Sunday, October 23, 2016

Oops, a Plan B would have helped! 24 weeks and counting - to selling our house that is.

Our preparation for listing the house is pretty boring at this point. DH keeps working away at fixing and painting inside the house. We are trying to get everything ready for the bath remodel. Otherwise it is routine house and yard work.

I'm really wishing we had done better at having a Plan B on a couple of fronts though. We were only able to get one quote for the bath remodel. It is definitely in the expected range but being able to make a choice would have been much nicer.

The second missing Plan B is in the area of dog boarding. Our dog has chronic medication and other needs so we have relied on one person to board her. Oops. A funeral in CA this Tuesday for an uncle of DH's and I can't go because there is no place to board the dog on such short notice.

I'm going to try to turn this into a positive and push myself to do lots of pruning & raking, some more sorting through belongings, getting more exercise, etc. The week also holds a vet appointment for a regular shot for her Addison's disease, a haircut for me, early voting and possibly attending book club. This one is outside around a fire and I really don't like sitting out in chilly weather and getting smoky so we will see LOL. Also I found the book selected too grim and quit reading very quickly.

What have you accomplished and what is on your agenda for the week?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More photos from another walk on Atlanta's Beltline

This Monday I took this 4 mile walk again by myself and took photos of some of my favorite art installations both part of the permanent collection and part of this month's art exhibit. Enjoy the walk.

Standing above the walkway before I start. The entire form rail "beltline" around Atlanta hasn't all been paved but this section near my home has been done for quite some time and we love it.

So tell me how you think the artist managed to make these positive and negative space versions of the same thing.

Tiny doors have been installed all around town. The door is about 6 inches high and it is fun to see small children try to figure out why it won't open and why it is there.

This time I got a photo of the entire piece.

White umbrellas and dangly bits remind me of jellyfish.

Part of a long installation of photos along a fence. Love the dog's visor and carrier.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Painting & Raking: 24 weeks and counting

Little to report on getting the house ready to sell.

My husband has been spending his weekends doing interior painting and has almost finished the upstairs work that remained after I painted the bathroom. There is a large bedroom, dressing area and sitting room all with high ceilings. He is almost finished. The bid from the painters for this work was $850. Doing it himself may take up his weekends but it helps pay for the upcoming bath remodel. Retirement financial planning LOL.

A house across the street from us sold the first week it was listed. Obviously priced to sell. The owners are in their mid-30s and trading in home ownership for an RV to travel the country full time.

I have been doing regular home maintenance and the annual months of leaf raking have commenced.

A week ago when as a Federal employee he was off for Columbus Day, we did take advantage of the typically lovely October weather and walk 4 miles on the Atlanta Belt Line. It is the month of the annual outdoor art show and the new pieces that were added to the permanent collection are fabulous.

I really like this one that is under an street overpass. I couldn't get enough detail by taking the photo to get the whole piece so imagine the two photos as one face. I'm going to take that walk by myself today and take more photos to share as the pieces are incredible.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Decision Week: 25 weeks and counting - to putting our house up for sale

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

1. We hire a contractor to  remodel our main floor bathroom. Of course it will cost more than we hoped!
2. We selected the floor tile and paint color for that bathroom. Only thing left to decide is the color of new towels.
3. We decided to do all the remaining interior painting ourselves (see cost of #1). We still have to decide about pressure washing & painting the fence and carport. The house trim must be done by professionals.
4. We decided not to take advantage of a free place to stay to visit Asheville again. There is still my husband's uncle in hospice and the anticipated funeral in CA for him. Since we weren't taking the dog to Asheville the costs were adding up (see cost of #1).
5. My husband is close to deciding to continue working until he turns 65 in late November. Although the house will still go up for sale April 1st and we will plan to move to CA when it is sold, he can work by a combination of working remotely and onsite visits. That will make health insurance transitions much simpler and be easy if the house takes a while to sell. He was hoping to contract back anyway.

We are enjoying lovely Fall weather finally and plan a long walk to see an outdoor art exhibit this morning.

Painting is ongoing. The study and upstairs bath ceiling touch ups are finished. The remainder of the repairs upstairs are done and paint purchased. Since it is a 3 day weekend for my husband he will be able to start painting too.

I started cleaning the basement floor and bathroom. 

It is just about time to start raking leaves and since that takes a long time due to our great tree coverage I am making no plans for next week beyond routine upkeep of home and yard. Hopefully other things will get done.

Yesterday my husband commented that he thought we had made really good progress getting the house ready and I agree. We are starting to turn our thoughts to when to look for a new home and how to manage the move and transition.

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

26 weeks and counting - to putting our house up for sale

At least one of us was busy with forward moving actions re: the house this past week! Hubby has been diligently working on repairing cracks in the ceiling upstairs and next weekend will paint the ceiling in one room and some walls. I have been caught up in exhaustion from lousy sleep, yard work and other daily chores, meetings and lunches and just regular life in general.

Speaking of life and its unexpected turns - we were shocked to learn this week that one of our DIL's father died suddenly. We are going to try to go to the funeral in CA so have cancelled our Asheville vacation. Then we learned that my husband's uncle is failing very quickly so that will be another attempted funeral trip to the other end of CA. The silver lining is seeing loved ones in both cases.

We also have been learning and thinking about health care coverage once my husband retires. He has planned to retire at the end of May when he is still 64. I am 67 so I will have to pick up Medicare part B & D (or C) plus retiree coverage as my supplemental insurance at that time, but he will be on retiree coverage only for 5 months. We aren't quite sure how that would work especially with a planned move that makes us have to find all new doctors. More to learn. The bottom line though is that he is now considering continuing to work until he is past 65 so he would probably retire at the end of 2017. However we would still put the house on the market this Spring and move to CA once it closes. Then he would work from home and commute part of the time. It is all rather making our heads spin at the moment.

On a happy note, our dog is back to her normal playful, active self. Medication changes plus and antibiotic for a suspected low grade UTI and she is bouncy again. She is also quite happy that she now gets canned food to try to help her put back on the weight she lost.

I'm not going to set any goals for prepping the house for sale for next week since I seem to be doing other things at the moment.

Have a great week.

Friday, September 30, 2016

I better get better at dressing for this type of weather!

I find it hard to dress comfortable when it is cool in the morning and hot by afternoon - but that is the climate I will be living in once we move. Here are this week's best efforts. Suggestions?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How detailed is your retirement budget?

Earlier this week The Frugal Queen asked if we have really budgeted for everything. I'd have to answer no as I base the year's budget on last year's expenses and known increases in things like health and car insurance or property taxes.

Some people keep separate online account "envelopes" to save in advance for the rare and/or unknown expenses that pop up be it car or dishwasher replacement, vet expenses or whatever. We keep general savings and investment accounts.

This month's unbudgeted and unexpected/unplanned expenses have me wondering if that is the best approach once we are living on retirement income. Just yesterday it was a new car battery for our older car - $166 that was not included in the annual servicing & licensing budget. We do budget for poodle princess's monthly shot, meds, annual exam & grooming, but this month she had lots of tests and changes in meds and food - $718 and a substantial financial gift to elderly relatives who are struggling financially.

I have no problem with any of those expenses and am happy we can afford them. However, I didn't really budget for any of them and I'm wondering if there is a change that would be helpful to try as I know our first year or so of living on retirement cash flow is going to take lots of adjusting and planning.

Please share your ideas and experiences!