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Moving away from kids in retirement
Old 10-23-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
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Moving away from kids in retirement

I've been a member for a few years but I admit that I read a lot more than I post. With just shy of four years before retirement, my DW and I are starting to plan where we will live once we pull the plug on work. We've always thought that we would sell the primary residence and live in a lake condo about 100 miles from the family, because we love the area and the condo would require a lot less maintenance. As we approach the decision, we are faced with the fact that we have been blessed to live (within a few miles) of our kids and grand kids and that leaving them seems more like abandonment.
I'm wondering if anyone on this forum made the choice to move away from kids and grand kids when you retired, albeit only a few hours drive, and how it worked out? Any words of wisdom to help overcome the fear of regretting a decision as big as this, once it's made?

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #2
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My daughter lives in Oregon, and I live in Louisiana, so this was not an issue for me when I retired. I don't plan to move to Oregon.

However, I was thinking - - perhaps it would help to explain to your children that you would love having them visit you at the lake for weekends or vacations? Your potential retirement location sounds like a lovely destination for them. The location sounds so nice and who knows, you might end up seeing more of them after you move than you do now.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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We have not made the decision but there are many variables.

Both our children are in their mid/late twenties. One has already moved away, full days drive away, and the other could move at any time if he so desires and if the opportunity is right for him. And that is a high probability given how mobile people are today.

So, we could stay and still not be close to our children.

And it is working our just fine. No issues whatsoever.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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Well, for us, it was the opposite direction. The kids went away to school, and then moved on from there. We are visiting our son as I type this. FIRE allowed us to do this. They don't have kids yet, and have a 2br apt, so we have a place to stay in the colder months. In the warmer months we bring our travel trailer so we have more space and more ability to visit a couple hours a day and do other activities the rest to the time. For us the separation has not been a bad thing. My wife even says she never wants to live closer than a hundred or so miles away. That gives us our space, and them theirs.

All of that said, if there had been grandkids in the picture before a separation, I'm sure it would not be the same.

Is there any possibility to move to the lake condo, but stay in a MIL apt at the kids' place on the weekends, or once a month? Sounds like the best of both worlds to me, if you can swing it. But on the other hand, you have to think about how dependent are they upon you for everyday support ( and vice versa) such as for babysitting, help with round the house projects, etc. If there is a co-dependency, it will be tough to do without breaking out of that first, since the target destination is only 100 miles or so away...you could find yourself getting cries for help (and the resultant gasoline and car costs) that is becomes an unworkable situation.

Just some thoughts.

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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I'm wondering if anyone on this forum made the choice to move away from kids and grand kids when you retired, albeit only a few hours drive, and how it worked out? Any words of wisdom to help overcome the fear of regretting a decision as big as this, once it's made?

Thanks!
emi-guy
This is probably not gonna help you much, but your question resonates with me. I ER'd a little over 3 months ago and one of the major factors was that we didn't want to leave the children once they had left the nest. So we made the decision to FIRE and make the move well before the children would be ready to go. Our oldest just started high school and we just relocated to the city that we want to retire to. Now this is their home and it's perfectly fine if they decided to leave when the time comes for them to be out making a life. We knew we wouldn't move from our previous home if we had stayed there.

It was a difficult decision as I had a great job and my family all lived back where we moved from. I know they were a bit disappointed to see us leave, especially my parents, but they understood our reasons and in the end were very happy for us.

As I said, I don't think this helps you much, but I sympathize with your dilemma.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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We lived in LA (outside New Orleans) for 28 years. Both of our daughters and their families live in a Missouri University town. We had planned on moving near them when my husband retired. Shortly before my husband did retire, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I went on to Missouri to have my chemo, stay with our daughters and their families while my husband sold our house and retired.

My chemo is finished and my husband is now here. We have purchased a house and will close soon. This has been a long journey for all of us ... with my husband bearing a heavy lone burden.

Being with my family through some pretty dismal times was a comfort beyond explanation. Yes..........I do help with the grandkids. Sometimes it is a "bother". But then again --- there have been many times I/we are/were "a bother". But when you total up the list of "bother" items, it is insignificant compared to the positives.

YUP we are "involved" parents......BUT..........our children and grandchildren have been so supportive that we count ourselves among the luckiest people on the planet.

