Too Old to Move Home?

Updated on December 16, 2013
C.P. asks from Santa Rosa, CA
19 answers

So I basically know I'm going to lose my job in 90 days. My manager told me. I'm thankful for the opportunity to have the position I've been in and I've had a good run. It'll be good on a future resume. However I have no real expectation that my next job will make as much or have as good a benefits package etc.
I am the main income earner in my family. We could not make it very long; maybe a few months, without me working and making good money. I don't want to drain my 401k to nothing and I don't want to take the money from my kids savings to last us maybe till I get what? I just don't think its ever going to be fees able to pay all our living expenses again living where we are.
So my plan is to look like crazy for a job anywhere in our area #1. But we have no family in the area and child care costs needs to be considered. If I lose my job before finding another good paying job then I think I should sell my house (its just mine) and relocate my kids and I to the area where I grew up. There are a lot more job opportunities there, and my family to help with childcare. I think it could be a good thing. The issue is, my kids dad said he wouldn't come with. He likes his job and his family is close to his work (he's been communting about an hr each way for years now... To the same job he got in high school lol). I know we are not madly in love and heading down the isle probably ever. However, we get along fine and we've stayed together for convenience. I genuinely feel that he's a great guy. Poor but great morals and attitude.
Now that Im losing my job. I just cant see liquidating my kids college funds, draining my retirement, and probably eventually losing our house. Because my salery will likely go down and childcare expenses go drastically up. There is nowhere else we can trim... no luxuries we can stop enjoying to compensate for that. Still I feel bad for my kids if we split and relocate. What are your thoughts?

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So What Happened?

I'm in a panic. I'm going to apply for all the jobs in the world to keep my family together. Right now our schedules match where we only need a sitter one day a week. But I'm afraid that I won't get the same schedule and Ill have to pay for a sitter more than that which is expensive. So both now work swing shifts. Of course I want us to all be together. I'm sad that when I asked him if we're become completely destitute if he'll come with us for the short time we would have to crash with my folks and he said no. Which I understand. But my reaction is well... Hurt. I'm talking moving literally 1.5 hrs away if we cannot make our expenses at all. So thanks for the advice everyone. I'm typing on my iPhone with a broken screen and at baseline I'm not the worlds best speller. So sorry. Home to me is Sam Jose area and their dad works in napa valley wine area. Where there is NO jobs in my field... In fact its all fields and spas and food there. Haha. I work in healthcare so I need to be where there are hospitals to work at.

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answers from Houston on

Liquidate the kids college funds. They can work and pay for college.

Every worker should know that they can be canned. I live as if that is my reality.

I always have applications in the works and always land on my feet. I don't let bosses dictate my life.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Hartford on

My thoughts? Well, as an employment specialist I say that since you have THREE entire months before you lose your job in a layoff you need to update your resume immediately and start looking for a new job NOW. The job market is rough so the longer you spend looking for work the better. It would make a transition much easier if you have a new job to move to BEFORE the three months are up rather than waiting the three months and then looking for a job, or even trying to time it so that you have something to start when the three months ends.

Really, be smart about this. Start looking for a new job now. It can take some people three months on the short end to find a job. Apply for whatever you're qualified for, that you can would enjoy working EVEN IF it's not necessarily in your field of choice. It doesn't necessarily even have to be a hospital setting. Your skills should be transferable to medical offices or even insurance companies.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Its not that far away, and it sounds like you are not really a couple, just co-parents, and that can be done with a 2 hour drive. I would apply for jobs in both areas, and see what you can find. That way if you do find a local job then great, but if you don't then maybe you will land one in the other area. Best of luck.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Losing a job is scary, especially when you are the primary breadwinner. My husband was out of work recently for over two years, he made a lot more than I make and we also didn't have luxuries to cut. We did liquidate his 401K (and this is really scary for us) and went through his inheritance from his father, but if we hadn't, we'd have lost our house, which is not in a condition to sell for profit.
My advice - if your house would turn a profit, sell it and move to a less expensive place, a rental where you are not responsible when the furnace dies or the well pump has to be replaced or you need a new roof.
It's not about whether you are too old to return to your hometown. You have children, and while you may not be marrying their father, he is still their father and has always been an active parent. You are splitting up the family. The kids would probably rather be in a rental apartment than not have their father anymore. He might even sue for custody. Is it possible that if you got a job that paid really well, that Dad would be able to stop working for a while, cutting out the daycare expense and the expense of a two hour round trip commute each day? Or is he really dependent on his job for his health insurance and retirement, since you are not married?
I suggest NOT liquidating the kids' college funds. As the mother of a freshman, despite what people say, kids CANNOT "work and pay for college." My kiddult attends a state school. Tuition, fees, room and board are about 24K a year. Her HS job in the ice cream shop and her 8 hour a week campus job doing plant extractions doesn't pay $24K a year, and while there was some scholarship money, that might have paid the tuition but not the rest. And community college was not an option, not for a pre-med or pre-vet student having to take 10 semesters of lab sciences in the first two years. I would sacrifice anything else to be able to help my kid in college, to get a good education that will help them to provide for themselves for the rest of their life.
Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Take a deep breath and think about what you want in life.

