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Is Retiring Near Your Family A Good – Or Not So Great – Idea?

Category: Family and Retirement

September 30, 2013 — In our previous surveys we’ve seen considerable support for the idea of retiring near your children, grandchildren, and/or other family members. But we’ve also heard the opposite opinion from folks whose dreams head them in another direction. This week we would like to explore retiring near family vs. not so near in greater depth. We’ll present results from our past surveys on this issue. And since we found so many relevant and interesting comments in those surveys, those insights will be a big part of the article.

A Complicated Picture
Retiring near family can mean many things, not just being close to your grown children and grandchildren. Depending on your situation. It might mean having an adult child living in your home. Or it might entail taking care of an elderly parent. Sometimes it’s not that easy, as seen by the 1 in 7 baby boomers who are “sandwiched” – providing financial support to both one of their children and their parents.

We considered creating a new survey on this question. But after thinking about it we came to the conclusion that it would be a lot more interesting to have you post your experiences and opinions directly in the Comments section at the end of this article. We think that might generate the most discussion, plus make it easy for everyone to see all, rather than a sampling, of the Comments. Please contribute by sharing your thoughts below.

Lets start by listing some of the usual pros and cons about living near your family in retirement.

Pros of Retiring Near Family
– The chance to see and be part of the lives of your grandchildren as they grow up
– Ability to help new parents as they juggle careers and child-rearing
– The chance to see your family members often
– A built-in social network
– Support for your parents or siblings as they age or need help
– Support for children who need it
– Support for you as you age

– Sometimes you can be too close. With some families a bit of distance is better than none
– Adult children with careers can move a lot. That means you probably have to move too
– Your children or family might not live in a geographically desirable area. As in, you wanted Sunbelt, you get Nebraska
– You might feel taken advantage of as the default baby sitter or care-giver
– Among retired couples, one member might want to be near the kids, but the other prefers another dream
– Sometimes elderly parents can be a burden, especially if they won’t take steps to help themselves, or other siblings don’t help out.

What our previous research says
Although we’ve heard a lot of discussion in favor of living near family in retirement, it does not appear to be the most important factor people use when they determine where to live.

When we asked members in a previous survey to rate their most important criteria for choosing a place to retire, “moving close to family” was rated 5th: it followed “finding an active community”, “warm weather location”, “low-tax environment”, and “area that lets me pursue activities and hobbies”.

When we surveyed members on the best and worst things about their retirements the results were interesting, and a bit contradictory. “Not moving near friends/family” was the 2nd highest “worst” thing about their retirement, but “Moving near friends/family” was one of the lowest rated “best” things about retirement.

Moving near family did not appear to be a problem issue in our retirement survey on spousal compatibility – it was one of the least problematic areas for couples (and, oddly enough, it was also rated very low when it came to areas of greatest compatibility).

Likes about living near family
We were surprised when reviewing comments in a recent survey to see more negative comments about living close than there were positive ones. (Comments from different survey respondents are separated by _____.)
Being near our grandchildren is important
We decided on Florida near my parents since they are getting older, my brothers will never retire to Florida, and they can help us too. We found a great condo in a wonderful resort community with great amenities and a full clubhouse. Lots of free stuff, low fees, low taxes, and nice neighbors. We couldn’t be happier. In fact, my cousin’s friend is moving in next week so perhaps more of the family will follow.

We initially thought AZ would be where we would like to retire but my daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer last year causing us both to reassess how far away from our daughter’s we felt comfortable moving too. We both now agree that we would prefer to retire in an active adult community within an 8 hour drive of our daughter’s and families living in IL
Being able to visit the granchildren often is a consideration for both of us and we will work out the best way to make that happen as we hit the road.
Initially, we thought we’d move between our two grown children even purchasing a lot to build on. Now we’d be in the middle (8 hours in each direction). We found a beautiful piece of land which seemed to be a perfect compromise for the both of us. It was in a neighborhood and close to shops for me but the lot was large enough to allow him his peace and quiet and to garden on a couple of acres. We were thrilled – at least for a few months.
Then I began to have second thoughts realizing we might be in between our family but now we have no one close by! I’ll never drive eight hours by my self (I hate flying now with all the craziness) to see the kids. How did we miss that major fact? I’m miserable at the thought, and my husband is frustrated having purchased land in a state I now don’t want to live in.
Staying close to grandchilden or not is the hardest (issue) to reconcile
We moved 435 miles from our families, including children/grandchildren. That was the most difficult as is the many trips we make to see everyone. Although we miss being part of the everyday lives of those we love, our time is more precious when we spend extended time there or they visit us

Dislikes/Concerns about Being Close

There is no way to predict where your kids will wind up long term. Today it is relatively rare for professionals to stay in one job very long, often transferring from state to state. Particularly when younger, this is often how professionals move up in their career and pay more quickly.
Moved to live near extended family (I have no children or immediate family left) and discovered that I don’t see them that much anyway. And it has cost me in much higher taxes, so I’m going to move back west!
We don’t live near our grandchildren now, but where we plan to move is even further. I have some guilt about not moving closer to where they are, but they are unstable and we could move closer to where they are only to find out that they are moving somewhere else. My spouse thinks we have to do what is best for us and see the grandkids when we can.
Our children think I’m available to meet their needs – for babysitting the grandchildren, for shopping, for running errands for them, etc. I’m far too busy! I didn’t quit my paying job to take on a non-paying one!
Our children are both successful and with their own families.
My wife however will not consider moving and it is a fight just to get her to travel. I am like an afterthought and her life circles around the grandchildren and watching TV.

Considerations other than grandchildren
– Several people mentioned that spending more time with their spouse was the most important thing, not friends and family
– Taking care of a special needs child
– Caring for elderly parents who refuse to leave their home. We’re stuck!
– Kids still living at home, younger spouse still tied to working, need to care for elderly parent
– Our concern involves a high functioning but still dependent adult child with cognitive deficits.

Advice and Considerations
Begin early to discuss a long distance move from your grown children so they have plenty of time to get used to the idea

The hardest issue to reconcile is your own needs regarding location vs. friends/family desires to have you closer to them

Comments. The decision to live near family is clearly a difficult one. Please share your thoughts, ideas, experiences, hopes and plans when it comes to living near – or not so near your family. Use the Comments section below – we know we’ll get a lot of good ones!

For further reading:
See out other member surveys on spousal compatibility, downsizing, where to live, and more.

Posted by Admin on September 30th, 2013


  1. 😕 Would never again move to be near children. We did, my husband and his son had huge argument, haven’t spoken in 7 years. Live your life for you and your husband.

    by G Marc — October 1, 2013

  2. We have been contemplating this very issue for what seems like forever! 1. We have been living in a climate that I do not like nor am comfortable in. My husband, of course, absolutely loves it – hot & humid. 2. We have 2 adult children here & the rest – his & mine & their families live in several states scattered east & west, north & south. No one has any money to be traveling for visits so logically, we’d stay here … but … they could have to move elsewhere due to jobs or other reasons so …. I’ve been voting to move somewhat north where the climate is not drastically cold or hot, the taxes don’t matter cuz I dont have enough money to worry about it & the property taxes are about the same. It’s a reasonable drive from here, at least until they get old:roll:. So what’s the problem you say? Housing. We bought our home at a reasonable price & have made improvements on it as time went by. So reluctant to move to a home that isn’t as comfortable or looks as nice but then we’d only live there another 10 – 20 years, tops …. I mean it’s all just driving me crazy. It’s mostly about the money as you can see. We have no savings – cancer wiped out everything – . I just really, really wanted to be in a climate I like for my last 20 or so years left:)

    by Jeanne C — October 1, 2013

  3. This is exactly my dilemma. The kids might move. I might end up just being a babysitter or pet-sitter for them, like some of my friends. The kids may be too busy to have much time for me, and they won’t be located in my top retirement spots.

    On the other hand, I went through the stress of having my parents die in other states. My parents wanted to stay in their family home. They didn’t want to move when I was relocated, and then one of them had such poor health that they couldn’t travel to see us as much as they had planned. We’d try to use vacation time to visit them, but it wasn’t always possible. When the first parent died, not being able to get to the hospital and trying to help on the phone was awful. My remaining parent then sold the family home, remarried in the blink of an eye, and moved to FL where the new spouse wanted to retire. Again, I had to deal with emergencies from a few hundred miles away. I was working full time, caring for my own ill spouse and raising a few kids during both of my parents’ emergencies, and simply couldn’t do everything that needed to be done for them. Their grandchildren never got to know them well, which breaks my heart. I swore I would never do the same thing to my own kids. Doing my best to be within easy driving distance of my kids is definitely a priority for me. This is a real dilemma though.

    by Sharon — October 2, 2013

  4. Well, since I no longer have a husband, my other extended family are very important. My mother is European and still living, at 96, about 80 miles from me. I will never move until she passes. My children – 3 live within an hour of me with my grandchildren. Since I did not grow up with grandparents, it is very important to me to be a part of their lives. I enjoy my grandchildren possibly more than I did my own children.

    I still get to do fun things, many with my family – grandchildren or mother.
    I am 65 and in good health so I feel I will think only of relocating (not too far) in about 8 years or so. Want to go closer to the ocean – Delaware – which will still be close enough to the kids.

    I just can’t imagine being a long distance grandparent – farther than 100 miles away.

    by Carol — October 2, 2013

  5. This too is was an issue for us. Our four parents have all died w/in the last 5 years and the need to be within easy driving distance really came to light. They needed our help and we were all glad (and privileged) to give it to them. Two of our four parents were able to die at home;one passed in the hospital six weeks after suffering a stroke and one had to go into a nursing facility for a few weeks before passing due to his condition. I don’t know about you, but that too is the way I’d like to go. Having all my children & grandchildren close by to spend those closing weeks/days and hours along side. I know it might be different with so many blended families but ours is not and all my sisters and our children (except one who says they’re moving back when the grand babies start coming) and grandchildren live within an hour of each other. If I had no family we’d be moving south where the winters are warm and the housing and taxes are lower. But I’ve come to realize w/o my family close by no beach or beautiful house on a lake will matter.

    by Barbp — October 2, 2013

  6. I will be retiring in a couple of years and am planning on moving across the country to live near my daughter. i live withing 8 miles of one son and see him rarely, my other son is military and moves alot. While I will live within 30 miles of the girls I will not live with them.. Look forward to a new place and a new chapter.

    by Janet — October 2, 2013

  7. I’m struggling with this. I have no grand kids, but I have brothers, a son, a niece. Try don’t all live in the same place. Then I have old dear friends and cousins in another place. None of them close together. Also, many of them live in high $$$ areas…Seattle and San Francisco. I am currently in NY and it is too cold in the winter and too humid in the summer, and not cheap. So I want to move…but where? Like others, I have budget concerns. At this point I am thinking I will move somewhere like Arizona or Nevada, and at least be within (long) driving distance to family. I need those warm winters and low taxes. But starting over in a place with o friends and family is daunting. And I’m single, by the way. However, I moved to Las Vegas and lived there five years, then to NY and have been here 7 years, and made friends in both places…I like to get out. I found that joining a gym, taking a dance class, joining a book club…all open doors. Working part-time. Volunteering. All avenues to making friends. I would move near my brother in Seattle area, but expect he will move wherever my niece settles..which may be the D.C. Area…but that depends on work. So I guess I just have to decide then make the best of it.

    by Ginger — October 2, 2013

  8. I will retire within a year or so, but as a federal worker, well, I’m not getting paid anyway. But that is another story!

    Moving to be close to either of my sons would be a bad idea. I would imagine that I would become a burden.

    I have two sons, one in Maryland and one in California. I have gotten used to not seeing them often, sad but true. They are married and have their own lives and families.

    My grandchildren are wonderful; of course I miss seeing them the most. The older two not only are they in CA but are also busy with their activities now. My youngest grandchild is almost 3 and not too far. So I see him once every 6-8 weeks.

    Maybe if I had a daughter it would be different.

    by Mona — October 2, 2013

  9. My husband and I are approaching retirement within the next year and are having our retirement house build out of state to get away from New York State taxes and begin the new chapter in a new area we have not explored. We have two grown, single sons who live in different towns but close to each other in Upstate New York. 3 of our 4 parents have passed away and one remains in our home country at age 94. We have always agreed with not planning where to live based on your children because they can up and move at the drop of a hat anyway. I also identified with the commenter above who said they moved to be closer to a son but have not spoken in 7 years after a fight. I don’t want my sons to feel constrained to ‘stay close’ any more than we want to plan our lives around what they do. I guess it depends on your own family situation and we are looking forward to being independent in a new and exciting place. Both sons and friends from NY are most welcome to come and visit and we will occasionally visit in the north too.

    by Cynthia — October 2, 2013

  10. My husband and I retired 6 years ago at age 57. We bought a beautiful condo in Delaware near the gorgeous beaches there. We love it so much and now at 63 we still are enjoying this perfect place. Our problem is our daughter and family live 8 hours away. We really miss and love our grad-kids and enjoy the traveling right now to see mini vacations! When the time comes we can no longer make the trek, we will most likely move closer to them, but it will be a Coastal area for sure, they live in SC now and it’s very hot and humid. We are enjoying our Mid-Atlantic weather and enjoy the changing of the seasons and milder winters here in DE for now. Enjoying retirement right now in the present!

    by Coastal Lady — October 2, 2013

  11. I have clients who want to retire to FL, but can’t make a decision about a house without their children’s consent and approval, even though the children are not paying for the house or contributing in any way. To me, this is sad. Adults should be able to decide how they want to live the rest of their lives and they should enjoy each other and their time together. You gave your best years to your children, now it is time for you!

    by Nicki Conway — October 2, 2013

  12. My wife and I think that moving to AZ would work best for us. Being from the Chicago Subs is definitely a big move, but we are excited on a new game plan now. On the other hand, we have decided also….on keeping our summer place in Wisconsin in order to have a place to come back when we return each summer. I guess that would make us Snow Birds.

    Our plans were in getting out from under the high cost of living in Cook County IL. and finding not only a warmer place to live, but a place to interact with people our own age. We found a place in the Phoenix area which is just perfect for us.

    We feel like many other retirees, that being to close to your children will only make them more dependent on you for many things……and not just to watch the grandchildren. We feel that it is more helpful for your children to cut out a life for themselves and not resorting first for the grandparents help. After all, my wife and I will be back in the area for at least 5 months each year. This works best for our family.

    by Larry — October 2, 2013

  13. My wife and I decided NOT to move closer to our kids as we begin to show ‘real’ signs of aging. We figure we’ll have time to ‘visit’ and then leave not over staying our visit.

    After watching what my mother is going through and the care she requires, we are moving far far away to the RockTilYouDrop Community to be near friends.

    by Jerry Myroup — October 2, 2013

  14. Second marriage with one living, but estranged parent. My husband has a daughter (I don’t have kids) who insists on us moving close and spending every weekend and holiday with her, her husband and inlaws and will expect us to baby sit when she has kids, but that’s too confining for me. We want to be farther away and visit when it’s convenient for us (like her mother does). My husband understands and wants us to be where we’re comfortable and move closer later if we need/want to.

    by JennyB — October 2, 2013

  15. Initially we put living near kids toward the bottom of our list. We proceeded to visit and explore multiple locations. When it came time to retire the kids encouraged us to consider moving to be close to family.

    We narrowed our search to be close but not next door to our kids. We ended up in a rural community about 90 miles from one son and 120 from the other. We relocated this summer and the experience has exceeded all our expectation. We have been able to attend family events (T-Ball, Soccer, Birthday Parties) and the kids come by for the day it opens all sorts of family related opportunities. They are all coming for Christmas which is about right because we should be unpacked by then!

    The area we chose including weather, community, churches, medical, & amenities is about perfect for us. While we are short timers here, I have found the community to be salt of the earth good people.

    The process for all this is to plan early, find a place compatible with your needs. The last thing you want is to be sorry about your decision or even worse to keep chasing your dreams around the country as you get older.

    We leave tomorrow to go to our soon to be daughter-in-law’s wedding shower. A 2 hour drive through gorgeous country. It’s going to be a great retirement…..

    by Daniel — October 2, 2013

  16. Interesting that all of the above comments came from women. I too find this a complicated issue with a number of decisions still ahead. My wife is 11 years younger than I (me 67) and we both are still working full time with medical careers. I have four children and 11 grandchildren. She has 4 children and that is it for now. We have one adult child living home for another year while education is being completed at a graduate level. I want to get out of NY and head in a southerly direction. Just paid Sept school taxes (ugh) and before you know it the Jan taxes will be due. Moving to a state with favorable taxes is a real consideration. My wife does not want to go too far south so we have decided to start taking some vacations to check out possible locations. We see my children and grandchildren a few times a year but everyone is busy and so the time just seems to move on. I think it is time for the two of us to focus on us – we have been taking care of people for a long time. My mother is 88 and in good health and there are three sisters all living near her. My wife’s parents are in their 80’s and although active not as healthy. She has sisters and a brother near as well.
    I started SS last year when I turned 66 and bought a Harley (my gift to me for working past 65. My wife enjoys being a passenger. We are active and healthy and will likely work another 3-4 years. When is enough – enough? Tough question. We both have 401(k) and I have a 403(b) and a defined benefits pension from 25 years in the insurance business so a state that does not tax pensions is another big one. Money should not be an issue for us and we should be able to travel to visit family several times a year. My wife does not have grandchildren yet so we have yet to deal with that perspective. We don’t see ourselves living in an adult community. I like to garden and will always want to be able to. We have a great yard with in ground pool and lots of flowers to attend to. Giving up this home will be difficult for both of us as we have put so much into it but it is on a couple of levels and probably not where we would expect to live out the balance of our time – so a move somewhere is in the future? I ramble……but we are talking and thinking and planning and…trying to come to a place where we can both be satisfied and fulfilled. No spell checker so….be kind – I gave up being able to spell years ago.

    by Jim — October 2, 2013

  17. While still of working age, a few years back I moved to Florida and lived within an easy 2-hour drive to either of my children. Guess what; they had such busy lives, I was hardly a priority so I moved to a better climate. No grandchildren from one child and the other hates his family; so Mexico, Panama, ?, here I come; anyone want to join me? Kidding…

    by Helena B — October 2, 2013

  18. There is no simple answer for many. We’ve lived in a hot, humid state for 30 years, away from both our families. Our children went to college out of state and now live out of state. My daughter and I need space so living too close is not a good idea although I love visiting her and her children. She recently moved within her state. I preferred the mountains of her old home. But the promotion for her husband was too good to pass up. There is no guarantee they’ll stay where they are now. I get along better with my son and his wife then I do with his sister but with him there is still the possibility for relocation.

    20 years into our lives here I told my husband I wanted to retire further north. I missed the change of seasons and plants which grow in cooler climates. We were having some problems and I said I wouldn’t waste my life waiting for retirement to move if he wouldn’t agree. He did. I’ve spent the last three years reading retirement newsletters and researching communities and housing in area that I thought I’d like. Being near an airport was important. Amenities were a factor. My husband really likes our hot, humid area and tried to bribe me to stay. We made a choice this summer, a compromise of cooler falls and winters but not too cold. The amenities are great. The housing cost was less than places further north. We are 5 hours closer to our daughter. The difference isn’t as dramatic with our son since we are further east. We are 25 minutes from an airport. we are familiar with the area since it is where we vacationed for 20 years. There is a hospital 6 miles away.

