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June 18, 2014

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We're thinking along the same lines and we only live on 3.5 Acres ! We enjoy the rural setting and our house but realize that, after 22 years here, the upkeep is starting to pile up. At age 74 and counting we no longer have the DIY energy to keep up with it.

Consider a place with separate guest quarters of some kind. One possible scenario of getting old is that you may need someone on the premises to help you with daily chores, driving, errands, cooking and more. Maybe one of you will become ill and the other is just not up to the burden of full-time care and would like a break or to get out on a regular basis. It may be cheaper to offer someone room/board and a modest salary than to move one or both of you into a groovy, vegan old folks' home that plays 60's music and is illuminated with black lights and lava lamps. These places can run $50K each per year or more, even ones that aren't groovy.

Another thing to think about is stairs. No big deal if you are healthy, but a potential big problem for someone who has had a fall, stroke, etc. What if? Really, this is something to consider for anyone. I don't much care for houses with flights of stairs.

I had surgery and had to be off that foot for 6 weeks and go around on a knee scooter. My house is a bi-level type with two or three steps here and there. They were a real pain to navigate with the scooter. A full staircase would have been much worse. And that was only for 6 weeks.

My older sister bought an investment house with lots of stairs to rent out and eventually retire in. Her knees were good when she bought it, but now her knees are bad and it would be difficult and painful for her to live there.

Of course we hope all this shit won't happen, but I think it is realistic and wise to prepare as you are thinking of doing. Why should we reasonably expect to escape what most elderly must endure especially if we live long enough?

I've lived in an age restricted community. Although I would never ask, by observation it was mostly John Birch adherents. I felt I was in an intellectual jail in spite of computer labs, golf courses, indoor pools, ceramics labs, and painting workshops.

I went from there to a gorgeous, water and mountain view apartment in Ventura that I could afford. I drove an hour each way every week to Santa Barbara City College for a printmaking class. Gave me my waterfront drive without the cost of living of Santa Barbara.

When age and physical losses meant no more flights of stairs I found a townhouse in tucson. Inexpensive HOA fees for front landscape maintenance with new road fully funded from reserves. Congenial neighbors, more liberal, although I would not enquire.

I am finding that 1600 square feet is much too much for one person. Looking at condominium and townhouse situations for both community and passively paid landscape help.

As usual, digging deep on net research. This is the most encouraging socially: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/09/americas-top-20-most-liberal-friendly-counties/2/

It is not the most encouraging financially. I think it's come to a point in my life that being cheap is going to be damned expensive.

Three words: Kendal at Oberlin

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