One part of me wants you to do what you can to keep your child near his father.

But then I see what appears to be a lot of indifference on his part. You are the main breadwinner. But he doesn't want to move so you can get another good job. He doesn't want to get a better job himself to help cover the bills. And he is apparently indifferent to the concept of his child leaving (not to mention you).

I don't see much incentive for you to stay. I see no reason for you to make yourself destitute for him. You say he has great morals. To me, letting your child and your child's mother lose their house because you don't want to leave your mama or work any harder is not an example of great morals. Looks pretty selfish to me.

And if you do find a job and end up staying in your house, I think you need to think about how he responded to this crisis. It may be time to have him move out, be coparents who live separately, and look for a romantic partner who is looking for an equal loving partner and not just using you as a meal ticket.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think you are in panic mode, understandable but it doesn't really help you.

First of all, you have 3 months to find new job, so some of what you are talking about maybe a moot point. Hopefully you will find a job and if you have to downsize your lifestyle... cross that bridge when you get there.

Second of all I cannot believe how nonchalantly you talk about breaking up your family. I mean I get it: you are not particularly in love with your partner any longer and you are not married, nor do you have any plans to marry him. It almost sounds like you were just waiting for an opportunity to up and leave and this is the perfect excuse.

The thing is to your children the lack of feelings you have for their dad does not matter! To your children you are a family, no matter if you are married or not. If you move hours away you will absolutely turn their world upside down, break their hearts and cause them upset for years to come - especially if they are blindsided - since you describe your home life as pretty harmonic.

I would strongly suggest that continuing to give your children an intact family to grow up in is more important to their growing up and well being than a college fund or a fancy house. I understand that it is hard when your heart is not in it - to be honest there are long stretches of time where I couldn't care less about my husband, but when you have kids together and you can make it work (it sound like you can) - you make it work! Even if you would rather ride off into the sunset and start over.

Soo, take a breath. Examine your expenses make a budget that will work with less, look for a new job and if you have to sell your house for something more affordable and cash your kids college funds that's what you have to do - but think long and hard before you turn your kids' lives upside down.
Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Is there no possiblity of moving closer to his job and finding a job for you? if he is commuting an hour each way there are costs for that gas, train, bus etc that would cut down. and while you may not make the same money if he is spending less on commute then that might work. as far as moving home. my daughter did it and it is doable. if everyone has the same goals / expectations. if your moving home to find a job and your kids will be with you those same bills your talking about will come along. yes family will pitch in and help but not expect to suddenly be in charge of kids all the time. there is the stress of putting your stuff in storage and then using stuff at home which while ok will be a stress on everyone. it is hard. but if you do it make sure you and your parents have clear cut plan in place who is in charge of cooking / cleaning / bills / daycare / vehicle parking.... everything needs to be discussed and then after you move in those things need to be gone over again because what seems like it will work in theory really doesn't lol. good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think you need to sit down with this guy and have a serious talk.

You say you're together for convenience, have children, you own the home so it's not his in any way, he commutes an hour, and he's a great guy, but you're not madly in love with him.

To tell the truth a lot of couples are like this. Mutual respect and caring are what makes a relationship work in the long term. I think you have a wonderful basis for a long healthy relationship.

If he's willing to just let you guys go away what are his long term plans? What about child support? Visitation? Getting the kids back and forth to and from visitation, how many months of the year will he have them? Will he have his own place with bedrooms for the kids year round?

These are things to think on for sure.

