Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Planning for the Future

Since my birthday in November, I have been thinking a lot about our future, both short and long term.
 Our long term future is mainly thinking about where will we live when we retire, what will we do etc.

When we moved to France our original plan was that we would try and retire when MOH was 60 - that's in 5 years, then as time has gone on,and it has got closer and guess what we are no nearer to deciding what and how we will do that or if it is possible.

We live in a beautiful big old house with 5 acres of land, surrounded by fields. That all sounds lovely and it is, but as we get older and the boys leave home it's a lot of house and land to look after on our own. 
So that's been the big discussion this last month. What do we do.....

Do we sell and move to something smaller?
Do we buy some land and build our own house, exactly as we want it (my SIL did this and they have everything they want in their house)
Where - France or the UK?

MOH is not keen to move but does see that in the future it will be more difficult for us, also the nearest shops are a 10 minute drive away.
Last week we decided it was time to make some lists 
we started with the house - what jobs need to be done if/when we sell the house (thanks once again Frugal Queen for pushing me into doing this)
we listed all the jobs, little ones that won't take much time or money but need to be done and much larger ones that will be expensive - new carpet and underlay on the landing - (think hotel corridor and you have an idea of the size) and a complete refurbishment of the kitchen.
We also have to take into account our attached buildings that are starting to lean a bit with large cracks appearing. In one of the rooms there is a large crack that you can see through.
I should also explain, that when I say 'crack' that means that the layers of stones, that make up the wall are begining to fall out.
Our house is not made with bricks, but with stones that have been put together with some sort of cement to build the walls. I think the house was originaillay built in the 1700s. We have no foundations as such and no damp proofing. But all that is normal for our type of house.

So the list is made and we now have to start putting these jobs into action.
That will probably be the most difficult.

And we haven't started to make a list for the jobs that need doing outside - like fencing off the garden, we need to get permission to do this and because we live less that 500m away from an Historic Building we have to have special permission - ie shutters have to be a certain colour, fencing has to a certain type and colour.
When we put in the swimming pool, which is behind the house, not seen by anyone - we could not put in a blue liner it had to be sable - sand coloured. In the end we are very happy with this choice as it looks lovely but it just shows you some of the rules.

The building in question is an old monastry that is across the road from us. I have posted pictures of it in the past. It is split into two dwellings but they are very basic, only electricity, one has running water but no sanitary facilities.

Sorry I digressed.
So to get back to the point, we are going to do as many of the jobs this year as we can with the time and money we have available, so that we can review our planning at the end of the year.

I will let you know how we get on.


Diane said...

We are at a funny stage in life aren't we. Hubby and I are not finding it at all easy - however, I had coffee with a recently retired pal the other day, and she says that once you have taken the plunge, then retirement is lovely (however she says her hubby took at least 3 months to really settle into it. ) xxxx

Elizabethd said...

Please think very carefully. With retirement comes age. With age comes health problems. I know, cos we've been there. All of a sudden the life you used to live just isnt possible any more. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, but it happens.

sawn61 said...

I'd like to see some photos of the house you live in now.Sounds interesting. I've never been to France and it does interest me as to how things are over there.

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

Sue your house and grounds sound so lovely and I can appreciate how much time, work and money is needed for upkeep and repairs. I get a headache thinking of retirement:( Good luck with your forward planning.

John Gray said...

hummm middle aged choices...

been there worn the t shirt!