Empty Nester Thoughts

Your kids are grown and have left the nest, but that does not guarantee they have left the family budget. Financial and emotional changes lie ahead. Where do you start? Consider these thoughts regarding your money and your communication with your children.

If you are feeling lonely, please remind yourself that your parenting duties are far from finished. You will have more opportunities to love and coach your kids. They still need you, and likely, your money too.

Consider creating a financial plan or revisit your existing plan. For extra credit, work with your kids to develop their financial strategies. The discussion will allow you to mention items that need to move from your budget to theirs. Children rarely account for car insurance, health insurance, cell phones and sometimes even fail to realize how their income will be taxed.

Eventually, you will have extra cash in the budget. You can use these dollars to support your dreams that have been delayed, buy a second home, or work on your financial health. We are fully supportive of people enjoying their resources, but the focus of this article is how to think about financial health.

Preparing for retirement involves strategic planning and decision-making. Remember, a successful separation from the workforce does not come from replacing a percentage of your income. Successful retirement stems from replacing 100% of your standard of living. Think about what your life will be like after you stop working for pay. How long will you continue working, and what will change in your budget between now and then? After taking time for reflection, revisit your financial situation and consider what steps need to be taken to get you to the right place to pull the trigger.

As your budget frees up, consider adding to your investments or paying down debt. Either action is a step toward better financial health, but much more comes into play in the process. When you save or reduce your debt, you are not spending dollars and increasing your standard of living. That makes your retirement budget more manageable.

It is essential to revisit your estate documents. When you first drafted your will, you were probably focused on the guardianship of your children. Now that they are grown, the focus needs to shift to taking care of yourself as you age and eventually how to divide your family’s assets after your demise. You may also want to name one of your children as an executor of your will, name your children as successor beneficiaries on investment accounts, or give them power of attorney in the event you are incapacitated.

Transitioning to an empty nest can be challenging and exciting all at once. Working with your financial advisor to revisit savings, spending, and retirement planning strategies can help you validate that these life changes have a positive long-term impact on your life and those you love. Congratulations on moving into this new era.

Joseph A. Clark is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Partner of The Financial Enhancement Group, and an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. This article was co-authored with Jamie Burton. Contact Joe at yourlifeafterwork.com or 800-928-4001. Securities offered through World Equity Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be provided by the Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.

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