When the topic of retirement comes up, most people are typically planning big vacations, considering taking up a hobby, or wanting to spend their lives learning a new sport or skill.
But for some, retirement is an opportunity to live smaller and be simpler.
After all, they no longer have to look after their children, who have all grown up and moved out of the family home.
The need to live close to work or family may also have been eliminated.
Sandy Brooks in Escalante Village
For several retirees, downsizing has given them more free time. Instead of spending their days cleaning a big house, they can spend them doing the things they love.
Most of them also live on a fixed income, so any way to reduce expenses and living costs is a great option.
As a gift for her 75th birthday, Sandy Brooks, 77, moved into a tiny house in Escalante Village, a tiny home community in Durango, Colorado.
Sandy Brooks’ home in Escalante Village
The community consists of 24 tiny homes, including seven rentals, and was started by a Durango resident.
The tenants brought themselves into their houses. Some had made them while others built the houses themselves.
As for Sandy, she had hers made by a company called Simblissity Tiny Homes.
Escalante Village in Durango, Colorado
People from all walks of life live in Escalante Village. Some, like Sandy, are retired, others are therapists, engineers, professionals and woodworkers.
They may all be different, but they have a common goal – to live more simply and consciously.
Each lot in the village is 20 feet by 40 feet, which accommodates a tiny house, a patio, a garden, and a parking lot that can accommodate two cars.
Unlike traditional tiny homes that are built on large areas far from neighbors, the homes in this community are built close to each other.
The living room of Sandy Brooks’ tiny house in Escalante Village
Sandy has heard many people speak negatively about the proximity of their homes, but it doesn’t bother her at all.
“We all hold back quite a bit when we want to be alone. Or if we see someone outside, we go up to them and chat,” she said. “We all just have the same reason for being in this tiny [house community].”
“It’s not loud at all. I’ve driven through a lot of communities where houses are much closer together than here, with windows on either side and you can see into someone else’s bathroom.”
“I can’t see into my neighbor’s bathroom. “So I don’t think it bothers us that we are relatively close to each other,” she added.
The attic bedroom of Sandy Brooks’ tiny house in Escalante Village
Before retiring, Sandy lived in a large house. But at some point in her life she reached the point where she wanted to get rid of many of her possessions. When she did, her 1,000-square-foot house felt too big.
That’s when she became curious about the tiny house movement and whether it was a lifestyle she could live.
And Simblissity Tiny Homes helped her solidify her decision to go tiny. The company showed her a sample for the house she currently lived in and she was sold.
The kitchen of Sandy Brooks’ tiny house in Escalante Village
And I don’t regret it,” Sandy said.
Her two brothers, an architect and an engineer, thought she had made a bad decision moving into a tiny house.
But they changed their minds when they saw how happy she is in her new home.
Before moving to Escalante Village, Sandy devoted much of her time to cleaning her home. Now she can spend most of her time outside biking, hiking and talking to neighbors.
Take a tour of this tiny village and Sandy’s adorable home in the video below.