Retired and thinking of moving closer to family? Some things to address before you pack up and move

Moving to be closer to family and grandchildren is the biggest reason people relocate after they retire, and it can also serve a double purpose… grandparents can help their children/grandchildren now… and those same kids/grandkids can help their parents/grandparents when the time comes.

It might feel like the right decision, but before you sell your home, pack up and move here are some things to consider.

Things that make relocating closer to family as a retired adult more stressful

  • Losing established social networks
  • Navigating expectations with family
  • Feeling stressed by either providing or receiving caretaking

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 if 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.

Some other topics to address to respect family boundaries

  • How often would you like to see each other?
  • What kind of support do you want or need?
  • Are you open to family members dropping by unannounced?
  • What are your concerns about moving closer?

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 – shensrud@homesmsp.com

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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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