East Coast to West Coast

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“Our only son lives in northern California and has a great career and home there. We live on the east coast (of the US)  and are now retired.

We miss him terribly and would love to live closer to him, but the cost of living there is sky-high. We have pensions and a 401k and could probably swing it, but will not be able to live as comfortably.

But then, there’s the beautiful California weather! It is a big move: farther away from other friends and family, different culture, higher expenses. But, I still feel like I want to be there… will I be sorry? Appreciate any thoughts!” -Anonymous

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21 thoughts on “East Coast to West Coast”

  1. For the NOW>
    ** Stay where you are established.
    ** Plan for 1 good holiday a year with them. Ask him what length of time would suit THEM
    ** then maybe move onto 2 holidays if you feel good vibes.
    Remember missing and moving closer is YOUR priority NOT YOUR SONS. Only time and maturity on his part will change that..

  2. I would say you could move to maybe Oregon or Nevada. You would be close enough to do holidays and some weekends but in a less expense housing market. I moved when I retired and have not regretted it. My children are in Oregon and Georgia. I moved to Florida!
    Some people have a hard time with being retired and would whether they moved or not. You might want to rent out your house and rent a place to live close to your son. If you find it is what you want then you can sell and buy closer to him. If you don’t like the move for some reason (traffic, fires etc) you can always move back home. You don’t have to decide before you know what you would like.

  3. I think it would be a mistake to uproot yourselves, leave all your friends and other family behind to go to live near your son. For one thing you are placing too much burden on him – how many times in a month do you think you’ll get to see him? He’ll feel guilty if he can’t see you as much as you would like and then he’ll feel resentful – they YOU’LL feel resentful. Stay where you are, he’s make a new life for himself and will appreciate a couple of visits from you per year when you can all spend quality time together, two weeks at a time.

  4. One of my sons lives in LA California and I really miss him but won’t move. We thought about a smallish RV and visiting twice a year. He travels through so we actually see him more than the other who lives an hour and a half away because they are so busy. I will not be getting grandchildren. My middle son died at 19 so I learned how to let go. Love them, want to see them but this is my time now. I would certainly rent or have an extended stay to see if you are happy there but I wouldn’t uproot. But, that’s just me.

  5. Stay put. Plan long visits, maybe even at air bnb, or home away in the son’s area. Maybe plan a vacation together with your beloved son. Best wishes in whatever decision you make.

  6. Zcould you perhaps rent for a few months a year. Uprooting yourself completely now would cut you off from friends. Agree with some of the others here your son could be transferred or moved again then what would you do? Think very very carefully before taking such a drastic step. Good luck

  7. My husband and I moved to be closer to our granddaughter the year after she was born. We have not regretted it for one instant. We discussed the possibility of them moving for a job and decided that we’d stay where we are if they did. It was a sea change – new friends, social opportunities, doctors, hospitals, but all worth it to be near my (now) grandchildren.

    1. We moved to be closer to our grandchildren when they were little. I don’t regret it but they have since moved. We are staying. The older you get the more difficult it is to make close friends. If you are very invested in your community, I suggest you reslly think about so drastic a move. Perhaps see if you can rent an apartment for a few months? Sometimes living in a new area is different than visiting.

  8. I might consider moving closer where it might be a days travel or so. My oldest son asked me to move down to him so here I am! Just understand that moving means starting over a choice to make with open eyes. My mom would say don’t put yourself in a pickle that you later might regret.

  9. Don’t chase your son. What if he loses that great job and gets a different one in Idaho or Kentucky???
    Budget for regular visits or as often as you are welcome there and learn to enjoy YOUR life…he is enjoying his!

    1. I know several people who did this – left their home, their community, their extended family, and moved to a new area in retirement – and regretted it bitterly. When you already have a familiar and supportive network around you it can be a terrible wrench to leave all that behind, especially when you are getting older. Think very carefully before you uproot yourself. Your son may move somewhere else in a few years and you will be stuck in a place that really ‘home’.

  10. We live in S.C., my only son, daughter in law and only granddaughter live in Nebraska. He is a pastor. I miss them terribly. I never thought I’d be a long distance grandmother. We FaceTime every week, talk daily and they send me pictures and videos. We will stay in our home state and visit as often as possible. They may move one day in the future. Having the ability to “see” them and talk to them often helps so much.

  11. Nope. Stay put, folks. Tempting, but your son has his own life patterns.

    Visit as many times as you can, phone, Skype, FB, text but don’t move.

    If you DO move, expect to start all over with orientating yourself to the area, making new friends/contacts/medical docs, etc.

    Your son will probably do all he can to get you settled, but then he’s got his own life patterns.

    Don’t mean to be cruel. Remember, visits are just the greatest. My own son once said, “even visiting friends smell like dead fish after staying three days.”

  12. What happens when you move there, and then your son gets promoted to another city/state? You will be left behind if not able to move again. I would stay put on the East coast and try to visit as often as possible. We were faced with this same situation years ago.

  13. I have sons both in Colorado and Maryland, we live in the North Carolina mountains. I would never consider moving to either Colorado or Maryland. I love and miss both my sons and their families but I do not want to live with them or next door to them. They all have their busy lives and I would never put that burden on them. I cared for a mother-in-law for 17 years and did not have a life of my own during that time. Love where I am and love to visit them, but these mountains are our home.

  14. We struggle with the same thing our only daughter lives in CT we are in Florida
    I miss her terribly but can afford a comfortable and active lifestyle here. Can no longer tolerate the cold temps. She was just recently very sick and I was there for 2 months loved being with her. she has been married 2 years and no children.
    So torn …

    1. Have you checked with your son ? My son lives in the Bay area and is doing well . Miss him terribly also . Is there some state a couple hours away that cheaper,but still close enough to spend more time with him?

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