Cohousing isn’t a new concept. In fact, humans have been coming together in community for thousands of years to survive and thrive. What is new is that these days many of us have grown so independent and disconnected that we’ve forgotten why community is important in the first place. Maybe when we are young, busy, and focused on the needs of one’s immediate family, that isn’t so important. But eventually, if people begin to value experiences, relationships, and good health more than the stuff they accumulate and the accolades they obtain as they age, things start changing. That’s when being a part of a strong and vibrant community starts sounding more and more appealing. It’s also when the idea of cohousing may pop up as a solution. Is it a key to helping people age better? Those who have embraced it say, “Yes!” [Read more…]
Like I mentioned last week, while I’m out of town I’m happy to introduce all of you to another SMART blogger named T.O. Weller (Tracey) who lives in a tiny town north of Toronto, Canada with her husband Kip and sweet dog George. Not only has Tracey become a close friend, she also lives a SMART and rightsized life. Thanks Tracey for allowing me to share another version of rightsizing!
Two incredibly significant events took place one year ago: we embarked on our adventure in the woods, and Kathy and I met on Facebook. (Carl Jung would call it synchronicity: the two events have no causal link, but are meaningfully connected.)
Kathy was working on her latest book—Rightsizing—and as I got to know her work, it dawned on me: we were rightsizing! Not only did her philosophy resonate, but I thought the word itself was a perfect way to describe the ‘what’, the ‘how’, and the ‘why’ of it all. [Read more…]
For the next couple of weeks I will be out of town and I’m happy to introduce all of you to another SMART blogger named Lizzie Lau. Liz is a part-time resident of La Quinta, CA when she’s not traveling the world with her daughter. From the moment we met, I knew she was living a rightsized life. This post about “pura vida” says it all. Thanks Liz for allowing me to share another version of rightsizing!
Costa Rica has always been especially alluring to me. There is something about it that makes me want to go there and hang out. It’s on my bucket list, and ideally I’d love to take my daughter there for an extended visit to help her learn Spanish. It’s not just the beautiful scenery, beaches, cloud forests, hammocks and ocean breeze that call to me. It’s the vibe, the Pura Vida.
The young couple who live across the street from me are selling their home. I’ll be sad to see them go because they’ve become friends and we’ve watched their son Timmy grow from a toddler to a boy. Where are they going? They’ve decided it’s time for a bigger house in a more affluent neighborhood. Of course, it’s hard to sit in judgment after doing something similar years ago. Still, I hope they never find themselves so pressed for time that they forget what gives life meaning, and instead becoming slaves to a big mortgage and extravagant home expenses. In other words, I hope they never find themselves house-broke and unable to do anything about it. [Read more…]
This week I will be out of town attending my first ever Blogging Conference. So when I recently read this article that Tom Sightings wrote for U.S. News Online explaining his view of rightsizing, I asked him if I could share it with all of you. I’ve always believed that rightsizing is individual to each of us and hearing different versions is helpful to us all. Thanks Tom for allowing me to share your perspective!
According to a survey by the Demand Institute, almost half of Americans between ages 50 and 64 plan to move within the next five years or so. Some baby boomers — especially those who have been renting all their lives, or who never moved up from their starter house – actually plan to spend more on their homes in retirement. But more often than not, the baby boomer move will involve downsizing – trading in the old family home for smaller digs, perhaps in a less expensive neighborhood. [Read more…]
Last weekend my husband Thom and I drove to Tucson, AZ to visit three thriving cohousing communities. As I wrote about in January, even though the concept of cohousing is still relatively young, it’s appeal is growing as others discover the benefits. Ever since I first heard about them, I recognized how many ways they mimic the advantages I find from rightsizing. After touring all three facilities, it is also evident that they embrace the core values of SMART*. Is cohousing a wave of the future? It likely depends on whether you value community, and if you see them as a path to living your values. [Read more…]
One of the stories I can vividly remember my father telling me years back was related to his pride at managing his money in retirement. At the time, both my father and mother lived on their social security and some modest savings held in a 401k. Dad frequently bragged that he lived better, traveled more, and seemed to have more fun than many of his friends who retired with big homes and generous pensions. From my perspective, at least at the time, their lifestyle seemed more humble and restricted than I felt necessary. Yet now, less than 20 years later, I recognize that their simple and minimal lifestyle afforded them tremendous benefits that millions of other “hope-to-be-retirees” could learn from—including myself. [Read more…]
A friend of mine is currently in the midst of selling her long-time family home and moving. Yet while I believe she “gets” the many benefits of rightsizing, I can tell after talking with her that several issues keep popping up that make her hesitant. That’s completely normal, because in many ways, rightsizing is contrary to what most of us have been taught. The good news is that once you know what to keep in mind, rightsizing not only becomes the easiest choice, it is also the one that leads to the greatest benefits.
What do we need to remember when it’s time to make a move? [Read more…]
“If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” ~Confucius
A good friend of mine plans to retire in the next couple of months. She’s earned it. After working at a challenging job for over 25 years, she’s more than ready to move on to something new. But underlying that excitement I detected a bit of worry about the uncertainty before her. That mixed message of elation and concern got me thinking about how Thom and I are approaching our future. What I realized was that in our quest to rightsize our lives, Thom and I have gradually slipped into what we are calling semi-retirement in a natural and stress-free way. While so many people our age are asking an all-or-nothing question about retirement, rightsizing right now might be the best solution of all.
Recently I was invited to join my first online book club through Facebook. The book to be discussed was Life Reimagined—Discovering Your New Life Possibilities. And while I was a bit skeptical about how a book club discussion through Facebook could be that helpful, this upbeat and practical book appeared to cover ideas I often read and write about—so I said yes. Now four weeks later I consider the book club experiment to be a relative success. But best of all, I discovered along the way some helpful ideas for us all to “reimagine” what I call a right-sized life. [Read more…]