Make Your Money Plan a Family Plan

Make Your Money Plan a Family Plan

At this point your family may have grown well beyond the couple of you at home for years — adult kids may have moved back in, or have had grandchildren. Or, you may have had to take in and care for an aging parent. