Wandering Through An Empty Nest

As I continue my journey towards retirement, I’ve been thinking about if I’d be able to, or how could I plan on retiring from my W-2, day job at the age of 55. We have some things to consider now that I’m an empty nester, and working on this path to retirement.  This began as what I had originally called, “My Nine-Year Plan”. 

The Next Season Of Life

As I move closer to my “FI Age” this is my age at which I’d be financially Independent. One of my main focuses is what should I do in regard to my living situation. How can I really simplify my life?  Having less worry, less stress, and spending less time working on my home. We’d like to spend less time doing repairs, and even maintaining the lawn and dealing with leaves and snow. I’d like that free time to spend that time on so many other things. There are several living and housing options for me to consider.

Option One – Stay in my Home 
One thing I’m trying to figure out is if I stay in my current home, where I’ve been for nearly 20 years. I’m comfortable here and have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this house to make a home.  I no longer need 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, or a 3 car garage. Do I stay here? 

Home Sweet Home for the Past 20 Years

Option Two – Rent my Home
I had thoughts of keeping my current home and renting it out.  A well-maintained single-family home, with a finished basement and yard, can get really good rents.  There are people that are professionals that have a really good salary but are unable to qualify for securing a conventional loan.  There can many reasons for this, maybe they had filed bankruptcy in the past, for example. I may be able to receive $2800 per month or more!  CRAZY!

Option Three – Sell my Home
I don’t need so much living space anymore. Should I sell my home to downsize and move into a smaller more reasonable-sized home?  Home, as of July 2021, my home could sell for ~$400,000.  As we talked about this in the past, I don’t have a mortgage on this home.  I’d be paying realtor commissions, and I trust my agent would get me the most possible. During the Pandemic, I’ve updated many things throughout the home including the carpet and flooring, countertops, hardware, and refinished the cabinetry in two bathrooms and laundry room. If I were to sell this home it would raise the question, where would I go? 

How Much Space Do We Need?

That is the killer question. Either decision I go with, I’d have to figure out where would I go? Months ago I had been looking for newer construction homes, and it’s crazy that it seems that all new construction homes are large family homes that are 2,700-3,200 square feet. I just don’t need something that big.  So I’ve set up an automated search for open lots, or vacant land. I would then build my own new home, which is smaller at about 1,500-1,700 square feet that had a few of the elements I really wanted. I’ve looked at and reviewed several plots of land. Well… we all know what is happening with lumber and building supplies.  The cost of lumber has raised so high, according to CNBC the average single-family home is now $36k higher

Wherever I May Roam

I’m so undecided on what I wanna do, or what would be best.  Do I look for a smaller single-family home? Do I look at a townhome or condo where some maintenance is taken care of to free up my time, and have less worry? Heck! Maybe I choose to rent?! Then much of the maintenance and repairs aren’t my concern.  The thought has crossed my mind. I continue to look at plots of land and researching locations.  

In preparing for this move, I had been purging many belongings, and selling, donating, or tossing so much stuff.  My other upcoming post on decluttering will cover this in more detail. While decluttering, I started to think if I could really be more of a minimalist?  This then leads me to tiny homes. Damn you INTERNET RABBIT HOLE!  You’ve probably have heard about these types of homes and the tiny home movement. 

Tiny Homes

These are small 300-500 square foot homes, that are typically on wheels. These are essentially trailers.  But many of them are just gorgeous and have many luxury furnishings and upgraded amenities. Some of the ones I dig are Zero Squared out of Canada, The Mint Tiny House Company, Tiny Heirloom in Oregon, or Cowtown Cottages in Texas, to name a few.

Photo: ZeroSquared – Aurora
Photo: ZeroSquared – Aurora
Photo: Mint Tiny House Company – Canada Goose
Photo: Mint Tiny House Company – Canada Goose
Photo: Cowtown Cottages
Photo: Cowtown Cottages

After I had spent so much time researching different kinds of homes, concepts, floor plans, and what it takes to live in a small form factor home, I then consider, rather than building a smaller home, I could park a tiny home on my land.  There is a lot of their considerations if we go down this road.  Do we attempt to go off-grid, or partially off-grid?  This is where we aren’t leveraging any of the city’s water, sewer, or electricity. AAAHHHH DECISIONS! 

Then, I discovered container homes. Like, homes built out of empty shipping containers!  Like Custom Container Living. These can be just beautiful, and they can be positioned and stacked on top of each other to create some unique and awesome designs. 

Photo: Custom Container Living

I’m trying to narrow down some options.  Because I having so many options to choose from, it is causing me a great deal of stress. Understanding that I’m not necessarily in a hurry, but I’d like to start to determine what would be the best for me, and my lifestyle.

Thank you for following along in my journey, and I’ll keep you up to date on how things are going!

One comment

  1. I’m a proponent of just staying in our current home. Sure it is too big but we basically just heat and cool what we use and its paid for. We live in a LCOL area and the house is only worth about $200K which is not a significant amount to us. If we decide to relocate to find more tennis opponents then we might do that, but the size of our house will not be a factor in that decision. Of course we’ve been in this, our first and only house for more than 40 years so we might be more attached than most people who move around frequently.

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