In the next few days we will discuss 3 Things to Think About Now!
If you think your retirement is going to look like your parents’ or grandparents’ retirement, think again. Here are three things you should be considering:
1. The Bank of Mom and Dad won’t always be open.
There are two sides to this. If you’re currently supporting your adult children, you’re not alone. According to a BMO Wealth Institute study, 81% of parents say they have provided their adult children with some financial support. However, you’ll want to evaluate if that’s possible to sustain in the long-term. Ask yourself: Will helping my adult child (buy a house, afford a vacation, transition to a new job …) put my own financial future in jeopardy?
If you answer, “No, it won’t harm my financial well-being” then it’s OK to continue your support, as long as you have the assets to back it up and your financial position doesn’t deteriorate in the future. But if you realize that continuing to support your children means financial sacrifices on your part and lowering your own standard of living, then you need to have a frank conversation with them. I’d also like to suggest that financially supporting your adult children long term sends the message that you really don’t have confidence in them.
Now, the other side of this. If you are on the receiving end of money from your parents, just know that the escalating costs of health care in retirement, market volatility and other factors, may shut down your parents’ largesse, or potentially wipe out any inheritance they might have liked to pass along, whether you or they like it or not. Fewer than half of the BMO study respondents said they would sacrifice their own financial well-being to financially support their children. Bottom line: Relying on your parents is not a solid financial plan.