Living Near Your Children…Bonus or Bad Move?

Written by Allen Unrau

livenearHalf a century ago most families stayed in the same area. You lived your life in close proximity to most of your relatives. Children would marry and move away from home. This “moving away from home” usually meant a few miles or at most it may have been the next town where they established their roots.

There is an old Dutch proverb that says: “A happy new home is one where you can’t see the smoke from your parent’s chimney.”  That may be true, but everyone you knew lived within an hour of each other.

Things changed dramatically in the last half of the century and Canadian families are now spread out geographically.

Children went to the city for further education and never returned to the area where they grew up.  Maybe they met their future husband or wife and ended up moving across the country when they married.  Good jobs required moves and relocation if you wanted to move up the ladder.  Transfers moved families all over this country.  You’ve done your best to keep in touch, but it’s just not been the same as living near your family.  Some of your grandchildren are already as tall as you and you don’t feel you really know them as well as you would like to.

Retirement gives you a lot of choices

Should you stay where you are or have you always wanted to move closer to your children and grandchildren? Do you know for sure that they want you closer to them?  Will you be able to make new friends when you move or will you be relying totally on your family for the relationships you need in your life?

Will you end up becoming a baby sitter, cook, cleaner and gardener for your adult children?  Maybe you can’t wait to be able to help them out, but you need to consider these things in advance.

What about your son-in-law or daughter-in-law?  How do they feel about having you closer?  Have you been open with each other and talked through all the issues in advance?  Do they have blended families and how will you grandparent role fit with stepchildren?

Maybe you are moving because of guilt. You feel that you haven’t spent enough time with them or they want you near because they feel guilty about not having made enough effort to get together with you in the past.  Adult children and their parents sometimes play games with each other.  Adult children may send messages they feel their parents want to hear or messages that will not upset their parent, rather than what is true.  So, be careful and above all be honest with each other before you pull up stakes.

What if you follow the kids and they don’t have time for you?

Remember, their life is probably a balancing act right now.  They are responsible for many things and many people and their schedule may be very full!  You probably have expectations about the help you would like from them at this stage of your life.  Can they meet your expectations and will it be a joy or a burden for them?

“Knowing what it would be like” is often difficult to achieve without “actually doing it.”  If you move, you would be wise to arrange for help from other sources for some of your needs so as not to rely totally on your family and overwhelm them. Make it a comfortable transition for everyone involved.

Do you get the feeling they want you closer?

If so, you are the most fortunate person in the world!  Seize the opportunity…family is everything!

Article © Allen Unrau, used with permission


248 Responses to “Living Near Your Children…Bonus or Bad Move?”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    HI Mer, it must be terribly difficult to see your daughter upset at your plans to move. How has she responded to your explanations of why you want to move?

  • Elkay says:

    Mer, I am sorry I misunderstood what you were saying.

  • Mer F says:

    Elkay, how DARE you call my daughter such awful nasty names. Who do you think you are? You have no idea what you are talking about. I pity any kids you might have. How dare you decide she should have no children. Did you NOT read the part where I talked about her emotionality being the result of a very serious brain infection in her teens??? Well here are some more details. She lost theee years of school time and had to relearn to talk, walk, use the bathroom, feed herself, read and so much more. And she battled back from that with incredible strength and tenacity. And managed to get not only a high school diploma but a BA and a PhD and a tenure trackmorofessorship an an excellent private college where she is well liked and respected. She cannot control her intense emotionality when severely stressed. That is a MEDICAL ISSUE you callous clown. I am horrified a comment such as yours would be allowed on this site. Never comment to me again please. Thank you.

  • Elkay says:

    Mer, everyone’s situation is different and needs to be addressed individually so, not really knowing the personalities involved, it can be hard to be definitive in replying to your post. Having said that, it almost appears that your daughter is trying to be manipulative and may be rather selfish. Let me make a couple of comments and let it go at that.

    First, your husband is a higher priority in life than is your independent child and it is important that he sees that in your actions. If you both want to move to warmer climate, and you don’t because of your daughter’s demands, what kind of a signal will he get?

    Second, if your daughter is not prepared to raise her own children, maybe she is not prepared to be a parent. “Spitting nails and crying” is manipulation and it is disrespectful and “emotionally immature” on her part to engage in such.

    Your plans to pay their airfare to visit you are admirable . . . . pray about all the details of your intended move, put the house up for sale and trust God with whatever happens next.

