Tax the wealthy. Problem solved.

downgrading one's standard of living

is really hard, I notice.  My parents can't imagine living in a smaller house, even though the kids are gone and there are no more grandparents to take care of.  What on earth are they doing with 4 bedrooms?  I can't even imagine.

I'm trying to avoid upgrading (as much as possible) instead.  Obviously not totally unavoidable if I want to grow my family, etc. but surely by being mindful of the issue and making it important to me, I can stay on top of it as much as I can.
Permalink the great purple 
April 27th, 2007 3:59pm
Downgrading your life is hard, but life is frequently just as nice once you've downgraded.
Permalink Send private email Impractical Economist 
April 27th, 2007 4:03pm
for your parents it might be more about familiarity/memories than about downgrading itself.
Permalink $-- 
April 27th, 2007 4:03pm
Why don't you swap houses? That away it all stays in the family w/o realtor's taking a cut, and loosing memories, etc. (Either formally or not, you need to give them the difference in the two homes.)
Permalink strawberry beeswax 
April 27th, 2007 4:08pm
For practical reasons, it probably won't be possible.  first of all, we're currently renting.  Second, we might be forced to live in a different city for external reasons (job, etc).  And finally, I sure as heck don't want to inherit all their stuff...
Permalink the great purple 
April 27th, 2007 4:12pm
Your parents probably have a house that's almost paid off, and they have plenty of room and a familiar atmosphere.

Moving is traumatic. Maybe they just don't feel like doing it!
Permalink Send private email Duff 
April 27th, 2007 4:31pm
Have you talked to them about this or is it very sensitive that you can't even broach the topic?
Permalink Send private email Senthilnathan N.S. 
April 27th, 2007 4:52pm
My father has this problem too.  He's living in that big old house all alone now.  My mother died, his second wife died, all alone now.

But, he purchased that house for like $200,000 back in 1974.  It's worth like a million now.  But where would he go?  If he went into a nursing facility, they could burn up a million dollars in 10 years or so at $100K per year -- 5 years a $200K per.

I mean, it's no big deal to continue to live there, as long as his health holds out.  He's got people to do the lawn, a cleaning lady once a week.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 27th, 2007 5:02pm
If the house was worth $200K in '74, I'm guessing it's worth $3 mil now.
Permalink strawberry beeswax 
April 27th, 2007 6:00pm
> If the house was worth $200K in '74, I'm guessing
> it's worth $3 mil now.

5x since 74? or 15x?

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/census/historic/values.html

Unadjusted table shows 1970 at $17,000 median price.  Now $119,600. 

Who the fuck paid 200k for a house in 1974 anyway?
Permalink  
April 27th, 2007 6:21pm
Hm, I paid $32,000 for a house in 1974. At the time that was paying a lot. That house is listed now for $1.6 million. I did add a swimming pool and a fence, but most of that is real estate appreciation.

I don't understand why anyone cares how big their parents house is. Shouldn't people be allowed to live in the house they've bought, regardless of whether their offspring feels it's 'too big' for them. I guess that's to say they feel their parents are not in some way 'worthy' of having such a big house. It's not your call though. They bought their house, leave them to live in it if they want. I sure wouldn't want someone telling me what sort of house they think I deserve.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 27th, 2007 7:12pm

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