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Spouse Hesitant

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Posts: 21
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(@hjsportsed)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago

Has anyone had to convince a hesitant spouse that moving to Portugal is a good thing in the long run? If so, any advice? Anyone ever left a spouse or moved over solo until the spouse could/would make it over?

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Posts: 21
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Topic starter
(@hjsportsed)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago

Both sets of our parents are in their mid-70s and likely would not make the trip overseas. I know both sets of parents would be sad to move overseas, but that is typical, I would think. She is a little more worried about that than I am. I agree, the hard part would be family emergencies. Right now I am about four hours away from my parents anyway, so it's not like I'm close, which is probably the reason it would be a bit easier for me.

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Posts: 251
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(@jeanne)
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Joined: 1 year ago

That's a tough situation to be in, and I can empathize with you.  I moved back to the US because my mother was getting on in years and needed help.  She has since died, so I am now thinking of leaving the country again.  I was glad, though, to have been here to help her. 

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Posts: 21
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(@hjsportsed)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago

Sorry for your loss. Very tough situation. That's for sure.

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Posts: 186
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(@aspidistra)
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Joined: 3 months ago

So I kind of have this situation. I am retired, my partner is still working. I have always loved lived abroad and being a bit adventurous but he is a home bird, he doesn’t like change. We were moving areas anyway at home and so I suggested we overwintered in Portugal, a few year's back. In my mind, it was to see what it felt like, whether we might find a new life there.

He liked Portugal but nose-dived into a deep depression. It was only when we got back and he was in a steady job again that I realised it had been really difficult for him to cope with changing countries, and the lack of routine that he needs to feel happy.

 But that all holds me back. So, a few years on, I have the money (we are not tied together financially) to buy a place in PT and am going ahead. We have been out, he likes it, and initially it will just be a holiday home. I want him to see the advantages and he does.

However in the back of my mind, I feel I may want to establish my own life over there and go for residency. He sees no reason for him to even consider doing that himself. So I may be looking at residency on my own and with the Schengen Agreement it means we could spend months apart as I have to spend at least 6 months a year there for temporary residency.

Maybe we will drift apart through doing that, maybe it will work, but that is my thinking. I will give him time to get used to enjoying visiting the house there before freaking him out with the residency thing.

I think you have to think about the personality type of your spouse with making this decision, which is why I explained the above. It may just put her permanently out of her comfort zone. She may not want to leave work/established friends and of course her parents.

I don't think of your parents being in their 70s as being elderly but if they feel they won’t be able to visit and she can't just pop back and forth that is quite a thing. Also since these covid times, we all live with the knowledge that you can end up stranded in one country and unable to get back to another country, this may play on her mind.

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Premium Member
(@hjsportsed)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

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Posts: 21

@aspidistra I always envy couples that are motivated toward the same goals. As far as my wife, she has lived overseas in a previous marriage, so she is better equipped for the move than I am. It is a tough choice and will be a lot of guilt moving so far away from aging parents, but we each only have one life. To me, every day I spend here is one less day I will be able to spend there. Days are not unlimited or guaranteed so the time is ticking for me. We might have to do a part time thing like you described, which I would be fine with. We may just be on different time tables for making a move.

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 MaxG
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(@maxgravy)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 197

@hjsportsed One of my favorite sayings: Time is worth more than money. You can always make more money but you can never make more time. Spend wisely.

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(@jgibson)
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@maxgravy Thank you, I needed that wisdom today!

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Posts: 2490
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(@martin)
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Joined: 16 years ago

Just thinking aspidistra - why not just rent somewhere for 6 months and see if you both or just you like it enough to buy somewhere...there are lots of places to rent long term and you can more of feel for the place staying for several months than two weeks ?

 

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Community Member
(@aspidistra)
Joined: 3 months ago

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@martin we have already spent two winters renting in Portugal. I am in the process of buying now, too late to change now, if nothing else I hope to make it an investment with holiday rentals.

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(@martin)
Joined: 16 years ago

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@aspidistra 

ok thanks

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Community Member
(@aspidistra)
Joined: 3 months ago

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Posts: 186

@martin thanks for the suggestion anyway! herbie, it’s such a tricky one about elderly parents, a dilemma between moving your lives forward versus aiding their lives if that was what they need or want. The reason I know my partner and I are quite good at making separate places work is I ended up spending the best part of the last 5 years helping look after my very elderly mother (she lived to 100). She lived 4 hours away from my home so my partner and I lived in different places during that time, so maybe I got a bit too used to that.

When I look back on those five years, I do hate that I somehow am five years older and can’t get that time back but on the other hand I felt I owed it to my mother. I would have been filled with guilt if I hadn’t taken the decision to help her and be with her. However parents in their 70s, it’s still relatively young. It’s when they get very fragile the problems start. Also I guess it depends if there are other siblings nearby who will help.

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(@hjsportsed)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

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Posts: 21

@aspidistra My Dad is about 20 years older than me. I see him declining and becoming a shell of his former self. I always use that as a window into my future. I know we are different, but 20 years is not a long time for me to think that I might have a hard time traveling, etc. When I retire, I want to be able to walk places. I don't want to have to rely on a scooter or something to get around. For me, that is why I am eager to get this retirement journey started in a new land. I so look forward to exploring Portugal and all it has to offer. Plus, Portugal being on the doorstep to the rest of Europe, the possibilities are literally endless. A lot to explore for a kid from the Midwest USA that has grown up surrounded by corn and uninspiring landscapes.

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Premium Member
(@tygger)
Joined: 4 years ago

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Posts: 141

@aspidistra I share your anguish, my wife and I are 73 and 74, but my family say that I'm more like a 60 year old, (age is just a number) sadly the Covid situation has turned my wife into a bit of a recluse. We are in the process of building a house in Portugal, or at least we will be when the local Camara get their act together, I can see that I shall be living there mostly on my own, which is not too bad as it's only about a 3 hour flight to England, we don't have any elderly parents to worry about, we have a son, a daughter and a grandson who my wife won't leave, although they are very supportive of us moving.

I get quite quite depressed when the winter season starts here and have felt so much better when I'm in the Algarve.

The living conditions here on the south coast are deteriorating due to a variety of factors, including overcrowding and the inability of (various) governments to do what they've been elected to do.

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Community Member
(@aspidistra)
Joined: 3 months ago

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Posts: 186

@tygger yes and this year with everything that is going on in the UK I am particularly keen to stay away from it for a long as possible!

I also find there is a sort of stimulation about being abroad, anywhere, which is just something I love and missed terribly during the covid lockdowns. Indeed a lot of people have gone into a recluse mode, the global experience of covid has affected us all in different ways, hasn’t it? 
Herbie, I am so sorry your Dad is not in a good state, how very sad. I do understand that sense of urgency about wanting to get on and live life. 

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