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Coast or Near family?

(54 Posts)
Willow73 Sun 27-Sep-20 12:09:20

Dilemma. I have always wanted to live at the coast and now have the chance. I now live near my grandchildren but only see them once a week. This is usually only when their parents have got nothing going on or they need an extra pair of hands.
Is it better having them to stay for a long weekend/week a few times a year or to have them local? I'm torn and wondered about other peoples experiences of this.

PamelaJ1 Sun 27-Sep-20 12:13:41

How far away from the GC is the coast?

sodapop Sun 27-Sep-20 13:26:32

If its something you have always wanted to do Willow I would go for it, I lived on the coast for many years and really miss it now. Would you be able to rent for a year or so to see of it all pans out. My grandchildren used to love visiting me at the seaside. Good luck.

Illte Sun 27-Sep-20 13:29:39

I'd recommend renting over the Winter to see if you really like it.
I was brought up on the coast and we had a constant trail of people who retired to our village and then found living there was very different from the dream.

Which coast are you thinking of?

Ellianne Sun 27-Sep-20 13:29:44

Option 1.

Willow73 Mon 28-Sep-20 08:39:37

My grandchildren would be about 2-3 hours away from us.
It sounds like a good idea to sell and rent but would worry that if it didn't work out I wouldn't be able to afford a property where I live now to come back to. I love the Dorset coast and have been there nearly every year.

Gingster Mon 28-Sep-20 08:46:50

We have a cottage by the sea and share our time between our house in a town , where most of my family and friends live. We are always thinking we will live permanently at our cottage, as we love it there so much. BUT and it is a big but, home is where your heart is.

Maggiemaybe Mon 28-Sep-20 09:21:04

It’s difficult to comment without knowing how close your family is and how old the children are.

I’d love to go back to the coast where I was brought up, but our lot all live fairly local to us bang in the middle of the country. We see our children and grandchildren all the time, and I’d miss that so much more than I miss the sea (which is a lot!).

As Illte wisely points out, another consideration is that living on the coast is very different from experiencing it as a visitor. Best wishes to you whatever your decision is.

Juicylucy Mon 28-Sep-20 10:00:32

I would definitely go for it, it sounds like you would have more quality time with them when they visit. Even tho my dd lived in Australia when I went every year we had 5 glorious weeks of family time, more so than when she lived on my doorstep. Also I think you have to do what your heart desires as our children do.

LilyJ Mon 28-Sep-20 10:17:49

Regarding your dream to move to the coast...... do it for sure! We have just returned to the coast after 3 years away, we wake up every day with the joy of a sea view with the ever changing sea, calm, choppy or huge storms. We have paddled in the sea and had numerous sessions in our new inflatable kayak with our grandchildren . The beach and cliff walks..... it’s our dream.
Reference g/c, I always recall chatting with a young student who when asked about her relationships with her GP, told me that although she loved the GP’s who lived at the end of her road and adored spending regular times with them ...she loved the other set just as much, as their half term and holiday visits were always full of exciting adventures beside the sea and were something they looked forward to for weeks. Go with your heart ❤️

hazel93 Mon 28-Sep-20 10:21:02

As someone about to build our retirement home in Cornwall I totally understand your dilemma !
I see my family regularly being in the "social bubble ". Absolutely adore them !
That said it is now our time , will I miss them - hugely - will they visit at every opportunity - no question !!
Go for it.

nipsmum Mon 28-Sep-20 10:24:12

I would advise you to do what is right for you. Grandchildren grow up very quickly. They go to school and you can only see them at weekends. As they get to be teenagers you see even less of them. I expect you intend to make a permanent move so think long term not short term.

