January 21st, 2015
Help create a positive environment for us and our returning Boomerang Kids.
Will Boomerang Kids Jeopardize
Baby Boomers Retirement Plans
Boomerang Kids are young adults who left to go to college, get married or just strut their independence and are now returning to the safety net of our homes – where life is comfortable and expenses are low or nonexistent.
This can be a mixed blessing for Baby Boomer Parents, both emotionally and financially.
There are risks, especially for us. These include family tension and misunderstandings, but more importantly money.
Boomerang Kids return to the nest can become a financial burden that can seriously derail our Baby Boomer retirement plans and jeopardize our own financial future - this at a time when we really need to be stashing cash at an accelerated pace.
Setting the tone, laying out the ground rules, and making smart–money financial decisions can help create a positive, supportive environment that is in the best interests of us and our returning family members.
Most researchers agree that we can take positive steps to create a win–win situation by insisting they take on responsibilities, which not only includes a monitory contribution of some kind, but also taking on household chores – doing laundry, making dinner two nights a week, buying groceries.
Set house rules, put them in writing and make it a contract - avoid any misunderstandings, as adult children return to old habits of expecting to be taken care of.
Make it very clear from the very beginning that the return of our Boomerang Kid is a one-time event and just a time of transition, based on a clear–cut need. Define that need and put a time limit on it - whether it is weeks or months. Remember, it's still our homes.
Studies show that the returning to the nest works best when the Boomerang Kid pays rent or contributes to the household in a tangible way. Ask the returning child what he or she believes would be reasonable rent and/or the sharing of household expenses. Discuss it, make a decision and put it into writing.
If there is a financial situation involved in their returning, don't just bail them out. Instead, build into the return plan a debt payment strategy that they stick to in order to remain in our home.
If we are going to contribute to the plan, decide how much you can afford to help. One idea might be to match debt–reduction payments, with the understanding that they put away credit cards and live within their means.
Most importantly, we don't want to sacrifice our own financial future. Remember that our children have decades to build their financial security, while we may only have a few more years to prepare for our retirement. Ironically, if we are not careful, we could end up depending on our children for help in your old age.
Having our darlings return to our homes can be wonderful time of family closeness - if the ground rules are established in the beginning. Good luck.
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