Making the Best of Long-Distance Family

1 Response


by Tracey Fieber

Living beyond easy driving distance of your loved ones can be difficult, especially if you’re newly retired and finally have free time you’d like to spend with grandchildren or other relatives. Luckily, the technological advances of the last several years make bridging great distances easier than ever.

To build relationships at even great distances, try these tips.

  • Rethink your gift giving. Consider giving your family a trip out to see you for holidays or vacations—or flying into town to visit them. If that’s not possible, give gifts that make staying in touch easier, such as a digital camera or video recorder that can be used to send pictures and videos.
  • Take advantage of technology. Skype offers free video-chat software that anyone can download. Talking to loved ones face to face is much more intimate and rewarding than talking over the phone, and allows you to watch your grand-kids grow—or helps them become familiar with you, even if you don’t often get to talk in person.
  • Find a good travel rewards program. If you end up visiting frequently, be sure you’re getting travel rewards or points for it. Browse various airline and credit card offers to see what bonuses you can get for being on the road.
  • Build vacations that include visiting. Many families enjoy group vacations that offer interaction with far-away relatives. You can also offer to care for your grand-kids while their parents take a needed getaway.
  • Offer to be pen pals with one of your grand-kids. There’s a definite age window in which this might work, but it’s rewarding for both parties to get “real” mail from someone you care about. If your grandchild is up for the project, consider giving him or her a number of stamped envelopes to make things easier.

The key to building meaningful, lasting relationships with any family member is to maintain frequent contact. So even if you’re relying on brief emails to stay in touch, the important thing is to keep lines of communication open.

Have you found innovative ways to stay close to faraway family members? I’d love to hear about them—send me an email with your suggestions!

This blog is courtesy of certified retirement coach, Tracey Fieber. Tracey Fieber is founder of, and creator of “The Secrets to Retirement Success System™”, the most complete one-on-one Retirement Transition program for corporate executives and small business owners in North America. She is also the author of the upcoming book, How to Retire To a Life of Adventure, Passion, and Purpose. 

Tracey also coaches business owners and executives on taking their business to the next level. For more information visit Tracey’s site, 

One Response to Making the Best of Long-Distance Family

  1. Joseph McCleary says:

    I spent over ten years with a local Autobiography Writers Workshop during which time I produced a personal autobiography as well as many other articles about my life experiences. Some worked; some didn’t.

    I have four grown offspring, 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren with whom I try to keep in touch. Since most of these progeny live from 70+ to hundreds of miles distant, maintaining person-to-person relationships offers many challenges. I use Ma Bell, e-mail, snail mail and travel to maintain contact. I utilize the camera, computer and whatever comes to hand.

    I come from a family tradition of close family relationshps that used to include frequent reunions and big holiday gatherings that have gradually diminished as important occasions as we all age. I would welcome contact with any group that focuses on similar experiences who have found effective ways to maintain connections and share our many interests, talents and abilities.

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