NemosMum Mon 28-Sep-20 10:28:45

Don't want to pour cold water over your idea, but research indicates that people are very bad at imagining themselves in 15 years. Will you have access to good services within walking distance; is there a good hospital with a good bus service; will you be able to pursue your hobbies and interests where you plan to live; what if one of you needed care services? If you have those bases covered, then go for it, but think very carefully. We moved to an old farmhouse in a village near a particularly beautiful bay, then it became obvious that my husband had early-onset dementia (57). Oh, and he also got cancer. Actually, we were only a few miles from a good hospital, but it might as well have been on the moon if we'd had to rely on public transport! We had to move back to the city, but not until he'd finished his chemo, and it was an absolute nightmare moving with a husband with dementia. I loved our farmhouse by the sea, but I realise that it was a risky move, and I wouldn't do it again. Why don't you rent in Dorset?

Milliemabel Mon 28-Sep-20 10:33:29

If it was me I'd go for it! Personally, I'd much prefer quality time and be able to make happy memories, that will stay with the children throughout life, which you'd get if they came for hols by the sea, compared to visits where you can't really do many fun things.
I lived a 3 hour drive from my grandparents who lived by the sea and I have literally idolised them throughout my life. Visiting them was very 'Famous Five' esque and absolutely magical.

RoseLily1 Mon 28-Sep-20 10:34:55

There are other things to consider as well - you would be leaving your friends and local interests behind as well as your family. I know it is possible to make more friends if you are a sociable person but new friends don't have the same 'history' with you as the ones you have now. Of course, if you are part of a couple this doesn't apply quite so much, but your post sort of sounds as if you would be going by yourself. Just a thought, but good luck anyway, whatever you decide to do!

Jillybird Mon 28-Sep-20 10:48:27

So I have been where you are pretty much. At 65 I moved out of a boring suburban town to the coast. I love it here. My neighbours are wonderful. As someone else has said, the sea is ever changing and even the huge winds are bracing and make you feel alive. I can invite friends and family to stay (correction - could) and there are always restaurants and cafes to go to and places to explore.

However. My grandchildren are growing up. They are now 16 and 13. They have lots of friends and busy school lives and 'stuff' to do. They are less keen to visit the beach. Their lives are more vital and exciting elsewhere. They're not so keen on sand. It's a long way to come. An example of last weekend, my son brought the two girls to see me as I haven't seen any of them since May (my birthday). It takes an hour and three quarters if the traffic is OK for them to get to me. We went to a very nice restaurant for an open air lunch by the sea. It was truly a lovely experience. The almost thirteen year old then looked at her watch; "Oh Dad, the time is getting on. When do you think we might be back?" It turned out my son thought the child's friend was coming for the evening when she was in fact scheduled to arrive at five pm. So they piled into the car and drove two hours home.

I don't resent it, old as I am, I can still remember that my friends were so much more important than my grandmother. The girls are loving and charming when they are with me.

The other consideration is that their mother, my DiL, has parents way further away than I am. Three hours drive if you're lucky. So both were quite ill. Neither could help the other. DIL was frantic. Later she called me and said she'd been continually attempting to get them to move without success, but it was selfish of them to stay so far away when it was a three hour drive for her to get to them. (She works full time as well as being a mum to the girls and my disabled grandson). She finished by saying "And you're only just reachable". As I get increasingly arthritic I do wonder if it's time to move back inland.

The last point won't necessarily apply to you, but I bought a pretty little three storey house. Now I'm so arthritic I'm struggling with the stairs. I shall have to find a bungalow in the next few years - but here, where I am now and have made good friends and feel part of the community, or nearer to my two sons who might want to assist their mother in her dotage...

It's a dilemma. I hope my experience helps. Let us know what you choose.

Barrygirl Mon 28-Sep-20 10:48:45

I did it! After a lot of thought and discussion. My daughter reminded me that she couldn't guarantee that she would stay near me if I didn't move ... so I did it, two years ago and lo and behold, six months later ... her job took her away permanently as well. We live a long way from each other as it happens, but the internet and visits (when we are not in lockdown as I am at the moment) make up for it.
Best move I ever, ever made! Go for it ....

Annanan Mon 28-Sep-20 10:49:36

I would echo the sentiments of the writer who pointed out that what we can cope with when we are relatively young retired is quite different from what we need when we are older. My mother moved to Rye, which is a delightful place but full of cobbles and hills. She developed a very painful knee which had to be replaced and eventually became totally housebound, dependent on family and friends who could help her with shopping, medical visits et cetera. It blighted the final years of her life and made her into a very unhappy and bitter person, although her house in itself was absolutely wonderful.

