I was married for a short time when I was young. It didn't work out so I never remarried or had any children. I retired 5 years ago but rarely have any visitors because most of my friends, especially the ones that lived in my neighborhood, have passed on. Basically I am living paycheck to paycheck and can’t really afford to do much of anything but to pay bills. When I was in the workplace, I use to drive around the countryside, so I really miss being out there. I am still healthy and was wondering if I should downsize my home, travel and do some other things that I still want to do with my life? House Keeping Me Captive, Virginia
Dear House Keeping Me Captive:
If you had to ask this question -- then you already know the answer. People who are in their 60s, still have 30% of their productive life left ahead of them. Life is meant to be lived fully and your bills should not be weighing you down.
I can’t tell you how many women out there are in your same situation. They know they want to do something else with their lives, but they never take any type of action. Surely you don’t want that to be your story.
Sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to really bring true happiness into your life. First of all, why have a beautiful home if you are the only person that is seeing it. Sure it’s good for your ego but not when all those bills come in every month.
The goal is to come up with some type of action plan where you can get out there and enjoy your life. So here are some options -- Refinance your home to bring down your mortgage. Check out NACA.com for this. Or sell the home altogether and downsize into an apartment or condo. If you can’t sell you home -- then rent it out.
Downsize your belongings because most seniors don’t need that many things -- so purge your life of things. Sell what you can and put the rest in storage and get out there and travel. For a storage unit that will stay cool and protect your pictures, it will be around $80 a month.
Next buy a reliable car with the money you saved from not having to pay the high mortgage notes. If you no longer feel safe out there driving -- just limit your traveling to buses, trains, and airplanes.
If all your traveling companions have passed on or is too unhealthy to travel, then look for young people such as nieces or cousins. But this is definitely your chance to reinvent yourself and see the world at the same time.