Roughly 1 in 3 Minnesota Baby Boomers is considering a move within the next 10 years, with suburban Boomers most likely to be considering a move to a new community.
Downsizing is a common goal for the Baby Boomer generation, but so is moving to be closer to family and grandchildren. I work with grandparents moving to and from the Twin Cities to be closer to their children and grandchildren all the time, and it is fun to feel their excitement at moving close enough to spend time with them on a regular basis… not just for special occasions a few times a year.
As I think about it, many of us Boomer women worked while our children were growing up and experienced the often frenetic life of both working full time and being full time parents… and missed out on many experiences with our young children while we were at work and they were in daycare.
Perhaps those experiences make us more eager to help our own children with their life balance… and also experience time with our grandchildren that we may have missed with our own children. It can result in a win-win-win situation for grandparents, children and grandchildren alike… and result in better life balance for all.
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
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