109: How to Downsize Your Life (and Upsize Your Lifestyle) with John & Ingrid Sullivan
As empty nesters, retirees often find themselves in homes that are simply too big. With adult children out of the house, empty bedrooms, and projects that need to get done to keep the property in great shape, continuing to maintain a home that made sense for decades can start to feel like a financial burden and a source of real stress.
This is why so many retirees start thinking about downsizing – and when they do, I recommend they read John and Ingrid Sullivan’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Downsizing: Downsize Your Life to Upsize Your Lifestyle. John and Ingrid are the owners of Senior Downsizing Experts in Arlington, Texas, where they help boomers, seniors, and children of aging parents with moves that can be challenging and emotional.
Today, John and Ingrid join the podcast to talk about the financial and emotional benefits of downsizing, the unique challenges and crises they help retirees work through as they help them move out of what are often family homes with decades of history (and belongings), and how to craft a downsizing plan and find a uniquely qualified downsizing dream team to help you make your next years the best they can be.
Please note: For this special giveaway of Job Optional*, we do not currently offer international shipping. Residents outside of the U.S. may obtain a copy of Job Optional* via eBook format upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:
- Why downsizing sometimes has a negative connotation, but actually involves making sure that your living arrangements are the right size to meet your needs, even if that doesn’t always involve moving into a smaller home.
- How today’s wide range of senior living communities are very different from the nursing homes we may remember some of our grandparents living in.
- Why John and Ingrid became Senior Living Specialists as they helped their own aging parents downsize – and how these experiences helped them realize how many people needed assistance to get through this process.
- How children and aging parents can start talking about downsizing and needs planning before health, family, or financial emergencies that may make these conversations much more difficult.
- What John and Ingrid, who are both over 55, are doing to make the downsizing tradition easier for their children in the future.
- “It can add about seven years to your life by looking at ways to make your life simpler in a more healthy way.” – John Sullivan
- “Oftentimes, the push is coming from the opposite side. The family is wanting to push them. For us, we find our clients saying, ‘I’m not sure what to do here. Help me figure out the best thing.’ So, we build a plan for them. They feel like we’re partners in this.” – Ingrid Sullivan
- The Ultimate Guide to Downsizing: Downsize Your Life to Upsize Your Lifestyle
- The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest
- Children of Aging Parents
- How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders
- Legacy Box
- Book in a Box (Scribe Writing)
- Retirement Funding Solutions
- RWP 011: Rethinking Reverse Mortgages and Building Better Portfolios with Dr. Wade Pfau
- Reverse Mortgages: How to use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement
Casey Weade: John and Ingrid, welcome to the show.
Ingrid Sullivan: Thank you.
John Sullivan: Thank you. We’re excited to be here.
Casey Weade: I’m excited to have you as well. It’s pretty neat having a couple downsizing experts that we get to have this conversation with because this is something – my mom, she saw your book in the office a few days ago, and she texted me a picture of the cover of the book. She said, “Hey, can I take this home with me?” So, she’s interested in reading about this. I just got done talking to a lot of the advisors on our team prior to engaging in the conversation we’re about to have and two of them had already had clients today that had asked them questions about downsizing. So, this is something that’s coming up on almost a daily basis and our conversations with families when it comes to retirement planning. So, I think it’s a fantastic conversation. I really enjoyed your book. I want to spend some time talking about some of your personal experiences, and I know you just have great depth and breadth of knowledge to share with us and I can’t wait to dive in.
John Sullivan: Okay.
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, we’re looking forward to that. Well, this is something that we’re very passionate about so we’re excited that we have an opportunity to share that with you.
Casey Weade: Awesome. Well, I wanted to start with just kind of creating a definition of downsizing because I think we all have a different idea of what it means to downsize. And I know you two have a unique way of looking at downsizing. I think you refer to that as rightsizing I saw in your book. So, can you just tell us how you define downsizing?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, I’d like to take the rightsizing part of it because we actually kind of combine both words but for me, the way that I like to describe that when we’re doing a seminar is when you first find your first home, let’s say, for example, you’re moving into your first apartment or your first home, you’re looking for something that’s just the right size for you. And then as time goes on and possibly you get married, you want to find something that’s going to be something big or just the right size for you and your spouse. And then the family comes along. And of course, now we have children, one or two, and we need something a little bit bigger that’s going to be the right size and we could continue on from there. But sooner or later what happens is we end up becoming empty nesters and now what’s been the right size all along is too big. So, a lot of our clients when they become 55 and older are looking for something more manageable. Lock and leave type style that’s going to be the right size for them and often it’s a two-bedroom, two-bath versus 3,000 square feet four-bedrooms, two-and-a-half with a large yard.
Casey Weade: Yeah. Times tend to change as we get the kids out of the house. Right now, we have two. We’re working on number three. We’ll probably end up with four or five, six. Now, I hope my wife didn’t listen to this. Now, she’ll think we’re having six kids. No. But we need more space.
Ingrid Sullivan: The right size.
Casey Weade: Yeah. Right now, it’s the right size. We’ve got space that we can have three. Now, if we go to four, it may not be the right size anymore so I really like that it makes sense because I think sometimes we can have a misconception of downsizing. It kind of sounds like a negative thing if we say, “Well, we’re downsizing.”
John Sullivan: Yeah. The terms are pretty synonymous. They have the same end results but sometimes we like to say if you downsize, you can have a bigger life or you’re rightsizing, downsize the right size, but, yeah, it’s all about that part in your life. Maybe it’s moving to a place that’s safer that’s more accommodating to you as you age that has wider doorways and easier to get in and out of showers and those type of things too are important actually to consider what it’s going to be to age in a healthy fashion.
Ingrid Sullivan: Casey, oftentimes when we are discussing this with a client and, I mean, you can literally see a light bulb come on when you talk about, “How old is your roof? When’s the last time that you replaced your hot water heater?” That’s when people usually say, “Yeah, we really don’t want to deal with that anymore,” or, “We got to find a new landscaper this year. We’ve really been thinking about downsizing. That sounds more appealing to us.”
Casey Weade: That period of time is about eliminating stress, I think, right? I mean, we’re focusing on a period of time we can just enjoy life, do the things we want to do when we want to do them, how we want to do them, and reduce some of the clutter, some of the complexities that a larger home might bring to the table. And I love in your book, you mentioned that downsizing can lead to a longer, happier, healthier life. Well, isn’t that what we all want?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, seven years longer.
Casey Weade: Share that statistic with me again.
Ingrid Sullivan: Seven years.
