Finances and the Conundrum of Adult Kids

March 18, 2015 § Leave a comment



In my practice a common and growing concern is building order in YOUR finances with the pressure of adult children and their unexpected financial needs. Parental emotional concerns and financial issues collide. What can you do?

Unexpected beginnings – Everything was fine until…something happens that causes an adult child who was living on their own to come back to their parent’s house. It could be job loss, injury, divorce. Of course you want / need to help your baby when they are hurting. Who else should they be able to rely upon? The problem becomes a more apparent concern as the days turn into weeks and weeks and then into months with no clear plan of normalcy.

Time to draw the line – Eventually, and preferably earlier than later, well before everyone loses their cool and the financial drain takes you all down, parents recognize the need to set the little birds free and get them BACK OUT on their own. To get clarity from the chaos emotions need to be politely kept in check and your most excellent raising-responsible-adult-parental hat needs to be firmly affixed upon your sensible head. Set a goal that in two months this situation will be changed and your ‘baby’ will be moved back to their own place and out of yours. Then figure out how to get to that goal.

Make a plan- This adult is overwhelmed and they have no idea where to begin. This life event is new territory for all of you and they have much less life experience than you do. You have seen others experience this problem. You know a thing or two about how to proceed to make a new path.

Once again, as a parent your life experience is the best help of all. What is the cost of housing in the area? Will roommates be needed to move to the preferred area of town? If that is the case would renting a house be a better idea so there is adequate room? Is subsidized housing a part of the plan? If so, get on the waiting list NOW.

Will they need financial help in the transition? Is that something you are able or willing to provide so they can get out and on their own feet? Can you subsidize their rent payment in a place prior to the more permanent housing arrangements?

You taught them so many practical and important things in life. Now teach them how to budget. Do YOU know how to budget? Get online and get some tips. Or get them, and possibly you as well, some financial counseling from a local non-profit financial counseling agency or a wise friend.

Introduce them to people so they can network for job opportunities. Introduce them to people who can give them tips on their job hunt. Help your son or daughter know that more than one job may be necessary or that a change in their education may be a help.

Help them get information regarding refinancing school loans or the repayment provisions based on income.

Ultimately, you and your adult child who benefit from helping the ‘little birds’ be free. It is for your sanity as well as theirs that this be a time only of TRANSITION and not a new lifestyle. (CR10642)




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