    Bottom line is we were used to living away from family so they didn’t figure largely into our choice. Weather compromises, cost and amenities figured largely to give us the retirement we can both enjoy.

    by Marjie — October 2, 2013

  19. Living near to family does not guarantee you will be needed or that you will need them at some point, we love our family and also have made some very dear friends. When we finally decide where to retire, I think it will be based more on what is best for our future together, not on family or friends. For family, whether we are located close or not, today’s technology will allow us to stay close easier than it was for my parents and I years ago.

    by Bob H. — October 2, 2013

  20. We had been retired 2 years and lived near the children/grandchildren. They all work full time (sometimes weekends) and the grandchildren are in school full time and when they are teenagers, don’t want to “hang around” grandparents, but want to be with their friends. Therefore we are from the Midwest and are home bound with cold weather and nothing to do. (Despite the various volunteer activities there isn’t much to do as far as active adult activities) So, we saw the family on holidays or an occasional birthday.
    We made Arizona our permanent retirement home and love it. So much to see and do along with the wonderful weather. We go home to visit in the summer and the children fly out in the winter to escape the cold.
    We feel, our children have their lives to live and so do we. As we age and because of life changing experiences, we may one day return home if we need nursing home care or unfortunately if are diagnosed with a terminal illness and want to be close to our loved ones before we die.
    But, for the next 20 years, we want to enjoy what we worked for. Relaxation, traveling, active adult living, economical way of life, and warm weather.
    It is our circle of life. Raise our children, live our retirement to it’s fullest, and then end our lives being around our loving children.
    Oh, and as far as having 2 homes. Forget it!!! Nice places to rent for a month or 2 when we visit the kids. 2 homes equal 2 sets of headaches, 2 taxes, 2 utility bills, and 2 sets of maintaining the homes. And the nightmare stories of fixing what breaks while you are away at the 2nd home. Own one house in your retirement area, and just rent a little place when you visit.

    by Jim J. — October 2, 2013

  21. We live near two of our three kids and 5/8 of our grandchildren now. The one (and her family) who live out of town rarely take the time to come home, and when we go to see them, we end up feeling like we’re just in their way. Since our children already treat us like “extra baggage” and show little respect for the mountains we move for them, and since we are both in good health at this point, moving away seems like an ideal thing to do. Why not go back to “just the two of us?” With retirement just a few months away, we have some big decisions to make. This conversation is helpful.

    by Betsy — October 2, 2013

  22. I moved to California after my husband passed away,and bought a home 3 streets over from my daughter, and honestly, I hardly ever saw her. She was busy with her life, medical career, husband and friends. So one day I jumped in the car and came out to Arizona, loved it so much here that in a couple of days, I bought an adorable new home. I did not know anyone at all. Now, I have a great social life now, friends, a boyfriend, and the good thing is I am only 4 hours drive to see my daughter when I want too. I say live you life to make yourself happy!

    by Loralee — October 2, 2013

  23. This is all so interesting to read!!! I am retiring next year at age 58 and have two grown children – no grandchildren yet. I have friends who cannot bear the thought of moving far from their adult children and their families. But what I see from them is a lot of babysitting and emergency care. And when the grandchildren get older they see very little of them unless they want to attend every sporting event they participate in. I think my solution may be to move further north in PA to an active 55+ community about an hour away. Far enough for my own lifestyle and close enough to “visit” when I want. I am sure I will love any grandchildren I may have in the future, but I do not want to be so involved with them that I miss out on having my own life. My own kids are great, but they lead their own lives. We get together about once a month.

    by kathy — October 2, 2013

  24. My husband and I will both be retiring in the next 6-8 months. We moved quite often (never closer than a 12 hour drive to family) and currently live in Colorado. We have 2 adult sons (neither married); one lives in California, the other in upstate New York. After MUCH discussion (I want 4 season, my husband loves the 70 degree year round) we finally compromised on Missouri, low cost of living, pensions not taxed, great health care options, college town 30 miles from all of our siblings and mothers (fathers have both passed away). As someone else mentioned – it was so hard to deal with the passing of our fathers from so far away. We decided we wanted to be near our mothers to be able to visit more often and to help if their health fails. We never seriously considered moving close to either of our sons – California is too expensive and the one in New York is a wanderer – who knows where he’ll end up. We have a great relationship with the “boys”. We talk often and love to meet them in different locations (voted on by all) for a week visit every other year or so. They have their lives, we have ours and when we meet it’s a really special occasion. We occasionally travel to visit them, they occasionally travel to visit us. Skype is great but I need to touch them – preferably every 6 months or so (that doesn’t always happen). My husband and I briefly considered 2 homes but ultimately agree with the gentleman’s statement “2 homes, 2 headaches, etc.”. We’ve checked into various places (including abroad) and decided it would be MUCH less expensive and more fun to rent a small apartment in different locations when the weather in Missouri became tiresome (too hot, too cold). We are SO excited about this new chapter!

    by Cindy — October 2, 2013

  25. Cindy and Kathy,

    I love your attitude towards the kids in retirement. We too feel that the kids have their own lives to live, and while we very much want to be part of their lives, we want to appreciate the time we spend together and be appreciated. It helps that we are only planning our first stage of retirement, both young and healthy, and will deal with the last 20 years down the road. Perhaps our tune will change then, but having helped hospice both my parents in their home I have no intention of putting our kids through that.

    Living at quite a distance from family, over the past 20 years we’ve rented fabulous places via sites like and invited our family to come vacation with us. We intend to continue that tradition with our adult kids and their families when they have them. We will be retired before they graduate college, and they have no idea of where they want to live. You can only plan things out so far ahead.

    by Julie — October 3, 2013

  26. Enjoy reading all the comments. I’m 59 and single and have been researching and traveling to different locations over the last 4 years since my divorce. Originally from California and have been living in the south for the past twenty some years, came here for my ex. Wanting to leave the south for many reasons. I have children and grandchildren here, 92 year old mother in a dementia unit and a disabled brother that all live here. I have found that after helping each and every one of them that I have to carve out a life for myself. As many of you have said, the children and grandchildren have their own lives and are busy…as it should be. They each have made mention of moving to different locations and I want them to do what’s best for them and their families. I have found a location 5 hours away that gives me what I’m looking for, good cost of living, average climate, universities, excellent medical, transportation, things to do. In a city in the midwest and it has a mixture of nationalities, religious and poplitical views which to me give flavor to your environment. I plan on getting away to the beach for a month or two each winter (as I do now) … Renting on vrbo.
    My brother is going to assisted living in my new location and I will be close enough to visit or for them to visit. As a single female with good health now I want to get myself set up in an area that offers the amenities that will give me the ability to stay independent as long as I can. After seeing my parents retire to a 55 plus community years ago …I don’t want it…I find the mixture of ages refreshing. Looking forward to my new chapter.

    by Iwashere — October 3, 2013

  27. GREAT DISCUSSIONS!! My husband & I just retired, bought a small condo within walking distance of our daughter and family and will be moving to Delaware, Ohio, next spring. Our son & family live in Virginia. Have our home directly on Lake Erie in Toledo for sale. Bought an RV to travel in the winter months to warmer climates. Wanted to move further south in a 55+ retirement village, but the draw of grandchildren kept us from doing that. It’s so hard to leave family & friends to move away so we felt this was out best option-we’re near them in the spring, summer & fall, then pack up the RV and do “our thing” during the winter!

    by Karen — October 3, 2013

  28. DianaF thank you for your recent response. I forgot to mention we plan to visit Carolina Forest area. What was your impression on this area? It seems to be located further away from retail shops and restaurants etc. Is that the case? The condo that you purchased is it located in a 55 + community? We are still up in the air on choosing a retirement or family community. I guess time will tell. Thanks again!

    by Skip — October 3, 2013

  29. TTo all regarding living by family. Here’s my opinion as our children age they become increasingly involved making their own life. The parents for the most part become nothing more than baby sitters! As the grandchildren age they become involved with friends, school, sports etc. In other words you have given up on your dreams of living by the ocean, mountains, people your own age, etc. I’ve seen that happen to many of our older friends. Now they wait for the occasional phone call or holiday just to spend little time with their busy family. Folks God gave us planes, trains, automobiles and Skype. So go ahead and make your own life, God knows we earned it. Yes you can have your cake and eat it too! Enjoy your golden years while you still can! Live your retirement dreams! After all life is too short!

    by Skip — October 3, 2013

  30. Loralee, I am glad to read your comments. Also single and thinking of moving to a strange place was kind of daunting, but your experience has proved that it can/should be done. I don’t have a big family so where to go is my choice, and having lived on the East Coast for 30+ years, do not want to go back to the long winters and the humid summers so I think Arizona with the warm winters and many 55+ communities is where to go. Taking a trip this winter to check out some places. If you know of any special communities East of Phoenix let me know. It has to be dog friendly I have two big dogs.

    by Inga S — October 3, 2013

  31. During the housing boom my husband wanted to sell our house which we would have received a good price for and move away. Our son who has 2 daughters only lived only 2 miles away and I couldn’t bear leaving our 8 and 11 year granddaughters. Unfortunately, our son got mad at me due to a disagreement I had regarding his mother-in-law so to please his wife he punish me by not allowing me to have any contact with our granddaughters. My heart was broken end after a very long time of not seeing my granddaughters I finally agreed with my husband to move, but the housing market dropped and we couldn’t get a decent price for our house. Our son is speaking to me again and I am back with my granddaughters,still I am fearful that if I disagree with his mother-in-law or his wife it will happen again. Now that the housing market is getting better I’m the one who wants to move away. Long distance seems to be best I will talk to my granddaughters by phone and e-mail and I will keep my heart in tact.

    by Katie — October 3, 2013

  32. My husband of 40 yrs. passed away 5 yrs ago, I stayed in NM by myself with one son in CA and the other in TN. Sold the house and had no idea where to move next. My CA son’s rental house became available, so here I am. I made lots of friends on my own, but found out, I needed to be around family. I’m still as independent as ever. If I had no family….who knows where I’d be living. I found out 5 yrs ago, all “our” plans went away. ;(. So you have to follow your heart and enjoy everyday. I keep my mouth shut and stay out of my sons business. My in laws interfered and I swore I’d never be that Mom or MIL.

    by Kathy — October 3, 2013

  33. Skip- Carolina Forest is a beautiful area. It is probably a 15 minute trip to the beach, but that depends on the traffic. There are plenty of restaurants in the vicinity, so you will not have to drive a distance to get to all of that. We do NOT live in a 55+ age-restricted area, although there are plenty of retiree in Murrells Inlet and out complex. We live in The International Club and it is a mix of developments and ages, but I do not believe there is any age-restricted developments. We like the mix. Hope this helps

    by DianaF — October 4, 2013

  34. This has been a very interesting forum. I have found something to think about in every post, and am looking forward to discussing the postings with my kids on Thanksgiving when they’re all home. I had been approaching retirement with the mind-set that I’d probably stay in one place if I relocated. I’m realizing that it might make more sense to have two or even three stages, depending on health and family relationships/needs. My personal thanks to everyone who has posted.

    by Sharon — October 5, 2013

  35. DianaF, as usual your response has been very helpful. We will be putting Carolina Forest area on our list to visit. Regarding living in an all age community, I’ve been told the majority of families are usually older due to Myrtle Beach area being a growing retirement area. Yay for Baby Boomers! Have you and your husband had time to meet new friends yet? My wife and I find it easy when lounging around the community pool. When we lived in Florida we made many new friends both young and old. Is your community made up of year round residents or part timers. Well thanks again.

    by Skip — October 5, 2013

  36. It is very interesting to read all the comments about moving close to children. We have a blended family of five children and seven grands. We lived in North Carolina for many years and feel like we are natives. Things were great with holiday gatherings, birthdays and dinners together for many years. I of course felt so lucky and loved it all. As the family got older my husbandand I moved several times from larger homes to smaller ones for just the two of us. As most of the children lived in central NC we even moved to a town there and built a houseto be near them and for the get togethers. My son wanted us to do that and it seemed like a great idea. Guess what? No visits, no calls and there we sat the two of us waiting. We worked hard to make it all come together but it just didn’t and it was an expensive venture to continue as well as the weather was very cold in the winter. After four years we decided to move back to the town we moved from. We have been very close to our family and grands and continue to stay in touch and are there for them in evey way. We did move to Florida( two of the children thought it was great and one did not) built a pretty house and lived here for almost three years. We have sold that house and are planning to move back to NC. Now the situation is the town we moved from is overcrowded due to people moving in and it is making it very difficult to find a small home there in addition to “do we want to live in a town that we have to struggle to drive around in”? We have decided to move to a smaller town that has good medical, activities and like kind people for retirees. We are looking at Pinehurst NC. Please tell us if you have visited and what are your thoughts about the area. Sorry to be so lomg to get to the bottom. I just thought our experience with the family may be of some help. I do believe we and you should make your, our own lives and tell the family of the decision. They will or will not come. It is a lot of hurt and heartache and we realize they love us and are busy with thier own families and we are so glad they are. Please let us know what you think about the Pinehurst area. Thank you all so much.

    by Linda — October 6, 2013

  37. It would be helpful to know the towns in NC that you lived and no longer meet your needs and why. I know you mentioned that the one area became more congested…but that can be relative. I lived in Chapel Hill and Wilmington in NC.

    by Elaine — October 7, 2013

  38. I am very discouraged. I have been searching this website for over a year to find a retirement community. I want one home, no two homes for different seasons. I want to be near a lake in a location that seems like a vacation year around. I thought I had narrowed it to western Carolinas or eastern Tennessee for a number of reasons. Florida and Georgia are too hot and humid in summer. California too expensive.
    Now I am told that the middle of North Carolina is hot and humid for 3 months and that western Carolina gets cold winters. Where is a good year around climate? Any suggestions?

    by Moving South — October 7, 2013

  39. Elaine,
    We lived in Charlotte for thirty years and Greensboro for four before moving to Florida.We enjoyed Florida but are native of NC and always planned to come home at some point. We were planning to go back to Charlotte but when we got there to look found the traffic was unbelievable due to the many people moving in as well as companies relocating there with many workers. Charlotte is a great place for many reasons but is very difficult for retirees to find a smaller home, the struggle to get around with rude drivers and every place being so crowded night and day. Additionally, there are senior centers but getting to them is not easy. One must really work to make thier own activities doable.It is just too large for us. It was a hard decision as we will be leaving our friends, church and medical behind. We just decided a smaller town would be easier and more friendly for seniors like us for our final homeplace. We have children in Chapel Hill and my husband spent many years in Wilmington so we know those areas. We can easily get to those areas from Pinehurst. We are finding the town to be friendly and welcoming. We would appreciate any other information anyone has. Hope this helps Elaine.

    by Linda — October 7, 2013

  40. Moving South,
    Lake Norman north of Charlotte NC is now a resort type lake with most anything you want. However, the summers are hot and some may say humid depending on how humid one feels. Tt is a 500+ mile lake with everything. A negative is the traffic in the area which is just about all over the area. If you go there and stay and do not have to get in interstates it is OK. Another lake in SC is Lake Murray at ColumbiaSC. It is hot there in the summer but a beautiful place. A smaller lake with much better year round temps is Lake Pinehurst in Pinehurst NC. It is not a resort but is a beautiful place and has mild winters. If you would like I can give you info or look up online. Lake living can be peaceful and happy. North and South Carolina are beautiful states if you decide to come this way. Good luck!

    by Linda — October 7, 2013

  41. Linda, Since you know Chapel Hill and Wilmington, I can add anything much to help you. I do know that Pinehurst is beautiful, but you probably know more about it than I do. It may be a bit rural for me.

    I am also looking at North and South Carolina. Will explore the Lakes north of Georgia and look at eastern TN as well. Right now I am leaning toward the Raleigh area, but I imagine that you would dislike the traffic. There are some cute towns like Apex in that area. Also Duke and NC state both have OLLI programs. I will look at Greenville SC too, but that may be further than you like. I haven’t spent time there yet.

    Have you looked at Beaufort NC. Small town, but I believe there is a clinic there associated with the Brody School of Medicine if health care is a criterium in your search.

    by Elaine — October 8, 2013

  42. We have been on the fence whether to refinance or relocate. Does anyone know of people or companies who will take a look at both sides of the financial issues including cost of living etc. and give an unbiased opinion. We really don’t know which direction to take. Thanks to anyone who can give any answers

    by jeb — October 9, 2013

  43. Elaine,Thanks for your response. You are right about the Apex area and smaller towns all around the Raleigh area.I was thinking you were looking for a resort type lake. If not, you probably know about Jordan Lake near Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Greenville SC is a lovely town and has really been moving forward in culture, art and music.The downtown is especially nice. I do not know much about Tennessee but if you like the NC mountains there is a beautiful lake in Cashiers,It is Lake Granville and also Lake Toxaway in that area. I love Charlote but am just really tired of the traffic struggle and want to settle in a small town. We are finding Pinehurst to still have southern friendly ways and seems to be much easier to get around.It is only a hour to Raleigh and two hours to Charlotte for outings. If you have not seen Hilton Head the area at Bluffton is really pretty on the May River and yes Beaufort NC is very nice as well. We have really enjoyed the coastal areas of NC and SC. My husband is a little older but very young at heart and we want to stay active but in a more peaceful way than the larger Urban Cities on a daily basis. I was born in a small town and I guess I am going back to my roots. Keep looking, it is out there. We are still thinking seriously about Pinehurst but haven’t made the final decision. Let me know if you see anything else that looks good.Thanks.

    by Linda — October 9, 2013

  44. Jeb: It would be great if there was a company that could do a personalized and very detailed tax, real estate options, insurance, weather and cost-of-living analysis based on personal circumstances and preferences. I’ve even thought about hiring an unemployed college kid majoring in economics, accounting or sociology to spend a summer doing research for me. I’m still working and don’t have a lot of free time. There are just too many options.

    by Ted — October 10, 2013

  45. Thanks Ted. We have all of the info and #’s needed for refinancing and some info on the couple cities of interest but thought maybe a financial planner could help but didn’t know. We’ve done hours of researching through Sperling but found that it wasn’t a very accurate guide. At this point,a refinance sounds good but don’t know if it’s only a quick fix and down the road our situations will be the same or would it be better just to move and hope for the best as far as a cheaper way of life.We’ve been doing this for about a good year and still don’t knowwhat to do. Thanks again everyone

    by jeb — October 10, 2013

  46. Linda, I was born and raised in North Jersey and worked in Manhattan after college so I rather like cities…just not the traffic which is why Greenville SC interests me in fact Lake Norman area is interesting as well close enough to partake of city, but far enough for some nature as well. I do not think one should have to travel more than 3 miles to the nearest grocery store and expect several in that distance. It is interesting that some of the same places interest us. Especially since I usually just rush through this blog since I am single and have no children…and the rest of family (not many) is scattered. But I have lived in MN, NJ, MI (detroit area) IL (Chicago area) NH (near Dartmouth) AL (near Birmingham) as well as Chapel Hill and Wilmington in NC. I presently live in VA. All moves for jobs. But I know that I did not like living in NH…to rural for me.

    by Elaine — October 10, 2013

  47. Moving south….if you could find that place, everyone would be there. We are all looking for good weather year round. I think what you will have to do is establish your tolerable parameters, then look within those parameters. For example…what is the coldest temp you can tolerate? 20 degrees? 40 degrees? Can you handle any snow at all? And same for heat…what is the hottest? How do you feel about snow or rain? If you want really moderate temps year round, but don’t mind rain, consider the Oregon coast. If you can handle snow, just not too much or too long, there are provably meany places in the southeast..but they may come with jot, humid summers. How do you feel about humidity? If you don’t like humidity and can tolerate mild snow, you might look in certain parts of northern Arizona or parts of New Mexico. The reality is that o place except San Diego or Guadalajara Mexico has beautiful weather year round, so you figure out your limits and fine the place that fits within those limits.

    by Ginger — October 11, 2013

  48. Hi,
    It is difficult to make decisions to cover the next 30 or so years. When I was 30 I didn’t attempt it then and I don’t plan to now.

    I am still a relatively young semi-retiree. I am active and so I want to be in active type places. So I will move or stay based on decisions that please me.

    I want to see more of my grandsons but getting there is expensive and difficult. I will be looking for a way to go and spend a month or so near them. Maybe even a time share or apartment rental. But I won’t move close. I am not close to my daughter and the area where she lives did not impress me so I wouldn’t want to be stuck there.

    For 5 years I traveled out of state to be with my aging parent. She would not move closer to me, though that would have been ok. And toward the end she needed someone close to check on her. I will try to be more thoughtful for whoever winds up taking care of me! I will move when it is necessary.

    I guess it is most important to prioritize the items on your retirement decision list. What is most importatnt to you? And try to remember that the priorities will change over time.

