My husband Brian and I have started to think about the next phase of our life together. Not retirement exactly, but more of a scaling back on work, or at least traditional Monday-through-Friday, 8-to-5 work. (“8-to-5?’’ Brian would comment, “that’s not even a half-day’s work!”). About a year ago, we set a three-year plan in motion to help get us ready for this next phase—a phase that we might call something like a life renewal or life revival time. The big push, we decided, was to be debt-free (or just about).
We were making good progress on paying off the little debt we had and double-paying on mortgages until our lovely little ski camp near Sugarloaf Mountain started sinking into the ground. Hmmm, that was not part of plan! We really love this little house and it holds many, many dear memories for us—and for many others in our extended/blended family—so we felt the need to save it. This two-year rebuild project has set us back a bit, but we are still committed to get to that point, financially, where we have options for living the way we want to live. I think that Scott Mazuzan’s piece on page 12 offers some excellent pointers for starting down this path.
As Scott suggests, my husband and I have looked at the basic steps of determining assets, income and setting goals. The goals part was very easy. We would like to rent out our primary home and spend our time living on the road, exploring in our self-designed converted van, which we affectionately call The Love Shack. Then, we’ll spend our sedentary time living in the tiny camp that we are in the process of rescuing. One or both of us will likely continue to work, on some level, in our chosen fields to supplement our minimalist existence.
Reading the story on page 8 about John Rodrigue’s process of downsizing to a tiny home on wheels is very inspiring to me. Though I am not quite ready to officially start the process, I have already begun to get rid of stuff. This year, when Brian carried down from the attic seven large bins of Christmas decorations, I vowed that I would only re-store the items that I actually use. I think there will be more like three bins going back into the attic. Combine that with a commitment to do more “shopping” in my own closet than at the local downtown shops, to continue to focus on not wasting (anything) and to give away anything that I own that the kids want and I’ll be more prepared for that eventual shift in house size.
There’s much more to read and learn in this issue of My Generation. We are so excited to be re-introducing My Generation magazine in a more traditional magazine format with loads of color and nice glossy paper, along with great content for my over-50 contemporaries. Each issue will be targeted to the active, engaged 50- to 100-year-olds who are busy juggling full and demanding lives and who may be starting to think about a future that is different than life today. We all are busy with work, maybe kids, maybe taking care of parents or other loved ones, our homes, our passions and our dreams. I hope you find something in each issue that touches on many areas of your life.
-Lee Hews, Publisher