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DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 12:02 PM   #1
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DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!


Turned 58 today! Eyes are a little less effective, hearing is gone by about 12%, but aside from taking some pills to keep one from developing the usual ailments, I feel pretty good for my age. By following the advice on this forum, I've managed to not only gain good advice, but at least have a goal in mind to pursue so I can gradually ease into an earlier retirement faster than I expected. I think I have managed to convice my wife that we need to downsize our life, which includes moving to an area that is cheaper on taxes, getting rid of the house that is too big for us since the kids left, spending on items that we "need" and not the ones that we just "want". And, the more that we can save now, the better off we will be once the time comes that we do retire. My wife is 6 years younger than I, but I have to reason with her sometimes that what we save now will benefit her also if something should happen to me. I was going to wait until 59 1/2 to sell the house, but as I understand by a couple of posters that I could do this before that age? Irregardless, the home will still gain equity, but not as much as an extra $500 per month put in investments will.
I was planning on moving to Delaware state but the wife did not like the idea of moving away from the kids & grandkids - about 6 hours away from here. For now, thats not an option.
I really don't mind working at my job and probably be here til I do retire, but when I hear about people on this board going boating, fishing, golfing and traveling - it hits a nerve somewhat! Luckily I do have a large window to gaze out!
Bad weather outside this time of year makes it bearable to dreaming about all you lucky retirees out basking in the sun.
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Okay. Why wait?
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

I really think he and his wife need to make a joint decision because retiring without downsizing may be a stretch. Being close to the kids and grandkids is important to her.

They need to work as a team to find locations that meet both of their needs, start looking at less expensive homes (maybe even talk to realtors). Once the two have a couple destinations that work, then develop a plan to downsize. Their current home may need some cosmetic work to ready it for sale, they may have a lot of 'stuff' to get rid of (Craigslist candidates). Just getting ready to put a home on the market takes a lot of time and work. When you are ready to sell know your own realestate market so that you spend as little as possible on marketing your home.

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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 02:09 PM   #4
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
Just getting ready to put a home on the market takes a lot of time and work. When you are ready to sell know your own realestate market so that you spend as little as possible on marketing your home.
Good advice, Brat. I stopped working (part-time) last September and we put our house on the market the week before Thanksgiving. We used the time in between to clear out the clutter, sell lots of stuff on craigslist, and do minor repairs so that the house would show well. Our realtor said the house was the best prepared she had seen. The realtor showed the house while we went on a cruise to the Panama Canal over Thanksgiving. When we returned we had two above asking price offers. The time and effort spent getting the house ready for sale was well worth it.

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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 05:17 PM   #5
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Good advice Brat. We are slowly working on that too. I have been downsizing stuff ever since my wife died. She was a collector and a packrat so the house was (is) packed with stuff. Add to that a new wife a year ago and her stuff on top of the pile.

We have a list of things we need to do to get the house ready for sale. It is a long on and some of it will be expensive (replace concrete driveway), repair stucco, replace some carpets etc. So we need to work a while longer to fund these projects. The problem is that we work a lot of hours with no possbility of PT in our current jobs. That does not leave much time for sorting, selling or tossing stuff out. Most of the stuff is expensive (collector plates, hummels etc.) so selling is the only option. Taking pictures, putting them on EBay or other sites is time consuming. We continue to pick through the stuff and get rid of the "junk" and excess clothing but it will take a while.

I hate to just give stuff away that I paid dearly for and I know that selling it will be a pain, if it is even possible.

Our final downsizing may have to wait until we retire to give us the many hours needed to get rid of this stuff. :

Craigslist is sort of slow here I have noticed and not much seems to sell on it.

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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 05:32 PM   #6
 
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

If your primary goal is to get rid of stuff:* * http://freecycle.org/

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
* Our final downsizing may have to wait until we retire to give us the many hours needed to get rid of this stuff.*
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

SteveR, we are working our way through stuff too. Craigslist doesn't seem to move much furniture here, my guess is that the customer base is young and flush with cash. Free works for the Navy families, but husband isn't quite there yet.

