General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Would you move away?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11979points) May 7th, 2018

I currently live in NY state with my husband and 3 kids. We don’t love it here. Winters are long and cold, property taxes are very high, and our neighborhood is less than peaceful. We would like to move to a place with warmer weather, lower taxes, and more land. We have looked into North/South Carolina, and Tennessee. The one thing that keeps holding me back? Family. My husband is okay with leaving his behind but I have a grandfather who is very close to my children and he’s like a father to me. He sees the kids a couple times a week and it would be a big adjustment for everyone. Is it selfish to leave? It would be great to live somewhere warm and private, and actually be able to afford our home but at what expense? Have you moved away from family? Was it worth it? Did your family resent you for it?

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34 Answers

janbb's avatar

I ended up living quite close to my parents while my kids were growing up and it had a lot of meaning for my kids. It sounds like your relationship; with your grandfather is wonderful and it would be hard to give that up. My sons are now far away from me and have children and I feel it is a great loss for them and me – especially since one child does not make much effort to have me in their lives. So – what am I saying? I think it is really lovely to live near family if the relationship is enriching like yours is with him. Perhaps in the future, you can move further south; after all, he will not be alive forever.

But of course, people do move away from family all the time and only you and your husband can weigh the factors. Good luck!

(And good to see you again, ItalianPrincess!)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@janbb Thank you for explaining your thoughts and personal experience with this. You’re right about his relationship being a wonderful one with my kids so I would hate to take that away from them. Maybe I can convince him into coming along and that would solve all of these issues!

(Thanks, it’s good to be back! Missed everyone!)

chyna's avatar

Is your granfather’s life set in stone there or would he be willing to move also? Not in the same house, but close by? If not, I agree with @Janbb. Grandparents can be a huge part of a child’s life and it sounds like the bond is already there.
Glad to see you back!

flutherother's avatar

Winters don’t get any easier as you get older. Why not take your grandfather on a holiday somewhere warmer and see how he likes it and if he’d consider moving.

janbb's avatar

I do like the idea of suggesting he move South near you if that is a possibility. A win on all fronts – especially since he might need your help as he ages!

rojo's avatar

I would move if I had to, stay a while longer if I didn’t.

My parents moved us away from our family when we were kids, I missed my Grandma terribly for a number of years. I also missed having an extended family that we interacted with on a regular basis. I missed my other grandparents as well but they had lived in the south end of England so we only saw them once, maybe twice, a year.

When my children were small my wifes parents were close by (an hour at first, then two hours) so they were a lot closer to them than my folks who ended up twelve hours away in Alabama. They knew and loved both sets but you could see the difference distance and familiarity made.

Now that I have grandchildren of my own, they are the only reason I stay in this town. One lives less than ten minutes away and we see her 2 or 3 times a week. The others live about 45 minutes away. We see them almost every week since my son and DIL come to town quite frequently. We go to all the games and shows, attend school functions, act as backup for appointments and babysit. I would sorely miss it if they moved further away. My wife and I have discussed retiring to the family farm where her parents ended up (two hours away) but have decided to wait until the grandchildren are more grown so it will be another five or six years at least. If life should take them further away from us then perhaps we would consider moving then.

Would we move to another town to be in the same town as our grandkids? Yes, but it would be a difficult decision, I cannot see my kids both ending up in the same town so how would we choose which set of grandchildren to be close to? Split the difference? Maybe, but probably not.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I think it is time to sit down with Gramps & explain everything to him. Then allow the discussion to go wherever HE takes it. My Grandfather was a wise old man who frequently had a lot clearer picture of life than I ever did & came up with solutions that I hadn’t even considered!!!

Be prepared to hear that he’s not going to want you to move away from him & that he’s also not willing to move with you. Older people seem to become very settled with their life & aren’t always open to changes. Then again, he may very well tell you to go & enjoy your life all the while hurting inside.because he wants what is best for you!!!

