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Choosing a Retirement Village: Close to Home or Close to Family?

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Once you've decided to move to a retirement community, you have to find the right community for you. While people often move to villages close to home, some use this opportunity to move closer to family. If your family lives a long way away, then this may be worth considering. Which option will work for you?

What Do You Gain?

If you don't see your family that often because of the distance problem, then moving into a village close to their home allows you to be a bigger part of their lives. They also get to see you more often. After years of periodic visits, you can really reconnect with your kids and get to know your grandchildren better.

Living in a village also ensures that you stay independent and that your children don't have to look after you. However, you get the comfort of knowing that your family is close at hand if you are ill or need help. This is also easier on your kids. They may already worry about you living alone so far away and may prefer to have you closer, so they can be on the spot if you need them.

What Do You Lose?

While moving to a retirement village takes you away from your current neighbourhood, you'll still be able to see your friends if you move to a more local community. You'll just live a little further away.

If you have an active social life or do voluntary or even paid part-time work, then you'll lose all these connections if you move to the other side of the country. If you've lived in the same place for decades, then this can be hard. As well as losing access to friends, you'll also have to build a new support network. For example, you'll lose your family doctor and dentist.

Bear in mind that one of the advantages of living in a retirement village is that it comes with an instant community. This isn't like moving to a new house where you have to build relationships over time. All retirement villages are full of people your age; they also run activities and clubs that make it easier to find and make friends who like doing stuff you like doing. This may take some of the sting out of moving away.

Whether you decide to move into a retirement village close to home or close to family, make sure to visit villages yourself before you decide where to move.