Husband has really gotten into eBay, I see that as a market for things easily shipped. One effort that gets results is to develop an album off our website to show lots of pictures and provide a link. If you already have a site it saves a bundle on eBay fees. Husband sold his 'vintage' pennants, and his sister's Nancy Ann dolls.. couple $1,000 worth over the last couple months. All this takes lots of time, I don't think it is practical with a heavy work schedule if you are as anal as he.

At the same time we are working the house todo list. As we get closer to our time to pull the realestate trigger we will ponder any improvements. Couple more years to go to the next downsize (we started witn 3,200; now about 2,500).
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Been downsizing for years now. Process continues............

Biggest chunk offloaded at one time was due to my divorce.
Not recommended, but very effective.

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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 06:11 PM   #9
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Has anyone thought about holding an auction? It can move stuffs quickly.
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 06:20 PM   #10
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Has anyone thought about holding an auction? It can move stuffs quickly.
That's a good idea. I have had 4 big ones (business stuff mostly)
and participated in 4 "consignment" auctions since 1993.
Results were mixed, to say the least.

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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 08:01 PM   #11
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
We have a list of things we need to do to get the house ready for sale.* It is a long on and some of it will be expensive (replace concrete driveway), repair stucco, replace some carpets etc.
Are you sure you want to go to all of that trouble?

When spouse & I go to open houses, the first thing we see is a new carpet or new paint that isn't done the way we'd want to do it. It's unusual to see the job done well, let alone be the right color or style. The owners probably paid top dollar to get what they thought the customer would want, or they were coerced by a realtor into doing it for curb appeal. (No doubt with a kickback from the contractor.)

But with all of today's choices in concrete, stucco, & carpeting, I'd much rather look at a house where, if those things need repairs, the sale price reflects that while still leaving us the choice of colors & styles instead of what the realtor or the old homeowner thought was the right choice.

Your open houses could cover the diningroom table with catalogs & flyers from concrete & carpet companies and heavily advertise the lower sale price in lieu of repairs/replacements. It'd save you a lot of hassle getting ready, too, and the right customer would already be invested in making the repairs instead of whining about the curb appeal.
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 10:52 PM   #12
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

When spouse & I go to open houses, the first thing we see is a new carpet or new paint that isn't done the way we'd want to do it. It's unusual to see the job done well, let alone be the right color or style. ...

Your open houses could cover the diningroom table with catalogs & flyers from concrete & carpet companies and heavily advertise the lower sale price in lieu of repairs/replacements. It'd save you a lot of hassle getting ready, too, and the right customer would already be invested in making the repairs instead of whining about the curb appeal.
Nords,
Yours is the approach of the value investor -- buy something inexpensive and fix it up or pay someone (management if stocks, contractors if a house) to make it better and more valuable in the future.

I think a lot of home buyers are more 'growth stock' types, and they want something in move-in condition that looks pretty good and are willing to pay up for it. After all, they've got to spend all their time working overtime to pay the mortgage, so there really isn't time to think about painting or new carpets...

Someone ought to tell them about how we do things around here....
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-23-2005, 11:37 PM   #13
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

I would agree that some buyers may want to do the work themselves, but in my opinion, the average buyer looking in this neighborhood would expect to have the house in "move in" condition. The only rooms that even have carpet are the bedrooms and it is worn to a point that it looks shabby. We plan on putting in a neutral color and use a decent but not too expensive carpet. A good thick pad can make any carpet look good. The driveway is in very bad shape and has to be fixed so I plan on getting that done next spring.

As for the "stuff". I don't want to just give it away for free. I have far too much $ tied up in it. We are in no rush so we can do this to our advantage.

