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I am a 45 year old married man. My wife and I have two adopted children, ages 13 and 15. We have been living in Minneapolis, MN for 12 years. My parents live about 6 miles from us. They're 69 and 71 and fully self-sufficient; although signs of future medical conditions are beginning to show. My wife's parents live in New York. My dilemma is this. My wife and I would like to move to Sacramento, CA. I grew up in Sacramento and miss the weather and being close to the ocean, mountains, and cities. I have no sibblings to look after my parents if we move and we'd also be 1800 miles further from her parents. Am I being selfish in wanting something different for my family? Or should I just suck it up and stay (unhappily) in Minnesota?

Im sure this got resolved, however, there is a hybrid solution. One may downsize their current location to a vacation home and purchase/rent a primary residence elsewhere or vice versa. During the time the vacation home is not used by the owner is can be rented (VRBO or airbnb). It's best to choose the lowest tax state for your majority of residence time (at least 51% of the time & must be verifiable to avoid penalties). That said, CA real estate is very high so you may need to consider your overall budget. Also consider if your work is mobile or fixed. In any case, this hybrid solution often calms your senior parent(s) fear of loss because it demonstrates you are still committed to return (friends will like this too). That said, some parents may be very fearful due to dependance or controlling by nature and become depressed or resentful if you move no matter what. But if you don't live your life by your own values and choices as they have (including your chosen sacrifices) your own resentment/depression can build. So stay true to your values and goals and live your chosen life. Keep parents close with visits, phone calls and Skype if they use internet devices. Best of luck to you all.
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We actually did just that 7 years ago, when my parents were in their early 70s.  Moved from St. Louis to Northern CA.  They actually helped drive our moving van for 4 nights.  6 years ago our daughter was born, and Grandma comes to visit every few months and loves it, Grandpa flies out every year or 2 and is grumpy.  I found the hardest part has been returning to STL, because things just aren't the same with old friends and extended family.  It's true you can never really go home.  But after 7 years I still relish the beautiful weather and it never gets old.  Even when it is cold and rainy in winter, it is still so beautiful. 
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Dear meadows2344,

It is a hard decision. There are so many things to consider. And each of us is so different in what we can handle.

I am the oldest in my sibling group and I didn't have my own family. In my own mind, I felt I could never leave my parents. They did me to be close to home to handle everything from housework, yard work, paper work, you name it.

But at the same time, I do believe you have a right to make a decision that will make you happy. By staying I do have a lot of resentment and anger about the responsibility and sometimes burden of being the default caregiver.
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Youbetcha and dreamingofsf ....I'm going through this too!!! Such a difficult decision....and the longer it takes to decide the harder it is, since they get older and it becomes harder.... :(
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Yubecha - I'm facing a similar dilemma. May I ask what you decided to do? It's ok if you prefer not to share.
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Is there anything you can do to make your parents happier in Minneapolis? Can you get them to connect with any groups for social contacts? Can you and your parents go to a family counselor to work out issues to get them to accept it? What can you promise in terms of keeping in touch and visiting?

Can you move "for a year" to see how you like it, and when you are settled and sure you want to stay, invite them to move out too?

This is the ONLY reason that I am glad that my parents are dead: that nothing I do can hurt them any more. Good luck.
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My mthr's long time doc actually told us she would have better medical care if she were living close to us because he knows we would make sure she went to her dr. visits. It would have been nice if we had her closer longer, and before the crisis that forced our hand. My husband has a lot of older clients who are in independent and assisted living situations who are mentally all there, and he says that once they are there, they are so glad they have moved in!
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Yeah. I felt bad when I finally moved Mom to be closer to us, but she only had two brothers in a family across the street who would ever visit her, and we could see her nearly daily - thought it was an OK trade, but still, she might have done better health wise if we had not moved. It can be the obvious move to make or a very tough call, I wish you the best!
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My husband and I moved several states away. When and only when my mthr had problems severe enough to need our involvement, we fetched her. When we needed to decide where to place her in a home, we chose somewhere convenient to US since we are the only family who will visit, take to appts, etc. She has outlived most of her one time friends so there is no one who would visit in her home town. This has been a working solution for us, especially since we were taking her to twice a week doctor visits for 4 months straight.
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California is great, but once you get used to it, the great weather, etc., it won't seem as special. For example, I've read that the excitement of driving a new car wears off in about two months. Is there any way you could make frequent trips to CA from MN? Would you consider moving your parents with you? I think it is admirable that you are concerned about your parents, but unless you had to move for a job or some other super important reason, it may be best to stay near your parents. If you do indeed move, could you make frequent trips back to MN to visit them? Or how about just going to CA during the MN winters? If your wife is close with her parents, she will be even further away from them, if you and she move to CA.
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@ lis,
lol.
my sons live in gary indiana and if i ever move it will be farther AWAY from them..
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Don't let your parents guilt you into staying. You are first and foremost responsible for taking care of your kids. Do what is best for them. Let your parents know they can move closer to you if they wish. My mother moved in with us from out of state and I have reminded her a few times that my kids come first. She understands when I say it .
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I will always remember moving away from my parents ,we left more then just parents,but grand,great parents,,as they wave goodbye to us they were crying,now as the same thing is befalling us,now Zi know how they felt!!!
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Yubecha...seems to me from all the great advice that you've been given to your question....as they say...Majority Rules.....Pack your bags n enjoy your lives in sunny CA.....Best of luck to you..
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69 and 71? That isn't old. Don't consult them further. They need to be moving to FL. or somewhere warm, themselves.
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Heck, we're moving down the road two miles and my mom's been crying for weeks...Lis.
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If your wife and children are up for the challenge then go. Live for today and follow your dreams. There is no guarantee you will outlive your parents.
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This is all such GREAT advice. Can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughts. You've all certainly given me something to think about.
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Go for it. Move parents out to Sacramento with you and fly back to NY to see the other parents. Either than or fly out to see your parents from time to time. Life is short. You are not selfish. Get them skype, email, cell phones. Fly them out if you have the money, a couple times a year. Your parents need to become independent. Get them interested in things in MN. Twins games, senior centers, mall walking, helping people, the library etc.
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Live your life! Sure your parents will be sad and miss you; but that is part of life and we can't put our lives on hold "for the what ifs and when". I think you should go and enjoy. Others are right, your parents can come visit or you can make trips to visit them. Yes, you won't be right there for Sunday dinners, but most families are scattered. You have spent some real quality time with them up to this point and they've gotten to see you and their grandchildren. The grandkids will soon be off to college and they will see them less and less anyway.

