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Are people looking for a simpler life now?

Big Matt

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I'm just curious how people think about their future in terms of the rat race, etc. I'm personally very changed over the last three months. My outlook for retirement is coming into focus very quickly.
 

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I've been in flux for a few years, so was already considering further down scope in the lifestyle. I called myself Semi-Retired because I wasn't quite sure. I'm sure now that I don't want my career back. Pandemic probably sped that up for me, but I was certainly headed that way.

I've always felt like a country girl that lived in the city so I am very near to decided to just do it already. About a year ago, I ran across a hs friend that is building a camp, more like a Glampground. I can live there free and help build it out, while becoming a farmer. A year is a decent amount of time to think on it.

Everything boils down to needing a place to sleep and food to eat, so, the basics are taken care of. Since I can live there free of charge, that puts the home sale proceeds into my checking account, not into another home (will probably do a kit cabin to start, maybe in the $5-10k range). It will be a new way of living and I'm ready for it. I am about 8 years away from having this home paid off, and I thought I'd stay here for decades more, but, I don't want the work of it any more. I'd rather go live on a big property where my responsibilities are limited to growing food and flowers, and building a big fun destination for eventual guests.

I am part nature girl, but, honestly, this was not on my radar as a long term wish. Sometimes, things show up in my path and they turn my head and somehow feel right. this is one of those times. Simpler is indeed the goal. Cheaper is part of that.
 

geekette

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PS.... the more episodes I see of Homestead Rescue, the more I want to go build some of these great greenhouses or water collection systems, etc. I learned about mound gardening on that show, hugelkultur, and will be doing that myself next week, in my possible new state/home.
 

Big Matt

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PS.... the more episodes I see of Homestead Rescue, the more I want to go build some of these great greenhouses or water collection systems, etc. I learned about mound gardening on that show, hugelkultur, and will be doing that myself next week, in my possible new state/home.
This is the type of reply that I was expecting to get from some folks. You can essentially live for free if you don't have a disaster that wipes out the solar, water, etc. That's a pretty decent deal IMO.
 

WinniWoman

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I was always fascinated by the notion of a simpler life- especially when working and being a parent and all that comes with that life. I have a small collection of books I read over the years about living simpler, which also involved divesting of needless "stuff" and keeping choices you make in all aspects of life simple as you can.

So about 10 years ago as we started to update our NY house I made sure to include all I learned in the process. This was very helpful last year when we sold that home and divested of a good chunk of what we owned and moved into a home that is less than half the size of the other one which was also on 10 1/2 acres of wooded land. This home- which is actually a cottage/ranch on a .12 acre lot (yeah- you read that right) is much less maintenance as you can imagine.

Being retired, the part that complicates everything- the jobs- are out of the way and that alone makes things simpler. We chose to continue to live in "the country" instead of an urban area and being around nature is to me essential to simple living.

Of course, if you are not yet able to retire, having income is necessary but I do think that living in a more rural area is actually a better opportunity for generating income than living in the city, though that income will certainly be less to begin with anyway. And today with on line businesses possible even more so. Being able to work form anywhere- especially from home, helps keep things simple. Reality is also you need some kind of health insurance so keep that in mind otherwise your simple life could be wiped out if something happens.

If you already have a nice stash of savings as with anything else in life- money makes living either simply or not simply easier.

We have only been here a few months but we have so far been able to avoid the trappings that other's here have in terms of material things and toys like boats, golf carts, atv's, huge pick up trucks, campers and RV's, motorcycles, electric bikes, kayaks, etc. Nothing wrong with any of these things but they can be traps and weigh you down, contrary to what one might think of them. Maintenance, storage, time and effort......No. We can rent if we want. Glad to take up a neighbor's offer for an occasional boat ride out onto the lake, rent a bike or whatever when we want.

No big shopping sprees to clutter up our nicely organized and minimal house or it's closets.

And visits to many "free" or cheap attractions like the state parks, for example.

I guess what I am saying is you need money to survive but a lifestyle change and perspective is important to simplify and reduce your needs. For us, because we always lived in a rural area in the woods, we felt a big part of our life was already "simple". It was the working and commuting and having to live life around the jobs that made it difficult and more complicated.
 
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b2bailey

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My life couldn't be any simpler. But, being in California I know that many people made a home purchase in the past that included a 2 hour (each way) commute. I'm my mind, those would be the ones who would have the most difficult time returning to their former life.
 

rickandcindy23

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We have learned to eat at home and not at restaurants 2-3 times per week. Part of that is economy during the virus, since our rentals have fallen flat, but partly it's because restaurants are currently a hassle with all of the steps necessary to keep our space. It's also because my lean and green meal (my journey to health main meal of the day) is very easy at home. I eat fabulous food and lots of salad for dinner, and my other meals are planned for me already. Who knew that cauliflower-crust pizzas would be my new favorite meal? Sixty-nine pounds down, another 12 or so to go. I am super excited to hit my goal and then decide if I need to lose even more.

