Now that your kids have moved out and have begun their own journeys in life, you as parents finally have the time to focus on renewing yourself. Planning a getaway with your spouse or starting to refurbish that old Mustang in the garage might be at the top of your To-Do list. But for many, this is not necessarily the “perfect picture of retirement” they had in mind. As your kids get older, so do your parents, and sometimes, probably more sooner than you thought, your parents might need to move in with you. If your parents move in with you, not only can that effect your daily schedule and routine, it can affect you financially.
Here are some basic ground-rules to help if your parents move in with you.
Budget: Everyone’s financial situation is different. Some parents that move in may have money saved up so it won’t lead to a financial strain on you personally, but others may not. The first step you should take is to sit down with your parents and setup a budget. If you don’t already have some knowledge on their financial situation, now is the time to have that discussion.
Seek Advice: Not only can it be a huge change around the house when your parents move in with you, but now you need to figure out their finances too. This can be a big task to take on all by yourself so start thinking about asking for professional help. Finances are always a tough topic to handle so if you get professional to advise your parents, you won’t be the “bad-guy”.
What About You?: Your parents moving in with you is a huge “life event”. I consider a life event as something that changes your daily routine or shifts your lifestyle into a different direction. Now that you have one or more parents living with you, their needs are important and taking care of them can keep you pretty busy. However, don’t forget take care of yourself or focus your marriage. Take at least one night a week or every two weeks to do something just for yourself or for you and your spouse.
Emergency Fund: Aside of all of the other things you are budgeting for, you should have a separate emergency fund. Social Security is a large or even sometimes the primary source of income for seniors. So you can imagine for most, this may not be a lot of money or income. Because of this, your parents might end up relying on you financially. You don’t want to tap into your retirement savings in case of an emergency, so plan ahead for the things that may come. Hopefully you won’t need to use this fund, but at least you’ll be prepared.
I was raised that family always comes first; above all else. But another lesson that you shouldn’t forget is that if the foundation (you) is not sound, the building can collapse. You don’t need to be a millionaire to be able to help your family, but you do need to make sure that you’re not deteriorating your own retirement. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what I’m here for.
I’m only a phone call away.