  • Mer F says:

    We seem to be facing the opposite issue. We just turned 60 and desperately want to get out of the cold and damp weather in the East and want to move to Arizona where we lived for nearly ten years during the kids middle growing up years. Hubby works from home and travels all over the world and can work from anywhere near a major airport hub.
    My married daughter is FURIOUS at the thought of us leaving them right when they are planning to start a family. I do not want to be a full time babysitter. Nor am I the kind of parent who hovers around their kids. I tried to be the daycare provider with a dear dear niece’s baby whom I adore like me my own and who lived close by who could not afford daycare and it almost killed me. I hated ever single minute of it. I was a prisoner in my home and it exhausted me beyond words. And that was 5 years ago!!
    She is spitting nails and crying and we haven’t even put the house up for sale yet!! Full disclosure- she had a serious brain infection as a teen and she is fine except that she tends to go off the rails emotionally at odd times so my descriptions of her reactions sounds over the top but it really isn’t!
    . She has a PhD and a very responsible job and is fully capable of mastering the issues she faces but she can make a hell of a scene- lol.
    I love my kids very much but I think people should understand live the lives they want. We plan to visit them regularly on the east coast ( and state in a hotel!) and skype regularly. We are buying a home with a comfortable gust room as well and we will pay much of their airfare when they want to visit.

  • Dianne says:

    Thank you for your reply. You are so right that I need to let go of resentments and pray for our relationship as a family.

  • Rachel says:

    I think it’s hard for children to make the first leap into moving away from their parents, especially if they want new experiences. If you are close to your kids, I don’t see any problem with moving closer to them, as long as you have an open and honest conversation about it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Aldo says:

    Dianne, it certainly sounds as though you have made a good decision, but the fact remains that your daughter and her husband is family also, and that you hold resentment against them. The Bible tells us that we need to forgive others if we are to be forgiven ourselves. Please do not make the mistake of holding a grudge against your daughter and son-in-law to your own detriment. Nothing can be or is more important than our family relationships. All those other things are expendable. Seek to make peace, and truly be “sons of God.”(Matthew 5:9 )

  • Aldo says:

    AW, The very first priority of your needs is to have a relationship with God through believing in and accepting and receiving Jesus Christ, His Son, as your personal Lord and Savior. All other things, if your desirous of the best, are reliant on that.

    God does have a plan for your life, and it behooves you to seek out what that plan is. If you do so with a genuine heart, God will allow you to find it. Once you do, your priorities in life will change, and you will be much more concerned about what God desires for you than what you desire for you, which is as it should be. Proud people cannot receive Christ because it takes humility. A person must be humble enough to admit that he is a sinner, ask forgiveness for his sins, and accept and receive Jesus Christ (God’s “only begotten son”) as his Savior and Lord. When that is done with a repentant heart, that person is “born again.”

    AW, you can continue to wallow in the depths of uncertainty, or you can give yourself over to God, and let Him bring about what He knows is best for your and your children’s lives.

    If you would like to confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord right now, please repeat this prayer sincerely from your heart:

    “Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You, and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me and forgiving my sins, in Jesus name, Amen.”

    AW, I hope you have said that prayer. If you did, Welcome to the family of God. If you have not, you need to do it if you desire to know God as your Savior.

    I pray that you make the right decision.

  • AW says:

    My ex wife left me on terrible terms of timing a few years ago, and she was pregnant with my first son. U have yet to meet my son and since, I have had another son. I am depressed without having my oldest in my life. She has moved 2000 miles a crossed country with him. Very strict in keeping him from me, but recently, she moved again, to another state. I’m not happy with where I currently live and am on the verge of selling my home, and making a move of some sort, with my youngest son. I have full custody of him and I was weighing my options. Of course the option of across country moving, is far beyond my previous imagination, but I’m at a turning point in life. I’m not sure which way to go. Should I surprise my siblings and patents by shocking them with news that I am moving a crossed country to be with my oldest son? Should I sell, and settle in misery of living with my siblings and parents on a small plot of land that I don’t even like. I know that I want what is best for my youngest boy, as he is my current life, but I’m seriously worried about not making the right decision! Please someone give me options from experience, or maybe a million dollars would help me decide. Lol. Thanks for listening,

  • Dianne says:

    We have lived on a beautiful lake for 12 years and thought it would be wonderful for our daughter’s family for visiting. Though we have had the grandsons for long weekends and extended visits, our daughter and son-in-law only came for Christmas and occasionally Easter. It is only an hour away from where they live, and by the way, they were happy to come and bring their friends for weekends when we were away. After $600 electric bills and disrespect of our home, we calmly turned them down for further use of the home when we are away. We have maintained a great relationship with our grandsons, but have had the cold shoulder from our daughter and son-in-law. We are moving from Georgia to our home state of Texas to be with and help with family as we retire. I don’t think our daughter will miss us at all and grieve for that loss. If they wouldn’t drive an hour to see us, they certainly won’t drive or travel this distance. The bottom line is, we are going where we are loved and wanted.

