Author Topic: Move to be closer to family?  (Read 4985 times)

RH

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Move to be closer to family?
« on: October 28, 2014, 10:53:47 AM »
The wife and I currently live a mustachian lifestyle in Portland OR (bike to work, low cost of living, etc...). We're looking at starting a family soon. The biggest holdback for us is that all my family is in San Diego and her's is in Canada. I really would like our child to grow up with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents nearby since I really cherished having that when I was a kid. It would be silly to move closer to family in order to make this a reality, right? We'd probably be better off trying to raise the kid in Portland,  FIRE in our mustachian city (in 5-7 years) and then have the option to travel 2 months of the year to visit family (like MMM does). I guess I just get a bit sad of the little kid missing out on random family visits, like his/her cousin already gets every week. Am I being a complainypants? I don't know how one's mindset changes when they have a kid.

rjbf65

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 10:58:38 AM »
I have the same thing going through my head.  I'm the youngest of 6 children and just got married this year.  My 3 brothers all live within 5 miles of where we all grew up.  They have 6 kids between all of them so that is 6 cousins that my future children can look up to/grow up with.  Also, my parents are still there as well.  The amount of free baby sitting would add up!  My wife and I are currently only 2 hours from my home town, so it's not too bad, but not the same as being right there either.  We have no family in the town we are in right now.  It will be a tough call as we both have good jobs and are in a town we both like.


southern granny

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 11:01:04 AM »
As a grandmother of 4 I don't think I could give you an objective response.  We had planned to retire and move to Florida years ago, but its the grandchildren that kept us here.  I can't imagine going 10 months without seeing them.  They seem to have grown if I go a week without seeing them.

tmac

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 11:27:38 AM »
I think it depends on how much you want it. Do you want that family environment more than you want to FIRE as quickly as possible?

We lived 12 hours away by car from both sets of grandparents until this summer. My family culture says that adult children move away, and they visit a couple of times a year, which would have worked fine for us. However, we were very unhappy where we lived, so we were going to move somewhere anyway -- might as well be closer to my parents. We're very happy we did, not only because my parents are now just 30 minutes away and they're awesome people, but also because the town we picked is great. Our COL is somewhat higher now, but we were able to increase income and are continuing to work on cutting costs.

On the flip side, my in-laws are now 24 hours away by car. This is even better than 12 hours away.


C. K.

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 12:22:09 PM »
It's probably not an either-or scenario. You can have your cake and eat it - you can move where you want and have the money you want with a growing side hustle.

southernhippie

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 12:46:58 PM »
If you like where you live.  Maybe you could convince family to move to you.  Use the reasons why you would like to stay for the argument for your family to move there.

hodedofome

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 08:25:19 PM »
It would be horrible if my in laws lived near us. But my parents live 1 mile away and it's awesome. You have no idea how helpful it is to have parents nearby. It takes a village to raise a child!

JGB

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 06:58:13 AM »
A little over 3 years ago, my wife and I moved back to Oklahoma from the East Coast in order to be closer to our existing family when we were ready to start our own family. It was the best decision we could have made. Part of that comes from changes in lifestyle (the East Coast life just didn't fit at all), but seeing family on a regular basis has been a huge boon to happiness for both of us.

It did come at a bit of a price: the jobs we left paid on the order of $160k, and after moving, we became partners in a business that never really took off, leading to income of around $30k for the first 18 months we were back. Eventually we gave that job up and are now making good money again, but we're closer to the $100k mark than the $160k mark (then again, she only works a few hours a week, supporting our side-business, whereas out East she was full-time). Still, even if we'd been stuck with a job paying $50k for the rest of my/our working years, that would have been a good trade-off for the quality of life improvements that came from being back home around family.

MayDay

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 07:26:35 AM »
I am all for living near grandparents and wish we did- near my parents. But take off your rose colored glasses first. Ask your siblings if mom and dad actually help. Imagine worst case that you relocate and your parents aren't super involved, your siblings are too busy with their own kids, etc.

We relocated cross country to be about 2 hours from my in laws. We have seen them maybe 6-8 days total in the last year. We have seen my parents 15+ days despite being12 hours away.  And that is with my in laws being retired! We never would have guessed given how the in laws whined about never seeing us when we were far away.  We are now looking to move back closer to my parents  :( 

bogart

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 07:44:21 AM »
Obviously MayDay makes an important point, but you can add me to the non-probability sample of folks reporting they value being close to extended family.  We live near my mom, who is priceless when it comes to helping out (by extension, if/when she needs help herself, I want to be here to provide it).  To contrast with MayDay, I probably see her at least 3 times a week (one of which is her cooking supper for us at her home), and she has provided at least 1 day/week of child care (now school pickup) for us since DS was born (more commonly 2, when he was younger).

I grew up here.  I did the math the other day and besides my mom, I have 4 different households of relatives who live within 5 miles of my home and who could be called upon to drop everything and come help in a true emergency, no questions asked.  I am also available to my dad (my parents are divorced) who is in a nursing home with dementia.  And when my brother and his family who live across an ocean travel, they come here to see my mom, and me and my family.  And when my state recently legalized same-sex marriage and one of my stepkids + partner rushed to the courthouse to legalize their vows, I was able to be there to see the ceremony with less than 12 hours notice.

I don't have much interest in the RE part of FIRE, so my experience may not be relevant to that angle.  But when I lived other places, I found myself spending much of my time off (vacations, holidays) returning here to see family (as my brother does now).  Nothing wrong with that, but the world's a big place, I'd rather be able to use my time off to explore it.

Don't know how much of yourself you see in the above, but the more you do, the more it probably makes sense to move.

