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Old 02-03-2015, 04:53 PM
 
25,986 posts, read 32,996,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Quite possibly they want an excuse not to spend every waking minute (and many sleeping minutes) babysitting grandchildren. I can't count the number of my retired friends who get emotionally blackmailed into spending their retirement providing free child care! Just an idea.
And I have heard the same, from SO many people that I work with.

 
Old 02-03-2015, 05:32 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,165,475 times
Reputation: 22373
My speculations about this situation thus far:

1. OP's wife is related to the "snowbird" couple in question. I am going to guess - their daughter. If not their daughter, then his wife is a sister.

2. OP doesn't like that he will have to pay to go visit the snowbird couple, at his wife's insistence. He especially doesn't like a. his wife losing money by not working during that week and b. if he is a SIL, he is still working, so he doesn't want to lose HIS vacation time sporting his wife down to see her parents.

3. OP liked having the snowbird couple around to host things and pay for ski trips (or some such) for the family at Christmas, and now that tradition is down the tubes since the snowbird couple will be in Florida at Christmas. And . . . that is going to mean OP will have to cough up the $$$ to go to Florida at Christmas (and very likely, more vacay time used up for the visit).

4. OP doesn't like that the large family home is being sold b/c this may mean everyone else is going to be looking to him and his wife to do the hosting of family events.

5. If retired (which would mean he is snowbird couple's BIL, most likely) . . . OP doesn't want to move anywhere, and he is concerned that his wife is going to like Florida so much, she may decide she wants to do the snowbird thing, too.

In any case . . . these are the most self-serving reasons I have ever heard for someone trying to talk folks out of moving to Florida half the year.

It is only 6 months! How often do people even see each other during the winter? It has to do with aggravation about something that traditionally goes on at Christmas, as most folks hardly see each other from November to March in cold climates. Just how often do you traditionally "hang out?"

Also, this can't be about concern re: health issues . . . as OP stated that the snowbirds SKI. I am not even 65 and I have given up skiing so that tells me . . . the snowbirds must be in darn good physical shape.

And finally, what on earth could be the big deal about people being gone 6 months out of the year as far as "missing out" on stuff with grandchildren? Kids are IN SCHOOL when they will be in Florida. Nobody sees their grandkids that often in the winter (unless part of this story has not been told, i.e., that the snowbirds do a LOT of babysitting, which is one of the reasons for all the angst).

If this couple is in good health, planning on being gone 1/2 the year, and OP is not having to pay for their comings and goings . . . what on earth could it possibly matter to him what his inlaws do?

Good grief.

There has to be more to this story than "trying to explain to adult children why their parents are going to be gone six months out of the year." Come on.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,946 posts, read 5,302,666 times
Reputation: 17921
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokensky View Post
My speculations about this situation thus far:

1. OP's wife is related to the "snowbird" couple in question. I am going to guess - their daughter. If not their daughter, then his wife is a sister.

2. OP doesn't like that he will have to pay to go visit the snowbird couple, at his wife's insistence. He especially doesn't like a. his wife losing money by not working during that week and b. if he is a SIL, he is still working, so he doesn't want to lose HIS vacation time sporting his wife down to see her parents.

3. OP liked having the snowbird couple around to host things and pay for ski trips (or some such) for the family at Christmas, and now that tradition is down the tubes since the snowbird couple will be in Florida at Christmas. And . . . that is going to mean OP will have to cough up the $$$ to go to Florida at Christmas (and very likely, more vacay time used up for the visit).

4. OP doesn't like that the large family home is being sold b/c this may mean everyone else is going to be looking to him and his wife to do the hosting of family events.

5. If retired (which would mean he is snowbird couple's BIL, most likely) . . . OP doesn't want to move anywhere, and he is concerned that his wife is going to like Florida so much, she may decide she wants to do the snowbird thing, too.

In any case . . . these are the most self-serving reasons I have ever heard for someone trying to talk folks out of moving to Florida half the year.

It is only 6 months! How often do people even see each other during the winter? It has to do with aggravation about something that traditionally goes on at Christmas, as most folks hardly see each other from November to March in cold climates. Just how often do you traditionally "hang out?"

Also, this can't be about concern re: health issues . . . as OP stated that the snowbirds SKI. I am not even 65 and I have given up skiing so that tells me . . . the snowbirds must be in darn good physical shape.

And finally, what on earth could be the big deal about people being gone 6 months out of the year as far as "missing out" on stuff with grandchildren? Kids are IN SCHOOL when they will be in Florida. Nobody sees their grandkids that often in the winter (unless part of this story has not been told, i.e., that the snowbirds do a LOT of babysitting, which is one of the reasons for all the angst).

If this couple is in good health, planning on being gone 1/2 the year, and OP is not having to pay for their comings and goings . . . what on earth could it possibly matter to him what his inlaws do?

Good grief.

There has to be more to this story than "trying to explain to adult children why their parents are going to be gone six months out of the year." Come on.