As for you, you have a career, you make a lot of money at your current job and it's about to be gone. It's nice they let you know. My hubby was working in a great job and life was really good. Money could go into savings and we had enough to buy our needs, some wants, and have some left over.

We had just bought cars that year and our car payments were over $700 per month. Our car insurance alone was over $1100 every 6 months, full coverage. It was really really hard to give up our new cars when he got laid off 6 months later. If we had known he was going to lose his job in a few months we probably would have bought much less expensive cars without all the bells and whistles or we might have just made do with the one we had then just got a program car for hubby.

Having 90 days to make a plan is a really nice thing. It gives you time to make a plan.

I do think you should discuss the option of moving nearer to his work. It's fair to him to give that a try. If you can't find a job in the area you are in then moving to his area would be my next choice. Then if that doesn't work out you could look in surrounding areas that you can commute to also. Even if it's the opposite way from his work. Being in the middle gives you a whole circle of places to choose to look.

You're about an hour from San Francisco. Are there job possibilities there for you? Could you commute with another person in your area to work a job there?

Child care is such a minimal cost compared to moving. Then expecting your family to help, those are not costs that would make any difference to me because the kids being able to have their dad would be more important.

In a couple of years both kids will be in school all day and child care will go down drastically to just before and after school care. Having free child care over the next couple of it worth moving the kids away from dad and having to deal with visitation schedules, plane fare, travel expenses of getting them to him for visits, then doing without them for possibly the whole summer or Christmas break?

These are long term things of course, if you really want to move home and deal with all that goes with moving kids away from their father plus the emotional turmoil they'll go through for losing daily interaction with dad then it's worth it.

On the other hand you're at a crossroads. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Work just any old job that makes a living or find a job in your field that pays well or a regular job that utilizes your skills but isn't the greatest job in the's a dilemma.

You have the means to move anywhere you want. You could even find work overseas. The world is open to you. You don't need money is savings right now for the kids college, you truthfully have 15 years to save money for that. Use the money from the sale of everything you own except clothes and a few select pieces. Then you can pack up and go anywhere for as long as you want.

What an opportunity you have!

I still think that having to deal with the logistics of visitation and stuff with dad would be the main issue to determine the choices you may be okay with all that. Being without the kids for extended amounts of time so they can go visit dad and his family is something I'd have to take into consideration above all else. So I'd probably stay together and be content with finding work in the area. Living together with someone who is a good person that I respect and have feelings for it way up there in my list of needed things.

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answers from Austin on

I'm assuming you would get unemployment to help tide you over.... what about a severance package? Will you be getting something with that?

How old are your kids? Can his family help with childcare?

How far away is the area you are thinking about moving to? How often would the kids get to see their dad?

Those are things you really need to consider......

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest that breaking up your family that is functioning is a very poor idea. The emotional fallout would be tremendous. And living with your parents will be a very difficult transition.

All relationships have fallow times. It doesn't sound like you're unhappy in the relationship. And you are thinking of taking a huge risky step and wanting his agreement before you know it will be needed. I understand why he wouldn't commit to moving before you actually know whether or not it's the best thing to do. Try to understand him and talk over time about ways to keep your family together. He's a man and you're asking him to relinquish control over his life to you and your parents. Work on what to do together.

Read up on the effects of divorce on children. Even though you're not married its the same thing for your kids. And would you really be happy once more living as your parents live and according to their expectations. Consider the confusion such a living arrangement would be for your kids. Two more authority figures and a totally different daily routine.

Such move would be a huge adjustment for everyone. Have you talked with your parents? Would they even be willing for you to move in? Is the house large enough you and your children would have your own space?

I imagine you're feeling very anxious. I suggest that. Now is not the time to upset your family. This will increase your anxiety tremendously. I've lived 70 years and one of the most important thin I've learned is to not make decisions out of fear. Things always work out when I sit with the feelings and make decisions slowly. What is important now is for you and your children's father to work together on this decision. Don't issue ultimatums. Consider together your options in detailed ways. Give both of you time to consider all aspects of each option. Write down the reasons for and against after first considering each step and how it will affect each of you and the children. I suggest that if you include him in making the decision he is apt to work with you. Even if you split you have a better chance to make the solit amicably so that it's better for the children.