    If you are able to create a compromise that works, lucky you!

    by Lulu — October 12, 2013

  49. Elaine,
    We also really enjoy the city life after living in Charlotte for many years. Art, music, theatre, wonderful restaurants a host of things to do as well as the green, clean look of the city. However, it now has become so overcrowded with people coming for these very things that we do not want to deal with the congestion for the retirement and “golden” years. We have looked all over the two states for years and now Florida to find just the right thing. In addition to trying to work around children and grands. We have now decided to find the place that “feels” (the little inner voice) the best for all the reasons we have decided and put down “roots” there and make a life. Regarding the family, it is now children and grands as all the other family members are gone. We have done a great deal of traveling to see them for many years and are now going to make the announcement; here is our new address, we will come to your homes when the situation is necessary otherwise let us know when you are coming to visit. It is so time for us to do this. We are looking at Pinehurst NC area as it gives a feeling of peace and tranquility and the people are friendly as well as many great things to do. We will miss the city life of Charlotte but it is only two hours away and can be a fun day trip. Another lake for you to look at is Lake Wylie SC just over the NC SC line from Charlotte and about twenty minutes away. It does have it’s share of traffic although you can be in Charlotte quickly. It is a very pretty area and has all the necessary conveniences, pretty homes and condos. It does sound like we have been some of the same places. Pinehurst may be too rural for you but it is an exciting area and very close to Raleigh and Durham and Chapel Hill. Lake Pinehurst is really pretty and is a larger lake. Look it on online and see what you think. Good luck.

    by Linda — October 12, 2013

  50. Thanks Linda, I will take a look at Pinehurst. I have been there for a couple of agility trials about 12 years ago and it is indeed beautiful. I did not have time for looking around back then.

    After your post, I may look on line and may explore when in the area.

    by Elaine — October 13, 2013

  51. This thread seems to have gotten a little detour to the Carolinas recently. While this side trip has included a lot of valuable stuff, we wonder if there are more comments about the original point of this article, retiring near family. For more about where to live we recommend going to and looking at the comments there (there are lots of them, many about the Carolinas). Thanks everybody for your contributions to this Blog – they are so valuable!

    by Admin — October 13, 2013

  52. Admin, please don’t be discouraged when the conversation goes off topic. I find all comments interesting as I have not found the perfect fit for us yet. My husband and I are searching for a good retirement fit for us and input from all who have been in the same boat are valuable to us. Thanks so much for the opportunity to peruse different points of view.

    Deb: Thanks for the vote of confidence. I agree with you that all the comments add to the stew that makes life interesting here. Was just trying to gently nudge us back on topic.

    by deb hogan — October 13, 2013

  53. John,
    Sorry to have gotten off subject. However, if you will read my last post to Elaine. The statement was made that we have decided not to live near and travel to children and stay put except in necessary situations for the family. In an earlier post I said we had moved and built a house to be closer to them and my overall point is that we have decided it is best for us to make our own lives in retirement.

    by Linda — October 14, 2013

  54. Retiring after 60 is a great idea, because at that time your children come into a stage when they can earn enough to survive with their family and you get retire with enough savings. On the other hand you can easily enjoy rest of your life with your grandchildren:smile::smile::smile:.

    by james@ retirement community in richmond va — October 24, 2013

  55. Ah, James…but some of us had kids late in life. I’m a new widow in my 60s and have kids in college and grad school. They’ll just be starting careers (I HOPE) as I retire. One of my kids has plans to live with me during a residency program, and another kid has mentioned wanting to live with me for a year or two after graduation to save money. They’re all in professional careers with good job outlooks, fortunately. Love my kids, but I frankly I can’t wait until they’re launched. I may have to move to assisted living to get them out of the house LOL.

    by Sharon — October 25, 2013

  56. We are in our early 60s and live in the Los Angeles suburbs in a 2500 square foot house. We are in the process of a step down retirement, being semi-retired within a year (working 2-3 days a week with opportunities at a couple weeks off here and there several times a year) and being fully retired within 3 years.

    Three elderly parents live within 10 miles of us. All are in their early 90s and all depend on us in some ways. None of our siblings live close, and only one is less than a plane trip away.

    We love our parents, but between them, our 4 children and 2 grandchildren, we have become more stuck than anchored. DH isn’t especially distressed at the idea of staying in the big house, traveling a bit, and being the go-to for everybody and everything, but I yearn to cast off some of the ties that bind us here. I wish there was a delicate way to do so, but can’t come up with it.

    When our own children were youngsters we saw that once they hit about 5th grade the grandparents weren’t as important to them anymore. Our parents were wonderful grandparents to our kids, but much as our kids love them, they don’t have the time of day for their grandmas & grandpas anymore.

    I’m not faulting our children. Their lives are full (as usually happens when people are in their 20s) and their grandparents’ lives are empty (as usually happens in one’s 90s). On the other hand, I don’t want to copy that template for my own life.

    What to do, what to do? Stay here until we’re close to or actually in our 70s because our parents will continue to need us nearby? Hardly palatable. Leave the area and let them fend for themselves? Eek. Not a good solution either.

    Am I speaking for others who find themselves in similar straits? This situation can’t be unique to me.

    Just before posting this comment, I noticed that the topic is listed under “Retirement Quandries”, which a perfect description of my situation.

    by MaryLisa — October 31, 2013

  57. I think that being there for parents and in-laws makes for the softest emotional pillow for retirement. Geography has little to do with the heart and with being comfortable in your own skin rather that wanting to jump out of it.

    by Ed LaFreniere — November 1, 2013

  58. @MaryLisa when you find the answer to that please let me know.

    by easilyamused — November 1, 2013

  59. MaryLisa…I can relate to your dilemma. I responded to this string earlier (in the above comments). Many reasons for my relocating and downsizing …but after 44 years of raising children and helping with grandchildren … then being the resource for a disabled brother and 92 year old mother I find that at 60 I need to make some changes so that I can have a life. I recently had to put my mother in a dementia unit and am looking into assisted living for my brother. There are ways to find support/help for our family without sacrificing our own lives. I love them all, but when I add up the hours I actually spend with children and grandchildren during the year it puts it into perspective…I could spend a 3 day holiday with them once a year and have the same amount of time or maybe even less. I finally have some freedom at this point of my life (work and raising children)… I plan to “oversee” my brother and mothers situation but not live in it day to day.

    by Iwashere — November 1, 2013

  60. @Ed: You’re right, of course. Thanks for the wake up call.

    @EasilyAmused & IwasHere: For now we plan to do some traveling as we are able and will press our children and family friends into service to help support our parents’ needs while we are out of town.

    My lot in life isn’t a difficult one. After reading back my earlier post it seems kind of petty to be whining over retiring in a one-story, comfortable home in a nice neighborhood in an easy to live with climate (though often too hot for my taste – how people fall in love with roasting-hot Phoenix is beyond my comprehension, but that’s another topic entirely).

    I’m fortunate to have 3/4 of our parents alive, they’re pretty easy to get along with and appreciate all we do for them, and are in fairly good health. Living nearby our kids and grandkids also has plenty of perks.

    Perhaps I need to see if I can adjust my attitude about what I have instead of stressing about my vanishing dream of downsizing and moving to a cooler climate. 😳

    by MaryLisa — November 1, 2013

  61. MaryLisa: I really “get” what you wrote. I also provided a story above. Perhaps you can take some vacations or rent a condo for a month somewhere else to check it out. It’s obviously unlikely that your current situation is going to continue for another decade, and you can certainly give yourself a year or so to enjoy researching options. Turn up the AC or ask hubby to book an Alaskan cruise as a temporary fix for a cooler climate! You might also imagine yourself at 90. Will you want to be near your kids and expect their support? If so, you can tell yourself that you’re not sacrificing anything –you’re being a role model for your own kids. It might help a little.

    by Sharon — November 1, 2013

  62. […] ||[]).push({}); For further reading Snowbirding Innkeepers Staying in Place and Very Busy Is Retiring Near Your Family a Good Idea? Members Getting Ready for Big Retirement Moves Is Your Town Ready for Your Retirement (Aging in […]

    by » Retiring in Place – Part 3 - Topretirements — September 23, 2014

  63. Moved to be near my daughter 3 years ago it was good before my husband and i moved so close now it is horrible her and her husband no longer come over no matter how much we invite them for dinner we have done so much for them but are so disrespected in another year are moving away So tired ,depressed and disgusted cannot wait

    by dee — November 22, 2014

  64. Dee, are you waiting a year to explore other areas? I hope that you have the opportunity to do some exploring. Family is a complicated issue.

    by EMA — November 23, 2014

  65. Dee-we are planning to retire near our daughter. Without getting to personal could you elaborate on why you feel moving near your daughter wasn’t a good idea? Suggestions on what to differently? Thanks so much and I’m sorry your move didn’t work out the way you hoped.

    by LisaJ — November 24, 2014

  66. Wondering also. My kids are encouraging me to retire near them, but I know they have full lives and won’t see me as much as I would like to see them. I hope we’re able to reach a balance of some kind. (It’s a more-expensive area, but I figure the price difference is going to save our family the price of plane tickets or the cost of gas to drive for visits once or twice a year.)

    I grew up in an ethnic family where there were a lot of elderly relatives. We were expected to spend most of our free time with family. Every so often I catch myself expecting things to be the way they were when I was growing up, but our kids simply didn’t grow up with a large family and all those elderly relatives. Their grandparents also died when they were really young, so our kids didn’t have the experience of seeing me visiting and helping my parents. My goal when I live near them is to be a lot of fun, always have fresh-baked cookies and to be completely supportive, so they want to visit me a lot :-). Somehow I think I’ll end up opening my mouth and being MOM though…can’t help myself sometimes!

    by Sharon — November 25, 2014

  67. We’re currently in the beginning phases of moving to be near my daughter. I too have to wonder if it’s a good idea, although I’m not expecting them to be our social life. We’re deliberately looking at communities that have active social calendars; still, it’s a bit daunting, hope it’s the right decision (deep down it does feel right).

    by Gail — November 25, 2014

  68. I would say, if you have a genuinely good relationship with your children (or child), go for it. Of course, things can work out poorly. (There are no guarantees.) But there is every chance that they will work out well! On a (sadly) practical note, my father lived in Florida, and by the time he was in his mid-80’s he needed to return to NY for health reasons. He simply could not deal with all the administrative details and needed it done for him (by a family member). In the meantime, do enjoy your family this Thanksgiving!

    by ella — November 25, 2014

  69. Thanks to all for the interesting life stories. I’ve found myself single and without family at the age of 57–not what I’d planned, but that’s just how it is. I’ve lived in a number of different states–Wisconsin, Iowa, Louisiana (probably my favorite), Florida, and Tennessee–moving for education and work. I’m in Tennessee now (eastern) for the second time (!)–but I’ve seriously considered moving back to Florida (west central). All of your comments confirm what I’m discovering: there is no perfect place, at least not that I’ve discovered. Not long ago (within the past month), I was practically set to give up what I have here: my comfy and affordable home, my part-time job, my church (a recent addition to my life), not to mention “little” things (when you move, you need to find a new doctor, a new dentist, a new veterinarian for Spot, a new hair stylist, etc.), my goals being twofold: to find a condo or villa (sometimes my single-family home feels isolating–not to mention that caring for the exterior is not fun at all) and to be in a place where big-city amenities are in greater supply (I got used to them when I lived in Florida, and I miss them–and I also miss the greater variety of people that one finds in the city–sometimes I feel stifled here). However, I don’t miss the big-city problems (high crime and rampant homelessness), nor do I miss the weather (it’s so hot down there almost year-round). And then there’s the cost of moving from one area of the country to another, which is considerable. So I think for now, at least, I’m leaning toward staying here. My advice to everyone: look once, twice, three times before you leap to ensure that you’re moving for the right reasons (which are different for everyone), and even then, there are no guarantees. P.S. Although I adored Baton Rouge, I haven’t lived there since my 20s, and too much time has passed for me to go back there now, except, perhaps, as a tourist.

    by Cheryl — November 25, 2014

  70. I am 60, single and no children. I have no real support system. I know one can’t always depend on children and I know many children struggle enough with their own lives. I am interested in any suggestions on what someone like me is supposed to do when I am older and alone with no family to look in on me.

    by Janice — November 26, 2014

  71. Hi Janice, you are not alone when it comes to your situation. I suggest Jan Cullinane’s book “The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement”. It will give you some great ideas. She is also a contributor on these blogs.

    I am also single, no children. Of course, family is more than children, but like you I have precious little of that left (one brother in an area I do not wish to live) and cousins are well scattered. I have moved for jobs so even close friends have had to change regularly.

    This may not be the best blog for your situation. Look at some of the other blogs on top retirements. I would suggest some on less expensive areas if you are like many single women. The best places blogs are also good etc. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you on other topretirements blogs.

    by Elaine — November 26, 2014

  72. To ADMIN: is there any way you could reverse the way you list our posts under ” Comments” in ALL of the blogs? Could you post them with the most current first so we don’t have to scroll down 100+ comments until we get to the most recent which is posted last. I love to read the categories that have a lot of response because everyone is so enthusiastic and involved, but I’m a bit impatient to get to the ones I haven’t read before.

    In case I’m just computer illiterate, please tell me if I am the only one experiencing this and let me know if there is a way to get to recent posts without scrolling through all the others.

    ADMIN Comment: Sandy, thanks for the suggestion. We have had others with the same idea in the past and have given it careful consideration. What we have concluded is that the way we have it with most recent comment on bottom is more often the standard presentation. It allows people to read down and see the sequence, better than the other way around. So for now we will stick with it. It is relatively easy to use your scroll bar on the right side of screen to get right down to the bottom.

    Your other comment by email regarding state and city sections in Forum. Very good idea. Wish more people would use those to post questions and give input. Definitely could be more useful and would keep the Blog posts on top. Again, thanks for the helpful suggestions.

    by Sandy — November 26, 2014

  73. Sandy I second your request!

    by Jennifer — November 27, 2014

  74. Dittos Sandy and Jennifer,
    Also, it would be great to get a reminder email if there are new posts to a blog that we have previously posted on.
    Otherwise …..kudos to a great website!! I have personally learned so much from the various topics and posts.

    by Caps — December 3, 2014

  75. To all: I just retired (at age 68); my husband semi-retired 20 years ago (he is now almost 72). We have one son (divorced but lives with ex, an entirely different story) and one grandson. We have lived all over the U.S., due mostly to my husband’s job (and my job for the past 20 years). I feel (felt?) very strongly about moving to a CCRC or CCLC (continuing care retirement/life community) — my mom and dad lived in FL for more than 25 years. When my dad died, my mom moved up north to Ohio (where we’ve lived for the past 15 years). She had a massive stroke 7 years ago when she was 86 — we went through the usual panic, etc. to find a “good” (i.e., acceptable) nursing home suddenly and arrange her finances and realize that she will probably need 24 hour care forever. She has been there ever since; we go to see her every day — used to go 2x a day. Well, to make a very long (and probably boring to all of you) story longer, we spent the past 3 years researching CCR/LCs in NC, CO, FL and KY. We loved NC (Chapel Hill, Durham and one in Pittsboro)– the great medical facilities, people ‘just like us’ (who have moved around a lot, former professors, etc.), — we found 3 places that felt “right.” The place in CO was gorgeous (and we used to live in Denver) but we didn’t feel it was a goot fit re: the residents. Sooooooo — we told out son and ex-wife what our plans were and the both totally freaked out! What if something happens, how can we abandon ‘family’ (all 2 of them), etc. They found what seems to be a very nice place in Louisville, KY (a city I do like) (and all the prices are basically the same at the places we looked at btw). But — I really am not looking forward to moving so close to them — my son’s ex has a large family with lots of drama — and although Louisville has great restaurants and a medical school and several universities (and my husband would add, basketball), I’m not sure about the ‘fit’ of this community for us (well, me, anyway — my spouse loves anyplace with basketball). Do any of you have any thoughts? Ideas? Also, we met a couple where the husband developed a spreadsheet with 35 requirements that he used to choose a retirement community and picked the one that met the most of the requirements. I wouldn’t know how to quantify ‘fit’ or ‘feel’. Also, one additional thing: this place will take my mom into their (seems like a better) nursing facility ‘pending Medicaid approval’ — the only place that would consider doing something like this. Also — many of the CCR/LCs are what I call for-profit/nonprofits (they are really for profits, but are organized as nonprofits — maybe as a subsidiary of a for profit); few are true nonprofits (as is the one in Louisville). Sorry for rambling (if anyone has read this far), but any ideas of how to handle this would be great! Janet

    by Janet — December 3, 2014

  76. Janet,
    I find myself very reluctant to respond to your post because the issue is so important (and crucial) to your and your husband’s lives and well-being. I will say something, though, because it comes from you and not me. I am hearing more than reluctance, but actual distress, at moving close to your son and his ex. I encourage you to, please, do what’s right for you and your husband. You’ve spent the last seven years caring for your mother; you’ve been a good daughter, and kind and decent person. Now, do what’s right for you! Listen to your heart, NOT to other people, even if the ‘other people’ is your son. (And, by the way, and ex is an ex. You need feel no obligation there; she’s left the picture [by choice i would imagine].) I guess what i’m saying is that at some point we all must make our own choices. Obligation is a hard taskmaster, and often gives very little, or no, gratification. My very best to you!

    by ella — December 4, 2014

  77. “Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of, it’s yours.”

    Couldn’t agree more with Ella, do what’s right for you and what you are probably instinctively feeling what’s right in your heart.

    by Gail — December 5, 2014

  78. Janet — listen to your heart and your gut. It’s true, our decisions should be informed by data and good research, but at the end of the day, if you are not thrilled about something or have real qualms about it, don’t do it. Every time I’ve tried to ignore that little voice I’ve regretted it. Especially when it involves family members! But also other aspects of life. You have only one life — live it like YOU want to. And good luck with it….

    by Paula — December 5, 2014

  79. Dear Janet:
    Your post has really hit the hot button for a few of us. I am a man, so I’ll get right to the point. Don’t move to Kentucky.

    Dave C.

    by Dave C. — December 6, 2014

  80. There’s a good article on whether to retire near family in the newest edition of Where to Retire magazine. One of the people cited in the article had the same issue with children objecting to their parents moving away. Some suggestions were made for getting them to see it as their parents finally getting to do something that they had always wanted to do (plus telling the kids that it’s a potential vacation destination for them in the future). Heck, we’re the parents not the kids. Our kids aren’t the boss of us! This decision is the parent’s (parents’), not the kids.

    If you have a location that you really love, I agree with following your own desire. My spouse loved Florida, and I know we would have moved there in a heartbeat if he had not died before retirement. This is your life, after all.

    And as others have noted, this doesn’t have to be a permanent decision even if you choose a continuing care community. You can decide that you want to do this for 10 years when your health is manageable, and that you’ll revisit your location if circumstances change.

    by Sharon — December 7, 2014

  81. Dave, Loved your post (and your humor).

    by ella — December 7, 2014

  82. My parents and in-laws were snowbirds to AZ for over 20 years, which they seemed to really enjoy, as there were so many others doing the same thing. They were gone from November to April. As their children, we were happy for them not having to deal with our brutal northern winters, as we still had to, due to school and jobs, etc. Now it’s our turn to winter someplace warmer, and our kids are acting strange about it, even though we have been warning them for years about our pending move. We plan to keep a summer place, so we can be home for about 5-8 weeks every year. If they miss having us around, they can still visit their grandparents again, as they are now close to 90 years old and can no longer manage the logistics of travel. We can always face time with them too, so the younger grandkids don’t forget about us.
    My advice is to “follow your own dreams!”

    by Caps — December 7, 2014

  83. Have to say after the holidays that I really miss my family. It was great to spend time with them. I wasn’t feeling great one day, and the kids really helped me out (my kids are still in their 20’s and unmarried, but a few are in health care fields). We had some heart-to-heart talks that we never would have been able to do on the phone. As I was driving the 500 or so miles back to my current location, I realized that I won’t be happy being too far from family when I retire in 2-3 years. This is going to eliminate some of the stress of trying to find the perfect location, perfect weather, perfect tax structure, etc. For me, I’ve realized the “perfect” location will be within an hour or so of family. And if they end up relocating, I’ll probably end up moving again too. Home is where the heart is, which — for me — is being near my family. At least right now, that’s also what my kids want too. Hopefully as they get married, have kids and pursue their careers, our closeness will continue.

    by Ted — January 7, 2015

  84. Ted,
    For the time being, and i do hope it continues, that’s as good as it gets. Good for you; you did a good job raising your kids!

    by ella — January 8, 2015

  85. Ted, I feel the same way. I’m retired in NY for the last 5 years and my kids are in CA in their twenties also. We’ve been snow birding to FL and thought for sure we would move there, after spending the month of Nov and Thanksgiving with them we’re going back to CA soon to check out 55+ , hopefully we’ll find something.

    by virginia — January 10, 2015

  86. Web Administrator – Why is it that, so often, i click a link and it takes me to a totally different link? That has happened with 3 out of 5 links today.