I think you've nailed it.

One other point. Many people where I live planned on being snowbirds. After being here for awhile they went back and sold their home and now live here full time.

Most snowbirds here drive. They don't fly here.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 06:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,577 posts, read 39,952,759 times
Reputation: 23707
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
I think you've nailed it.

....
add... OP might have 'Entitlement syndrome'. Caustic and debilitating for those with high expectations of what they expect others should be doing for THEM. Could also have an 'inheritance expectation' (nice home). Or.. it could just be an innocent, "Hey, I don't want change, and Mom and Pop's are forcing it on the entire family". BTDT... mom and pop's have dealt with a lot of change and have elected to take a voluntary reprieve. They may be back after giving it a rest.

I will guess that the snowbirds have worthwhile reasoning, and less than stellar results in the existing 'close-family-relationship' (probably been carrying more than their fair share).

Mid / long term separation may improve this relationship / expectation.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 07:32 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,628 posts, read 13,890,892 times
Reputation: 2770
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
I think you've nailed it.

One other point. Many people where I live planned on being snowbirds. After being here for awhile they went back and sold their home and now live here full time.

Most snowbirds here drive. They don't fly here.
A lot of snowbirds travel in Motorhomes and fifth wheels., I am one of them, headed for Tucson Thursday, from2 months in Las Cruces, NM .
 
Old 02-03-2015, 09:49 PM
 
6,971 posts, read 3,867,910 times
Reputation: 14857
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
Boy my question really has struck some raw nerves. It makes me wonder why some people are responding so nastily. AS I said I am not sticking my nose in this. I was asked my opinion once, gave it once and unless asked again (which is a good possibility) I will say nothing.

I was raised in a family where if you had kids, you always did as much as you could for them. Not to say that you gave up your entire life but you did what you could. Quite frankly I believe that if you don't believe this, you should not even have kids. My father did a lot for my kids and as a result he had a wonderfully close loving relationship with them. I have an unmarried elderly aunt who is the same way and my kids still have a close relationship with her. They are her pride and joy. They even go out of their way to visit or call her regularly in their busy lives. On DW's side is my MIL who is very selfish. She never talks to my kids or any of her grandchildren because they don't fit into her life. If they pick up the phone when she calls she never talks to them, just says "Where is your mother?" How DW and her siblings turned out to be so giving is a miracle given the example she set. Then again they clearly saw her flaws and deliberately did the opposite. And why my kids still call her is also beyond me. It might be the example my father and aunt set.

The other thing that makes me wonder is that the family members I wrote about had the same situation we did. One side was close and loving and the other distant and selfish. They always commented how grateful they were to have at least one grandparent close to their kids. Now they are doing the same thing as the parent who is not close. I wonder if they realize this? Do they really think they can have a close relationship with their grandkids from over a thousand miles away or 6 months a year. What events in their grandkids lives are they going to miss (first words, first days of school, first baseball game, etc.)? If there was a chance of their kids moving it would be one thing but as I said both are pretty well settled where they are nearby. There is always a chance but that is kind of remote at this point. Jay
Well, i guess it's kind of just too bad for you that these two particular people, being of sound mind, wish to make changes in the way they live without your approval even if their plans don't meet your vision of what they should be. You, and whatever family members you believe you represent, better get used to it - it's not all about you.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 09:50 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,482,868 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
I kind of agree with both sides. However, I do not think it is ever fair for older retirees who move away to guilt the family into visiting them. THEY moved away. So if they cannot afford to travel up when they are the ones who have unlimited time on their hands that is just too bad. Families are on very very tight budgets, often times we only get 2 weeks of vacation. What if the grandkids don't want to visit grandparents every single year in a retirement community...
But apparently it's OK for the family to guilt the parents into staying somewhere in retirement they no longer wish to live, right?

Here's a news-flash for you. Not all retirees are rich so lots of travel with their unfettered time may not be an option or perhaps their health may preclude it and have something to do with their move.

Yessirree! "THEY moved away." Now how dare they spend their retirement years in a place they wish to be after having earned the privilege with many years of work during which time they also provided for their clearly ungrateful spawn. The utter audacity of them.

Gardener34, I sincerely hope you copied that post of yours and put it somewhere for safe keeping. That way, when the time comes for you to retire, you can haul it out, read it and perhaps see how unrealistic and controlling it is.

And here's a hint. Very often the children have to move away from the parents because their jobs require it or finding a new job becomes necessary. What then? Are they going to pay for the parents/retirees to move too?

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 02-03-2015 at 10:04 PM..
 
Old 02-03-2015, 10:22 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,838 posts, read 18,855,957 times
Reputation: 33746
As I said before I don't think the OP is necessarily being selfish. Everyone I knew whose parents left New England and moved to Florida resented the move. No more family Thanksgivings and Christmases, that was the big complaint. No, they were not looking for free babysitters and no, they didn't want to go to Disneyworld instead.
They simply wanted the whole family to be together. They also wanted to be nearby if a parent needed help.

