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Relocating with kids considerations
Old 09-13-2009, 09:40 AM   #1
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Relocating with kids considerations

Considering a life change so here is some background and my questions. Thank to everyone in advance for any input, suggestions, considerations, etc.

We are headed to a little town near Venice Fl called Englewood for a two week vacation in a few days. We have been spending three to five weeks there a year for a few years now and really like the area.

We have met several locals, of course most are older and like to fish so it is perfect for me. One local raised a family there and suggested we move to Englewood. I have to admit the idea is appealing. To get DW to move would take some convincing and would not happen until she is happy with the idea. Our kids are 3 and 10 so a move in the next year would be one of the few times we would consider it. Once the oldest is in seventh grade (currently 5th) we would like to not move him.

The area is a little smaller than our home town which is the only place we have ever lived BTW. It does seem to have the amenities we use at home. Other than the difference in home owners insurance the cost of living in the area is the same and somewhat lower.

The move would take us from two homes to one so it would be a net cost savings it appears. Home sales in our current area are somewhat slow but have recently picked up and given how long we have owned both we still stand to make a profit. We might even sell just one and hold one for a year or so until we know we want to stay if we make the move.

We have been very fortunate since ESRing in late 2007. The port. weathered the down turn well and is well above the 2007 high now. This is due to dirty market timing which was only by luck and the market timing is something we will likely not repeat as we have never tried to time the market before. Per Firecalc which we have been checking for over three years now we are good to fully retire if desired and would be at a 3% WR with padding if we dropped our part-time business.. Our part-time business is Internet based and has done well for the last several years and would not be an issue if we moved if we want to keep it. All this is just to say that finding a j*b is not an issue in this possible move.


We have an individual health Ins policy so I will need to investigate if we can get one in FL and what that cost difference would be. Should still be able to qualify as no major health issues since we got the current one. Obviously this could be the deal breaker as we will not go without health ins.

We do have college savings in separate accounts for the kids and will have to consider the costs of college in Florida compared to our state to be sure we would still have that covered for them

So enough background.

What is it like to relocate at a personal level?

What might it be like for our oldest? He does seem to handle change well and does not really have a very close friend at this time that he would miss. He does have some friends but seems to move to different ones as the years change.

Has anyone grown up near the beach in Florida and have any experiences to share?

I have looked at the statistics for the area and the schools, crime, demographics are similar. Its hard to know about schools for sure until you are in them however but the schools appear to rate well.

For DW and I we tend to meet new people easily so not to concerned and since we ESR'd a couple of years ago our friends have been changing anyway as the old ones are still at Mega Cr*p.

We always turned down moves at Mega Cr*p but now that the possible move would be to a place we chose it seems more appealing.

To many questions to ask so please share your relocation experiences.
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Are there any little girls in Texas? :)
Old 09-13-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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Are there any little girls in Texas? :)

Kids often adjust pretty easily to relocations. It is important to talk to them about it beforehand, emphasizing any advantages from their point of view... ("And Johnnie, you know how much you like to swim? We will be able to go to the beach almost every weekend if we want to!").

Also, they may have some fears that as adults you may not expect. When we moved to Texas, my daughter was five. Shortly before the move she asked, "Are there any little girls in Texas, Mommy?" She had even been to Texas the previous year and had played with a little girl there, but I suppose she had forgotten or was just a little fearful of the unknown. Or maybe one of her friends in California had told her that there were no little girls in Texas? I have no idea.

Anyway, I reassured her and started talking about things we might do in Texas that would include other children, casually mentioning how so many families in that town seem to have really nice, friendly kids, and so on. The move went really smoothly, and since it was summertime I enrolled her in a community dance class for kids her age right away. She met lots of little girls there and we had some over to play. As a result she had a new best friend within a week and never looked back. Also her best friend's mother was wonderful, brilliant and funny, and I enjoyed getting to know her as well.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #3
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I lived in Venice ,Fl for several years and worked with lots of young mothers with children . Children have so many outdoor activities in Florida . Most of them get into fishing and even golf at young ages . The Englewood area is a nice small town area to raise kids . I'm not sure how the school system is but I did not hear a lot of complaints . The job situation in Florida right now is pretty dismal plus Englewood is kind of remote for commuting . The good news is the housing market is a buyer's market for sure so come down and scoop up a bargain .
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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My dad was in the military. I moved in kindergarten, kindergarten, kindegarten, first grade, fourth grade, sixth grade, eighth grade, and tenth grade. My folks were still moving around after I left the house for good. I did not find it disruptive, but I had no other experience.