  • Elkay says:

    Grace, I am very sorry about the grief and depression feelings you have and I can see why being alone can bring these about, especially around Holiday times. I don’t want to give you any glib advice or offer any trite words that will not do you any good but it does seem that you are going to have to take responsibility for your situation and take some actions to bring about changes. As the article points out, your son’s “life is probably a balancing act right now. They are responsible for many things and many people and their schedule may be very full!”

    All of us have basic needs for acceptance, identity, security and purpose and when we try to get those needs met in other people, we will be disappointed, because they simply cannot do that. There is a wonderful old song we used to sing, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” and it is only in a trusting relationship with Jesus that we can get these basic needs met.

    Where we live, a local church has a wonderfully kind and supportive Women’s ministry that has proved invaluable to many women in life’s various situations and that can help strengthen Christian faith. If you can find something like this, friendships can develop. Another approach is to consider volunteering in some service organization. You mentioned that you work — are there people there with whom you are or can be friends?

    We also have mentors who are freely available to come alongside you in this struggle; if you are interested, just hit the Talk to a Mentor button on this page and someone will reply to you in confidence by email.

  • Grace says:

    I moved 2000 miles last year to live in the same city as my son and his family. I am alone and I was so lonely so far away. I work part time and I have some health issues but my son’s wife is very controlling and while she seems to appreciate my help and support when needed, she also wants my son to do what she wants when it comes to social events. I have been worried about holidays like Thanksgiving and now my son told me he and his family (I have 2 grandkids) want to spend the time together without anyone at a resort and at Christmas they are flying back to the city I used to live in to spend the holidays with his wife’s family. I am just overwhelmed with grief about this and depression and I don’t know anyone here or have friends. I just want to be with my family and grandchildren but here I am after a huge move and I am 68 years old and I feel helpless and am just as lonely as I was before I moved here. I do not know what to do.

  • Aldo says:

    Carmen, I understand that you miss your family and would like to get back up North to where they are. Is it possible that your 3 children can “pitch-in” and come up with enough money to buy a ticket for you?

    As far as being lonely, you should have made enough friends down there, either in a church, or in the neighborhood, or in an ethnic group, etc.

    If you would like to chat one on one with someone, click on the Talk to a mentor button at the left bottom of this page. Someone will be happy to discuss your circumstances with you.

  • Carmen Rosario says:

    Hi,i move to jacksonville fl 4 years ago ,kus i was sick and tired of. Utica ny,winters r horrible and is nothing to do there ,perhaps i raise my 3 kids there,i hate it and i was constantly depress,i want to take the chance to move also to see in which way my kids follow me ,but so far nothing happen now since i move family is breaking apart an i want to move back thinking i want yo help but i dont know ,every time i think about i start crying ,kus in the other hand im lonely. Downhere???????

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Kristy, I agree with you that this could be a wonderful way to live as a family. It is unusual for Western culture but many other cultures have multigenerational families living together is wonderful harmony. But I have seen it go very wrong as well. I have friends who decided that they would all live under one roof when their dad died. There were three siblings (one married sister with 3 kids, one single mom with two kids, and one single brother) and their mother. They built a house that had separate living ares for each family but also a common kitchen, dining room, and play areas. Unfortunately they did not have great communication patterns in their family and their ideas of what were healthy boundaries was very different. That led to hurt feelings and eventually the break down of the whole situation.

    I would recommend that before you make a commitment one way or the other, take lots of time to talk through your boundaries, and how you will deal with conflict when it comes up. Be very clear about the financial relationships that this will bring up, and consider creating a contract for the financial sharing that you will have. The more time you spend in clarifying the relationships the better prepared you will be to live together.