I was going to buy tomato plants, but when we go to Maui at the end of the summer, if we do indeed get to go, it would be a hassle for my stepdad to take care of them. I could maybe get my neighbor lady to take care of them, but that is when they will start producing, so I will miss a lot of the fun of eating the fruits of my labor.
 

bbodb1

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bbodb1

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PS.... the more episodes I see of Homestead Rescue, the more I want to go build some of these great greenhouses or water collection systems, etc. I learned about mound gardening on that show, hugelkultur, and will be doing that myself next week, in my possible new state/home.
I can see it now @geekette - you don't need TV except for HGTV and DIY!
 

bbodb1

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At first, I was really going to pick on you for this:

We have learned to eat at home and not at restaurants 2-3 times per week. Part of that is economy during the virus, since our rentals have fallen flat, but partly it's because restaurants are currently a hassle with all of the steps necessary to keep our space. It's also because my lean and green meal (my journey to health main meal of the day) is very easy at home. I eat fabulous food and lots of salad for dinner, and my other meals are planned for me already. Who knew that cauliflower-crust pizzas would be my new favorite meal? Sixty-nine pounds down, another 12 or so to go. I am super excited to hit my goal and then decide if I need to lose even more.

..and then I saw what came after - congratulations!
 

bbodb1

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I'm just curious how people think about their future in terms of the rat race, etc. I'm personally very changed over the last three months. My outlook for retirement is coming into focus very quickly.

@Big Matt - I have been thinking along these exact lines the last month or so and I am right there with you.

I have spent a lot of time trying to image what an ideal retirement would look like along with where that retirement would be located. I'm not sure I have solid answers yet but one thing that has come into focus is the need to make a final push income wise for 4-6 years to set up our retirement as worry free as we can reasonably hope to accomplish. The excess of unexpectedly unencumbered time has been a jolt - it somewhat felt like a failure in some ways because I felt like I should be doing something but over the past three months, I've found myself doing very little. Probably as much of a function of trying to avoid people during Covid-19, I've avoided some things I thought I would pursue (namely resume golfing after being away from it for almost 25 years).

It has been a very unsettling period of time and with the recent increase in insurgency and stupidity in larger cities around the country, it only served to reaffirm a goal of retiring to a place away from anything that could be construed as hustle and bustle. But to get there, we need at least four more years of debt reduction and retirement savings to get to a point where this is possible.

So many scenes from Field of Dreams keep running through my mind......
 

WinniWoman

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This reminds me how most in our neighborhood are always fighting the elements to get their grass and landscaping just right. And their garden plants like tomatoes. They enjoy it so great for them. But for me, doesn’t meet my simple life platform. My husband and I decided if the grass doesn’t grow well on our lot we are going to black top the front, in essence extending our small driveway. Problem solved. Simple and practical. Just keeping the 4 bushes in front of our porch placed by the builder. That’s it. I don’t even have flowers. I admire and enjoy everyone else’s. Before you know it it will be fall, then winter and all will be covered with the white stuff anyway. For fresh produce plenty of farmers markets here. Same with fresh eggs and even meat. No need to raise chickens and cows - not that we would have room for them.. Again, simple. No hassles..
 

geekette

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This is the type of reply that I was expecting to get from some folks. You can essentially live for free if you don't have a disaster that wipes out the solar, water, etc. That's a pretty decent deal IMO.
Even better, in my case - someone else paid for and owns the land outright. I don't even have property taxes or mortgage payment!! There are details I don't yet fully understand, like camp would buy produce from me. I will assume that is when there are guests, as I could not possibly feel good about charging my host for the food I grow on her land. I plan to do a lot of the cooking, too.

We're both hardy enough that service outage wouldn't be disaster. And, you know, not like we couldn't bug out to a timeshare if we needed a break. I'm excited about being in the mountains and much nearer the beach.

She's not terribly interested in having animals, and I have to agree. "Dependents" make things a lot more complicated, they don't easily compromise on their few but important needs. could be that a goat farmer shows up, that would be fine with me. I think goats are awesome, I would like a few little automatic lawn mowers here myself....
 

geekette

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....being around nature is to me essential to simple living.

I agree. There is a deer herd that comes through my yard twice a day, and had a baby here a year ago. The hawk family is amazing, also. they know I dig them, sometimes they perch close and let me admire. My gutter, my roof, the low branch of the tree 10 ft from me... seeing those talons, I would never ever have a small dog around.

I would miss them, and the way their swooping over my house blots out the light from the skylights. Not like hawks and deer don't live elsewhere. It's just that, after 20 years, we know each other pretty well. Last summer, I came running out of the house waving my arms and yelling because the deer was in my tomato pen. Of course that deer didn't give any kind of crap about me, kept on munching until I was within 10 feet, then a few graceful leaps and into the woods. Yeah, with a mouth full of tomato!
 

geekette

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My life couldn't be any simpler. But, being in California I know that many people made a home purchase in the past that included a 2 hour (each way) commute. I'm my mind, those would be the ones who would have the most difficult time returning to their former life.
2 hours Each Way. I could not. I did a one hour each way before, and that was too much, because in winter, that can double and triple.

