Should You Retire Close to Family?
Dear Rich Lifer,
Where will you be living in 2030?
Do you see yourself living somewhere warmer than you are living now?
Do you see yourself living close to your adult kids and grandkids?
Or will you find somewhere, anywhere, cheaper than are you living now?
As the holidays wrap up and we begin a new year, some of you will face these tough questions.
Figuring out where to live in retirement is a big decision and one you shouldn’t take lightly.
Your location determines your budget and the type of retirement you’ll be living for the next decade or more.
And what makes this decision even harder is family.
Living near family could mean a strong support network as you age, but also a feeling of obligation to provide extra financial support to your adult kids.
Whereas living further away could mean enjoying a retirement somewhere warmer where your dollar stretches a bit further, but missing out on important milestones like dance recitals and birthday parties.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. But I figured it’s a good time to lay out some of the things you should consider before choosing where to start this next chapter.
Pros of Living Close to Family
Watching Your Grandkids Grow Up
This is probably the biggest reason retirees decide to live close to their adult kids.
Watching your grandson hit his first home run in little league or seeing your granddaughter win her first race in track ‘n field are priceless memories you’ll never forget.
Not missing out on birthday parties, school concerts, and family dinners are all good enough reasons to live out your golden years near your kids and grandkids.
Helping Your Adult Children
Another good reason to live near your adult kids is to be able to give them the support they need.
As your kids take on more responsibility in their careers and their families grow, having mom and dad nearby to babysit the kids after school or on weekends can be a huge help.
You’ll also be closeby in case of emergencies like broken water heaters at 11 o’clock at night or sick kids that can’t go to school.
Strong Support Network.
When your family is nearby, you can have dinner together on a regular basis. You can go see movies and watch live sports events.
Your adult kids can also return the favor and help you out with chores around the house, like moving heavy furniture or doing yard work.
Having relatives closeby can actually save you money or at least you can choose to pay your grandson to mow the lawn instead of a stranger.
Moving Is a LOT of Work.
You might decide that moving is too much work. And if your adult kids have stayed close to home anyway, staying put where you are now could be the best decision after all.
Uprooting your life means you lose friends and a social network that you’ve spent years building. Not to mention moving can be costly.
Unless you’re moving someplace where taxes are lower or the cost of living is significantly cheaper, you might be better off not moving at all to save yourself some money.
Cons of Living Close to Family
You Don’t Choose Your Destination.
If your number one priority is living near family, then you’ll be at the mercy of your adult kids and your siblings wherever they decide to live. This could mean moving to a more expensive location or less desirable destination.
If your kids careers require lots of moving around, you may find yourself having to move more than once in retirement. Not only can this be expensive but it’ll mean having to restart building a social group and joining new clubs or finding new activities to keep busy.
You’ll be the Default Babysitter
Depending on how you look at this one, it could be a pro or a con. But it’s likely that if you live near your adult kids, you’ll become the go-to babysitter.
While this can be a dream come true for some grandparents, it can quickly become burdensome as you find yourself canceling plans with your own friends to make sure you’re on-call for your kids. Babysitting for family also doesn’t pay very well.
You Could Become a Burden
It’s awkward to say but the truth is as you get older, you’ll eventually need a level of care that can be straining on your kids. And if you’re living in the same city, your kids might feel obligated to provide you with the support you need even if it means sacrificing their own lives.
The drawback here is the fact that there’s no easy way around this. You live close to your kids so they can support you when you age, but you feel bad about them supporting you because it means they miss out on fun activities and time with their family.
Your Kids Might Not Visit as Much as You Think
When you live in the same city as your adult kids, you might not get as much facetime with them as you’d think. Mainly due to the fact that you’ll both take your proximity for granted.
Whereas if you were living in an exotic vacation destination, then your kids and grandkids might have a bit more incentive to come visit more often.
Like I said, there’s no right or wrong answer here. Each and every family will have their own unique dynamic that works best.
Take these points into consideration and I advise talking to your family before making any final decisions on where to live. You want to make sure you’re not going to regret your decision or waste time and money having to relocate again.
To a richer life,