    I am very grateful for this website and blog. I genuinely enjoy it. I just wish it worked better! My thanks for anything you can do to fix this problem.

    Note from Administrator: Thanks for the feedback. I am assuming that this is only happening on the Blog articles. If so try cleaning your history, cache, and cookies. It seems like WordPress Blogs get confused if you have been to the site many times.

    by ella — January 11, 2015

  87. Thanks, Admin. I’ve tried your suggestion; here’s hoping!

    by ella — January 12, 2015

  88. This happens all the time. Just go back and click on the link again and it will take you to the correct place.

    by Linda — January 12, 2015

  89. Living in close proximity to family during retirement is an individual call……every time!
    Hundreds of issues go into that decision. All of these circumstances contained in this blog are interesting, but are absolutely no consequence to my decision.
    I must honestly examine my own feelings and my own desires. I mustn’t ever be held captive to other people’s wants and expectations, but on the other hand, I should never let myself be artificially deprived of the companionship and love of my family in close proximity to where I live. So in the end, it’s my call. I must always remember the title of that old movie, “Whose lLife is it Anyway”.

    by Dave C. — January 16, 2015

  90. Interesting to read all the comments. I’m all for moving where we would be husband is more reluctant to move away. Raised family in suburban NJ..know we want and need to move out of state for many reasons including taxes. Visited Asheville and loved it..3 daughters in their early twenties not sure where they’ll end thought is to move where we like to a place that also has enough interesting stuff that family will want to visit us..

    by candace — January 25, 2015

  91. Has anyone had siblings (and spouses) follow them to Florida upon retirement? My husband and I will be retiring in another year or two and my siblings ate asking “where are you retiring to?”As eee are sure they will follow us down there. They are ” followers “, they don’t initiate anything themselves. We have lived apart (One or two states away) for 35 years and now they want to be near us? Why? I have lived independently of them for all this time. We have made lifelong friends and plan to make friends in Florida. We don’t really want to have our family as our social life. We will have yo learn how to ” set boundaries ” with all of them. I don’t understand why they all want to reconnect after being away from each other so long. I don’t mind seeing them 2 or 3 times a year but I suspect they will want more time with us which we do not want. How do we dissuade them from moving near us? We were hoping for a “family-free”/retirement

    by Joy — February 26, 2015

  92. I have a sibling who brings up periodically that he wants to live near me to ensure that he’ll have someone to help out in the event of problems. It’s interesting that he never brings up the possibility of helping any of us. Having said that, I don’t talk about my plans with this sibling. I just tell him that I haven’t decided, and keep turning it around to ask him what other areas he’s looking at since my plans are up in the air. Whether your siblings move near you or use you as a vacation destination once you move you Florida, you’re going to have to establish boundaries. One of my Aunts moved to Florida, and had nonstop visitors each year when any family member in the North got tired of winter. I was a kid and probably not attuned to her feelings, but I don’t recall anyone asking her if it was convenient or not. Or maybe she missed some of them and was happy for the company…I really don’t know.

    Having said that (and I sympathize – I really don’t like my sibling much), maybe rebuilding connections with family in retirement isn’t such an awful thing as long as boundaries are set. It’s a time for being somewhat introspective, and we do share a history. When ill health or we are widowed, there’s a lot to be said for family support if friendships aren’t enough. Just asking about your retirement plans doesn’t necessarily mean that they plan on following you too. At this age everyone I know is asking everyone else what research they’ve done, and what they’re planning. It doesn’t mean that we all plan on spending our retirements together.

    by Kate — February 27, 2015

  93. In my working life, I have been torn away from my family by distance. My Aunt wants to retire in Florida after years of going there for the winter only and living on a lovely lake in the mid-west in the summer, I have lived in Washington, DC for 30 years now with not one family member in sight. My parents are gone and my brother is married and lives in Portland Oregon. My Aunt and I are close, and I am considering moving to be closer to her when I retire or maybe sooner. I would hate to think that my presence would not be wanted, I want to be near her as she may need me in her older years. She is 70 now. I also may need her just to be near a family member–of course I have my own life. It is a huge consideration for me . I am divorced with no children and I fear being alone once I stop working. Those of you who have family who want to be nearby and have second thoughts may want to reconsider their thoughts. Family is for good times not just when someone needs help if they fall ill. If one gets ill having a family member nearby may be a great comfort–even if they only act as an advocate to make sure you are well taken care of.

    by Jennifer — February 28, 2015

  94. After being laid off from her high profile, high paying job in California, a friend moved to the area where she grew up to be closer to her family still living in the area. She had expectations of bonding etc. Her family in this area though had developed lives which did not include her so when her expectations here were not met and she could not get a job, let alone a high paying job, she fell into deep depression.

    Eventually she made friends, got a much lower paying job which she enjoyed and grew out of her depression.

    What I’m saying is, maybe check with those family members and figure out how you will belong in their circle.

    I, myself, moved from a large city to a small, small, small city when my husband lost his job and a family member offered him a job here. it was closer to family and I thought that would be good. Within a short time my father in law passed away and right after that my mother passed away. I discovered the family member who gave us the job was a raving alcoholic and was addicted to prescription meds. He passed away also. We do not care for the area where we live and while this place is always touted on the top places to live we have never liked it here but stayed as we had a young child who was in school and doing extremely well. For the first and longest time in my life, I have no friends. Yes, I did put myself out there but never found my tribe. I have three brothers living in this state and I see them one or two times a year. We are now planning to move somewhere warmer and I am very hopeful that my new friends are out there somewhere. I miss them and hope I can find them.

    by Vicki — March 1, 2015

  95. Vicki:

    Thank you for your thoughts. I do plan to have my own life as I am developing a business for my pre and post retirement years. Florida for me is usually just a place to visit in the winter for a week or so. I do not want my Aunt to feel I am dependent on her in any way especially for family nearby. I just feel I would like to be near her as we are as close as sisters now. Who knows how much time anyone has left even though one may appear in good health now. Problem is my only motivation to move away right now is a family tie.My Aunt is a very active physically fit, outgoing person who attracts people to her. I may or may not join her circle of friends.

    I do understand the friendships that don’t always develop For whatever reason, sometimes things just don’t jell. I am a volunteer here in DC every weekend and beyond the friendships at the place where I volunteer, we do not usually meet outside of our work. At my job I am a supervisor and I would not choose to socialize with most of my co-workers outside of my paid job.

    So at times, I suppose one just must learn to be happy where they are no matter what the circumstances.
    Family dynamics vary from family to family and I see a lot of people out there who do not want to be taken advantage of by family members who they would never choose to be friends with if they were not blood relatives. I get it.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    by Jennifer — March 1, 2015

  96. Moving near your adult married children and grandchildren sounds wonderful. It might work OK if your are the parents of daughters but if you are the parents of sons you better not even think about it. It does not matter how kind the parents are to your son’s wife her goal is to divide and conquer. Even if you never say a word and stay in your own home and always mind your own business you my friend are her enemy. I never will understand it but it is all OK with us. Please know the better you are to them the more you will be disrespected by them and when you finally figure it all out and when you get really really get tired you will want to move away and it will cost a lot of money and time wasted in you and your husband’s life. It is better to let your adult children learn to be independent in every way. Remember the moment you and your husband want your own lives and the moment you close the bank to your adult children and their spouses you will have hell to pay. It is a different world now because it is all about them not you. It doesn’t matter how you raised them because when they walk down that isle with a me first person that is who they become. My husband and I are selling our home and moving. We are not angry with our children but we are angry with ourselves for not being smarter than this. I am begging all of you parents not to do what we did but to go and live your own private lives away from your sons and daughters. No matter how good you are you are in for a disappointment and a whole lot of hurt. We all love our children and grandchildren with all our hearts but we will love and pray for them from a distance from now on. We are very happy and excited about our new life together away from all the children’s problems, it is our time now and I only wish someone could have shared this information with us sooner. We are going to build our dream home in the middle of 15 acres and please know we are good people and we are not bitter but we sure are much wiser now. REMEMBER YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!!!

    by Linda — April 29, 2015

  97. Linda,
    I’m so sorry for your unhappy experience. It must have been very disappointing and discouraging for you. I hope things change for the better, including your relationship with your daughter-in-laws and other family members.

    by ella — April 30, 2015

  98. Hi Linda,
    Thank you so much for your post regarding moving closer to your children. We have experienced the same with our son and his wife. Our situation is so similar I thought you were talking us:) It is so very sad and we love our son and grandchildren but are moving away as well. Best wishes and much happiness to you and your husband.

    by Debbie — April 30, 2015

  99. Linda: Well said…Hubby and I are staying put here on the Coast..realized just recently the kids are “alright”..It’s our time to shine and we are loving our life with our friends of similar age and Likes…They can visit us at the beach!

    by sunlovingal — April 30, 2015

  100. Linda:
    “It is better to let your adult children learn to be independent in every way.”
    Those words sum up your entire post. No better thing to do for your children than to let them be and learn on their own. Vists and very occaisional help, only after they are on the right track.

    by BRFGolfNut — April 30, 2015

  101. I have a daughter who is a junior in college. You must know that my daughter and I and her father are very close. She was born to me when I was 43 years old, after having been married for a long time. Went straight from giving birth to menopause. We all like and enjoy each others company and we have promised her that we will come wherever she is for some period of time each summer. And she reminds me all the time how I said I would come and live next door when she has babies.

    That said, she has had only two long term relationships in her short dating life. Both of them lasted about a year. The first boy we liked alot and our daughter adored his family as they did her. Then college got in the way and they broke up. The most recent boy was OK but very much under his Mothers thumb. Also, very close to his sister. And he has ADD which requires him to take medication etc. Long story short —- I never thought he was a good match for her as her interests are much different than his. They have recently broken up and while I enjoy this young mans company, I am glad they broke up.

    I would say to find your role in your adult childrens lives before you move. Some lovely people we knew moved here to be closer to their children and grands. Within a few years the children had moved to another state for better jobs and they were left here. Another friend, female, moved back here to spend time with her family after a long absence working in another state, only to discover her brothers and sisters had no space for her in their lives.

    We are planning to live somewhere warm and near a beach. Maybe she will come to visit, although that sometimes doesn’t happen either. So for sure we will visit her and hope she visits us.

    Good luck all! It’s hard to let them go and I hope my only child finds someone to love who loves her back!

    by Vicki — April 30, 2015

  102. Linda, I am one of those lucky people with an outstanding mother-in-law. My relationship with her was always one of mutual respect. My mother, on the hand, did everything she could to denigrate me. Lucky for me, my mother moved south, and my mother-in-law stayed in place. I was able to visit her, entertain her, and enjoy her, right up to her death.

    Don’t think all mothers-in-law are evil. My mother was 1 million times evil than my mother-in-law could ever be on her very worse day.

    Thank you to all wonderful mother’s in law with wonderful sons. Without you and your son, my life would have been unfilled.

    by Lynne — May 1, 2015

  103. To move to another State SOLELY for the purpose of being near ones children and grandchildren = “FURGITABOUTIT”
    We made that mistake and it has cost us dearly. Now selling our home and (after much searching) moving back to Port Orange Fl. “what’s love got to do with it?”. You can love from afar and visit as convenient without moving or making a costly mistake. This has been our experience – if you have a better one that be blessed.

    by Robert — May 2, 2015

  104. I was happy to read your positive comments on your mother-in-law, Lynne; and correspondingly sorry to read comments on your mother. I truly believe family relationships can go anywhere from horrific to heavenly on a continuum with all levels in between.
    My very good friend, Virginia and her husband, have been a rock to their children and sons and daughters-in law. When the need has arisen, children and grand-children have lived with them for as many months or years as has been needed as a result of the unexpected death of a spouse, a lengthy unemployment, etc.
    Today all have moved out and their relationships remain involved, warm, loving, and fun. Just wanted to paint a picture that is just as real, but has different brush strokes than the others we’ve been expressing and reading.

    by ella — May 2, 2015

  105. I am so glad I found this website. I have really enjoyed everyone’s comments. My husband and I moved to San Diego to live near our daughter and her family 9 1/2 years ago when my youngest granddaughter was born. While I have loved living close by, finding decent housing has been a nightmare. My husband, now age 75, has to work full time (I work part time as a writer) just for us to afford the tiny 1 bathroom apartment we rent. It has been a struggle not to dip into our retirement savings but that was a priority for us. Now that my two granddaughters are 10 and 12, I can see the writing on the wall. They are increasingly busy with their own lives, as they should be. Sooooo, we bought a log cabin and 4 acres in the Ozarks and have been flying back there a couple of times a year to fix it up and get it “ready”. We love the area, the politics/people, and the seasons much more than San Diego, where, although the weather is perfect, it is also boring. We miss the rain and occasional snow and the Fall leaves in the midwest. But the biggest thing is that, when we move there, my husband will no longer have to work and will be able to do some of the things he’s been dreaming of all his life–farming and raising alpacas! (I know!) Plus, and this is a very BIG plus, we own the place, so, after expenses, we will have over $2,000 a month EXTRA that we can either add to our savings or use to travel! And that’s with neither of us having to work!

    We are currently in the process of preparing everyone emotionally (especially me!) for the move and I’m sure there will be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth (again, mostly by me!) but I feel, in my heart, that this is for the best. We plan to rent an ocean front condo in San Diego for a couple months a year and will be able to fly back here for all birthdays, holidays, etc. When you add in the fact that my granddaughters have wonderful parents that are devoted to them, this decision has been a no–brainer, but still it’s been a tough one–we are a close family. But we can Skype, telephone and visit…often. We plan on making the move when our youngest granddaughter turns 12 (in a year and a half). Now, where can we buy some alpacas??? 🙂

    by Ginnie — June 18, 2015

  106. Ginnie: Loved your posting. We just moved to NC to be near our daughter. She’s been a wonderful help to us, but we’re not “feeling” this area just yet. We plan on giving it another 4-6 months, and if “it” doesn’t happen, we’ll sell and move back to our beloved Cape Cod. The issues are my daughter will be crushed, and we have to once again go through the stress of selling/moving/buying, but internal happiness is worth it. Good Luck with your move to the Ozarks; life is sure interesting.

    by Gail — June 19, 2015

  107. Gail, You hit the nail right on the head with the “internal happiness” comment. It has been my experience that if you don’t feel that you are a good fit with a certain area after giving it a chance, you will always feel that way. For me, the trade off in living here has been getting to spend some amazing time with my daughter and granddaughters. But even after we move, that will not go away! The only difference, as I see it, will be that when we are together, it will feel even more special. I have met so many people who end up bitter when they get older because they have not followed their dreams. What kind of legacy is that to leave behind for loved ones to remember? And, nothing in this life is permanent. After a while, we might even end up someplace else. My husband has sacrificed much so we could live here while the girls were little. Now that they are growing up, he’s ready for a new adventure. And so am I.

    by Ginnie — June 19, 2015

  108. hello everyone. I am 60/40 to moving to the Greenville sc area ( greer-simpsonville ) .
    recently read an article that shocked me . It said that SC is the 5th most violent state for
    crime. never expected that. recently visited area, didn’t get that feeling of threat in that area.
    can anyone who knows the area or state share any thoughts. coming from NYC
    that’s exactly what I want to get away from. thanks !

    by john v — June 20, 2015

  109. Ginnie, where in the Ozarks? Do they tax ur SS and pension (if any). Are property taxes high?

    tks, Robert

    by Robert — June 20, 2015

  110. John V, Any article listing information for an entire state is just number crunching at best. I don’t think any information can ever apply to an entire state. For example, you will read that Tennessee is a low-cost state to live in; however if you look at various towns (Sperlings Best Places or Area Vibes), you will quickly find that many towns are substantially more expensive to live in than towns in NC or GA, etc., and many towns are less expensive. Go with the individual area, and even the stats on that can be deceptive. Best to talk to locals whenever possible.

    by ella — June 21, 2015

  111. My husband and I are in our early 60’s and recently retired. We have lived in NC for 30 + years and have recently purchased a smaller house north of Atlanta. We are moving to be closer to my 90 year old father, my son, his wife and 2 grandchildren ( with another one on the way). We went back and forth with this decision to the point of making ourselves nuts! In the end, we decided to make the move. If it doesn’t work out, we can always move back to NC, or some place else! Not having to drive 7-8 hours several times a year to visit family will be wonderful.

    by Terri — June 22, 2015

  112. Terri
    What is the name of the town you have purchased a home in “north of Atlanta”? We have family in Dallas, GA which is north of Atlanta.
    We also just retired and have lived in NC all of our lives but are now traveling and seeing the US in our Motorhome. We will settle down one day somewhere, we just don’t know where yet but have not discounted GA as a residence.

    by Journey15 — June 23, 2015

  113. Ginnie,
    I so enjoyed your posting of June 18. It reminded me of the American Express commercial. While the cost was finding decent housing, living in a tiny apartment, and the need for your husband to work full-time; the result of your efforts was “priceless.” Building and enjoying such a close relationship with your daughter and grandchildren is beyond anything money can buy!

    Wishing you great happiness in the next chapter of your life. A log cabin and 4 acres in the Ozarks sounds perfect, alpacas and all!

    By the way, i lived in Escondido (35 miles NW of San Diego) for four years from 1971 – 1975 and did not find the climate boring. I loved it! However, two of our winters rained non-stop. Not particularly fun.

    by ella — June 23, 2015

  114. We live in Northwest Indiana. We have two sons who live in the Greenville, SC area, one daughter outside of Knoxville, and another daughter in Orlando. There are grandkids in all three areas. We debated for some time on moving closer to them. We liked several areas near them but were crazy about the summers that are hot and humid.

