I've stayed in my home past retirement because 1) Good GOLLY I don't want to have to go through everything a down-sizing move would require, 2) almost everything I need (except a grocery store, and that may be changing somewhat even as I write) is within easy walking distance in Benson (a tiny old former small town that was engulfed two generations ago by Omaha), and 3) I have a great neighborhood with great neighbors. Having experienced life with horrible neighbors, I do not sell that feature short.
But now here I am, overweight, too sedentary, with some health exam test results I'm not very happy about. Here I am, I seldom leave the house more than twice a week for errands, and occasionally for social occasions, and my car, a 2001 Hyundai Elantra I bought new in July 2001 when some asshole rammed a stolen car into the trunk of my innocent Ford Taurus parked outside my house, is showing its age. It won't be long before the upkeep becomes too expensive. And here I am with a granddaughter, thinking about what global warming is doing to her future.
I started thinking about all the alternatives to driving my own car that I have or could have. I can certainly walk, though not as far or as painlessly as in my younger days. A bus is one or two blocks away, and while Omaha's bus system is not ideal, they're working on it and if I plan ahead I could get most anywhere I need to go. I'm retired, so time isn't a problem (I can always knit on long bus trips). And I'm eligible for a bit of a discount for senior citizens now. We have taxis. And if I want to consolidate a lot of errands all over town into one day, I could rent a car. I hear one company delivers the car to your door, and will take you home when you return the car. And I checked - not having car insurance (because lacking a car) does not prohibit you from renting their cars. You can buy insurance for while you're driving it.
And that doesn't even take bicycling into account. I'm thinking with what I could get for my car now, I could maybe get a decent used bike, helmet, and elbow and knee pads - not going to do without those! Having a bike would greatly expand the boundaries of my carless world. Omaha buses all have a bike rack nowadays (yay!) so there's that.
Edited later to add: There IS a new grocery store just 4 blocks from my house! It's a tiny, storefront type place, carrying locally produced meats and vegetables and cereals, eggs, cheese, milk, handmade pastas - all kinds of goodies. It's a little pricey but I need to eat *better* and *less* so that's probably a good thing. Very friendly clerk. I got some organically-grown beef brats. Can't wait for dinner!