Thursday, September 29, 2011

At a “Freedom Party,” Everyone Wins.

I have to say, the ever-growing amount of “stuff” that we all seem to accumulate, even in the shortest amount of time, is truly mind blowing. Despite going through a major purge before the move into an active adult community, somehow in the last few months, I’ve actually begun to see that old clutter pile up again. I admit…while there have been some new additions since I moved, there are also some items from my old home that never quite made it into the dumpster (and truth be told, they should have). Somehow, they managed to find their home in our new home, doing exactly what they had done before the move - taking up space and collecting dust. 

After 8 full months of prioritizing my new experiences over the material collections in my life, I’ve never been more accepting of the fact that “things” are only “things”. I’ve realized that if I could sell even just half of the things that I don’t use anymore; the things that aren’t serving much of a purpose, I could score myself a nice little pool of money to actually put towards new retirement adventures- like a trip away or a nice dinner out.

In revealing this thought to a friend of mine in a recent conversation - she mentioned to me a creative way to say “farewell” to the clutter: “A Freedom Party,” she called it…and here’s how it works:

-Gather a group of people together from your community to hold a “multi-family” tag sale. This way, she said, getting rid of your stuff won’t be such a traumatic blow. When you do it as a group, the group support helps to lessen the emotional effects of the process

-Plan a “sign-making” night (wine and cocktails included) where you all get together a few days before the big sale to construct your “freedom party” signs together

-Split the cost of all supplies needed (price tags, sign materials, etc.) a local newspaper ad to promote the sale, and even lunch and beverages for everyone for the day(s) of the sale

-Make it a real “party” by including balloons and other party favors. Not only will this make it more fun, it will distract you from focusing on what you’re losing, and remind you of what you’ll be gaining (“freedom” from unnecessary “things”). The party d├ęcor will likely also attract a bigger crowd to your sale.

What could be better than creating a whole social event around getting rid of all our old stuff? It certainly sounds like a great idea to me. You and your friends could laugh together at the things “you just couldn’t get rid of,” share the memories that you have from each item, enjoy a few cocktails, and actually make some extra cash off this stuff!

While I haven’t yet coordinated one of the parties myself, I’d love to know if you have – or if you’re planning one soon. Fall is certainly a great time for tag sales…(I mean, “Freedom Parties”), so if you do end up putting together a sale like this, please let me know how it went! I’ll even leave with you this little ad that you might just be able to use to promote your sale!

Getting older stings…
but things…are just things.
So come by our sale,
and we’ll tell you a tale…
of the memories behind
that old teacup you find.
For whatever we sell,
From that lamp to this bell
You’ll help this old crew
Move away from the past
and on to the new.

The Junk-Be-Gone Master,
Get In On It

Thursday, September 22, 2011

There is Pride in Ownership

Buying a more accommodating home does not mean that you have to compromise in the quality of your neighborhood.  One way Jensen communities® ensures high standards is by requiring that all homes are owner occupied.
Subleasing or investor owned homes can lead to poorly kept homes and a higher turnover of homes within a community.  Homes may be rented for various reasons as well as for varying terms.  Having a new neighbor every year when the lease renews does not add to community cohesiveness.  When someone is renting, they are not as committed to taking care of the home’s exterior or landscaping other than the basic requirements.  Unauthorized additional friends or family members may live in an adjacent rented home without the landlord’s permission.  In the worst case scenario, living next to a party who must be evicted can bring some real unwanted attention and activity to your neighborhood.  Investors may also be more likely to walk away from a troubled loan than an owner who needs to live in the house.
Without subletting, you know that those around you have a similar investment and will take an equal amount of “pride in ownership” in their home and yards.  When you own where you live, people tend to do the “extras” that make a house a home.  We all take pride in where we live and like to show our home off in our own personal way.  Flowers, decorative fencing, landscaping beds, stone walls, special house siding and the like put our individual touches on our homes.
Neighborhoods take on the personality of their owners and social norms develop that set the tone and patterns.  Cutting grass at the same rate, good parking habits, and keeping noise to a reasonable level shows respect.  Keeping clutter from building up around our homes, taking trash barrels in after collection, and other such activities all create an inviting environment in which we want to live.
These qualities become more important as we seriously consider where to live as we near retirement.  They are especially essential on a smaller home site with homes closer together in a private community setting.  As you consider where to live next, look at the pride in ownership in your new neighborhood.
Get in on the Good Life!®

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It is Good to Have Help with the Heavy Lifting!