I never wanted to let The Job eat too much of My Time. however, I do feel that if you like where you live, and you like your job, commute isn't a chore. I refuse to test that theory.
 

geekette

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We have learned to eat at home and not at restaurants 2-3 times per week. Part of that is economy during the virus, since our rentals have fallen flat, but partly it's because restaurants are currently a hassle with all of the steps necessary to keep our space. It's also because my lean and green meal (my journey to health main meal of the day) is very easy at home. I eat fabulous food and lots of salad for dinner, and my other meals are planned for me already. Who knew that cauliflower-crust pizzas would be my new favorite meal? Sixty-nine pounds down, another 12 or so to go. I am super excited to hit my goal and then decide if I need to lose even more.

I was going to buy tomato plants, but when we go to Maui at the end of the summer, if we do indeed get to go, it would be a hassle for my stepdad to take care of them. I could maybe get my neighbor lady to take care of them, but that is when they will start producing, so I will miss a lot of the fun of eating the fruits of my labor.
Again, I have to say, Good Job! You have done an amazing job in changing your lifestyle to lose the weight.
 

VacationForever

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Since March 15th, our lives have changed. We used to eat 7 lunches and 2 dinners out a week, now we are eating all our meals at home and we eat even better than ever since I am a pretty good cook with right amount of imagination that goes into meal preparation.

When life resumes to some level of normalcy, I can see my husband wanting to eat some lunches out again as he gets cabin fever.

We also discovered indoor hydroponics at the end of April. It started with frustrations in not having any grocery delivery services to our community and terrible quality of farm produce direct shipments, and that got us thinking about growing tomatoes in a planter that we could move indoors during summer and wheel out in fall when weather is cooler and back indoors again during winter. I bought seeds and then we came across indoor hydroponic systems. We live in a condo and don't want to build an indoor hydroponic system with pails and pipings. We then discovered Aerogarden. They build simple indoor hydroponic compact units that are complete with nutrients and seed pods. We got our first system last week of April and now we have 9 systems. We are growing lettuces, bak choy, chinese cabbage, swiss chard, herbs, 3 types of tomatoes, bell peppers, Thai chilis and jalapenos. We are also planning to grow fairytale eggplants. While at some point in the future, we will achieve breakeven in our purchases and then to cost savings, it has been more about food safety and having some control over the produce which we consume. We also love watching our plants grow and tending to them. We have harvested our leafy greens twice already and we will be harvesting again for dinner tonight. Our tomato plants are just about ready to flower. We are indeed living the good life. :)
 
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WinniWoman

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Since March 15th, our lives have changed. We used to eat 7 lunches and 2 dinners out a week, now we are eating all our meals at home and we eat even better than ever since I am a pretty good cook with right amount of imagination that goes into meal preparation.

When life resumes to some level of normalcy, I can see my husband wanting to eat some lunches out again as he gets cabin fever.

We also discovered indoor hydroponics at the end of April. It started with frustrations in not having any grocery delivery services to our community and terrible quality of farm produce direct shipments, and that got us thinking about growing tomatoes in a planter that we could move indoors during summer and wheel out in fall when weather is cooler and back indoors again during winter. I bought seeds and then we came across indoor hydroponic systems. We live in a condo and don't want to build an indoor hydroponic system with pails and pipings. We then discovered Aerogarden. They build simple indoor hydroponic compact units that are complete with nutrients and seed pods. We got our first system last week of April and now we have 9 systems. We are growing lettuces, bak choy, chinese cabbage and swiss chard, herbs, 3 types of tomatoes, bell peppers, Thai chilis and jalapenos. We are also planning to grow fairytale eggplants. While at some point in the future, we will achieve breakeven in our purchases and then to cost savings, it has been more about food safety and having some control over the produce which we consume. We also love watching our plants grow and tending to them. We have harvested our leafy greens twice already and we will be harvesting again for dinner tonight Our tomato plants are just about ready to flower. We are indeed living the good life. :)

Very awesome! If we had decided to stay on our spread in NY, we were going to get a small greenhouse set up.
 

VacationForever

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Very awesome! If we had decided to stay on our spread in NY, we were going to get a small greenhouse set up.
Yes! Look at something called Kratky... you can grow vegatables in a 5-gallon bucket with water and nutrients and leave it alone until the water runs dry and you are ready for harvest. If we live in a house and have an attached room where we could turn into some sort of greenhouse, we might be doing that. We also grow some of our indoor plants using pseudo Kratky method but with use of wide mouth mason jars. We use 32 oz for herbs and 64 oz jars for tomatoes but we need to top up with water and nutrients since the jars don't hold enough water for the tomatoes as they get thirsty. If you want more information about Kratky or Aerogarden - like where to find new and cheap units, let me know. I don't pay full retail price! LOL
 
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