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To relocate or not?

(64 Posts)
TenaciousB Fri 17-May-19 07:03:24

Hi, I’ve got a difficult decision I’m struggling with so would appreciate appreciate anyones advice or words of wisdom.
I live with my husband in a beautiful part of the country, it is a safe village, we have friends here and good neighbours and an extra small income from a holiday let in our garden. My problem is we live 600 miles away from our son and grandchildren and as we age I am becoming increasingly worried about one of us being left on our own miles away from our family. Do we give up our life here to move closer to them? We have found an area closer to them that we love the look of, with better transport links than we have here and I’m thinking we would be better there as we age as we may not always have a car. (The buses here are about every two hours!) It is also a warmer climate so that may be beneficial as we get older too. (We live in the Highlands of Scotland and are looking at the South of England). We are in our early 60’s so have time to make a life for ourselves down there but I’m also frightened about giving up all that we have here in case we regret it. Also I am struggling seeing all my friends having regularly contact with their families and I only see mine once or twice a year. Thank you in advance for any advice.

Jaffacake2 Fri 17-May-19 07:18:32

Maybe the question to ask yourself is would I regret missing my grandchildren childhood years more than I would miss friends ? Children change so quickly and I would find it sad not to be part of their lives. You could always visit friends or have them to stay.
Sounds as though it would be a positive move,better transport,warmer weather and near family. It's hard making changes though isn't it ?

NanKate Fri 17-May-19 07:47:29

This is a tricky one but you are sensible to consider the situation now.

I have known a number of my friends move to be nearer their families only to find as the grandchildren grow up the grandparents are not needed so much and their adult children lead such busy lives that they don’t see them as much as anticipated.

My suggestion is to rent somewhere near your family and try it out before committing yourselves.

Finally do make a list of things you must have eg to be near a bus service, within easy reach of the doctors and some shops etc.

Best of luck whatever decision you make.

Nannytopsy Fri 17-May-19 08:03:23

Our house is for sale in order that we can make just such a move. The difference is that we are moving from a city, where we know people but don’t have many deep friendships, to a village near to our son. Our own “Escape to the Country”!

Missfoodlove Fri 17-May-19 08:33:32

Could you let your property for 6 months and test the water?

Niobe Fri 17-May-19 08:36:57

We moved from Glasgow to London to me nearer our son and his wife about 3 1/2 years ago. We now have a 1 year old grandson who we look after 1 or 2 days a week and he is the joy of our lives!
The move from Scotland to the south is expensive but the weather is wonderful and I actually enjoy my gardening now! My husband is now 75 and finds that the climate is much kinder for his joints and this means he is more active than in Scotland .
Our previous house in a Glasgow suburb was served by one bus an hour and we hear that that is now under threat of closure. Had we not moved south we would have had to consider a move now anyway. Here we have 2 buses every 6-8 mins. We miss our friends but we are up in Scotland several times a year and we have slowly made new friends here.
Remember that the day will come ( but not soon hopefully) when one of you is left alone and it is easier to move and settle in a new place as a couple than as a newly widowed man or woman.

Teetime Fri 17-May-19 08:55:40

TenaciousB we are in a similar position at the moment and although our daughter lives 120 miles away its a trek and it means I cant share everyday things like shopping or a lunch with her and I see everyone else with their family around them so we are researching areas near her at the moment. I would say do lots of research and only buy something that's perfect or near perfect for you - its not really the time for compromises as you will be making so many anyway - you need the right property for you. Good Luck

Luckygirl Fri 17-May-19 09:04:38

I am sure you will do all the relevant research; but that does not stop your children themselves relocating for whatever reason a few years down the line.

We moved from a tiny village where we had lived for many years - only about 5 miles away - as we both needed to be in a bungalow. None available in the village so we had to move on to what is a beautiful bungalow with splendid garden - everyone admires it and our view. BUT......I so miss the previous village; the community of friends and organisations into which I was so embedded. All my social life is still there - I drive over all the time when there is a carer here for OH.

Do not underestimate how much you might miss your former life.

seacliff Fri 17-May-19 09:17:43

A few points to ponder :- I'm assuming that you discussed this possibility with your son and family? Are they very encouraging and supportive. Will they have time to see you on a regular basis? Many adult children have such very busy lives.

Do you think they are settled where they live? It would be awful to move near them, then a couple of years later, a new job offer or similar, means they move away from you.

I can see it would be good to be closer, but you are giving up a lot, so need to be clear what life will really be like after the move.

Would you both/or either of you, join local groups to make a new social life. Check out what's available near you - U3A, drama groups etc etc. It will be hard to replace long term friends.

