General chatter - Would you be willing to move away from family to save more money?




FreeBird3
12-22-2011, 04:12 AM
I'm visiting my family on the east coast for the holidays right now. It's been one week since I've arrived and I will be returning back to the west coast after the new year. I have an opportunity to transfer back to my old job at my company in a couple of months if I chose to do so. I save 1K more per more living in Washington state (no state taxes and no need for a car since I live in the middle of town) verses returning home to the east coast. If I stay on the west coast, then I save 1K more per month compared to moving back to the east coast. This economy is rough on most of us and I'm trying really hard to save as much money as I can in case I ever lose my job. However, I'm conflicted about choosing money over famliy.

My family (my parents in particular) would like me to transfer back to the east coast so they can see me more. They are giving me mixed messages...they say that it's my decision to turn or to stay on the west coast...as long as I'm happy, then they are happy. However, their non-verbal expressions state otherwise. They are both in good health although one parent did have a sucessful heart transplant last year. My brother and sister-in-law are in the area too...so I do have a little bit of peace-of-mind in case something 'bad' where to happen to them.

My father suffers from depression, anxiety, and is constantly negative. He has suffered from this ever since I was a child and I do not remember too many days where he was normal and happy to be alive. He has started hounding me about my life again now that I'm here in their house for holidays. He tells me that I should have 100K in liquid assets at this age (I'm 33). I'm not rich and there admit that I did not start saving money until just a couple of years ago. His anxiety, depression, and issues make me worried about my future and his negativity makes me feel emotionally unhealthy. He means well and I know he is just concerned about my future, but he does me more harm than good with his constant negativity.

This sounds horrible, but I FEEL better about myself and my life when I am away from him. As the only daughter, I feel some sort of strange guilt and obligation for taking care of my parents. Perhaps it's socialization that's made me think of myself as a 'bad daughter' for being so far away from him and my mom.

Anyway, my main question to you is do you think saving 1K more per month is worth living far away from your aging parents? God gave my parent a second chance at life...and I keep asking myself "Shouldn't I move back and live closer to them again? Time is limited." What would you do? FYI...my dad is 70 and my mom is 58.


Arctic Mama
12-22-2011, 06:24 AM
If the parents needed serious care, I'd be more likely to move them in with me than move over to them. My family lives in one of the most expensive parts of the country - southern California - and my husband and I could not afford to raise our family there, nor foot the ridiculous taxes on our business. So we live now in, and are planning on moving, to a place that is inexpensive to live nd incentivizes business investment. And I still miss my family, though we'll be slightly closer to them whenever we leave Alaska. But for me, providing well for myself and making smart decisions on location trumps being close to family. We move where the jobs are.

I'd live where you can make a decent living and save for your OWN life and future comfort. Visit the family as often as allows and, as I said, if they need care from you in the future do consider a spare bedroom or MIL suite as a good alternative to being near them AND living in a place you can afford. I know we'll likely end up caring for one of my sets of parents or my husband's parents, and we are planning that into our finances and home design. Family is crucially important and quality time with them is SO precious, but living nearby to a dad you have a hard time dealing with, and in a place you can't afford comfortably? Ditch the guilt - there's no need for it. You're making a wise decision to stay where you are, I think.

My mother, though, might disagree with my logic, here ;)

Sinoia
12-22-2011, 06:52 AM
I would say you have to do what is best for you. It sounds like saving the extra cash and feeling more emotionally healthy away from your family is better for you.

We are raised on guilt and you need to put it in perspective. If there is something you can do you assist your family later, when they need it, then you will find a way to do it that is healthier for you or find an alternative way of helping.

When I left home my family made me feel awful. My sister went so far as to say, because I was the youngest, I was obligated to stay and take care of my parents as they aged and she was wounding about it. I resisted and left but I suffered terribly from guilt and every time I was in touch or visited I was made to feel like a dreadful person. My sister said, eventually, that it was clear that I did not choose to be part of the family and she cut me off.

