One of the elements that strongly influences where people retire is their grandchildren. About a quarter of baby boomers plan to retire near the grandkids, according to a recent study by real estate advisor Meyers Research.
The grandkids are a major source of joy for numerous retirees, so it’s only natural that they’d want to move closer to them. However, this involves many risks, including being left behind if their children relocate for work. Retirees can’t just pack up and move every time their children do, so the best thing to do is retire someplace that will allow both sides to easily visit one another whenever they please. If this is what you desire, the best course of action may be to retire at the beach.
Get Frequent Visits by Retiring at the Beach
There are many good reasons to pick the beach as your retirement destination. For one, it would most likely be the healthiest option for you—physically and mentally. Two, the beautiful scenery and relaxing atmosphere are hard to beat. But more importantly, you’d have more people coming to visit you than if you retired elsewhere.
In 2018, New York University (NYU) did a survey on family travel in the United States, and the results are nothing too surprising. According to the survey, the top three most popular vacation types are visiting family and friends, theme parks and trips to the beach. If you retire at the beach, you’ll be ticking two off the list. And if you retire in Stuart or Sarasota, you’ll only be a two-hour drive to Orlando where all the famous theme parks are. Your chances of getting a visit from the grandkids increase exponentially by living near the beach.
Cost Affects Family Travel
Of all the respondents surveyed by NYU, 10% said they weren’t likely to travel with their kids in the next two years. About 69% cited not being able to afford travel as the main reason.
Transportation (especially airfare), lodging, food and travel agents are a huge chunk of travel costs. If your family comes to visit you for a nice beach vacation instead of going to a different beach destination, there won’t be a need for a travel agent. And if you live in a home with spare bedrooms, you could take some of the financial burden of traveling off your children (or adult grandchildren), seeing as 26% of travel expenses for domestic trips go towards lodging. This could be what ultimately convinces them to come to see you more often.
Keep Them Coming Back for More
You probably won’t need to do too much to get your family to take more trips to see you if you retire at the beach. The beach itself will do most of the work, but you’ll also want to lure them with other things to ensure that they never get bored.
Since kids now have a lot of say when it comes to trip planning, you’ll need to expose them to as many interesting and fun things as possible so that they pick visiting you over anything else (especially your number one rival: theme parks).
Furthermore, the top motivation for family travel, according to the same NYU survey above, is to have the kids discover new places and new experiences. So when looking for a beach to retire at, you might want to pick the most family-friendly destination. Some of the best options include Charleston, SC, Gulf Shores, AL, Simons Island, GA and Corpus Christi, TX.
Activities and Attractions
Children of different ages enjoy doing different things. When choosing a place for retirement, you won’t only need to find one with the most family-friendly attractions. You’ll have to make sure there’s something for children of all ages as well.
Toddlers and preschoolers aren’t too hard to please. As long as you take them somewhere new, unique and colorful, they should be fine. They can also easily spend an entire day at the beach without being bored.
School-age children, on the other hand, want something a bit more stimulating. Examples include doing art activities, visiting a museum or zoo and learning fun yet practical skills like fishing and gardening. If you’re big into fishing, retiring at the beach might be the perfect chance to bond with your grandchildren through this sport.
Children in their tweens and teenage years would also enjoy doing and seeing the above activities and attractions, but they’re old enough to want to do more challenging stuff, such as windsurfing, kayaking and hiking more difficult trails. Children between ages 10 and 17 are more likely to try new foods as well, so you might want to add food and restaurants to your criteria for finding a place to retire.
Bonding with the Grandkids
It’ll be easy to bond with the grandkids if you retire at a beach. With so many things to do there, you’ll be spending hours upon hours and days upon days having fun with them. This will be a great experience not just for you, who will find retirement to be more satisfying, but also for them. In fact, it has been found that going on vacations can advance brain development in children, and being in nature helps improve children’s attention and concentration levels. Just make sure that if you do choose to retire at the beach, you choose the best beach that meets your specific needs.