John Sullivan: Well, yeah, one of the statistics I use about looking to downsize and finding the right place to live and a lot of times that is a senior living community, where you can socially engage with people and have exercise programs where you just walk down the hall or across the street to an exercise place. All of those help you age. And so, one of the figures that’s being thrown out there now is it can add about seven years to your life by looking at ways to make your life simpler in a more healthy way.
Casey Weade: And in particular, this is senior living, senior housing?
John Sullivan: Yeah. Senior living can be so many different things or senior living housing communities, 55, and they socially engage with people. It’s engaging with people close to your own age, and doing things together, doing activity, some of them go on cruises, some of them go on buses to casinos. They have happy hours, they engage in hobbies, and different activities like that as well as encouraged to exercise as well. So, all of those lead to a healthier way of living including exercising your mind.
Casey Weade: I’ve got to believe that it’s got to be largely the community that’s created, the social atmosphere that gets created. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book, Blue Zones, where they’ve done studies on what leads to longevity and it is this closeness, this community. Especially if we’re widowed or we’re divorced, we’re single living at home, that can lead to significantly shorter lifespan.
Ingrid Sullivan: It can and I think that’s one of the examples that we share a lot is living somewhere where you can have the same kind of conversation and memories together. Whereas, if you’re telling your story to possibly a millennial today, while they might be very respectful and say, “Uh-huh, hmm, interesting. Hmm, no, I can’t really relate to that,” a lot of times when you’re living in whether it be a retirement community or a 55-plus neighborhood in houses, a lot of the people there have the same memories, things that we did at that time, shows we watched, etcetera.
Casey Weade: Well, one of the risks to that, that I’ve talked to some other guests about is not being around youth. Not having younger people in those communities can also be a danger. But now there’s some of these communities that are purposefully positioning the communities even close to…
John Sullivan: Absolutely. That’s the new housing developments are building multi-generational. So, the housing may be for the kids and grandkids and things but they place senior living community or 55 neighborhoods that are kind of gated off for 55 and older to live in but surrounded by communities where the kids may live and the grandkids can come visit grandma and grandpa real easy.
Ingrid Sullivan: In the same place. Yeah. Which is good.
John Sullivan: It’s pretty exciting, I think.
Casey Weade: Yeah. That connection to younger generations, I’ve seen studies showing how much better we age, how much longer we live, the sharper mind stays being connected. But I really want to really figure out what senior living is. So, I just want to go a little bit deeper there. When you talk about senior living options, I don’t know what even typically comes to somebody’s mind. I feel like most people think, “Well, that’s assisted living,” or that’s – I don’t know. How do you define the senior living options? What are they? There’s a wide range, right?
Ingrid Sullivan: There really is and I think that that’s one of the things where people that have not been involved with, possibly a loved one that’s gone to a retirement community or maybe their memories are of grandma going to the nursing home, those types of communities. While nursing homes are still needed and present, so much has changed in senior living now because seniors are looking for and requiring to have those options. So, now as we spoke about, before there are 55 plus apartments so it’s just like having an apartment except for the restriction is you have to be 55 to live there. You’re still paying for your water, your electric, your gas, but the group that lives there is 55. Grandkids can spend the night but can’t live there with you. And you’re still living on your own at that point, doing everything for yourself, cooking for yourself. Then we get to independent housing, which is more senior community related and now we’re talking about still having your own apartment but some of those services are factored into your monthly rent, housekeeping, one or two meals in the restaurant, those are factored in there. And of course, security is a big deal. That’s in independent living, still have a full kitchen, still can have the kids over for the weekend for dinner. Most don’t. But you have all that.
Assisted living seems becoming more of a common term. Yeah, they live in assisted living now. An assisted living is really when we start to age and have a higher level of care need. It can be as simple as help with medication, you’re not able to really do that for yourself well or help with bathing because you’ve had a hip replacement or some kind of a fall and you’re not as mobile as you used to be or help with dressing. That’s when you need assistance which is assisted living. And of course, there’s a couple of different types of that. John’s mom started in independent living, how to fall, and move to assisted living. And now for her…
John Sullivan: Well, she’s 98 years old now and, yeah, she uses a walker. Well, if you can imagine being 98, you need a little help. And so, in the community she lives, they have three meals a day and there’s help to help her get into the bathroom to shower and that type of thing. So, it’s just a higher level of care.
Ingrid Sullivan: And then from there, you know, some other things to keep in mind is sometimes when it’s a couple that lives together in assisted living, it may be because one member of that couple is starting to experience memory problems but not enough so that they need to be in memory care, but they need to be somewhere close by where that can be observed and then of course over time, that changes when there’s dementia or Alzheimer’s. And then now we move to memory care and memory care is a secure setting. There is a code to get in and a code to get out because often that person might forget where they are, be confused about how to enter or exit a building or a number of things. We here in Texas see often now even more so than amber alerts, we see on the highways the big marquees that will say silver alert or someone has gone out and started driving and just has gotten lost and confused. So, memory care is another piece of that and then we go from there to skilled nursing. And then we’re looking at 24/7 care so it’s more of a hospital-type environment for skilled nursing.
But often people that, for example, have a knee replacement or hip replacement or some kind of surgery where they’re not rehabbing as fast as they used to, and of course, with today’s insurance, they don’t want to keep you in the hospital for an extended stay. So, they will go to rehab, in assisted living, or sometimes even in skilled nursing depending upon what’s close and what’s available for them to match what their insurance will pay for. And in our book towards the back with the resources, we have a graphic there that identifies all of those.
Casey Weade: So, we’ve got 55 plus communities, independent housing, assisted living, memory care, skilled care, skilled nursing care, that is, and there are services out there, communities that combine all these continuing care retirement communities.
Ingrid Sullivan: Exactly. Continuing care retirement.
John Sullivan: Sometimes they call them life care communities and sometimes they call them continuing care communities. And every couple of years there’s new hybrids forming of these different kinds of communities. As they learn more what people need, they’re adjusting them to fit the needs of people. And one thing I was going to say, a lot of people start out in those 55 plus communities and typically they’re apartments but they’re usually luxury apartments with all kinds of activities. A lot of them have demo kitchen so people get together and they’ll have potlucks together or food demonstrations. They have parties several times a week or activities to bring them together socially, and they’re strategically placed close to shopping. So, the walkability is very close so they could walk to restaurants or grocery stores and that type of thing as well.
