DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: After my husband retires later this year, we intend to sell our house and move closer to one of our children. We are lucky in that we have excellent relationships with both our daughters, and they are both vying to get us to move near their families. One lives in the far suburbs of Chicago, and one is in Coastal South Carolina, where we also have some very good friends who moved there over recent years.
It has not been an easy process to decide which of our daughters we want to live near. Both have young families, and we would finally get to be more a part of their lives than just at the holidays and summer vacations. We currently still live in New Hampshire, in the house where we raised our children, and so it’s fairly complicated to visit either family so long as my husband is working.
My husband wants to make the move to Chicago. He has always been closer to the daughter who lives there. I am more inclined to pick South Carolina, because for one thing, the weather is much milder all year round, and more importantly I think the daughter who lives there would be more able to handle any issues that go along with aging parents, when or if the time comes.
Our daughter in the Mid-West loves us just as much, but is already handling some difficult situations with her work and personal life, which my husband thinks we could help her with.
I really don’t know which way to go. It would be nice to have both friends and family around, which we would in South Carolina, but it would also be nice to be where we might be of more use right now.
How do we decide where to go next? --- ON THE FENCE
DEAR ON THE FENCE: Yours is not an easy nor enviable decision to make. It sounds like you and your husband have done a lot of weighing of pros and cons, and it’s a good sign you’re working together to make this decision.
I think a consideration that might help tip the scale one way or the other is if you temporarily take your daughters out of the equation — hard as that may be to do — and honestly admit which part of the country you’d be more inclined to pick if it were up to just your and your husband’s preferences. Is one better aligned with your idea of a “dream” retirement, where you’d get more bang for your retirement income and hopefully find the lifestyle you both could get used to? Does one area afford enough on its own to entice you to stick around, even if your family members were to move away?
Whichever one you pick, you’ll have the added bonus of being near one of your daughters, and hopefully you’ll still be able to afford to spend time with the other more often than you’re in a position to do currently.