Not sure how old your grandchildren are. If young, would you be helping with them on a regular basis if you were near? As they get older they usually have so much going on, you may not see them that much.

I would really consider at least a 6 month rental in the proposed area. Cheaper than making a mistake you can't then reverse. Good luck.

MawBroonsback Fri 17-May-19 09:19:36

I think if you are going to do it, you need to plan to make the move while you still have each other and are in reasonable health.
Making a new social life in a strange community without heavy reliance on your son and DIL will be easier as a couple.
The other advantages you note are important too, transport, weather etc. Ease of visiting whether for pleasure or in an emergency should not be ignored.
My parents lived in the Scottish Borders and it took me 7 hours driving plus any stops to get to them when they were ill or needed me. In the same way they were never able to “help out” with their grandchildren in the way my in laws could e.g. when I had our third baby.
I am resisting making a move to be nearer my daughters since losing PawBroon (1 1/2 hours in both directions) as I think it would be much harder on my own and the distances are doable at least for the time being. My friends are here, but they will also age and may move nearer their children.
It is not going to be easy for you and I wish you the very best in your deliberations!

lemongrove Fri 17-May-19 09:57:04

Hi tenaciousB we did exactly what you are pondering on when we were roughly the same age as you.
It was absolutely the right thing to do, we loved where we were but hardly saw the family and it was expensive for them with petrol to visit us.
We relocated to the South East (ish) where all our family live, and chose a very large village near to various towns, with a good bus service and some amenities, and are extremely happy.
Friends come and stay with us, and we go and stay with them.

Floradora9 Fri 17-May-19 10:03:18

Questions to ask.
Will there be a chance of your son moving ?
Are you the kind of people who join things and make friends easily .
You will find the change in location strange people are very different from those you know now . ( No slur on the south )
Think of how difficult it will be to visit your old friends in the Highlands .
You will miss the activity of letting out your holiday let . We did B & B in the highlands and loved all the different people we met .

I regret leaving old friends when we moved 19 years ago . Although we moved almost back home I pine for our last home and life . Do make sure to make younger friends so many of ours have died since we moved here .

Jacqui1956 Fri 17-May-19 10:12:08

We live in the middle of the Northumberland National Park in a small village, no shops, no school and no public transport, we are 45mins drive
from shops. Our daughter, son in law and grandchildren live in Cambridgeshire. It’s a 5hr drive, we have considered moving but as you will all know there’s a bit of a north south divide as far as house prices go! We could easily afford a house in Cambridgeshire but not the large detached surrounded by fields that we have at the moment. I think it would be a semi in a housing estate! Lol
I digress, when we discussed it with our family whilst they would love us nearer to them they pointed out that they love coming to Northumberland, it’s home to them. They enjoy the walk to the village pub where everyone knows them. The grandchildren have fields, a stream, lambs, frogs etc to explore.
I had a friend moved to be beside her children in London, they were there 5yrs and moved back. The children had their own lives, the grandchildren grew up and didn’t need them any longer. Yeh the weathers better in the south but not always the quality of life. I love visiting my family but after a week we are ready to come back to empty roads and rural life. I think you can have the best of both worlds. However I do think the suggestions of maybe renting and trying it for a few months is an excellent idea.

nannypiano Fri 17-May-19 10:17:59

I moved away from my two sons and families to retire to the sea side. When we lived close to each other they would pop in for the cuppa, stay for ten minutes and go again. After I moved, I didn't see them so often but it would be for a whole weekend because of the distance. Real quality time. I was there for seven years, but had to return because of ill health. One son is four miles away now and pops in for ten minutes now and then, usually once a week and the other is approx thirty miles away. I see him two hours once a month. Obviously both more if I do the travelling, which is getting difficult. So living closer, apart from emergencies is not that much more beneficial. Lives are so busy now and everyone looks forward to relaxing when they have spare time, so expecting to see more of family when living closer doesn't always work that way.

evianers Fri 17-May-19 10:22:33

We are in exactly the same position. Whether or not our advice will help is doubtful. However, we are in the throes of relocating from Evian-les-Bains in the beautiful Haute Savoie back to the UK after being absent for 44 years!!! How everything has changed in that time. But at 75 and 74 years old, both of us dread being left on our own [in a foreign country] so we are in the process of buying a property in Dorset. Our children live in Hertfordshire, but will be now in striking distance, whereas before it was a hurdle for them to come to France, and cope with the language difficulties. We are rising to the challenge. Many people have voiced the opinion that we must be mad! But the best advice is to listen carefully to what others have said, and follow your heart = you will know whether it is right or not.