Before you go; you should have a family mtg (with both families for that matter) and make sure you have frank discussions about medical and financial wishes, DPOAs and Medical Directives, Wills in place for both parent sets. Ask them their wishes? Would they be opposed to moving closer to you if they need more care or anticipate more care? Do they have support and financial systems in place should they decide to stay in NY and MN and need to move to AL, Memory Care or other? Do they want to stay in their home? Are they open to in-home help or assistance if needed? Were they planning on you taking care of them in old age?Just some important questions and preparations. Things can change very quickly for a number of reasons and you don't want to have these discussions in a chaotic state. This will give you peace of mind going forward.

You shouldn't feel guilty; it is our parents job to raise us with no expectations on the other end.

If circumstances change, you always have option to move back at some later date.
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I'm in a different position than most because a couple of years ago, I was the one who moved away from my family. I'm in my 60s and I left my kids and grand kids to peruse my dreams. We miss one another but it has turned out to be a wonderful move. It is my responsibility to prepare for my old age and my kids and I have discussed it and have a plan in place. If the shoe was on the other foot, I'd support their decision to move if it is what made them happy. Family is important to us and that's why we support each other and that can be done in the same town or miles apart. If any one of us needed anything, we'd be there to help.
The fact your parents have expressed unhappiness is something to consider yubecha. Obviously you care about your parents. Only you know if they'll be able to handle the change and if you'll be happy knowing they can't accept it.
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Just curious but why have you been living in Minn all this time if you are so unhappy there and your parents have not needed you? back to your question: are you selfish? No. But if you went to the trouble of asking this question, then you must have some concerns about your parents needing help in the future. So you can set them up the best you can before you leave or make plans to bring them to Ca in the future (maybe they want to go back home also). It is very easy to say go live your own life.No, your are not responsible for your parents. But for many, any family connection does mean something, otherwise, why do we need families? In an ideal world children should grow up, create their own families and parents should secure their own future. And the same goes for children, never needing money for the wedding, house down payment, grandchildren care. We should do it all on our own, right? But I personally have never lived in an ideal world so I had to make choices I could live with. Thus I am a caregiver. If your parents have lived there for years, they must have connections and you stated they do not need your help at this time, so why would you feel selfish if you left them? Many children live in the same town and do nothing to help their parents. So, other than being harder to give caregiving long distance, caregiving is caregiving. So you either are going to accept caregiver duties if they ever become needed, long or close distance or you are not.And caregiving doesn't mean they have to live with you. just that you secured them in an appropriate situation that meets their needs. Why are you not concerned about the inlaws?
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It is you and your spouse's life you must put first. Your parents can move to be near you later if that is needed. They should be happy for you as you both pursue your dream and enjoy visiting you in your new home. This is your time. Later your kids get to live where they want, right?
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You can't live close to both sets of parents, obviously.

Your parents may live another 20 years or more. Do you think they should dictate where you live for the next 2 decades?

If your parents or your spouse's parents become in need of help in the future, you will have to decide the best way to deal with it at that time. Don't borrow trouble ahead of time. Go, do your own thing.
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Southwest has some one-stop flights from MInneapolis to Sacramento for under $250.00 if that helps any.

I hated long distance caregiving. BUT, you are pretty young to just stick around *just* in case something happens that results in caregiving needs in the future. You will have options to move back closer, to bring them closer to you, or to rack up frequent flier points, but I don't see it as truly horrible to cross that bridge when you come to it. But its a tough decision - will the kids miss their grandparents being practically next door? How much do you hate Minneapolis? I have visited and think its a pretty neat town myself, but then I visited in the summer. I did trips from Little Rock AR to PIttsburgh PA every 6-8 weeks, alternating car and air, for about 3 years, rather than uproot myself and my family when I faced that unwelcome dilemma. I'll also admit to asking my young adult children to consider moving to Mom's house in Pgh as an alternative but neither took me up on it.
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I think you should do what you want to do. But do it from your heart whatever you would think is right. To me they are your parents and they were there for you when you was a child and I'm sure through your teen years. so give a little back if it don't hurt.
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Move!
The 15 yr old is probably going to be pissy about the move as 15 is a most selfish self-centered age. But they will adapt as will your & your wife's parents.
Buy a boat too and get those kids on the water.
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I should also say that when I approached my parents about the posibility of moving, they got very upset. My dad said that I would hurt them very, very much and my mother said she already felt "so alone". Just don't know what to do. I don't want to hurt them. But I also realize that (scientifically) we only have one life.
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What?!! You'd leave Minnesota to live in California? I can't imagine why, but, hey if that is what you want, go for it.
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By all means move to CA and enjoy life with you're family! You're parents are responsible for preparing themselves for their senior years, not you. Good luck and have a wonderful future.
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