Chapter 2: Beginning to Formulate Your Finding Home Over 50 Plan

Chapter 2 looks at how much longer government actuarial tables expect you to live, and asks you to consider how much longer or shorter than the actuarial averages you may expect yourself to live based on your health, diet, lifestyle and family history.  Armed with this estimate, the chapter walks you through the process of creating your life list of goals that you would like to accomplish  while you are still young, healthy, and agile enough to enjoy and appreciate your accomplishments. This sets the stage for making housing decisions that will align themselves with what you would really like to do in your retirement years.

2-1    Looking at Your Expected Remaining  Life and Resources with Which to Live.
Figuring out where you want to live and can afford to live is just one piece of your overall plan for retirement. There are many things that you want to accomplish while you still have the time, resources, energy, and ability to do them. You will want to prioritize doing these things sooner rather than later because you will enjoy and benefit from them more while you are younger.

2-1-1 How Much Longer Do You Expect to Live?
In Chapter 1, we spent time determining your current situation and expectations for the next 10 years. In this chapter, we will focus on your personal goals and what you would like to accomplish in the coming years. In later chapters, we will focus on specific steps to take.

2-1-2 How Much Money Are You Going to Have Available?
The next step is to determine the expected sources of the money you will need in retirement for everyday living and pursuit of your goals.

2-1-3 How Much Money Will You Need for Everyday Living and Contingencies?
Next you need to determine how much money you will need for everyday living and contingencies. The difference between the monthly cash you have available and the amount you need for everyday living expenses and contingencies will be your disposable income available for discretionary spending.

2-2     What You Intend to Accomplish Before it is Too Late?.
You do not want to be bogged down with unnecessary expenses and time commitments devoted to your housing; you want to accomplish a few things to which you have not given sufficient time and effort while you focused on your job, raising kids, and getting ahead.

The right home solution is one that allows you to strike a balance between the resources you put towards your housing and the resources you put towards other daily needs. The location, costs and features of your home will impact your ability to accomplish life goals. Before finally resolving your housing choices, you need to look at your broader life picture.

2-2-1 Establish Your Life List
Although we hear the term “life list” and may have a vague notion of what is on our own list, few of us have actually taken the time to sit down and write one out. As an initial step in your Finding Home – Over 50 process, I would like you to formally create your life list now. As you do, you will begin to clearly see that the items listed will have a big bearing on where and how you ultimately decide to live.

2-2-2 Suggestions for Creating Your Life List
Many people and websites talk about a life list as if it is a dream list. In a sense it is, but it goes well beyond that. A life list is a list of dreams that you strive to actually make come true. Think of it as a list of intentions, not simply wishes. The act of writing your list has a powerful impact on your mind; writing your list with emotion and intention magnifies that power many times over.

2-2-3 Self-Reflection Questions to Stimulate Ideas for Your Life List.
Here are some self-reflection questions that may stimulate your mind for coming up with ideas for your life list.

2-2-4 Some Sources of Ideas for your Life List
Many websites are devoted to bucket list and life list ideas. Many are listed in this section of the book, and on the RECOMMENDED SITES page of the fho50.com website.

2-2-5 Suggestions for Achieving Items on Your Life List
Make your list official. Pick a format that works for you: pen and paper, word processor, white board and markers, smartphone, or whatever you like. Decorate your background, use fancy print, draw and paste pictures of your goals on it, put the word “Official” at the top, or do whatever you think gives it a feeling of being special. This is your custom, personalized life list.

2-2-6 Life List Example-A Sample Cutout from John’s Life List
It helps to see examples of others’ life lists when making your own.

2-3 Align Your Life List and Housing Needs Choices.
Once you initially go through the life list creation process, you are in a better position to think about your retirement housing choices. You can balance location, cost, ease of maintenance, owning versus renting, and other relevant decisions with your life list goals and what you will need to do and spend to accomplish the goals.

2-4 Bibliography for Chapter 2.