Hurricane Irene raised havoc all along the East Coast.  It is bad enough to weather the storm; the work can be grueling getting our homes, yards and lives back in order.
This doesn’t get any easier the older we get.  Cleaning up the yard from the storm, fixing the roof shingles, cutting down and removing limbs and downed trees, unclogging stopped up drains, and all the other “joys” of homeownership after a storm.
An advantage of living in a private 55 and over community is that the management team is always around to do the heavy lifting.  While people may be responsible for their own homes and yards, contractors are hired to do the major tasks of removing tree limbs and downed trees.  A coordinated effort takes place to methodically clean up the entire community after a storm or hurricane.  Don’t get me wrong, there is no magic, just a professional and attentive effort from the staff that make a big difference in the time and energy it takes community residents to get back on their feet and put the neighborhood in order.
Getting power back on can also sometimes be aided by the number of homes affected.  When an entire community can be restored by repairing a few key connections, it may and usually does get attention sooner in the priority list.
With many of Jensen’s communities along the Eastern Seaboard, we saw our share of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Irene.  We welcome you to tour our communities and see how quickly we bounce back.  In the meantime we thank our residents for their patience while we get back on track, our employees for their extra effort to take care of our customers and the many linesmen who will be working for weeks to restore electric service.
Get in on the Good Life!®

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It’s Back to School Time (and that means you!)

With August turning the corner into the early days of Fall, we’re sure you know at least a handful of busy parents and anxious students getting ready to get back to school. But, how about you? Have you ever considered hittin’ the books again, and taking a class or two in a subject that you’ve always felt passionate about?

At Jensen Communities, we truly believe that learning should be a lifelong process.
In fact, there’s no better time than now to enroll in a program where you can take on a new skill, meet new people and keep your mind rockin’ and rollin’. During your retirement days, you not only have the time to spare, but you have the life experiences to know what truly makes you tick, and what kinds of new things might bring you joy and pursue a passion that you were never able to.  

Not sure how to even begin going back? Colleges and universities all over offer opportunities through Lifelong Learning programs or continuing education.  Courses include anything from traditional academic programs to more lifestyle oriented classes including:

·         Literature
·         History
·         Religion
·         Philosophy
·          Science
·         Art
·         Architecture
·         Economics
·         Computers
·         Finance
·         Jewelry making
·         Photography 

For the most part, these courses don’t even involve tests or grading. They are simply courses, for the pleasure of taking courses and learning something new. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Classes for the Fall are filling up, so hurry.  Contact your local college or university and inquire about the continued education classes or workshops that they might be offering. Also, don’t forget to also ask about senior discounts, tuition or fee reductions and even government provided tax break benefits, which will make this experience even sweeter. At certain community colleges, you might just have the opportunity to sit in on a class for free –all you have to do is ask!

Happy learning everyone!
Jensen Communities

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It’s happening…it’s really happening.

Wow. I guess this is it. The last time you heard from me, I was pretty overwhelmed with the decision on whether or not I was okay with moving out of my home and into something more practical for this stage in my life. Over the last year or so, the restless nights were plenty- this was certainly not an easy decision. 

More recently, after sitting down with my family, weighing out the pros and cons and talking very realistically about the future, a certain sense of peace came over me when I realized that my whole family was actually on board with the move and in fact, even encouraged it. At that point, it was almost overnight that the decision was made. The very next day, I started exploring the options and the packing-up, throw-away and give-away process began.

After about 3 weeks of “cleansing,” I’ve just about finished clearing through it all today. The last of the boxes have been duct-taped, labeled and piled up in the garage, ready for the moving truck. And while the house is looking pretty bare… I have to say, this future of mine is looking pretty bright.

A new adventure awaits…
Flyin’ Free