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Family Entropy
Old 09-12-2016, 06:17 AM   #1
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Family Entropy

Good Morning All -

Been retired now for 21 months - wonderful decision. Life just got so much easier with less stress. Hitting gym much more, traveling, ... so all over good. Very blessed.

Our children are growing up, getting on their careers, and developing relationships. We're happy, very happy, that they are happy and healthy. Here's my happiness roadblock. It looks like they will be settling down further away than we hoped for.

Our dream was always to have kids, grandkids within an hour ride - visits, emergency baby sitting, helping around the house,...

But looks like one of our kids will be moving abroad. Other will probably be in another state - there goes the 1 hr radius.

Was wondering - any parents out there in similar situation? How did it go? How did you deal with it?

Know that this is reality and that we did good to give them confidence to fly. We will help them financially as we have always planned. Nothing changed except dream of closer family is waning.

Kannon
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:26 AM   #2
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We live in NC, and also hoped to have extended family nearby. Our oldest just moved to Chicago with his SO, and in 5 years plans to move overseas. Our youngest wants to move to Germany after graduation. The middle son is an hour away and wants to change jobs and move (not sure where, though Atlanta and DC were previously high on his list). To top it off, my sister moved to Hilton Head this year! Don't know what we are going to do. Considering a move to the Midwest near an major airport, or just staying here and getting used to seeing the family on a more occasional basis.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:37 AM   #3
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I heard a cab driver say that you need to raise at least six children: two will be worthless and spend most of the time in jail, two will move away, and you still want a redundant family system. I'm paraphrasing, it was a long time ago.

I wouldn't make any rash migration plans. Things may not work out and having parents somewhere familiar will feel like home for decades. There's a good chance one or more will move back in a couple years.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:36 AM   #4
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I was the one who moved away! I moved half way round the world immediately after graduating and spent most of my career, and now retirement, many hours and time zones away from my parents. We visit once a year and speak occasionally; we write often. I think, frankly, it is a question of personality rather than distance - for nine years we lived just three hours away but we didn't see that much more of each other. My sister, in the other hand, lives across country from my mother yet calls and writes daily. In other words - what will be will be. You and your kids will find an equilibrium no matter where they live. It may feel like too little, it may feel like too much. But it will probably be for the best!


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Old 09-12-2016, 08:03 AM   #5
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They might be moving, but doesn't mean they'll be settling down. Don't try to chase. Millenials aren't as in a rush to marry/house/family. Chances are good once they have married and have, if not their first child, the second, one more of of them might decide it would be nice to live near family.

Or wherever they are by that point - that's where to consider if you were to move.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:28 AM   #6
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Who's to say they wont move back to the area after a couple years? My wife and I moved away from both of our families 10 years ago...approx 150 mile distance (3h drive)...but plan on moving back within the next year. Yeah we didnt move abroad but we still only saw our families once a month.

Moving abroad = vacations for you! You can go visit.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:54 AM   #7
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Moving abroad = vacations for you! You can go visit.
Hah! This is what we plan to do--although they'll each need to get a spare bedroom for us, which may not happen. (San Fran, Chicago, DC ... Although Chicago is only an 8 hour drive.)

It does pose an issue for our declining years, which will need to be dealt with. Currently going through this process with in-laws. We are the nearest of four kids, at 7.5 hour drive. Luckily, they are in the midst of large and closely-knit extended family. Still, we will remember the importance of planning ahead for those years.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #8
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I heard a cab driver say that you need to raise at least six children: two will be worthless and spend most of the time in jail, two will move away, and you still want a redundant family system. I'm paraphrasing, it was a long time ago.
Now that's funny. Though definitely some truth to the fact that the more kids the more likely at least 1 or 2 are co-dependent.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:35 AM   #9
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Be thankful you are blessed with a healthy happy family.
My only child died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 38.

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Old 09-12-2016, 12:03 PM   #10
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People move around and one of the lessons we learned is don't plan your location around what others do. When we moved to WV one of the primary issues was proximity to family, specifically within an hour of FIL and one niece. My family was a bit farther but not much. The farthest relative was 2.5 hours away, so a round trip was doable in one day.

Then one half-sister that I've been close to all my life moved to DE, 4 hours away, then another sister moved nearby. Then my other sister moved there too! That one later moved to GA to be near her kids. The GA location is nine hours so that's not gonna happen often. I'm not sure it ever will.

So, lesson learned.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:03 PM   #11
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Our dream was always to have kids, grandkids within an hour ride - visits, emergency baby sitting, helping around the house,...

Kannon
Do you have a vibrant, good social life outside of the kids/family? If not,
you're going to have to get your own life going, and not rely on the kids for your social needs.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:05 PM   #12
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Be thankful you are blessed with a healthy happy family.
My only child died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 38.

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So sorry for your loss .
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:08 PM   #13
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We have six children. 1/6 so far has not been smooth sailing.

My mom and dad moved away right when I graduated college. I have two older brothers in different states. My mom always said her biggest regret was moving away from us, but then whether they moved or we moved, life holds no guarantees. I just so happened to stay in the general vicinity of where I grew up.

So just be there as much as you can. Take extended trips to the extent possible or even host the grandchildren for some time during the summer and let mom and dad get away sans kids. That is what my folks did.

Helena so sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:08 PM   #14
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At one point before retiring, we had 3 kids going to school in the same area (different universities). We considered making that city as a base and did a cursory look at real estate. Well, after graduation, they moved on with one on the east coast and one in the Midwest. We've always had one who will never leave where we currently live, so he could be an anchor to retiring in place. Our lesson learned is to never make plans to move to where they live as they'll likely be mobile.

As to how we deal with it? We look at it as an opportunity to travel. So far this year, we've visited one 4 times (new grandbaby), and the other once (in graduate school, so we work around his schedule). Our plans are to spend Thanksgiving with the one on the east coast.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:10 PM   #15
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I live in Florida and my daughter lives in upstate New York . That is what planes are for . I usually make the trip twice a year and between that and skype we stay close .I would love to live closer to my daughter but no way am I moving to where she lives .
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:10 PM   #16
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So sorry for your loss .

Thanks

I had retired early [age 55] and had spent more time with him than ever before in the years before he died.

God works in mysterious ways.

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Old 09-12-2016, 01:03 PM   #17
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What you are experiencing is an unfortunate reality of life in this day and age. For my mother, only one of her children live close-by (yours truly) and the others are near to each other but 2,000 miles away.

Our kids are each within two hours of us but in opposite directions, but during the winter we are 1,500 miles away.

We were just talking about this the other day... when I was growing up, my mother and all my aunts lived within a few miles of my grandmother... but there was one wayward son who lived 3,000 miles away.

You'll deal with it... besides, now that you are retired you have plenty of time to travel to visit them regularly.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:21 PM   #18
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Unless you are Native American, your ancestors left home somewhere else, probably before the age of electronic communication, and may never have seen their families again. It's normal for offspring to move for work, move or other opportunities. You will just have to learn to make the most of it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:37 PM   #19
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It is more a function of family dynamics. My wife's 2 sons live about a half hour away, and if she is lucky, she gets a phone call once a week
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:43 PM   #20
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Going back in my families history you find some families that essentially just stayed in one area over generations, and others that moved essentially across the country over multiple generations. In one case starting in 1630 it was Ma then Ct, then NJ, then Oh, then Ia, then In.
Of course for many families World War II meant that returning service folks did not return to where they came from having seen other locations.
Of course today compared to 100 years ago it is far easier to stay in touch even if living on opposite sides of the world (plus or minus the issue of time zones).
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