Date: February 06, 2019 02:19AM
I grew up in Palo Alto, and when my husband abandoned me and our children, I wanted to move back home, and, um, live in Silicon Valley on my income?
I did have a very good--but demanding--job offer there, but it was a woman's salary, in those days, and the commute would have been 2 hours each way, to leave no time with my little children, who needed me. Could I afford to one day send my kids to Stanford or UC Berkley? What about neighborhood jobs for my kids, which they needed in jr. high and high school, to get by? I did find a small condo with no yard in an "iffy" neighborhood in South San Jose, about 2 ½ hours away from my parent's house. We could not live with my TBM parents, because, ready to pounce on us, was my abusive TBM older brother, who was a bully and a pervert, who lived with them his whole life.
What's the deal about sociopath brothers????
There are other things to consider, besides family, in planning your life--things like safety, happiness, peace, a career.
I decided to stay in SLC, where I could afford a decent house in a good, safe neighborhood (except for the Mormons who harassed us), relatively safe for a woman to be alone. My kids could walk to school, and get good after-school jobs, and earn money for a car, and get better jobs when they were older, and they all put themselves through the University of Utah. I worked very hard, but could be home if a child was sick, within 15 minutes. I paid off my mortgage, and helped pay their tuition. I had a great job, which I jumped into, rather quickly, when the opportunity came along. My children learned to ski, took piano lessons across the street, went camping with the non-denominational Scout troop, my daughter danced, and we all played tennis, rode bicycles, and they had a lot more freedom, than they would have had in Northern California.
Maybe your needs are different than mine were. If you want culture, meaning the symphony, ballet, operas, plays, Broadway shows, art galleries, "this is the place!" The U of Utah puts on great plays, has lectures, and classes at a discount for Senior Citizens. Wherever you choose to live, live in a town with a university! Even if you don't ski, or any of that, you can still take scenic drives, enjoy the change of seasons, ride the ski lifts, winter and summer. Restaurants in SLC are affordable! So are the other events. If you can't drive, there is good transportation everywhere, in a relatively low-crime environment. Many of my old California TBM friends have retired here to Utah, to be with their children and families.
I highly recommend Salt Lake City!!! Remember, it's 60% non Mormon, and counting....
My children are married now, and live in our same neighborhood. Unlike California, houses are still (semi) affordable here. Their children walk to the same schools that they went to.
When you're in a "dilemma", there's usually a third way out. You and your cousin could both choose another city or town that is compatible with retirees on a fixed income, and where you could each find a nice place to live. How about two separate abodes about, say, 5 miles apart? Depending on how old you are (and you mentioned health problems), you could be in or near good health care facilities.
Your cousin might be "feeling all alone in Utah", but you're not alone when you really need someone. Mormon shunning is fake, in that it makes you feel like you are isolated, but you're isolated only from the Mormons. When you're sick, you need a good doctor, not a priesthood blessing. You can have food delivered, instead of waiting for the RS to bring cookies to your door. (Money can buy much more here) If you have no money, other religions come through more than the Mormons do. I've volunteered at the Jewish Community Center, and they do a great deal to help those in need. If you're ok, it's a great place to volunteer and make new friends.
In the meantime, you and your cousin can get to know each other better, through Skype or Facetime, or e-mails, or whatever. She is lucky to have you in her life!