RETIREMENT RELOCATION: Should I Choose My Retirement Location Based on Where My Children Live?

Jun 25, 2024 | Retirement

RETIREMENT RELOCATION: Should I Choose My Retirement Location Based on Where My Children Live?

Deciding where to retire is a significant life decision that involves various factors, especially when considering proximity to your children. At Claymore Thistle, we understand the complexities of retirement relocation and aim to provide insights to help you make the best decision for your unique situation.

Should You Prioritize Proximity to Your Children?

Many retirees face the dilemma of whether to stay in their current town near friends or move to a community closer to their grown children when contemplating retirement relocation. Your children might encourage you to move closer for easier visits or in case of emergencies. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make, and we are here to guide you through it.

WEIGHING UP THE BENEFITS OF RETIRING NEAR YOUR CHILDREN

The Benefits

Retiring near your children can bring immense joy and a sense of belonging. The opportunity to participate more closely in your grandchildren’s lives and to have the support of family nearby is undeniably appealing. One retiree shared, “Being near my children has allowed me to be part of my grandchildren’s growing up, which I couldn’t have imagined being away from.”

The Challenges

Despite these advantages, retiring near your children can sometimes lead to a loss of independence. It’s crucial to maintain your self-reliance and navigate personal boundaries effectively, ensuring your presence remains supportive without becoming overbearing. As one retiree cautioned, “There’s a risk of becoming too dependent on your children, which might affect your sense of independence and self-reliance.”

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Personal Preferences – When deciding on your retirement location, assess whether the area aligns with your interests and needs, considering climate, environment, and quality of healthcare facilities. Your preferred lifestyle may differ from where your children live, so ensure you genuinely enjoy the area. If you choose to move closer to family, evaluate local amenities like shopping, restaurants, and traffic conditions, which will affect your day-to-day life. Conversely, if their area isn’t to your liking, reconsider the relocation. It’s perfectly fine to prefer living in an area of your own choosing, even if it means some distance from family. This distance can give you a reason to visit them, almost like a vacation, and allow you to focus on personal interests, friendships, and hobbies, ensuring your happiness and satisfaction during retirement.

Is Everyone On the Same Page – When deciding whether to move closer to your children, consider everyone’s feelings and the reasons behind their preferences. A supportive family is crucial, and it’s important to understand why your children and their spouses might be urging you to move closer—whether for more frequent visits, quality time, or ease of access in emergencies. Alternatively, assess if they are content with the current distance or if any spouses prefer maintaining some separation. Discussing these aspects openly can prevent potential tension and ensure that everyone is on the same page before making this significant life decision.

Proximity Pros and Cons – Moving closer to family can offer numerous benefits, such as spending more time with your grandchildren and creating lasting memories through babysitting, school pick-ups, and outings. Retirement means having more free time, and proximity to family can bring peace of mind, knowing they are a quick drive away if needed. However, consider if being close will make you the go-to babysitter or if you might be relied upon more than you can handle. Some find joy in being leaned on by family, while for others, it can be overwhelming. Ultimately, retirement is a time to focus on healthy aging and crafting a joyful lifestyle, so carefully consider what will best support those goals.

Family Mobility – Consider that your child’s job or personal life may change, potentially necessitating a move. Would you be okay with relocating again or would you feel disappointed if they moved away after you’ve settled nearby?

 “We moved five times in nine years when our kids were young. My parents stayed put, and it was an adventure for the kids to spend a week or two with them in the summer.” This highlights the importance of flexibility and understanding that life’s dynamics can be unpredictable. Being prepared for potential changes will help you adapt and maintain your happiness, regardless of where your family resides.

Healthcare Access – Evaluate the availability and quality of healthcare facilities near your children. Your health needs should be a top priority in your retirement relocation process.

Cost of Living – Research the cost of living in your potential new location. Ensure it fits within your retirement budget, considering housing, utilities, groceries, and recreational activities.

Community and Amenities – Look for communities with amenities that cater to retirees, such as social clubs, recreational facilities, and senior services. Ensure the area provides opportunities for you to build a fulfilling and active lifestyle.

Long-term Viability – Consider the long-term viability of the location. Think about how your needs might change over the next 10 to 20 years and whether the location can accommodate those changes.

Should I Choose My Retirement Location Based on Where My Children Live

MAKING THE DECISION

When deciding where to retire, open and honest communication with your children is essential. Discuss your plans for retirement relocation, understand their perspectives, and share your concerns and desires. One adult child reflected, “We did not live in the same city as my parents. They moved to where we were. It was life-changing. They were an integral part of helping raise our kids.” Conversely, another shared, “My parents moved to be closer to us, but when my job relocated us across the country, they felt lost and abandoned. It strained our relationship and made me feel guilty.”

Spend time visiting your children’s locations and other potential retirement relocation spots. This firsthand experience will give you a better sense of what each place offers. Additionally, make a list of pros and cons for each location, considering emotional, practical, and financial aspects to make a well-rounded decision.

Choosing where to retire is a deeply personal decision influenced by various factors, including family proximity. While being close to your children has its benefits, it’s essential to consider your overall lifestyle, health, and happiness. By weighing all aspects and maintaining open communication, you can make a choice that supports a fulfilling and balanced retirement.

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