    After much thought we have decided to stay where we are. For 8-9 months of the year the weather is great here. We have an active social life with many friends here, a house with land that is paid for, and a great job in the pro shop of a local golf course, which provides free golf. We do hate the winters and go to Florida for 3 months. We see the kids on trips south and they have someplace to come to in the summer.

    by Bill — June 24, 2015

  115. Good for you, Bill! Sounds like a satisfying life merged into a satisfying retirement effortlessly. I’m happy for you!

    by ella — June 25, 2015

  116. 2 years ago my husband and I moved down street from son and 4 grandkids. Thought I would be really involved but his wife is too busy, and just found out they are moving 8 miles from me. Don’t follow your kids. SKYPE.

    by Nancy — July 4, 2015

  117. I think we have come to the conclusion that really it is best to do what you want to -after all, in all likelihood your kids will!
    We have frequently found in the past that we are the last to know that our kids are moving away somewhere -Japan, Australia… and often it has affected us a great deal.
    Now after (rather reluctantly but thinking it was the right thing to do) having moved back to the city we grew up in, where they now live (while our son returns to Uni for a long period of study – he has 3 little kids) -we have found we loathe it by and large. We came to be near them because we thought they would like to have us near to help and be around. He has told us a lot that they don’t need us. (this was last said when we were there to baby sit -oh well.)
    It is very cold (near the bottom of the world) and I have spent the first winter being pretty ill unfortunately. Health is very important and what keeps you healthy may well not be closeness to the grandchildren who are busy catching lots of things and building up their immune systems!
    It is very parochial here -oh ho that is euphemistic! I should say ‘narrowminded’.
    And we are not really seeing anything much more of the kids and their kids than we did although we do help out a great deal. I think it is useful to have someone have the kids when you are sick, or very tired or having difficulty fitting everything in -but as others have said perhaps it is good not to be too available or too easily available maybe.
    After a miserable 9/10 months here, we have recently decided to purchase a home in the country further north and move back there -it is our dream home actually: a beautiful garden and a little simple house we can quietly upgrade and enjoy. We can’t wait to get there now.
    I think -if faced with the same thing our kids wouldn’t think twice about doing exactly what they want even if we needed help. We are excited about our new adventure and its the only thing that has put a smile on our faces spontaneously for months quite frankly! Yee ha!

    by Annie — October 13, 2015

  118. Thank you to all for your comments. It has helped to clear my head. I plan to retire in a 55+ community with the house of my dreams an hour away from my siblings, daughter and husband caring for his mother who is very difficult and is making him ill. I cannot take the drama anymore; it is also making my health suffer. I believe that we need to do what is healthiest for us.

    by Bianca — October 27, 2015

  119. Having family near is nice, IF you do not have to help them financially all the time, or for some reason your children think you have nothing better to do than babysit. I have seen retired friends “wiped out” by their children, and grandchildren in the last eight years. I have seen retirees physically too tired and too ill to enjoy themselves. I love my children and grandchildren but I want to be independent and not a burden later to my children. Send cards in the mail, children love that, text them, call them often, keep them updated on what you are doing and your health. Let them live their lives, and go for your own life.

    by DeyErmand — October 29, 2015

  120. I am 72, retired and have no children. Widowed four years ago I now have a new relationship. For a person like myself creating a life that I am active in and having a new partner are more than enough for me. I have a good retirement income and love being a senior, alive, in relationship, an active volunteer and a person with many hobbies. I also thing I am quite attractive and sexy and have no problem attracting the opposite sex. I cannot imagine moving near my children if I had them. Having been a career person all my life I would feel I had lost access to being alive and although it would be a good thing on my part to actively contribute to a grandchild’s life I would not find that fulfilling as my main crunch. I genuinely do not understand why widows or couples move near their kids. Unless of course the kids ask them to because they are in need. Otherwise I believe it is a privilege to be retired and active and healthy and don’t spread the secret…

    by Rain — October 30, 2015

  121. My husband and I never had children, so whenever we relocate to another area, there won’t be the separation anxiety that a lot of people suffer who have children and grandchildren whom they are close to. We both have siblings, but we are not close to our siblings, so there is no thought of any separation anxiety there, as well. My husband’s parents are both deceased, and my father has been deceased for almost 9 years. However, my mother, who is 91, is doing fairly well for her age and is still living on her own. I have taken care of and looked out for my mother during those past 9 years as much as is humanly possible, but I feel that it is high time that my brothers step up to the plate and take over the reins in taking care of my mother. Although they both have families of their own and the responsibilities and obligations that come from having both children and grandchildren, they have pretty much adopted the attitude that I, their only sister, is doing such a good job of looking out for their mother that they don’t need to bother putting out much effort to do so themselves. However, that is all about to change, whenever my husband and I move on to start a new life for ourselves.

    by Valerie — October 31, 2015

  122. Couples I work with to relocate from the North and California to the Southeast love the children and grandchildren they leave behind, but have made the calculation that the separation (of distance) will help them live their own lives without the temptation of being hooked into babysitting or other restrictive obligations. Many move to communities with plenty of amenities and other attractions they are confident will lure their kids and grandkids for summer and holiday visits. To cover themselves for emergencies or just the desire to visit their children (and maybe as a rationalization to themselves and their children), they locate about a 10-hour drive away — give or take a couple of hours — putting themselves less than a day away. On the other hand, I work with some couples who say (essentially), “We spent our lives raising our children. Find us a community with no school buses or young families. Been there and done that.” That wouldn’t be my and my wife’s choice, but I do understand the attitude.

    by Larry — October 31, 2015

  123. Valerie, I was an only child and my Dad died in 1991. My Mom was a young widow at 56 and was able to collect Widow SS at age 60 and it was a Godsend. She lived 23 years longer and died in 2013 at age 79. We were very close and ‘best friends’ and I miss her so much. Is there anyway you can include your Mother in your move. Such as buying a home with a Mother In Law apartment? Would she be willing to move with you? Doubtful your brothers would do as good a job as you have done. Even though they should step up, will they? Also, maybe you could look into assisted living for your Mom or maybe offer free room and board and stipend (shared by you and your brothers) and have a caregiver live with her. Rather than leave her high and dry with your brothers, who aren’t going to offer the care you have, come up with an alternate plan for your Mom. The other alternative is to sit them down and have a real discussion on IF they will step up to the plate and how will they juggle the responsibility between the two of them. If they are forced to step up, they may not be good caregivers either. They may feel guilty and say they will step up, but by the sounds of it they are set in their ways. If you have a Senior Center in your town, you might want to make an appointment with the counselors to discuss this with them. In my town we have a great senior center and they have the answers to help the aging population. Wishing you the best.

    by Louise — October 31, 2015

  124. I am planning on moving to Phoenix to be closer to my son. I am in the process of selling my house in Houston and will be moving to a 2 bed/bath apartment in the north part of Phoenix (hopefully) as soon as this is completed. I am moving closer to him because I do like Arizona and it would be nice to be able to seem him more than once in a while. I have already told him I will not be in his pocket and I expect from him the same. I plan on making friends and being social the way my husband and I did when we moved to Houston ten years ago; through church, mutual interest groups, and neighbors. I am realistic enough to know that that might not be enough, so I will be looking for a part-time job for at least the first couple of years. Right now, I am comfortable with this and so is my son. I put my trust in the Lord and know it will be an adventure; scary but an adventure.
    Sharon A

    by SharonA — October 31, 2015

  125. Louise, We have discussed our move to some extent with my Mom, but she has absolutely no interest in being uprooted and moving several states away from the rest of her family (including her grandchildren), so the idea of having her move in with us is not going to happen. Also, it is highly doubtful that she will agree to move from the apartment that she is currently living in until she can no longer care for herself. However, I am sure that some decisions regarding her care will have to be made along the way, but as my husband always says to me, “Sometimes life’s circumstances forces us into make a decision.” I will definitely have to have a discussion with my brothers (one lives in the local area, and the other one lives one state away) concerning my mother’s care long before we make our move, because I certainly don’t want to leave my mother high and dry.

    by Valerie — October 31, 2015

  126. Valerie, it is so difficult when you want to move on. My Hub and I had this discussion with my Mom when she wasn’t ill and even though we have not one living relative in this area, she dug her heels in and refused to think about moving with us. The thought of being in a new area where she wouldn’t be familiar with her surroundings, stores, doctors, etc just didn’t set well with her no matter how we tried to convince her we wouldn’t put her in a position that would make her uncomfortable. We just gave up and I could never leave my Mother behind so we just dropped that idea. Now she is gone and as much as we’d like to move, we have no idea where. Now I can sort of see her point. We have lived in our house since 1975 and built it too. Hub just retired in April so once the dust settles he may start thinking about moving again. CT, where we live is so expensive and the answer to everything is put a new tax on something or increase taxes on what we are already over taxed on. Our State budget is SO out of whack the Governor is planning to get rid of 500 State employees to cut expenses. Good luck with whatever decisions you make regarding your mother.

    by Louise — October 31, 2015

  127. Valerie, I understand your mother likes her independence, got a MIL that was like your mom. Is there anyway you can stop being there for her so much now, then all at once with your move? My wife did that with her mom, before we moved due to a job transfer. My wife “shopped” our present location for cute apartments and mentioned them occasionally over the phone. She mentioned our new doctors too. 4 months later with the brothers failing her, she changed her mind. Now 15 years later, with our own retirement pending and looking forward to moving, she is moving with us. I wish you the best outcome with your mom.

    by DeyErmand — November 1, 2015

  128. To SharonA, et al, , I hope you’ll look me up when (or even before) you move to N. Phoenix. I live in N. Glendale (3 blocks from Phoenix) and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about living here (I know your son lives here.) from a lady-of-a-certain-age perspective and what to do here for ‘fun’, shopping, etc.

    I highly recommend checking out for anyone looking for locating activities and new friends in their area. They always welcome newcomers to the group (I belong to at least 10 groups) and you never feel like a stranger/intruder in a clique of friends.

    I’m trying, myself, to figure out where to retire to (been here 31 yrs,never married, no kids, entire family back East Coast VA to NJ, little tired of desert & starting to miss the lush green…..but HATE humidity, so what to do???), and even checked out for places I’m considering just to see what the ‘getting new friends & activities’ prospects might be.

    I’m still looking for a roommate, so if you need an interim place to stay, keep me in mind.

    by Anne — November 2, 2015

  129. Moving near family has been a mixed bag for us. All 4 of our kids moved away from the community we stayed in for 30 years. The closest daughter has two of our grandkids we saw frequently when they were younger, but as they became teens they naturally had less time for grandparents. They were 2 hours away and we only saw them 1-2 times a year. My mother, who lived with us, passed away; moving out of the huge family home and downsizing made sense at the time.

    Three years ago we retired and decided to move 250 miles to the the South Bay Area of California, near where we were both raised and have family. Our youngest has a special needs child so we do help out at times but we also are free to travel, see friends, and enjoy exploring our community. The key for us has been to pick a place we liked so even if the two closest kids and their families move away, we will still want to stay. It took us about two years of exploring Northern California before finding our retirement home, and we still think it’s a great decision.

    by Marianne — November 3, 2015

  130. We recently retired to an area close to where I was born and where most of my family comes from. No family living right here in our medium-sized town, but the location puts us within 1-2 hours of many relatives (for both my wife and me). I have never really lived near family before, so for me it is great. In six months I have actually run into three of my cousins in stores. For me that’s a new and incredible experience — really makes me feel like “I’m home.”

    by Dave — November 5, 2015

  131. I read these articles and find that other people have more money than I do to move to different places to live. Homes, Condos are not cheap, we own both own these already. Our two children are less than two hours drive from us and they are 1 1/2 hour drive between each other. With one grandchild (18 mos. old) already plus one on the way this year for ‘both our children’, they feel they need more help from us than ever. My son works, is attending graduate school for a Phd and has to help out with the chores and the 18 month old son and his wife also works. He is so stressed out and my wife could cry for him and then there’s my daughter who is going have her first baby this year. M wife doesn’t know where to divide herself. I’m 65 years old and my home is paid for and I’m not willing to take on a new mortgage payment at my age. I have enough expenses as it is and my wife and son are constantly wanting a move closer to them to help out with the new babies. It’s not like its around corner and cost of homes will be higher than what we will get for ours. My son says: “Don’t you want to be closer to your grandchild”. I feel bad but it would be a tremendous headache getting rid of a lot of accumulated stuff in order to make room for something smaller like a home, Condo Apt. and then there’s the cost of fixing a few things here in order to sell this home. I don’t even know where to start. Everyday its why do we need this big a house and why can’t I be closer to or son and daughter, we’re getting old now, … I just want to put a set of headphones on or earplugs to be left alone in my own little world. I do love my grandchild and want to see him but my wife want more and says she’s afraid to dive to them in the winter and Its getting on my nerves everyday.

    by Dave — February 27, 2016

  132. I am 73 my wife is 61 we are both retired,we live in md we bought a condo in Fla payed cash for it seven years ago our plans we to retire down there after retiring.
    Well after retiring our unmarrid daughter had a child we ended up raising the child taking him back an forth to fla as snow birds’ the child is now five years old we just sold our house in MD, loaned her $20,000 to buy a house in MD with an inlaw sweet, we have reversed the roll now we live with her when we are up in MD for the summer baby set when we are here and now plan to go back and forth to fla without the grandson during the winter, so far it seems to be a win, win situation,if and when at some point me or my wife pass the serviving one will have the chores of staying in fla or moving back with our daughter, oh by the way we also have a unmarri

    by Dennis — March 21, 2016

  133. So I am at wits end. We live 90 miles from our daughters and have looked at many properties and actually went under contract on a property that we ended up cancelling. Our current home is beautiful and many don’t know how we can give it up. Both our daughters are out going and successful and the homes in their area are at least 30% higher per squarefoot than our current location and there is no guarantee that they will stay near where we move…within 40 minutes from them because of their distant location in the city they are in. In addition after 40 years of marriage and 25 years in our current home with so many of their belongings it is very challenging ….just not sure what to do.So is 90 miles really that far away

    by Rene Plante — April 12, 2016

  134. Dave, I’m going to take the easy way out and only address the simplest of your concerns; although i have deep sympathy for you concerning all the emotional ‘stuff’ you’re going through. Sounds very difficult and i’m sure you’ll get some great advice in that area.
    Concerning the “tremendous headache getting rid of a lot of accumulated stuff” alongside ” the cost of fixing a few things here in order to sell this home”, all i can say is DO IT NOW whether you are planning to move or not. My husband and i didn’t know where to start either. We felt uncertain of what to do and how to do it, consequently, we procrastinate almost three years!
    Now we are trying to get our home on the market, and there is tremendous stress in the pressure of having everything done quickly so that we can list ‘yesterday’. (Our realtor tells us the spring is the best time to sell). Everything we are doing would have had to be done anyway to sell. Had we spread the work out and taken our time, it would have been so much better. Additionally, we are in a down, buyers’ market; and still we would have covered more of our costs had we done a lot more. (It takes money to make money.) So please, don’t be afraid to get started!
    As for your son and grandchild, at least preparing your home for sale will bring you a step closer Should You Choose to move! My very best to you!

    by ella — April 13, 2016

  135. Rene,
    Read the last sentence in your post. If you don’t feel 90 miles is too far for you to drive, than it isn’t! Listen to your heart. Are your daughters pressuring you to move; you didn’t say. As for your accumulations, please see my post above.

    by ella — April 13, 2016

  136. We have been retired for 10 years. Early retirees. Moved to the Coast for some fun in a small condo and paid cash for it after downsizing our big home up in PA. Been traveling back and forth to the south to visit our family, grands and others all this time. We now are ready to ‘make the permanent move’ at 65. We are blessed to have family settled in SC and we have found our 55+ community that will be perfect for us. Can’t wait to start our new chapter and be near loved ones for all the holidays and events without all the long travel. Not to mention it is Gorgeous in SC! Good luck to all in finding your forever life. It is all a matter of what works for you to be happy.

    by sunlovingal — April 13, 2016

  137. Rene, It seems you want to be closer to your daughters and not 90 miles away, however, you love your home.

    First I would suggest that you ask your daughters to take their belongings and if they don’t want them donate them to a charity like Goodwill, Salvation Army or a local thrift store that uses the money for charity. Getting rid of their stuff will then allow you to start with your stuff. Let them know you can no longer store the stuff.

    Second, I wouldn’t sell the house until you are 100% sure you are ready to give it up. Why don’t you plan to go out to see your daughters once a month and rent a hotel room? You could spend holidays with them and every month plan things with them for a few days. It would be like a mini vacation but then you could go home. 90 miles isn’t that far but to drive round trip in one day is a chore. Do you have any public transportation to take you to where your Daughters live? If so, you might consider that too and enjoy not driving!

    If after doing the hotel visits you may feel like it is time to move out there. You could take your time looking at homes to buy while visiting and not rush into something you will regret.

    by Louise — April 13, 2016

  138. Rene – I read your post and understand where you are coming from. Some times it is better to have long visits with family than to move to where they are – after all they could move. And if they have kids, and if the grandkids are involved in sport/activities, both parents working, my big question is WHEN DO YOU GET TO SPEND TIME WITH THEM?

    Our children know we are moving. Both want us happy, but one would really like us to move near (1.5 to 2 hours away) where they are going to retire from the military. Now they have blessed us with 2 grandchildren, but they are under 10. Both parents will be working full time, the children will be in school full time… We don’t care for the area nor the weather where they are moving. Plus the cost of living is slightly higher in some ways than where we want to move to. This child of ours we have never lived near as he is in the military… it was really, did I say, “really,” hard to tell him we just can’t move over 3000 miles. The cost of moving would eat us so much of what we would need for a house there. Plus we realized we really wouldn’t see the grandkids much unless WE did all the driving to see them… and the cost of gas! (don’t get me started on that) to go and see them when we are on a fixed income is prohibitive. I know it hurt him when we told him we were not moving there and why… but that we would come out for long vacations so that their children would know who we are and that we do love them.

    The bottom line is we had to be a little selfish and consider our wants/needs/finances – not theirs. Where would we be happier and what would provide the best time with our grandchildren/children.

    I hope this helped.

    by Kathy — April 13, 2016

  139. Rene, I totally understand where you are coming from. My husband died in September. While it wasn’t totally unexpected, we had actually planned to put our house on the market and move to North Carolina near both our daughters. (I am in Delaware). It wasn’t my choice, but my husband’s and given his ill health, I agreed. Labor Day weekend, my daughters and sons-in-law drove to Delaware, I rented a dumpster, and we purged 35 years of “stuff.” Donated lots of furniture, clothing, you name it. There are no drapes on my living room and dining room windows, nothing on the walls. I have a holding area of boxes of what we planned to take with us. It was such a relief. Sadly, my husband died two weeks later and I at this time have no plans to move. I have a part-time job, my sister, friends, I am in a Rotary Club….etc. While I like North Carolina, my life is here. I drive 360 miles every 90 days or so to visit them. I don’t really mind the drive. My point is, that if you and your husband are happy where you are, don’t move to make someone else happy. 90 miles is not a big deal, IMO. But I would urge you to start getting rid of “stuff.” While I feel like a squatter living in this sparse environment, I am glad that when I do move, the process will be much easier. I hope this makes sense.

    by Mary K — April 13, 2016

  140. I have been watching this discussion with great interest, since my wife and I relocated from the Chicago area last spring to San Diego to be near two of our children: a daughter and family in SImi Valley (outside of LA) and a son and new bride here in San Diego. (Our third child, a daughter, is in Africa with the Peace Corps). Believe me, we went through many/all of the questions and checklists under review here as we decided if this move was right for us. And since every one of your situations really are unique, I hesitate to offer any advice.
    Except this. We ultimately decided to put aside all the objective micro-details such as cost of living, taxes, weather, golf/tennis, beach or mountain, etc and asked instead two core questions that required subjective “from the heart” answers: how would we feel if we made the move and it did not work out as we had hoped; versus, how would we feel down the road if we never made the move at all? For us, these simple questions led to some fairly lengthy and complicated answers, and in the end we decided that “on balance” we should make the move to be nearer our kids. We haven’t been disappointed.

    by Shelby — April 14, 2016

  141. Using Big Data from health care claims some researchers in Seattle developed a questionnaire for estimating your “time left” on this earth. I am 72 and my average lifespan estimate was 17 more years with 13 years in good health and 4 years as frail. Whether this estimate is accurate or not, it did help me plan. We have a senior facility four blocks away from our condo in Seattle with independent apartments, memory care apartments, and a Medicare/Medicaid nursing home section. The activities are culturally robust and the dining room serves fine food.
    The average age for moving into the facility is 87. My main reasons for a senior facility is to relieve my family from caregiving, be safe, have fun, and provide a good plan for the surviving frail spouse. I want to maintain a wonderful relationship with offspring and not be their caregiving burden.
    If you think aging will not happen and that death arrives during your sleep after a wonderful round of golf you will statistically be wrong about 99% of the time. Our cells stop replicating as we age – that is why the dancers Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire both ended up frail, for instance. Try researching “aging” on wikipedia and then start planning. And, enjoy your current days!!!

    by Janet Harvey — April 16, 2016

  142. Shelby, good for you! When family relationships are strong, i view living near one’s children and grandchildren as the #1 priority. Nothing can compare. When they are not, then the decision to live near one’s family moves down on the list.

    by ella — April 17, 2016

  143. We have a 32 year old daughter who is disabled who will live with us in retirement. Does anyone have any experience with 55+ communities who allow younger people such as her? We live in Maryland but are considering retiring to Florida.

    by dlr0325 — May 24, 2016

  144. Janet, do you have a link to the “time left” questionnaire?

    by Chris Oxford — May 25, 2016

  145. Dir0325, Some over 55+ have 10% or 20% exceptions…rules vary so it may be tedious to check. However, there are often all age communities that cater to retirement folks. You can find some on this website.

    I would try to find an several areas in FL that you like and when you focus on one work with a realtor.

    by elaine — May 25, 2016

  146. This comment came in from “Jerry”, and is similar to the one raised by Dir0325: Does anyone else have any ideas on how to handle this serious issue:

    Your readership has so many varied experiences that I thought I’d toss out my situation and see if anybody has a similar one that they have resolved successfully.

    I am almost seventy years old and my wife is two years younger. We have an adult (36 years old) son with Down Syndrome. Our concern is taking care of him through the rest of our lives and then being able to support him once we’re gone.

