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April 30, 2008


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Steve Austin

some entirely unsolicited remarks and advice:

wanting to hire housecleaners == too much stuff

sell, gift, lose, dispose of so much stuff that your house feels open, perhaps empty

then enjoy the space, or sell the house and get a smaller one in a cheaper place with much lower taxes

at that point, you may triple your wine budget

Retired Syd


You are not totally off-base here. However, there's not too much stuff--there's too much space. And while I'd love to chuck it and move to a condo in the city, I would have to pry this house (and the suburbia in which it resides) from my husband's cold dead hands.

Steve Austin

Syd: Very well. Perhaps you could rent out some of the excessive space (for living or storage) and thereby fund the cleaning expenses and your wine budget. ;-\


Awww, those words would be music to my ears as well!

We live quite frugally, but having someone come clean the house every other week is our one big extravagance. Still, if even one of us stayed home, we'd let them go, because we both find it fairly gratifying to do the cleaning work ourselves. And you're right that it's exercise. Scrubbing down a shower, mopping a whole house, and washing windows are all very hard work!


you are RIGHT!!!


Yesterday I spent the whole morning cleaning the kitchen and then went to the tennis club where Larry was playing. I said...I just spent the whole morning cleaning the kitchen...Don't don't go home and mess it up.

2 hours later...he shows up saying..."I was
afraid to come home for lunch so I went to wendy's and got a potato!" Poor baby!

was I too mean?

PS...the clean and empty style of house still needs hours of cleaning floors, baths, stove, cabinet faces. UKKKK...Why am I writing this!!!

Where's that cleaning person???

Patricia R

Congratulations on your retirment. I am retiring this month--in two weeks to be exact. Your tales regarding your husband and how you plan to adjust to your retirement strike a real note with me!

Great blog! I enjoyed reading your entries.

Retired Syd

Welcome Patricia! An actual almost-retired reader! You might be the first. While my blog is about retirement, most of the people that have been contributing to the conversation over these last several months of my blog are either 1) young people that are working hard toward an early retirement dream, 2) formerly retired people that went back to work, and 3) people that could retire (financially) but don't actually want to yet.

I will be very curious to hear about your own adjustment to retirement in 2 weeks! Congratulations yourself!



A while back, a company in California did a wine tasting test. They served 21 people 3 different bottles of wine that costs $5, $40 and $95 each respectively. Know which one most liked? The $90 one, despite the fact that all three wines were really the same $5 one. All they did was change the price. You can read it here:

When you retire, you can keep the same lifestyle, you just have to learn the truth about things. DH and I drink a glass of wine every night. Most of the wines only cost us $3.99 (I found a great wine store that heavily discounts slow-selling wines. They taste great to us.)

As for cleaning the house-we've downsized from 9 rooms (4 bedrooms) down to just a quaint 4 room house (1 bedroom and 1 study/spare bedroom, super large eat in kitchen/dining and a living room). We have an unfinished 2nd floor for whenever my daughters get married and have kids of their own BUT I wouldn't hold my breathe. Every day I do a small bit of cleaning. One day it's windex, the next it's dusting. One hour a week to clean the kitchen or bath. Nothing major. I do vacumn every day because we have a dog (sometimes 2X a day) DH helps out with the laundry and the cooking. It's great. Gives us both more time to do other things. Now, we are starting a vegetable garden.
You will see as your retirement progresses, you have to eliminate more and more from your budget. Instead of missing anything, I question myself on why I ever had it in the first place. We very rarely hire anyone to do anything. Part of the fun is doing it yourself.

Retired Syd


I think your approach of chopping the house work into bite size pieces is a very good one indeed. It's too overwhelming to do all at once.


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