Too Old To Retire "Young"

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EdithKeeler
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End of my Careerism, I guess

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:09 pm

My boss announced his retirement to me about a year and a half ago, and to the company as a whole about a year ago. The company had me do all of this development stuff, and while I was never told overtly, it's been sort of understood that I'd probably get my boss's job. When all of this stuff started, I talked to my elderly mom and we discussed the possibility that I might have to move, and she was sort of open to it.

So now, two years down the road, the decision has been made that my boss's job will be in a new city, and moving my mom is no longer on the table. Last year she had a major medical issue that I had to help manage and take her to a ton of appointments. Her mobility is now terrible and is getting worse by the day; she's probably going to be a wheelchair before too long, and she's going to need in-home care soon, too. We talked about a vacation this year and realized that it was going to be impossible; moving represents even more challenges.

And moving to the new city is going to be a lot more expensive. And the fact is--I just don't want to live in the city. I've lived there before--I just don't want to go back.

So I went to the boss's boss and told him that while I am still really interested in the job, I can't move. Just can't do it. I'm a little depressed about it. I thought I was OK with it, but the more I think about it, I'm just bummed. There are some other changes going on at my company that will probably change what I do now, and despite the fact that I just got a relatively big raise, a nice bonus, and one of the best performance reviews I've ever had, the changes maybe have me having less responsibility, less interesting work, and less opportunity to "show my stuff" for future opportunities.

Anyway... I gotta figure out how I feel about all of this. I realize I was more excited about the possible promotion than I thought I was, and while I'm not sorry about my decision not to move, I'm just... bummed. And annoyed, because I suspect I'll have to help train the new person, and I'm bummed, too, that despite the fact the company likes me, likes my work, they've invested in my development, geography trumps the rest of it and they'd rather have someone with less experience or someone from outside the company rather than someone who could literally slide into the job tomorrow. Except for the geographic location: it's like totally doable here today (as my boss has been doing for the last 20 years)... but totally not doable here the day after he leaves. I've assured that travel is not a problem, but they want the full relo.

Of course... the flip side of all of this is that I still have a job that pays very nicely, and I'm still on track for early retirement in 5 years or less, and I live in a low cost city. And while I may not have challenges at work, I won't be working a ton of hours and have a lot of traveling and stuff to do. Which ideally gives more time to do other stuff.

But it feels like a symbolic change. I'm 54.... this is realistically probably my last chance for advancement, and my whole career up until now has pretty much been on what the Next Thing was going to be. The next thing is just more of the same cubicle until I call it quits.

I guess I need to figure out a way to handle this. Maybe it makes sense to start a small business. Maybe it's time to really become a hard body gym rat (haha.. it may take about three years!!). Really get cracking on that novel.

I guess some of it is that i'm pretty externally motivated. I'm a total ENTJ, and while I don't put a ton of stock in the Myers Briggs, I've always tested consistently as an ENTJ, and the "commander" profile here describes me pretty accurately. https://www.16personalities.com/entj-personality

This is pretty true: Happiness Lies in the Joy of Achievement
If there’s anything ENTJs love, it’s a good challenge, big or small, and they firmly believe that given enough time and resources, they can achieve any goal. This quality makes people with the ENTJ personality type brilliant entrepreneurs, and their ability to think strategically and hold a long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision makes them powerful business leaders.


stagnating as low-level employees will have them bouncing off the walls and deeply unhappy. People with the ENTJ personality type crave leadership and responsibility, growth and opportunity, and genuinely enjoy managing others to get a job done. ENTJs are visionaries and leaders, not grunts or day-to-day administrators. Getting that to be recognized is not always easy, but ENTJs are probably up to the task.

So maybe it's time to explore my entrepreneur side, maybe get it going to transition ultimately when I quit in a few years.

Anyway..... getting old is weird. Things change in ways you don't expect, and even though it's been moving in a direction, changes feel sudden sometimes.