sandelf Fri 17-May-19 10:29:07

We moved 5 years ago - Midlands to East Sussex. Pleasant surprise - it is much sunnier - unpleasant surprise - the roads are awful. People friendly, (house prices good at the moment). It is an upheaval and tiring, but you do have the chance to remake your life more as you would choose. And of course there are the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. In our case DH had a cancer diag and treatment the year following the move - some people seemed to suggest a sort of 'Oh if only you hadn't moved...' - What? It would not have happened? - Actually we were near a good centre and had 'the best'. It's a gamble but so is life - have a good look round, but I'd say go for it while you can.

dirgni Fri 17-May-19 10:37:53

Do it! We did a similar thing 4years ago and I have no regrets.

Eglantine21 Fri 17-May-19 10:44:15

My sister stayed in her village because she did not want to leave her friends and social life. The lack of shop and buses didn’t bother her. She could drive or walk the two miles to the nearest small town.

Eight years down the line most of the friends have moved, died or are busy with new grandchildren. The community she stayed for doesn’t exist anymore. She can no longer walk any distance or drive.

She is trying to sell the house and move closer to me and her son but is finding it incredibly stressful now she is older and unwell.

I think I’m saying, if you think you will need to do it at some point, do it now😁

GabriellaG54 Fri 17-May-19 10:46:45

I'd rent a place for a month in the area to which you are thinking of relocating.
Explore it and the local areas, theatres, libraries, shops, dentists, doctor surgeries (do they have a waiting list) hospitals etc.
Look at house prices and council tax charges plus average energy bills for the area and type of property you might purchase.
Are there hobbies you might want to pursue? Is there a good social scene?
Write a tick list and find out as much as you can. You don't jump into a ditch without first calculating it's depth.
Good luck. shamrocksmile

keffie Fri 17-May-19 10:47:10

If you do it you also need to build your own life too, separate from your families. You cant make them your all.

If you do you will be left wanting and lonely in a few years. Doing something new is always scary. Pros and cons lists are a good idea.

At the end of it it is questioning whether you will regret not doing it if you dont. Pro and con if can you live with the consequences if things dont work out. Thats where building your own life comes into it too

Lancslass1 Fri 17-May-19 10:55:33

Go for it,Tenacious B
I wouldn’t give it a second thought.
There are two excellent reasons for doing so -to be close to your family and also to be close to public transport ,hospitals and shops because as you say as you get older you may not be able or want to drive.
You can take a sleeper up to the highlands about this time of year when it is so beautiful if you feel like it.

Jayelld Fri 17-May-19 11:02:17

My D moved 10 years ago to a nearby town 15 miles away because of her husbands job and better schools for my 4 GC. I don't drive and the direct bus is every 2 hours and none in the afternoon until 6.15pm, Monday to Friday. Weekends its 2 buses x 3 hours, (I don't drive) or two trains x 2 hours and double the price.
After a fraught afternoon trying to get to do the school pick up because of unforseen problems, I'm now seriously considering moving to their town whereas before i would never have considered it. Times change and we need to change with it.
Have you considered moving closer, maybe an hours drive away so that you are still in dependant but closer, maybe in a rural small town or on the coast? Maybe go on holiday in and around the area, for weekends at different times of the year?
It's a huge step to take and I know I'm reluctant to move but can see the benefits. Hard, hard decisions ahead.

humptydumpty Fri 17-May-19 11:38:10

The obvious point is that you might make this big move only for your son's family to move away; even if he doesn't feel that to be the case now, circumstances change.

Having said that, you have outlined a number of reasons why this move might be good for you irrespective of your son, and if the time comes years down the line when these factors are serious, establishing a life in a new community may be much more difficult...

Megs36 Fri 17-May-19 11:38:20

Moving nearer family can be a minefield. The grandchildren grow up and don't need you in quite the same way or go miles away to uni . or other friends. Another consideration as I heard from friends who moved to be near their grown up 'children' is after a while the said children move themselves and everyone is back to square one.Only saying........

Nonnie Fri 17-May-19 12:11:46

Only skimmed the above so probably repeating, sorry. I agree with Missfood but would make it a year so you experience all seasons. Also easier to let out your house for a year.

We have had no problems moving but we hadn't been in one place for a long time.

You can fairly easily make new friends, I do so wouldn't worry about that. I would certainly future proof your choice of home. Ensure that you have good public transport, near to shops, somewhere where there are things going on which interest you.

If you decide to move make sure you have your own life so the family don't feel you depend on them.

Make it an adventure and never look back.