Relocating Without Family

Relocating Without Family

Guest article provided by:

Each of us at some time in our lives must confront relocating without family. This may occur early in your career or later when you leave full-time careers and employment. Relocating without family and friends is a hard decision to make.

Since, I made this decision multiple times during my life, I would like to address the concept as it relates to those of us who have experienced the change from brown/black hair to silver hair. So, the later in life scenario rather than the move for business.

We move from our loved ones for a variety of reasons, most in later life are due to economics and aspirations. Some people have dreamed of living by the beach or in the mountains by a lake. The problem is that your family e.g. adult children and grandchildren are engaged in the economy and school. 

You can stay where you are, or follow your dream

You can stay where you are, be near your family or follow your dream and your family can visit. I have watched TV shows for years with seniors looking for homes large enough for family.  Moving to your dream home and having family visit is not a new concept. I am here to tell you that it works for me.

My adult children and grandchildren visit periodically and we have been back to California on occasion. The “kids” can’t move because for the reasons I mentioned above. We moved in large part due to economics and also for the area, living on the water with a boat near the beach.

So, how can you make it work? There are some great software programs now by Apple, Google, and others that allow you to see who you are talking to. When Apple invented FaceTime, they revolutionized communication. People can be on the beach while their favorite Aunt is in the hospital and they can come together via phone and computer or tablet.

Older Americans find it difficult to adjust to the electronic “meetings”, the absence of the other person in front of you is difficult to manage but not impossible. I am going to offer some suggestions for improving the quality of not only your life but that of your family and friends.


Buy Apple phones that have built-in WIFI. Obtain a senior plan with a carrier e.g. Tmobile. Tmobile has a plan for two phones at about $50 with true unlimited everything. This plan is just for seniors over 55. There may be others out there.

Buy an iPad with FaceTime if you want a larger screen or an Apple desktop computer. I own a 27″ Mac. The screen size is great and it has a camera. I can sit in front of the camera for a long time talking with my grandchildren as we can see each other.  

There are other phones, tablets, and hardware that can work as well. You can use the Amazon products if you want a stationary device that looks like a small computer screen. They work well but they are not mobile. If you visit for example a park and want your Son to see it, you can use FaceTime for that.

If you need assistance determining what you need, you can obtain that from almost any mobile phone store or larger store e.g. Apple, Best Buy, etc. They all employ people who can get you started.

Hardly anyone has a landline phone today but if you want one, try Ooma, this is a telephone that works with WIFI. The fee is a few dollars per month for taxes and the service is free. You can buy almost any telephone handset. 911 calls work on the phone. If you have a vision problem you can buy a phone with large numbers.

There are many sites that discuss communication for those who are living afar from their families. The link here is a good start.

Your home

Should you decide to relocate, your choice of location and property will figure into your ability to attract and accommodate your family. Consider when you were a child, did you like going to your grandparents home. Unless there are activities nearby, you may fight to get your grandchildren to visit.

I recommend that you consider a three-bedroom house if you have a small family and potentially a four-bedroom with extra rooms if your family is larger. Kids today do not often play in yards but they need space to spread out so, the property you choose will be important. You can buy blow-up beds for family rooms etc., no need to buy lots of furniture.

This is exactly what we did. We were able to afford a five bedroom house, much more than we need but great when we have the entire family over. Our house is located on a bayou with a boat. There are lots of things to do in the area and the adult kids and grandchildren love the area.

If you are youthful seniors in your early years, buying may be a good option. Sell that big house in the crowded suburbs and move to a nice home in a less expensive but attractive area. Seniors who are a bit more “senior” may consider renting a house. 

Involve your family in your decision about what home to buy. If you are not yet ready to move, consider buying before you leave employment. Use the property as a family get-away. 


There are lots of things you can do to improve your safety when your family and most of your friends are living afar. Consider a simple do-it-yourself security system such as SimpliSafe. You can set it up yourself and include panic buttons in the event you fall or are otherwise incapable of contacting help.  Caring from afar is absolutely possible today with the multitude of things that make life easier for us.

No need to spend lots on a monitored security system, there are companies that offer to monitory your self installed system for a few dollars per month. The monitors can call your family or send alerts on cell phones should you set off a panic alarm. 

Automate your lights, doors, and most everything. You can use Amazon, Google, or Apple devices to voice control your household electronics, lighting, etc. If you can not get out of bed, for example, you can ask your device to call your family or first responders.

Saying goodbye

Planning is everything.  Involving your family in your plans as far out as possible and working out vacations and holiday visits in advance will improve your life. Creating a calendar with important dates and sharing the calendar via wifi with your family will give you something to look forward to.

Your next phase should be about the quality of life, regardless of your decision to stay or move. There is nothing wrong with having expectations such as living on the water. This takes planning and the belief that you are moving to ensure the quality of your life and at the same time improve the lives of your family.

Sometimes a fresh start is just what the doctor would order. Think about donating your household goods at the existing home and buying new at your new home. Not photos and personal items but beds, chairs etc. Many people have kept their furniture for decades. This may be a time to start over, a new chapter as come call it.

Visiting is a two-way street. You can plan to visit the family as well. Perhaps buy a motor home or trailer, travel, and stop in on family. Many people have family scattered all over, not just where they moved from. All of this can go into your planning calendar. You can use Google calendar or another online.

Perhaps the above will be of some help to you and your family. Don’t wait to start researching the areas I discussed above. You may decide to retire in place, good for you. If your family moves away, much of what I discussed above is still applicable. Have a great life.

Image courtesy of