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Old 02-02-2021, 07:53 PM   #21
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that's my concern about my wife if i go first. she shows no interest. i guess i need to stick around forever.
That had always been my concern too as to my DW. I was the financial person, she was the gardener. I worried about leaving her to manage the financial affairs alone, and planned and worked (no mortgage, etc.) to make sure she really would have no financial worries, and so only thing for her to do was pay the monthly utility bills, and the annual insurance premiums, and buy the groceries.

As it turned out, she went first and tricked me. Now I am faced with her love, and my shortcoming, the gardening!
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Old 02-02-2021, 07:55 PM   #22
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For the longest time I was a DIY'er. Slowly and steadily I've hired out for more of the maintenance needs of my house. The latest example, which began a year ago or so: I pay a premium to have my salt delivered and loaded into my water softener. Those 40 pound bags are just too cumbersome, and it's worth every penny to me.
"worth every penny to me" is my mantra for most of the things I pay for, as a small price for me to continue to enjoy my home of 35+ years. Yet another example of YMMV. Incidentally, we just had a major snow storm here in NJ, and it took me 3 rounds of snow-blowing to clear it all. That remains one of the things I still do myself, but only because I for-some-strange-reason enjoy it, other than major snow storms like this one. But I'm mentally ready to pay for snow removal service as well, whenever I can't do it anymore.
I prefer this to moving.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:02 PM   #23
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Iím trying to get DW to move to a smaller maintenance free home but she wonít budge. So Iím gradually turning over handyman tasks to others. Had a new roof, gutters, and front door done by others and turned out well.

Iím never spreading mulch again. I spread about 14 cubic yards up and down slopes with a wheelbarrow. Iím hiring that out from now on.

I remodeled the kitchen, a couple of bathrooms, and put down new hardwood floors a couple of years ago, so I donít see any big projects on the horizon. But if something pops up, Iíll look to have someone else handle it.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:04 PM   #24
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Am I overreacting? How have others managed this transition from DIY to depending on others?
One thing I am doing is taking a "Blow That Dough" attitude and beginning that transition well before I need to. That gives me time, without duress, to evaluate various service providers, or talk to others in the neighborhood who are getting those services, and identify the good ones.

For example, I cleared our driveway of 6" of snow today, a little shoveling and a lot of my snow thrower. At 62 I still enjoy doing it, and since I am fit, exercise regularly, and cardiologist sees no issues I look at is as another type of exercise workout. But I took it slow and it took about 2.5 hours. I have already been asking around about snow removal services to find the good/reputable ones in my area and contract with one of them within the next year or so.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:13 PM   #25
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The dues pay for far more than lawn service. My dues include fire insurance on the structure, earthquake insurance, water, trash pickup, painting, gutter cleaning , driveway repairs, and recently some additional landscape work to prevent flooding.

Yes, you can do to yourself for less in oneís own house. I recently patched a ceiling that was damaged by a water leak. But, I needed a plumber to fix the leak. It was in a rather tight place. I would have been cussing up a storm for hours trying to fix it. The pro took 45 minutes and it hasnít leaked since.
Our HOA, for our condo/townhome is similar. Is it a bargain?, probably not, but for $225/month it is fair.

While I have always done all the usual maintenance, even for for some simple stuff I kid DW that she needs to dial 1-800-call the man.

On a side note. We have seen several neighbors stay way too long here, even with outside maintenance included. Sometime in our 70's, 10 years from now, I hope we remember that and go to independent/assisted living.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:15 PM   #26
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That had always been my concern too as to my DW. I was the financial person, she was the gardener. I worried about leaving her to manage the financial affairs alone, and planned and worked (no mortgage, etc.) to make sure she really would have no financial worries, and so only thing for her to do was pay the monthly utility bills, and the annual insurance premiums, and buy the groceries.

As it turned out, she went first and tricked me. Now I am faced with her love, and my shortcoming, the gardening!
i'm sorry for your loss. my wife is everything to me and if she were to go first, well, i don't know how i would cope.

as to making things easier for her...we have zero debt, wills & PoA's in place, successor trustees nominated and upon the second death the trust takes over for liquidation of assets. this year i have two financial goals. she cant't get LT Care insurance so we're going to designate $X in the portfolio for her care and rebalance those funds in a more conservative manner. and i want to simplify and consolidate our IRA's to make it easier for her to manage. RMD's will be on auto pilot. most of our monthly bills are on auto-pay but i want to re-start paper billing as she does not like using the computer. currently teaching her how to reconcile CC and bank accounts. OTOH, i'd likely kill off all of the plants, grass and trees.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:18 PM   #27
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i'm sorry for your loss. my wife is everything to me and if she were to go first, well, i don't know how i would cope.

as to making things easier for her...we have zero debt, wills & PoA's in place, successor trustees nominated and upon the second death the trust takes over for liquidation of assets. this year i have two financial goals. she cant't get LT Care insurance so we're going to designate $X in the portfolio for her care and rebalance those funds in a more conservative manner. and i want to simplify and consolidate our IRA's to make it easier for her to manage. RMD's will be on auto pilot. most of our monthly bills are on auto-pay but i want to re-start paper billing as she does not like using the computer. currently teaching her how to reconcile CC and bank accounts. OTOH, i'd likely kill off all of the plants, grass and trees.


