Gratitude, Goals and I Have A Plan. Finally.

It was just one of those nights. One where you toss and turn and think and dream and ponder and then it hits you: I have a plan. It was there all along but I just didn’t see it. I was too wrapped up in my past and all the mistakes that went along with it that I wasn’t thinking forward.

I started a daily journal and in it I list 7 things I am most grateful for each day and 7 goals I’d like to accomplish. I don’t think my goals will change much from day to day BUT I will have at least 7 things to be grateful for almost daily.



1. Warm house (It’s like -15Fdegrees outside right now, but my home is warm and cozy)

2. Full tank of propane (hadn’t gotten a fill up in years. It was time.)

3. Hubby still healthy.

4. Hubby still working (part time to time)

5. Getting along with my oldest daughter.

6. Communicating much better with my youngest daughter.

7. Somehow, our bills are getting paid on time.

I can do it


1. Lose weight. At least 5 pounds despite needing to lose 25.

2. Walk, hike and swim as much as possible.

3. Financial stability.

4. Solve my winter snow birding desires.

5. Travel in our RV more this spring and summer.

6. Make more YouTube videos.

7. Improve my sleeping habits (I’m up all night and sleep all day. Not good!)

My Plan.

In three years, when hubby turns 65, and all open heart surgeries are completed, sell our home, downsize, move someplace warmer and buy a single family home (no smoking neighbors!). I used to think the sun rose and set in Florida but I was wrong. There are so many other communities similar to what we had in Florida…..starting in the state of Delaware.

  • Delaware Named Most Tax-Friendly State and Most Tax-Friendly State for Retirees by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine.
  • Social Security benefits are not taxed.
  • No state or local sales tax.
  • No inheritance tax.
  • No personal property tax.

The builder that we had come to love and purchase a Florida home from has built two retirement communities along the beaches in Delaware for half the price of what they offered in Florida! Starting this spring, hubby and I will start vacationing in Delaware and become familiar with their beaches and neighboring communities. We’ll be able to bank half the equity from the sale of our NY home after we purchase another home in a warmer climate. We have three years to make this dream plan a reality!

delaware home
sample home in the low $200s


  1. I love Delaware. Just be aware that it is 11 degrees here today as well. Saying that, we have been much warmer then our son in New York. The beaches are not the same as Florida, but the boardwalk in Rehoboth is wonderful. Not having state sales tax is amazing. Add to that, after you have been here three years, you can get a reduction on your, already low, property taxes. Just be aware that when you first get here you have to pay sales tax on your car- then the reregistration of the vehicles is tiny. There are great farmer markets. New York and New Jersey people mostly live in Sussex.
    My friend lived in a house much like the one you are looking at. Planned community. HOAs, Lots of activities at the community center. Pool. I think it might fit what you are looking for.
    Shhh- don’t tell too many people about it though.


    • Hi Janette. I was thinking of you. Does it ever snow in Delaware? I’m going to make sure our new home comes with a real fireplace. The new home even comes with a boat slip so hubby can finally have his dream boat come true. Who knew? And we’re only 3 hours away from the grandkids. It’s somrthing to look forward to. Hopefully it’ll work out.
      Thanks for your comment.
      And an Aldi is only 18 miles away!!


  2. Delaware could be a good choice for you but not really that different in temperatures from New York. Taxes are a great difference from New York. The home looks similar to the senior community I was looking at two years ago which price increase of $120,000 in two years and 40% increase in property tax and HOA fees.
    Still would probably want a snow bird plan to go to a warmer place in winter. Lara


    • Delaware looks like a great place to escape taxes. Our NY property taxes are expected to go up in 2020, so we’ll wait and see on that one. We’re starting off in Delaware. I’m prepared to go as far south as Alabama.
      I can’t afford two houses. I’m looking for one home and to be so happy there, not want to travel so much. The search has begun. I’ll know when it’s right when I feel it is right.
      Where were you looking at that rose so quickly in HOA fees and property taxes?


      • Colchester, Connecticut from resale at $234,900 with upgraded kitchen, bath, and all season sun porch to new now priced at $365.000 base price with none of these upgrades and a small deck. I don’t know the exact breakdown between HOA and property tax but my daughters friends parents who moved there three months before I looked at the community, told me in two years the two together have gone up over 40% on theirs and paying over $17000 yearly. It was going to be $12,000 between the two for me. Is your upstairs totally finished you always mention you live in four rooms? Lara


      • Our upstairs in completely finished but we don’t live up there. It’s two bedrooms, a full bathroom with a french claw tub and three closets in the hallway (in addition to the one closet in each bedroom). The only time we use upstairs (with it’s own heat) is when my kids come over, which is like once a year now. We finished upstairs for resale value. Not really for the kids.
        I have a bad taste in my mouth over HOA and planned communities. That’s what we had in Florida and it didn’t take ‘them’ long to raise the HOA fees, the CDD fees, the restaurant minimum fees and the real estate property taxes to unsustainable levels. I don’t think Nick and I can afford to live in communities like that for our retirement. I just didn’t plan nor save for it.
        We built our current home for $170K cash back in 2001-2002. Today, you’d need $500K just to duplicate it PLUS it’s very, very difficult to buy the land anymore. Land prices here are sky high!
        We will probably have to buy a stand alone home on minimal land going forward. I have to sit and weigh out the costs of a HOA vs paying a contractor to do upkeep (I don’t think snow removal however will be needed further south we go).
        Because of all the negative experiences we had with that Florida condo, Nick and I are very keenly aware of certain pitfalls, so we are sure to be extra careful this time around. I’m just glad we have come to the conclusion to try try, try yet once again rather than give up and just sit still.


