Beech: Parents can help their kids become more self-sufficient
In recent years, many baby boomers have been witnessing a growing trend: their college-age children are becoming "boomer-angs" and moving back home after they complete their education.
Posted by K-State Research and Extension Southwest Area Office on 10/12/2009
After college, many young adults find themselves having difficulty standing on their own financial feet.
This immobility may be due to a tight job market and the high cost of housing in some parts of the country. However, in other cases, it may be because these grown children have become too accustomed to spending rather than saving, and they lack the financial self-sufficiency to live on their own.
Parents who wish to see their children leave the nest and be successful on their own should consider establishing new ground rules. Here are some suggested guidelines from Extension financial experts to help an adult child become more self-sufficient:
As rule No. 1, adult children should be obliged to contribute cash or services in lieu of rent to the household. As rule No. 2, at the same time they also should be expected to save a significant portion of their earnings for a down payment on a starter home, to furnish a first apartment or to establish a business.
Parents also can aid their children in achieving financial self-sufficiency by helping them set financial goals as rule No. 3, and then working with them to monitor their progress in reaching those goals. An incentive plan can help further this effort -- perhaps for every dollar a live-at-home adult child saves, his or her parents may wish to contribute a certain percentage as a match.
For parents who lack good financial skills themselves or who are too personally and emotionally involved to teach their adult children good financial habits, a financial professional can perform a valuable function as a neutral, outside party in counseling young adults on how to obtain financial independence. Don't hesitate to seek outside help if it's needed to launch your "boomer-ang" out toward a solid financial future of his or her own.
For more financial information, subscribe to the "Extension Money Matters" e-mail messages from the Finney County Extension Office. These brief e-messages are sent twice a month to share basic money facts, ideas and strategies for financial security. This Extension educational outreach is free and easy to access. Just send an e-mail message to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to join the "Extension Money Matters" mailing list. No one else will use the mail list for anything other than local educational purposes.
You'll find more helpful information on financial management in my blog at SWKTalk.com/livingwell.