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Thoughts needed. Losing a spouse, selling the homestead.

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, Mar 3, 2015.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    My brother (75) lost his wife on Thanksgiving Day. Here is the situation...he is living in their huge house with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and just him and the cat.

    He knows he has to sell and is exploring options. Condos, apartments and today he emailed me a senior living center. I mentioned on this board there are quite a few discussions about people retiring and moving to Vegas. Some like the idea of senior living and others want to be around people of all ages for the experiences.

    The senior living center he sent me today had a video and after watching it, I know this wouldn't be for him. The people all looked like they had one foot in the grave and their relatives came to visit on weekends. He is an active 75 and also enjoys people of all ages. We all know he has to get out of that huge house, but he is having troubles pulling the trigger on anything.

    It is a home on Lake Michigan and we know if somebody is going to buy a lake home, they are going to want it for this upcoming summer, if it ever arrives.

    I don't want to pressure him, but he does need a little push. Part of the reluctance is that him, like me are pack rats when it comes to tools etc and he has a lot to get rid of. Truth is, he has a ton of sh*t to get rid of to move to an apartment or condo. We have suggested a whole house estate sale or a giant garage sale.

    I'm not even sure what I am asking the group, but throw out some thoughts.

    Thanks,
     
    Christmas
  2. Vegas Lover

    Vegas Lover Low-Roller

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    Honestly, if he is looking to get rid of a lot of stuff & downsize, I think hiring our & doing a whole house estate sale is the say to go. You obviously pay more upfront to have someone manage the event, but you typically sell a lot more than a giant garage sale. Especially if you don't want to sit on a lot of stuff, the estate sale is the way to go. IMO
     
  3. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

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    I'd like to add that maybe part of the reason he hasn't pulled the trigger is because of the attachment to the house and to his wife.

    My siblings and I tried to get Mom to sell her house (quad-level) after Dad passed away. She hemmed and hawed and is still there. She finally admitted she felt most comfortable staying in the house because "it's hers" and Dad is "still there".

    Surely, our stories differ in many ways, but perhaps the reluctance with your brother will take a little longer to go away. I wish him well.
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Sorry about the loss, Joe.

    You have a PM.
     
  5. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    My folks are about the same age - just a bit younger. They just bought a house in Del Webb Sun City (Summerlin). They seem to love the amenities. There are so many recreation centers and activities to take advantage of. They bought a golf cart to cruise around the neighborhood, but of course they drive when they leave the development. They are also very active. My Dad is a private pilot and enjoys flying his airplane. His wife plays golf. They both enjoy working out, swimming, and practicing their golf putting at the rec centers in their neighborhood. The houses all seem to be ranch-style, so there are no stairs to climb, and the prices seem quite reasonable to me - starting from the low 200's, though the one they settled on was about 400k.
     
  6. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    People get set in their ways the older they get and some people just don't like change. People don't like unfamiliar things; especially at 75 years old.

    Maybe you could take him to one of those very large retirement communities in Florida or Arizona and have a look at them. I know that is where I want to retire.
     
  7. ajp

    ajp High-Roller

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    When my grandfather died, my grandmother who is a huge pack rat had to find somewhere she could live as she was unable to manage the house on her own. What she did first is open the doors to the family and told us to take anything we wanted that we would keep, not resell. So if it would stay in the family we were welcome to it. This took care of a large portion of the items, and she was left feeling satisfied as the items are still around in the family. She then moved into an assisted living place, basically she has an apartment of her own, the nurse comes in at night and gives her her meds, and they prepare her food for her in a dinning room. This worked for her as she is now on oxygen and has mobility issues. Everything that was left in the house was auctioned off, and the house was sold.

    We would have preferred to maybe get her a condo or a smaller house but she needed the help assisted living provided.
     
  8. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    He is far from needing any assisted living help.

    Until he gets fed up with us, moving out of state isn't an option. Myself and my other two brothers all live in the area and we try to have a monthly brothers meeting for pizza and a few beers. We have found a couple of centrally located restaurants/bars we like, so the furthest commute is about 45 miles for one of us, maybe 35 miles each for the rest of us.
     
    Christmas
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Then never mind. lol

    But let me reiterate to beware the Senior Ghetto Effect.
     
  10. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I googled "senior ghetto effect" and came up empty. Care to enlighten or point me to a url?
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    That's not on google? I thought everything was on google! lol

    What I mean is, the bluehair community. Our parents'/grandparents' generations kinda flocked to effectively cities built for seniors; Levittown 20 years later with AARP stickers and high car-insurance rates. That's not a default position for boomers, who are aging and living/retiring far differently than their elders. That is one of the reasons why we are seeing more, to use one name, Sun City developments as opposed to a literal Sun City. Moving to the Villages in FL with shuffleboard and everyone of the same age and a similar socio-economic cohort -- hence my use of "ghetto" -- certainly still resonates with many, but our older (or my, at least, given my tail-end position in the Boomers) brethren are turning away from the model in significant numbers, staying in their life/working communities or if moving looking for a similarly diverse place, and it has placed some burdens on the system as built for the WWII-fighting generation who were the first to really retire differently.
     
