Friends, not grandkids, key to happy retirement – or not?
Some couples who consider full-time RVing have a difficult time leaving the grandkids. In fact, sometimes it prevents a couple from making that choice or causes them to get off the road. However, a British study by the University of Greenwich found that participants who had friends or a social network were more likely to be happy in retirement. Having grandchildren mattered little.
Lead researcher Oliver Robinson, of the university’s department of psychology and counseling, said, “There are both benefits and drawbacks to the presence of children and grandchildren in retirement, which balance each other out. The positives are that having children and grandchildren imparts a sense of purpose and meaning, while the drawback is the frequent commitment for child care that can potentially interfere with the sense of freedom and autonomy that is at the heart of a positive retirement.”
American retirees express similar feelings.
In the long run, grandkids grow up and get busy with their own lives. Several RVers at a forum I participate in have said that they go visit family and barely see their children or grandchildren because they are working, have sports or other activities and want to spend time with their own friends. Of course, being part of your grandchildren’s lives is rewarding for both you and the children, but centering your lives around theirs could mean missing out on developing a network of friends that will last the rest of your life.
In my case I see my grandchildren more frequently as an RVer since I lived across the country from them before hitting the road. There would be enjoyment in being more involved and I also want to have adventures! How about you? What do you think? How have grandchildren affected your RV retirement? Are women more affected then men?
You can also vote at our poll, “How often do you see your children or grandchildren?” Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
- Photo: Jaimie with one of her grandsons at the Crayola factory