Grand Lifestyle

Breaking the Rules of Living

When we get older and our families leave to make their own lives, we may become less financially and/or physically independent and more inclined to feeling alone especially if we are without a partner. Some people buy into retirement villages, but this doesn’t suit all personalities.

Other people have systems put in place to help them live more easily in their own homes – such as having frozen meals delivered, doing on-line shopping, paying for cleaners or employing a person to be available when having a shower or bath. We all know it is best if we own our own home as we get older and hopefully most of us do.

However, here are some alternative living options.

  • Flatting with old friends. If you have your own home, you could rent it out and this could support you financially in a flatting situation. Make sure you know your flatmates well. They may be friends or flatmates from your youth. Flatmates can share the cooking and cleaning and provide company. Heaps of us did it when we were young, so why not do it now we’re old?
  • Buy a caravan and live in a motor camp. I’ve known other people who’ve done this, and it’s worked out well. It can be relatively cheap and there are always other people around. If it doesn’t work, you can sell the caravan and go back to your own home.
  • Motorhome. One man I know who was on his own after his long-term relationship ended and his family had moved on, bravely used his financial share of the house to buy a motorhome. He joined the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, made heaps of new friends and now moves around as he pleases. The excess money left over from the separation is invested.
  • Boarding. Move into a boarding type of establishment such as an ex-nursing home. Although some of these establishments may cater to younger people such as students, they may not be exclusive and it can be invigorating to be among young people. Plus, you may even be inclined to take up some belated study in some field of interest from your earlier years.  Not all establishments want young people so consider your own wants and have a look around.

If you own a home, I wouldn’t recommend selling yours for one of these options as it would be very difficult to get back in to the ‘market’. Talk to family, friends or a financial adviser – a real estate agent could even help you rent out your home. Then, if your new living arrangement doesn’t work out, you can return to your own home.  Regardless, it is pretty good to have choices.

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