One of the regular conversations I’m having with my friends of late is about relocating once the children have left home. I suspect this discussion is typical of our 50 + age group, but it has been brought forward by the pandemic, as people reassess their lives. They might have no choice but to downsize or maybe they want to move out of London and into Cornwall now that they can work from home. OR maybe they’re moving far far away because they realise their children will never leave home unless they do something drastic.
I’ve never thought about moving away from the life I’ve built with my children post divorce, but it’s always a little disconcerting when your close friends start shaking up their lives. “Find somewhere interesting to live that your children will enjoy visiting. Surely you don’t want to end up staring bleakly out of the window waiting for your children to come home, whilst the almost uninhabitable bedrooms gather dust?” Said one friend recently. “I don’t want my sixty year old children to still expect to sleep in their childhood bedrooms,” she added.
I still have two children living at home, so I’m not planning on going anywhere for a number of years. My eldest son moved back home after uni for a year, then moved out to live with friends, but came home again when he realised how expensive it was to rent in London. He’s moved out again now and lives with his girlfriend, so I don’t suppose he will be coming to live back at home ever again. I’ve always known I’d have to downsize at some point, so I’ve been gathering information and doing my research on what all my friends are planning, or indeed already doing.
So what are the options when you’re not at the stage of having to move into a retirement home? (Although my mother keeps telling me I’m allowed to move into hers now as they welcome the “Active Over 55’s,” but in reality seem to attract people in their 80’s). Should you wait until you’re much older or move when you’ve still got a chance to get out and about and make a new life for yourself?
- Move to a commune all together somewhere hot, with cheap cold wine on tap?
- Move to the countryside and be in the middle of nowhere?
- Stay where you are because you love it? (What if that’s a bit boring?)
- Move further in to a city so that you can walk to the shops, restaurants and cinemas?
- Sell up and travel the world on a motorbike? (When you can do that again).
- Stay near your children – maybe they will have grandchildren? (But what if they decide to go and live in Australia?)
- Stay near your friends because you can’t be arsed to make new ones? (But what if they all move away?)
- Be in the thick of the action? (But what if it’s too noisy and frenetic and it makes you feel old?)
- Try a new place to keep things interesting? (But what if you don’t like it?)
- Move to a different country? Somewhere lovely where your children want to come and stay?
Several of my (very old) friends have recently moved to Brighton from much more remote places and are absolutely loving life, so down we went for the weekend to see how they were fairing.
Extremely well it seems.
I’ve always loved the sea (to look at) and it seems many are tempted to move to the sea on retirement for it’s healing properties and bracing air. Brighton is where I spent many happy summers with my Grandmother – it’s got everything you want, except for a bit of sand on the beach. It’s cool and edgy (except when you ruin it by attempting to walk down the beach to the sea in bare feet). It’s got fabulous shops, great restaurants and bars and a wonderfully eclectic bunch of people. Tempting…..