September 5, 2010 – We recently had this thought-provoking question from one of our members: “Boomers are usually really close to their children So if you move to a different town or a different part of the country, how do you stay in touch? How do you accommodate your children when they visit? What do people do who move away from where everyone else lives? Thanks, Eileen”.
We wrote back to Eileen and asked if she had any ideas about how to answer the question herself. s She graciously responded with this very thoughtful piece, which does a fine job of touching on the major isssues. We also took the liberty of adding on to the article with some of our own ideas at the end. We encourage you to do the same in our Comments section. Thanks Eileen!
I’m hypothetical about this question, rather than having any direct experience yet. I’m jittery about moving away from the area where I know my children will settle/stay.
We’re mid-50s with two 20-something children, who are not married yet. I know there are hundreds like us – including most of our friends.
We all want to look at neat places to go when we stop work, and many of us are far along on our way to saving for that. The hesitation is: Great, now how do we see our kids?
Do we make sure we get a property where the whole clan (sons-in-law, grandchildren, significant others) can come? And if so, how do we find such a place?
I think we’re talking now about a specific age group, the 50 somethings who aren’t necessarily going to work straight through to traditional retirement at 65. But who are going to gear down and maybe make arrangements to spend larger parts of the year in semi-retirement – often far from their original home base. (We, for instance, are looking at South Carolina coast, Hilton Head).
So I was just interested in knowing if there are others like us. For example, do some of these places have guest suites if your condo or bungalow only has 2 bedrooms?
Or do families go off on cruise or resort vacations together instead of trying to act as hosts in inadequate or inappropriate retirement homes?
I honestly think it’s a fairly big topic, but probably only for the 50 to 60 age group like us.
I don’t know, maybe you could just watch for info on it?
I really love your site and I think you do a fantastic job of informing and engaging all of us. Thanks. Eileen.
Some comments from Topretirements about how to keep in touch with children once you have retired:
– #1, being able to visit with children and grandchildren is often the #1 criteria for a happy retirement choice. We’ve seen too many folks choose a place too far from family (and friends), only to move closer later.
– Sometimes you can be too close. If you are, you might need some rules for engagement
– Some of our friends have found a happy solution. Their kids and grandkids live in New England, they live in Florida. But they picked a resort community that is very appealing. Result: kids love to come down for extended visits.
– Family cruises are a great way to get the whole family together. Finding the right time can be an issue, but if is appealing enough you will probably get lots of takers. However, you might have to pick up all or most of the tab.
– Video cameras and Skype connect lots of families. It’s almost as good as being there.
– Try renting a place for a season. See how it goes living far apart from the rest of your family. Also, will you visit them and vice versa.
– Eileen’s question about how to accommodate a crowd is a good one. Some big communities do have guest rooms or even rental units for that purpose. But as long as the area you choose has some hotels, you will be able to entertain a big crowd – even if you live in a 2 bedroom condo.
For Further Reference:
I Married You for Life – But Not for Lunch
What do you think?
Please share your experiences, fears, and hopes in the Comments section below.