IlliniDave
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Re: End of my Careerism, I guess

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:53 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:09 pm
...
Anyway..... getting old is weird. Things change in ways you don't expect, and even though it's been moving in a direction, changes feel sudden sometimes.
I'm and "I" versus and "E", about the same age, somewhat closer to retirement maybe, and also have an aging parent as key aspect in my future, both while my career winds down and afterward. I started to say "constraint" to my future but it is only a constraint insofar as there are some necessary conditions that must be met for what I desire to do. I don't see those conditions as a negative but rather as a privilege.

One thing that seems to help with my planning* is to reframe things outside a career/employment perspective. That empowers ideas like achievement to be much broader (and more interesting), and for them to drift away from ambition for ambition's sake. Nothing wrong with ambition for ambition's sake in principle, but in me it fosters too much (mostly self-) judgement which in turn mutes my enjoyment of the doing that goes into achieving. Achievement is nice, but the doing is, well, what you actually do. I think now's the time for folks at our juncture to really put some thought into the next phase so that our future activities are meaningful to us, so I'd say you're on the right track.

I have similar experiences wrt aging as what you described. It is indeed weird sometimes. As the day approaches even the things that have been laid out on paper for 7 years now and look to be proceeding almost exactly as planned feel jarring. I think it's because I intend a one-way retirement, and once I go from a practical perspective there's not really an undo button. It's not just a long vacation, it's embracing a new life.

*In this context I mean lifestyle planning rather than financial planning.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:48 am

I'm a P versus J, but otherwise we are all about the same age, and we all have an aging parent as a FITB in our planning portfolio. I do not know what word to FITB with my mother, who suffers from bi-polar disease along with variety of other health and age-related issues. I was at my BF's place for two days this week, and when I came back to my mother's apartment, the kitchen was a complete disaster (worse than you would expect from a gang of pot-smoking teenagers), she had done way more internet shopping for decorator items to be delivered than she can afford, and there was water inches deep in the main bathroom, because she didn't know how to turn off the valve. Her mobility issues, fairly severe arthritis combined with overweight and under-muscle, have recently worsened to the extent that she can no longer even reliably lift herself of the seat of the handicapped/senior bus, so unless she consistently follows through on physical therapy, she will have great difficulty continuing with independent living. Aaaaargh!

Anyways, if you weren't already engaged in caretaking role with your mother, I might suggest that taking on leadership role in volunteer non-profit community setting might be another option for your ENTJ drive as you approach retirement. Several ENTJs I have known well in real life have gained a good deal of satisfaction in this sort of role. Actually, given your career experience and variety of competencies, I think making a hop to paid work as something like financial manager of a large charitable foundation would be a good fit.

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jennypenny
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:00 am

I'm sorry you have to make such a hard decision EK. I'd hate to see you give up something for the wrong reasons. I know I'd never want my kids to alter their trajectory to care for me. If I needed their help that much, it seems only fair that I would have follow them on their journey, not anchor myself, and them along with me. I don't know your relationship with your mother so I hope I don't sound presumptuous or cruel. I just want to make the counter argument since women tend to opt for the caretaker role, and often when not warranted. I'm not trying to belabor the recent gender wars, I'm only trying to get you to view the issue without the traditional expectations that women our age grew up with and avoid any unnecessary sacrifice on your part.

Another way to look at it ... If you could have discussed this with your mother 10-20 years ago, what would she have said to do in this situation? Would she have wanted you to stay because she feared strangers taking care of her or being alone? Or would she have told you to get on with your life and not worry about her? How would you feel if you were her and your daughter had a job opportunity? Hopefully, you have an idea of what your mother truly wants/needs, and what your own feelings would be if the roles were reversed. If you aren't sure, maybe consider what advice you'd give a good friend in this situation.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:39 am

