My house is much too big for one person and the maintenance is difficult for me, but I am so undecided if I want to sell it and, if I did, where would I go? So many folks advise to wait a year. Well, I'm 5 months into this journey and feel that I need to start looking at the possibilities. Given that my Jim's death was sudden and unexpected, I had NEVER considered anything other than staying here till we were both gone.
I'm 63 which is relatively young, but old enough to not feel that I have the energy or interest to start a whole new life. Maybe things will change as this grief process unfolds, but it is hard for me to want to think about all the changes required to sell this house and then move elsewhere. On the other hand, I just cannot bear the thought of living out the rest of my life here in the old 6 bedroom house with the original 1968 furnace. My hubby was very good at doing a bit of maintenance here and there; he knew when and who to call in to fix things before they broke it seems. My cash flow is not as good as ours was before our nest egg became an "estate" that had to be divided.
I'm wondering what others are thinking. What are the pitfallls? Did anyone have some success with staying? Or with moving?
Thanks so much to all of you out there who share so much of yourselves here. Hugs!
You made some great points about asking ourselves WHY to stay or why to move.
Although for now, I'll be staying here. We have lived in our home for 20 some years. He bought it for me.
Thanks for sharing those ideas.
I lost my husband in mid-2015, and am just now starting to fix up my house to put on the market. The main reason I will be selling the house is that I did not get the life insurance money I was expecting and my husband left behind much more debt than anything in the way of assets. Basically, most of the money I have in the world is tied up in my house, in which I have 100% equity. I was getting Social Security survivors benefits for my youngest child until he turned 18 three months ago, and that money was 3/4 of my income. Now it is gone, and I am having to transfer $1100 per month from savings just to pay the bills. Obviously this is not sustainable. I was very resistant at first to selling the home we have lived in for the last 12 years, but now it appears I have no choice. My goal is to downsize and use the money I make on the sale to sustain me until I get to age 60 and can start collecting widow's benefits. Meanwhile, my children are aged 23, 21 and 18. My eldest just moved out recently and the other two are still in college and will probably be moving out within the next 3-4 years. So, as I look to the future, I won't be needing this 4 bedroom house I'm currently in. I've decided I want to buy a house FOR ME, that suits me.
Did your husband have a pension that you can draw from? No need to answer that, I just wanted to bring it up to you in case you forgot to think of it.
I too have a 4 bedroom house. But I can't quite bring myself to think about moving. At least not yet. I guess I would need a good reason to move.
Hi Susan. Nope, no pension. My husband was on disability the last ten years of his life. He also liquidated his 401k and bought a car with the money three years before he died. I do still have the car, at least, and drive it every day. I'm just lucky I don't live in a community property state or I would be even worse off.
I'm sorry Suzy... I can't think of any other resource you could try. Take a look at this when you have time. I don't know if it will be of any help or not.
Depending on the state you live in, Suzy, you might qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If for any reason, you can't work, look into getting Social Security Disability Income. If you can work,, the economy is doing relatively well and there are plenty of entry level jobs available. Depending on where you live, there might be seasonal work in the Spring or Summer if you live in an area that gets plenty of tourists. Since I don't know your exact situation, I'm brainstorming here more than anything else.
SSI is the equivalent of Welfare - the requirements mean absolutely no money - no savings, no sellable assets/property ...
Your savings will have to be reported. Until it is completely exhausted will you meet one of the required qualifications ...
I agree, the entry market for jobs has been doing well for years ...
Downsizing is daunting work, however, it sounds like the best option ...
I made the big move last October. One day about 2 years ago a developer spied me mowing my lawn, and he expressed an interest in purchasing my acre. I eventually sold my family home to him, which was very hard. In October I moved to the little town of Republic, WA, which is 300 miles east of Seattle. I am a 66-year-old widow, and I had many trepidations about moving, but with God's help, I pulled it off. I left most of my possessions behind. My home was in such awful condition that I wouldn't have been able to sell it to an individual, as it would have never qualified for any kind of loan. I bought 8-1/2 acres where I could have a horse or whatever else I want. I have 4 geese, 3 ducks, a flock of chickens, a python (my 10th anniversary present from John), 2 tortoises, a dog and 2 cats. Republic can get to 20 below in the winter, and it snows a lot. We will see if I survive (or not). I have no real family, and no one really cared what I did.. Sometimes change can be a good thing.
I wish you much luck :-)
We bought the house just over two years ago, after most of our married life living in apartments. I have a mortgage and it's the same amount I was paying in rent before we bought. I can handle this. My husband was retired for years before this move, his SSI check was just fun money for him and it paid for his Med B and RX. I'll be fine in this house, it's in the same town where my parents live. It is also in a small rural town, my job is in the little bit larger town 8 miles away. The house is a 2 bedroom with a garage on a quarter lot. There are kids all over who are happy to shovel snow and mow the yard for $5-10. My nephews spend the summer here and are happy with painting and the odd redo jobs I have. Anything else, I can hire a handyman. Need my patio doors replaced, I have the new doors in the garage.
I sold our home. Lived there for 25 years but losing two wives (6 years apart) in the same room made it almost unbearable to live there. I couldn’t sleep in our bed. Slept on the couch. Felt like House of Usher. Had to sell to survive. Too many “ghosts.” Beautiful home-but too many memories and pain.