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Senior to Senior: Forever Home

Our neighborhood, while not exclusively a retirement community, is home to a great many senior citizens. The community is growing, and the neighborhood is changing, but age seems to be a constant. The only difference is that new residents are building larger houses. It is mystifying that old people, like us, are building what I can only describe as mini mansions. Granted, many retired people have more disposable incomes than ever before, but still, “what are they thinking?” Let’s face it, do two people need a house with six bedrooms and a 4-car garage? You should know by now that if you want to see your children and grandchildren, you will be visiting them, instead of the other way around. The modern trend seems to be skewed toward building houses that are larger than life. A status symbol perhaps? When you think about it, It is rather shocking. We talk about leaving our children a sustainable planet, but we aren’t exactly practicing what we preach. We need to be thinking “green,” which means that we need to consider the importance of breathable air, clean water, and efficient energy consumption. Family, friends, time, and beauty need to take precedence over status symbols. The proliferation of huge homes is at odds with the green movement. Research shows that living in a smaller house could go a long way toward reducing the impact on climate change. Downsizing into a smaller house makes a statement. It says that you believe that the efficient use of energy is important, not only for yourself but for the country, and for the environment. All that aside, who has the time or inclination to clean a big house? Are you giving enough thought to your future? Endless space, clutter, medical conditions and your own mobility status should be factored into your choices. Couples moving into their “dream homes” soon find that upkeep, maintenance, taxes, mortgages, and electric bills are too much to handle. If you had spent that money on luxury and safety features instead of square footage, you would already be in your “forever home.”