About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

Moving In with the Parents at Age 50

I’ve pondered a long time about how to write this post. Being a fiftysomething whose family is moving in with the in-laws is never an easy thing to disclose. But after times of feeling despair and times of feeling euphoria, I’ve come to view the decision in five words: it is what it is.

There are many reasons to look forward to the move to Dodge Center in southeastern Minnesota.

  • My husband Mike and I will have more job possibilities, as Dodge County has an unemployment rate of 5.5% compared to Pine County's rate of 8.9%. (Minnesota readers, see how your county rates in this cool map.) 
  • Our son Wyatt will have a shorter bus ride to a school that offers more academic and athletic choices than his last one.
  • Mike will be able to hang out with friends he’s had for decades.
  • Wyatt will be able to see his grandparents more often than twice a year. 
  • Shopping will no longer take up the entire day. 
  • There's a free vanilla softserve with our dog Jerry's name on it. 

An Emerging Demographic Trend
This boomer boomerang trend is happening to more families than ours. Don’t ask me for statistics; moving back in with the parents at age 50 is something you don’t put in status updates or announce to your network. (Blabby bloggers excepted.) Heck, 25-year-olds get the fisheye if they say they’re moving back in with Mom and Dad.

So I say, let’s embrace this demographic trend. We are FIBBERs, or Fiftysomething Boomerang Boomers. Marketers are missing a prime opportunity here.

The Waltons to the Rescue
I became at peace with the move after watching an episode of The Waltons, a 1970s drama about a Depression-era family in Appalachian Virginia. In an episode entitled “The Heritage,” a land developer offered to buy the Waltons’ property because of the mineral springs on their land. After much thought, patriarch John was ready to sell. Then eldest son John-Boy observed that the decision to sell should be made by the two youngest children, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth. The five older children would take with them years of memories -- footfalls on the stairs, sounds and smells of breakfast, chattering voices around the kitchen table -- but the youngest would scarcely remember this heritage.

That’s when I realized that three generations living under one roof doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

I don’t have delusions about the move. Life won't always be peach cobbler and homemade ice cream. No professional likes to admit to needing help paying bills, and no older parent likes to admit to needing help around the house. But it's that mutual need, that exchange of value, a willingness to work together, and an unbending love of family that trumps stiff-necked pride, that will pull us through.

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  1. Wow, do I hear this! It sounds awful, yet I so understand it. If my parents were alive, I'd be very close to considering it myself. (They're turning over in their graves now, in relief! They were thrilled when each of us moved out.) ;)

    Best of luck to you and your family. What kind of work do you do? I'm interested in the life you present here on your blog!

  2. Thanks for the kind wishes, Paula. The move will be good for us on a family and personal level. But at a national level, you’re right, it’s awful that it has to happen to so many people. Blogger Laura Gilbert has a great analogy about 50+ employees and the economy:

    For many, it is as though the pilot turned off the seat belt sign and asked passengers to disembark… 20 minutes from the airport.

    What kind of work do I do? Well, that’s a post in itself! Thanks for the idea! :=D Susan


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