Last night, I decided to go onto the Internet while my husband (Dave) and I were watching the Red Sox play the Giants. Since we continue to waver back and forth between all our options, I decided to look at apartments for rent (again), just to get an idea of what is out there.
This is a rather futile search at this point in our move toward retirement since it’s WAY too early to be looking, and (maybe even more so) I have done the same search over and over again during the past six months. The biggest change is that I’ve expanded my search area – a little. Instead of staying with one or two locations, I’ve actually looked at three or four areas of the country where we might find something.
In most cases, the web sites that list apartments for rent have nothing available. And, the rent is more than we can afford. So, I went to Craig’s List where I found a lot of possibilities. I said to Dave that we will probably have to use Craig’s List or the local newspapers or word of mouth if we are going to rent an apartment or house.
Several people have suggested contacting Avesta or several other income based housing groups, especially those that house seniors. Interestingly, we don’t meet the income requirements! We will make $800-$1000 a month more than they allow, and we will be living on a fairly low income for the two of us.
When I looked up houses for sale on Realtor.com, I found that their estimates for a monthly mortgage payment were less than half what the apartments are asking. Of course, we would have other expenses that would bring the cost up to about what we would pay for rent, but I keep thinking it would be nice to own something rather than rent.
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both, so the cycle continues. Since we still have time to make the decision, we will continue to go on this merry-go-round of looking, speculating, and wondering. The work we are doing keeps us busy, and for my situation, there is a process that I need to follow as we look toward transitioning out of the churches I serve in order for them to welcome a new pastor.
It’s an interesting journey. I love my work, and the people in my churches are wonderful. The nearly twenty-five years that I have been in ministry have been rewarding, even with occasional frustrations and issues that arise, but we have always been able to resolve things. In all this time, the one thing most pastors in my situation have not dealt with is housing because a parsonage or parsonage allowance has been provided.
There are pastors who have been able to purchase houses or who have inherited, but increasingly, there are a number of retiring pastors who have no place to go. This journey for me, for my husband, is an interesting one. It’s starting afresh in a new calling wherever that might be.
Maybe I can compare it to Abraham and Sarah, who at an advanced age were called by God to move to a new place, a new country, a whole new way of life. They had to pass through the wilderness in order to get to the Promised Land. It will be interesting to see where God will lead us, to not become too anxious about it, and to know that we have to do our part, too.