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Should You Move Near Your Grandchildren

Monday, July 24, 2023

Have you ever met a grandparent who did not show you photos of their grandchildren? Probably not. Grandmas and grandpas are always eager to flaunt their pride and joy. Thanks to modern technology, there are usually dozens and dozens of images (and videos) to flip through.    

Being a grandparent is a delightful experience, and watching your grandchildren grow is a great privilege. But should you move near your grandchildren? 

While retirement allows you to choose where to live, consider the pros and cons of such a move. Read on to explore the potential benefits of building strong family bonds and being more involved in your grandchildren's lives and the challenges and adjustments that come with it.

Watching your grandchildren grow is a great joy and privilege

What’s so Special About Being a Grandparent?

The conventional wisdom says that being a grandparent is marvelous because you get all the joy without worry and responsibility. There is some truth to that. Many grandparents will tell you that they are more relaxed and more tolerant with grandkids than they used to be with their children.

That is understandable. When raising children, one also has to deal with the daily demands of life and often misses the little things that matter. As a grandparent, you can enjoy playing with grandchildren without feeling like you need to be doing something else.

Experts say that a close grandparents-grandchildren relationship benefits both sides. Grandparents have a positive effect on grandchildren. They provide acceptance, patience, stability, wisdom, and support. On the other hand, being around grandchildren can give grandparents an emotional and mental boost. 

Must You Move to Be a Part of Your Grandkids Lives?

Babysitting, cuddling, and playing with the grandkids are part of the joy of being a grandparent. But what if such an option is not available to you? 

You can still build a strong attachment with your grandchildren. The key is to stay connected by sharing photos, messages, video chatting, or playing online games. Chatting with your faraway grandkid on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is the ultimate enticement to embrace technology.

Your daughter or son will probably want you around during the first weeks after the birth of your grandchild. Try to do it if you can. But if the new parents adopt a “no visits rule” for the first week (or month), be patient. Offer your help and wait for them to invite you. 

As your grandchildren grow, make plans to visit each other. Go on vacations with adult children and grandchildren. Multi-generational family trips are valuable for the whole family, a 2015 AARP Travel Research found. Spending time together is a special treat.

Grandmother playing chess with her granddaughter after moving near her grandchildren

Reasons to Move Near Grandchildren

When you are retired, you can decide how to spend your time, and many people want to spend their time surrounded by loved ones. About 80% of grandparents say they want to move near their children and grandchildren, shows a 2002 AARP Grandparent study.

The joy of being around grandchildren is enough for many grandparents to move as soon as circumstances allow. Here are some more reasons to move near grandchildren:

  • You will build a closer relationship with your adult child. 
  • Your assistance will give your daughter or son a break from parenting. You remember how exhausting it can be!
  • Caring for your grandchildren will provide a sense of purpose and help you keep physically and mentally active.
  • You will build beautiful memories.
  • You will avoid social isolation.
  • You won’t need to travel to visit your grandkids.
  • Living near loved ones is helpful in case of emergencies. 
  • If your grandkids live in a lovely spot, that’s an additional bonus.

What to Consider Before Moving Near Grandchildren

Should you move near your grandchildren? Carefully evaluate your situation and the situations of your children and grandchildren before making a decision. 

First, consider the wishes of the new parent. Have an open discussion with your child and their partner if they have one. Make sure everybody is on the same page. Do they want you around? How do you all envision being nearer to each other? What kind of boundaries should be set?  

It is an excellent idea to establish clear roles and expectations. Who will do what? How often? Most grandparents feel excited and happy about babysitting their grandkids but can become exhausted if they have to do it too often. The parents will be grateful for the help but can become resentful if grandparents fail to respect their living arrangements and child-rearing methods.   

Then, take into account your situation. Moving means starting over again. Are you ready for that? You will probably need to sell your house after retirement and find another suitable home. Review your finances to ensure that the cost of living in the new place will not eat away at your nest egg.

Be aware that you will need to reestablish your life and carve out a place for yourself. You will have to get a different doctor, make new friends, and organize meaningful activities outside of babysitting your grandkids. Your family will be there to show you around and help you adjust to your new neighborhood, but relocating is still a big step. Think things through, particularly paying attention to the kind of relationships you have with your grown children, your degree of financial freedom, and your preferences. 

When weighing the pros and cons of moving closer to your grandkids, don’t forget that your grandchildren’s family might go elsewhere. Ask yourself what you would do in such a situation. Would you be happy to stay if they no longer live there? Would you follow them to their new place? Or would you return to where you used to reside? 

Base your decision on your best understanding of yourself and your family. Give yourself some time to iron out any potential hurdles and problems. You may even do a trial for a month or more before moving permanently.

An adult daughter welcomes her father as they meet in the retirement village

Move Near Grandchildren With Shyft

Relocating to the place where your grandkids live can be time-consuming, fraught with stress, and expensive. With Shyft, you can have a smooth and competitively-priced moving experience. Plus, AARP members get  an exclusive discount of up to $250.  

People over 50 and retirees may have specific needs and requirements when moving. That’s why Shyft has created AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft, especially for you. To keep everything organized during all the excitement of relocating, print out Shyft’s moving checklist and keep it at hand.

Shyft incorporates technological advances to streamline the relocation process. That means you spend less time, less effort, and less money. Your move will be organized without direct contact, and you will have a dedicated Move Coach to assist you.  

The free ShyftNext app is the starting point of the whole process. Download ShyftNext for your Android or iPhone device. Then schedule a video call with a Shyft representative. You can do this by calling 1-888-501-3181 or filling in a short form online.

The Shyft representative - your dedicated Move Coach - will contact you at the time you indicated and conduct a video survey through the Shyft Next app. During a survey that lasts approximately 30 minutes, you will walk around your current home and point the camera on your device at the items you want to take when you relocate. 

Your Move Coach will offer expert advice. Discuss what type of moving company you would like to employ; find out whether it’s cheaper to move over the weekend or on a work day; inquire about moving insurance; mention any high-value or specialty items that you want to include, for example, your collection of expensive wine; and so on. Don’t worry if you forget anything. You can always contact your Move Coach with any additional questions or concerns.

The video survey enables your Move Coach to create a highly accurate inventory list. When you receive it about half an hour after the video call, go through it carefully. Add or remove items and services until you are satisfied.

Your approved inventory list then goes to a secure Shyft platform where hundreds of professional, pre-approved moving companies bid for your project. This ensures that you get the best pricing possible.

Your Move Coach will collect at least three top quotes from different companies and send them to you. Choose the one that suits you best and book your move. Provided you do not change anything relevant to your shipment, you will pay exactly the quoted price. With Shyft, there are no additional fees or hidden costs.  

Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your dedicated Move Coach will oversee the whole process from start to finish, ensuring that high-quality standards are met. You can contact Shyft 24/7 with any questions or concerns you have.

Remember that all AARP members get up to $250 off every move, no matter how many times or where they move. 

With so many advantages that Shyft offers, there’s no reason to delay. Book your move now!  

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