Most everyone is aware how potentially fragile retirement finances can be. However, a lot of people aren’t aware of what the greatest danger their retirement faces actually is: their grown children.
Its wonderful if you’re in a financial place to provide extra assistance to your grown children. But, a lot of parents will continue to help their kids even if it means putting their retirement savings at risk. In fact, a study found that baby boomers that help support their adult children are more likely to report financial anxiety than those that don’t.
How do you say no to your kids? Use these tips to help you protect your retirement savings from your adult children.
- Say No – While it may be hard, you can say no to your grown kids. Studies have actually shown that children whose parents encourage them to be more financially independent are much more successful. Don’t let your kids become entitled, and don’t let your retirement savings slip away. Just say no.
- Make it Legal – If you have a hard time saying no, another alternative is to make the transaction more formal. If you act more like a bank rather than a parent, your child will be more likely to pay you back. People are much less likely to pay a family member back then they are a bank, so protect yourself. Draw up a legal agreement, including loan terms and interest rates. Include dates that the payments are due, and have a lawyer double-check everything for legality.
- Use it as Tax Exclusion – You can give away up to $15,000 in 2018 without any federal gift tax consequences. If you’re giving money to your child it can count towards that amount. As $15,000 is a lot of money to give away, be sure they know that it’s a stepping-stone for their own growth rather than a crutch.
- Blame Your Financial Advisor – If saying no to your child is too hard, use your financial advisor as an excuse. Say that he told you you’re not allowed to give your child any more money, and you have to listen. This way, its not you that’s saying no, but the point is still getting across.
- Do Your Research – Treat the money you’re giving your child as you would with any investment. Do some research first. If you’re kid is asking for money to start a new business, get a second opinion or look into the field yourself to see if its worthwhile. If the money is for school, or a new apartment, look into it before you commit.
You can also look into ways of helping your child become more financially independent. Check out resources like these for guidance:
- Turn Your Kids Into Money-Savvy Adults
- How to Create a Budget
- 11 Essential Money Lessons Every College Student Needs to Learn
It’s never too early to plan for your retirement, or to learn how to use, or not use, your retirement savings. Comment below with any other retirement money topics you want to learn more about, and check back to see if we have new articles about those topics.