So here was the first retirement question for the geezer. Do the wife and I stay in the same house we were living in or do we pick up stakes and find a new home?
One part of the decision about staying in your current house or moving has to do with comfort.
- Are you comfortable with your current set of neighbors and friends?
- Is there comfort because the kids are nearby and the grandchildren come to visit and are used to the way your house smells? (Like chocolate chip cookies, I hope.)
Then there’s the comfort of economics if you no longer have a mortgage on your home.
Then there’s the pain part of moving to a new home. You have to:
- Sell your house or become an absentee landlord.
- Physically pack up.
- Look for and find a new house.
- Go through the process of getting a mortgage and all that entails.
- Physically move in.
So, really, the cards are stacked in favor of staying rightly where you are or what they call “retiring in place.”
Those cards were not in my deck. We had one close friend in Pasadena, but she could drive to somewhere else. We knew the neighbors and were friendly with them, but they were not our social buddies. Our kids will were seven hours away so moving one hour this way or that wasn’t going to make that much of a difference.
There was still the pain of packing and moving. But the lure of the new overcame the pain of the pack. So we made a decision to move.
Which led directly to pain #1 – we had to sell our current house.
After touring our own home, we knew that packing everything and taking it with us would have two results:
- The incredible expense of packing and moving all we had.
- Having to buy a house which could hold everything we had in the house, in the garage, in the attic, and in the basement. In other words, a house larger than the one we currently had – which meant paying the price for a larger house. Even in a down market, that would have been prohibitive.
We decided that we could avoid both pains by first downsizing before selling.