Newest life journey – week one cabin update

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newest life journey
Key to cabin, Photo by slc

Day #2  This key finally opened the locked well-worn cabin door and now I hold the key to my newest life journey!

Today, I pulled thistles, raked and picked up bags and bags of small tree limbs and dry tall grasses before my son-in-law arrived to help with grass trimming around the 3/4 acre property.  He also removed cabinet doors from inside the cabin.  We wanted to open up everything so we could set off a Raid Max Deep Reach Fogger before we left for the day.  Several unwanted creatures live in old, abandoned mountain cabins.  Mice and squirrels have left signs of their visits to my cabin but the most unwanted creatures right now are the black widow spiders; we found two today.

newest life journey
1945 Magazine, Photo by slc

We also found a treasure today: an August 1945 edition of the We The People of North Carolina magazine.  In it are some pretty interesting articles.  One titled “Teachers’ New Salary Schedule” describes “minimum state salary schedule adopted for payment of all teachers next year, both white and Negro.”  A teacher with a graduate degree and two years experience would receive an annual salary of $1,487 which “includ(es) the $120 war bonus.”

Other articles titled “An Overall Picture of War-Time America” and “Federal Spending Down” reflect America’s history back in 1945.  The magazine was in good condition and made for fascinating reading at the end of the day.

Day #3

newest life journey
Permit, Photo by slc

I didn’t get up to the cabin today but I did attend a gathering of Big Thompson Canyon residents to pick up a permit.  The Canyon will be closed October 2nd for winter CDOT construction projects which are necessary to repair damage sustained in the 2013 Big Thompson River flooding.  According to CDOT’s press release the permit will “allow canyon residents living within the closure boundaries access” during the “large-scale closure.”

My cabin happens to be on the other side of the road closure but I was able to get a permit so I at least have limited access through the Canyon.  I can also access the cabin at other times but by a much further route through Lyons and Estes Park.  This closure will cause us to halt most work on the cabin as contractors will charge more to deal with the closure/permit situation.

The Canyon road, Highway 34, will reopen Memorial Day weekend 2018.

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Cabin Day #1 – My Side of the Mountain

cabin day 1
slc

You may remember I put a contract on a “fixer upper” cabin in early August.  These past few weeks I have read various library books about cabins.  Building, designing and living life in a cabin.  My favorite title was Cabin Porn, Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Steven Leckart, but one of the most interesting I read was Cabin Lessons, A Nail-by-Nail Tale by Spike Carlsen.

I have also contacted a credit union for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loan, the county building department about future building permits, a structural engineer for an Improvement Location Certificate (ILC), a stone mason to look at the condition of the stone fireplace and foundation, and an asbestos testing company which took 20 samples (one positive).  In between making these contacts, I read extensive government documents regarding fire mitigation, asbestos testing requirements and demolition guidelines.

On September 5th I closed on the HELOC loan and on September 8th I closed on the cabin property.  It was a childhood dream to live in a cabin in the mountains some day.  Ever since reading one of my favorite books My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  That day has come.

Today, I drove about 40 minutes from my home in Loveland up to the property in Glen Haven to begin work on my “fixer upper.”  Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of…

I was a little out of breath in the video from cutting and hauling tree limbs to the slash pile for almost four hours at 7400 feet above sea level.  I also didn’t have cell service to call anyone for help.  More cabin updates to come…

 

Retirement decisions

retirement decisions
thebalance.com

Getting the most out of your retirement dollars

by Larry Hungerford, Winston-Salem Journal

July 1, 2017

“Given that so many baby boomers are retiring as they age into their 60s, I thought that a column that provides some basic ‘money tips’ for them might be appropriate. Certainly, it is a huge adjustment to give up that regular paycheck to live off of Social Security, pensions and savings.

Of course, the best of all possible scenarios is to retire from a full-time job to work part time doing something enjoyable. It means you don’t need to deplete your savings as rapidly and you still have the opportunity to fund (up to $6,500 per year per person) your and your spouse’s Roth IRAs. (As of last April, 19 percent of Americans age 65 and over were still working, the highest rate since 1962.)

When I discuss the retirement decision with clients, there are always two key questions.

The obvious one is how much income will they have available to maintain their preferred lifestyle? The second question is: Do they still enjoy going to work every day?

If they are in their mid-60s and dislike their jobs, then I argue that we need to do everything possible to make the numbers work so they can retire. It may even mean taking Social Security early — giving up the yearly 8 percent raise (plus cost of living adjustments) as well as scaling back on planned expenditures after they retire. (The usual best strategy for Social Security is to draw on your spouse’s account while you permit yours to keep increasing until age 70.)