I know folks who lived in the same school district their whole lives and would be horrified if they had to move their kids. But these folks had no other experience as well.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:22 AM   #5
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Have you been there in different seasons? Humidity and heat could be difficult and take away some of the fun if you are not used to it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:38 AM   #6
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I also grew up an Army brat and have relocated many times as an adult. Kids will protest the most but adjust the fastest. At first they will be miserable but as soon as they make a few friends (school helps immensely), they will adapt quickly. When the move is precipitated by a job/career change, it is the other spouse that usually takes the longest to adjust. It's easier for kids but it won't seem like it during the transition. Good luck...
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:52 AM   #7
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Visiting in different seasons is certainly important and we have been there in Feburary, March, June, September and October. The area really does not have seasons like our current home since it does not have a fall or winter. I do not think not having a winter will be an issue for any of us and some would say we currently do not have a winter anyway sine we o longer get snow.

I have also found out that our Health Insurance is portable to about 22 states that they operate in and Flordia is one of them.

Thanks for the good info so far it will help build the case with DW who will of course make the decision.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:55 AM   #8
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Being in the Military, we moved our kids 15 times in 20 years. Our daughter, whom we moved the most, can walk into a room of 100 strangers and have 100 friends in 10 minutes. Our son, we moved less, would only have 50 friends. Moving kids is all about the attitude of the parents. If you play the 'it won't be bad.. you will like it there... you will meet new friends...' game they will look for the sympathy and you will have a harder time. If you play 'we are moving' and don't play up all the problems they could have, they will have less problems. Kids are more resilient than adults.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:27 PM   #9
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How is DH (and kids) with the idea of hurricanes? That is probably the only unknown factor. You have to be willing not to get totally freaked out.
I grew up in a wonderful little beach town in coastal SC and absolutely loved the freedom we had to do so many outdoor activities. Growing up at the beach is absolutely magical, and there is no way your kids wouldn't benefit from it, from my perspective.

I'd say go for it--I think you've done a lot of thinking and planning about this. You might want to consult a tax person down there just to see how your business would be affected by the move, but that is the only caveat that comes to mind.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:07 AM   #10
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My family moved to coastal Florida when we children were 9, 11, and 13 respectively (I was the 9 year old). We were there 5 years, and then moved to upstate NY. The oldest child, having turned 18 and graduated, stayed in Florida and is still there 27 years later.

I think FL is a great place for someone who is in the 6-13 age group. THere's so much one can do outdoors. This was more true in the 70s, of course, when there was more undeveloped areas, but I'm sure its still the case today.

Personally, however, I would worry about having my kids in high school in Florida. I think the beach bum/drug culture is very strong. The educational opportunities far less so. I also think there was less of a 'culture of success' among young people there than I saw elsewhere, e.g. in the North East. The economic opportunities are also concentrated in the tourism and real estate/construction industries.

While some of my old friends turned out ok, I think the average outlook for young people in coastal Florida is inferior to what you find in other parts of the country.


(please note I'm talking about generalities, of course some Florida teens will do well)

At the very least, if I were to move to Florida with children, I was do everything I could to encourage them to leave the state for University.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
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Since our trip is now over its time for an update on this idea. We did look at some real estate in the area and found homes that would meet our needs. We verified the Insurance cost, Taxes, and average utilities also. We did this with me pushing for it. In many ways it would be slightly cheaper than living where we are now in the new Tornado and Hail alley. One missed us by less than half a mile this spring.

We have never lived anywhere else and our friends and families are here also. We also live in the neighborhood and house my wife wanted. I am not complaining about it. It was her choice but I was fine with it sixteen years ago which is the last time we even changed houses. I still am okay with it.

The Florida idea was mine and one I wanted to consider. I probably new better after 23 years of marriage which decisions could me made mutually. The Florida idea is one of a few locations that would have always suited me. The others were living on a farm (not an option) as that is how I grew up, and living on a lake. We did compromise about the lake in that we bought a second home on a lake that I really enjoy. I would be happy there also but that idea did not go well either which is why I should have known better. The difference is I even came to agree that it was better to stay here than move to the lake because of the schools.

In summary this is one area DW will not even talk about or consider. I was better trained than that and should have known better. At this point I think that location would probably be preferable for me. However, it is not an option as I value her and my kids happiness much more. I made a promise over 23 years ago to her and I would not consider breaking it. Her happiness is much more important than where we live and that does not imply that I am unhappy here. It was just a dream and one I now know not to consider.

Even in ESR when employment is not an issue we have to make decisions together or at least compromise and I well know what areas are not even open for discussion. I love my kids and DW much more than the place I live so on this one I will certainly yield to her wishes on.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:23 PM   #12
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Bummer, fish, but I guess you know which battles are worth picking.
Thanks for sharing your thought process, though, as it reminds the rest of us of just these sorts of issues in our own relationships.
Maybe she will be more flexible once the kids are grown.
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