Should You Move Closer to Your Loved Ones Once Your Last Child Has Left Home?
Author: Sharon Wagner
It happens to all of us that have children. Some time in our 40s or 50s, our children move out, and we are left in a large family home with no family to fill it. This doesn’t mean that we don’t still want to be close to our loved ones, just that they’ve moved into their adult lives. But the question often pops up of whether or not empty nest parents should move closer to their children.
Today, Donna D’Amico shares a bit of insight into the pros and process of changing your address to be closer to the kids (and grandkids) you love the most.
The Benefits Of Living Closer To Family
For you, there are plenty of benefits to living closer to your family. First, it gives you the opportunity to spend more quality time with them. You can go to your grandchildren’s school events, sports games, and piano recitals and be more involved in their daily lives. You can also help to provide support for your adult children in the form of childcare or just to be there as a shoulder to cry on over coffee.
There are other practical advantages of living closer to your adult children, too. You’ll probably save money because you won’t be traveling back and forth for frequent visits. You also won’t be stuck on never-ending flights or long drives when you want an evening with the grandkids. And considering the AAA expects fuel prices to continue to rise, savings here may be significant.
A Smaller Home May Be Less Stressful
When the children have flown the proverbial coop, and it’s just you and, if applicable, your partner, you won’t need as much space. This means there will be fewer things to get in your way and cause stress. As you look into your new home, think about ways that you can keep it stress-free as well. Something as simple as having a space to meditate or a nice window ledge for plants and natural light will go a long way toward enhancing your senior years.
The Downsizing Process
Living in a smaller home might be less expensive and less stressful, but the process of getting there comes with some challenges. Purging your personal belongings is a difficult process, but it can also be liberating. You can take your move as an opportunity to get rid of items you no longer need or want. Consider donating – Move Buddha recommends Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations – and you may save money on your taxes come next April.
Speaking of saving money on your taxes, if you donate, you’ll receive a form to file with your taxes. This is not the only piece of paperwork that you want to keep organized throughout your move. Make sure that you have your insurance policies, financial records, and paperwork showing where you purchased your current home handy. Another tip: as you’re going through your receipts and documents, keep everything relating to your house. You may be eligible for a sizable capital gains deduction, according to the IRS, but you can also deduct the cost of capital improvements that you’ve made since you purchased the home.
Work With An Experienced Realtor
Before you decide to make your move, find a realtor in your area that can help you find a home within your budget and close enough to where you can comfortably visit your children without seeming overbearing. Your realtor can help you calculate your mortgage and even give you a free home evaluation on your current property so that you can get an idea of how much equity you can expect to cash out when you do sell.
When it’s time to make your move, call a realtor that can help. Then, make sure that you stay organized, plan ahead for a less stressful new address, and, perhaps most importantly, keep your receipts. The last thing you want in your golden years is to lose out on the investment you’ve worked so hard to keep up with.