Gerald Hardage and his wife, Edie, were driving around in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado during a family visit when something clicked inside them. One granddaughter was crawling, and the other was 3 years old. Mr. Hardage said, “‘We should just move here,’ and I said, ‘O.K.,’ ” Mrs. Hardage, now 64, recalled.
Within months, the couple, who were retired, left St. Augustine, Fla., and rented a furnished two-bedroom condominium in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Leaving almost all their possessions in Florida — they took only clothes and other necessities — they rented out their Florida house. That was in 2008. The move required major adjustments — some of which were unexpected. And not everything turned out quite the way they had hoped. But they are grateful for the closeness they were able to develop with their grandchildren.