Helping Your (Adult) Kids Become Financially Independent
As parents, we want what’s best for our children, no matter their age. When our kids enter adulthood, you might be asking yourself whether or not you should cut the financial cord.
It’s understandable to feel financially obligated to your kids when they need a little extra help, but you also want them to become financially independent. Monetary support can provide a short-term lifeline, but I have also seen this approach backfire.
1. Paying Their Bills Will Cost You.
Don’t feel selfish for focusing on your retirement savings. Every dollar you give away adds up. The more you give to your kids, the less you will have for retirement. This could put a huge financial burden on your kids if/when you run out of money in retirement.
In addition, there can also be an emotional cost. Money can strain any relationship, especially with family. Your adult kids might feel guilty and inadequate when they ask for help. As time goes on, you may begin to feel taken advantage of or underappreciated.
The truth is, supporting your kids financially could be doing more damage than good.
2. Set Them Up for Success.
It’s never too late to teach your kids good money management.
Start with an open conversation. Explain that it’s time for them to take on more financial responsibility and it’s time for you to plan for retirement.
Next, help them establish a budget and brainstorms ideas to cut their expenses and keep costs low. Come up with a plan to ween them off of your household payroll in the coming months.
Once they’re on their feet, talk about managing debt, planning for taxes, and investing their savings.
3. Find Other Ways to Be Supportive.
You have so much more to offer than money.
Financial difficulties can be emotionally taxing. Sometimes all our kids need is a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and some encouragement from us.
There are so many ways to support your kids that don’t require a cash handout. Maybe you have an old car you aren’t using, you could pitch in with babysitting, or help them find the best deals when they need to make a large purchase.
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Raising kids is no easy feat. You’ve done well, and you can still do better, starting today!
It’s not too late to help your adult kids grow into financially independent and thriving adults.