When looking for a new house, the distance from family was a huge consideration in our final decision.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
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Every situation is a little different. Pre FIRE, our two kids wanted to know where we were planning to move. We asked why. They said so they know where to locate after college. We laughed about it then.

Fast forward 4 years. We FIRE'd and moved from Chicago to SC upstate. Our house wasn't even built before DS, wife (and now two grand kids) moved to within 30 minutes of us. Last summer DD landed a job in local hospital, which is 40 minutes away. We joke to friends, that we tried to get away from them, but they just followed us anyway.

I am writing this following this past weekends family gumbo / beer tasting event. We feel very blessed that we were able to find a perfect spot for our new lives, and both DS, and DD wanted to be close by, so these sorts of family events can take place on a regular basis. Family is very important to us all.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by emi guy View Post
I'm wondering if anyone on this forum made the choice to move away from kids and grand kids when you retired, albeit only a few hours drive, and how it worked out?
Only one comment from me, is that even only a few hours drive is different from 1/2 hour which is different itself from a short walk.

The closer one is to people he wants to be with, the more he will see them, the closer they will tend to be and the more love they are likely to share. Not to mention being there to get and five help when it is needed.

I live very close to my kids and my granddaughter, (5-20') and I would not move. I would not move even if this were northern Ohio and not Seattle.

Ha
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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We have 2 kids and 5 grandkids, son and 2 boys (5&7) live about 10 minutes away. Daughter with 2 girls and 1 boy, all 3 and under, live about 35 minutes away. Already the boys are busy 24/7 so we see them maybe once every couple weeks, if we invite them for dinner.

I RE'd a couple months ago and my wife can retire whenever she chooses to. We're figuring the grandkids won't care if we're here or not once the get to 7 or 8 years old so that's our time frame to move, if we do. We can come back a couple times a year after we move, maybe even do a reverse snowbird thing, come back and rent something for a few months in the summer. We're looking at the southwest.

I'd think if you're looking at a condo next to a lake, you'd have plenty of visitors, especially if you sprung for a boat of some sort. At just a few hours away, weekends are a real possibility.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #10
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My grandparents lived about 40 minutes from my house and I spent most summers at their farm with my Uncle (2 years older). Plenty to do, chopping wood, fishing, ATV, etc. I am sure your grandkids would enjoy the lake

Maybe that is a way to spend more time with the kids a least. My parents would come up a few weekends a summer to see us all.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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This is a big decision and I wish I had words of wisdom. DH and I discuss this often. Our youngest lives in the same town, another child lives 30 miles away and our oldest lives about 1500 miles away. And, we have no idea if the younger two (23yo and 29yo) will stay where they are or take off for better job opportunities. The oldest (32yo) seems pretty set, but we do not want to leave the other two so far away and move near him.

It is a lot to hash and re-hash. A quandary. Wish we could just have kept everybody on a family farm. ; >
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:44 PM   #12
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2 of our kids live in the Shreveport, LA area and one lives in North Carolina. It's tough that they're split like that, so living in one place or the other still leaves somebody out. We've decided to buy our retirement home near Shreveport. I expect to spend a lot of time in North Carolina, though.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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Lots of good thoughts, thanks!

I think with four or so years to go before we retire, we will probably just keep maintaining/ enjoying both places then make the decision when our actual retirement date is closer.

On the one hand, I would like to reduce the cost of keeping two places now but on the other, I don't want to "live too far in the future" either.

This decision will hopefully be clearer as time progresses or, as some of you inferred, it may take care of itself in time by the kids choosing to move, etc.

We're fortunate to have "first world" problems!

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Old 10-24-2013, 10:57 AM   #14
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I knew a couple who solved the children problem by purchasing a small condo in a desireable vacation area of the country. I think it was some Colorado mountain skiing area, they all were avid skiers and hikers. They made it available to all their children who, of course, took advantage of it on a regular basis. They would then 'visit' the condo at the same time. As I recall it worked quite well. Of course, it also requires some extra $$'s to pull it off.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:54 AM   #15
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One son lives near Dallas and the other is in Northern Virginia when we retired. We moved a couple of hours away to West Virginia and although we don't get as much time as we like together, when they do come over, it's for a longer visit or at least overnight and that is nice. The rest of our families are spread out across the US so there wasn't one place that would really work so we moved where we wanted to move. I figure that both of the boys will relocate as a result of work anyway so we might have been stuck in a high cost area by ourselves.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #16
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When we moved to WV one of the criteria was proximity to family. DW's father and brother lived about 35 minutes away, one sister 30 minutes, and the other 1.5 hours.

