Dear Annie: We recently moved from our home of 20 years to a neighboring state that is two hours away by car. Our children are 21 and 19. We had set our sights on moving to this community several years ago, but we waited until our son had graduated from high school. Ever since we moved here 10 months ago, our daughter has been miserable, saying we ripped her away from her home and friends, implying that we were selfish for moving before she graduates from college and is able to live on her own back in her home state.
We live in a highly rated community with wonderful amenities, and we plan to retire here. Our community is not age-restricted, but the age of its full-time residents does skew toward the older side, so I do sympathize with her that making new friends can be challenging, especially since she is only here for summer and holiday breaks. Also, the area outside our community is fairly rural, whereas our former home was in the suburbs, where shops and restaurants were more plentiful and accessible.
To elaborate on why we moved, here are some of the reasons: The tax savings were significant; we prefer the weather; it’s less congested; and we love the benefits this community offers, such as living by a lake and golf course.
But I’m beginning to question whether we were in fact selfish for moving here at the time that we did rather than waiting until our kids are able to live on their own. Should this really have been more of a family decision, and should we have stayed where we were longer, for our kids’ sakes? – Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Dear Whose Life Is It Anyway: The short answer is that it is your life. But as you know, once you are a parent, your life and happiness often revolves around your children’s lives. Even college-aged children do thrive when their home lives are predictable and stable. So, it is understandable that your daughter is feeling the way she feels. Try and be sympathetic to her, and maybe make a week or so vacation in your old hometown each summer so she gets to see her old friends.
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