Project management – retirement style


Retirement is a lot of work, well at least if part of the plan is to sell most everything you own and move to France – there are a lot of details.

For 25+ years I traveled the world teaching time management, organization, and project management. Not for big, complicated projects like the ones my friend Dave managed, but the modest sized projects that fill the days of most folks; so I know what and how to do it, yet this move to France does seem a bit daunting at times – did I mention the details, Oh my! and the daily questions that arise?

Many days this sketch reflects just how I feel, which direction was that???

The goal of our project is to sell our house, move to France, and then live in France long term. So I broke the project down into those three phases, a good PM practice for sure. Seems simple enough, BUT…

Selling the house includes more than the real estate, we have a superior broker in Erica. But there are timing issues, deciding what to give to charity, what to sell, what and where to store the things we are sure we want when we return. We attempt to resist the, “We might want it when we return from France..” conundrum. There is a cost of replacement, emotional attachment, storage cost formulae that I know exists but I am still struggling to get it right. I have spread sheets listing most of our items to record the disposition of it all.

Moving to France is all about getting a long-term visa, the hoops to jump through to take Neville (notre chat) to the EU, travel arrangements, lease on a 200 year old cottage, health insurance etc. I don’t like using spreadsheets for tasks, I prefer checklists, thankfully the Reminders app on my iPad allows for multiple lists and sub-lists. The French love documentation, paper not electronic, so I have lists for that, and lists with due dates to set up a timeline.

Living in France means buying a car when we get there, setting up a bank account in a foreign country, new cell (oops, better get used to “mobile”) phone plan. Much of this will happen after we arrive.

Thankfully we have Sarah, she is a consultant with Renestance, a company that helps get us through the process of visa etc, Chris, our future landlord who is amazing, and friends that live in France. Then of course there is Tricia, she has been a project manager for 30+ years at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (soon to retire to her real love of taking travel photos and blogging about grandes aventures).We will get through it all, but those project and time skills I taught are getting put to good use, I will be glad to mark this project as completed.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for handling the details while I’m wrapping up things at work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for being so supportive

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is indeed a massive challenge! We have sold our house, extra cars and most of our stuff about 3 years ago … not to move to another country, but only “down the road” to our small beach house about 120km from Cape Town. And if I think how much of an impact that had on our lives, I can’t even start to comprehend what you are going through!
    But fortunately, it seems you have surrounded you with people willing to assist in every possible way – good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope I did not send out too strong of a message, I don’t really see it as massive, just a bunch of stuff to get done. Most everything is already called for, people will come and get it, most of documents are already collected, so we are on the way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just like you said … a lot of stuff need to be done! But it seems you’ve got everything under control 😁.

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  3. Walt Samples says:

    Good luck on completing it all. Once you are all done and have moved over there, just take a week off & sleep. I know how it felt when bringing back a Thai wife and 4 month old son. Piece of cake compared to what you and Tricia are doing. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are doing fine, it is actually quite exhilarating. Week off and sleep, hmm not sure about that, I think it will be refreshing just to be there. Cant imagine though all the details of yours though, wow.

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    2. Thanks Walt. After arriving in Normandy, we plan to stock up on food and hang out at our little cottage for a few days, so we can recover.

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  4. Terri Watson says:

    It sounds like you two have surrounded yourselves with good resources. I so admire you pursuing your dream!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now if that stupid virus will just cooperate

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    2. Thanks Terri! We’re hoping it all comes together.

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  5. Wishing all the very best for a wonderful new life in France 🎄

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