Dealing with the guilt of NOT living near your loved ones in retirement

The topic of this blog is…Dealing with the guilt of not living near your children or grand children

One of the things that causes retired people to live in places they do not really want to live is the fact they want to be near their kids and grand kids. I totally get why this happens. We gave it careful consideration ourselves.

I want to take you back to a mindset that I write about in Smells Like Retirement…retirement is YOUR time. You lived your life for your parents, teachers, bosses, kids and for your own economic well being. There will ALWAYS be someone who could use your help. If you allow it, you will always NOT have the time to live the life you really want to live.

This is your time. Make your plans for you and your spouse. Once you have scripted a dream retirement life, I promise you that you will find great ways to stay close to those you love…and find ways to be there when they really need you.

So our kids (and my 95 year old mom) live in Southern California. My wife and I live some 2700 miles away in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Do we feel guilty about not being there to help those we love every single day…absolutely not. We go to significant efforts to be there when we can and when we are needed and we communicate with everyone on a regular basis. We all wished we lived much closer, but they love visiting Hawaii and we love visiting California and it all works out.

Give freedom a try. This is YOUR time. The only guilt you will experience will be 100% based on your wanting to feel guilty….so don’t.   Your freedom in retirement should be guilt-free and your retirement should be OUTSTANDING. Being a baby sitter for the grand kids and the designated driver for all who need a ride falls outside my definition of OUTSTANDING. It is OK to put yourself first for this one time in your whole life.

Do it.


Don Hurzeler