Our thanks to the NY TImes best-selling author HALLIE EPHRON for allowing us to reprint this amazing story from JungleRedWriters.com. Decluttering, ridding out, downsizing, whatever you want to call it, is hard. This is a wonderful and touching tribute, thank you! Note: Jerry, with whom I share a birthday, was one of the most interesting people I have ever met.
HALLIE EPHRON: My husband and I reached a detente early in our marriage. He could go to all the yard sales and buy whatever he wanted (mostly books), and I wouldn’t nag him about it, as long as I didn’t have to look at his piles of stuff.
He celebrated this arrangement in one of the anniversary (our 30th) cards he drew for me.
When Jerry died, with my daughters’ help I gave away his clothes. I enlisted a used book dealer (of Antiques Roadshow fame, Ken Gloss) to take his sizeable and variable book collection.
October 20, 2022 — Moving at any age is bad enough. But baby boomers have spent decades acquiring all kinds of stuff, adding to the challenges of age. Moving at our age usually means downsizing, when we realize we have 1,000 pounds of stuff (furniture, knicknacks, collections, etc.) that we can’t possibly fit into the 600 pound bag our new home represents.
Enter the “senior move manager”, a new job that can take so much of the pain out of downsizing and moving. This person can help with every aspect, from helping you sort what to keep, how to get rid of the rest, to planning what will fit in your new home – both size wise and stylistically. They can do it all, down to getting your kitchen equipment into the right cupboard in the new kitchen.
July 13, 2020 — Not everyone wants to have a roommate in their retirement, but for many they are a great solution. A PBS Newshour feature this week, “High Costs Spur More Baby Boomers to Find Roommates“, highlighted how many homeowners are finding homesharing to be a great solution to high rents and inflation.
The primary motivation for getting a roommate is financial. Several of the women in the feature narrated by Paul Solman found themselves owning too much house with not enough money to maintain it, and unable to keep up with their other expenses. Bringing in someone to share those expenses proved to be a godsend for many of them. But several of those interviewed also reported being surprised by how much they enjoyed having a companion around the house. Friendships developed between very different people, and everyone seemed to benefit.
May 31, 2022 — Many of America’s most hated companies are the cable, internet and telephone giants – Comcast/Xfinity, Century Link, Sprint, etc. People dread calling these behemoths for customer service, because they know they will get into a never-ending telephone tree that make it very difficult to speak to a human being. They also don’t like the bills that come along with telephone, cable and internet service. The bill starts out looking reasonable, but after you add in the modem and cable box rental fees, broadcast and sports fees, and 6 different kinds of taxes, the total tab can easily approach $300/monthly. Adding more sports packages and HBO can send it north of that. And of course, every year the bill goes up. For retirees on a budget, these bills can become just too much.
After talking with friends your editor decided to cut the cord – or at least 2 of the cords – home phone and cable. Here is how he did it.
December 4, 2021 — There is a free resource in your town in your town you might be missing out on. One that you can actually tap from your home or phone for instant service. It is called your Library!
A few years back many people predicted that libraries were a thing of the past. That no one will bother going there anymore, thanks to the Internet. Well, a trip to your local library will prove that one a bad call. Libraries today are usually amazingly busy, filled with people of all ages doing all kinds of different things. It reminds us of Mark Twain’s famous comment – “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!”
Libraries have evolved into much more than loaning books and answering research questions. In this article we will highlight some of the services that you might not know about, things that could both save you money and enrich your life.
June 12, 2021 — Thanks to the 200 people who took our Home Readiness for Retirement Quiz. The Topretirements community appreciates the few minutes you took to assess your home’s readiness. We hope that you found the exercise useful. We know we did, our grab bars were installed today! Here are the results of the survey, with several surprises mixed in with findings that were more predictable.
The point of the quiz is to make sure that wherever you decide to live in retirement, your home is a safe place that lets you age gracefully in place. The good news is that most homes can be retrofitted to get there. Those without a first floor bedroom/bath option face a more problematic situation.
Almost three quarters (77%) of our Members have a bedroom/bath on the first floor, which is great news. They should be able to stay in their homes regardless of their mobility in the future.
June 8, 2020 — Want to know if the home you are living in will be able to keep up with you over the next 25 years or so of your retirement? Well, just take this quick quiz and we’ll give you an instant score. We’ve graded it high, but the good news is that if your score is low there is a lot you can to do fix it!
June 6, 2021 — It doesn’t matter. Whether you plan on staying in the home where you’ve always lived, buy a new retirement home, or you haven’t yet decided where you are going to retire, the same principle applies. You have to make sure that your home continues to be an easy place to live as you age in place – transitioning from newly retired to graceful old age. If you don’t, life in that home is going to get harder, if not impossible. This article will lay out some of the things that you absolutely, positively, must keep in mind; either if you buy a new home or decide to stay in the one where you live now. At the end of the article you will find a quick quiz to help you evaluate if your home is ready to support your retirement.
Commonly called universal design, the idea is take steps to insure that your home will be a friendly place to live, no matter what your physical condition in the future. It starts with the assumption that you might not always be able to see well, bend down or reach up, walk unassisted, or have great balance. That might not seem that important now, but it could easily be the case some day. Most homes assume that everyone who lives there has normal physical abilities. Sadly, not all of us will have those during the rest of our lives, and those changes usually come out of nowhere.
Keep these universal design principles in mind for the long haul:
November 10, 2020- if you like a lot of Americans you probably found some safe ways to socialize with a small group of friends or family this past summer. But with cold weather and the holidays arriving soon many folks are grappling with how to keep that going and avoid social isolation. We are curious to find out what techniques and strategies you might be using to make that happen.
Back in September we surveyed what Coronavirus Activities you are willing to engage in. Over 500 completed it; here is a Summary of the responses. One of the questions (#9) directly asked about cold weather, specifically if you would be willing to visit or entertain when it comes. Just over half said they would visit with other folks in some way or another, but with some conditions. The issue becomes even more important as Thanksgiving and the holidays loom in the immediate future.
There were over 80 written Comments to the question. The vast majority of those seemed to indicate they probably would entertain/be entertained, but only if masks and social distancing were observed, and if they trusted the other people.
September 21, 2020 — The leaves are starting to turn in some locales and there is a chill in the air. Which means many snowbirds are starting to wrap up their summer and getting ready to head south for the winter. To help retirees in that situation with their preparations, we are happy to present our ever-popular “Snowbirds Checklist for Leaving for the Winter Checklist” article. Not only are there some great tips in the article, but even better are the many Member Comments that added even more great ideas. We guarantee you will find something useful. Check it out!