On Building a New Home

Don’t build a new home the same year you retire.


In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a stress scale to determine how likely people were to become ill because of traumatic life events (for instance, they gave death of a spouse 100 stress points, divorce, 73 points; getting married was a 50).

After surveying over 5,000 medical patients, the doctors determined that folks with under 150 points were unlikely to become seriously ill in the next two years; people with 150 to 299 points had a moderate to high chance, and those over 300 had a very high risk of stress-induced illnesses.

So in June (about halfway through our building experience) I scored a 272 on their scale (the points came from events related to either retirement, building a new home or both).

I’m convinced I stayed healthy only by the grace of God and a rigorous schedule on the bicycle.

So never, ever build a new home in the same year you retire.

Unless—in tomorrow’s blog, I’ll tell you why building that home was the best decision we ever made.

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