Dear Family Resource,
My husband and I are what you would call “active seniors.” We live in an “Over 55” community and have many friends with whom we socialize. We audit classes at the community college, attend theater and concerts, exercise, and volunteer. We’re happy and look forward to each day without worrying too much about the future.
Our problem is our daughter who lives in another state with her husband and kids. She constantly asks about our health and urges us to move closer to them, so she can “take care of us when the time comes.” We love our daughter and grandchildren and visit often but we don’t want to give up our independence. On the other hand, we are in our mid-70’s and have seen friends lose their spouses and develop health problems. It does seem that having family nearby helps in those situations. I guess my question is, is it okay to wait to move until we really need help, or is it wiser to move while we are still active?
~Not Ready to Move
Dear Not Ready to Move,
To move or not to move, that is the question! I would say you and your spouse are in a good situation; mid-70’s, living in a senior community, active and engaged in many ways mentally and physically. This is the time for you and your spouse to enjoy your retirement with your longtime friends in your already established community. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I would suggest the two of you start thinking about where you want to be as you age. Many people want to age in place and look to services that would help them remain in their home and as independent as possible. Moving now would mean starting over with establishing friendships, medical providers, routines, and extracurricular activities.
One can argue that it would be best to move now while you are still active and making your own decisions. Moving to be near your children certainly has its advantages. You would enjoy your children and grandchildren and know you always have an advocate and helper in times of need. It is easier for your children to help you as you age, and it will give them peace of mind.
Often one’s financial situation may dictate where and how one ages. Engage a care manager and speak with your financial planner to help you know your options and plan ahead.