I wish I had somebody tell me, during this time, the things I am saying to you. You do not have to feel like an awful person, or guilty, because you choose to improve your life and make it better for yourself. You must resist emotional blackmail and understand that no one has the right to inflict it on you. Just because you choose to make a decision that does not put family first you are not a bad person, you deserve to be happy and self-fulfilled. Be proud of your achievements, don't let anyone, family included, ever make them less than they are and leaving home, bettering your situation and being independent are achievements.


bargoo
12-22-2011, 09:26 AM
I agree with the above statements.

FreeBird3
12-22-2011, 10:29 AM
Thank you all for your wisdom and advice. I am going to remain on the west coast. I pray that neither my dad nor mom fall deathly ill again and die while I live away for at least a couple of years. I've also decided to start seeing a therapist when I return back to the west coast. Logically, I know we are supposed to eventually bury our parents; however, I don't think this level of guilty about leaving my parents behind is a normal type of guilt. After my parent fell deathly ill last year, I feel like a small child who is holding on to her parent's hand tightly because I don't want to see him go. I get teary-eyed just typing that statement. I need to figure out some way to train my mind to be at ease so that, God forbid, if either parent were to die while I am living 3000 miles away from them, that I do not emotionally beat myself up for it for the rest of my life. I guess I've inherited some of my dad's anxiety and emotional issues. Thanks again for your input to my situation!

Unna
12-22-2011, 01:21 PM
I love my family. I still chose to move to Europe - it was something I had been dreaming of doing since my first trip to Paris when I was a teenager.

My Mom always wants me to come home. But she is also happy when I am happy. My Parents are not in picture perfect health - it is terribly hard to see your parents grow older. I think it is something we do not discuss enough.

It really helps the situation if I call frequently. Hearing the other's voice can help soothe your anxiety and make you feel like you are still close to them. If I were you, I'd try calling often to "check in" - see how their day was, talk about silly things. It is so cheap with the internet to call nowadays. Make it a habit.

Arctic Mama
12-22-2011, 01:45 PM
Yes. Just because you don't live near them doesn't mean you cannot call, write, and visit. And if they do fall ill, just do what most people do and travel to see them - very we things take people so quickly that cannot arrive to say goodbye. And those that do honestly maroon the family close by, too, because the person dies unexpectedly (think heart attacks, car accidents, aneurisms, etc). Distance on the physical place doesn't necessarily dictate distance in a relationship. My relationship with my parents is better now than when I lived ten miles away! Therapy sounds like a great idea because I agree your level of guilt seems a bit excessive. You're an adult and so are they, if they do not understand your need to take care of yourself wisely, they are the ones who should feel guilty, not you!

bargoo
12-23-2011, 10:03 AM
Free Bird, living close to ypur parents is no guarentee that you will be by their side when the time comes. My mother lived very near me and when she went on a vacation 2000 miles away ( I stayed home) .She died very suddenly, she was 93 and had not been ill. I do not feel guilty that I wasn't there when she passed as she was doing something she wanted to do.
I was sad, of course, their is nothing like losing your mother no matter how old you are, but do not put your life on hold waiting for something to happen. Do what is best for you.

kaplods
12-26-2011, 07:28 PM
My husband and I did move away from my family (in large part) to save money.

There are disadvantages to living further away, but there are advantages too. In my family, guilt and manipulation is an imbedded family tradition. Whether I live in the same house, next door, or in a different country - that isn't going to change.

When we lived in the same town as my family, and visited twice a week, I often heard how terrible it was that I didn't spend as much time with family as my sisters.

I realized that "recreational guilt generation" was a family tradition (and worse, I sometimes caught myself falling into the habit as well).

Often the guilt stuff is a no-win situation. No matter what you choose, you have to make sacrifices, and you have to balance the sacrifices. We never get everything we want (for ourselves, or from others).

So when my parents complain that they don't see me enough, I know that if I lived closer they would still complain about that, or something else.