I grew up in the general area that you’re thinking about moving.Tennessee is a beautiful state but I can warn you that it gets a lot of snow most winters. Maybe not the brutally cold you’re dealing with now; but a lot more than the Carolinas. Tennessee is also on the fringe of Tornado Ally & occasionally have to deal with them. Then there are the forest fires. I have family in TN & they love it there. North Carolina mountains are not that easy during the winters especially the closer you get to the TN border NC deals with a good number of wildsfires every year also. If you get too close to the coast you have hurricanes to deal with every summer. Hurricanes scare me almost as much as tornadoes do. South Carolina is the warmer of the 3. SC gets occasional snow & their worst part of winter lasts about a month. Northern Georgia is almost identical to SC unless you move to the mountains & then it’s snow & wildfires once again. Southern Georgia is a lot like Florida & seldom sees snow. Don’t remember any wildfires & the hurricanes are mostly out near the coast. My cousin lived in South Georgia all her life & had never seen snow. When she got married they moved to Texas & she was 34 y/o before she ever saw her first snowfall. Members of my family are still teasing her about that.

Have you looked into Virginia? Once you get out of the DC Metro area or stay away from Richmond or other of the larger cities, the VA countryside should be a lot cheaper than NY. The weather isn’t as perfect as further south but is a lot better than further north. Plus, you could be within driving distance of your Grandfather!!! I had friends in NYC & it only took me 4 hours to get there. Not as perfect as living nearby but better than living 12–15 hours away.

I’ve spent most of my adult life living between the DC area & Southern Georgia & they all have pros & cons. Weather related issues seem to unnerve me because some things are uncontrollable & difficult to be prepared for. It’s only about once every 10 years that you’ll see over 8” of snow except for TN or the higher elevations of NC. Of course, the humidity in all these states is almost as bad as the snow (but still not as bad as snow)!!!

Oops, got off topic along the way; but, hope my knowledge of the areas you’re considering will give you some additional thoughts on the subject as I’d hate for you to move & still not be happy!!!

I still think you need to have a discussion with your Grandfather before you stress yourself into a tizzy (southern for batsh crazy) & then determine what is best from there.

I hope you find your perfect home!!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

For me, we made the decision to stay put until our elders passed, but we’re in Missouri and a bit old-fashioned about that kind of thing.

JLeslie's avatar

Florida and Tennessee no income tax. Since your kids are schoolage, orvclose to it, make sure you feel comfortable with your kids growing up in the environment you are moving to. I’ve lived in both Florida and Tennessee. I liked both. If I had kids I would have had much more to consider. I would likely lean towards FL, but I do anyway.

NC has income tax and even property tax on your card, although housing prices are fairly reasonable. A lot of people love NC, I never completely felt at home there, but I would be willing to go back if it was a good opportunity. Charlotte is supposed to be full of young people, and many people from other states live there. I’ve never been, but so many people I know like it.

Most likely Florida has cheaper and more frequent flights to your airport in NY. This might mean family can visit easier than if you were in TN, NC, or SC if they will be flying. If they are driving, west TN is obviously far, but east TN, NC won’t be too bad. SC and Florida are long trips.

My grandma used to stay with me 3–4 weeks in the winter. Maybe your grandpa can do the same if he doesn’t want to move permanently. Although, it will eventually get hard for him to travel I would think. I don’t know how old he is.

He could come live here in The Villages where I live. So much to do, a ton of New Yorkers, Italian-American club, tennis, golf, live bands every night, he would have a lot of fun. Your job you can do anywhere, I don’t remember what your husband does. You might want to be closer to the ocean though if you’re in a coastal state. I am only an hour from Disney. Tons of people here have annual passes.

gorillapaws's avatar

Take a look at Richmond, VA (or possibly something in PA). Richmond is a reasonable car/train trip to NY and the cost of living is very reasonable with fantastic public schools. The summers are pretty hot though.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Fair warning; the winters tend to be quite severe in Tennessee. I live in the Chicago area. My family still lives around the KY/TN region. They always question how I can stand all the cold and snow up here. My response – yeah, I might get more snow, on average, but the roads are clear in no time and nothing shuts down. And we don’t get the huge, disabling ice storms that cut out power, close down highways and bring everything to a grinding halt for awhile. They do, almost every year.

Zaku's avatar

I would move, and did. Would your grandfather be interested in moving along with or near you?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@LadyMarissa There’s a lot to consider! I didn’t realize TN got so much snow but the tornado risk has always made me nervous. My sister lives in VA now and she isn’t a big fan, however she lives in Virginia Beach so it’s flooded with tourists and everything is expensive. I imagine if we looked at other areas, it might be something we would like. I especially like how close it is to NY.

@JLeslie My husband works for USPS so we can move anywhere there is a post office. I forgot there was no income tax in in Florida. I actually have some family there but it’s pretty far and maybe even a bit too hot and humid for our taste.

janbb's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Summers are beastly in Florida! (And many of the school districts underfunded.)