Goldielocks

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 12:40:22 PM »
I am all for living near grandparents and wish we did- near my parents. But take off your rose colored glasses first. Ask your siblings if mom and dad actually help. Imagine worst case that you relocate and your parents aren't super involved, your siblings are too busy with their own kids, etc.

We relocated cross country to be about 2 hours from my in laws. We have seen them maybe 6-8 days total in the last year. We have seen my parents 15+ days despite being12 hours away.  And that is with my in laws being retired! We never would have guessed given how the in laws whined about never seeing us when we were far away.  We are now looking to move back closer to my parents  :(

This is a very good comment.   We moved back to a very high COL area, with less salary, to be closer to grandparents when my oldest was 9 years.  Yes, we missed out on the baby rearing help from 1 year on (both MILs stayed with us alternating the first year), but it was well supplemented with local friends with kids at the same age, so minor impact for the first few years.

As the kids grew into preschool then elementary, we realized that they were missing relationships with more adults who loved and supported their good choices and values. 

However, when we moved, we decided instead of buying a home in the area we wanted, if we were moving to be closer to family, we needed to be CLOSE to family, and chose a place 10 minute drive away.  That made all the difference, I am certain we would only see them 1-2 times per month if we lived 1 hour away. 

We also gained help on "sick days", and taking kids to / from activities at least once a week.

This decision put us back from FIRE for at least 10 years, so my kids have only had a SAHD, but no opportunity for SAHM during their lives.  On the positive, they have terrific relationship with grandparents who also have them involved in sports activities we would not have time for alone.

Therefore, there is no perfect choice, but if you want to live very CLOSE to parents, there is no substitute.

AND- we had another friend whose retired parents chose to rent an apartment close to their grandkids, to spend 6 months of the year near to them, so it can work both ways!

hodedofome

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 01:35:07 PM »
Yeah I've seen grandparents buy a patio home down the street so they can visit more often. Other's are considering a garage apartment type arrangement for the grandparents to stay in. Those aren't bad ideas for retired parents at all.

NV Teacher

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 09:59:24 PM »
We lived a couple of miles from my grandparents growing up.  We had a totally different experience with them than my cousins that all lived less than an hour away.  A few years ago one of the cousins asked everyone to send stories about grandma and grandpa.  The vast majority of them came from my family and several of the cousins commented that we sure knew grandma and grandpa a lot better than they did and they felt like they missed out on a lot.  And they were right.

RH

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2014, 10:27:30 AM »
Well, from all the posts, it seems everyone really enjoys having family nearby. Are there any folks out there who have kids with no family within driving distance? I'd love to hear that side too.

mxt0133

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2014, 10:45:11 AM »
We live on the west coast and me and my wife's immediate family are all in the east coast.  We used to fly back east once or twice a year, but that has slowly gone down to once a year.  With a third child on the way it will likely drop down loser like every other year or so.  We are pretty close to our family and every year we re-evaluate if we want to move back to be closer to them, but we're still here.

When we visit we really have a great time and makes us really want to move back.  But we really like our quality of life much more on the west coast.  We would be miserable on the east coast where we would have to drive everywhere, family lives in a suburb, plus most of things our family does are indoor activities, like going to malls or indoor play areas.

Another consideration for us is our frugal lifestyle which is not really understood by our family.  We live in a one bedroom apartment in the city and my family is constantly asking when we are going to get a bigger place.  We want to homeschool and they look at us like we are from mars.  So for us it's a choice, we choose to live more independent lives.  We know that we will be sucked into activities that do not align with our values because of our proximity to our family.

As the kids get a little older and we are semi FI, I plan on dropping down to part-time work and work remotely so we can spend extended visits back east like for the spring or summer.  My parent are also about to retire and would actually be able to spend more time with while we are there.

RH

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 12:02:57 PM »
Thanks mxt0133. We like all aspects of where we currently live and would want our child to embrace the things like urban density, bike friendly, mass transit, walk to school, one parent stay at home, all nice stress free qualities of life,  etc...This is doable in Portland, OR

If we moved to San Diego, we'd be in the burbs (high cost of living $), commuting in cars (no real mass transit there), both of us working to afford the bills, stressed to the max....all in hopes of having a small amount of free time to visit relatives during the weekends. It seems like a step backwards.

I think the best thing is for us to just live in the present and not to worry about the future so much. My Canadian inlaws are within driving distance (6 hours)...and they currently visit us 2-3 times a year, so that is one nice aspect. And who know, maybe my folks would rent for a month a year during summer for extended visits. I can't control the future.

Workinghard

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2014, 02:18:14 PM »
We will definitely move to be closer to our grandchildren when the time comes.  We missed out on the two older children. There's a significant age difference. The youngest one will be getting married soon.  He wants to wait 5 to 6 years before having children.  The timing will be good for us because my husband will retire in 18 months. I will keep working until a grandchild is on the way.  And yes, he and his futures wife would like to have us close. What's there not to like about a free babysitter and the things that go with that? Ha ha

OSUBearCub

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Re: Move to be closer to family?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2014, 06:01:06 PM »
I moved 900 miles away from the bulk of my family for my current job.  Luckily, my sister lives down here which softened the blow.  My family is very tight and I grieved for about a year.  In my opinion, the benefits of being close to family far outweigh the minor nuisances.  Holidays are a major problem - I get to spend two of them a year, Independence Day and Christmas, at the expense of 75% of my PTO time and two round trip flights.

Dad is retired and mom is going to work until her feet fall off (her words).  Both are in their mid 60's.  I'm planning the next major life move with this in mind.  I want to be close to them in their golden years to help however I can.  I'll be moving back north in the next 5 years.