I'm sorry you have to make such a hard decision EK. I'd hate to see you give up something for the wrong reasons. I know I'd never want my kids to alter their trajectory to care for me. If I needed their help that much, it seems only fair that I would have follow them on their journey, not anchor myself, and them along with me. I don't know your relationship with your mother so I hope I don't sound presumptuous or cruel. I just want to make the counter argument since women tend to opt for the caretaker role, and often when not warranted. I'm not trying to belabor the recent gender wars, I'm only trying to get you to view the issue without the traditional expectations that women our age grew up with and avoid any unnecessary sacrifice on your part.
Thanks, JP. Yeah, I get what you are saying. The biggest issue with my mom is, frankly, money. She never saved a dime for her retirement, and I won't outline all of the stupid financial decisions she's made over the years. Suffice to say, she still has a pretty significant mortgage on a house that she can't sell because of a mortgage modification (basically if she sells, she owes them a ton of money that she doesn't have), and her and my brother who lives with her have credit scores of effectively zero so a rental would be out of the question, even if there was money. She couldn't rent something for what she pays for her mortgage, and when nursing home care is finally upon her, it will be as an indigent medicaid patient. And what will happen with my brother is, well, anyone's guess. The other problem is my brother who is just not completely independent and while he can work and drive, in many ways he's like a 14 year old kid.

I've often said it would be easier if my mom had dementia (she does not), or if my brother were something obvious like a drug addict (he is not). It's hard to explain that his brain injury leaves him seeming SORTA normal, but he needs help with stuff. Right now my mom and brother have a weird co-dependent relationship, which mostly works for everyday stuff, but when things happen, I need to be here.

Before I made this decision, I looked at hiring a caregiver, which is going to probably happen someday eventually anyway, and I realized that even if I do hire someone, someone needs to be around who can look after things a bit. That person is NOT my brother. Senior Services in my city are TERRIBLE, plus we used them a few years ago, and my mom was so demanding (and really, the services WERE terrible) that she's apparently on the list of people they won't send anyone out for anymore.

And at the end of the day... I have to look at myself in the mirror when I brush my teeth. I'm really not sure I could do it if I moved away, and couldn't come when I was needed because of my job, and something really bad happened.

And--it's not like I'm turning down a corner office in the C-suite and settling for some minimum wage job scrubbing floors so I can be here. I still have a nice, well-paying job in a city with a cheap cost of living. The new city would have been much more expensive and new salary probably would not have brought me "even" with where I am now... which ultimately would be even less money available for paying a caregiver here.

The other thing is, I talked to my mom about it, some. But the problem is, she has NEVER seen my work, or anyone's work, as important. Growing up, she was always so angry at my dad for working a lot, and I think she somehow thought rent money and food would sort of magically appear. They divorced when I was 12, and he died 13 years ago, and to this day, she still bitches about him not coming to the hospital immediately when my brother was sick as a baby. (He came later that night. My brother was fine). She worked, but she'd get pissed off over something small and quit. She always had a safety net of alimony from my dad, and back then, maybe jobs weren't so hard to come by, and especially lower paying jobs like she usually had, but she doesn't get why I can't just quit my current job and walk across the street and get another one that pays better. And this isn't an age thing--it's the way she's always been.

I have friends who say "just go, do your thing, they'll figure it out," and maybe they would. But I'd still get that panicked call that my mom's fallen, or that the house is getting foreclosed on (regular calls back when I lived in Dallas), or whatever, only now it would be 10x worse because of her mobility and other issues. I guess I'm being selfish in a way to protect myself from feeling bad, if that makes sense!

And the other side of it is... if I just sit here and do what I'm doing now, I'm probably much better set up for early retirement.

Blech. I hate thinking about it. All of it.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:49 am

One thing that seems to help with my planning* is to reframe things outside a career/employment perspective. That empowers ideas like achievement to be much broader (and more interesting), and for them to drift away from ambition for ambition's sake. Nothing wrong with ambition for ambition's sake in principle, but in me it fosters too much (mostly self-) judgement which in turn mutes my enjoyment of the doing that goes into achieving. Achievement is nice, but the doing is, well, what you actually do. I think now's the time for folks at our juncture to really put some thought into the next phase so that our future activities are meaningful to us, so I'd say you're on the right track.
I think you're right, Dave. I think that's where I'm at--it's time for me to sort of say, "This is the turn that life has taken, so let's explore some different paths along this road I never thought I'd be on." And I think I'm pretty much OK with that (or at least getting there!), but I need to be more proactive about exploring those paths, I think.