    What we see around the country are communities for elderly folks (how strange it seems to me to call myself by that value-laden term!) and other communities for mentally retarded people. It seems to me that both sets of residents have some needs in common – medical care, assistance in daily life, food preparation, and things like that. I would love to find that there is a community where my wife and I could move to with our son and then know that he could remain there if he outlives us. I was wondering if any of your readership community knows of such a place.

    by Admin — September 30, 2016

  147. My wife and I took in her sister who has developmental disabilities. In our case the father had died and many issues arose, starting with the fact that half of his social security and VA benefits went to my sister in law. Since she was already living with a brother, this left the mother with a lower income. Hence my MIL coming to live with us. Six months later, my SIL made her home with us. It is against the law for any Senior hi-rise, 55 plus community, assisted living or nursing home to refuse DD citizens a place to live. Senior hi-rises, and 55 plus community do not provide the assistance a DD citizen would need, so you need to check with your local county board of Developmental Disabilities to assist you. They will have a SSA who is trained to see to every aspect of your sons future even in the event of your demise, especially DD retirement houses, that interact with the local community, such as workshops which allows them to earn a stipend income while they earn their own credits needed for social security benefits.

    by DeyErmand — October 1, 2016

  148. PS: These are the best states for helping families with Developmental Disabled issues. In order of ranking : Arizona, Michigan, Hawaii, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Missouri.

    by DeyErmand — October 1, 2016

  149. I have a son with Autism and have been looking in ocean and Burlington counties in NJ, in 55+ so far no problems with our 26 year old living with us. Some counties said no but then I was told the equal housing law comes in to play and they really can not refuse. But I also have heard about articles about DD living and helping with Seniors that they have found it to be a very good match. I will have to look it up and get back on here to report. I do know Northern NJ has communities for the DD, Bethel is one and in Florida there are two one is in lake land.

    by elaine n — October 1, 2016

  150. My husband of 5 years wants to move 600 miles away. I don’t have children but have sisters within 10 miles of where I currently live. I work with one of my sisters. He doesn’t see or speak to his children or grand children. He is not a social person. I need my relationship with my sisters, we’ve always been close. His health is not good at all. I’m afraid I’ll end up alone in an area without any family. What to do?

    by JoAnn — January 1, 2017

  151. My husband and I (he is 67 and I am 57) currently live in a large metro area. We have four children and ten grandchildren. Right now one is east coast, one is west coast and two live within 20 minutes of us. My daughter, son-in-law and four grandkids who live close by will be moving within 6-9 months (military), leaving just one son and family in the area. Husband and I want to move to a more semi-rural area but still close to city conveniences and one option is to move four hours south and would be very close to one of my sisters and one of her children. My sister and I are very close and while part of me loves this idea, I am also worried about moving away from the one son who lives in this area. Also, there is a chance one of our other kids and family will move back to this area in the next year or two. We have looked in this area but so far have not found anything we like as much as the area down south. My other concern is that while I am very close to my sister and love my niece and her family, I am somewhat hesitant about moving away from the family/grandkids who still live here. This discussion has been very helpful but any thoughts/feedback would be appreciated.

    by Lou — February 20, 2017

  152. I sold my house in a 55 retirement community in AZ 5 years ago & moved close to my daughter & 2 children & my elderly mom in the Midwest. During the remodeling, my daughter & soninlaw got mad at me & would barely speak to me. The kids followed suit & would call the other grandma to see if they could spend the night, etc. My feelings were so hurt, & I was so lonely for friends & my life, that I sold my house & moved to the ocean in Florida. They barely spoke to me for 3 years. The humidity & no see ums was awful in Florida so I moved back to Arizona. This year was the first they came to visit me & it was very nice. Now I’m really missing them again & since I’m single, I feel alone away from family. Doing my own thing feels worthless esp with no one to share it with. I’m going back to visit my daughter for a week & think about what to do. I’m 63 so it will soon be time to settle where I can get help when needed.

    by Linda — May 2, 2017

  153. I’m trying hard not to be self-absorbed regarding retirement and to consider the needs of my kind and caring husband. The subject of “where to locate” seems to him to be a flight of fancy, since our situation is just about perfect. We planned for it and made good choices. But he knows I have reasons to consider this topic carefully, having watched my mother enjoy her life, mostly, at the expense of everyone else. She is now 95.
    Mom decided, as a very young wife and mother, what her retirement would look like and she pushed for it. She wanted a cottage in the north and a resort home in the south. She wanted no bugs, lots of friends and to be around some of her sisters and brothers. She decided, I remember, on Arizona because her sister was a golfer and owned a resort home and she thought she would do that too. My parents bought a junky lake cottage, dirt cheap, on a fabulous piece of land way up north, totally removed from everything. What my Mom didn’t plan on was my Dad dying, but she moved through that phase of her life and remarried a widower who shared her vision. So, they traveled from the north to the south, at first by car, then by motor home, then by plane. They loved the resort and made lots of friends and did a lot. She was living her dream.
    What my Mom didn’t do was spend with us, any Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, or any birthday of mine or that of my children. If she felt guilty, she never said so. She removed herself from our lives in October and resurfaced at Mother’s Day, for decades. Any photo in our album of her is with the backdrop of the lake, not my home, because, if I wanted to see her, I would have to make the five hundred mile round trip. She wasn’t there after I had surgery, when I desperately needed help with my pre-teens. She wasn’t there for anything, but she always sent greeting cards, taking care that they were prompt. Over the decades, I have made well over 100 round trips to see her, and several trips to Arizona, staying as long as 60 days. My husband and I slept on an old sofa bed. Those were our vacations.
    I have five siblings who dote on Mom, and because most of them do not live close to either location, have the same experiences as I do. My Mom doesn’t think I do enough to remain close to “the family”. My siblings rarely visit me at my home and two have never been in my home of nearly 25 years, even though we all live in the same state. She is the main topic of conversation when we have been together, “When is she leaving? Do you have the tickets, yet?” “Guess who died at the resort over the summer?” Currently, none are speaking to me, or inviting us to any family events because I have made it known that I am done being an enabler. I have reached the conclusion that my self-absorbed mother has been so busy attaining her retirement goals, and expecting that they be a priority in our lives, that somehow, we never learned to care about each other. If you’re “all about Mom”, in my family, you “measure up” and are welcome in the “club”.
    I don’t yearn for a second home in an idyllic place. I love our beautiful state, our town, our neighborhood, our well thought out and nearly paid for home with furniture that was very hard earned along with my new kitchen. I love our state of the art research hospital and beautiful veteran’s hospital. I don’t care about the snow if I can get out of it for one month in February. I don’t want to give up any of this and live in a far-flung cabin somewhere, and watch it fall apart around me. I don’t want a resort home in a hot climate that quickly becomes old and brittle in the heat. And most of all, I don’t want any of the back and forth travel. I don’t want to be so removed from the lives of our children, that we are irrelevant, yet I don’t want to demand to be the center of their attention. They need their independence, too. And yet, I can’t help wishing, for once in my life, for us to live in a different place giving up nothing, except the baggage of people demanding of me, yet never caring anything about me. As one gets older, every choice means greater risk, so the reward should really be thought out carefully. Is this enough to make a move? So, that is my dilemma.

    by Tina — August 26, 2017

  154. Tina – Thank you for sharing your dilemma. Everyone makes choices. Your Mom chose her retirement and how to relate to her grandchildren and grown children, and you chose to give up time and struggle to try to keep those doors open as long as possible. You get to choose again. Hopefully, you will keep lines of communication open so that no matter what choice you make, no one in your family will ever conclude that you don’t care anything about them just because you made a particular decision. Also — no decision has to be final. You can choose one option for X years, knowing that it’s temporary and that in Y years you will do something else.

    I had some of the same experiences. I was relocated for work, met my spouse and started my family in a state about 500 miles from my parents. Somehow my parents were either too busy (and eventually their health failted) so they couldn’t travel to us. Between jobs, children and eventually my spouse’s illness, we were unable to use our 2-3 weeks of vacation a year to travel to them. We kept up with almost daily phone calls, but I fervently wished they were closer. My spouse’s parents were deceased. I could not help with my parents’ medical issues, and they didn’t get to know their grandkids. My children are now in their 20s-30s, and have no memories of grandparents.

    I am now trying to decide where to retire. My kids are all in expensive states with bitter winters, and I have cold uticaria. Do I try to find a small home near them (hoping their jobs won’t relocate them), so I can be around to help with grandkids when they have time for me? Or do I find a nice home in a warmer climate, where I can live comfortably and try to see the kids when I can travel (assuming they will want to share their own 2-3 weeks of vacation time with me, instead of wanting to have experiences with their own young families)? It’s never going to be a black and white decision. Fortunately, we now have technology so we can see our loved ones by computer, as I am reminded by friends who have military family members workiing on the other side of the world.

    It obviously shouldn’t be about “demands” without caring. Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves, and might be surprised at how understanding our family members can be if we discuss the dilemma and our feelings with them. You might discover that your Mom even believed you were all perfectly happy with her arrangement during those years.

    My kids have acknowledged the cold uticaria, and suggested I wait to move near them until my 70s when the chance of medical needs are increased and I would be comfortable in a smaller home (they’ve suggested I look at this by decade, not as a final decision for the rest of my life).

    by Kate — August 27, 2017

  155. Tina, I am not the right person to make comments on your situation but would like to say that before you make any drastic decisions on moving you should focus on pampering you and your husband. From what you have said, you have been through a lot of emotional and mental disappointment with your family. My Hub is estranged from his side of the family except one sister that he rarely sees. His family played a lot of mentally cruel games and he finally said no more. It is time you and your Hub go on a few nice vacations and think about your situation and what will make you both happy. Get away from your home and family situation to get a fresh perspective. Florida is a nice place to vacation. There are so many fun things to do and see. I have been to Disney many, many times and never tire of it. Take a cruise, do something FUN! I don’t think you mentioned if you are retired yet. You seem to enjoy your home. There are no rules that say you must move as soon as you retire. Is there anyway you could plan a family vacation with your children? Maybe you could rent a house on a beach for a month and have an open door for your children to come and go during that month. You seem mentally drained and need some YOU time!

    by louise — August 27, 2017

  156. Tina, There is no guarantee’s on where your children will live in the future but they are a big part of your life. Your mother chose to retire near her own siblings. Ask yourself are your siblings a big part of your life now? Seems to me you have your retirement location but maybe you need a smaller place, or reassurance you won’t lose what you have with your children now. How about purchasing a smaller vacation home ideal for the whole family to use whenever in the same state and finding a smaller home in the very town you currently live? A lot of people don’t look in their own “backyard” for a retirement spot or vacation home. I spent almost every year of my married life traveling 1200 miles to sleep on the floor of my in-laws floor so my wife could appease her family. I was glad when she said no more. Now the MIL lives with us. Our children have had to move out of state for jobs, but they know it is their choice to come and visit or not. We have to consider our future choice of home for their visits along with our preferences for retirement. Talk to your children and tell them your concerns.

    by William DeyErmand — August 27, 2017

  157. It seems the theme through most of these comments has been my children want me to move to help them. I have to ask did you get a lot of help from your family when you were having your children and raising them? Why can’t the children move closer to you? That way you could stay in your comfortable home, with your familiar surroundings, and then still help them when it’s needed.

    by Daisy May — August 27, 2017

  158. Over the years, I have seen many situations where aging parents have chosen to move close to their adult children, only for their children to move for one reason or another. I’ve also seen that happen the other way around where an adult child has moved close to parents and then the parents have moved. I think if you chose to move to be close to family, you need to make sure it is an city/area that really makes you happy, with or without family there.

    by Jan — August 27, 2017

  159. Jan:
    Amen to your last comment. I will have to select a place where I will be happy to move, if I decide to relocate. I am currently looking near my Aunt in Florida–just to be near family—I have no family in Washington, DC, but I do have friends. My Aunt recently told me not to move to Florida unless I thought I would like it there, that she may one day decide to leave and that I should not consider coming just because they are there. This is good advice, but none of us is getting younger. I am not sure I would like Florida except to visit–I just went there two weeks ago to experience the heat to see if I could tolerate it. (I actually found it no different than Washington, DC–just as humid and hot) The good thing is that now we have pleasant temperatures and cooler air here in DC. I am also terrified of snakes and they are abundant in Florida and can get in your home. I told the realtors that I only would look at condos on the second floor or above–no ground floor units. I am only looking for now and I would only rent first if I did relocate–I really love mountains–but have no family mountains in the eastern USA.

    by Jennifer — August 27, 2017

  160. My husband is retired and I plan to retire in two years. We do not have children and he does not have any siblings. Both of our parents have passed. I have three sisters all live within 10 miles of us and I work at the same college with one of my sisters. She and I are very close. She is a widow and has her grandchildren living with her. Two of which are still in high school.
    My husband wants to move to another part of the state, 4 hours away. My sister and I dont like the idea of me being so far away. I have to add, my husbands health is not good and the prospects of being alone and four hours away from family worries me. My sister plans to work for another four years to get her grandchildren through school. So when I retire she will still be working so long visits will not be in the picture.
    I’m trying to work on a compromise with my husband. Our home is paid for as will be our new home. We have a good income even when I retire. I’m hoping to keep our current home so I can come back for extended visits. I’m really torn between being with my husband and staying close to my sister. I don’t know anyone in this new area, so I have no support network.
    Any advise will be welcomed.
    Thanks in advance.

    by JoAnn — March 2, 2018

  161. I’m looking for advice on moving. I moved 3 years ago from the Midwest to FL to be near my son and d-I-l. I have a very solid relationship with both but don’t seen them often. They live about 1-1/2 hours away and both work (no grandchildren). They own a weekend home near me but don’t come over much in the colder months. We have a great relationship but I’m lonely as I left my friends and family in the Midwest. I am retired although working part-time and I’m a young 75, divorced for many years. I love being in the warmer weather but truly miss the family and social life that I enjoyed for so many years. I am seriously contemplating moving back to the Midwest to feel like a have a life again. I would love to hear your comments as I am seeking direction before making a decision. Thank you!

    by Joyce — March 12, 2018

  162. I know this is about the parents and not about the children, but I would like to throw in some thoughts (and also would like to vent anonymously):
    I am an adult “child” who is completely distraught at the idea of my mother retiring to a far away state. I am an only child, and my mother and I are very close (at least I thought we were). She hates her marriage and hates her job. She is divorcing my father and looking for new employment. I understand that she wants to start fresh and move somewhere beautiful and different, but I can’t help that my selfish heart is breaking or that I feel abandoned and alone.

    What I simply cannot understand is why she would want grow old somewhere away from the people who actually love her. She cries almost every day from the loss of her mother (who died more than 15 years ago), and wishes nothing more than to spend just a little more time with her. All that grief from the loss of someone who lived about 20 minutes away for her entire life. Now my mother wants to move about 20 hours away- she is not in the best of health to begin with- and I am so terrified of all the time that is being taken from us if she were to move away.

    I am not married and likely never will be. I am certain I will never have children (but what if I did!? She wouldn’t even know them!). My mother is my closest friend and loved one. We spend a lot of time together- we see each other at least once a week or more. Maybe that is why she wants to get away from me. I know I am selfish, but my vision of my future with my mother in another state is one of utter loneliness. I am so sad that I actually prayed she would not be hired for the job she applied for in said sunny state. It is not because I don’t want my mother to be happy, but because it tears my heart apart that her happiness could be somewhere where I will never even get to see her face.

    Added onto the feeling of overwhelming sadness and terror is one of bitter resentment. This resentment stems from the fact that when I was choosing colleges and grad schools (in the VERY recent past) she cried and begged and pleaded for me to stay in-state so that I would be near to her. I did exactly what she wanted. I turned down a full scholarship to a private law school in another state because she convinced me it was the right thing to do. Now that I am graduated and beginning my career in our home-state- after completely rejecting the opportunity to move elsewhere per the request of my mother- she has decided that it really wasn’t that important to live near to me after all.

    All the things we do together- ceremonial activities (we are Native American), dinner and lunch and brunch, getting drinks, going to concerts, talking and hanging out, just having her there- all of those things bring happiness and love to my otherwise lonely life. I thought it was the same for her. But I guess living on the beach is more important.

    by Jolene — April 23, 2018

  163. Jolene:
    We all only have one life. As one ages, and sometimes before, we see retirement looming ahead, and priorities change. Your mother may be going through a crisis in her life that she feels this is her only chance to pursue what she really wants. Just because she wants to move away, does not mean that she loves you less. If she finds happiness in her new chosen location–who knows–you may decide to join her. Perhaps therapy can help you with your issues of abandonment. You say you are an only child who will not marry or have children? How can you know that? You do not indicate your age in your post, but if you just completed your training for your chosen career, I am willing to bet you may be fairly young. I hope you can talk to your mother to get the true picture of things, you may be assuming a lot without understanding her feelings. Good luck to you. This forum will have may people who will also be giving you their opinion–there is much wisdom here.

    by Jennifer — April 24, 2018

  164. Jolene: Can you share your post with your Mom? Maybe she thinks that she’s going to convince you to move closer to her once she relocates?

    Maybe your Mom is finally living a dream, or needs to live somewhere else due to her divorce for freedom? Seems fair to lovingly let her have some years to “live her own dream”. Plus It’s definitely time to work on expanding your own life and replacing your Mom’s role in it, if you have been depending on her for a social life, happiness, love and fulfillment (and if you are starting a legal career, you will have less and less time for her anyway – speaking as someone who knows). However, your Mom isn’t being selfish by putting her needs first for awhile, any more than you are selfish for wanting to keep her close for your own personal reasons. Yes, it will be painful to separate but don’t use worries about her health in the future as an excuse. Maybe the separation should have happened sooner when you were selecting your grad school…but ultimately each of us make our own choices. It must have been particularly tough for both of you since it appears you’ve been very close.

    Keep in mind that life from 60-65, 65 to 75 or 75-85, are each different stages. We can plan differently for each of the stages. I’d suggest discussing this with your Mom and evaluate annually where both of you live. It will be very hard since you have a lot of baggage and a special relationship with your Mom, but eventually you may see this separation as an opportunity for personal growth.

    by Sharon — April 24, 2018

  165. Jolene, Deciding where to grow old is tough but getting to grow old anywhere is a blessing. Would you be able to go with your mom while she investigates possible places where she might move (and encourage her to rent, not buy so if she changes her mind she can move back easily) ? Being supportive of her will help you both. AND dont assume her move will be the final move for her. Many of us move back to the general area started at after spending some time elsewhere. From your post, it sounds like your mom is dealing with a lot, she may feel that moving to a new place far away will help her put some of that behind her.

    by jean — April 24, 2018

  166. Jolene:
    We live in a mobile society these days. That goes for children and parents. Children move away for jobs, love, college or life style. Parents move away for jobs, life style, climate etc. You can make yourself sick over it or learn to adapt to it.

    We have a son who gave up a career locally to move to Vietnam to be with the woman he loves. We use Skype to virtually visit with him every week. We probably “see” him more often this way than if he lived nearby. We have another son who has 2 year old twins and lives 800 miles away. His wife sends us almost daily videos of our grandchildren and posts lots of pictures of them on Facebook. We also visit our grandchildren several times a year and are going to vacation in Vietnam this fall to see our son and his fiance’.

    Jolene, you can use social media to keep in touch with your mother as often as she is comfortable with as well as visit in person. Also, things change and she may decide to return to live near you or you may find her new location to be to your liking and move there. This also gives you the freedom to pursue career advancement anywhere without staying in your current location. Your mother may be signaling you that it’s time you break away go on your own path.

    by LS — April 24, 2018

  167. Jolene – Please talk with your mother. Make sure she knows how you feel, but don’t try to make her feel guilty. She has a lot of stress right now, without you adding more. See if you can discover why she feels the need for a completely new start. Maybe she could benefit from a counselor. As a previous poster said, please also look for ways to broaden your own social circle. No matter what, your mother won’t be there for you forever. Speaking personally, I will be leaving my 2 grown sons behind soon to relocate to Florida. The younger one is fine with it, but the older one isn’t very happy. The younger one has a long-time girlfriend as well as a few close friends. The older one has the friends, but no one special. He also has financial worries, and I think he feels like I’m deserting him. That said, they’re adults now. I will love them more than they will ever understand, forever, but my work is done. It’s time for me to me to take care of me, and them to take care of themselves. Wishing a loving, peaceful future for both you and your mom.

    by Laurel — April 24, 2018

  168. Joyce, why do you live so far away from your son and DIL? Why an hour and a half away? Why don’t you move closer to them rather than move back to where you came from. You seem to like the weather and you wanted to be close to your son and his wife. I personally would sell whatever you own now and maybe rent something for a while to see if it works out then buy something if it does. If now, then you can move back.

    by Louise — April 24, 2018

  169. Jolene, I can really identify with you. I was an only child and was extremely close to my Mom. I would stop in to see her every evening after work and would see her on the weekends. My Hub did tons of work for her like mowing, yard work, small house repairs. She was my best friend. She passed away at age 79 five years ago and it has been very hard for me dealing with it. We took some trips together and she loved my company. I have a feeling your Mom is going thru a mid life crisis and she thinks if she escapes to another state things will be ‘different’. Have you discussed your feelings with your mother? Can you take her out to lunch or dinner and talk to her about her reasons to move away? Is she so burned out from your Father that she is running away from that situation? What is it about the new State that is drawing her? Is she moving to a place like The Villages in FL to have an active social life? If she still insists on moving, would you consider moving too to be closer to her? You and your Mom need to talk about what is going on and why she is moving to another State. Does she have friends, relatives there? Is it possible she has met a man on line and he is pressuring her to move there? There has to be more to the story!

