After a recent move across the country to help my aging parents who are in their 70’s decide what to do about their future and discussing future life planning in general, one major topic of discussion was how excited they were that their last mortgage payment was coming up.  They truly never thought that day would come.  As you can imagine, this made the topic of what their plans were about staying in the home that they raised their children in, put their blood sweat and tears in, planted gardens, built swing sets and baby pools and took care of and now is too big for them and too hard for them to care for.

My siblings and I have tried to strategize an aging in place plan and bring the laundry to the first floor as my mother has already fallen down the basement stairs, but they know this home, they know the streets, the neighbors, stores and of course the home they love.

I’m certain that my parents are like many other seniors, both are retired and on a fixed income.  And although now they will have no mortgage payment they will be living far from “free”.  They will still have home maintenance, taxes, insurance, utilities, and other costs to maintain their current home.

Discussions on whether to move to a smaller home, a home closer to grandchildren, to warmer weather, to a condo or to some other scenario have all come up, but been quickly dismissed.

My parents feel like, if they have nowhere to go, they might as well stay.

I know you were hoping this article would end with my giving you the answer with how to handle this delicate situation, but there is none.  Each of us have complicated and unique circumstances. The common thread is taking advantage of the years remaining in your lives. Successful moves begin with critical thinking and planning. It starts with a conversation. Sharing your feelings and concerns as to how you want to craft your future will open doors to thoughts and ideas that may lead to a more secure and fulfilling life.