I think this is all surprising to me, in a weird way, because I've never had any of those really monumental life changes that other people have that cause them to change course. I've never had the "holy shit, I'm pregnant!" moment, or the "we just got married, and both our lives are changing," or even the "I lost my job, I need to regroup!" thing. My life has been so, well--boring--up until now. I got into a good school, I worked and advanced in my job, had a few relationships, the job's gone OK, I've not had any significant health issues.... it's all good, but there's been nothing really significant to cause me to change course or even question my course much. But getting older, dealing with my mom's stuff, not getting to do the job thing that I thought I wanted (really, it's not that major in a lot of ways... I just had my mindset going that way, you know??) makes it clear that now is the time--I have the opportunity--to do something different, and probably NEED to because I'm of the age where life is going to start throwing some more of those challenges at me.

If that makes sense.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by J_ » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:24 pm

Yes, that's sounds much better. And what you suggested yourself about starting your own (part time?) business seems to fit to your personality and need for freedom too. Good luck!

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:03 am

I am wondering how important having a relatively nice living space is to people on this forum, and how you define it.

I am finding myself yearning for better digs again. For most of my life, I’ve lived in essentially “good,” middle class suburban houses—low crime neighborhoods, unattached or semi-attached homes, some kind of a yard or green space, usually a garage, a kitchen with dishwasher, etc., washer and dryer, etc.

I’m currently living in a house that’s small, is missing some of these amenities, and while not IN the high crime area, it’s pretty close to one. (Two murders at a convenience store less than a mile away, I’ve been robbed twice—the first time before I moved in!) and I don’t really feel comfortable walking the dog at night. But—it is REALLY cheap. And it’s pretty close to some nice city-type amenities—restaurants, nice grocery stores, etc.

I’m seriously considering moving into a bigger house in a neighborhood with less crime, etc. I’m being lured by the siren call of granite countertops and a dishwasher and garbage disposal... and a garage. My solid middle class side says: “Jesus, you should have moved 5 years ago!” But my FIREside says: “But damn, girl, your little house is so cheap!!”

It’s not that I can’t afford it—I can. But I will have a mortgage again, and I keep thinking “more stuff, more things that can break...”. But now that I’ve firmly decided to stay in town and look after my mom, I keep thinking I “deserve” this.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:17 am

If I was robbed once in a neighbourhood I'd probably chalk it up to random chance, but if it happened a second time I'd probably be questioning whether I would keep living in the same neighbourhood.

As for temptation to a larger house. I never had a huge house, but a 3 br 2.5 br 1500 sq ft house for 2 people was rather large for the size of the household and upkeep/maintenance was a pain in the ass.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:34 am

Hi EK,

If I can give my opinion about your house situation...this is our story:
We lived for 3.5 years in a beautiful condo with everything you can ask for, it was big (way too much for us), beautiful hardwood floor, granite countertops, SS appliances, nice patio, etc... I hated it because of the fact I knew we could do better financially somewhere else. It was just a big back pack full of beautiful rocks. I felt like we were wasting space and money every time I passed by the empty second bedroom (which we ended up renting), there were weeks we never sat in the living room, mortgage, HOA, high bills, etc...

As you can imagine, we sold the condo and moved into a 1 bed in a better area. The apartment is in an old building, we don't have microwave, the fridge is from the 90s and so on... We love not having responsibilities when something breaks, I don't care about the decor of it. I just know we are doing great financially and we have everything we might need just walking distance.

Shinier things wont make you happier, a better location might do it. Perhaps you should consider renting a small house in the are you like?