  3. Sounds like you have a good plan. Although Delaware is above us, and we are still COLD in Virginia. You’ll still have the winters.
    Speaking of gratitude, I was soaking in a hot, bubble bath last night and a wave of gratitude came over me. It was cold and windy outside, but I felt like I was at a spa.

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie


    • Oh Sharon, that quote from Melody Beattie is brilliant. When I told Nick about Delaware this morning he was quick to get on the computer and Google the weather there. “It’s 11 degrees there now!” vs the 4 is was here. Yeah, but it’s on the beach! was my reply.
      So, we’ll see. We’re open to anything now. The sun doesn’t rise and set in Florida anymore. That was a biggie to get over!


  4. Hi again, with better relationships with your daughters are you seeing your granddaughters more ? I travel about two half hours and an hour to see mine and I usually fall asleep when I get home because of the energy needed to keep up with them and the long drive. With six hour round trip will your daughters and their husbands be amenable to you staying overnight. You are locked into New York for three years for Nick’s affordable health insurance. Three years is a lot of time to expect Articles like the Kiplinger rating not to influence baby boomers snapping up your plan and causing great price appreciation in Delaware. I had a sales person tell me the great price appreciation on senior community was all driven by the great demand of retiring Baby Boomers and they catered to the downsizing McMansion owners that have capital gains they need to roll over in the primary residence. I hope in three years there is still the great price difference that you see now between the homes. Me moving now to the smaller home would cost double in the half size stand alone senior condo then what I pay now. UGH and I just can’t believe its lifestyle would bring double the joy, Lara


    • Lara, I stay over at my kid’s places now, so sleeping over later on shouldn’t be a problem. It’s a 2 hr ride now vs a 3 hr later. Same difference.
      As the prices of homes in Delaware rise, or anywhere else for that matter, so too does the price of my NY home. More and more celebrities are moving into my neighborhood. In fact, the whole cast of a popular NY Morning show on NBC were here this past weekend, and taping! They broadcast that they came to my town to ‘get away from the cold and find comfort here’. Go figure! So, I expect my property values here to increase not decrease which will translate into a lateral move, when the time comes. I’m not concerned. I don’t see Baby Boomers flocking to Delaware anytime soon. If we should find a good deal I may consider owning two homes for a limited time (the 3 years). But not planning on doing so.
      I’m trusting in God. When the time is right, I’ll just know and all things will naturally fall in to place.


  5. I was happy to read that you were planning. I find I am happier when I feel like I have a plan.

    It warmed up here today in N. Illinois. We got freezing rain and it is very slippery out there. The winter views have been really super. With the trees and snow and river, it is like a painting each morning. Today a coyote was crossing out backyard on the way to and from the river. Greater Scaup ducks were diving and swimming in the channel. Boy can they move!

    The cold is coming back, but we have salted and the main roads were passable. I love getting dressed in wool and cords, wool mixture socks and my coat with the fur hood.

    Since we grew up living with cold winters we just expect life to be like this. Still though we will be driving to Florida for February. If it is cold down there we will just have to wear jackets and long pants and not get in much swimming. That is okay. Actually, more than okay!


    • Sue, I’m much happier now too knowing that I have a plan and can be working on making it come to fruition.
      The winter you are describing sounds so wonderful. I just look out onto the snow and shudder. I simply do not like it at all. I’ll be in Florida in February also! February is the most brutal, coldest month of the year. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a February in Florida ever! Hope to see you down there!


  6. Hmm, Delaware. Not sure about it but if that suits the bill, I am happy for you. I personally think you should sample Texas. Our 2400 sq ft house was $219,000. Warm, sunny. Beach, mountains, rolling hills all in one state!!

    Good for you to start the gratitude journal and mapping out your goals. It is such a kick to check off a goal or even a simple to-do from your list. I add things like making the bed just so I can check them off my list.

    Most of all, yay for hubby’s health, and good relationships with your children. XO


    • Hi Leslie. Texas sounds nice but I don’t want to be too far away from my kids and grandkids. Delaware is only 3 hrs away. Not bad. But we’ll see. Delaware might just be the starting point. We’ll keep heading south till I find something that brings me joy.
      I feel like Maria in ‘West Side Story’…..there’s a place for us……..yada, yada, yada……


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