Tell Me About It: Second-guessing their plan for retirement

Published June 11 2018

Q: In three years my husband and I will be empty-nesters. At that time, we plan to move back to our home state, where weíve already invested in a house to retire to. We spend time there in the summer with family and I get to know people in town.

This sounds great, but I truly love our current town of 15 years where Iíve made many good friends and acquaintances. How do I overcome my feelings of grief at leaving my current location? How do I stop feeling angst about something good weíve planned for many years? We planned the other location because itís on a lake, which we anticipate will draw our kids to visit. I know having my kids leave the nest is an inevitable transition, but the added change of location has got my feathers ruffled.

Fretting the Future

A: Is moving your only option? Just one of many possible alternatives: Can you rent out the lake house for break-even or profit, use it yourselves only for summers/holidays (i.e. when family would normally gather), and keep living in a smaller/less expensive place in your current town?

Itís risky to move for a reason that hasnít happened yet. Maybe your kids would rather visit their town of 15 years than the lake you picked out.

Of course, itís possible this is just typical transition anxiety, and youíll be fine once youíre resettled; leaving any location where youíve found happiness is going to be painful. But if youíre not as excited about the plan as you once were, then itís OK to remind yourself that the plan isnít in charge, you and your husband are, and to reopen the discussion accordingly.

Anonymous: Empty lake houses far away from family and friends, where working-age kids visit for a few times a year, can be very lonely places. I found this out in my 30s when I moved to a picturesque isolation cell in a rural area, and I was working. Trust those second thoughts.