For those of you who are closest to me and/or have known me for awhile, you know that I am of the school of living more simply. Given I've had great experiences in my life so far, meaning, I've lived more for my heart than my pocketbook honestly, I have limited savings for retirement. This is mostly because I've worked in a helping field where the earnings are less, along with my share of being caught up like so many of us in down sizings, layoffs and such.
I also uprooted my life from a more financially stable area (mid-Atlantic) to own a home in a rural, less financially prosperous area - Florida - to purchase a home with my parents. This decision led to such a wonderful life experience, sharing winters with my ''snow bird' friends and family. In a great community too, by the way. But, making a financial gain, not so much!
Thus, I know that I will want to live as economically as possible as I continue to age. I also care about the environment and leaving a smaller footprint.
The coolest thing I'm learning as I shed 'stuff' and live more simply is this: the less I have, the happier I get. Less IS more! Now I've never been a super 'pack rat' but as I've gotten older and slowed down in my energy and such, this idea of living for less becomes more and more attractive.
It's also about survival, frankly. I don't want to get pulled into that hectic type of life again where I have to work a soul-less job to afford decent housing. Those of us living on the coasts know that housing is just too darn pricey for so many of us. We hope and pray there is a better way.
And there always is. Yes, we can blame Wall Street, globalization and the rich, but we still have to figure it out. We must still persevere and live the best lives we can. Waiting for some government action to make things better, well? Good luck.
After I moved back to the mid Atlantic, I did discover better earnings again. And as I work hard to create my life all over again, I started a few years ago looking into co-housing. You know me, usually out there on the 'cutting edge'. I was even pivotal in starting a group here in Baltimore that has since gone off without me, to become probably the first to build a co-housing community in Baltimore. I wish them the best of luck, but, sadly, my needs no longer seem to 'fit' with theirs. Most of the members are married couples, with dual incomes. Great incomes too (doctors for example). They are looking at homes much pricier than I will be able to afford.
But again I persevere: Barb, keep the faith and keep looking. Since then I've reconnected with a colleague who is consulting with groups looking to build these sorts of communities. He and I are very interested in the issue of LGBT elders.
I have an idea I am researching right now that involves tiny home communities. Also known as pocket neighborhoods. There's tons to learn. Lots of nay saying that is real - building codes, costs more than you think, resale value, etc. So who knows where I'll end up but, I will end up informed enough to make decisions that work for me.
I can't say a whole lot more now, but if you are interested in keeping up-to-date with my co-living/tiny homes community project, please let me know!
Inside the 'Intentional Lifestyle' of Communal Living (city focused, young adult)
Cohousing.org (directory of dozens of communities all over the USA, great educational information)