Sherry Finkel Murphy, CFP, RICP, ChFC
As a parent of adult children, there’s an ongoing tug of war between your values, your finances, and your time, with respect to your family.
True story: Last week, my husband hopped into his truck, and drove three states west on zero notice, to provide grandpa coverage for 5-year-old grandchild number four, while our daughter and son-in-law juggled careers, pregnancy, selling a house, and relocating. Their careers are taking them where they need to go; and we are monitoring where they land to see how we can best provide support.
We are feeling blessed to have the time and geographic flexibility that so many of our peers don’t have. It was a great case study in offering resources “besides” money, that are meaningful value-adds to the kids.
As your financial planner, I will always recommend that you “secure your own oxygen mask” (fund your own retirement) before you turn to the seat next to you and assist. That part certainly has not changed. What might be different for this generation is the notion of what “helping the kids” looks like. While once you were determined to fund a wedding or provide a down payment on a home, today you might be more creative—or even return to the intergenerational assistance of days gone by.
Here are some ideas for helping your kids that can be as rewarding for you as for your adult children:
Combine an opportunity to see the grandkids with a destination family vacation and pay your own way. Take the grandkids in the evenings or at certain hours to give your children a break without increasing the cost of their travel childcare. I have clients who love to travel separately and converge on a destination with their children and grandkids.