The decision to keep flying was an easy one. It has become such an important part of my life that I never really considered an alternative, but affordability was a real problem. The slow economy had severely reduced our family income, and my carer was also in transition having just started a new job at a different company. I needed a way to at least make flying 'cost neutral'.
An AOPA webinar on "The cost of Flying" provided some ideas, as well as volumes of information available on their website. They provided about a dozen ways to make money flying. The most obvious solution was to become an instructor. I have done that as a career before, while still in the Navy, and the thought at going back to teaching people to fly was appealing. However, I didn't want to commit to the training and loose control of my own schedule by working at a flight school.
Again, the obvious answer was to buy my own plane and 'freelance' as an adjunct instructor. In this instance the economy actually helped me as the the price of planes in the used aircraft marketplace was considerably less then even a few years ago. Having flown and fallen in love with the Grumman Tiger, I started looking at them, as well as the Cheetah and Lynx models. They were all old.
I had once purchased a classic 1966 Ford Mustang. A great car, but already old at the time I bought it. I learned about cooling systems, fuel systems, rust and corrosion, exhaust systems, convertible tops and, etc, etc. I loved the car, but it was a LOT of maintenance. A 'fellow blogger' had detailed his problems owning a Grumman Cheetah and it seemed he had found that he had the same kind of problems with his plane that I had had with my car. You love them but the up keep is a killer.
I couldn't afford a quarter of a million dollars to buy a new airplane. However, I might be able to buy something at half that price, which is why I began to consider an LSA.