All the best

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:37 am

If I was robbed once in a neighbourhood I'd probably chalk it up to random chance, but if it happened a second time I'd probably be questioning whether I would keep living in the same neighbourhood.
Yeah, the first time was probably a crime of opportunity—I had just bought the house and was having some work done. Thieves stole the big condenser unit outside, the stove, and a bunch of building supplies.

The second time, they’d clearly been watching me and knew exactly when I wouldn’t be home and for how long.

My last house was about 1600 SF; current house is 900. 900 would actually probably be okay if I gutted it and reformatted the layout. The kitchen is pretty awful.
Last edited by EdithKeeler on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:42 am

Shinier things wont make you happier, a better location might do it. Perhaps you should consider renting a small house in the are you like?
Yeah, I think it’s mostly about location and a little about space. And a little about being nicer, too... Here, it would be way more expensive to rent than buy, and I have dogs and stuff.... I actually considered an apartment in a perfect area that would be $1800 a month. I can buy and my costs are going to be around $1000. Plus maintenance, of course. The house I’d buy is the “small” house in the area! 😁

IlliniDave
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:07 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:03 am
I am wondering how important having a relatively nice living space is to people on this forum, and how you define it.
My first thought looking at retirement was to downsize to a small older house in an aging blue collar section of town. The thought was to keep the purchase cost low (freeing up equity in my present home). Since then I've periodically revisited the question. Some things that have me at the point of essentially changing my mind:

-Latest FBI crime statistics for the area in question: not a huge deal now but someday I'll probably be a vulnerable little old man (though I intend to be armed and have a dog).

-Review of recent weather trends (~1890-present) for the area in question. Despite climate, cold extremes are more common in the last 35 years than they were 70-100+ years ago (when the smaller, older homes were built). Newer home (insulated) with attached garage desireable.

-Even though I'll only be there 2/3 the year, maybe less a few years down the road, I'm a homebody and would like space for things like a music room/studio and a modest work shop.

-Would like some yard space for gardening

-Seeing my dad at age 79 with less ability to handle maintenance chores and a home that is ~75-80 years old, a newer and better maintained home might position me better in that regard.

-I might have to move my dad in with me at some point. One level might be important for that and for me later as well, also points to somewhat newer homes when "ranches" became fashionable.

That's just a quick list that also hints at what nice means to me: well-built and maintained, relatively nice neighborhood, one level, basement buit to be more than a cellar, a little extra room for some of my hobbies and to accommodate possible long-term house guests. A nice living space has grown in importance to me and contributes to why I've hung in there at work a little beyond minimal FI.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jacob » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:26 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:03 am
I am wondering how important having a relatively nice living space is to people on this forum, and how you define it.
The two area criteria that I screen for when I/we pick places/areas to live is access to public transport (or cycling viability) and low crime (the crime heat maps must be green, not even slightly yellow). I then choose candidates from where those two maps overlap.

To me, more space means more to clean and more amenities mean more things that can break. The lesson I have learned as a home owner (~1000sqft) is that I positively resent sinking my limited life-energy into home maintenance (and I know I'm too cheap^H^H^H^H^Hfrugal to pay someone else). (This is in total contrast to my parents who exemplify the attitude of This Old House which I think goes along the line of if it ain't broken, replace it!?) Best place I ever lived in that regard was the 70(?)sqft room I enjoyed in grad school where monthly cleaning was included in the rent. Function over form all the way. I think I'd be quite happy living in a workshop/garage surrounded by tools.

Granite countertops and matching furniture sets mean nothing to me. Actually, I don't feel entirely comfortable visiting homes like that. I don't know if comfortable is the right word, but I prefer a more rustic or homespun style. I suppose granite countertops feel gaudy to me in the same way that faux gold-plated interiors feel to most people. It might have to do with that I think of a home as a place to do things---not a place to be looked at and shown off to visitors. This is also why our home looks like a construction zone; because things are continuously getting constructed. Conversely, a shiny kitchen countertop (with a shiny Kitchen Aid stand mixer, of course, what else, on top of it) looks like the residents eat out all the time and never use it. That just looks dumb to me.

