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Retire Close to Family… Or Not Too Close!

Category: Family and Retirement

September 4, 2019 — A constant question that comes up about retirement, and one that produces hundreds of comments, is “Is it a good idea to retire near my family”? Whether family means parents, children, grandchildren, or siblings – the question has many complex and potentially conflicting elements. In this article we will go over some of the pros and cons, as well as a short checklist to help you determine if retiring near family should be in your future. We also look forward to your comments on this topic about your preferences and experiences.

A happy family getogether

Pros of Retiring Near Family
– Ability to help new parents as they juggle careers and child-rearing
– The chance to see your family members often
– Be part of the lives of your grandchildren as they grow up
– Support for your parents or siblings as they age or need help
– Support for adult children who need it
– Support and companionship for you as you age
– Built in social network MORE Blog articles like this

– 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 babysitter 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.
– Adult children can become dependent on you. And vice versa

A checklist to help you decide

Please take some time to answer these questions and discuss them with whoever you think you should.

Do you get along well on a daily basis with these family members?

  • Yes___
  • No___
  • Yes, but… __

Are you a person who really needs to be around family members on a close basis to be happy?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Not sure __

Do you have some good reasons to move away from where you live now (expense, taxes, climate, lifestyle, type of home)?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Some __

Could you be happy living in the new area/region/town where your relatives live?

  • Look forward to it __
  • Have some concerns __
  • Not at all __

Can you afford to move near these relatives?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Not sure __

Are you concerned you might be taken advantage of?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Maybe __

What is the likelihood that the family member you are living near might move or be transferred?

  • Very small __
  • Considerable __
  • Not sure __

Would you consider renting in the new area for a time, just to check things out?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Not sure __

If married or in a relationship, are both of you of the same mind on moving there?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Haven’t discussed it __

Do you have a situation where no one else can help a family member who really needs it?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Maybe __

Do you have a plan for where you want to live in the last decade or two of your life (if so, does that involve being near family)?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Partially __

Are you being pressured to move near family?

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Somewhat __

Is there a more creative way to solve the problem of being near family? (we know several people who spend the winter (or summer) near their children, but they rent)

  • Yes __
  • No __
  • Wouldn’t consider it __

So how did you do?

There is no passing grade on this checklist. The point is that if you (and your significant other, if you have one) spend some time on these questions it will get you started with an assessment of whether it is a good idea to move near your relatives. If many of your answers suggest drawbacks, maybe you should put up the caution light and think of another plan.

Comments? Please share your experiences, concerns, hopes, etc. in the Comments section below.

For further reading:

Is Retiring Near Family a Good or Bad Idea (2013) – with 228 amazing comments!

Posted by Admin on September 3rd, 2019


  1. We would LOVE to live near family but their careers and our plans just didn’t mesh. That is what CCRCs are for! We have been in Maine, almost 2 years and have been touring the Retirement Communities and checking out the wait lists. We don’t want our kids to worry!! Good check list though – thanks!

    by Flatearth6 — September 3, 2019

  2. I would like to hear from people who rent near their children. Do you rent all year but only live there part of the year or do you find a new furnished rental every year?

    I would also like to hear from couples who each have children and grandchildren from past relationships. How have you worked through the maze of options and pro’s and con’s of living near (or not) each other’s adult kids?

    by Nora Sleasman — September 4, 2019

  3. I have a different issue. I am retiring on the younger side because I have a strong family history of Alzheimer’s on my Mom’s side. So basically I want to ensure I have some fun between work and “death”. I am moving to a Robson active community near Phoenix in January when I retire. Now the issue is that my 85 year old father wants to move near me when I retire so he can “be near family” as he ages. My brother lives in New Zealand and my Mom passed away several years ago so I am really his only family. Currently we live about 10 driving hours apart and have not lived close to each other since I went to college. I wouldn’t mind him living closer to me and see some advantages in that, but I don’t really have an interest in being his “caretaker” during the 7-10 year window I have before I could possibly get Alzheimer’s. And if he moves near me, he won’t know anyone in Arizona as his friends (also getting older) are in Northern California where he currently lives. So he would be somewhat dependent on me for companionship. So I am in kind of a pickle of how to handle this. Anyone else have a similar experience?

