Pieces of the Puzzle

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

Pieces of the Puzzle

Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a person

 – Leon Trotsky

Picking up the thread… talking about those who are wrestling with the complicated web of questions that come with aging and downsizing issues. And who are hoping against hope, that they’ll discover a previously undisclosed map that helps guide them through the next steps.

Who are they? They’re aging baby boomers between the ages of 60-75+,  many of whom share remarkably similar stories and check at least some of the following boxes: 

They are people who are considering retirement or have just retired. They’ve lived in their homes for a long time and have lots of equity. Their mortgages are paid off or they have very low interest loans. They have millennial kids who are out of college and looking for careers. They have aging parents they’ve recently cared for or are currently helping through end of life denouements.

They are people who want less stuff and more experiences, simpler lives with less responsibility. They’re thinking about moving but don’t like the thought of leaving. They’d like smaller, single level homes in a neighborhood with sidewalks, closer to the ocean, with proximity to nearby shopping and other fun things to do.  And ones with yards and reasonable privacy that also don’t need complete remodeling.

They worry about outliving their savings and their joints. They’d love to be closer to family. They have lots of questions about financial planning, trusts, capital gains, property tax, social security, minimum mandatory withdrawals, investment strategies, medicare, long term care and health insurance and reverse mortgages. They aren’t sure whether it’s even possible to sell and buy a house at the same time. They’d also like to leave something to their kids. 

Intellectually they know change is inevitable but that scares them. They also know we’re all going to die but they don’t want to talk about it. They think they’d like to start a new chapter but are reluctant to give up any of their old routines. They don’t want to live in a homeowner’s association, but they’d love for someone else to take care of all the maintenance. They don’t like 55+ communities full of old people and they don’t ever want to be stuck in assisted living. They still have too much stuff, but they don’t know what to do with it all. 

If this sounds familiar then you’re probably one of those aging baby boomers who is staring at all the puzzle pieces and wondering how they fit together.  

Next Week: Deconstructing the downsize dilemma…

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