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Dad's Pilgrimage South


My father is 87 years old and owns two condominiums. One condo is in a northern state, and the other is down south. He prefers to spend winter in the south and his summers in the north, where his children live. I am wondering at what point he should stop this annual pilgrimage to the south. I drive his car down and back so he is not making that long road trip alone. I know this is not forever, but wonder if he should sell one of the condos now. What do you think?


This sounds like a very nice situation for your father.  He is avoiding harsh weather, intelligently recognizing his limitations and living his life fairly independently.  Marvelous!

I hope that as you assist your father with the automobile transportation, you make a mini vacation for yourself out of the trip. Hang out in the warm south with your father for a while if you can. I am fairly certain he will appreciate the one-on-one time with you. Golf, fish, walk the beach, dine, and enjoy life with him for a bit.

As to the question about him giving up one of his condos, that would be based on his ability to navigate his environment independently at each location. Not all 87-year-olds are the same. If he is managing well in both locations, what would be the reason to make a change? The inevitable?  Yes, he will assuredly get older, and at some point both locations will be too much for him. But I doubt that he wants to sit in a chair and wait for that to happen. Would you?

At 87 you may feel he his living on "borrowed time" because he has outlived the actuarial data.  That makes every minute he is independently living even more precious. If he is in good health, driving safely, enjoying life and managing well, you are both blessed. Worrying about tomorrow may not be something he wants to do.

Unless he drops to the ground one day, life over, he is going to need support sometime in the future. The annual pilgrimage will come to an end. You could both be planning for that to occur, as you both know it is going to happen, or you could simply wait until it is necessary. It is a lot easier for you if your father manages the transition on his terms, which is a conversation the two of you might have. If he is not interested, then plan on handling the situation when the time comes.

I wish you the best.