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Old 03-31-2007, 04:33 PM
LML LML started this thread
Location: Wisconsin
7,110 posts, read 8,117,377 times
Reputation: 5160


Okay, here's my problem......and I have to believe it is shared by others at my stage of life. Where I now live I can not afford to retire. It is too expensive and my SS and IRAs are not large enough to allow me to live in any real comfort. HOWEVER, I live 6 blocks from my beloved grandchildren and am a very active part of their lives. They are 8 and 11. Now, I could move to a less expensive area and retire. While I could not live "high on the hog" I could live a comfortable life. But then I would only see my grandchildren on rare occasions and would no longer be part of their daily lives. I really do not like the idea of continuing to work for the next 10 years until the youngest goes to college. But I do not like the idea of missing out on so much of their lives....I really love our time together. Have others of you faced this choice and how have you handled it?
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:07 PM
476 posts, read 1,014,993 times
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Default One grandchild's perspective


I'm amazed how as people mature, the decisions just get tougher. I always imagined retirement would be a breeze.
This may not be the least bit helpful but I grew up across the street from my maternal grandparents. My parents eventually moved to other homes but were always 20 min away. My grandparents attended my games and school plays. They were there for birthdays. After having gone to college out of state, lived out of the country etc, I still talk to my grandparents on the phone once or twice a week. Some people don't talk to their own parents that often! Sometimes I stay with them, rather than my parents, when I visit home. I wouldn't trade that closeness for anything. It also made me appreciate a depth to my parents, knowing where they came from and the people they were before I was born.
At the other extreme, my paternal grandparents lived in Kenya. I saw them once my entire life. The only things I know about them are stories from aunts and uncles.
One of my co-workers has her grandchildren out of state. She sees her grandchildren on family holidays only. Part of that is because both she and her children and busy working. I'm not sure how many long weekends or visits your finances would allow if you chose to move. Perhaps your grandchildren could spend parts of their winter vacations or summers with you. That closeness won’t necessarily disappear just because of geography. It will just require more planning.
Sounds like you need to find an affordable place to live to truly enjoy your retirement. Your grandchildren wouldn’t want you to be uncomfortable and struggle (how much fun would you really be then)? Whatever you decide, your grandchildren are going to continue to love you.
Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:14 PM
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,258,424 times
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Is there a possibility of building an in-law suite on to your child's home? Then, you could sell your home, help contribute to theirs, and see the grands every day.
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:21 PM
LML LML started this thread
Location: Wisconsin
7,110 posts, read 8,117,377 times
Reputation: 5160
Thanks so much for your kind responses. I really don't know if there is an easy answer to this kind of problem....maybe no real answer at all. When I talked with my daughter today about it she suggested that they sell their home, I sell mine, and we all move to Costa Rica. I think she was just either kidding or day dreaming. Can't imagine that such a thing would work. But maybe I'll see if there may be a smaller, less expensive area nearby where I could at least see the grandkids weekly if not daily. I wish I were richer but I lost my husband at an early age and raised 3 kids by myself...didn't leave a lot for planning for the future. Guess what. The future came anyway.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Location: San Diego
46 posts, read 131,955 times
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Default Thanks callsnap

I live in sunny So Cal this past 30 years and am a young 56 ha ha ha. I am planning on relocating to Charlotte NC to be near my granddaughter and those people she lives with (dd and sil). I had wonderful grandparents and appreciated them so very much and still miss them on a very regular basis. I am starting to get anxious about the move and the changes in my life but I so want to give our Anna-Banana the love I have waiting to give her. She is a wonderful 15 mos old on the 7th.

DD and Sil are receptive to the move and I am so excited. I cannot afford to retire here.

Thank you for the reassurance that I needed this Sunday night. I know the intention is what I want but the challenge of doing it is daunting.

You are a very lucky woman and those grandparents are the best!!


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Old 04-01-2007, 10:01 PM
Location: Prospect, KY
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We would love to live close to our grandchildren but unfortunately they live in Phoenix where the weather and allergens make it impossible for us live there. It makes us very sad that we only see them 4 or 5 times a year.
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:45 AM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,911,567 times
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Maybe you could get a parttime job in addition to your 401k and SS, one that's little stress and more fun, so that you could continue to live near them.

I know I struggle with this too though I don't have and grands as yet. My son lives in a very expensive place, and I have no money after my divorce and taking care of my mother in a place where it's impossible to find a job. I'm hoping I'll be welcomed as the live-in house organizer and childraiser when the time comes as they both work.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:28 AM
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Hi LML, thanks for raising a topic that is like an elephant in the room in my life. My husband and I have three children and the only grandchildren (so far) are 14 hours away, down in GA. We are quickly approaching retirement and are trying to understand where we would best be happy. We both love the shore and so have tentatively decided to move down to northern Florida, where we could be 5hrs away from my daughter's family in case of emergencies...and would have a beach home to enjoy vacations with the family. Only problem is, that it keeps nagging at us that we would like to be more helpful to that GA familly (they struggle and could use a little help with the kids)...I'm not feeling positive vibes that they would like us to live so close. They have suggested it in jest, but my instincts tell me that my daughter, husband and I would struggle together. Oh well, I'm following the posts to see how anyone resolves this. I'm thinking we will just move to FLA, but then I hear my grandchildren (5&3) saying, Grandma Honey, can we see you tomorrow? I'm thinking I will just have to have them for periods over the summer and on holidays. Good luck in working out your dilemma.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:41 AM
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,911,600 times
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This seems so much a case by case situation. Growing up, my 3 grandparents lived within easy commuting distance or in the summer close enough that I could spend a week or so with them and no one was stretched to take me to their farm. They were 3 of the most important people in my life.

Now that I am in this stage of life, it seems everyone, including me, are on the move and families are widely (geographically) separated.

I haven't figured out how to solve my personal needs to be up North, and my desire to be an active player in my grandchildren's life.

This year I only saw my grand-daughter once.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:02 AM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,958,968 times
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I call and talk to my grandchildren often - I send them silly, funny animated emails (which they love), always a little gift or a card with a few dollars for Valentine's, Easter, their birthday, Christmas. We visit them at Thanksgiving, they come out for a week during the summer and often at Spring break - we visit every summer. That is as good as it is going to get unfortunately....until we retire - we will have the time to visit more often.

One important point I'd like to make - my life is centered around my husband not my grandchildren - I love my grandchildren very, very much but my husband and I are happily and romantically married and are the centers of each other's lives. Men typically don't live as long as women and he is 5 years older, so I want to have lots of fun time with him - travel, entertain, spend daily time together (some of that time will be visiting our children and grandchildren)....my #1 priority is my husband.

Last edited by Cattknap; 04-02-2007 at 09:12 AM..
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