LadyMarissa's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I had a friend in Virginia Beach & he hated it also. I lived in Manassas for a while. It was only an hour out of DC except during rush hour. & an hour further out had me in the country. The housing development I lived in at the time had way too many people; but, on weekends we drove out into the country & made a day of picnicing & enjoying being by ourselves.

Charlotte NC is a beautiful city & a lot of the young people love it. For me, it has way too much traffic so I’ve never considered living there. Compared to some parts of NY, Tennessee is considered a mild climate; but since you’re trying to get away from the cold & snow, I’m not sure you’d be that much happier. Since you wouldn’t care for the humidity in Florida, you probably wouldn’t care for South Georgia either. North Georgia & both the Carolinas are pretty humid also. Personally, I’d trade snow for humidity any day. I can drive when it’s humid & I’m stuck at home when it snows. Most southern states don’t get enough snow to keep the proper snow removal equipment available; but fortunately, they don’t need it often. We joke that with 1” of snow everything shuts down. I don’t have children so I can’t give any insight into the school systems. My advice is to stay away from any of the larger cities no matter where you move but try & be close enough to make it a day of shopping or availability to decent healthcare.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@LadyMarissa I’ve heard that about other states with snow. They get a little dusting of snow and everything shuts down! We are used to a couple feet of snow regularly and it’s rare that it stops day to day operations. The snow isn’t the thing the gets to me as much as the bitter cold. The older I get the more it bothers me. We definitely want to stay away from the larger cities. As far as school systems go, it’s not a huge concern as I currently homeschool but it could always change. Ideally I’d like to be in a good district in case the kids end up in public schools later on.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 The last time we had a couple feet of snow, the roads were closed for 2 weeks. I had to shovel a path from my house out into the yard so my dog could relieve himself away from the house.I think that was around 25 years ago. Recently, our schools announced their closure the day before 4” of snow was predicted & we had NO snow on the day of. Even I find that to be extreme!!! Grocery store shelves are empty 2 days before predicted snow is due to arrive. I comment to friends who live up north that I’m freezing & they laugh because its 45 outside &that’s not cold!!!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@LadyMarissa 45 degrees sounds magical for winter temps! I get a little grumpy when it’s stuck in single digits for days.

LadyMarissa's avatar

We normally don’t hit single digits that often & then it’s only for a day or two. I stay home on those days

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@chyna‘s question is right on point – would your grandfather be willing to relocate? It’s possible that he, too, might enjoy a milder climate. Even if it isn’t practical or feasible for him to live within your household, he could be nearby and see your family very often.

When my mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she was all alone and 420 miles away. It wasn’t possible for me to relocate, so she moved to my city. It was a great change for her, being close to family, and we see each other every day.

cheebdragon's avatar

I would LOVE to leave California. It’s just an expensive cesspool of bumper to bumper traffic and outrageous taxes, I fucking hate it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Definitely discuss this with grandpa.
It could be something he has wanted for himself but hasn’t seen it as possible for him. Knowing he could have help could make it a go.

JLeslie's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 “The South” does get semi-paralyzed from a small amount of snow, but it’s because the South is underfunded for it, and it gets way more ice than northern states. The South is too warm most days, so you get melting or very wet snow, and then overnight it all freezes into a sheet. No one can drive in ice, not even a New Yorker. Except to say the NYer has snow tires (Southerners don’t) and NYers know they need to drive like they have no brakes. But, you get 0–4 snows a year that melt pretty fast. Nothing wrong with a snow day.

The thing about TN and NC is the winter is much shorter, but Jan and Feb are still very cold. It doesn’t matter if it’s 28 or 8 degrees, you’re still in a winter coat.

Florida is hot in the summer, but I’d rather complain about the heat than the snow. TN is often hotter than Florida in the summer during the day. Ft. Lauderdale’s highest temperature recorded is 99 degrees. Many states more north have up in the 100’s. The average in the hottest month in Ft. Laud is an average high of 90, but you get over 6 months of springlike weather. If you go north of Sarasota/Vero in the winter it gets cold. You’ll get 20–60 days of cool weather where you can pull out your long sleeves, and some days sweaters and coats. Where I live I have my windows open at least a few hours half the year, but down by Ft. Lauderdale it’s much much less, barely a few weeks. That’s not to say it isn’t patio weather, it is, but you can’t open your windows.

