No doubt, we as parents tend to have more concerns about our kids’ futures than our own. When you think about risks to retirement, most people think about investment risk. Not saving enough comes to mind too … and for some, this is a big reason why they’re not saving enough.
This article caught my eye because I often see this as a major hurdle for people lamenting how unlikely they may be able to retire … Your Kids Are Ruining Your Retirement, Parents are risking their retirement to subsidize their kids by Carol Hymowitz.
So it is natural to take care of them when they’re minors. But how long does one care for an adult child? Are you really doing them any favors taking care of them? You see, how’s that going to work out when you’re no longer walking on this planet earth? And now it’s too late for your kids to get their feet under them because they’re too old to acquire the skills they need to support the lifestyle they should really be expecting based on their skills and earning power.
Don’t get me wrong, but I think there is wise support – the kind of support that aids in improving their skills so they can support themselves better. But paying for apartments, houses, cars and restaurant bills send the signal you’ll continue to support a lifestyle they can’t. And that kind of support shouldn’t go on forever because it just simply can’t – it ends when you do!
Of course, the reverse often happens too – the adult child has to take care of their parents in their elderly ages. And that’s the flip side which puts the kids’ retirement at risk. The growing disappearance of the past’s prevalent nuclear and extended families, as well as the local community taking care of each other, doesn’t exist for many people in today’s dispersed economy.
No matter how old you are as a parent, your children always appear to you like the photo for this blog post regardless of their age! It is natural for us parents to care. However, birds need to learn to fly completely on their own to survive within their own sustainable lifestyles.
So here’s the chain of events … parents coddle children and hinder their ability to launch on their own. This spending of money hinders parents’ means to save more for their own retirement. Then the future headlines … Children Unable to Help Their Elderly Parents, who didn’t save enough for retirement.