I do like to see some level of deliberate [interior] design, that is, some care was taken in selecting the furniture and decorations. I prefer the minimalist/uncluttered look. Unfortunately, DW does not agree/has a higher tolerance for clutter than I do. So we compromise in the sense that for a given room, I'd prefer if there was one piece of furniture/lamp/etc. less and she'd prefer one piece more or at least not mind it. Ditto knick-knack on shelves... Specifically, I don't actively go looking for the perfect end table or lamp ... rather I veto the ugly/ill fitting stuff that continually presents itself for free to us. (All our furniture except one used couch was acquired for free.)

Most importantly, while I realize that making my home more "instagram friendly" would help the ERE brand to attract more mainstream noobs, I don't care enough about [attracting] this demographic to actually make it so.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:20 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:03 am
I am wondering how important having a relatively nice living space is to people on this forum, and how you define it.
I have the opposite preferences from you and similar preferences to Jacob. I grew up in a middle class house and then didn't live in a standard house for 9 years starting in college. I've been living in a <1,000 sq ft house since 2014 now and let me I tell you, I really hate it. It's by far the nicest place I've ever lived, but my god the maintenance. I only need about 100 sq ft of personal space and access to a kitchen and a bathroom to be happy though.

I've lived in several high crime areas, but so far I've been lucky and only been mugged once. Every neighborhood is high crime in New Orleans, so it's not really much of a choice if I want to live here. The neighborhood I currently live in has some of the lowest crime rates in New Orleans, is beautiful and has a bunch of bars, restaurants and coffee shops and is close to the FQ.

I'm going through a personal revolution of opinion on interior space. I used to think that paying attention to interior design and aesthetics was dumb, and I was bit of a slob. My one saving grace is that I've always had minimalist tendencies. My girlfriend is very neat and after years of being yelled at to stop leaving my shit everywhere, I finally realized that she is right and that living in a clean and tidy space is a vastly superior existence. I also think having nice things and decorating the places where you work and relax in a way that reflects your own aesthetic, makes you comfortable and is highly functional is important. I held an opposing opinion for years because I find people who talk about this kind of thing to be douchey and most people assume their house should be filled with too many things that are both expensive and poorly made. I don't think living in a nice space has to be very expensive, though it will be, on average, more expensive than the absolute cheapest space.

Another facet I have recently come to appreciate is the need for separate spaces to serve separate purposes. Having your bedroom and your office be the same place is often not a good thing. This is where ERE/ frugality will kick you in the knees. It's not that a bedroom can't serve as an office for everyone, but is your bedroom being your office working for you? I think for most people the answer would be no and the money saved isn't worth the time and peace of mind lost, unless it's out of absolute necessity.

To answer your question directly, I think a nice living space is extremely important and I define this as a space which is highly functional for it's intended purpose (purposes), pleasant to be in, uncluttered and clean.

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Bankai
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Bankai » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:00 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:20 pm
I'm going through a personal revolution of opinion on interior space. I used to think that paying attention to interior design and aesthetics was dumb, and I was bit of a slob.
Interesting how opinions on clothing and interiors often tend to be similar/change at the same time.

@EK - nothing wrong with having nice interiors. I sometimes think many people on this forum consider anything that's not 100% function to be a waste. But aesthetics is very important as well, after all, humans used to decorate interiors (i.e. caves) for tens of thousands of years. It makes you feel better, and feeling better is quite an important part of a good life. I'm not talking here about buying a new kitchen every few years, but just having a nice and aesthetically pleasing place; it doesn't have to cost much but pays dividends each time you look around your living room etc.

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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by bigato » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:33 am

Warning: what follows is full of judgments and is just the opinion of a random stranger on the internet, based on the incomplete information you gave and filtered by my own prejudices. If it does not apply to you, please just ignore it and remember that I didn't intend to be rude in any way, but just wanted to point some things that may be on your blind spot now.

