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January 07, 2010


1084633_question_mark_4 Is there a perfect time to relocate one's family? Being in our fifties, my husband and I have begun to examine what a Utopian retirement would look like for us. Climate is an issue. We want to experience all four seasons of the year. Six months of Texas summer heat has begun to bother us.

Size is an issue. I have lived most of my life in one of the biggest metropolitan areas of the country, Dallas-Fort Worth. As a preacher's kid, my husband moved every couple of years from one small town to another in middle Tennessee. So, the city girl is willing to move from the urban sprawl to a simpler life in a small town.

Before the economic crisis of 2008, we thought maybe we could retire early. But now, it is obvious to us that we can only relocate if my husband's company will allow him to telecommute. As a software developer, working from home would be an easy transition for him.

After diligently exploring towns all over Tennessee, we have decided to relocate to a small college-town in Tennessee. On the interstate, with only an hour from a large city, if I should need a “fix” of big box stores, traffic and congestion.

My daughter's only living grandparents as well as the rest of my husband's siblings would all be within a couple hours away. My three siblings currently live close by in Texas. They are NOT happy with our decision. In fact, I try not to mention the subject, lest I get a dose of guilt trip.

As older parents of a tween, how the move will affect our daughter is of utmost importance. Our strategy is that the best time is either after elementary school (this summer) or upon completion of junior high. Our concern is that if we wait until she graduates from high school, she won't locate with us.

Are we being wise or selfish? Having a child after forty, changes the traditional retirement transitions. If we wait until our daughter is out of college and on her own, we will be well into our seventies. I don't know about you, but moving and re-adjusting now is scary. I can't imagine doing that when I am elderly. And although my in-laws are spry 80-year-olds, longevity does not run on my side of the family tree.

So, when is it easier for a child to change schools, make new friends and adjust to a new living environment? When is it best for adults to make quality of life decisions that result in relocating out of state?

I know my husband is ready. My daughter and I are both excited and apprehensive. The formal request to telecommute is submitted and we are waiting for the answer. An answer I am not sure I want.

Original posts to 50-something Moms.