Inside: If you’re considering moving away from family, read on for questions to ask to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

So you’re thinking about making a move. A big move. 

Packing your bags and leaving your family behind can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you’re close. The distance can be a challenge to overcome, and the amount of effort it can take to remain in each other’s lives may test your relationship.

Despite the difficulties you might face when moving away from family, many people benefit from making that kind of decision.

Whether you’re moving for a better job opportunity, a fresh start, better schools, or something else, it can be a real blessing for you and your family. 

If you’re trying to decide if you should move away from family, or struggling to figure out how to tell your loved ones that you plan to move away, I’ve got you covered.

Keep reading for some key considerations when it comes to moving away from family – as well as some questions that’ll help you reflect on whether making that kind of move is right for you. 

moving away from family

4 Things to Consider Before Moving Away from Family: Pros and Cons

Years ago I wrote a post on how moving to live near family was the best decision we ever made. And I still stand by that, but I also know that for many people it’s a more complicated decision.

Some people already live near family and are contemplating whether or not it’s time to make the move away.

If you are on the fence when it comes to whether or not you should move away from family, you aren’t alone.

The decision isn’t an easy one and moving can be stressful. But by weighing the pros and cons, you can give yourself a better perspective on the situation to help guide your plans. 

While living near family has been wonderful for us, for others the opposite is true. By considering the pros and cons and asking yourself some questions you can gain clarity on what the best situation for you is.

Pro: Moving away from family can give you a fresh start in a new place with new opportunities. 

Sometimes, you just need a fresh start.

Whether you’ve found yourself limited by the job opportunities in your field in your small town, or you’re surrounded by people who aren’t the greatest influence on your life, many can benefit from moving away from family to a totally new city or state. 

A big move can be a great way to jumpstart a big life change, like a graduation, a career change, or a retirement. Or it can be a powerful way to shift your trajectory during a period of stagnation or even contentment. 

Con: You’ll have to deal with the guilt of moving away.

Let’s face it – saying goodbye is tough. Leaving family behind isn’t easy, especially when we’re close. 

And in many cases, your family won’t hesitate to make that known. Chances are, you’ll feel somewhat guilty about your decision to move away – whether or not your family is actively making you feel that way, or it’s all you.

The good news? That guilt doesn’t stick around forever. While the initial shock of moving away can sting, in many cases, it’ll fade quickly among the excitement of your new home. 

family holding moving boxes

Pro: You can always move back. One decision isn’t the end of the world.

What if you don’t love the place you’ve decided to move to?

Maybe you picked a spot with too-cold winters or terrible neighbors. Maybe you end up realizing you rely on the support system that you left behind more than you thought.

Whatever the reason, if wherever you move doesn’t quite work out, you can decide later to move back. Just be prepared that this can be more challenging if the cost of living is significantly higher in your hometown.

Con: Seeing your family might become difficult – and expensive.

Moving away makes it much more difficult to get together for birthdays, holidays, and other reasons to celebrate.

Depending on where you go, pricey flights may be involved anytime you want to get together. And in many cases, you’ll be forced to choose between missing those milestones and taking time off of work – and spending money – to enjoy time with family. 

woman looking at a tablet

5 Questions to Help You Decide if Moving Away From Family is a Good Idea

Still not sure if moving away from family is right for you? There are a few questions you can ask yourself to really rationalize your decision and confirm you’re making the right one:

1. What is my reason for moving away from my family?

If you have a compelling reason – a promising job, a more affordable housing situation, or something else that gives you a very valid reason to go – you may want to push yourself out of your comfort zone and really weigh the opportunity at hand. 

Every scenario is going to have its pros and cons. Carefully weigh if relocating for an opportunity is worth what it will cost you.

2. Am I financially secure enough to move away from my family?

Moving isn’t cheap. Whether you’re buying a home or renting, the cost of getting into a new place can be pretty steep. And if you’re changing jobs as part of the process, there’s often a financial impact.

If you’re currently living with family or relying on family to provide childcare, it’s important to factor that in, too.

Make sure you have plenty of savings on hand when choosing to move away from family. It should be enough to get you into your new home, cover the costs of anything you need upfront, and if you’re changing employment, enough to comfortably support you throughout your job search. 

moving away from family

3. What are the potentials benefits of my move?

Think hard about the reason you’re looking to move. Are you moving to fulfill a dream or desire of living in a certain place?

Or are you moving somewhere safer, with better schools or medical care for your children? Are you moving to a place where you can afford more for less – a more spacious, comfortable place to live than you have today?

Or maybe living so close to certain family members has created a toxic situation for you and your family members. Not everyone has healthy family relationships with good boundaries. Some relationships work better with some additional distance.

Being able to articulate the clear benefits of your move will help you determine if it’s a good idea.

4. Am I OK with missing out on major milestones? 

Realistically speaking, you are probably not going to be able to make it home for every significant event – nor are you going to want to spend every single holiday on the road, visiting family.

