider spending weeks to months at a time in the winter in a warmer, sunnier climate.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:59 PM   #33
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What I love most about retirement is the freedom to be a slacker when you need to and be productive when you feel like it. Sometimes I just need a couple of days of sitting around wasting time on the computer. Other times I feel productive and reupholster something or remake curtains or regrout the bathroom. Mostly we complete any chores by lunch and play in the afternoon.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:12 PM   #34
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Interesting to hear someone else say this. While I was unemployed this year, I got something of a taste of what ER would be like (although the part/full time job of networking, interviewing, applying, etc. kind of spoiledthe effect). When the weather was nice, I did tons of stuff: frequent camping trips, hikes, fishing trips, travel, etc. When the weather turned lousy, there was the gym, cooking, and the TV. Makes me really think that when I am finally able to hang up my spurs I may seriously consider spending weeks to months at a time in the winter in a warmer, sunnier climate.
Cold weather + FIRE has a habit of keeping me inside. Since I NEVER watch TV, I find all sorts of stuff to occupy my time. I turn on my classical music radio station or I load up my acoustic guitar and Enya CDs so the sound is just audible and sets a relaxing tone. I surf, post here, read, do laundry, do emails, plan dinner, make bread, (re)organize rooms, learn something new online from links posted here, etc etc.
If the sun is shining and the temps are reasonable, I go outside and play a little, fill the bird feeder, make a mini snow sculpture, throw snowballs for the dogs, get the mail, shovel off the back deck and jacuzzi, etc.
I make sure I include some light activity every day so my muscles don't atrophy in the chair. I keep the TV off so my brain doesn't atrophy. I intentionally make myself think of things to do.
The day goes by very quickly. You may not need to escape as much as you imagine.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:40 PM   #35
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The day goes by very quickly. You may not need to escape as much as you imagine.
That's a possibility. I really didn't have enough time after the weather got lousy to find out. I have a tendency toward SAD that makes it tough to get moving in the winter, though, so it might actually be a problem. I have a loooonnnggg time before I can find out for sure, I guess.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:28 PM   #36
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<sigh> You make it sound so dreary. Basically, I'm just not an enthusiastic person about much of anything. I have never been one of these high-achieving, self-starting, Type-A personalities. I like to be able to look back on an accomplishment, it's getting up the motivation to do things so I have them to look back at that I find difficult.
I think you have hit the nail on the head. I procrastinate, that's what it is. I don't know if I will ever be able to overcome that bad habit. I am like the dog on the porch in that old story—he howls because he is lying on a spike, but he doesn't get up and move because it doesn't hurt *that* bad.
The only reason procrastination is considered "bad" is because it's incompatible with "deadlines". In ER you pretty much get to set your own deadlines-- and change 'em all if you're not having fun.

You could think of yourself as highly efficient at establishing priorities before acting instead of running willy-nilly from one project to the next...

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A mutual instigation society, that's what I need to find. Is there any such thing?
They meet every weekday morning around 8:30 at the White Plains Beach surf break. There's probably a different chapter in your area.

I've been after our taekwondo instructor to start a geezer martial arts class that meets at 1:30 weekday afternoons. It'd be right after his homeschooler's class and right after my nap, with us heading home before rush hour. Unfortunately he's not sure there are enough of us to make it work.

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I am thinking along the same lines. I also plan to consult with an "Aging-in-Place" specialist to make sure I will not be forced out of my house by age/disability.
Another aspect of this "I want to die in my home" attitude is isolation, fear, overwhelming maintenance, and depression. Many elders have done much better once they're in a group/social setting that's brighter and more easily maintained.

Home can be overrated. But I'm part of the "die here" crowd too.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #37
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Billy and I retired young (age 38) in 1991. We're in our 19th year of retirement now.

We worked so hard when we were self employed that when we retired we decompressed for a long time. It was glorious. I actually read the Sunday morning paper while leisurely drinking my coffee for the first time in a decade. I watched the Discovery channel (what a luxury) and read books from cover to cover. I learned how to water color. Billy learned to play the saxophone. We started traveling - first the Caribbean and Venezuela and then the whole western section of the US in an 5th wheel trailer.

We were so burned out from working...I had no get-up-and-go at all. Eventually balance came back -- I would say a couple of years later.

Now we are very busy with our style of retirement - traveling, volunteering, learning... enjoying life.

I guess I would say give yourself some time to adjust and not be too hard on yourself - but you know yourself better than anyone else does.

Best of everything,

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Old 01-02-2009, 03:32 PM   #38
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Im a slacker and I love it. Im amazed how Ive stumbled through life.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:52 PM   #39
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Im a slacker and I love it. Im amazed how Ive stumbled through life.
Me too! I'm embarrassed at how random my life has been. About the only thing I really concentrated on was trying to be a good Dad. I took a shot at good husband, but I guess she graded on the curve and there were harder workers available.

Still, here I am, and with luck here I will be for a good while longer. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

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Old 01-02-2009, 05:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I am thinking along the same lines. I also plan to consult with an "Aging-in-Place" specialist to make sure I will not be forced out of my house by age/disability.
(big snip) Another aspect of this "I want to die in my home" attitude is isolation, fear, overwhelming maintenance, and depression. Many elders have done much better once they're in a group/social setting that's brighter and more easily maintained.

Home can be overrated. But I'm part of the "die here" crowd too.
Somehow I missed your comment for two days. If cooking my own meals eventually becomes just too much of an hassle, I might decide to move to someplace that has meals included. Or if I become so frail I'm unable even to go to church on Sundays, to have people come over to my house or even to go online and be in contact with people there, maybe I'd want to move into a more "social" setting. But really, I don't anticipate that I will want to do that. I am an introvert to the core and eager to get out of the "more social" setting of my current townhouse residence to someplace where there is no danger of people having a noisy party on the other side of my living room wall, or of blocking my car in the garage when I want to go out.

What makes the difference to me is choice. If I move because I have decided I'd prefer to live somewhere else, that's one thing and though I don't expect that this will happen, if it does, it does. But it's altogether a different thing to be forced out of a home I do not want to leave due to sheer inability to continue living there, and that's what I want to guard against. I also mean to plan the house so it doesn't require much maintenance. That way it will be possible for me to do it myself longer, and less expensive to hire someone else to do it when & if I'm no longer able to.
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