    Is it possible that she feels since you have graduated from college and are secure that she feels kind of lost with the divorce and you being no longer a needy child? Like her life is drifting away?

    I hope you can find out what is really going on. My heart goes out to you.

    by Louise — April 24, 2018

  170. Joyce,
    Have you considered The Villages? If not, I would encourage you to do so. 75 is young, and there are tons of things and activities to do. You will grow younger! 🙂

    by Kathy — April 24, 2018

  171. Thank you all for your advice! I definitely needed space to vent my harsher feelings because of exactly what some of you said- I don’t want to make my mother feel guilty for trying to be free, and I don’t want to hold her back. The end of her marriage to my father, and the really terrible things that have happened in that regard, has been very traumatizing for her, and I think she just wants to get away from all of that baggage. I really don’t blame her for that.

    But on the other hand, she was married to my father for 25 years while his alcoholism gradually got worse until he was completely dependent on her. Now she’s decided she’s done and all of his problems are my problems now and none of them are hers. It kind of feels like she dumped this pile of sh*t at my feet and said see ya later- which increases the feelings of abandonment. Not only is my biggest source of support imminently leaving, but I am left alone with a low-functioning alcoholic father and absolutely no idea what to do about it.

    She has a new man that I have never met that she wants to be with in Florida. They have known each other for years but just started long-distance dating. I am worried about her in many respects- one being that I don’t want this new relationship to be the only reason, or even just the main reason, she is moving there. Shacking up with someone on a vacation is fun, but the daily life can be very different even in a beautiful place. Also, our entire family is here in our home-state- literally every single member of our family, which is one of the things that did make it so hard to consider going out of state for school. She has a great social and community network and lots of friends- all right here.

    Another thing (that I completely recognize sounds incredibly self-absorbed and selfish) is that I think being apart from me may be more difficult than she realizes. The longest we have ever gone without actually seeing each other was about 3 months when I was in college about an hour drive away. If we get busy and it’s been a couple weeks since we hung out, I will always get the “I miss you” call from her to get lunch or come over. I just can’t help but panic a little bit at the thought that that won’t be possible anymore. We are very close, and she is my primary source of companionship. I just feel very lonely at the thought of her leaving.

    This isn’t about needing financial help or a baby-sitter- I am fully able to support myself and have even offered to cover some costs of my parents’ like certain medical bills etc,- I don’t have kids and don’t want them. My mother definitely has the sense of “well I’ve done my job as a parent now I’m done,” but our relationship doesn’t really reflect that. We are not “done” with each other just because I am an adult (kind of) now. Social media and phone calls does nothing to replace seeing her, smelling her, embracing her. My heart really hurts over this. Maybe I am too emotionally dependent on her. But she’s my mother, and I thought that was what it was supposed to be like.

    I don’t want to try to convince her to stay. I don’t want her to be sad or guilty. She is so unhappy right now, and she wants to experience something new. But I am a wreck right now. I feel like I haven’t stopped crying for days. I wake up with tears, shed tears at work, and I go to sleep with tears. When I am being selfish and thinking about my future daily life, it feels very isolated and lonely. Even though I’m trying to repress them, some of these feelings have started coming out passive aggressively, and I end up inadvertently making her feel guilty anyway. It feels like my family is shrouded in sadness right now, and I wish there was a way for all of us to be happy (that didn’t include my mom leaving me).

    by Jolene — April 24, 2018

  172. Perhaps it is time for you to get your own life separate from your Mother. My daughter who is also an only child lives 7 hours away from us. It is hard but I wanted her to grow and experience life in another environment. Please think of this as a learner experience for you and your Mother.

    by Sue B — April 24, 2018

  173. Jolene, I understand how you feel. I raised an only child alone after I got divorced from her Dad when she was very young. It was just her and me her whole life and we were very attached at the hip. When it came time to go to college, I did the opposite of what your Mom did. I encouraged her to leave the nest because I wanted her to have her own life and not worry about me. I put her in the car and drove her to colleges out of state the summer her senior year. She did not want to go, but I pushed. She went to college 3 hours away and it was very hard on both of us, but she made it through the 4 years. She now lives in the city where she went to college and has her own happy life. It has been harder on me than words can say, but I did not have a child to fill my lonely days in my old age. I miss her very much and now that I have cancer and may not have much longer, I feel at peace that I did my job and gave her wings. Give your mother wings and the freedom to find some happiness. You will see her often and won’t it be nice to have a sunny place to visit?

    by Maimie — April 24, 2018

  174. Jolene, can you move to the new State your Mom will go to? However, I would discuss this with your Mom. I think there is more going on with her than you know. Good luck. I can’t imagine my Mom leaving me either just out of the blue.

    by Louise — April 25, 2018

  175. Jolene: many of us know well the fear of losing someone dear, whether via a move, dementia, estrangement or death.
    The anxiety of what might happen can be near-paralyzing, as it seems to be in your case. Humans being remarkably resilient, when your mother ultimately moves you will almost certainly find that the reality of her living further away isn’t nearly as terrible as you’d feared.

    I highly recommend that you arrange a few sessions with a good therapist. Exploring why you are so upset, resentful, and afraid can help you manage this loss and perhaps even grow from it.

    by JCarol — April 25, 2018

  176. Dear Jolene,
    you’ve gotten some very good advice from others, but I just wanted to point some things out.

    First of all nothing is written in stone which means that whether your mom moves now or not is not a permanent choice. She could move and decide that it isn’t what she wanted. She has the option of moving back near you. She could move and you can decide whether you are okay with it. If you are not then you can decide if you want to move closer to her. Change in life is inevitable.

    Secondly regarding your dad being “dumped in your lap” your mom has cared for him for many years now and she is probably just done. We all have our limits. There are residences with all levels of care. If you don’t want to or cannot care for him there are places that will provide the care he needs.

    My heart goes out to you. I hope that you find some peace regarding your mom’s choices.

    by kathio — April 25, 2018

  177. Joyce, From what you say you were happy and enjoyed your life in the Midwest. Three years is a good try, but if you still miss your family and friends there and you’re lonely where you are now, well, it sounds to me like you’ve answered your own question. If it was me I’d head back to where I was happy. You can always come to Florida for visits. Just do what’s right for you.

    by Tess — April 25, 2018

  178. We moved these comments from a different Blog for a better fit:

    Short story – years ago, I knew an older women who was a school bus driver. Her adult daughter asked her to quit her job to babysit her grandchildren and daughter would pay the mother for her time. (This was so the daughter could work and pursue her career while grandmother raised her 3 children.) Grandmother said – No way. I get paid full medical benefits and pension plan. Besides I raised you and your siblings (5 children) while being a bus driver. Now is your time to raise your children or hire a baby sitter – but not me.

    I have read some of the most recent contributions to this discussion. Allow me to add this. Four years ago, we retired and thought a move accross country (from Dallas, Texas) to a totally new (in all ways) environment (Pacific Northwest) would be the start to a great new phase in our lives. We made the move to a beautiful area. People asked us if we had friends or family in our new location. We did not. We winged it – confident that we could develop relationships and friendships. We did. But, less then two years later we moved back. Our new relationships and friendships could not replace being close to my son. Our new friendships could not replace the 30 year friendships and histories we had in Dallas. In our case – we moved back to the Dallas area which, we realized, had become “home” although we’re not native Texans. All this to say – when considering a move, I urge you to consider your family, your friendships, your relationships (I.e. doctor’s, businesses you frequent), familiarity). Just my thoughts.

    by Jane at Topretirements — September 20, 2018

  179. I wanted to add one more thought to my comment above. Not every one has the same story or set of considerations when it comes to family or friends or relationships or history in a particular area. We planned and talked about our retirement move for a full year before we moved. We took trips to the retirement location we chose. But in the end, successfully relocating after retirement is a personal experience. I guess you could say – you just don’t know how it will work out for you until you do it. If possible, and if you can do it, also plan on a path back to your “home” – if you need it. We wish you the best of luck in your retirement decisions.

    by Steve — September 21, 2018

  180. We too have heard, from those who have gone before, it is ultimately necessary to be near family. We have moved around a lot over the years and knew we always wanted to end up back in New England. Our 3 sons and other family are mostly scattered up and down the east coast. We began our research about 5 years ago and zeroed in on where we wanted to be. When DH was diagnosed with Parkinsons, it changed the search perameters but it just reinforced our choice. There is much more support and better medical care here than in Tenn. So, we said goodbye to the SE and headed “home” to our first time in Maine. People are constantly surprised that we would retire here but it has everything we need, and could afford. Using the internet, and even this website, we reached out to people already in New England and made some new friends ahead of time. A small, but busy, airport, train & bus station are nearby so family can come and visit easily. We have bumped in to a lot of other folks who did the same thing. This is Our Time now and we are loving it!

    by Holly — September 21, 2018

  181. This comment was moved from a different Blog:

    We have been living in CA for 15 years so the change of the weather is a concern for our arthritis issues. Family is really my husband’s parents who are in their 80s. I thought being closer to them in their final years would be nice for him. After all he did agree to move with me to California to take care of my mother who had dementia for 8 years. The thing is they won’t be moving for a few years and if they change their minds again we’ll be stuck in Oregon. The weather in N. California is pretty much the same as in oregon but it would be closer to them. Is it worth staying in California for a yr and a half to get free medical and dental and rent for that time?

    by Mary11 — September 21, 2018

    by Admin — September 21, 2018

  182. Yes, I would say yes to your question !

    by Brenda — September 22, 2018

  183. Thanks Brenda, after discussing the cons and pros we have decided that staying in California would be the best option for us. We would be saving money in the long run and with the savings be able to visit his parents twice a year as well. Now, next in the agenda is trying to downsize and getting rid of things that we don’t really need …..not fun!!

    by Mary11 — September 23, 2018

  184. I have never understood why anyone would want to spend their final years away from their children, parents, and friends. I was deeply hurt when my inlaws moved to the other end of the country the same year I had a child. I had hoped my child would have had grandparents in her life. They chose golf, saw their family one week a year , if it was convenient for them. When they died, my daughter, an adult, did not fly to the funerals and I didn’t blame her. She never knew them at all. We all have different values. I choose to stay close to my family and friends in my final years. It will mean downsizing, but it is worth it to me.

    by Maimi — September 23, 2018

  185. Maimi – I agree with you, but I do understand that other people have different perspectives. A realtor who was showing me 55+ communities said something that I thought was very smart. She said that there are two kinds of retirees: the ones who talk about their families all the time, and the ones who jump into the community and live for the moment. She said the former retirees end up selling and moving to be near their kids (I’m sure there are many other kinds of retirees, but this comment caught my attention because I was trying to figure out where I wanted to retire). I moved near my kids, and I’m doing some babysitting and petsitting. In return, my kids are doing some chores for me, and it feels great to be able to get together to watch a football game, go out for breakfast, etc. So far so good. (My kid’s expectations about the grandkids having traditions of Grandma’s gourmet Christmas cookies and knitted sweaters may be very optimistic though…LOL). I am sad that my kids don’t have many memories of their grandparents, who lived in another state. It was also very stressful for me, when my parents had health crises and I was too far to help them — plus I could’t leave my young children or job to travel for their hospitalizations, doctor appointments, etc. When one parent died, I was too far away to help the survivor deal with everything. I didn’t want my kids to ever have to go through that kind of stress. My decision might have been much different if there was a chance that my kids would relocate in the future, if they lived in one of the high-cost states or a location without good medical care, if there was a retirement destination that called out to me strongly, or if there were other persuasive factors.

    by Kate — September 24, 2018

  186. Kate, I am like your daughter. Both sets of grandparents were located in two different states. Much too far to drive except if we took a weeks vacation to visit. My father had a fantastic job in NY and married my mom down south where he met her while on assignment. They married then moved to NY and lived a nice life until my father decided to quit his job and move to CT. Why on earth, at that point in his life want to move to CT where we had absolutely no family or friends? My mom was a stay at home mom for a while then worked. I really regret no knowing my grandparents better and my cousins. I have tons of cousins but don’t even know any of them on Dad’s side of the family. My cousins in the south are scattered about. All grandparents are gone and my cousins are getting old now. I have a whole bunch of relatives I don’t know and will never know. It really makes me sad. However there are two things. One is that many family are dysfunctional and don’t get along and second, I would have never met my husband of 45 years had I not lived in CT. I also have one girl friend that I have been friends since we were about 14 years old. I would never have met her either.

    by Louise — September 24, 2018

  187. One thing not mentioned above, being close to your family…… have three daughters and each live in a different state. My second oldest daughter and husband have relocated several times, related to their careers, and I believe are not done yet. We are like the retires that decided this is our time and make the most of it. Sure we would love to see the grandchildren more, but trying to split the time for all of them is difficult and expensive for us to drive or fly. Facetime is a great tool to see our grandchildren and catch up on their activities and life.

    by Bruce — September 24, 2018

  188. I’m 69. Four years ago I moved to Tucson from NY. I have COPD and NY winters were too cold; I had pneumonia every year. Tucson climate has been great. But sinceI came I have had many other health problems… So now I have realized two things: I don’t know how long I’m going to be here and I want to spend my time with friends and family AND it isn’t good to be alone and isolated when you are in the hospital a lot. It helps to have someone around to take notes. I never remember half of what they say. I never have anyone to bring me my computer. My problem is that my friends and family either live where ur us cold (NY) it too expensive (San Francisco). I’m trying to figure out what to do. Any good ideas? Oh…I have made acquaintances here but no one I would ask for help.

    by Ginger — September 24, 2018

  189. I really appreciate all the information that everyone has shared:) I really agree with those who are moving where they desire to in retirement and not just looking in a locale that would be close to their adult children and families.

    Please aware that our grown children think of as burdens if we live too close and have needs. Our children are not our caregivers. Enjoy your families whether it’s close or miles away but be joyful to your families and not a burden.

    by Diane — September 24, 2018

  190. I have to agree with Diane, times are not like they were a generation or two back. Grown children are not your caregivers mainly because they have their own children, grandchildren and still work so their plates are full. It is nice if you want to move back to family to enjoy being with them but you may be disappointed if you think you will be taken care of without having this discussion first. I think it’s best if you move to where your children are you need to find an independent /assisted living facilities then you get the help you need there and see your family without them feeling resentful , that’s my plan down the road.

    by Darla — September 25, 2018

  191. We lived in a 55+ community in SC before moving back north. One thing I noticed while there is that a lot of the ladies would much prefer to be back near family and friends but their husbands like to be near year round golf and fishing. Almost all the women said they would move back to hometowns if they were widowed and could afford it. It’s Something to think about when planning for retirement.

    by Jean — September 25, 2018

  192. Well, to each his own….but if you were raised in a family that it was your duty to care for your parents …you do what you have to do.I was layed off and when my mother developed Alzheimer’s we moved in to her home. Sure it wasnt easy but she was always there for me over my lifetime and we didn’t have the option to put her into assisted living . We don’t have any children but if we did I would hope they would be there for us . There are still today many families that do become caregivers to their elderly parents and I applaud them . I hope they also feel appreciated like I did…..

    by Babyboomer1955 — September 25, 2018

  193. I have experienced this from both perspectives. I moved to Arizona after my parents did from Wisconsin both because I really wanted to live in AZ and to be close to them. It was a win-win as I was able to enjoy AZ retirement and lived 20 minutes away. I could assist them through vulnerable aging and end of life – they have both now passed. After dad died, mom went in assisted living 5 minutes from my home when she could not live alone. It was an honor to help them through to the end and I could not imagine doing it from a long distance. If I detected a potential situation with them on the phone, I hopped in my car and did a health check. I accompanied them to doctor appointments when important decisions were needed. I stayed in the hospital for extended periods after surgeries. I think they both benefited from aging (to 90’s) in warm climate rather than dealing with harsh winters in WI. On the flip side I live in a 55+ community and I see folks here aging with some support of friends, but ultimately it would be better for them to consider being closer to family or to get in independent/assisted living….sometimes family can assist with that decision making and support. I also know quite a few who moved back to be closer to the family too soon, and found that the family was too busy to even be involved – they missed their friends and activities and moved back! One moved at great expense and the son got a job transfer very far away – off they went! Others, move back because they simply miss the grandchildren so much and want to be a part of their lives – they seem very happy after moving back. When friends say they don’t want to be a burden to their children, I do explain that living nearby, but not in their home, isn’t a burden. The burden might be if they are halfway across the US and need support every time they are hospitalized. A friend who moved somewhat based on my “opinion”, thanked me afterwards as within a year they both faced serious medical problems and the daughter was very supportive. Other friends have demonstrated to their children, who are scattered, their plans for moving to assisted living community when the time is right. The children are participating in the plan and everyone is happy. So of course it depends upon your family relationships, how “close” you are with family, it depends upon financial situation, it depends on a lot. If you do not see having support of children, like I who have none, then consider getting yourself in a supportive situation without relying on friends. I have researched being able to hire a medical advocate for when you are hospitalized, and of course for me it will probably be a continuing care type community at some point. Much to consider – definitely not a “one size fits all” subject – family dynamics may dictate decisions made.

    by Ljtucson — September 25, 2018

  194. If you are single, or a couple without children, or others in a younger generation to help out in your older age, there are a couple of things that would likely be helpful. Make sure you have a current will and estate plan in place. I use a competent elder law attorney who is in her 30’s, and has practiced law 10+ years. She’s probably going to be working for me until my death. I’m 69. In the near future I’m going to establish an initial relationship with a geriatric social worker (similar to a medical advocate), who can advise and help me with my living needs and choices when and if I should need it. You can search the internet for one in your area. You also should become very familiar with what home assistance may be available at low or no cost through Medicare. If you’re on regular Medigap supplement insurance, you might want to look at Medicare Advantage plans, which will be offering, in some cases, additional home help beginning in 2019. This would be covered by your premium payments. Medicare enrollment begins October 1. You can change plans then, should you so decide. Some larger condo associations, like mine with 7200 units, offer a type of ”caring committee, ” staffed by resident volunteers. They can help other residents with transportation, medical and other insurance issues, etc., usually at no cost, or a small fee.

    by Clyde — September 25, 2018

  195. This has definitely been an interesting read. It’s been really hard for me having both of our children so far away – from us and from each other – for the past 8+ years. Both went to college out of state. Our son and his wife are now settled in Seattle, and our daughter just finished college in Florida and is something of a nomad for the present. We lost my husband’s parents when our kids were very young. His brother and sisters live in Michigan, but we don’t see much of them except at holidays. My parents live about three hours away, but they are manic travelers and in reasonable health, so are rarely home. In addition, our collection of good friends that we spent much of our time with over the years have all drifted out of the area and are now enjoying retirement in a variety of places, from northern Michigan to South Carolina. Since our own retirement a few years ago, we’ve come to realize that there are very few ties holding us to the area we’ve called home for the past 30 years.

    With this newfound sense of freedom, we have been slowly making changes since retirement. We sold our home in Kalamazoo, MI and moved full-time to a Lake Michigan cottage that we’ve owned for more than ten years, in a quiet community near a busy resort town. We also started taking long vacations to Florida during the winters. It didn’t take long to realize that we were both ready to give up winter entirely, so within a year of moving into our cottage, we ended up buying a condo in Sarasota and became snow birds! Although having two places is a pain in some ways, they are both in nice, safe communities with plenty of neighbors to help out with looking after things while we’re away. And we are able to enjoy the best weather in each of our homes – like a year-round vacation!