Edith, don't be cheap. Pay the additional money on rent in exchange for keeping the flexibility. After all, you are not sure exactly what you want. Rent in that situation. Test the new location and housing situation for at least one year before you commit to buying it. Why would you not want to test the decision first, after all? Only impulsive emotional reasons could justify buying now. They may not always align with the logically best decision for your future self.

Regarding the situation with your mom, I'm sorry if it is rude to say this, but have you thought that the co-dependent relationship that you mentioned is three-way, in a sense? You kind of enable them to be the way they are, by being the reliable, stable rock on which they can trust if the worst comes to happen. In a sense, you are the cornerstone to this building. Morally speaking, it is not your duty at all to pay for their bad choices. Repeat this as a mantra daily, "it's not my responsibility". It is not. Off course it is a valid choice to keep on taking the responsibility upon yourself if you feel like so, but you don't get to blame them for the choice. It should be conscious and deliberate.

That said, I still think you should opt for the option that is better financially speaking and explore in other ways this need of being the boss. Not necessarily by becoming a boss. Someone with a personality that would take a financial loss in exchange for more responsibility, in order to be a boss, does not seem like someone that could be trusted to take good decisions as a boss. I'd be afraid that the ego would get in the way of taking the logically and mathematically better decisions for the company/department.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:29 am

bigato wrote:Regarding the situation with your mom, I'm sorry if it is rude to say this, but have you thought that the co-dependent relationship that you mentioned is three-way, in a sense? You kind of enable them to be the way they are, by being the reliable, stable rock on which they can trust if the worst comes to happen. In a sense, you are the cornerstone to this building. Morally speaking, it is not your duty at all to pay for their bad choices. Repeat this as a mantra daily, "it's not my responsibility". It is not. Off course it is a valid choice to keep on taking the responsibility upon yourself if you feel like so, but you don't get to blame them for the choice. It should be conscious and deliberate.
I disagree with this easy "tough love" analysis of the situation. Your octogenarian mother with Parkinson's disease is not your 20 year old step-son who dropped out of college, moved home, and doesn't even take the trash out. There is a not insignificant portion of the human population that truly can't provide basic care for themselves in the moment. If Edith steps back from the situation, social services will likely step in, and then the expense will simply be divvied up over wider population's tax bill. Otherwise, her mother will either suffer more or die sooner.

That said, as always, it is a good idea to be self-aware of personal motivations in boundary setting.

Anyways, I think that instead of upscaling residence, better way to functionally spend some money in "I deserve it" mode, would be to truly indulge on personal care. Drive right to the massage studio after work, then spend an hour slowly wandering around and picking out fresh food and flowers at the market, splurge on a luxurious robe, weekly pedicure, make a new playlist of music and improve/automate your sound system, etc. etc

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:42 am

Warning: what follows is full of judgments and is just the opinion of a random stranger on the internet, based on the incomplete information you gave and filtered by my own prejudices.
Not to worry—I figure if I put it “out here,” I have to deal with what’s coming!
Regarding the situation with your mom, I'm sorry if it is rude to say this, but have you thought that the co-dependent relationship that you mentioned is three-way, in a sense? You kind of enable them to be the way they are, by being the reliable, stable rock on which they can trust if the worst comes to happen. In a sense, you are the cornerstone to this building. Morally speaking, it is not your duty at all to pay for their bad choices. Repeat this as a mantra daily, "it's not my responsibility". It is not. Off course it is a valid choice to keep on taking the responsibility upon yourself if you feel like so, but you don't get to blame them for the choice. It should be conscious and deliberate.
Sure, I absolutely recognize my own role in this co-dependent relationship and even explore it on the reg with my therapist!

But here’s the thing: when we get right down to it, no one offers any options that seem like something we can all live with.