One of my sisters lived in northern Virginia and the other in MD just outside DC so they were each about an hour and a half. WV seemed like a good choice because everyone was within driving distance without requiring an overnight stay.

Since then one of my sisters moved to DE (four hours away) and the other to GA, nine hours away. A half-sister & her family that we've also been very close to also moved from MD to DE. DW's sister that used to live 1.5 hours away is now 15 minutes away here in WV. All of the people who moved had been in the same houses for 10-30 years.

People move around for various reasons so if you do make a move be aware that things can and probably will change.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:39 PM   #17
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I moved to Florida before my daughter graduated college . For a few years she lived in Boston & I would visit every three or four months . She is now married with two children living in upstate New York . We get together twice a year & talk constantly . I would love to have her closer but this is life . My So has four boys who live within an hour or less from our house but they are busy with their lives . We see them for birthdays , some holidays & football .
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by emi guy View Post
I've been a member for a few years but I admit that I read a lot more than I post. With just shy of four years before retirement, my DW and I are starting to plan where we will live once we pull the plug on work. We've always thought that we would sell the primary residence and live in a lake condo about 100 miles from the family, because we love the area and the condo would require a lot less maintenance. As we approach the decision, we are faced with the fact that we have been blessed to live (within a few miles) of our kids and grand kids and that leaving them seems more like abandonment.
I'm wondering if anyone on this forum made the choice to move away from kids and grand kids when you retired, albeit only a few hours drive, and how it worked out? Any words of wisdom to help overcome the fear of regretting a decision as big as this, once it's made?

Thanks!
emi-guy
We moved away from kids to take a job. They (son, his wife) were married but no kids at the time. It was hard but we agreed it was a good decision. Then came grandkids and that changed everything.

Suffice it to say that upon retirement we moved back to be 10 minutes away from them. DW drove the decision mostly, but I did not resist. We are still on cloud 9. Last week the 9 y/0 stopped by to play ping-pong with Grampa. His big brother has now moved an old bathing suit to our place so he can drop in for a swim on brief notice. We have attended numerous parties, school functions etc. Happily baby-sitting a couple of times a month.

The only sacrifice has been financial (housing) and that took some priority-rearranging. That is only money and we have handled that with a little stretching but no distress.

Each to his own but for us it's priceless.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #19
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When I retired eight years ago, DW and I moved 500 miles south to be close to son, DIL and our two grandkids and no regrets whatsoever. Family is so important in our way of thinking. That said, to each his/her own.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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All families have different relationships which may be a factor in FIRE issues - especially the FIRE location. DW and I remained in our home town area until both sets of parents were gone. None of our siblings participated in the significant amount of care and concern for the elders. I'm sure our parents lived much longer (and certainly healthier, happier) lives because of our participation. But that was our choice.

We raised our kids to be independent and they all chose professional fields which translate to most any location. We figured that, no matter where we chose to live in FIRE, the kids would move to find empl*yment - and they did. So now our kids are scattered around the country. Nothing we could have done would have changed that, I don't believe. So, if I have a point, it would be to "please yourself" and not live your lives for your kids. If pleasing yourself means you are physically close to your kids, by all means, go for it. Just don't be surprised if all your plans are turned upside down when your kids decide to leave YOU. Oh, and don't depend on your kids to "look after you". It worked well for both our parents, but only because we felt a calling to help them. We do not expect that our kids will be our care takers in the future, and to the best of our ability, we are planning accordingly.

We love the kids and we visit once every year or two. We keep (loose) track by phone and email, but do not "participate" in the kids lives on a day to day basis. We help financially at OUR pleasure. If this all sounds foreign to others, I understand. Relationships within families can be very different. Not good or bad, just different.

We've had adult friends who "lived their lives" through their kids - and now through their grandkids. It's a beautiful relationship, but is fraught with the danger that the kids may decide to leave anyway. I've seen severe depression set in on such folks. One couple, in late, successful c*reers were ready to move to be close to the grandkids when the parents were making noise about leaving. My take is that instead, they all but "bribed" the young couple not to leave. Only my opinion, but I found that to be toxic. Still, it has worked for them, just as moving away from our home base has so far worked for us. YMMV
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