  • Kristy Lyn says:

    I’m newly divorced. I have a 21 year old son, who is in the military and lives with his same branch military girlfriend. I also have two daughters still living at home with me – a 17 year old and a 10 year old. My son and I are very close and talk multiple times daily. We have always been a very close knit family. I miss my son immensely, as well does his sisters. He is 18 hours away and plans to be career military. His particular job will keep him stateside and serving at the same base most likely for the extent of his career. Both he and his girlfriend have begged me and his sisters to move in with them. I’m in my early 40’s, I teach and can pay my own bills but I want to be closer to him and he wants us with him. My immediate family where I currently live consists of my dad and stepmom. Otherwise, we are alone. My son insists this can work and will be a wonderful opportunity for all. It was his idea and I also think it could be an ideal situation. Is this a bad idea or should I jump on the chance to start over and be close to my oldest child? He has been in the military for 3 years and is well adjusted so this isn’t an issue of homesickness, but he says it is his wish to see his family daily.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Mrs. D, what do you see are the forces behind the separation of families? Do you feel there is a systematic attack or is it happening unintentionally?

  • Mrs. D says:

    I think you are all wrong. Our culture is collapsing. Why? Because AMERICAN families are being separated in every way possible. What cultures are gaining power in numbers? Wake up!! Stay with your families. Communicate honestly right where you are. People don’t communicate…but if you do, you will gain healthy family relationships and your children and grandchildren will be enriched. Over 50% divorced in this country? Wow that’s rich.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Debbie, it sounds like you have a couple of issues to work through: 1) where to move; 2) how to overcome feelings of obligation. Why do you feel obligated to do those things when you are near your children? Is it responding to expectations from your kids or something inside of you? I would suggest that even if you move far away from all your kids you will still feel those obligations and you will likely feel guilty about the decision you made. If you feel pressure from your kids to do those things it would be a good starting place to have a conversation with them and establish healthy boundaries in your relationship. If you put that obligation on yourself, it is time to have a conversation with yourself to better understand why.

  • Debbie says:

    My 3 children who all have kids and families of their own, all want me to live near them, I have plans to move to Florida next year, but my daughters both have asked me to move near them, one lives in Birmingham, the other in Knoxville, I love my kids and my adorable grandchildren, but whenever I am around my children, I feel obligated to cook, babysit, run errands for them, do laundry and I am exhausted instead of having fun with the grandchildren. I feel guilty that I want to live away from them, but I just turned 62, I have been a single mom for 25 years and I want to enjoy my life the way I want to

  • Chris says:

    margaret hernandez….its important to understand that what happens before the marriage will only be multiplied and magnified after the marriage. is this the type of husband you are wanting to live with for the rest of your life? i would suggest seeking God about his will for you. log onto or click talk to a mentor above to start your own personal relationship with jesus today if you havent already. that way you can seek jesus about his will and his direction whether or not he has truly joined you with this person. praying jesus becomes your lord and savior and director of every step you take and every decision you make!

  • I am engsged. My fiance s little posessive. I esnt to go ser my gtsndchildren graduate from school. He is shsinst it. I will be gone for s couple of days. He is not happy aboit this and does not want me to sttend the graduation of my grandchildren. Can you plesse help

  • Ann says:

    I am 65 and ready for a new start in another state because the state I live in, let them tell it, there are no jobs available for people my age (lost a 22 year job 8 years ago). When applying for senior housing, the first thing that pops up is my credit (even though I show a report when my credit was great). On top of that it took me 5 years to get the money together, and I finally filed bankruptcy. I’ve planned on taking my living room furniture and dinette set (my husband passed 21 years ago and these I bought on my own). My home hasn’t been in foreclosure yet although it’s being sold for taxes. I will be stayting with my daughter’s friend for a few months until I find an apartment (hopefully in 2 or 3 months) My daughter and her family is moving to the same state but she’s stated twice that I might have to leave everything because the movers are expensive and I just get survivor’s social security. So, is she correct?

  • Elkay says:

    Ileana and T. Smith, your different situations confirm the opportunities and challenges of the different alternatives this article addresses and I hope both of your futures bring you in close alignment with God’s kingdom plans. My wife and I are retired near three sets of grandchildren and, yes, there has been a lot of babysitting, driving to and fro and cooking as well as helping with unexpected expenses. We do take comfort from the admonition of 1 Tim 4:8 to care for family. As you go forward, if you would like more personal and confidential support, please consider hitting the Talk to a Mentor button on this page and a trained Mentor will respond freely back to you by email. May God bless both of you today with exactly what you need today.