Casey Weade: And then the traditional say age in place, setting up your home to age in place or just downsizing, right, just finding a smaller home that’s a better fit. Those all kind of fall under that umbrella I would think and I think for many they’re going to be kind of surprised that there’s a realtor out there to help them evaluate all these different options, find the one that’s right for them because I was kind of surprised to find you guys. That’s why I was so excited to talk to you. I saw you quoted an article, I said, “I need to talk to these people. I didn’t know there was someone that specialized in evaluating the right option rather than just, well, they’re just going to sell me a home, they’re just going to take me out of my larger home and put me in a smaller home.” You’re doing a lot more than that.
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, we do, and just to be really frank about it, it’s all about the relationship. And this type of move for somebody in this age range is so much different than your first home or your second home. It’s the home that they’ve been in and in a lot of cases 40, 50 years that has a lot of memories in it that we’re now talking about letting go of to move to something that everybody says will be better for you. So, it’s a timing thing for us. A lot of our clients are not ready to move right away. They don’t want to be in that 30-day, find a place, and get out of here. They want to take the time and have somebody work closely with them and make them feel okay with it. Because oftentimes, the push is coming from the opposite side. The family is wanting to push them. Let’s get it going. You need to be somewhere else. And, and for us, we find that our clients are saying, I’m not sure what to do here. My kids don’t want my things, help me figure out the best thing, then we’ll go step by step. So, we build a plan for them. So, they feel like we’re partners in this.
John Sullivan: Yeah. A lot of times we start working with our clients a year, maybe two years before they’re ready to move or sell their house but they start thinking about it and putting a plan together or that. And we just got a call. We had a consultation with a couple about a month ago and told them the things they need to look at it. Taking care of their house and the husband had just started a new job in Dallas and they lived in Fort Worth and they were thinking about moving out of their house to be closer and into a senior community. And Ingrid just got a call from them two days ago and says, “Well, we decided to postpone it for another year but we’re going to stay in touch so you can help us get ready for that.” So, that’s a lot of what we do is coaching people through the process, whether it’s 90 days or two years.
Ingrid Sullivan: We’ve given them a list of things to do so it’s kind of like a homework assignment. And then periodically, we check back with them or they’ll call us and say, “Okay, I’ve got all these things done on my list. What else do I need to do?” so that we can make it an easier transition versus out the door and then do something strange.
John Sullivan: Right. What we don’t want to do which is probably maybe 50% is some event has happened whether of health change or a death of a spouse and they weren’t planned and then they’re stressed out and we go in and help them out. And we hope to help people avoid that situation.
Ingrid Sullivan: The crisis.
John Sullivan: We want to hear our clients say, “Oh, I’m so glad I moved in here. I wish I hadn’t waited too long.” Or I waited too long and now I’m at a different level of care and so, you know, it’s not the same thing.
Casey Weade: Well, what you do seems very unique and I just think this can be so overwhelming because there’s not just so many options today but they tend to multiply exponentially all the different options we have and all the things we need to understand and evaluate the team that we need to put together. And it’s a great time to be in this business. You’ve got the baby boomers that are reaching that age for the largest generations in history, and they’re going to need help making these types of decisions. It’s a lot like making financial decisions, putting together retirement plans, “Well, I’ve got to evaluate social security and tax planning and income planning and investment planning and estate planning. I’ve got to know all these different things. I need to find a specialist.” And I didn’t know specialists like you exist. Is this something that is unique? Is it as unique as I believe it is? Or is this something that you can find no matter what part of the country that you’re in?
Ingrid Sullivan: I would say, unique. It’s unique in the way that we built our business to grow it in a timeline that works well for our clients, and there aren’t in most real estate transactions, they’re like this, on the market, off the market, let’s move forward. So, I belong to a group of certified senior housing professionals. There’s about 150 of us that meet once a year at a conference and we talk about what’s going on in senior living and what changes have happened and how can we fine-tune our businesses even more. We work really closely together to build our businesses in a similar way so that when a referral comes to us from maybe a daughter that lives here in Texas, but their parent is going to go live with the brother in Florida, and they need help, or vice versa, we have a referral base that we can actually help them out with. So, that they’re working with somebody that has a similar touch, as we do versus just giving them a name and hoping that they’re going to have the service that we give.
Casey Weade: I don’t know if maybe we can provide some kind of link or something in the show notes to allow people to access who those people are that might be in their area or how you would want them to go about finding them. If they’re in Texas, they got to call you. Now, if they’re somewhere else, what should they do?
Ingrid Sullivan: Right. Well, we like to work through referrals for obvious reasons. One of the things that’s important about that is that if the client were to call and say, “I’ve got a parent that lives in New York and I’m going through the same things that I heard you talk about on the show. Who are some people that I can talk to?” We kind of ask them a few questions not to manage the situation but kind of identify what’s the right person to refer them to.
John Sullivan: Well, and I want to go back to your original question is, are we unique? And I would say yes and the certified senior housing professionals, which Ingrid referred to about 150, most of us the majority of our business is about helping seniors. That’s 90% of my business. Yeah, we help I’m signing a contract with a first-time homebuyer tonight and so we still help those people but because that’s what we focus on and have surrounded ourselves with, we’re very equipped to do it and we’re very passionate about it. Now, National Association of Realtors has a designation called Senior Real Estate Specialist, SRES. They had a two-day class and people get it because they’re interested in it but most of them haven’t surrounded themselves with everything. But let me cut to the chase again. If people call us, sometimes if there’s not a certified senior housing professional in their area, Ingrid and I have called, found SRES people in the area and interviewed them and try to find the right person that can help somebody. So, that’s one of the things we do. We don’t make any profit but we just want to help people to make sure they’re getting the right people.
Casey Weade: Awesome. Well, we’ll definitely have your contact information, your website, and everything in the show notes at RetireWithPurpose.com. If you want to check that out in the show notes, you’ll have everything you need so don’t worry about jotting these things down while you’re driving down the highway right now. But I want to talk about your experiences personally with your moms. I know both of you kind of went through this discussion. I’ve got to imagine, you know, having YouTube as kids could be quite the blessing as we’re going through this but it might also be a little intimidating now, as well. So, I think you had two very different experiences with your parents. So, I don’t know who wants to start. Just kind of share with us what that was like.
John Sullivan: I think the historical order, I will start with my mom because that’s really what led us to say we’re going to focus on what we do now.
Ingrid Sullivan: My dad too.
John Sullivan: Yeah. Your dad. But about 10 years ago, my mom had lived in a house that I grew up in for over 60 years. My father passed in 1986 and my brother and I, he also lives in the Dallas Fort Worth area. We’re always at my mom’s house a couple times a week. I go and lay all of her medication out and medication reminder things and pay her bills and it got to be that there was actually one good neighbor across the street that had lived there for 30 years and they were close to and they would help them out. Well, my mom used to drive and go to exercise classes several times a week, water aerobics, and then macular degeneration took the car away. So, she wasn’t active. So, we started looking at independent living communities. And we went through that for about two years before my mom decided she was ready and part of that was because she had blood pressure spikes and sometimes she would just pass out from that and fall.
