Have you ever thought of the logistics of moving large numbers of people into a new highrise city building in a short time? Add to that the economic downturn, and you know that there will be serious problems.
Tomorrow is my long-scheduled moving day; today is packing day. It almost didn't happen. I spent all day yesterday eagerly awaiting a phone call telling me whether or not I had to call off the move. It would be easy to blame the staff of The Clare for the problems, but perhaps I took their assurances that financial matters could be worked out until I sold my condo too literally.
The Clare, a very expersive and beautiful senior lifetime care building on Chicago's Gold Coast, was designed some years ago on the premise that affluent seniors would have plenty of money after selling their rapidly-appreciating homes and condos. I foolishly believed that the real estate boom would go on forever, so I signed up in 2004. You know how things have been going lately; my condo has not sold, even though the price is now listed at slightly less than I paid eight years ago.
This week, moving week, after many weeks of seeking information and a meeting with the staff, I was finally told to come up with the entire large sum of money before moving, or else. I'm not seeking charity, and on paper, I have the money. However, withdrawing my tax sheltered annuities all at once would bring so much income tax that I'd virtually be wiped out.
To make matters worse, my financial advisor was out of town until Tuesday, and I couldn't get in touch with him. Eventually, a lot of good people helped, but I'm still unhappy about the delays and run-around I got--perhaps unintentionally.
Now I'm moving in, but I face a large debt. Within sixty days, my condo must be sold or I must withdraw my annuities. If there's a message here, it's to get everything signed well in advance, hope for improved economic conditions, and be especially careful about committing to a senior building before it's built. It takes a long time, and conditions can change.
Don't feel too sorry for me. I was naive, and I've not missed any meals or lacked shelter. It was my choice to move into a very expensive and luxurious place (more pictures later), and I still believe I made a good decision. As someone says, "The devil is in the details." Wish me luck!