Which is worse? Going back to work or moving away?

Moving Away from Kids and Grandkids to Better Afford Retirement Living Expenses

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

How to Conquer Debt eBook

Moving Away from Kids and Grandkids to Better Afford Retirement Living Expenses

My hubby and I are retired, but we live in a very pricey part of California. Has anyone had experience moving during retirement, or in anticipation of retirement, for a better quality of life, but that means moving away from children and grandchildren? We rent and have been very fortunate to have it fit in our budget. But, if our financial circumstances change, it's almost impossible for us to stay here without one of us going back to work. We both enjoy not working and are getting older anyway. Anyone else have any experience with this? Was it difficult being so far from family? I'd also love to hear from any adults kids whose parents moved away to retire. Did it make it tough for you and the grandkids to keep in touch with grandparents? Thanks!

Happy to Have Moved

I moved from Connecticut to coastal South Carolina almost two years ago after much soul-searching, since I was leaving my son and grandsons behind. It has been a wonderful experience.

My overall cost of living is lower. I own my home and can afford to pay someone to do the things I can't or do not want to do.

My son tries to visit once a year and I try to visit them once a year as well. I would like to keep in touch on Skype but that hasn't worked out with our busy family. I do keep in touch with my oldest grandson through email, texts, and calls and occasionally the younger ones on the phone.

With milder weather and fewer worries, my health and my life are better. I'm very happy I made the move.

Related: Cost Considerations of RV Living In Retirement

Never Looked Back

My husband and I moved 1000 miles away from family in order to retire to an area that is not just affordable for us in retirement, but also beautiful. We have never looked back as the kids come here once a year to visit and we stay in touch with Skype and phone and don't feel we are missing out in watching the grandkids growing years. Also, we can afford to travel there once a year and visit, so we have a lot to look forward to during the year.We were able to buy our retirement home in cash, and the income more than covers our expenses. Plus, we have lots of "fun money." This would not be the case if we stayed in Southern California. We moved to a coastal community, which we always dreamed of doing one day. It's cooler than the hot climate we came from. We have made a lot of friends. It's been a win-win situation. The only caveat is if you are ill and need assistance, then stay near your kids. We have found that not all kids look after their parents in the way that benefits the parents. Each family dynamic is different.

Family Is First

As one who was far away from kids before retirement and then moved close to them (a fairly expensive area), I'd say do not move away from family. Family is more important than anything else, and as you get older, you will need them nearby to help. It is very hard for kids to deal with your aging issues when you are far away.

It Can Be Tough

My husband's parents moved to Idaho from central California (1400 miles away from us) ten years ago. It has been very difficult on the sons they left behind. It is very expensive for us to visit them, so we can only do so once every two years. My father-in-law now has cancer, and he is so far away. This has added to the heart-wrenching experience.

My father moved to Las Vegas from Southern California. This was not too bad as my brother lived in town and could watch over him as he aged. And visits were not too expensive. However, when Dad got in a car accident, my sisters and I took turns driving out to visit him at the hospital for a year until he passed away. It was difficult.

Experience With Both Ways

We have it both ways in our family. My husband's parents moved from South Carolina to Florida about three years ago. They live in a very fun senior neighborhood with social activities every hour of every day. I laugh and say it's like summer camp for seniors. It is very far away. Out of four kids, we are the only ones who have gone down to visit. The new thing they started this year is to travel in their RV for several months during the Florida hot season, with a final stop here in North Carolina for them to see all the kids and grandkids. They also enjoy hanging out with my parents to play cards so they have them over to their RV park for a couple days to play cards.

My parents live with us. We sold both our small houses and built a bigger one with room for all six of us. We have two teen girls. They have chores, but it's not as much work as maintaining their own home. We are here to help them and hopefully prevent them from going into assisted living. They help us with rent. The house is in our name. I pay all the bills and they just have to worry about their own stuff. It's a win-win. I am with them daily to see when they are getting forgetful. My mom left the shower on all day recently. But, they are still active with bowling, many social things, and traveling.

Related: Retirees Fear Running Out of Money

Is There An Alternative?

We moved into our senior home (50+) before I retired. It was affordable since we bought in an older neighborhood. Our homeowner fees are reasonable. If you're social, many have a lot of activities. I love the quiet. I'd bet there may be a retirement neighborhood near your family.

Retire "Better"

The area I live in gets a lot of retirees from areas with a high cost of living. The northeast Georgia area is great and affordable. I have made a lot of new friends who have moved to this area to be able to retire "better."

Reviewed February 2018

Take the Next Step:

Have an idea that we didn't include? Send it to us and we'll add it to the article.

Stay Connected with TDS

Social Security Choices


You've learned how to work smarter, not harder.

After 50 Finances is a weekly newsletter dedicated to people just like you.

Retirement Checklist

And get a free copy of the After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist. Everything you need to do to be ready for retirement!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book