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Should You Move Closer to Your Grandchildren?

Points to Consider About Moving Near the Grandkids

Grandparents playing with grandchild

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If you're thinking of relocating to be closer to the grandkids, you're not alone. These days, families are more geographically separate than ever before and it's not unusual for adult children to settle a significant distance away from their parents.

It's natural to want to live closer to your grandchildren, especially if your adult child has indicated they want the help. Grandparents playing with grandchild. However, there are a few things you should consider before deciding to make a move that would involve uprooting a life you've built as well.

Here are a few points to consider:

How settled is your adult child?

Is your adult child really committed to staying where they are now? Have they bought a house and are their kids established in the school system? Do they or their spouse have a job that requires periodic relocations? You don't want to uproot your entire life to be closer to them, only to have them move again in a few years.

How willing are you to provide childcare?

This may not be the case for every family. But for many adult children, a parent relocating to the area could be seen as an ideal source of free childcare. This could be a great thing to you or it could be a hassle, depending on your own expectations and ability to provide care.

Before moving, talk to your adult child to make sure you're on the same page about childcare, and ensure that they are relatively settled and won't be moving again soon.

How resourceful are you willing to be in building a new life?

You might think that if you move to be closer to kids and grandkids, you'll have access to an immediate sense of belonging after all, your family is all right there.

However, bear in mind that your adult children will have busy lives of their own, and it may not be as easy as you think to integrate yourself into their lives. You may find yourself needing to create an independent life of your own as well. Expect to be willing to create your own friendships and support networks and don't expect your adult children and grandkids to deliver the only sense of closeness and belonging you need.

Can you afford the move?

Moving is expensive and the area of the country where your kids and grandkids live may be more or less expensive than where you live now.

If you've chosen your retirement area carefully only to be tempted to move elsewhere to be close to the grandkids, consider how this will affect your financial picture. What is the tax situation, real estate prices, and cost of living like for retirees?

Will you have the same access to healthcare?

If you're retired and in good health, having access to good healthcare may not be as important now but as you age, it will become more so. Do your adult children live in an area with good healthcare options? Would you be close to a hospital and have access to specialists if needed?

In summary, whether or not it's a good idea to move depends a lot on your individual situation and that of your adult children. But consider how good the new location would be as a retirement spot with access to fun activities and amenities, health care, and a good tax situation.

Finally, be ready and willing to be independent and build your own life there, one that includes grandkids and adult children, but doesn't depend on them.

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