何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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Final words on downsizing

已有 2598 次阅读 2022-5-4 18:45 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察


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It has almost been two months since we “moved in” to our new retirement home and also “moved out” of our 56+ years old home which now has been cleaned out, repaired, and ready for sale. What have we learned?

·         In our new home there are “No buying food, preparing the evening meal, cook it, and cleanup afterwards for my wife.”  This is a great relief for her everyday.

·         For me it is the “No managing household maintenance. i.e., hiring and scheduling people for lawn care, snow removal, house cleaning, et al that nevertheless take time and energy. Household  finances are also simplified. One bill each months takes care of most the expenses – heating and colling, utilities, cleaning and repair, ground and landscaping. We only have to manage breakfast and lunch. Dim sum, other Chinese food, and take out provide variety and complete our daily food intake requirements

·         Entertainments – lectures, concerts, and movies are provide on site everyday which you can enjoy without going outdoors. Trips to visit other attractions and shoping at all kinds of specialty stores with transportation are regularly scheduled.

·         Complete physical fitness training are also onsite in the same building complex

·         After discarding 2/3 of the “stuff” we accumulated in 50+ years, you find you can live quite comfortably and adequately with 1/3 the space and stuff as well as 1/3 of the household tasks.

·         The minimalist philosophy of living does have its advantages - do not accumulate and let things own you and no heartbreak later when you have to leave them behind.

·         There is little need for a car

·         One of our Chinese-American friend who also live in this complex wrote for the community newspaper that he is comfortable in his “Last” home. The word “last” was deleted by the editor as being “unlucky”. I thought only Asian have such superstitious taboos,

·         But such shared convenience and comfort are not for everybody. People who love solitude will not be comfortable when “social interaction” is a necessary part of your daily life. We had a friend whose life desire is to own and live in a picturesque resort with no guests ever.

·         There are countless rules/regulations associated with the sale of a house and disposition of stuff. These rules were instituted for some good reasons at one time. But time passed and environments changed that make such rules irrelevant. For example, in olden days refrigerator has a locking handle from the outside. Children playing hide-and-seek often crawl inside abandoned refrigerator to hide with the result they cannot get out from inside once the door is closed. Suffocation resulted. Thus a rule is passed that all refrigerator doors must be dismantled before a fridge can be thrown away. But modern refrigerator has no locking handle but magnetic door closer that cannot be locked. But such rule still persists and are enforced -i.e., rubbish collector will not pick up your discarded refrigerator unless the doors have been detached. In selling a house you must certify (as known or unknown) the condition of all built-in devices and equipment of your house so that the buyer will not be misinformed. For example, unless you saw the house being built from scratch, do you know how your home is insulated? There are multipage forms one must fill out about all kinds of conditions/material/quality of the house that most owner have no way of knowing unless s/he saw the house being built from the ground up. This is in the interest of transparency and accountability so that no known defects are hidden from buyer which can be used for litigation later. 




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