Ready or Not
Time to Shed and Transition
The more we planned, the less we were seeming to follow it. RV purchased, storage lot found, make it a bit homier and cheerier for full timing and investigate ways Brian will be able to work via the internet, phone and email. Basically the same set-up he has been enjoying for years at ‘home’ wherever that was (NY, Colorado, Houston, Colorado). I retired from full-time work, taking spontaneous positions when they came available, very sporadic and basically, retired. Turning 62 last May, I decided to really reduce the stress and avail us of the hard-earned social security in our account. All part of the grab it while we can attitude we believe we are striving for. That was very appealing to Brian and without a second thought, turning 64 end of July, and he was retired too! Health insurance remains an important component for us and we agreed to pay for Cobra out of pocket for both of us until he turns 65. We will live on social security, continue to invest wisely and cut costs to make ends meet.
Now that we are free to go, we set our transition date to early August. I will never know for sure, but if I had to shed all of our belongings not coming with us, by myself, it may have been overwhelming. As it was, the emotional tear of leaving our recently married, only child, daughter regardless of the promise of returning to our beloved Colorado frequently, had me in flummox. Keep calm and carry on, this dream is worth following and everything good comes with a price, my mantra for months.
I started going to Estate/Tag sales in the area to get a feel for how they are run and what might work for us. Mostly mayhem, but it certainly proved there is a market for just about anything you have, for a price, cheap price that is. Something is better than nothing as I tend to give everything away once complimented anyway! It did make me decide that I wanted arms length selling, worth the (rather large but worth it) percentage (35% in our case) you have to share with the estate sale company for their extremely hard and laborious work. As with anything, interview several people, ask lots of questions and then just go with your gut (best case scenario is a personal referral from someone you trust who had their own experience). Some things to ask: percentage charged, are there additional fees (credit card, tax) and who pays them, can we put a bottom line price on individual items, where and when do you advertise. Our estate sale company of choice was A Bluebird Estate Service. Lori and her son Johnny Angel were great people to work with and felt like friends in no time. Lori gave me a range of the value of all our items for sale and came in spot on at the top of the range!
Link to our sale (in the past) http://estatesales.org/monument-co-estate-sales/monument-estate-being-liquidated-431445
To be ready for the sale, all that we were taking (and, thankfully, able to gift to our newlyweds) had to be out of the house by the time they came (4 days prior to sale date) to tag and price everything. You must tag anything that is NOT for sale clearly. Better to just remove it altogether so there is no confusion. We had been sorting through the house for months, paring down, some rooms and things took several ‘passes’ in order to ‘let it go!’
We were able to park our monster motorhome in front of our house for several weeks (we lived on a cul-de-sac and our neighbors and otherwise rule crazy HOA kindly looked the other way) prior to leaving for the Camping resort a mile away, set to be our transition home base while we tied up loose ends and hugged our loved ones. The convenience of being able to cart things up and down our driveway was an unplanned windfall. Probably had us taking more than we will ever need, but better to shed than to repurchase!
Arrived and settled in our transition space up the road, we begin to experience our new chosen lifestyle. Brian hops out of the RV, goes over to thank our new neighbor for moving his car that was parked in our way, and two minutes into the conversation he calls me over to introduce a man I had worked with for years before his retirement in ’05. It IS a small world, after all.