So, with the help of our doctor, we convinced her to move to a community and that experience was what do we do with all the stuff. My brother and I we did garage sales and that didn’t get rid of anything and ultimately, I hired somebody with a huge truck and trailer to haul off. I paid him $800 to do that. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have to pay anybody to haul that stuff off. But anyway, that whole process to get my mom’s house ready to sell just led us just say there’s a better way. So, we started surrounding ourselves with everybody we needed and taking the education that we needed to get into this business.
Ingrid Sullivan: Casey, when John’s mom first moved into a Brookdale community, the marketing director there approached me and said, “You know, I know that you’re a real estate agent. While the majority of our residents that live here don’t really have homes anymore, they still want to know what’s going on in the real estate market for investment purposes. Would you come in twice a year and do a seminar for us on a real estate minute, what’s going on in the real estate market?” And the first time that I started doing that, I had probably 10 people there and told them about what’s going on around us, how many days on market, average price, all of those things. The second time, six months later, when I came back, the room had doubled and I actually had people coming up to me afterwards saying, “I still have my house. I’ve been living here for a while. I really don’t know what to do with it. My kids are busy. I can’t take that on. It needs repairs. I’m paying taxes on it. Can you help?” And that’s where we kind of got the idea that there’s a community out there that’s paralyzed, and how do we help them with that? Which is when we started taking up the partners that we have,
I will shift to my mother. We’re in Texas. My mother lived in New Mexico and none of us were close to her. I’m first-generation American for my family and my mom was one that said, “Honey, I love everything that you do. It’s so wonderful how you help people and help them make a move, but not for me. I’m staying here. I’m going to stay in my house. I love my garden. I’m going to die in my house,” and she did. We had a sudden health decline, cancer, and it was a three-month thing that she was here and gone. That was really sad because any one of us would have taken her to be with us and be close to our grandkids that she didn’t get to know very well because she lived somewhere else. But what came out of that if there was anything good that could come out of that is that our business and the way that we conduct our business with our clientele, through their real estate sales and their estate sales prepared me to be able to go to New Mexico and seek out an estate liquidator to manage that the right way because I know how it’s supposed to be done and to interview the right real estate agent to get her house sold. So, that was a sad thing because she chose to live alone. We had cameras in her house where we could look in on her anytime during the day to make sure she was okay but she was determined that she was going to stay there. And there are people out there that want to do that.
Casey Weade: And sometimes we have to just know that there’s nothing we can do. We have to surrender at some point.
Ingrid Sullivan: She would echo and say, “I understand that.”
Casey Weade: Yeah. But I love the camera idea. That makes a lot of sense.
Ingrid Sullivan: Yeah. It was really great. It was because any time of the day any of the four of us could just check in and see, I mean, it was in the kitchen in the backyard, in the living room, no private places, and she knew that we were watching so that we could say, “Hey, we saw you cooking in the kitchen last night. What were you making?” So, she could still feel like we were watching her, being with her. And we had a frame, a picture frame that she set in the kitchen that we could use with our cell phones and take pictures of what we were doing at the time, and it would show up on that frame immediately. So, instead of having a picture on the refrigerator of her granddaughter when she was three months old versus the one where she’s seven, she had absolutely everything going on every day all the time.
Casey Weade: Do you by any chance know what that was? I’ve never heard of that.
Ingrid Sullivan: The name of that company is CEIVA. It’s a great tool.
Casey Weade: Yeah. I can see enjoying that with our parents as well. So, John, did you experience any objections from your mom during this process?
John Sullivan: Yeah. Like I said, we went through encouraging her to move for about almost two years. We visit a community and when it came to put up the deposit, she’d go, “No, I’m not ready,” and then so keep encouraging and finally, like I said, her blood pressure was causing her – one time I was over helping her with something and I just happened to look up and she was falling and I caught her. And both of us used to go to the same doctor so I told my doctor I said, “Dr. Doug Stead, you’ve got to talk to mom,” and strongly encourage her to move to a safer place. And so, that conversation helped her go forward. And you know, she found a new crew to hang out. She’d go have coffee with all of her friends every morning and things. And so, that was nice.
Casey Weade: Sure. Your mom’s 98?
John Sullivan: Yeah, she’s 98 now.
Casey Weade: Yeah. Well, that probably helped.
Ingrid Sullivan: I wanted to add something too that we did for her as well. And we often bring that up to our clients’ family. It typically takes about 90 days, when someone makes a move, especially to a senior community for them to feel like, “Okay, the is home now,” about 90 days. So, when she moved, we told her we’re not going to do anything with your house. We’re going to wait. We’re going to let you make that decision when you want us to let that go. But we’re going to update it anyway. So that, you know, it’s up to date with what’s going on. And it was, what, maybe a month-and-a-half that she was tired of paying the water bill and the bills over there because she had already made the decision. But we let her feel like she was still in charge and that we weren’t going to sell her house unless she was ready.
John Sullivan: Yeah. That was part of the bargain as, “We’re not going to sell your house.”
Ingrid Sullivan: Right. If you want to come home.
John Sullivan: In case she wants to move back, it’s there.
Ingrid Sullivan: We’re going to leave it alone.
Casey Weade: Well, I can see that being some good insight for those out there that maybe their children, they’re concerned about mom, they’re concerned about dad, how do we go about this conversation. Do you have any other tips that you might share with a child that wants to approach this conversation with their parents or maybe they’re going through a struggle, a difficult time and making that, convincing them that that’s the healthy right thing for them?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, I can tell you that it can be hard on the children because they want to do right by mom. They don’t want to change things for them because they know how important it is that they’re living in the home that they grew up in, maybe, but a good time, especially we found around the holidays when everybody’s getting together, a good time to start that conversation is asking questions like if you were to make a change, not that we’re pushing you to do that but if you were to make a change, what would that look like? If you could live anywhere you want to live right now, what would that look like for you? Would you want to live close to me? Would you want to live close to our brothers? Do you want to stay close to the church where all your friends are? What would that look like for you? And a lot of times just talking about, “Mom, if something were to happen to you, a stroke, for example, and you weren’t able to communicate with me on what you want us to do next, we want to do the right thing by you. So, it’s always helpful just to share that and communicate it with us so that we can save that for the right time.”