The amount of money retirees can withdraw from their savings and the way that is done to pay the lowest taxes possible are the two most crucial financial decisions they must make. Given how little safer investments pay (money markets, CD’s, government bonds, etc.), investing during retirement in the stock market is a must.”

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Contact Larry Hungerford, age 81, at 335-941-3164 or e-mail him at hhplanner@aol.com.

Retirement tips for workaholics

Trust me, workaholics never really retire.  We just find other ways to fulfill our drive to accomplish something. The following article will help my fellow workaholics find some peace and success in retirement:

Surviving Retirement When You’re a Workaholic

By By Douglas Dubitsky, Next Avenue 

June 28, 2017

Can a workaholic ever retire?

“Many workaholics genuinely enjoy the rush of starting and completing projects and continuing the non-stop cycle. So it may also be difficult for them to contemplate what life may be like in retirement once they are officially out of the workforce.

If you’re a workaholic, smoothing your transition to retirement means uncovering the answer to the question: What part of the end of your job will you miss the most? It might be the people. Or the challenges. Or having purpose. Once you know which it is, you can focus on how to reap the same benefits — and feelings —while not holding down full-time employment.

workaholics
adobe stock photo

5 Retirement Tips for Workaholics

 Start slowly.

 Experiment and schedule.

 Give yourself a break.

 Talk it out.

 Look ahead.”

For more details

Shedding your work identity

shedding work identity
clausa.com

The trick to navigating the road of retirement?  Figure out who your post-work self wants to be

by Eric Sebo, The Dallas Morning News

June 22, 2017

“Something is missing in my life after retirement. I feel as though I am on vacation, going down a scenic country road with windows open, music playing, hair (what’s left of it) blowing in the wind. At the same time, I’m anxious because I don’t know which exit to take and realize that my time and energy are inevitably winding down.

The problem is not financial. I worked longer, saved more and delayed Social Security payments. Nor is it medical or social, as I work out regularly, eat the right foods and maintain great relationships.

What is wrong is that my work identity has vanished, and I have no ready replacement.

Seeking a retirement identity is not a topic often covered. Radio shows provide advice on investments, real estate and the stock market. In the print media, each ‘new retirement idea’ seems to be a repackaged article on financial, familial, health or social challenges. While all are important, so too is preparing for who you will be after your final day at work.”

Read more about shedding work identity

“Strolling down retirement road”

strolling down retirement road
etsy.com

Retirement Truths

by Dave Bernard, LoveBeingRetired.com

June 7, 2017

“Before you retire you will hear all kinds of stories of what it is like to live the life of a full time retiree. Whether it’s Uncle Bob sharing stories of how much the world has changed (typically for the worse) or Grandma Williams reliving those most special moments from past decades, words of wisdom are seldom lacking. Many describe initial struggles adapting to new roles as they leave behind full time employment. Most share their new found excitement discovering the joy of controlling how you spend your time. A few may explicitly outline what not to do if you hope for a fulfilling retirement experience. Everyone has a story and everyone has advice.

Living your own retirement is a very personal journey. You will be the one making important decisions along the way. Should there be a fork in the road you choose which path to follow….

Here are some words of wisdom shared by those strolling down the retirement road.

  • It’s not just about money
  • Adjusting to retirement can take time
  • Don’t wait too long to pursue your dreams
  • It is up to each of us to find ways to say engaged
  • The future is bright.”

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My first major retirement/remodeling project…

Retirement/Remodeling Project–You Can Do This!

When I purchased my home in 2013 I did so knowing I would have some remodeling projects to do.  My first major retirement/remodeling projects was changing the 1977 fireplace surround and popcorn ceiling in my family room. Below is the before picture taken by the seller’s realtor…

retirement/remodeling project

My son-in-law who lives about 25 miles away and I removed the painted tile fireplace surround and the painted cedar wood slats above it right after I moved in.  We, or should I say he, removed the side box for wood storage and the drywall above it (with my permission). Then it stayed that way, open studs and all, for about two years.

I began the remodeling project by stripping the paint off of the wooden beams on the ceiling.  This took a bit of time and elbow grease.  A lot of the white paint was embedded in the grain of the wood.  After several coats of Citristrip stripping gel, a scraper and a nail, it was ready to be stained the original dark walnut color.  I filled the beam joints next to the walls with sealant (I used brown DAP window, door and trim sealant).

Next, my son-in-law hung some drywall and cement board for me.  We only had to add a bit of framing as we kept the original fireplace framing.  Then I taped, mudded and textured the new drywall with all-purpose joint compound and a spray can of knockdown.  I had used knockdown in the past to help a friend patch some of his walls.  Easy enough. Painting was next…I’ve had lots of experience with painting and I enjoy it.  It makes such a difference right away.

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