C-T, we just upsized three years ago but the house and yard are too big for us now and I don't want to spend all my time doing yard work or fixing the house. We want to move down to about 2500-3000 sq. feet. We have a lot of space dedicated for storage for stuff that we don't use all that much. A smaller yard would be nice but we really enjoy the privacy we have with the one we have now. It is really unique in many ways but is a real pain to maintain.
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-24-2005, 07:11 AM   #14
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I would agree that some buyers may want to do the work themselves, but in my opinion, the average buyer looking in this neighborhood would expect to have the house in "move in" condition.* The only rooms that even have carpet are the bedrooms and it is worn to a point that it looks shabby.* We plan on putting in a neutral color and use a decent but not too expensive carpet.* A good thick pad can make any carpet look good.* The driveway is in very bad shape and has to be fixed so I plan on getting that done next spring.*

As for the "stuff".* I don't want to just give it away for free.* I have far too much $ tied up in it.* We are in no rush so we can do this to our advantage.*

C-T,* we just upsized three years ago but the house and yard are too big for us now and I don't want to spend all my time doing yard work or fixing the house.* We want to move down to about 2500-3000 sq. feet.* We have a lot of space dedicated for storage for stuff that we don't use all that much.* A smaller yard would be nice but we really enjoy the privacy we have with the one we have now.* It is really unique in many ways but is a real pain to maintain.*
Hello Steve R and all. I would like to downsize our possessions and
even our 1100 (MOL) SF house. And..............this is after many years of
aggressive downsizing already. We still have way too much "stuff" and I figure we could get by with well under 1000 SF, if the place was
designed right and if we did not have to occupy the same space
for very long at a stretch BTW, it really helps if you can live where
the weather allows you to be outdoors a lot. Wards off the dreaded
cabin fever which is more of a danger in close quarters.

JG
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-24-2005, 08:19 AM   #15
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Steve, if you're looking to sell the small collectable items check out Ebay for a Trading Assistant. Basicly it's someone that will sell your items on Ebay for a percentage fee. A great way to go if you don't want to take the time to do it yourself and want to get better than yard/garage sales prices. I'm sure there is at least one in your area.
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-24-2005, 10:18 AM   #16
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
I think a lot of home buyers are more 'growth stock' types, and they want something in move-in condition that looks pretty good and are willing to pay up for it. After all, they've got to spend all their time working overtime to pay the mortgage, so there really isn't time to think about painting or new carpets...
Exactly. Very good point! When we bought this house we had to ask the sellers to stop "fixing it up".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
Steve,* if you're looking to sell the small collectable items check out Ebay for a Trading Assistant.* Basicly it's someone that will sell your items on Ebay for a percentage fee. A great way to go if you don't want to take the time to do it yourself and want to get better than yard/garage sales prices.
It's very popular. I have a cousin doing that in Illinois and she has more business than she can handle.
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!
Old 11-24-2005, 05:27 PM   #17
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
We actually moved into a Townhouse in an Association. No Bush, tree trimming, Lawn mowing or snow shoveling for me. I'm with you on that one!
C-T, I know you hate W's guts have a very strong dislike for the President, but did you really move out of the country to get away from him? Or has your "Association" ceceded and formed a new soveriegn nation?

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Old 11-24-2005, 06:37 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
C-T, I know you hate W's guts have a very strong dislike for the President, but did you really move out of the country to get away from him?* Or has your "Association" ceceded and formed a new soveriegn nation?*
We're still in the Union and a Blue State not a Gray.
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Old 11-25-2005, 06:50 AM   #19
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
We're still in the Union and a Blue State not a Gray.
Maybe not "gray" but a little bit gay, IHMO. Assume this is due to
the left of center leanings there.

JG
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Old 11-25-2005, 06:58 AM   #20
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Re: DOWNSIZING>>>>TO RETIREMENT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
SteveR

We actually moved into a Townhouse in an Association. No Bush, tree trimming, Lawn mowing or snow shoveling for me. I'm with you on that one!
Cut Throat:

3600ft is a very large townhouse. We have 2000 in the current Townhome we are renting and the 2 of us swim in it.

SWR
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