    by Cindy M — September 4, 2019

  4. When we first retired at 60 and 56 we went where I had planned on for almost 40 years. It had warmer climate but still 4 seasons. We were still able and willing to go back where we had lived (12 hr drive) every month to see my daughters. After a few years it got harder to do that but we then had a grandson and I wanted to see him grow, know him, he know us, but there were physical & medical issues and we just couldn’t get there as often as I especially, wanted to. Then my daughter with our grandson moved with her job and was now only a 6 hour drive. Our grandson is now 9 and even that has gotten harder and even though I had lived in this state 40 years ago and was very happy time has a way of changing things and it had a lot of transplanted residents and the southern charm just wasn’t there like I remembered. And climate change has added to my dissatisfaction. It is much hotter than it was 13 years ago when we first bought land to build the house we planned to stay in until we die.
    We couldn’t make it very often to my daughter 12 hours drive away and even when she got married their work is demanding and they can’t get away very often. So I miss her a lot but we will not go back where we had lived as the taxes and cost of living is far above our income now that we are retired.
    We get to see our grandson more often but not near enough (but we do skype once a week if possible) but now my daughter hates her job and where she lives and is talking about moving even farther away then her sister is.
    I don’t know how many families can manage to live local to each other but I would like 1 hour… maybe 2 if there was a train to get me there. Our grandson is the only grandchild we will have and I really want to stay close to him so I am hoping his father does NOT want to move where my daughter is thinking. And I hope to find an active adult 55+ community where we will be happy and I can take the train to visit my family. Being too far away is hard.

    by Bev Oliansky — September 4, 2019

  5. Not a problem for me. Never married and no children. Parents dead. Sister and brother in law are conservatives and I’m liberal! So I go where I want and do what I want.
    What I’ve noticed from friends is it’s usually the woman who, when a grandchild is born, wants to move close. The man not so much. So I’m happy to not have that friction!

    by Bob — September 5, 2019

  6. Cindy, personally I think you’d be able to be independent and still be able to spend some time with your elderly father. First of all he’s up there in age and if you’re close it would be nice to spend some quality time with him. My husband and I moved in with my mother when she developed dementia and lived and cared for her for 5 years. It doesnt sound like youre in that situation. Also just because you have had family members with Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean you will… especially if you take care of your health with exercise and eating healthily.

    by Mary11 — September 5, 2019

  7. @Bev Oliansky. I hope you are able to work out a situation where you’ll be closer to your daughter and grandson. As they may move around and finally seem to get settled, you can review hundreds of cities and retirement communities on the main website. And if you do find a location that seems right for you, I’m sure people on this forum will be happy to share their pertinent experiences and observations. Best wishes and god luck!

    by Clyde — September 6, 2019

  8. Mary11 – Yes that is the other side of the equation. I would like to spend time with my Dad, but have his caretaker needs taken care of by others. As far as Alzheimer’s – My Mom and her 3 siblings all got Alzheimer’s and her father too. I am told I have about a 50% chance to get it. I am hoping for the best of course, but am preparing for the worst – just in case.

    by sdcindy — September 6, 2019

  9. Livin’ and Lovin’ our Southern life with our family near in Beautiful South Carolina. Close to Beaches and Mountains as we are located with easy access to both. A plus is the beautiful Queen City of Charlotte just to our North about 35 minutes. We moved down here from Southern Delaware to be close to our married daughter, husband and Grands! Couldn’t be happier! We can pop over to the beaches anytime or take a drive up to the beautiful Mountains of NC.. lucky they live and work in this area and would never change a thing. We live in the beautiful 55+ Sun City Carolina Lakes. Resort style living.

    by DixieLady — September 30, 2019

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