How Old Do You Think I Am?

On the Indian Ocean in Durban South Africa
I am often part of some very interesting conversations when it comes to my tiny house. One of the topics that has been of interest to me lately is the question of age.

Especially in the comment section of various blogs you will see statements like:

"It is great to see young people not make the same mistakes we did." 

"I love to see young people doing this." 

"Tiny homes are for the young. Those ladders would never work for those over 50."

So I got to thinking, how old do people think we are? 

If you look at the Tiny House Infographic created by Ryan Mitchell at The Tiny Life you will actually find that the majority of individuals who responded to his initial poll are actually over the age of 50!

At the time the poll was conducted I had to answer within the 21% between the ages of 30 and 40, but it won't be long until I am part of the 40 to 50 age group.

That is right, I am very nearly 40 years old. Well, I will be 39 in March so I have another year and half until I am in my 40s. Matt turns 40 in April so he is a little bit ahead of me.

I think it is interesting to note when people tell me how great it is that I can do this at such a young age or that I am young enough to pull this off. I chuckle because I'm not anywhere near as young as they think I am.

And the same is clearly true for the tiny house community as a whole. With a whopping 38% of tiny house dwellers being over the age of 50 it really does look like tiny homes are a great alternative to a conventional retirement. 

I sometimes think I wish I had started this process earlier. At the same time I am glad I didn't. I needed my 20s and early 30s to cook a little more. I would have felt woefully unprepared for the way I live now had I not had those experiences.

Everyone's journey is different. If you come to tiny houses at the age of 18 or 25 or 67 then it is the right age for you to start the process. We can second guess our choices for the rest of our lives but what does that really accomplish. If I had started the tiny house process when I was younger I wouldn't be the same person I am today.

I also don't think there is any age limit or required starting date to Live Deliberately. At any point you can chance your direction and embrace a new way of thinking that can profoundly change your life moving forward.That is the most important part.


  1. This completely goes back to my teachings on design. The beautiful thing about tiny houses is that you can design them to fit your current and futures needs. You don't HAVE to have this or that. Design and build (or have built) a home that fits you! (no matter what your age.)

  2. I think I understand how you feel about needing to cook. My wife and I, as did a lot of people who were about 25 in 2005 felt like we needed a starter house ( for about 300K), Now 8 years latter, It's worth half of what we owe. We couldn't "upgrade" to something larger and nicer after a few years like what we planned and we've moved away from the area, trying to get rid of it with a short sell.

    I will never want to take a mortage again, and as painful as that home was it was perhaps the major motivator for me into tiny houses. If nothing else, I wish we rented for the past 8 years, so we could use the difference to buy something outright now.

  3. Amen : ) I am 40 and it is a dream of mine to have one before I'm 50. I plan on being in it through my 70's if I can help it. (I do have some good longevity genes on my Dad's side). Namaste, Shell

  4. People so limit themselves when they talk about age. At age 62, I'm about to run my sixth marathon two weeks from today. I didn't start running until I was 50. I run up stairs in any building with more than one level. I'm a vegan and in probably the best and strongest health of my life. Rather than worrying about what you may or may not do tomorrow, enjoy today. If you have a dream, follow it today. And when you worry about whether you'll be able to climb a ladder in a tiny house after age 50, you are already creating a self-image of decrepitude. Visualize health and happiness and you will enjoy both.

  5. At sixty five, I am looking forward to finding that "tiny house" somewhere! I currently live in a two bedroom 1,114 house here in Florida. I am so sick of living in "Gods waiting room". I watched my two parents, go from being alive to settling down into this house and joining the rest of the old folks.
    I have no concerns about climbing ladders. My grandfather was still walking up five flights of stairs when he was 75, with no problem. Thanks for this article, it has given me just one more reason to close my eyes on the naysayers, and do what I want with my life!

  6. I'm 61 and have been actively interested in the Tiny House movement for years. However, for me, a small house (300/350 sq ft- 500 with loft space) is much more attractive as I don't want to age out of my home when/if a loft bed becomes problematic for whatever reason. Also, I very much want my home to be a welcome and comfortable place for grown kids and/or their kids to visit.

  7. For the past 22 years my husband and I lived in the basement of our B&B. We lived in 375 sf of a bedroom, office, bath and laundry. We downsized from 3 buildings with 15 guest bedrooms and 16 bathrooms to 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. It happened so quickly we didn't have time to have a sale of belongings. We are now planning our small house for the lakeside yard of our new home. It will start out as our garden house (200 sq. ft and loft) until I get tired of cleaning these 4 unused bedrooms. I am almost 72 with a crooked knee but am looking forward to sleeping in the loft. What is age anyway, but a number.


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