One story: A cousin (whose mother had a condo in the deep south) received a phone call from her mother's neighbor--Come and get your mother! She seems to have Alzheimer's!

My cousin had to take a leave of absence from her job and go clear out her mother's condo, figure out what to get rid of and what to keep, ship a lot of the furniture up here to storage, and fly her mother back north and get her into assisted living. Whew. People who move south, away from family often think they will be young and strong forever but it's not the case. When they are in a weakened state it falls upon the adult children who were left behind to take up the slack.

In my own case, I didn't mind so much when my parents rented a place for three winter months and then came home to their new, small New England home. I was happy for them, but I did get concerned when they bought a home in Florida and left here in the fall, not returning until spring. I was the one who got the worrying phone calls. I was the one who worried. I was finally the one who told my mother to get my dad on a train and get back home--somehow.

(I was also the one who could not afford the time and money to fly to Florida for Christmas every year. Thank goodness I had dh's parents to spend the holiday with and they had stayed around.)

Once my mother got my dad back here, I was still working but the difference between 1/2 hour's drive and a trip to Florida was enormous. I could go over there at night after work, I could stay on weekends, I did their yard work and grocery shopping. I or dh could run over there if one of them fell.

So I guess I am in favor of people retiring and being snowbirds for part of the year and enjoying themselves as long as everyone realizes that it's not forever. At some point they will require help. They'd better have a place to come home to--or else they'd better have some plans in place to pay for the help they will need in Florida or wherever they have moved to. Their adult children will worry about them and not be available to help but if that is their choice, then that's the way it is. It's not perfect but nothing is.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:34 PM
 
1,774 posts, read 1,835,805 times
Reputation: 2701
I do think it would be annoying if snowbird grandparents expected the kids and grandkids to go visit them in Florida regularly.
However, I haven't heard of that happening too much.
 
Old 02-03-2015, 10:38 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,991,339 times
Reputation: 20072
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
As we planned to retire out of state, my friends and family (no kids) started to complain and ask why we couldn't stay in CA where they were. What could possibly lure us away from the loving family that we spent about 4 days per year with (Birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and summer BBQ)? Gee, I don't know!!! Maybe because in a cheaper state we could afford to live a wonderful life we could only imagine up to this point, and explore a new part of the country where we haven't "been there, done that" a hundred times. Of course we miss them, but it is just not anyone's job to live their life to please other people. I'm going to repeat that in caps: NOT ANYBODY'S JOB TO LIVE TO PLEASE OTHERS.

Again, it's only 6 months out of the year, so what's the big deal? I'm sure everyone will survive without them somehow for 6 months. If they "push" you to visit them, (I think the word is "invite") you can just say "no". They can just say "no" to you when you ask them to stay in Frostbite Falls.

Everyone is responsible for their own life, and I'm sure, at their age, they don't need someone to "explain the issues they may face" to them. Somehow they've managed all these years without your very important wisdom. Tell their children it's okay to feel sad that they are leaving for a few months, but it's NOT ALL ABOUT THEM. After they have worked for 40 years and would like to live the life they have probably been dreaming about for many years...who the heck are you and their kids to try and guilt them out of it. You talk a lot about how you were raised, and how parents' job is not done when their kids turn 21, etc. That's great that YOU feel that way. They apparently feel differently and they are just as entitled to feel however they feel, and to live their lives based upon THEIR values, not yours.

Amen. I read the OP's post when I was riding the bus to my volunteer gig and could hardly wait to respond.

I moved away from home at 22 as my choices were positions that would pay minimum wage in the Midwest or good paying jobs in Texas or the East Coast. I never did move to the hometown as the pay scale offered was so low compared to other jobs in the Midwest.

When we retired, we had decided to get out of the Chicago suburbs. Family members EXPECTED us to move closer to home but we ended up moving to Arizona. All the years that we lived in the Midwest, even as close as two to four hours away, we were always the "AWAY" team. Family members would drive right past our place while heading on vacation and never visit. We decided that if we were always going to be the "AWAY" team that we would choose where we wanted to live. We will travel to the Midwest for a month each year and for important events.

I found the OP's post to be objectionable. The parents are going down to Florida for six months a year to get out of the cold. My goodness, don't you think that they deserve a little relief in their old age? Heck, most of my older relatives would do better down in Arizona where they can walk everyday in sunshine that fighting the snow and ice. Isn't six months enough?

I think that a lot of this resentment may revolve around expectations that the children have of their parents ... child care, financial support and the like. One of my friends related a story. His daughter needed to move out of her apartment in NYC and asked if she could use it for four months until the parents return. The parents said sure. Two days later, they get a call from the daughter. Daughter asks the parents who the refrigerator was empty. Response". "Dear, don't you realize that we are going to be gone for SIX months?"
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