John Sullivan: Yeah. Like I said, it took a while to do my mom and Ingrid and I belong to a support group called Children of Aging Parents and you hear the whole spectrum of stories. And when especially if your parents live in another city, it can be stressful. So, we try to encourage them just to talk about getting their parents to plan and be helpful and say, “What do you want or what if your health changes?” And also, if they don’t have that documents in order like the powers of attorney and that type of thing, that’s important to encourage that. If they do, another tip we share is those documents need to be reviewed every three to five years because the law changes and financial institutions don’t want to take a seven or eight-year-old power of attorney necessarily, so they need to be updated regularly. There’s a great book that we’ve read a couple of times and we recommend it to everybody. Whether you’re a professional like yourself, working with aging adults, it’s called How To Say It To Seniors by David Solie. And his last name is S-O-L-I-E.
Casey Weade: Yeah. We will put that in the link.
Ingrid Sullivan: Yeah. It’s a great book. It’s a great read, especially for children of aging parents, because it’s all about leaving a legacy, right, and that’s what’s important is to identify the fact that it’s their dignity. They may not be driving anymore. All they have left is their home. That’s the one thing that they can claim for themselves. And you want to make your parent feel like you’re doing this as a team. And more importantly, because you want them to be safe, they feel very guilty that they’re asking you to help them. I’m sure you hear often, “I don’t want to be a burden to my children.” So, just having that conversation, not using those words, but having that conversation and giving your parent a chance to talk about it. “What is it? Is it scary for you and why would it be?” Or make it a fun day and say, “Gosh, there’s so many great senior communities. Let’s take next week and pick a couple because they’ll feed us lunch. Let’s go there and take a tour and see what they’re all about so that we have some ideas on what’s even out there.”
Casey Weade: What are some of the – or if you could just pick one really important lesson, the most important lesson that you learn from helping mom downsize, what would it be?
Ingrid Sullivan: Just one? Helping them, you know, parents and I can say I’m one of them, parents have a tendency to want to care for things and keep them for their children, whether it be dishes, whether it be family heirlooms, help the client understand that their kids may not want their things and that’s okay that there are lots of places right now that there will be somebody that’s going to love it like they did. But help them understand that it’s okay, that their kids are not going to want that china or some of those other things. It’s overwhelming for someone that’s lived in their home a long time that has their mothers this and their grandmothers that and now they have it. It’s overwhelming for them to even fathom how do I start to break that down? Let them feel that it’s going to be okay to take their time and they don’t have to do it all at one time. And that you have helped to help them.
John Sullivan: Well, my tip is for parents for their kids or your spouse, get your planning in order, pre-needs planning, Ingrid and I just went through that process and actually it was kind of fun. But we know that our son if something happens to one or both of us or whatever or if I go and Ingrid tends to do it, we don’t have to worry about all those funeral arrangements. It’s paid for. You outline exactly how you want it to go and it just takes the stress off the family. The documents, like I said, keep your documents like powers of attorneys and trust updated because in the event something bad happens, those are just lifesavers for your family like having those things put in order.
Casey Weade: Well, you two are over 55. And so, what have you done? What are you doing to make this less stressful at some point in the future on your kids? Outside of, say, estate planning, what are you doing to avoid some of the stress that, say, John, you experienced? And, Ingrid, you both experienced these stresses with your moms. What are you going to do differently to make sure your kids don’t have to go through that?
Ingrid Sullivan: Go ahead.
John Sullivan: Well, I just told you, yeah, we’re getting a new trust and you said as besides that, but you know, we’ve got stuff. And so, I try to practice what I preach every once in a while. I’ve gone through my closet a couple of times in the last six months and I keep finding more and more. And so, I’m just trying to get rid of some things and we’re finding out even some of the stuff we were saving for our son he doesn’t want and so we’re finding more storage in our house by getting rid of all that stuff. So, it’s just starting that, have that mindset, and we’re thinking about where we want to live and those type of things as we age as well.
Ingrid Sullivan: I can add something to that. If we have time, I just had an experience that I’d like to share with you. I had a very close friend from church that was somebody that had everything in place, had all of his finances in place, etcetera, and I helped them with a couple of real estate transactions. They moved into their brand new house. This is just three weeks ago. They moved into their brand new house and they were headed out to dinner, he and his wife, back and out of the driveway and he had a heart attack in the car. That was it. That just took him at that point. None of the kids lived here. They’re all flying in from somewhere else and they’re all scrambling trying to figure out what is the password to get on to dad’s computer? How do we get into dad’s email account? Because there’s information there on one of the properties that we’re currently selling that we were needing. It’s very stressful for your family because they want to do the right thing by you but you need to give them the tools to do that.
And when I asked a question, “Do your parents have a Facebook account?” Often now, they’ll say yes. “Do you know how to log into it?” “I have no clue.” “Are your parents on email?” “Well, not that much but, yeah, they are.” Those are the things that are important to make available to your children. There’s a digital inventory in our book. That’s a great place to…
Casey Weade: Yeah. I’m looking at it right here. Yeah. I think it’s really insightful because, you know, we’ve always had, say, estate planning but there’s digital estate planning that needs to be done as well. This can be one of the most vital things today is where the passwords to the bank accounts, etcetera. Where is all that stuff? And a lot of times, we don’t know. We haven’t communicated it yet.
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, they discover that dad had a bank account somewhere that nobody really knew but they got a statement in the mail while they were there. The wife, in this particular case, has just been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. So, the whole dynamics of all of that for the kids is really scary because I want to make sure not living here that they have everything they need to make it all work out well in the end.
Casey Weade: Well, and I don’t know if the two of you have already maybe you’ve already downsized. Maybe you’ve already started that process. You’ve talked a lot about stuff and estate planning. Do you have any plans yourself on downsizing at some point in the future? And if so, or if you already did that, what might that look like for you two?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, we actually have talked about it. The new homes that are being built today, especially in the 55 communities, for those types of builders are two-bedroom, two-bath with a study. You know, usually they’re 1,700 and underscore feet, but they’re appointed well, open living, wider hallways, something that you can actually age in place. And that’s really appealing to us because John’s not really doing, well, partially because of our business but keeping up with the yard and keeping up with all the things that there are. It makes it easier for us that some of the newer communities, Casey, are taking care of all of the upkeep, the outside upkeep, the streets, the lawns, everything. All we have to be involved with is inside because they’re deeded like condos even though they’re single-family homes. Those are things to be looking for and better ways to manage your money to do those things.
Casey Weade: So, you said it typically takes about one to two years before someone makes an actual change after they’ve engaged with you and sort of this consultation process. At what point in your life, what age, what characteristics, say, at what point should you start evaluating these options?