    So, we are pretty content for the present. However, as others have mentioned, nothing stays the same for long. As my husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, my parents are getting older, and our kids are likely to start families of their own, we’ve been giving some thought to our 5- and 10-year plans. First, we’re doing a lot of traveling – while we can. A lot of this ties in to visiting the kids and our friends in their various locales, and thus far, seeing each other about three times a year on visits or shared vacations doesn’t seem to be weakening our family ties. But what about when those grandchildren start arriving? I was very close to my grandparents and treasure those memories and experiences. My children had that as well, especially when they were younger. It really upsets me to think of having grandchildren who really don’t know me or my husband. I don’t want to be a granny that only exists on Skype, like some sort of TV character! But I also acknowledge all of the many negatives that people have cited on this blog – the kids may move away; they may not want to see us all that often after all; they may want us to become unpaid staff… And what if our daughter ends up living across the country from our son, and we have to choose between them? And what about my parents? They may need help just about the time we’d be thinking of moving…

    So, lots to consider, and too many moving pieces to get too worried about it yet. But I do appreciate all of the perspectives shared here!

    by Cindy — September 26, 2018

  196. In reviewing many of the above comments it seems the smart thing to do is to live about 1 – 2 hours away from your family. Close enough to see them whenever you want but not so close that you become an unpaid babysitter or pet sitter!

    by Lynne Myles — September 26, 2018

  197. We will be visiting a location half way between our kids/grandchildren, luckily only a 2 1/2 hr. drive from both, close but not too close. We will chose the location first then see if we can afford it. Downsizing, while we still can handle all the hassle of a move. Family is very important to us, rather than location and it is what makes us happy. We can be happy anywhere if our kids are within a days drive, roundtrip.

    by PHYLLIS HAAS — September 26, 2018

  198. Hello All:

    Let me say that I have been taken aback by some of the comments about being “unpaid staff” in the homes of your family members. Whatever is family for? The very ties you long for with your children could be made stronger by helping your adult children your grandchildren, now and then between your travel plans. Other cultures have this down pat. A family is supposed to be there for each other. This is what creates strong bonds. I am not saying that boundaries cannot be created, they should be in place in a healthy family dynamic. Did anyone think that the reason they are so distanced from their families is because their adult children may be over burdened with childcare responsibilities? Your refusal to help just creates more stress for them. Plus they then have to pay for childcare, not all of it of the highest quality. Out of sight, out of mind. When I was a child, my paternal grandmother was career oriented and while she cooked and baked she did not do so very often until I was nearly an adult. She and my paternal grandfather, who was self employed, were rarely involved with us during our formative years. We accepted that.. We each had one memorable six week trip to Canada with them after my graduation from high school before I went to college. However, my mother’s family was always there (they did had their own homes) and my brother and I often were with them- and we went on vacations with them once a year, at Christmas etc.-guess which side has the stronger relationship with my brother and I?? Until my maternal grandmother and grandfather died we were very close with them. They travelled on their own but when they were available they were helpful to my parents. I realize that family dynamics plays into this and that some children may treat their adult parents as babysitters, and if they were raised with a sense of entitlement that can happen. I get the feel from some on the forum that they would gladly help out and are willing to relocate to do so. Boundaries on both sides are the key…I know some intergenerational dynamics come into play. I am talking about families that already have healthy communication where generations respect each other and do not try to dominate and use the grandchildren as pawns.

    by Jennifer — September 27, 2018

  199. Jennifer – I agree with you completely. It’s important to be able to have open communication about expectations or retiring near family won’t go well for anyone. Before I moved near some of my kids, we all (including ones who lived elsewhere) talked about the move and how it would work. We discussed the amount of babysitting and pet sitting that I was willing to provide, as well as how much time we might share. My son-in-law was included in the discussions so he could be comfortable with this. We also talked about health care, end of life, financial and power-of-attorney issues, which were faciliated since my kids are health care or legal professionals who understand how these issues will change as I age. We even talked about how being on a fixed income would change the Bank of Mom, and that I might give parental advice or opinions occasionally but they could ignore me as adults. My kids then went house-hunting with me, and weighed in on locations so there was agreement on how close I was going to be.

    I was informed my kids had already agreed on a schedule for checking on my via texts, phone calls or visits! The kids who didn’t live nearby were on the rotation too LOL. Sheesh, I’m only 65 not 105. My kids are freaky-responsible (for being in 20s’-early 30s) since they grew up helping me care for their Dad who had a degenerative, terminal illness. I made it clear to them that I wouldn’t be offended if I didn’t hear from or see them for awhile though, since they have their own lives.

    It’s all about expectations and needs, which can change with time. I didn’t expect them to provide me with a social life, and I haven’t tried to go back to a time where I was the center of their world. So far so good, but I acknowledge things will change and some ups & downs are guaranteed to happen as we go forward.

    by Kate — September 28, 2018

  200. Kate: Your example may help others who are (of being taken advantage of) to state their terms clearly to their families. It is sad when there is dysfunction, but the only way to be close to family members is to be there for them and recognize what they want or need. It is impossible to do this if one is refusing to help an adult child who would love help from an older, trusted member of the family instead of being forced to rely on and pay strangers. These days people have forgotten what family is for. It is not to be a doormat to your adult children, but to be available when you can and… if demands are made that you do not agree with then negotiate them so that both sides can benefit. This is how to stay close and not stress out the family unit as a whole.

    by Jennifer — September 29, 2018

  201. Regarding retirement and living near family my views are it depends. It depends where your kids live and your relationship with your children! In my stituation I was a dog sitter and saw my children when they needed something example a dog sitter. We love endless summer and the ocean. Living in their state did not provide us with that opportunity. After the life We had, medical issues, financial issues, legal issues, family issues, on and on we decided we wanted to enjoy our Golden Years. At our age we decided not to become a built in babysitter/dog sitter and a never ending piggy bank.

    Long story short we moved and have our endless summer and live 7 miles from the ocean! We are now enjoying our lives for the first time in many years and don’t miss all the family drama we endured in our younger years. Life is now fun with less stress and fun fun in the sun! No regrets no drama and more money in our pockets to enjoy life! Good luck to everyone that is trying to decide what to do.

    by Skip — September 29, 2018

  202. Agree 100% Skip. Wife not on board but that is another story.

    by Michael — September 30, 2018

  203. Sometimes it’s the elderly parent(s) who may be uncooperative and non-negotiable with the adult children by refusing to have these discussions. Then when a crisis occurs the adult children must immediately leap in to assist their parents – who refuse to make decisions and any planning for life events. Family dynamics can be complicated and not always ideal. It is what it is imo. Where closeness works for some families it does not for others in which case space is better.

    Skip – glad to hear you are enjoying your retirement destination! It sounds wonderful!

    by JoannL — October 1, 2018

  204. Family just isn’t valued as it once was and people are much more selfish these days. I am sure glad I grew up with the benefit of grandparents nearby. I was so close to my Grandmothers and I learned so much from them. My own child did not have that benefit. Her paternal grandparents moved to Florida. She saw her grandparents once a year in between their golf matches. Their loss as far as I am concerned. She did not know them or care about them at all. I would personally never do that! My parents had passed when she was very little. Different strokes, but in my opinion, very sad for society.

    by Maimi — October 1, 2018

  205. I agree with all the comments above – although the comments are diverse. In my experience – personal and professional – each family has a different “culture.” Each family has its own unique dynamic. On a smaller scale, each individual within a family has his or her own set of values, priorities, needs and limits. Whatever works for you and makes you happy – great. At the end of the day – it’s just you and your conscience. Good luck to all.

    by Steve — October 1, 2018

  206. JoannL you make some great points. As parents we can do things so we are not so reliant on our families or them on us. Make sure you have a will for one, another is a long term care policy so if you need to be placed in a nursing home decisions can be made much easier and lastly talk to an estate planner. We have downsized and moved into our retirement community and love it. Since we have three daughters and in different states the decision was to live our remaining lives doing what my wife and I love and want to do. We FaceTime with the grandchildren weekly basis and have them fly out for visits, one at a time, that way we give them all the attention, then it is the next one up.

    by Bruce — October 1, 2018

  207. Deciding whether or where to retire is a big decision. It might help to think of all the things that could go wrog and how youd handle them. If you can live with the worst evert then move with confidence. If not go back to square one.

    by Jean — October 2, 2018

  208. This really touches a nerve with me. Are the selfish family members the ones who move out of the hometown? Are you ever allowed to pursue your dreams, or forced to wait until everyone else dies—which is what my mother-in-law demanded. She’s 91 and we just retired, now not “permitted” to leave the area until the matriarch dies, although she has another son residing nearby. She called us selfish for even thinking about leaving. How about moving to Florida with the grandparents? Who gets to decide which family members sacrifice their future? We have one daughter and plan on following her around the country—unless she prefers otherwise.

    by Daryl — October 2, 2018

  209. Daryl, a long time ago a friend gave me a helpful guideline for knowing when to volunteer my time and efforts and when to decline. It has also been useful for sorting out demanding family situations.

    To know if the choice is right for you, decide if you can say yes with without resentment or no without regret.

    From your post, it sounds like you’d be very resentful if you give in to your MIL’s demands. If you decide to move and she squawks you might just say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” and let it go.

    by Jcarol — October 3, 2018

  210. If remaining near your mother, or other family members, makes you resentful and angry, there is no sense in it. For me, it is about love. I want to be there for the people I love. Both my parents are deceased and I am so glad that I lived nearby so I could be there for them and with them. I could never have lived with myself any other way. It is about values and what you want to live with.

    by Maimi — October 3, 2018

  211. Daryl – I do not believe someone is selfish for pursuing their dreams. I also do not condone anyone using emotional blackmail to get their way – which may lead to resentment. Your MIL is not abandoned as she has another son nearby. I would make base any decision as to what you can live with – then proceed forward to enjoy your retirement.

    by JoannL — October 4, 2018

  212. Daryl:

    Your MIL is trying to make a desperate attempt to control her family unit. It is not fair and certainly not healthy. She is old now and may be frightened by it. You should do as you planned to be near your daughter.( You may want to get her feelings about this first–you also do not want her to feel smothered). You get to decide and plan your future. You stated that your MIL has another family member near by. I know some parents hold the “inheritance” over their children’s heads to keep them in line and treat their adult children like teenagers. If she is doing that then this is also very unfair. Respectfully assure her that if needed in an emergency you will come to her. Then proceed with your plans so that you do not get so resentful and angry that it ruins your health. How does your wife feel since it is her mother? If you are both on board go for it. Life is what you make of it.

    by Jennifer — October 4, 2018

  213. We moved this comment from a different Blog article for a better fit:

    I find it hard to believe that a lot of people seem to feel their children/family have to take care of them when they no longer can care for themselves, & vice verse. I think help is fine, we all need it, but I in no way feel my children should have to care for me. I recently lost my husband & I am doing everything I can to take care of myself & my dog. I’ve even ordered my first artificial Xmas tree being I don’t have my other half to help put a real one up together & I don’t think I should expect my son to step in. I know I’m hard headed but it is a matter of pride. Just knowing I have family/friends that will help means the world but for now I will push on & do..

    by Jane at Topretirements — November 2, 2018

  214. Well…that’s fine to be independent but sometimes you need help from family if you develop dementia or other debilitating disease. Many families cannot afford or want to place their elderly parents into a nursing home. I guess it depends on how emotionally close you are to the ailing family member, but if your parent was there for you and raised you with love that’s the least you can do for them in their time of need. Look, my husband and i did just that by moving in with my mother who had dementia. She had no one else and sure it was wasn’t easy at times but I now treasure those 5 years that we cared for her. ….

    by Mary11 — November 3, 2018

  215. Mary11, I agree with you and a recent AARP email said 9/10 retirees want to be near their loved ones in retirement. I think it is not about independence, I raised my child alone, been divorced since she was a baby, had a career, maintained my own home, and have been independent my entire life. For me, it is simple. I want to be near people I love and I love my family. I am the oldest of 8 children with lots of nieces and nephews. Not everyone is so lucky.

    by Maimi — November 4, 2018

  216. Jane,

    Mary 11, has a very good point. If you want to be independent so be it–until you no longer are… or can be. I think all of us want to be independent until the end of our lives, but the facts are that perhaps that may not happen. If you do not build a strong relationship with your children, then they will be forced to make decisions based on your actions that you did not want any help. This could place you in a position of isolation. Of course no one should be FORCED to help anyone, but it is an act of love and caring to be able and want to help an elderly parent. Many of us here do not have children and so will have to rely on friendships or others (church?) groups to help if needed. Do not be to proud to ask for help when you need it. Pride while admirable in youth can be deadly in advanced age.

    by Jennifer — November 5, 2018

  217. From comments made from my comment I believe I was not clear. I had not intended to say I was not close to my family, nor too proud or independent to ask for help. I am very close to my son/family & also my step son (he is more a son than step) & either of them would & do help me when I need the help. My point only was I don’t feel they HAVE to help me nor do I feel they have to cause they are my family. They help because I help them & they do the same because we love each other. Right now I can pretty much to for myself & hopefully will for some years to come, but from time to time I do need help & especially with handyman type things my step son is more than willing to help & can. We’re family & love means helping cause you want to not cause you have to..

    by Susan M — November 6, 2018

  218. Jennifer, Marry11, Agree and it’s not just being nearby family should we not stay as independent as we’d like. We will move to a ccrc or assisted living if needed and can’t imagine family would enjoy a 1000 mile trip to visit someone who might not even remember who they are or have to deal with moving us back or settle an estate and sell a house that required a plane trip to organize.

    by jean — November 7, 2018

  219. Dear All:

    My brother is one year and nine months younger than I he lives in Portland, Oregon. In February of 2017 he had a stroke–which affected his short term memory, which with months of daily therapy, has almost completely come back. I am afraid that I will be the only child able to settle our parent’s estate. In our case, they live in Ohio, but travel often and are not home much of the year. I live in Washington, DC. My brother is now feeling his mortality at only 62 and we are both hoping our parents will agree to go to a CCRC. So far they have a large home which they built after we had left home, in a rather rural area and lots of stuff they have collected, as we all do, over the years. They are fiercely independent in their eighties and in good health and do not now want our help in any way. They do not feel ready just yet to downsize as far as we know. It is a dilemma and neither my brother or I want to live in the Midwest and they do not want to live with either of us. Our parents have always been devoted to each other more than to us so we hope in time they will change their minds. It is scary to lose independence and so we can only standby for now..

    by Jennifer — November 8, 2018

  220. Jennifer – I’ve been in your shoes. My parents didn’t want to leave their home, doctors and lifestyle to move nearer to us. That was certainly their choice, and they did have many good years. When the health emergencies started, I was on the phone with their doctors, the hospitals, caregivers, the healthier parent, etc. constantly — and under overwhelming stress, since I was also working in a high-pressure job, raising children, caring for an ill spouse and taking care of our home. After one parent died, the survivor was ultimately forced (by loneliness and health) to get rid of family possessions and give up the home. It seems ike many older people just stick their heads in the sand and think that this will never happen to them or that they will have plenty of time to restructure their lives in the future. None of us believe we’ll be the person (or the spouse) who doesn’t wake up…gets the terminal diagnosis…has the stroke, fall and break a hip, etc. On the other hand, your parents are getting to live the way they want right now, and that is something to be applauded. Each day that they can enjoy life together in their beloved home is better than a day feeling like they’re just sitting around and waiting to die. Geez, this is depressing. I need a drink…

    by Kate — November 9, 2018

  221. A possible solution, or at least help, is to find a geriatric care manager in the area where aging parents or loved ones live. This can lift a burden and provide peace of mind to adult children. The major website to learn about and locate these care managers is

    A helpful article can be found here:

    by Clyde — November 10, 2018

  222. I was so happy to have found this blog, as my husband and I recently retired and shortly afterwards found out that our daughter, son in law and 2 grandchildren are moving 800 miles away! We are “comfortably” involved in their lives, providing child-care periodically and lots of short moments of nana and papa time, but have never felt that our daughter abuses having us close by. She is thoughtful and respectful at all times, and we have a very balanced life between friends, family and other activities.

    Having said that, our daughter is moving to a location that is within 90 miles of our son and his family. We’re also very close to this family and their two daughters, and our daughter-in-law! In addition, my husband’s entire family also live in the area (within 90 miles in the opposite direction of my son’s home). As our son owns several veterinary clinics in the area we feel reasonably certain that they, at least, will be long-term residents, so we’re considering joining them. There is a lovely little city within 40 miles of my son’s home, and 90 miles of where our daughter will be in one direction, and 90 miles of where my husband’s siblings and parents are in the other direction. We know that there are great recreational, church and community opportunities in this city, and it’s close to the Rocky Mountains for a quick day trip to hike or ski.

    We are 100% realistic about moving “closer” to family. We don’t expect to be taken advantage of, and we also don’t expect to take advantage of our kids. We know that to have a great relationship it takes a lot of clear and respectful, loving communication, give and take, and most of all — grace. Our decision comes with a lot of thought, research, discussion and prayer. Although we’re leaving a lovely home (just built for our “retirement” LOL), and many friends, we know that these friends will be friends forever and a house is just a house. A home is both where and what you make it.

    One last wrinkle. My parents are both 89 years old and living in a 55+ apartment in the same city that we currently live in. When discussing this move with them, and our concern at leaving them here, they said “when do we move”?! This is the dynamic of our family, for which we are truly grateful. We were shocked that they would consider moving, but apparently our son has been asking them to move closer to him so that he can take care of them, and now they are waiting for an assisted living apartment in our son’s town, 40 minutes from the city where we will be living. We looked after my grandparents in their later years, and now our son wants to do the same for his. Our daughter is also very close to these grandparents and she is ecstatic that they will be within 90 minutes of her new home.

    None of the above comes with guarantees for perfections or total happiness, but life is what you make it. We know that nothing is forever, and we can always make another decision at another time, if God gives us enough time and mental / physical capacity.

    by JanS — March 28, 2019

  223. JanS:

    You are truly blessed to be in such a caring, supportive family. It appears that there has been a lot of discussion and consideration made in your decision. It also sounds very exciting that all generations are on board. Best Wishes to all of you.

    by Jennifer — March 29, 2019

  224. My time, and my time with my husband, are both precious. I have grown children. He has grown children–and grandchildren. We both love our kids, and enjoy their company. We both love the grandkids. But living nearby to any/all of them is niether possible, nor imperative. We both put in our time raising our children to adulthood. We both raised them with an eye towards independence, and a desire and ability to create and live their own lives. They are all living those lives, the ones they chose to live. We both have goals we have yet to achieve; places we want to go; things we want to see and do and experience while we still can. We will strive to maintain a balance of family with our own lifestyle–but we will chase our dreams, and check-off items on our Bucket List as we do. And we will see our kids and grandkids when we can–or they can come see us.

    by Barbara — March 29, 2019

  225. I have enjoyed reading all these discussions regarding ”family dynamics” My husband and I retired to Virginia Beach leaving behind one daughter in Boston and one in New Jersey where we lived. We are estranged from our daughter in New Jersey (cause unknown) I would be interested to hear from other people who are experiencing estrangment from adult children.

    by Kathy — March 30, 2019

  226. Kathy, that indeed would be a very good discussion indeed. They say there are two sides to every story, and I think it is true. In my nursing career as a surgery nurse, I dealt with many situations involving family dynamics…it was often a revelation to all of us caring for an older or elderly patient who seemed so amiable, that they indeed had issues with their adult children. In the end, we usually cannot pick our parents or family members, and in this day and age issues with how children are raised often come back to haunt elderly people when they are most vulnerable and in need of care. I will be interested in what others have to say. One church sign in the mid-west reads “Be kind to your children, they will be picking your nursing home.”

    by Jennifer — March 31, 2019

  227. In our 55+ community, a couple moved here from 2 hours away so they could be close to their kids. Then the kids were at their house every weekend so they moved back to where they came from. Amusing

    by Susan Foster — April 1, 2019

  228. To Jennifer. Thank you for your comments. I too am a nurse (Geriatrics). Many times I had to comfort an elderly resident after a confrontation with a family member or provide solace when they were grieving over lack of contact. Now I find myself in a similar situation and can emphathize. Fortunately we have a good relationship with our daughter in Boston.

    by Kathy — April 1, 2019

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