Do I build my business or live near my grown children?


When my parents were at my current age I look back and see that they stopped life. The pain was too great for them and they retreated. My wife’s parents became so involved in the grandkids that they also eventually became lost and alone as the grandkids moved away.
I want to show my kids something different and here is my dilemma. I can expand my business to other areas and states to increase our finance or I can go to where my kids and granddaughter will be and do business but not expand the business.
Thanks for your insight.

∼ Robert F.


Dear Robert,
One of the most musical sounds in our memory repertoire is, “Daddy/Mommy, come here. I need you.” We are very blessed; our grown children are kind enough to promote an effective illusion that our involvement in their lives is important to them. We choose to believe them.

Last year, we picked up and moved across the country away from fantastic friends and magnificent natural beauty to be nearer to our children and grandchildren. Our quality of life has improved more than we anticipated. What we are missing, along with a less accommodating airport, is a small price to pay for being part of our children’s lives. However, our ministry commitments were easy to relocate. We travel a great deal and work online.

You and your wife are in a different situation. You aren’t clear why your parents were in so much pain, but your wife’s parents seemed overly invested in their grandchildren, in effect facing ‘empty nest syndrome’ at an age when they no longer had energy or desire to build new interests.

We would suggest dividing the analysis into different components. If you would be financially comfortable after the move but might not accumulate enough for luxuries or to leave a monetary legacy to your children, we would urge you to opt for giving them your presence rather than material presents. On the other hand, if moving would place you in a financially precarious situation, we would recommend holding off until that changes.

If the business will bring in enough income, but you will miss the challenge of running an exciting, expanding business will be missing, we’d advise you to think of ways to compensate. You don’t want to move as a step in aging and slowing down but rather as a new adventure. If your children want you nearby, you will derive satisfaction in being part of their lives and you and your granddaughter can give much to each other. At the same time, check out other opportunities and resources in your potential new location. You and your wife should still have a thriving life separate from your children.

We hope this gives you some ideas to ponder,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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