John Sullivan: Well, studies say that people are living in their homes longer and they’re waiting. A lot of our clients are in their late 70s or early 80s, and then we’ve had some that as soon as I turned 65, they’re ready to downsize as well.
Casey Weade: I’ve got a couple I work with. They turned 60 and they’re ready to move into continuing care retirement community and I mean, really, already?
John Sullivan: Yeah. But I tell you the majority of them are waiting but I would just say in your 60s start thinking about what it looks like to you and have a plan in place because life changes happen so fast. So, if you got some preparation in mind, but a lot of people like I said, our house was built in ‘86 and we’ve updated it and taking good care of it but still, there’s always something going on in hot water sort of like AC system and things. And so, moving to a new home 55 community that surrounded with multiple generational and I can walk to all these things, and there’s walking trails, that’s appealed to us and I would say in the next year or two, we may be making that move as well as getting a vacation house somewhere else.
Casey Weade: Yeah. My mom lived in a 55 plus community for a while and it was a beautiful apartment, beautiful view, and it was very well maintained. Everybody was very nice and she’s, “Too bad I can’t get in here.”
John Sullivan: Well, when I first started going to places with my mom to the independent community, I was like this is like a cruise ship, you know? All these people, happy hour several times a week. I said, “How old do I need to be to live here?”
Ingrid Sullivan: Yeah. I would just say align yourself with someone that’s aware of senior housing. That would be a tip for somebody, align yourself with someone that’s aware of senior housing, not just I heard of this over there, somebody that knows about it and all the options that go with it, and a great financial planner that can tell them if they have enough money to make that happen because realistically, as you know, it’s all about the money in the beginning, enough to make it work.
Casey Weade: Well, that’s going to be one of my questions is I think sometimes and we’ll meet with people and say, “Well, I’m going to downsize at some point in retirement,” acting like it’s going to save them just a ton of money. And many times, that actually cost them more to go through the downsizing process and actually downsize and part of that is they’re moving to someplace like Texas or Arizona or Florida. They’re moving someplace where there’s a higher cost of living than, you know, in the countryside of Indiana or Michigan or Ohio. Yeah, they’re moving from a low-cost living to a higher cost of living or they’ve got to fix up the house before they’re able to move. Maybe they have a negative mortgage. What would you say to it can you just kind of speak to the costs of downsizing?
Ingrid Sullivan: You know, that was one of the things that we looked at when you had sent us some of the questions for review today. And that’s kind of a hard number to pin down to because it really does depend on when somebody is going to be making that move. And as far as the real estate is concerned, it depends on what’s going on in the real estate market at the time. You know, for us in a lot of cases right now, we have people that they don’t want to deal with showings coming in and out of their house, being inconvenienced, having to move things around so that people can see things. They’re looking more for the easy button, if you will. How can I find somebody that’s going to come in and pay me something that I’m looking for where I don’t have to do anything and I can move on? We’re starting to see a lot more of that interest than the long-term real estate transaction. I think that…
John Sullivan: Well, I’ll just have a couple thoughts on that. One of the worksheets in our book is it says, you know, what does it cost me to live into this senior community? And then you add up even if you don’t have a mortgage, you got property taxes, homeowners insurance, maybe an HOA fee, utility, maintenance on the house, and a lot of people are surprised to find out that they’re paying almost as much even if they pay several thousand a month to rent in a senior community. So, sometimes it’s a wash and the stress they save of having to deal with the house is worth it. One of the things that we found is, you know, estate sales, we work a lot with people, that’s how they get rid of a lot of their stuff, and so a couple tips there is don’t throw anything away and assume it won’t sell an estate sale. I tell everybody a half-full bottle of Windex will sell in an estate sale, so everything sells. But let’s say the state sale brings 10,000 and typical estate sale fees are about 40%, that’s $6,000 and that a lot of times pays for the cost of hiring a packer to come in and help you go through everything and unpack you when you get there and the moving costs. And so, a lot of those can be covered by what you can reap out of an estate sale. So, those are some things to consider with.
Casey Weade: So, now we’ve got movers, we’ve got realtors, we’ve got estate planners. You mentioned in your book having a downsizing dream team. So, what does a downsizing dream team look like? Who’s on it?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, I would tell you on our team, for us, the people that belong to our team is we have from the real estate side of it, we have the real estate agents. We have the handyman contractors to go in and make the repairs or updates that are needed to get the home ready to sell. We have several different types of estate liquidators because not everybody wants to do an in-home. Sometimes they’re online. We have the packer that will come in and pack the things for you that you’re taking with you and the packer orchestrates the move. We also have a buyout guy so that when the estate sale is held and not everything sells, we got somebody who’s going to buy the rest and haul off the rest That’s our team and we’ve all been working together closely for the last 10 years. And we’ve added, we have elder law attorney that works with us as well because, again, as those things are starting to happen, we want to make sure all the paperwork’s in place.
Casey Weade: Yeah. That’s pretty neat. I can’t imagine the amount of confidence that you have. Once you have all these people to help you, how much stress is relieved from your life, especially once you’ve put it all behind you. You’ve talked a lot about planning and you’ve talked about this plan having this downsizing plan. What is a downsizing plan? What’s that look like?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, a downsizing the plan is having a consultation with a professional that is going to be assisting you in that, talking about the long term, what type of living are you – what is your goal? Where are you wanting to go? Are you wanting to move to a house? Are you wanting to move to a retirement community? Getting floor plans so we can talk about how much stuff are you going to be able to take. Having our packer come in and do a walkthrough with you on your home to help you figure out what’s going to go with you and what’s not. Then marking the things that are going to go with you and those things that are going to be left behind for the estate liquidator when they come to do their walkthrough with you. And then when are we going to put the house on the market? Are you going to move first? Or we’re going to sell it and then you’ll live in it and then we’ll move afterwards? Did I cover it all?
John Sullivan: Pretty much.
Casey Weade: I think a big part of it is all this stuff that you accumulate over the years. We just lived in our first time for about five years and we were lucky enough to have a house fire. So, it was very easy as we move from that location to the next location. But it really was amazing how much stuff there still was there that we still have to go through after everything that we lost. Well, we only lived here for five years. What if we live somewhere for 50 years? And you’ve talked a lot about stuff. You talked about downsizing your stuff. And I think this really leads me into a question we had from one of our weekend readers. For those of you that have signed up for weekend reading for retirees, that’s an email we send out every Friday with four articles on trending retirement topics. We invite you to ask our guests some questions. And we had several questions so we’ll get to all of them but I have one from Kevin Lynch that I really think speaks to what you’re talking about here. He says he’s 62 years old. He says, “I’m working to at least 66. I currently own my farm of 25 acres and a large home with other outbuildings. I want to downsize to a three-bedroom, two-bath home, and one acre.”
