Life Advice


Health & Spirit

You're never too old to go home again

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

How do you figure out whether moving back "home" and blowing up your career in order to do so is the right thing to do? I realize you can't answer this, but my husband and I are despondent living away from family lately and feel like we're depriving our 2-year-old from being near aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents etc.

Our jobs are only really available in this area, where we have absolutely no family within a four-hour drive. I feel like, in our mid-30s, we're stuck here because we're too old to completely rebuild our lives. We both just feel lost.

-- Moving Home?

Mid-30s? "Too old"? You've fretted yourselves to Absurdia.

Your life expectancy, broadly speaking (and according to a Social Security Administration calculator), is roughly another 50 years.

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If you both agree you're not up for the hassle of a career change right now, then, so be it. Stay where you are until sufficient motivation strikes. But if you sincerely believe you've reached an age bracket (or adult-responsibility level) that automatically precludes dramatic change, then your main problem is a lack of imagination.

Unless it's a money thing. If there's one obstacle blocking everything else, it's usually cash, though a two-specialized-careers couple I'm guessing could overcome it with tactical planning and time.

So. Is "home" what you both really want? Then brainstorm it, research it, price it, map it, save for it, retrain for it, apply for it, and move it. You can accomplish seven of those eight steps while continuing to live, work and earn right where you are, putting you in control of when you leave and on what terms. Life is short, and life is long. Apply as needed.

Dear Carolyn:


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