I can't make everyone happy - I can't even make myself 100% happy - because most choices aren't perfect ones. To get something you want, you often have to give up something else you want too (because we all want mutually exclusive things that we can't have simultaneously).

So you just have to make the best choices you can (and only you can decide which choices are best for you and your situation), and understand that making some choices means eliminating other choices (at least temporarily).

It's hard to avoid guilt and regret, but it helps to know that guilt and regret don't usually make the situation better, and having guilt doesn't make you a better person than being comfortable in your choices does.

That was a little harder for me to learn, because when I didn't feel guilty, I often felt guilty for not feeling guilty.

FreeBird3
12-31-2011, 03:37 AM
Thanks for everyone's input! I really appreciate it. I've decided to move back to the east coast. I'm currently visiting my parents for the holidays and have been getting some pressure/guilt from my family about moving back to the area. The kicker-comment (as I call it) is my parent telling me "God gave me a second chance at life last year when I got my transplant. My only wish is to see you more often and get married by this time next year." *sigh* Way to put the pressure on!

My gut tells me to stay on the west coast, but my family (my father in particular) says that they feel better if I'm at least within a couple of hours away from them and not all the way on the other side of the country. It's a bittersweet feeling. Don't get me wrong...moving back to the east coast (the D.C. area) isn't so horrible, but I do fit MUCH better on the west coast and feel better about myself over there....mostly due to people being kinder and the atmosphere being slower paced.

I don't know....it is what it is for now I guess. From living on the west coast, I've noticed that I am a person whose emotions and well-being correlate to my surroundings. I've decided to take up yoga once I move back home so that I can better handle the "rat race" environment and high-stressed/not so kind people that reside in the D.C. metro area.

djs06
01-03-2012, 05:18 PM
Thanks for everyone's input! I really appreciate it. I've decided to move back to the east coast. I'm currently visiting my parents for the holidays and have been getting some pressure/guilt from my family about moving back to the area. The kicker-comment (as I call it) is my parent telling me "God gave me a second chance at life last year when I got my transplant. My only wish is to see you more often and get married by this time next year." *sigh* Way to put the pressure on!

My gut tells me to stay on the west coast, but my family (my father in particular) says that they feel better if I'm at least within a couple of hours away from them and not all the way on the other side of the country. It's a bittersweet feeling. Don't get me wrong...moving back to the east coast (the D.C. area) isn't so horrible, but I do fit MUCH better on the west coast and feel better about myself over there....mostly due to people being kinder and the atmosphere being slower paced.

I don't know....it is what it is for now I guess. From living on the west coast, I've noticed that I am a person whose emotions and well-being correlate to my surroundings. I've decided to take up yoga once I move back home so that I can better handle the "rat race" environment and high-stressed/not so kind people that reside in the D.C. metro area.

Oh boy, do I hear you. I moved away (not across the country, but a plane ride away) almost 2 years ago and I never stopped hearing the "when are you moving back?" The thing is, I DO want to move back.And unfortunately they know that so it makes it even worse. It's just not going to happen for a little while so I don't want to hear about it or discuss plans because I don't have any yet!

Ultimately I don't feel that I fit in where I'm living at all. I moved here for personal reasons that no longer apply, and I am professionally stunted by being here. At least I know that where I'm originally from has the *kind* of work I want to do. And I would be lying if I said my family has nothing to do with it, as well as my guilt that my parents are aging and I would never forgive myself if something happened to them while I was away.

Honestly, if you've decided to move back, it sounds like you should try to live a reasonable distance away. Believe me, I know all about the need to establish boundaries...once you're back, it sounds like those will be broken if you live too close. I'd suggest setting expectations ahead of time to avoid frustration and hurt feelings if, for instance, you don't feel like spending your Saturdays at their house.

Do what's right for you. If that's having less guilt by moving back, there's no shame in that. But if you have the burning desire to stay in WA, then you should consider doing what will maximize your happiness. People will always adapt, and that includes your parents.