When I got a call this week from a Baby Boomer couple who came from out of state to help take care of their grandkids during the 'gap weeks' between summer and fall when many school-run daycare programs take a break it sounded very familiar… we have been helping our kids/grandkids with the same thing these last two weeks!
This couple decided to move here so they can spend time with their family on a regular basis, not just a few times a year… and I met with another couple that very same day who are also planning a move for the very same reason.
Moving to be closer to family and grandchildren is the biggest reason Baby Boomers relocate, and it also serves a double purpose… so those same kids/grandkids can help their parents/grandparents when the time comes.
But before you sell your home, pack up and move here are some things to consider…
- Why are you moving? Is it really to be close to family or is that just an excuse for something else? Know the real reason for your move.
- Does your family want you to move close to them? If so, do you also really want to move or are you moving out of guilt? Both you AND your family should look forward to your move.
- Do you expect to help your children with child care? Transportation? Other household needs? If so, are there mutual expectations of how much help you will be giving? Are you prepared to keep your mouth shut when you don't agree with parenting styles? Set guidelines for what is expected before you make the move.
- Do you expect help from your children with your personal needs? Again, set guidelines for what is expected before you make the move.
- Does the community you are moving to fit your lifestyle? Will you be able to build your own network of new friends and interests? Don't expect your family to be your whole life.
- What will you miss when you move? Of course you should expect to miss some friends, activities, community… but also look forward to something new. Knowing what you will miss can give you ideas on how to get connected in your new community.
Living close to family can be a wonderful thing… but if you move closer to them it can be important not to overwhelm your family by expecting too much from them… and they too much from you. It is vital that you maintain and respect each other's personal space and private lives as well as enjoying your time together. In looking for a new home in your new community look for a place where you can also build a life and friendships separate from your family.
If it feels right, seize the opportunity… there is nothing that can equal the joy of being close enough to spend ordinary days with your family. In the words of Laura Ingalls Wilder, "I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results –Baby Boomer Realtor