Considering Housing Alternatives in Retirement

Tiny house with green plantsI have never outgrown my enchantment with miniatures. When I window shop, I find myself lingering over items that are perfect replicas of items normally ten times their size. On my first trip to Paris I fell in love with Smart cars. When I worked overseas, I brought home tiny versions of items the country was known for–doll-sized kimono jackets, small decorated bowls, casitas. And I have always liked travel-size toiletries!

So when a college-aged friend told me about the television show, Tiny House Nation, I was immediately drawn to the concept. My first step was to watch this show on fyi network. In the “Vermont Chalet” episode, a couple close to retirement with one high school student left at home, downsized to a tiny house on their property so they could rent out their big house. At the close of the show, I was absolutely amazed at how spacious the tiny house looked. Even the husband, who was a self-confessed packrat, was able to pare down enough stuff in their 2200-square foot big house to live comfortably in a 493-square foot tiny house. (According to the Small House Society, the definition of a tiny house is one that is typically less than 500 square feet.)

My next step was to see what HGTV had to say on the subject. I’m a big fan of the interior design and home renovation shows on this network, and I wasn’t disappointed. Their website featured video segments hosted by designer Tracy Metro entitled, “Extreme Small Spaces.”  I watched several segments and was really inspired by the Copper House. HGTV also has a part of their website devoted to decorating in limited spaces. You may want to check out their Small Spaces Design Guide for more ideas.

It seems building and living in smaller spaces is rapidly becoming a trend due to the state of the economy, a desire to leave a smaller footprint, and an effort to live a more simple lifestyle. While many younger folks are embracing this trend, it is also coming at a good time for Baby Boomers who are looking to downsize their living space and possessions, and reduce their housing expenses.

What part or parts of this trend appeal to you?




More Reasons to Have Fun on the Weekend

Think back to when you were in school and enjoyed those glorious weeks of summer vacation each year. How did you spend your time? I remember active summers of swimming at the community pool, playing tennis, having friends over to play volleyball in our back yard, and taking long bike rides out into farm country.Continue Reading

Weekday Tips for Weekend Energy

Do you ever find yourself so frazzled by the end of the work week that all you want to do is collapse on the weekend? In order to fully take advantage of the Weekend Retirement concept, you need the energy to do the things on your list. In this week’s post, I’m sharing tips fromContinue Reading

Supplement Your Income in Retirement

As we look forward to a time when we bid adieu to full-time employment (and the paycheck that goes with it), we can begin now to explore ways to supplement our income in retirement. If you want to do something with your time that feeds a passion and, as author Barbara Winter says, “makes a difference toContinue Reading

Lower Your Costs in Retirement

This week I attended a seminar on Social Security and how to prepare for retirement. It turned out to be more of a sales pitch for the financial advisor’s services than an actual training, but I did come away with a few new ideas that I will be discussing with my current financial advisor in my annual meetingContinue Reading

Weekend Adventures

  While it isn’t a week or two of vacation, a weekend is long enough to have some fun and do something exciting, rewarding, or enlightening. Let’s talk about some of the ways you can use your weekends for adventures now that you have stopped using the time to catch up on household chores orContinue Reading

More on Retiring Abroad

Several posts ago I wrote about the possibility of retiring abroad. This idea struck a chord with a number of readers, so today I’m taking a closer look at the topic by reviewing How to Retire Overseas by Kathleen Peddicord. Published in 2011, the book lays out the world’s top 14 retirement havens: Argentina, Belize,Continue Reading

Paring Down in Retirement

In my last post I talked about the possibility of retiring abroad. The topic spurred some discussion about the need to pare down in preparation for our latter years. Moving within the U.S. is expensive; imagine the cost of shipping the contents of your home to another country! Regardless of where you eventually retire, it willContinue Reading

Have You Considered Retiring Abroad?

While the focus of this blog is to encourage Boomers to begin enjoying a retirement lifestyle on the weekends while we are still employed, I am also exploring affordable options for retirement. For those of us who enjoy travel and the adventure of learning about new cultures, retiring outside the U.S. may be an option thatContinue Reading

Using Your Weekend to Stay in Touch

Many of the books and articles I’ve read over the past year on the topic of retirement stress having the right “number” or amount saved as being critical to enjoying retirement. While having the funds to retire is important, Richard Stim and Ralph Warner, authors of the book Retire Happy, point out the power of socialContinue Reading

Weekend Makeover

We have been talking about freeing up weekends to enjoy the kinds of activities you would do if you were retired. In this post, I want to compare my typical weekend before I adopted the Weekend Retirement mindset to what my weekends look like now–my weekend makeover. BEFORE Weekend Retirement Saturdays were spent doing household/personal tasks: CleaningContinue Reading

Meet Gail

Gail Pentz, author

My work experience spans Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. As a corporate trainer, I have delivered training throughout the U.S. and in 18 other countries. I designed and wrote hundreds of instructional materials for numerous industries, and worked as a teacher and staff in private schools. I also have experience with small businesses. I was a founding partner and Director of Operations for T.W.I.C.E. Educational Services, Inc., a Sarasota-based continuing education firm serving mental health professionals.

Having worked 60+ hours a week for several decades, I know what it’s like to be on the proverbial hamster wheel, using weekends to catch up on what I didn’t get done and preparing for the week ahead. Like me, you may be ready for at least two days each week that are filled with activities you find satisfying and fulfilling. Less time working (or preparing for work) translates into more time for recreational travel, self-care, and personal development. I firmly believe that as we take better care of ourselves, we are better equipped to share our gifts with the world (and especially the quality of effort we bring to the workplace).

You can begin enjoying a retirement lifestyle this weekend. Let’s get started!

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