  • T.Smith says:

    We have lived by my in-laws for 37 years. In retrospect I would not do it again. We get along fine but we had to commute 70 miles round trip for 35 years. They babysat for a time then after age 2 of our oldest we had to put him in full time day care. Great situation for the in-laws but we suffered as no friends as we worked in another community. We bought their property and now are stuck to live in an isolated area until they die. We have no friends and pmy husband is I’ll and we are 35 miles from a hospital and have to help with my elderly in-laws who are pretty active compared to my sickly husband. We live on 6.5 acres which is a lot to clear in the spring with just me and mynin-laws. I am so lonely as my husband is always sick and we do not have the money to really do anything. One son lives in the Bay Area and the other is getting ready to graduate from college and join the. I wish we had gotten our own place back when we were younger and lived independently from th in-laws and been independent. This has been a Godsend for my in-laws but hell for me. When they die we will be strapped with their home on our property. It is an obligation we cannot afford and need to be closer to health care as I can not take care of 6.5 acres alone as husband is so ill. I hope he dies soon so I can move on.

  • Ileana says says:

    Sue I really like your comment.Im 61 and will be moving away from my kids,I live in South Florida only because my kids are here,If you don’t like going to the beach there’s absolutely nothing to do.I find that they are always busy and I don’t really get to see them that much even though we live in the same state.They are very supported of my decision and have been coming around more often know but that’s only because I’m moving in couple of weeks.So I’m going in faith and trusting God that this will be a good move for my personal growth.

  • Aldo says:

    Dave, I hear what you are saying. I believe that older parents should not be put in a situation like the one you have described. Yes, you and your wife undoubtedly love your children and grand children, but you have your lives to live. You should try to help your children in any way you can, but you should not be coerced into a lifestyle which will jeopardize your well being, unless you both agree on it. Remember, your first responsibility is toward your spouse.

  • Dave says:

    We too have children that are a little less than two hours drive from us. With one grandchild (18 mos. old) and one on the way this year for ‘both our children’, they feel they need more help than ever with the new babies coming. 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 then there is my daughter, its going to be her first baby to this year. They both live an 1 1/2 apart and by wife doesn’t know where to divide herself. I’m 65 years old and my home is paid for and I’m not welling to take on a new mortgage 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. 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 here in order to make room for some smaller home and then there’s the cost of fixing a few things here in order to sell it. Everyday its why do we need this big house and why can’t I be closer to them ? I just want to put headphones on or something to be let alone in my own little world. I do love my grandchild and want to see him but my wife says she’s afraid to dive to them in the winter and I get on there nerves.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Kelly, will you listen even if I tell you, “You’re wrong”? :) Just kidding!

    I am sure there are added aspects to your family relationships that complicate things more, but as you have presented it here, I would agree that the New Yorkian (is that what they are called) daughter is being manipulative. What do you think is motivating that kind of response? Why is she determined for you to stay where you are?

  • Kelly says:

    I need advice. I have two children that live on opposite sides of the United States literally, California and New York. I live in the midwest. I love them equally, but I have no desire to live in New York. I was born in California and have lots of family there. My plan is to eventually move to the West Coast, which will put me nearer one child. My other child, knowing this, has now refused to talk to me, accuses me of playing favorites and says she will never forgive me if I leave her hometown and move nearer her sibling. Both are 20-somethings. I’m feeling guilty, but I know, as a reasonable person, that it’s not fair for her to bully me into what she wants. She moved away from me, and I’ve been supportive in every way as she lives her dream, even financially. Someone tell me I’m right here. Thank you.

  • Chris says:

    Angela….so sorry you are strugging…the plain truth is that there is nothing in this world guaranteed except what God controls. even the best families will have problems and eventually end either through death or seperations of distance and time but the one family and life that wont end is with jesus our lord and savior and his people. for more information on knowing jesus and his family of faith log onto or click talk to a mentor above. praying you find the peace you need as you give yourself and your loved ones to christ. blessings!

  • Angela says:

    Im a mom, newly single, my kids are 4,6 and 9.. My parents and I have had the typically latch key kid relationship of my generation. We barley spent time with each other despite living together until I was twenty. No family vacations, weekend activities, sports etc. I met each set of grandparents twice and only occasionally spoke on the phone. My brother no longer speaks to my parents. Now at twenty nine I am pondering moving closer to them. However my motivation isn’t really to spend time with them.
    I just hope when my kids are grown they will remain a part of my life. I hope that when they have children I will be there to give advice, or just a shoulder to lean on. I want to set a good example and attempt to give my children family values that my brother and I never had. Is there any research on if kids who grow up close to their grand parents remain close to their parents when they age? I just feel like if I follow my parents lead and exile my children from their grand parents then I will most likely end up in the same boat myself in the future.