Sounds like you have a good plan in place--except for the plants/grass/trees!

And thanks for your condolences.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:28 PM   #28
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For the longest time I was a DIY'er. Slowly and steadily I've hired out for more of the maintenance needs of my house. The latest example, which began a year ago or so: I pay a premium to have my salt delivered and loaded into my water softener. Those 40 pound bags are just too cumbersome, and it's worth every penny to me.
"worth every penny to me" is my mantra for most of the things I pay for, as a small price for me to continue to enjoy my home of 35+ years. Yet another example of YMMV. Incidentally, we just had a major snow storm here in NJ, and it took me 3 rounds of snow-blowing to clear it all. That remains one of the things I still do myself, but only because I for-some-strange-reason enjoy it, other than major snow storms like this one. But I'm mentally ready to pay for snow removal service as well, whenever I can't do it anymore.
I prefer this to moving.
we hired out our snow removal a few years ago in preparation for our first snowbird trip. we canceled that trip this year but decided to keep the shovelers (they clear the snow by hand). i was taking out the trash when they came by (for the seond time) on Sunday evening to clear the drive, deck and sidewalks of the 6" of partly cloudy that fell over the weekend. i felt, and feel, very good about the decision to keep them. i gave them hot chocolate and went back inside where it was warm!
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:41 PM   #29
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[...]I think I'd be very frustrated by having to hire out most repair work, rather than the small fraction that I can't do[...]
Am I overreacting? How have others managed this transition from DIY to depending on others?
I'm 72, aging fast, and never was capable of doing much home maintenance and repair. Being a female academic type, to be honest nobody has ever expected that of me.

So for me, it has been pretty easy to just pick up the phone and call my handyman, Will, when I need to have something done. I would imagine that it's harder for some guys to accept that they need help and make that call, but not for me.

The big "plus" to hiring Will to do these things, is that he actually does quite expert work and knows what he is doing.

Even though Will is considered to be a relatively expensive handyman, he is worth every cent and it doesn't come to more than a few hundred a year, if that. Some years I don't need him at all.

Look at it this way - - you're providing a little work for someone you feel is competent, trustworthy, and reliable. Jobs are hard to find these days so you are doing a good deed by hiring a handyman.
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Old 02-02-2021, 08:47 PM   #30
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I plan on hiring out whatever I can't, or don't want, to do so that I can stay in this house as long as possible. It's a nice brick ranch on a slab (no stairs) sitting on an acre. I suspect that the yard work will be first to go. I enjoy it, but certain heavy lift things will go soon. As for maintenance in the house, anything beyond the easy stuff will go quickly. I can handle light switches and such maybe even a little plumbing like changing out a Delta faucet cartridge . . . but much beyond that and I'm hiring it out. I might do one more painting of a room here or there, but probably not ceilings. I look at it as much cheaper than moving and much more palatable (to me) to not have to share a wall, floor or ceiling with anyone else. Of course things happen, but that's the plan at my current age of 60. I think I have a good 10 years before I give up the basic jobs like mowing the lawn and handling snow.
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Old 02-02-2021, 09:33 PM   #31
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I used to do many of these things myself earlier and even enjoyed it a lot; I did the mowing, the tree planting and trimming, and most interior things including finishing everything in a 2000 square foot sun room and walk out basement, including electric, extensive tile work, a cedar sauna, and a large bar and game room which has a lot of stained oak paneling on the walls. But looking back, to some extent it was a matter of proving to myself that I can do it, and now I have other interests that I want to use my time for.

So my view has evolved, and now for me the answer has two parts. Currently they are a matter of choice, but they would similarly apply to the time down the road when I just couldn't do these things anymore.

First, have a really good handyman. After literally years of trying, I have succeeded at both the place up north and the one in Florida, one of them has been with me for twelve years, and the other for three years. The quality of the handyman matters a lot, I have tried many others before, but after a while you get a sense of their quality and you know a good handyman when you see him. One of them charges about $20/hour, but he is so reliable I don't even measure his time or get an estimate ahead of time, he just bills after the fact and is very fair. The other charges $30/hour, which is a bit on the higher end, but he is super efficient, very conscientious, and also very fair. I make sure to show them that I appreciate their work, by giving them little extras, donate some of my tools I don't need anymore, give them a pie when I bake, and give presents for kids birthdays and Christmas etc. Just being a nice human being, good folks will recognize it and return the favor in form of quality work, and those that don't recognize it are usually not worth keeping.

