Just a couple of generations ago, most families lived close to the majority of their relatives – often family members lived in the same street. When the younger members of the family married, they’d move away from home but, generally, not more than a few miles.
Things have changed dramatically over the last 80 years and now families are spread out across the country. Young people go away to college or university and, after graduating, may stay in the university town. If they’re offered a new job or a promotion, they may have to relocate miles away. If they meet a partner who lives in another area, the likelihood is that they’ll move.
When you retire, you are, perhaps for the first time in your adult life, able to choose where you live. You no longer have to buy a home near work or the children’s schools. You can relocate to a place of your choosing – including somewhere close to family.
One recent Beechcroft buyer didn’t intend moving closer to family but fell in love with a development less than ½ mile from her son and his family – and she is delighted that she has done so. Like all Beechcroft buyers, with a home that’s more energy efficient and easier to maintain, she’s able to spend time doing things that she really enjoys - and her grandchildren are able to pop in and visit her on their way home from school.
Of course, downsizing is a good idea in retirement and living near family has so many advantages but for all the pros, there are some cons.
It can be difficult to leave the place you’ve lived for years and where you’ve raised your family. You’ll need to find a new hairdresser, a new doctor and a dentist. You may be leaving some good friends behind when you relocate. You may also worry that your family won’t have time for you – or, on the other hand, that you will end up seeing too much of each other!
For those of us over 55, independence is important. Our generation doesn’t like having to rely on the younger generation – even though we may need help sometimes. We don’t want to be ‘in the way’ or to be seen as a ‘bit of a nuisance.’
Moving closer to family doesn’t mean you have to see them all the time, though. Relocating to a new area can mean having a whole new lease of life. Initially, you may have to make more of an effort to build a new social circle but this can be immensely rewarding and you might find yourself doing something you’d never dreamed of.
It’s easy to make friends in childhood but, in adulthood, it can be far more difficult. You’re generally far too busy with work and family to develop close friendships. Retirement, however, is a different matter. Once you’ve met potential friends, you’ve got more time to cement the friendship over morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas, to share visits to the theatre, the cinema or the local museum or art gallery.
Moving to a new retirement community makes meeting new people so much easier. You’ll have a lovely home along with your privacy and independence but with the possibility of a new social life.
Retirement communities such as Beechcroft developments attract like minded people. If the development has a communal lounge, it soon becomes a social hub, hosting coffee mornings, quizzes, fitness classes, meetings and events. The beautifully landscaped gardens are delightful places to sit and chat with neighbours.
One Beechcroft homeowner commented that he’d chatted to more people in a week on his new development than he had in the nine years he’d spent in his former home. On several developments, homeowners walk dogs together and some even holiday together.
With retirement communities like Beechcroft’s, close to attractive villages and market towns, there’s so much you can do to make friends in the wider area, if you choose to do so.
If you’re thinking of relocating close to family in the southern counties including Kent, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire or Hertfordshire, take a look at Beechcroft’s collection of elegant houses and apartments, set in beautifully landscaped and fully maintained settings.
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