And as nice as it is to have options like FaceTime and Zoom, watching your niece’s graduation from afar just doesn’t feel the same. 

5. Are you ready to put yourself out there and find a new community?

Unless you’re planning to relocate to a place where you have existing ties, you’re going to need to branch out and make some friends in your new home. For some, the idea is exciting – for others, it’s anxiety-provoking.

Making friends as an adult isn’t always easy. Make sure you’re up for the task before you say goodbye to the friends and family you’ve got back home.

moving away from family

How to Break the News to Your Family That You’re Moving

There’s no easy way to tell your family you’re leaving. But there’s no way to plan a big move without letting them know – so you’ve got to figure out the best possible way to break the news. 

While there’s no set script you should follow, there are a few general things you should keep in mind as you share your big life update:

  • Tell them somewhere private. Don’t break the news in the middle of a busy restaurant, especially if you suspect they’ll have a big reaction.
  • Be ready to answer their questions. Chances are, they’ll have a few.
  • Stand your ground. Your family may try to convince you to change your mind, but if you’ve made the decision to leave, you shouldn’t let them sway you. 

Ultimately, moving away from family may be the best decision for you. 

For some people, moving away from family will be the best decision for you and your family.

In our case, the opposite was true. Moving to live near family was the best decision we ever made.

It all depends on your individual circumstances and relationships.

By weighing the pros and cons of your personal situation and reflecting on a few important questions, you can feel confident in your decision.

Moving away from family may be tough, but if you stay focused on the possibilities that your new future holds, you can move forward with confidence – and make a huge change. 

What’s your experience been with living near family? Share it in the comments section below.

Sign up on the form below to get weekly decluttering and simplifying inspiration sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get the free 8 Quick Wins for Decluttering Worksheet to help you start to simplify your life today.

Sharing is caring :)


  1. well that is my problem, I’m very close to my family, love doing everything together in the summer and trips and I’m not sure if I’ll be ok been away from everyone. my reason to move is to have a better house lol and sometime I think what is a better house gonna do for me if I wont have my family to share it with?

    1. Hi Yovanka, just curious about what you ended up doing and your experience!? My husband and I are planning to move roughly 9 hours away from our family, who we are very close to, and friends for many reasons but the ability to own a better, new home close to the beach is at the top of our list (it has been a dream of ours). We’re cautiously optimistic and excited about the change but I would be lying if I said I was not concerned about being away from family, missing them, etc.

      1. How did your family respond when you told them you were moving away? I have 3 married children and 7 grandchildren who live close to me. We are considering moving 3 hours away, new house, near the beach. They are quite angry at us. Now I don’t know what to do.

        1. Diane, this sounds similar to our situation….we’re located in the middle of the country and want to move to the east coast (23 hours away) we have 10 kids (5 are adults (two married with kids) the other 5 are still in school) we would be closer to other family, but further away from parents and our grown kids. Their guilt-trips have just made me want to move even more….I feel like a bad mom, but I am just desperate for change, the location that we dearly love, and ‘space’. If that makes any sense?

      2. My husband and I are in a similar situation. We love our families so much and we literally spend every weekend either at my families house or his and the big struggle we are having is that we will be far from them. I am the oldest of 5 and literally all of my siblings feel like my own children. My youngest siblings are 12 & 14 and I literally got up in the middle of the night when the 14 year old was a newborn and would do the night feeds and changes for my mom. We co-slept until I got married the first time when he was 5 and it was extremely hard for the both of us. Because of some issues with my first marriage and my ex purposefully trying to keep me from my family; it built some anxiety for my little brother. To the point where my current husband promised him that he would never take me away from him. Well now we are in a financial position where we are not financially able to continue to live in Texas and the only cost affective and comfortable location we can think of is back in my hometown in Ohio. I’m filled with so much anxiety when it comes to leaving my siblings and my new nephew but I want to start a family too. We know that we can get REALLY good paying jobs and live in a cheaper area which would allow us to pay off all of our debts in 3 years. I just don’t know what to do. Typing this makes me want to cry and I feel stupid because I know that a move is what is best for our future but I will miss my family so much.

  2. Hi, I’m currently living with an ostomy at my parents house. I am 38 years old and am struggling with the guilt of being a burden on them. I have little money but the opportunity to move into affordable housing is there and I can’t stand to be a burden a minute longer. Time is running out to make a decision and I believe that moving may be the best thing for me.

    1. It’s definitely a personal decision. For us living near family has been ideal, but that choice is based on a variety of factors. Best of luck in figuring out your living situation.

  3. I’m considering moving across country, but have so much guilt about leaving. I currently live with my son and his kids with my daughter and her kids next door. It’s a complicated and unhealthy situation, but my grandchildren are my world. I struggle with the decision because moving would better my personal life but leave me without my grandchildren.

