Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Less is More

Tim knows a guy who can't afford to retire. He wants to, but he keeps pushing it back. Tim and I marveled over it, because the thing is, this is a professional man in a very lucrative position. We were curious about it. 

We had to drive to his house for a business transaction last night, and were blown away by his house. It has a stunning view overlooking a lake with a dock for his boat. He just had a massive addition built. The thing is a show stopper. 4 late model expensive vehicles sat in the circular driveway. A fifth was for sale. 

Coming home, I was thinking about it. The little house we are building has a nice view of the western sunset. If you look out the southern window, you get a great view of the cemetery across the road. The east windows give you the sun rise. The northern windows give you the woods. It will never be a million dollar house, but it will be ours, built with our own two hands. We can afford to retire. 

Today, we worked on the house. At lunch time, I scooted down to Albert's to see if he had any tomatoes (have I mentioned how I love tomato sandwiches? Because I do, I really, really do.) He did, He also had some Candy onions, which we love. I picked up green peppers and some zucchini for 25 cents each as well.

We blabbed (because I'm a blabber) and he said the house was coming along, and I told him about Levi and the boys and the roof. "What a marvelous gift!" I said. "I still can't get over it. They think they owe us for the trips to Pittsburgh. I think that we can never pay them back for what they've done for us."

Albert laughed. "I love bartering," he said. He told me about some of the deals he made. 

I said, "You and Tim are two of a kind alright. He bought a Heil McLain water boiler from a fellow who cannot afford to retire. His house was quite stunning, right on Chautauqua lake.  On the way home, I told Tim his life could be worse. His wife is happy with her little house down the road and is as frugal as HE is."

Albert said, "Same with my wife." 

I said, "And both of you guys retired...I'm sure you know you're both lucky to have found such good catches. 

Albert threw back his head and laughed. "You got that right, girl!"

I headed back home for my tomato sandwich. 


30 comments:

  1. With that many expensive toys , the guy doesn't deserve retirement.

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    1. It makes me think that he's not ready to retire.

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  2. One word. YUP! Makes me crazy to see others at that age digging a deeper hole. Good for you both.

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    1. I see people struggling and it's sad sometimes, because you see changes they could make to improve their lots, but they seem unable to do it. I know an elderly woman who has a family that has to handle her money. She was spending every bit of money on lottery tickets. She could not pay her bills. She did not have money for food.

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  3. Bizarre! You two be careful with your new housebuilding. Since you can retire, it is a million dollar house, eh? Linda in Kansas

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    1. Oh we are. Once the house is enclosed and lockable, we will return to our renovation, working on the new house as we can fit it in.

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  4. That's a nice story. I don't have much sympathy for someone in his position to not be able to retire, but I suppose it is all relative.

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    1. He has everything he wants. I have everything that I want, mostly.

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  5. Who needs a million dollar house in retirement? Your place sounds so much better ... somewhere to relax and enjoy life, once you have finished the build!

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    1. If we had a million dollar house, I know who would be cleaning it, and I'm not spending my golden years house cleaning!

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  6. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people like that who are "house poor". They have invested/owe so much into their house that they are poor in other aspects of life. We have often been chided by why we have such a small, inexpensive house when we can afford much more. Left unsaid by me is that those same people worked until traditional retirement ages and are now scrambling to sell their houses and find smaller places that require less maintenance and money to maintain. Meanwhile, our oldest will be leaving for college and our house is going to start feeling bigger as the years go on. It is paid for and I haven't worked a 9 to 5 job in years and my wife works because she loves her job and has no hobbies. Of course, this all doesn't stop just at houses as you pointed out with the many late model cars in the driveway. It really is a slippery slope and I'm glad I'm on the right side of the hill.

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  7. You remind me so much of my sister, even your love of tomato sandwiches. :^)

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  8. Well, we never know. I have a sister-in-law who has retired over and over but then she gets offered another situation with pay that's hard to pass up and she goes back to work. I think she loves work. She certainly does not need the money. She does spend it on her home and so forth, but I think she sees that as an investment to leave to her children. She's very involved in their lives and her grandchildren's lives. I guess what I'm saying is, is that she takes pride and enjoyment from working, especially now that she can pick and chose her own situations.
    But yes- absolutely I understand your feelings. To be happy with what one has is to be happy. To never be quite content is a sort of misery. The grandest house in the world could not compare to this fine house that you and Tim are building with your own hands, your own dreams. I get that with all of my heart.

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    1. It is just interesting to me when a person's goals and the life they lead are so disparate.

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    2. Also, I want to make it clear that he is a stand up guy, a great dad, a super grandpa, a loving husband.

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  9. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, Debby.

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  10. My brother did his sums and retired at 57...has been far healthier and happier since then

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  11. Personally, I want to downsize and (try to) live more simply as I age, but hey... to each their own.

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  12. If the guy is happy, then who are we to judge? He may say he wants to retire, but it sounds like he might not really want that. I am happy with the house I designed and built, with first husband, almost 50 years ago. Second husband added rooms from old log cabin , a big deck, and built my cut stone root cellar. It's my dream home. Not for everyone, for sure, but suits us. As your new house will suit you!

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    1. I'm not judging him. He's a very good person, raised a good batch of kids, active in the life of his grands.

      I remember years back, leaving the cancer center every week. Everyone was there for lifesaving treatment. They all wanted to beat cancer, but many of those same people would be sitting out in front of the building smoking. I really am confused by people who do not live a life that matches their stated goals. In the end, we all get to choose our life, don't we?

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  13. I am all about living within my means!

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  14. I wonder if that fellow really can afford to retire. His tax bill must be astronomical.

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  15. I am amazed by people (some of my relatives included) who go thru life with the attitude of “Can I afford the payments on this” rather than “How long will I have to save to pay cash for this…” we have always lived below our means and pay cash as we go. Automobiles included. I can’t imagine not being able to retire. Our conservative ways have put us in a position to bailout a couple of relatives from serious, strangling debt. In one case it was to save some ancestral property that had been mortgaged to the hilt to buy playthings…cars, boats, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, SUNBED and on an on. We did, in that case, obtain title to said property. Otherwise the cycle would have continued. That was a prime example of “Can I afford the payment”. And then, the husband died. And the already barely affordable payment became completely unaffordable. You and your husband do things the right way.

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  16. My theory is that there is an upper limit on how much you can enjoy a property and possessions. We are rather lucky to get through life with our necessities met. And retirement time is a good time.

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