Second, strategically hire out most of the recurring services. The first was snow plowing up north. I have had the same guy for more than 25 years, and since that time he hasn't raised his price once. He still does my 600 foot long driveway including a circle in front of the house for $20, and often in the middle of the night if a storm is coming through. No way I would do that myself. Next came mowing. I used to do that with a lawn tractor, but it took me more than three hours including trimming, and there is just so much maintenance on a lawn tractor and even the gas just adds up. Now I have a company that does it for $100 a pop. Sure it's serious money, but I just don't want to work for such a long time and then risk getting teased by the daughters for having a "farmer's tan" yet again :-)

Down south all the landscaping, trimming, irrigation is taken care of by the HOA, and (if you speak enough Spanish) you can even get them to do it the way you like. So that place is also lock up ready and I can leave at any time I please. But I still use the handyman for the interior things: the place has very high ceilings and I just don't feel like monkeying around on a tall ladder, and I think I have done my life's share of interior painting and all the other similar stuff as well.
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Old 02-02-2021, 09:52 PM   #32
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Eventually I'll have to hire out some jobs when I can't or get too lazy to do them myself. But I done so much in the last couple years that every major thing is brand new and should be fine for 20 - 30 years.

- new shingles on house and garage
- gut and reno main bathroom plus built 2 additional bathrooms (ensuite + half bath)
- new flooring
- new paint in every room
- replaced two older leaky windows now every window is triple pane
- added a 3rd deck with a screened gazebo
- built a 65' raised planter bed around a firepit

We have a week or so of work left to do outside then it's all done, and hopefully we can relax and enjoy if for many years to come.
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Old 02-02-2021, 10:22 PM   #33
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most of our monthly bills are on auto-pay but i want to re-start paper billing as she does not like using the computer. currently teaching her how to reconcile CC and bank accounts. OTOH, i'd likely kill off all of the plants, grass and trees.

This^ is a concern for me too. DW has said repeatedly, usually when I try to show her how it all works with automation, that sheíd rely on paper when Iím taking a dirt nap.
On the original subject, Iíll be happy to pay someone to do the riskier stuff involving ladders and such, as well as the the tasks involving contortions, like most plumbing. I gotta admit though that thereíve been several times lately when Iíve wished I had a true workshop instead of the one-car garage I use for projects (after moving the car), so the itch is still there.
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Old 02-02-2021, 11:06 PM   #34
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One area that I have already stopped DIY: anything that requires getting on a ladder. No more using a ladder to clean gutters or to get on a roof, my body cannot take falls like they used to. Too many friends started getting badly hurt with long recoveries in their 50s from ladder falls.
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Old 02-02-2021, 11:47 PM   #35
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Not afraid of ladders to get on roof. Buy good (expensive) ladders rated way over my weight.

Extension ladder is braced on the bottom by concrete pavers and tied to the gutter on top with bungee. Not moving back or side to side.

Hiring out tree work. Not going up unsupported ladders with chain saw in hand -
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:01 AM   #36
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OP - I had this thought as I was shoveling 10" of snow over the weekend. That at some point I'll be giving up all this handyman stuff due to getting older.

I have a vacation property where I'm installing a septic system, my contractor turned out to be a flake, so looks like I'll be completing it myself. That place is a ton of work, and my thoughts are that we will stop using it in 10 yrs.

For the same reason our next house should be 1 level, age will creep up on us and better to make the move, or figure out our plan first.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:34 AM   #37
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Not going up unsupported ladders with chain saw in hand -
That's a good rule to live by, at any age! :-)
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Old 02-03-2021, 06:41 AM   #38
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Hiring out tree work. Not going up unsupported ladders with chain saw in hand -
RobbieB put a smiley here, and RetiredAt55.5 commented, but I'll pile on.

If you ever find yourself on a ladder doing tree work, stop. Immediately! Something's wrong. No respectable tree person uses ladders.

Most accidents happen with the branch bounce-back knocking you off the ladder. Scan youtube and you'll find 100s, maybe 1000s of "funny" videos of this accident.

In reality, a church friend solved all their retirement issues about what kind of handiwork to do by doing this. He was found on the ground next to the ladder with a saw nearby. He doesn't remember exactly what he was doing. He spent 2 months in the hospital, 6 months in rehab. Going home only lasted a few months and he is now in assisted living. He can only say a few words. A few years later, he finally can feed himself. But he knows the answer to handiwork! Zero.
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Old 02-03-2021, 06:54 AM   #39
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One area that I have already stopped DIY: anything that requires getting on a ladder. No more using a ladder to clean gutters or to get on a roof, my body cannot take falls like they used to...
I was surprised to see my neighbor doing something on his roof late last year. He was 90. Some of us just refuse to admit that we're getting a bit long in the tooth ...
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:08 AM   #40
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RobbieB put a smiley here, and RetiredAt55.5 commented, but I'll pile on.

If you ever find yourself on a ladder doing tree work, stop. Immediately! Something's wrong. No respectable tree person uses ladders.

Most accidents happen with the branch bounce-back knocking you off the ladder. Scan youtube and you'll find 100s, maybe 1000s of "funny" videos of this accident.

In reality, a church friend solved all their retirement issues about what kind of handiwork to do by doing this. He was found on the ground next to the ladder with a saw nearby. He doesn't remember exactly what he was doing. He spent 2 months in the hospital, 6 months in rehab. Going home only lasted a few months and he is now in assisted living. He can only say a few words. A few years later, he finally can feed himself. But he knows the answer to handiwork! Zero.
+1000.

I had a friend that was found dead on the ground by his BIL at the family farm. Next to his ladder. The saw was still up in the tree. He was in his mid to late 50's.
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