It seems like there’s a continuum of options: My mom could go into the “home” for the destitute and I could visit once a month or two to make sure she’s getting fed and doesn’t have bedsores. I mean, after all-she made her choices not to save money! And perhaps the other end of the continuum is moving her into my house and hiring a full time caregiver to look after her 24/7, and probably modify my house with a handicap shower, etc. Oh, and a suite for my brother, too!!

So I guess I’ve settled for something in the middle. I pay for some stuff I can afford, do some stuff I can do, and live with the rest. I had a good day with my mom yesterday—we went to an estate sale (where she fell, but she’s basically ok), I took her to lunch and for ice cream, which she really enjoyed, and when we got home we had a discussion about me taking over her checkbook—finally! And a tentative agreement to start at least looking at some facilities when I get back from my trip. Progress!! It comes in spurts, and I have to seize my moments.

I do see the co-dependence of it. Sort of. I’m not really sure what I get out of it, other than I don’t feel guilty that I haven’t done what I can. And I do get where you’re coming from.

But at the same time... I think “co-dependency” is an over-used diagnosis. Is it co-dependence to want to make sure your child is ok? Of course not. Why is it co-dependence to make sure your elderly parent or handicapped sibling are ok, to have food and a safe living environment? Is it co-dependence to grab someone from being hit by a car? (Bigato, I’m not arguing with you or yelling at you—these are the thoughts that swirl thru my head on this topic all the time!). Yesterday when my mom fell, several people helped me get her back up, helped me get her into the car, ran into their house to get towels and a band aid for her scrapes. I love them all for that, and we certainly wouldn’t call them co-dependent for being kind and neighborly.

If I were going out and buying heroin for my mom while she beats me.... yeah, that’s codependent. Looking after her at the end of her life, I’m not so sure.

I’m not quite sure I understand your points re. “Being the boss.” As to the housing situation.... I’m not going to rent. It makes no sense for a variety of reasons. I’ll either stay where I am and beef up my security, or buy in a place I feel safer, a better commute, and more room. I actually made an offer on a house yesterday, so we’ll see.

I’m sure there are emotional components to my desire to move. I’m frankly just tired of living in a marginal neighborhood in a marginal house. I want to be able walk the dogs and I’d like to not have random strangers knock on my door and ask for money (a regular occurrence here, weirdly). I could rent... but buying makes more sense to me. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll sell it. I’m not buying something terribly expensive. And... the offer hasn’t been accepted yet. Decent houses are in such short supply around here that I may very well be outbid. If so, it wasn’t meant to be! (I checked the crime blotter for my current neighborhood, there are been 2 break ins on my street in the last 2 months, three different calls to have someone involuntarily committed, an arrest for exhibitionism (!! Missed that!) and 2 drug arrests. It’s time to move...)
Last edited by EdithKeeler on Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

EdithKeeler
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:53 am

I disagree with this easy "tough love" analysis of the situation. Your octogenarian mother with Parkinson's disease is not your 20 year old step-son who dropped out of college, moved home, and doesn't even take the trash out. There is a not insignificant portion of the human population that truly can't provide basic care for themselves in the moment. If Edith steps back from the situation, social services will likely step in, and then the expense will simply be divvied up over wider population's tax bill. Otherwise, her mother will either suffer more or die sooner.

That said, as always, it is a good idea to be self-aware of personal motivations in boundary setting.
Agree completely.

As to the house... maybe. Some of it is about upscaling... some of it is about not feeling safe. Some of it is about hating the 17 traffic lights I have to sit thru every day to get to work! And some is about not having sufficient space to set up to work at home. And some is about wanting a dishwasher and not having the washer and dryer in the middle of the tiny kitchen. We’ll see where my recent offer takes me. On the one hand, it was a bit of a wild hair.... on the other, ive been looking at houses off and on for almost 7 years.

I’m a “house” person. I need to have that home base, my “fortress of solitude.” My current house hasn’t felt like that since the robbery for sure, and since I’ve made the decision to stay here for the time being, it just seems like the right time.

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