Housing Dilemma

Yesterday I was putting up the Christmas lights outside the house.  Now, I know that for some, this is just way too early.  I don’t turn the lights on until Thanksgiving night but it was sixty degrees here yesterday and this morning the temperature is a whopping  fourteen degrees and it’s snowing.  So I took advantage of, maybe, the last really nice weather for a while. The job seems bigger and bigger each year even though I am not putting any more lights up than usual.  That got me thinking about the house.


This is a discussion that seems to be creeping into the conversations of my friends who are in the baby boomer age range. We are facing some kind of decision about our houses as we age.  Is our house and yard getting to be too much?  Do we downsize?  If we downsize, when do we make the move?  Can we age in place?  Of course, if and when to retire enters into this discussion.  These decisions are not easy, they are life changing events.

Life event Life change units
Death of a spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Imprisonment 63
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Dismissal from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gain a new family member 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in frequency of arguments 35
Major mortgage 32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work 29
Child leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse starts or stops work 26
Begin or end school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Minor mortgage or loan 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family reunions 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violation of law 11

Score of 300+: At risk of illness.

Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).

Score <150: Only have a slight risk of illness.

This scale illustrates the level of stress that can occur with these life events. We know that stress can make us sick, but as the list shows, it is difficult to avoid.  We are in our sixties now and we face losing parents, retirement,  downsizing,  having enough money to last the rest of our lives, sleep changes and probably a few more from the list.   It is why we sometimes go kicking and screaming into the third act of our lives.  But, no matter what kind of house we live in, we at least have to be thoughtful about it and our futures.


This entry was posted in Aging, Baby Boomers, Life, Money, Retirement and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Housing Dilemma

  1. I can definitely relate to this one. My husband has just over a year to go before retirement and already I cringe at the thought of possibly having to move from the house that we’ve lived in for more than twenty years.

    • seniledenial says:

      Thanks for the comment. Wow, you have lived in your house for over twenty years. We have lived in ours for fourteen. I love my house and we still use every part of it. But, I have to admit that the yard is truly kicking my butt, and the house is a lot to take care of. So, I am cringing with you.

  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Interesting indeed. And seeing so many events on the list I’ve been through. Wow.

    I’d just like to have a house!!

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