When the topic of retirement comes up, most people usually plan grand vacations, consider taking up a hobby, or want to their spend their life learning a new sport or skill.
But for some, retirement is a chance to downsize and live simpler. After all, they don’t have to worry about their kids, who have all grown up and moved out of the family home.
The need to live near work or family might have also gone away.
For several retirees, downsizing has given them more free time. Instead of spending their days cleaning a big house, they get to spend it doing the things they love.
Most of them also live on a fixed income, so any chance to reduce expenses and cost of living is an excellent option.
As a gift to herself on her 75th birthday, Sandy Brooks, 77, moved into a tiny home in Escalante Village, a tiny house community in Durango, Colorado.
The community comprises 24 tiny homes, including seven rentals, and was started by a Durango resident.
The tenants themselves brought in their homes. Some had them made, while others built the houses themselves.
As for Sandy, she had hers made by a company called Simblissity Tiny Homes.
People from all walks of life live in Escalante Village. Some are retirees like Sandy, while others are therapists, engineers, professionals, and woodworkers.
They may all be different, but they have a common goal—to live simpler and more intentionally.
Each lot in the village is 20 ft x 40 ft, which can fit a tiny home, a deck, a garden, and a parking space that can accommodate two cars.
Unlike traditional tiny homes, which are built on massive spaces far from neighbors, the homes in this community are built close to each other.
Sandy has heard many people comment negatively about the proximity of their homes, but they’re not bothered by it at all.
“We all pretty much keep to ourselves when we want to be alone. Or if we see someone outside, we’ll go chat with them,” she said. “We all just have the same reason for being in this tiny [house community].”
“It’s not noisy at all. I have driven through many communities where houses are much closer than this, with windows on both sides, and you can see into someone else’s bathroom.”
“I can’t see into my neighbor’s bathroom. So the fact that we’re somewhat close together, I don’t think, bothers any of us at all,” she added.
Before retirement, Sandy used to live in a big home. However, she reached a point in her life when she wanted to get rid of many of her belongings. When she did, her 1,000 sq. ft. home felt too big.
That’s when she became curious about the tiny house movement, and whether it was a lifestyle she could live.
And helping her strengthen her decision to go tiny is Simblissity Tiny Homes. The company showed her a sample for the house she’s currently living in, and she was sold.
“And I have no regrets,” said Sandy.
Her two brothers, an architect, and an engineer, thought that she was making a poor decision by moving into a tiny house.
But they’ve since changed their minds once they saw how happy she is in her new home.
Before moving into Escalante Village, Sandy devotes a huge chunk of her time to cleaning her house. Now she gets to spend most of her time outside biking, hiking, and talking to neighbors.
Take a tour of this tiny home village and Sandy’s adorable home in the video below.