  • Virginia says:


    You must make the choice that you feel most comfortable with. Welcome or forced don’t read into your son’s invitation. If he feels you’re appreciation he will loving help you. However, if he feels you are taking him for granted he will become resentful.
    Instead look for housing near your son that is closest to your price range if you are unable to find something near him you can afford offer him a similar arrangement as you currently have. Relationships are strongest when benefits go both ways.

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Lindy, In listening to your story and praying about it, I feel that a visit (with your daughter) to see this boyfriend in Texas would be in order. Then all 3 of you can get a feeling of what the future may hold. I’d say that it could be a relief to get away from someone who’s got different life-style views than you do.
    That leads me to the question of how close you and your daughter are to God, and whether you are led by the Holy Spirit. I would encourage you to read the Bible (alone as well as together). Is your boyfriend in Texas is a Christian, if you don’t mind me asking?
    I’ll be watching this site to look for your response.
    Praying for you, Alfred.

  • Lindy says:

    Living in Washington state, after i got out of a 20 year marriage, I contacted an old boyfriend who lives in Texas. Sparks flew, and I respect his virtues and lifestyle, but I never persued the relationship because I didnt want to uproot my daughter at 16 years of age, also I have one other adult child that lives here. Then I met a man here in my town that has been very good to me, my daughter and I moved in with him to make bills and life easier. I found out after a short time he has some narcissist, bipolar, tendencies and different lifestyle views from mine that have made me not like him as much as I should. So I contacted my ex boyfriend who has been very supportive and loving at what ever situation I choose. I would really like to see what life would be like to be with him, but I dont know that my daughter would share the same views. I am so confused at what I should do. She could go with me if she wanted to but she loves where we live and the man I live with would probably let her stay with him for a while but he might not be real happy with me for leaving him. I am afraid she wont want to go. Should I stay here for her or leave.

  • Cindy says:

    Good article. Love my family but feel in the long run all would be happier if we all stay independent on our own not to mention we all have our own way of doing things and all have a right to privacy with our airing out the laundry. Parents are happy to know their adult children are well off and they do not have to care for their parents. With today’s planes, trains, and buses we have the ability to visit. Keeping in touch through text and Facebook is the same as being there for full life adult children these days. We are comfortable on the thought of moving to a low income senior high rise.

  • Sue says:

    Aldo—we let fear drive us. My husband’s father died of cancer at the age of 68–the age my husband is now and there is also a history of stroke on his side of the family. We know we may need help some time down the line, but my husband and I are in good health now. We have four grown children with families and they all live in different parts of the country. We can’t possibly live near all of them. I just wish we had followed our dream—we could always move closer to family later. We don’t want to move across the country—just further south in Florida. I just wish we had not let our son badger us into living in this boring little town. There is nothing to do. As far as the grandchildren go, I barely know them. They are my son’s step children and I only saw them twice before we moved here.

  • Aldo says:

    Sue, there definitely are advantages and disadvantages to living in close proximity to your children, but with so many variants which will influence the outcome. For instance, what is the health and well-being of each person; what is the loyalty and attachment of each to the other; what are each’s likes and dislikes; etc?

    My family is a really close-knit one. So much so, that our daughter has often said that neither mom nor dad will ever go into a nursing home, but that she would take care of us should that day ever come. Some time ago my wife suffered a stroke and now needs a reasonable amount of care. At present I am able to provide that care, but it is nice to know that if I was not able, mom would be cared for by a loved one.

    We enjoy time with our children, grand children, and great grand children tremendously, and they enjoy being with us as well. We look forward to the time when all encumbrances of being together will be removed.

  • Sue says:

    Do not listen to this advice. I did and I regret it. We had always wanted to retire in central or south Florida especially after living up north for many years, but out son lives in the northern part of the state and wanted us to live near him. The town he lives in is small with nothing to do. Also it is 30 miles from the beach. The summers are extremely hot and it gets cold in the winter. The town is full of rednecks with a confederate flag flying in the town square. We should have rented here, but our son convinced us we should purchase a home. I had my reservations from the start, but my husband went along with everything my son said, so now we are stuck in a boring little town with nothing to do. Also my son and his wife are constantly fighting and hit us up for money all the time. The moral of my story is—-do what you want to do, not what your kids want you to do. Its your life, not theirs.

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