  12. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Not everybody in the over 55 communities have one foot in the grave or are playing shuffleboard. I've been in one for 13 years now and it suits me fine. People here are not all the same age brackets ,income levels political partys nor are they physical clones of each other etc.
    Some still work,many travel constantly,many go south for the winter. Some are wonderful fantastic people,some are pains like people wherever you go.
    I do understand your brothers attachment to Wisc. and family. The same basic reasons why I'll never leave Jersey for warmer,cheaper locations.
    Mrs. JG and me in the f-ing bible belt ?? FORGETTABOUTIT.
    My best advice is leave him alone for a while about moving ,let him decide what he wants.
     
  13. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    The one question that came to mind for me was exactly why does he need to move out?

    Everything you said in both comments to me indicated that he is perfectly fine where he is. Therefore I don't know if this need to move out is coming from him or outside people.

    Now if there is a good reason for him to move out, hopefully the reasons are good enough so that when he sees other options he gets excited about moving on rather than thinking it is a compromise.

    If the idea is not coming directly from him though, pushing him may backfire.
     
  14. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I didn't mean to imply that the +55 community residents all have one foot in the grave. But watch this two minute video he sent me as a just another one of his considerations. They mostly look like they do.

    You’ll find Harbour Village sitting on seven and a half acres in the beautiful historic community of Greendale, Wisconsin. We are a Continuum of Care community, offering Greendale Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Memory Care options. Our Residents enjoy beautiful surroundings, on-site amenities and social programs that are suited to their lifestyles.


    www.seniorlifestyle.com/property/harbour-village

    Except for slowly going deaf, like all of us in our family, there is nothing wrong with him health-wise.
     
    Christmas
  15. ronc

    ronc High-Roller

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    The Villages has some pretty interesting stuff going on...but that is another topic...

    If you can convince him to sell or, better yet, help him convince himself, an estate sale is a good idea. We did it with my mother in law's place last summer; it netted around $6,500 for what we considered a big old pile of hoarded junk. If he has good stuff, he can do a lot better than that.
     
  16. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Sounds like Greendale offers more care than your brother needs. That's great. A nice 55+ community with an active social program might be perfect for him.
     
  17. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Start with a 5,000+ sq ft house that he has wanted to sell for years, but his deceased wife always resisted. So he stayed. He is in a very isolated area. It is a one mile driveway to get to his house. Except for a beautiful year round view of Lake Michigan, there is nothing for him to do in the area, except walk the beach. 25 mile drive to Sheboygan, WI the closest "big" city with a population of 50,000. He admits he needs to sell, but again he is finding all sorts of reasons that everything he looks at is not right and so far, I agree with him.

    None of us push. We have gone with him to look at places and if he doesn't like it, we say ok, keep looking.
     
    Christmas
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    And I never implied that, though by definition if no one is under 55 that is a big age skew. Some love it, some rue it. Like most every other decision in life.

    We're all gamblers here to some level. And that is about the numbers. We convince ourselves other things might be going on, but ultimately the house owns us. It's just about the numbers. I was just talking about numbers because the formula has shifted significantly from 30 years ago. That doesn't mean it doesn't work for millions.

    (There are plenty of 80 year olds who could run circles around me.)
     
  19. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Sorry for you loss.

    This is a very long and complicated process. Not knowing your father at all, it would be wrong to offer an opinion. I will say that what another family members things is best is often far from what the parent wants and would be happy with.

    Good luck in whatever you do.
     
  20. RebelDiceMan

    RebelDiceMan High-Roller

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    Without reading the rest of the thread, I am going to make two suggestions.
    (1) I would go the route of the estate sale to get rid of most of the things (furnishings, tools, all sorts of other "stuff") that your brother will not be needing or wanting in his new location. Most people are going to want to decorate the house that he is going to sell in their own decorative style. Last fall, we did an estate sale for all the stuff in my deceased mother's house. We hired a lady that specializes in doing estate sales. I had already spent 4-5 weeks getting rid of stuff that I knew would not sell or that I knew someone in our family wanted. She even told us that my work made her work much easier. We pretty much cleaned out my mother's house the day of the estate sale. Our lady handled almost all of the transactions the day of the sale which saved us a ton of work.

    (2) There is a ton of information out there about retiring and all the things you can do to make it a more pleasant experience. I plan to retire this summer and have been busy reading everything I can to get prepared. It seems like it is just as important to get the mental plan and expectations organized as it is to make the financial plans. Advise him to find an area that will suport him doing the kind of activities that will make his daily life more enjoyable. There are many variables that will influence that so do some homework about potential areas and living arrangements.

    I doubt that there are many people who are worse pack-rats than me so I know the challenge he faces in that regard. I feel blessed that I have already had a trial run weeding thru my mother's stuff before I have to do my own. It is a time consuming and mentally draining activity. Good Luck to your brother.
     
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