Jillybird Mon 28-Sep-20 10:53:49

NemosMum I agree with your thoughts. I did exactly what you suggest when I moved - checked out all local facilities - hospital 15 minute drive, shops, chemist and post office easy walking distance. Hospital is now about to be closed
(that's part of how I made so many friends here as we fight to keep it open...) Buses here are very good, but there are threats to the service for economy...

The best laid plans, eh?

Grammaretto Mon 28-Sep-20 11:01:53

Willow I'm watching your answers with interest because it has been a dream of mine too!
As I get older though I realise that the dreams I have are just that - dreams. If I was really dead set on living by the sea, I surely would have managed it by now.
My In-laws lived by the sea for years. They ran a B&B and it was wonderful to stay with them send the kids for their holidays but eventually they moved back to nearer the city and are still living a few miles from us. They were in a lovely coastal town but I don't think they went on the beach much themselves. The sea water meant repainting the house frequently too.
We are only an hour from some lovely beaches so I could get my fix quite often.
No, I think to be available and within reach of your family is the kindest thing to do.
I will need to downsize but I think it will be a local move.
into the cemetery

rowyn Mon 28-Sep-20 11:03:24

I see your point about not being able to afford to buy later if you rent for a while first. If you buy you can always sell later.

Another point - summer could be just as much a challenge as winter, when hordes of visitors descend on the area.

All anyone can do is raise points for you to consider, but only you can make the decision. It would be my dream to be by the sea, but as its never going to happen, I can at least be thankful that I don't have to agonise over a similar decision!

Quaver22 Mon 28-Sep-20 11:03:36

You say you are afraid that if the move doesn’t work out you won’t be able to afford to buy a property where you are living now.
Have you considered renting a property in Dorset at the same time as renting out your present home for a year or so? You would then be keeping your options open.

Hawera1 Mon 28-Sep-20 11:10:27

We moved to.be near to our children. We lived in my favourite part of the country in New Zealand. I'm not sure we made the right decision as our son who encouraged us to.move talks about moving away. The moral of the story is do what you want as you only have limited years left. Our kids won't think twice about moving where they want to.with out a second thought. You could rent your house out rather than sell and rent on the coast. That way you havent burnt your bridges. Then you have more time to.decide if it's for you. After saying I don't know if we should have moved I.nearly died two years ago and with out the great health care here I would of if I'd been up north. Perhaps we did make the right decision. You do need to look ahead at services and hospitals. I don't know how old you are but I was-only 62'

CrazyGrandma2 Mon 28-Sep-20 11:11:27

Lived 40 yrs+ by the sea and then moved to be closer to the family. Loved living by the sea but also love living near to the family and it's not all about GC. If we had to choose our current location would win hands down.
Do think long and hard about what your needs will be in 5-10 years time - transport, shops etc. Good luck with your decision.

greatmama Mon 28-Sep-20 11:12:42

We got the chance to move to Torquay over 20 years ago. I refused to move at first but was gradually persuaded by my husband. We left behind a 5 year old granddaughter and my son who had recently split up from his wife. I missed them really badly, particularly my granddaughter who, I think, needed me during the difficult period between her mum and dad. I felt terrible guilt and sadness for some time BUT we also had some amazing good times which will live with us all for ever. They would visit often and we spent many, many hours on the beaches and round and about. Happy, happy days that my granddaughter still talks about. It's a real dilemma. Is it best to just be able to pop in and see your children/grandchildren or to have lovely times in a place you all enjoy? My granddaughter is 28 now and has just had a baby of her own. And ... we've moved back. My son moved away but it's nice to be able to spend time with my granddaughter and other family members who are now within easy reach. I guess it's all a question of balance but if you don't do it, you'll always wonder what it would have been like. I miss the sea like crazy by the way - and all the wonderful friends I met in Devon. Can't have it all ways I guess! Good luck in making your choice!