Guest Author - Cathy Brownfield
Abe was coming up on age 58. Carol was just four years behind him. They had struggled through lean times as they raised their four children, and they had chosen to stay in their hometown. But now it was time for them to be thinking about preparation for retirement, although Carol’s mother had said they should have been planning retirement for years.
They had stayed in their hometown for several reasons. The economy was strong back then. Abe landed a good job with good benefits, they bought a house and started to raise a family. Carol was a full time stay-at-home mom then. They could afford for her to stay home and take care of the house and family. They were close to both sets of parents and decided they should stay close to home because one day their parents would become elderly and need them. And besides, this was a good place to raise a family.
About three years ago the neighbor guy told Abe that he and his wife were going to work like crazy for the next 10 years, then they were retiring. “I told her to get what she wants now because I’m retiring then,” Ted had said.
Sounded like good advice to Carol. She has an analytic mind. Should they sell their two-story, three-bedroom home and get something ranch style? Abe’s knees weren’t in the best of shape. But stairs were good cardiovascular exercise to help keep their hearts healthy. However, they could duplex the house and have rental income from one of the units.
Abe’s parents are deceased now. But Carol’s parents are living. They are elderly, fighting health issues. They had difficulties taking the stairs to go to bed at night, but they refused to have their bedroom moved downstairs. It’s obvious that a decision will have to be made about whether they can remain independent. Would that be Abe and Carol in 20 years?
Carol thought she’d have empty nest issues when the last child went off to college. It didn’t take her long to decide that she should be chasing the dreams and goals that had been on hold for years while she raised her children. One of the dreams predated their marriage. They had always talked about building a log home in the sticks.
“It’s now or never,” she said to Abe.
But he wasn’t so sure that it was a dream they could make happen.
To be continued…