WHEN THE ROAD TO SUCCESS LEADS BACK HOME
AFTER AN UNEXPECTED U-TURN, WHAT DOES WELCOMING YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BACK INTO YOUR HOME MEAN FOR ALL OF YOU?
The day our children move out of the house, graduate from college or land their first job isn’t always – or even often – the day they achieve independence. Life is full of twists and turns, and even young adults with the best laid plans can veer off course.
There are many reasons why a young adult may want or need to return home. And, of course, you’ll want to help. But what happens when your kid begins playing video games instead of searching for an apartment? There is a fine line between helping and enabling, so it’s important to set boundaries with your child before he or she crosses the threshold lugging suitcases.
If your child should return home, your first inclination may be to help as much as you can. But many parents overestimate their ability to give and don’t think about how long they’ll be paying to feed another mouth. Worse, many don’t think through what it could mean for their own financial futures. They raid their own savings and retirement accounts, often using up more than they intended to, and ignoring the fact that they may not have as much time to make up for the losses. Remember, too, that having less than you’ve planned for can greatly affect your quality of life in retirement.
To address these issues, meet as a family and discuss whether you can (or will) fund your child’s expenses; make a point to address nonessentials, such as trips, cellphone, entertainment and clothing. Perhaps ask them to pay rent, help with bills or split the chores to ease the financial and physical burdens. Creating a financial plan with them also could help keep disagreements in check later on.
Try turning to your advisor for help determining how you can balance assisting your children with making progress toward your own goals. Their objective guidance, along with your support, might be the push your loved one needs to rejoin the real world
During your child’s stay, be sure to discuss your thoughts and feelings occasionally to make sure everyone is feeling heard. After all, your children are your greatest investment.
In the end, all you want is to help steer your loved one toward their fullest potential. By staying flexible, having honest and open conversations, and involving objective outsiders when things get tough, you and your family will be able to take life’s twists and turns with ease, the way you always have. Together.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Some questions to consider when discussing whether sharing a roof is the best way to manage the life events coming your way:
- How do you plan to balance privacy with shared spaces and activities?
- What home modifications should be made to accommodate each family member?
- Have you discussed how you’ll handle financial matters and household budgets?
Sources: Coldwell Banker; cnbc.com; pewsocialtrends.org; aplus.arizona.edu
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