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answers from Washington DC on

moving your kids away from their dad is a considerably big step, and DOES need to be weighed carefully. but it sounds as if that's exactly what you're doing. and it also sounds to me as if he, and the job that's disappearing, are really the only reasons you're there. but you don't foresee a future with this man (i'm glad you get along well!) and the job prospects aren't good. so i think it's wise to consider a move, especially to a place where there are employment opportunities and family.
no one wants to move home, do they? sometimes it's a necessary and reasonable interim step. some things i don't see in your post are how attached you are to the santa rosa area, and where 'home' is and whether or not you really love it there.
you obviously have a lot more pondering and planning to do, but no, i don't think you're too old to move home, nor that this is a bad idea. i do hope things work out for you!

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answers from Chicago on

Take a deep breath . You can live on unemployment for quite a while . My brother in law was out of work for over a year . He was making more on unemployment than the jobs would pay him . My other brother in law got laid off and found a better job in 2 months . Start looking for jobs now and start scaling back on extras . Does your kids dad live with you ? pay child support? If he wants you to stay he needs to step up . Start thinking of what you want your life to look like not the horrible things you think may happen . Focus on the good and that you will make it out ok .Write downs the pros and cons of moving . How much can you get for your house? Moving expenses, etc. Sleep on it and it will come to you . Don't rush into anything . Don't think about touching savings/401k /college money yet . Nothing has happened yet .Who knows maybe your boss is getting let go and not you ! It will all work out . Hang in there . many blessings to you :)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't think you have the right to take their dad away from them in order to have free childcare. Their dad would have every right to sue for joint custody and no reason he would not get it. Especially because he is employed and you are the one trying to move away. He might even get full custody and you could have visitation. If you are only talking about moving 1-1/2 hours away, you could consider commuting. Yes that is a long commute - but many many people do that outside NYC since property values have exploded. If you could find a job where your parents live, could you perhaps find one with 3-12 hour shifts - then you could stay with your folks 3 days a week and be home 4 days.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I agree with Wild Woman.

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answers from Columbia on

Perhaps you should look into the hospitals in Sonoma county. Napa is a lovely area and lots of folks retire out there. There are healthcare facilities. Have you considered that moving closer to where your husband works might improve your relationship? Imagine having about 10 more hours with him every week because he doesn't have to commute so far. What would that mean for your family and your lives?

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answers from San Francisco on

Are there other options? Can your boyfriend's family help with child care if you stay where you are? I think you said they are about an hour away, but even if they helped out twice a week, it would make a big difference financially.

Why would child care costs go up if you stay where you are but have a different job? Does your current company provide child care? Are your kids school aged or do they need child care for the entire day? If any are school aged, see if there are alternate after school programs to choose from. I have one friend who chose a program through the city, rather than the one at school, and saved a couple hundred dollars each month. Another friend found a private facility and also saved a bunch of money. In both cases, there were options to bus the children from school.

Since you have 90 days, I wouldn't panic yet. Start looking for new jobs in the Santa Rosa area now. Decide how far you're willing to commute from there.

Where is your boyfriend's job? If he's in Napa, maybe a move to the East Bay could work for you. It would keep his commute at about the same amount of time, but would bring you closer to other job opportunities.

Remember - it doesn't have to be black and white - Santa Rosa vs. San Jose. Maybe there is something in between that you can make work. That way, your kids can stay with their dad but you can both have job opportunities that work for both of you.

Maybe your boyfriend can also look for additional work. If he loves his current job, can he ask for a raise? He's been there a long time and they might be open to it. Can he take a second job to bring in a little more income? He is equally responsible for the financial care of the children, so maybe he can find a way to bridge the gap.

Go see what's out there. Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised by the job opportunities you find.

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answers from Chicago on

What Wild Woman said!

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answers from Atlanta on

Another vote for Wild Woman.

You are in panic mode. Stop. Get yourself a plan. Then start doing.

Can we copy and paste others responses?? LOL.

I have to agree 1000% with Wild Woman...he was good enough to sleep with and make babies with but not now? I'm sorry. I don't get it.

I did some google research for said his job is in NAPA...well...there are healthcare jobs in Napa...
here are jobs in Santa Rosa..,...

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answers from San Francisco on

You have to do what's best for your family, but you haven't said how far away you grew up. Are you talking a couple of hours away (and possibly closer to the kids' dad's work?) or are we talking a plane ride away? It sounds like he's looking for an out, too, so maybe you'd be better off just splitting and getting on with it. It will definitely be hard on the kids, though, but so will losing the house and their college fund!

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