I turned age 70 on December 18th. Age years that end in zero are a milestone of sorts in which one can look back on the decade just concluded and look ahead to what lies ahead in the next decade. Now I am in pretty good health with no issues, I walk a lot to keep fit, and I work out with a personal trainer twice a week. I have gone from barely being able to do 10 pushups up to 25 fairly easily. My goal is to reach 30 consecutive push ups without gasing out. My mother's side of the family has pretty good genes, with many of them living into their mid 90s. On my father's side, well, not so good. I suspect that I will be around a bit longer based on my genes.
I have reached the stage of my life where I now have to consider down sizing my house and all of my "stuff", particularly my wargame stuff. I have too much of it. With respect to the house, it comes down to an economic decision on how to save money, reduce expenses and have enough coin to live a decent and comfortable retirement lifestyle.
I live in The People's Republic of Illinois where the property taxes are sky high and the cost of living is an arrow pointing upwards. My property tax on my house exceeds my annual mortgage payments which is absolutely crazy. People are fleeing Illinois in droves and moving to more tax friendly states. I would like to join them. Probably somewhere in Florida. I figure that I could save $15,000 per year just by moving out of my state. Think about it, that's a savings of $150,000 over the next decade. And I get to live where its warm year around.
The idea is to buy a smaller, less expensive house and either pay off our mortgage or take out a chunk of the home equity that we have built up over the years. However, a less expensive home likely means a much smaller home, maybe without an area to set up as my wargame room. That kind of sucks, doesn't it? That also implies less storage space for figures and terrain. The obvious solution is to reduce the wargame collection quite a bit. I will have to take stock of what I have and what I am likely to want to play over the next decade.
In terms of culling down the herd, here are some likely candidates for sale:
- 1) Late Romans and Barbarians in 28mm
- 2) Big Battalion SYW Austrians and Prussians
- 3) Maybe 28mm AWI, but keeping the skirmish level figures.
The keepers would include the following:
- 28mm SYW Austrians, French and Prussians
- 54mm Sudan
- 54mm Ancients
And then there is the big one: selling off the Fife and Drum and Minden Miniatures figure business. I started this venture in 2012 and after ten years I am ready to get out of the business side of the hobby and just enjoy playing some wargames. I have enjoyed running the business, increasing the size of the ranges, and meeting lots of people from all over the world. But I am getting tired and I don't have the energy that I used to have. The inventory shelves in my basement take up a lot of space and if I were to downsize the square footage of my house by 50% then there wouldn't be any room to hold the stock for the business. Decisions, decisions.
This is all speculation at this point as I have no firm plans. My daughter wants to go to college in Florida and to make that her permanent home as soon as 2024. That's her life's dream and so we want to do everything that we can to help her reach her dream. We would probably want to live somewhere in Florida where we are far enough away from our daughter to not be pests, but close enough to be there for her in case she needs some help.
Well there you have it. This is what is on my mind as I look ahead to the next decade of my life.