So, he wants to downsize. Then he says, “What other downsizing can I do? My paid-for home was my largest investment. I live alone. Thank you.” And that got me thinking. At first, I go, well, I guess you could go to a two-bedroom, one bath. However, all this talk about stuff seems to make a lot of sense.
John Sullivan: Right. Well, and I guess he’s healthy. I mean he still wants an acre so that’s a lot to take care of too but, yes, from 25 acres without buildings and things that that is downsizing to him. That’s quite a bit smaller and things. And then assuming with all those buildings, there’s lots of things that he can release and possibly make money off of to help fund his retirement and/or the move or the new home.
Ingrid Sullivan: And then also to be considering as he’s young now and still has the energy to do all those things, what’s the long plan? How long do you plan to stay in that house with the one acre? And who is going to help you with the maintenance, especially at the one-acre while you’re there?
Casey Weade: Yeah. I think that’s what’s overlooked many times and maybe you agree, but we say, “Well, I’m downsizing,” and you think you’re done. However, they’re still going to come to that point in your life. Maybe you’re 85, 95. At some point, you’re going to need some help and you’re going to have to move from that three-bedroom, two-bath home with one acre to something that can offer you better care and avoid creating a lot of stress for the rest of your family. I think as I’ve read the stories in your book and listen to you, we have to think about the stress that creates for our kids, not just ourselves.
Ingrid Sullivan: Yes. And I helped somebody that had a family member that did not live here in the state of Texas, that I was the executress for her estate and I have a whole new respect for the term, “You can’t take it with you,” because when she was gone, I as somebody that knew her only 10 years was left with all kinds of things trying to decide what am I going to do when the family doesn’t want it and I really don’t want to throw those things away. So, it’s good to do a yearly clean out and start to look at those things. They say, if you have clothes hanging in the closet that have dust on the shoulders and you know you don’t have dandruff, it probably means that you haven’t worn them for a while and it might be time to release them.
Casey Weade: I’m a hoarder of T-shirts. That’s one thing that it drives me nuts. My wife was always saying like, “What happened to my favorite t-shirt?” “Well, you’ve had it for years. They had holes in it.” “I know but it’s my favorite t-shirt. I don’t want to get rid of it.” I’m the same way with mugs. We all have a little hoarder in us, right? I still give my wife heck about all the mugs that she threw away. Well, those were my favorite mugs. You didn’t use all of them. So, we all have a lot of stuff in different ways. And a lot of that stuff is photos and pictures, especially like, I think our generation, we won’t have all these photo albums and things. You know, everything’s digitally stored in some way and Paula Horne asked this question about that. She said, “We have two large storage bins of photos and framed family photos. How do you downsize these items?”
John Sullivan: There’s a couple of things. One, there’s a company called Legacy Box and they’ll send you a box and you just put all your photos, even if you have old super 8 movies or whatever, and they’ll digitize it all. And we tell people to get the digital frames and you’ll enjoy more than the photo albums that’s for sure as they’re playing around the house in digital frames. So, those are the two big things I think of. It’s funny. We were rearranging a room where all the photo albums were and everything I’m going through and seeing all these old photos, but I hadn’t looked at them some of them probably for 10 or 15 years.
Ingrid Sullivan: Since we got married.
John Sullivan: So, yeah, that’s what I need to do is get Legacy Box or go up to Walgreens and start scanning them or whatever to…
Ingrid Sullivan: Everybody can relate to having those shoeboxes full of pictures in a closet at the top underneath of something but it’s so easy now to go ahead because eventually they age and they turn orange or something so you can’t really see what it is anyway. And if you still have good pictures of family members from years back, it’s a great time to digitize that so that you can share that for your kids. I will say this that my youngest sister sat with my mother and over a period of five days, she recorded my mother telling about her life as she came over from Germany and what that was like and during the war, etcetera, and we each have a set of five CDs that it’s my mother talking about our life. And especially right now that she’s no longer with us, it’s really a nice thing for me to have and for me to share with my son and his kids.
John Sullivan: That’s a great idea.
Casey Weade: Well, I’ve seen that method used and then I’ve seen people take those recordings and send them off to a writer and have them turn it into a book as well and the book can be a legacy that lives forever. Book in a Box is one of those services. I’ve got one other question. I think it’s really good that I don’t know how many people can relate to this today, the way the real estate market has been, but I’m sure that, I mean, there must be quite a few people out there still like this. Emily has a question asking, “Casey, what if mom and dad have a negative mortgage? My mom has that.” So, they want to downsize. They have a negative mortgage. What would your guidance be? So, they’re underwater.
John Sullivan: Is it a reverse mortgage, number one? If it’s a reverse mortgage, they can walk away from it.
Casey Weade: It is a reverse mortgage.
John Sullivan: Well, there’s no equity. They should be able to walk away from it. Now, they’re not going to get any money but it’s a federally insured loan. And so…
Ingrid Sullivan: Which doesn’t impact her credit.
John Sullivan: Doesn’t impact their credit or anything and the kids aren’t liable for it or anyway, that’s, you can walk away. I would also ask them to consult a local realtor and maybe they already have but if it’s a reverse mortgage, ultimately, they can walk away and then it’s up to the FHA to sell it as a foreclosure after that.
Casey Weade: So, even though there’s no equity, mom can walk away. Mom and dad can walk away from the home and the bank takes over the equity in the home. Now, they own it and it’s their responsibility. There’s nothing owed and there’s nothing they’re going to be able to come back to them on.
Ingrid Sullivan: Right. And typically, what we’ve learned because we have had quite a few home equity conversion mortgages for purchase here in our area but typically, if something like that happens, they can’t make another loan like that for three years.
Casey Weade: Okay. Interesting. I think that’ll be really helpful for Emily out there to continue the reverse mortgage discussion. We do get this question from time to time, individuals asking if it’s better to downsize their home and reinvest the proceeds, the difference between the two, or just keep it and plan on doing a reverse mortgage at some point down the road.
Ingrid Sullivan: Kind of depends on the condition of the house.
John Sullivan: Yeah. It depends on the individual and what they’re planning to do to the house and things like that. Sometimes it may be better to sell it and get something newer. It’s hard to say without knowing the individual situation.
Ingrid Sullivan: We do have a lender here, Retirement Funding Solutions, that has done seminars for our clients and several of the builders on doing a home equity conversion mortgage for purchase. And one of the things that has been an eye-opener for our clients is that depending upon their age is one of the few things. The older you are, the less you pay. So, example $375,000 home, they would be bringing about $185,000 to closing and they would be done but what they now have is a new home that’s wider doorways, the right amount of space and what they’re responsible for is property taxes and HOA dues if those are involved. But there have been several people that have taken advantage of that because it’s more attractive to them to have something newer.
Casey Weade: So, they’ve used their home equity conversion mortgage. Their reverse mortgage…
Ingrid Sullivan: Right. They sold their home and took the proceeds for the sale of their home and put it as the down payment on the home equity conversion mortgage.
Casey Weade: And so, now the new home has a reverse mortgage on it.
John Sullivan: Yeah, right. So, it depends on everybody’s situation. I mean, I’ve known financial planners that use that product because they felt it was the better deal to do it. And some people it may not be.
Ingrid Sullivan: Because it keeps the clients’ investments and equity growing and they don’t have to take that money away from other things. They can keep that growing and still happen.
Casey Weade: Well, if you have questions about reverse mortgages, I would encourage you to go back to the Dr. Wade Pfau discussion we had. I believe that was Episode 11 we had on his book. We actually still have, I don’t know, maybe a half a dozen Reverse Mortgage books from Dr. Wade Pfau in the office. So, if you would like to take us up on that just reach out to us, we’ll see if we can get one out to you. I was actually having this conversation earlier with our producer asking, talking to her about something I read in your book called the Granny Pod. So, tell us about the Granny Pod.
John Sullivan: Well, it’s a company I believe they were out in Maryland and I think the gentleman who started it did it for his own mother’s personal thing but they created these that can be shipped and they’re all smart technology equipped is what I should say. And so, they have cameras in them that you can even set smart homes. Now, you can have Alexa remind you to take a pill and that type of thing. So, they built it to be safe, very small, and then it could be set in the backyard of the children or something like that. And so, you’d have mom or dad or both close to you, but they have their own space. We actually have a friend in our office who they actually built a little home like a granny pod for their father to live there. He’s widowed and things and his health was going down. So, they equipped it and they made it with wide doorways, lower counters for him to get around and just made it especially for him and made it a smart home so that’s easy to take care of him and check in with him.
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, you know, and what John says with the Smart Home, Casey, is that it manages. It watches the number of steps. It watches the number of times that that individual has gone to the bathroom and there’s reports that can be printed out on that but that individual still fills the autonomy of, “I’m on my own. I’m not living with my kids. I’ve got my own place on the back 40 of the property. They’re still here. I don’t have to drive to them.” So, you know, it’s something that people are starting to look at.
John Sullivan: Yeah. Some of the universities are researching things where the floor in the bathroom will weigh the person when they walk in and just all kinds of things and they can just go in and hook up a cough and plug it in, and it’ll do their blood pressure, and they can talk to doctors. And so, I mean, that technology is amazing where they’re going.
Casey Weade: Yeah. It’s amazing how quickly the world is evolving and changing and being safer, happier, healthier. So, that’s a neat thing to share. I saw that and I saw you had a diagram in your book and I was showing that to our producer earlier and she was getting a kick out of it as well. I want to ask one last question and this is a general question in nature. I didn’t throw this over to you prior to the interview. So, I’m going to have you think on your feet here. What does retirement mean to you?
Ingrid Sullivan: Well, for me personally, retirement, I love my business, I love what I do so I always have to think about when will I let it go but retirement for me is security. I want to make sure that I have the right amount of insurance in place. I have long-term care in place to take care of me in the event that he’s not around anymore. I don’t want my son to have to worry about me and I want to be able to spend that quality time with my two and seven-year-old grandchild while I’m still important to them. So, I’ve worked towards that, being able to still be involved, to volunteer and do things while I still have my health and my mind.
Casey Weade: John?
John Sullivan: Personally, a lot of what Ingrid said, yeah, is important to me. All of it is important to me.
Casey Weade: John wants to play golf more though.
John Sullivan: Yeah. And actually, we’re building a business that can be a legacy and continue. Our son started working with us in the last year and so we’re building it to where we can in the next few years step out and work part-time in it and supervise it, maybe go around and speak and teach other people about what we do. I mentioned earlier we’re looking at a retirement home or vacation home I should say in New Mexico. We were talking about moving into Mexico until grandchildren came along. And of course, they’re now a very important part of our lives. So, that’s kind of it is setting it up. So, we built a business that can be a legacy for our family and that we can still be involved in as much as we want to and then have a home we can go to and vacation and live in another place for a while, every once in a while, and spend more time with the family and possibly go out and…
Casey Weade: Well, you both use that four-letter word, time, and that’s what I find is a common thread. You know, no matter what it is, they say, well, you talked about vacationing, John, and you talked about spend time with the grandkids. Whether it’s grandkids, vacation, or golf, whatever it is, it’s all about time and then you mentioned having that financial security that you didn’t have to worry about money anymore, you didn’t have to worry about what’s next so you could really spend that time focused on what’s important. So, thank you two for joining us but before you go, I want to make sure everybody knows what you two did for our audience. You have sent over a box of your guide, The Ultimate Guide to Downsizing: How to Downsize Your Life to Upsize Your Lifestyle. And this is a great book. I mean, honestly, I saw it and I go, “I wonder if it’s going to be good,” and it was really good and I found a lot of value in this. I think anybody that’s thinking about this going through this process even if it’s parents that you’re not sure how to approach the conversation or you’re helping them, assisting them with that, there’s not just great useful insight in here but I think that the exercises to me would be the most beneficial part of what is in this book, and the questions, the budgets, just a really helpful book.
And you two have provided us a box of these to give out for our fans and we want to do that for all of you. So, we’re going to continue to give them away until we run out and they also autograph these so you can buy these online but you’re not going to get an autographed one like the one that we have here at Howard Bailey. If you would like to get a copy, all you have to do is write a review for the podcast, an honest review for the podcast. You can do that at RetireWithPurpose.com. Click on the Podcast tab right there at the top that says Leave Review. Or if you’re on your iTunes device, you’re on your Apple device, you can just scroll down to the bottom, leave a review right there at the bottom. Send us an email at email@example.com with your iTunes username and then we will be sure to get this guidebook out to you as soon as possible at no cost. John, Ingrid, thank you so much for being so gracious joining us here and providing us with all these copies and spending all that time getting hand cramps, signing them for us. We really appreciate it.
John Sullivan: Okay. You’re welcome.
Ingrid Sullivan: Thank you, Casey.
John Sullivan: We enjoyed it.
Casey Weade: Awesome.