The trick is, in FL, there is three months where it is hot day and NIGHT. You are accustomed to the temperature going down at night.

Warm climates you save money on clothing, t-shirts are way cheaper than sweaters and winter coats. In Florida friends and family will visit, in TN, NC, and SC, not as much. I’m sure your parents will come just as much, but most likely not your friends.

Since your husband works outside most likely, if he is delivering packages, he probably gets a big vote regarding weather.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@JLeslie Whenever I mention FL my husband says he would never want to work in that heat and humidity. Now hearing more about TN it sounds like they get pretty hot in summers too. I don’t mean to say that we’re completely scared of a winter of any kind. A mild winter is just fine. I just wouldn’t want to pack up our lives and move just to have a winter that lasts from October through April with snowfall and temperatures in the teens like it does here some years.

MrGrimm888's avatar

My home, Charleston SC, is great. We’re tucked into a corner, so we don’t usually get direct hurricane hits. They’re more of an inconvenience, for most. Unless you live in a flood prone place, but those are avoidable.

It’s a gorgeous, historic, and doesn’t really have winter.

There is lots of fresh, and salt water. The summers can be brutal, if you don’t like heat. But most northern immigrants say they love it.

It’s also very different from much of the deep south. Everyone here is very kind, and used to living with many different cultures. Things are slower here. The long summer days drag by, and the people walk and talk a little slower because of the heat. But it’s very laid back and is frequently listed as one of the friendliest cities in America.

In the winter, the tourists are far less, so you can enjoy less traffic, and moderate temperatures.

There is a real sense of community here. When Dylan Roof shot up our church, he wanted a race war. Instead, we all held hands across our largest bridge in a symbol of unity and love. It was one of the most amazing things that I have ever witnessed involving hope for humanity. There is also a large gay community. It’s a very artsy place. Architecture, and the arts are everywhere.

We are a group of islands. Each one a bit different than the other. I’m sure you could find a place you like.

Come visit. You’ll see what I mean.

Good luck with whatever you do.

Peace n love.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@cheebdragon Well hello there! First @ItalianPrincess1217, now you! Is this old home week? Good to see you!!

JLeslie's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 definitely check city temperature averages while your doing your research. The info is easy to find. Here is one site: that site has a graph also, which is an easy visual.

Nashville and more east will be more moderate, because it’s higher in the mountains. I lived in Memphis, which is hotter.

The coasts are cooler than the interior in the summer. Daytona will be cooler than Orlando in the summer.

Same goes for NC, if you go west to Asheville it should be not quite as hot, because it’s higher elevation. The coast of the state on the Atlantic will also be better than Raleigh, which is towards the center of the state.

Look up your current city and see how the cities compare. The winter will feel much milder to you if you are in NC and south. Anything north of NC I don’t know if it would be worth it to you.

For me personally, I feel like living in the warm changes my life. Makes me happy. I know a lot of people who feel like me. It feels like an every day vacation to me. BUT, since you have young children, I think it’s really great that they are near their grandparents and aunts and uncles, and so that’s a really hard decision.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Yes I did. Go. Live your life. Send the kids to grandpa for the summer. Wonderful set up there! Imagine what the world would be like if no one ever left their hometown.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Actually, IMHO the world was better off when we never moved further than a mile from home. Have a problem & not be able to get home on time, the kids could run over to Grandmother, Aunt/uncle, or cousin’s house & you knew they’d be safe & fed until you could get home. We knew who we could trust. We knew the true meaning of love. I kind of miss it!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

My husband and I really, REALLY want to move to the same tiny town my son and his family live in. I just want to have kids coming over unexpectedly to eat or whatever.

LadyMarissa's avatar

When I was young, I couldn’t wait to move away from my nosy family. Now I miss having them close by. I don’t need a free baby sitter for my kids…I need one for me!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

My folks divorced when I was 19. One moved to Florida, the other to Seattle and my younger sister and I were left high and dry here in Kansas.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I was fortunate, my parents were together for 75 years & married for 65 years of those years. We lived on my Grandparents farm in the beginning of my life. Then we moved about ½ mile away. I never got away with anything & I never had to worry about somebody not knowing about what I was doing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Frankly, most of my relatives are just awful, stifling, petty and judgmental people. Users and abusers. Best decision I ever made was to get far away from that town.

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