Moving On, Now the Fun Begins!

Ok, you are past a ‘certain age’ and have decided that your loved ones are too far away or you simply are not loving where you live anymore. You look around one day and realize your world is just not fulfilled as much as it could be if you lived closer to your family, the people who truly love you and mean the world to you. Those people could live hundreds or even thousands of miles away or simply farther away then you want to drive anymore. You starting toying with the idea of ‘moving on’, and decide, it is time to move closer. Or you decide that where you live is not fitting you anymore. You want to be in ‘big kids camp’ which is what a lot of 55 Plus Communities are.

Relocating can seem quite daunting. At over 50 you are a youngster and may be just starting your third career or working in a great job. You also might have the most amazing friends in the world plus your home is paid off or almost paid off, So why move….probably because your heart is with your family and they are not nearby or you are just not feeling it where you live. So yes, I think its ok to give up a great career to be near them, as long as you know you can financially move into that new life. Or yes, leave if you are not feeling the fit of the area just isn’t a good fit anymore. Boomers after all,  are the ones that protested, changed music, changed the world etc

Moving/relocating is challenging, however, if you don’t do it, you know you will have regrets later on. So let’s walk through it.

I don’t believe you can make a wrong decision in life. They all turn out great, its a mindset.

Do your research on that new area, be thorough, figure out what the movers will cost (move off season), how much rent will be or your new mortgage. Get a great realtor who is not going to sell you for the sake of putting money in their bank account, find someone who cares. Call me, I do referrals across North America, all the time and have a wonderful network of agents who work like I do, we truly care about our clients. Make lists, what kind of house do you want, near what amenities, what will your monthly costs be (seriously, you need to really bring it down to this so you have, at least economically, confidence in this decision) 

Figure out what you do and don’t want to pack and drag along for the ride. Furniture is so inexpensive now, you might want to buy fresh on the other side. You might want to simply toss the little things. Photographs, no need to bring books and books of memories, I mean, who is going to look at them? I asked my son (only son) and he said he only wanted a few photos, more of our family than him as a kid. So I went from hundreds to about 150, and I am still wading through them. I will probably scan most of them and keep a few hard copies.

Dishes, antiques, china, silverware, do you really use them,how often? Do you love them or do you hold on to them because you have a dollar amount attached to them? Donate them, give them away, sell them. FYI Antiques are not worth that much anymore anyway.

Speaking of tossing, have you heard about Swedish Death Cleaning? The Swedes or some of them,  radically start to toss their clutter in their 50’s, so their kids don’t have to after the parents pass. I recently met a seller who’s Mom had just passed and her home was filled with beautiful antiques and stuff.Unfortunately, antiques are not ‘in’ . Plus she had tons of magazines, books, photos, etc. Her son was overwhelmed with having to not only mourn his mother’s passing, but having to spend probably months going through her things to make sure he didn’t throw out or donate something that had value. In fact, the only thing that had value, he said, was his Mom and she wasn’t there anymore. Going through her things was extremely painful for him. So the point is, lighten up, get rid of stuff, you will feel better (unless you are a hoarder) and your kids will have an easier time of it later on as well. Ok, back to our conversation

If you just want to move for the sake of moving, then you need to identify what you feel your ‘new life’ is going to be like. Do you like snow, the ocean, mountains, middle America or Canada, Europe, South America? Ask yourself these questions, do you want to be near restaurants, shopping, entertainiment, if so at what level?Would you prefer a small town with a few places to go to, or a large city or a town near a big city? Or do you want to move to the countryside, and raise chickens and goats?

Economics of it all-you have to do a budget, what is the new place going to cost, how expensive are the homes/townhomes/condos. What is public transportation like (you need to know in case you lose the ability to drive) We are making long term plans here. How many people in your age demographic live there, and your ecomonic demographic as well.

Ok so lets say you are ready, you are organized and prepared, the next step is courage. Remember your early twenties when you knew you could do it all (because you didn’t know you could fail) so use that state of mind….because I don’t think anyone can fail when you believe you can’t. Failure is such a silly word anyway, take it out of your vocabulary.

And when you get to that new place, my suggestion is to in the beginning, try to find people who are in your age group where you will find more things in common. But don’t limit your life to ‘people of the same age’, widen that circle.

If you are not planning on working, then volunteer. You will make friends faster that way. Don’t get involved in the silly politics of where ever you volunteer, and no doubt, there will be politics. Keep your head down, smile, enjoy the moment. The entire point of you being there is to meet ‘friends’. If you don’t feel like volunteering, take art classes,join a gym, walking club, bird watching etc. the point is, in order to have a community, you have to be involved in your community. Volunteer at your local SPCA if you love animals, they could use the help and its two sided, as animals give so much love back.

I think if you are looking to be more fulfilled, you need to do more work internally. Moving is not going to help you fill that ‘gap’. 

Moving is emotionally challenging. I remember moving from Toronto to Los Angeles. The first year was so hard. I barely knew anyone, didn’t have the work I was used to and kept looking at the fact that I had left an enormous career in Canada. I was ready to go back to Toronto my second week in LA, but stubbornley stayed there – it was so hard and yes, there were tears.The second year was easier, I started working more often at what I had moved there for, and had a few friends. The third year, was like I woke up…..loved living there, had a lot of friends and a great career. It was everything I had wanted it to be.

It just takes ‘time’ and truly, in life, thats what we have, even if we don’t think we do. 

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

If you are thinking about moving to the Triangle area of North Carolina and want to talk, call me 919.561.0411

~Sharon