    1. Hi Sarah, I had a similar situation but my grandchildren were all adults and the great grands were coming. I asked myself the question should I stay until the great grands grow up or take advantage of the rest of my life. Time does not stop so I decided that my expectations for my life outweighed all the questions I was asking myself. I am blessed with good health and a sense of adventure even at my age and I figured I had already missed out on numerous opportunities to finally do something that I was passionate about. I keep in touch with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as much as I can and visit often. My life is full of love in my new location as well as all the love I come back home to. Life is to be lived to the fullest and for the making of beautiful memories. My family knows and feels the love I have each of them. I actually think I may be an inspiration for the younger generation to follow you passion and don’t be afraid to go wherever your dreams take you. Free yourself from feelings of guilt and just enjoy being you. Best regards.

      1. Dorothy, Thank you for this thoughtful and purposeful post. It reinforces my stand of moving away to Florida from PA area to get a fresh start with my new job offer and new chapter in my life, hitting age 50 and welcoming it with arms wide open 🙂

  4. I am in the process of moving from Ohio to California with my husband. He was offered a promotion and we took the opportunity as a fresh start with discontent with both of our jobs and recent infertility struggles. It has been very challenging and lonely, but I’m hoping it will open new experiences that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

    1. I’m also considering moving 1,200 miles away. I’m 10 minutes from my estranged son-in-law and 13 year old granddaughter. My daughter passed 3 years ago. I don’t get to spend holidays with my granddaughter so I just sit here waiting to see her. I have a few friends, but am thinking about my age and who would I have to help me if I needed it. At the same time I feel guilty leaving my granddaughter because she has been through so much. 🤷🏽‍♀️

  5. Hi,

    My husband and I moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest days previous to the Covid shutdown. When we lived in the Midwest, we saw or spoke to our family at least 1-2x a week and often spent weekends at family functions. When we moved to the Pacific Northwest and Covid happened, I felt scared and lonely. We had worked very hard to make the move, namely working toward promotions, renovating and adding an addition on to a house, selling the house, and ultimately moving all our possessions and 2 dogs and a cat 1500 miles across the county. While I would never wish our situation on anyone, I am very grateful for the outcome. My husband and I are closer, better friends and partners than ever before. We took Covid as an opportunity to get out and explore, find new community in our new neighborhood, and find a new way to be in the world. I adore my large extended family. This has been an opportunity to strengthen my connections with people that truly care for me and let go of relationships that had run their course. Maya Angelou said “you are only free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is greater”. I implore you to go find your place and reap your rewards. We all deserve an opportunity to find out how strong we are.

  6. Thank you for this, I’m a single 20-year-old girl and I got the opportunity to move 4 1/2 hours from my family for a better job and be closer to my boyfriend. I know that doesn’t seem far, but it’s a rollercoaster of emotions because we are so close knit. I haven’t made my decision yet and I’m scared to break it to my family. any advice would be amazing! thanks.

  7. I’m a single mom with my 10 year old son and my lease is up in August and I’m contemplating spreading my wings and moving out of my home city, Orlando Florida. Everyone has moved to Orlando and I feel like I’m being pushed out, but my whole family is here. I’m not happy with the busy city so I’m exploring my options. I work from home so I can literally go ANYWHERE, but I feel nervous to be so far. I guess I want the experience and get out of my comfort bubble – maybe see seasons change! Prices seem to be a tiny bit cheaper elsewhere. Such a big step for both of us. Is it worth it?

  8. My husband and I are retired and are thinking about a move from the east coast where all my family lives and moving to a retirement community in AZ. I am very close to my two sisters so I feel guilty moving away from them, I know they have relied on me in the past and I on them. My sisters are going to hate it when I tell them. I am struggling to decide if it is the right thing to do. My daughter lives in AZ which is another reason I want to move there. Please some one help!

  9. Your stories are all so moving (excuse the pun). I deeply appreciate how much thought each of you is giving (or has already given) to your decisions. My two adult sons moved to different states recently and I miss them so much that sometimes it’s unbearable. Your thoughts help me understand why they moved and that it’s probably been a challenge for them leaving home since the three of us as well as my husband are all very close. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and my best wishes to each of you for peace and contentment whatever you decide to do.

  10. well just wondering how any of you would feel if you had your parents and sister move across country to be with you and you booked and left after two years? you know it would be different if we did not leave all our friends and family. my other daughter just bought a house here and I am not going to ditch her. It’s all pretty selfish really taking Grandkids away from Grandparents when they move you to them. I would have never come if I knew they would leave in two years.

  11. We have lived by family for 9 years and it really is the best thing for all of us. The problem is, my husband hated his job. And he tried for 2 years to find something better close by or remote. Then he got an amazing opportunity a state away. He’s so excited and I’m devastated to leave my family and community and worried it will affect my kids negatively. It’s been so hard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *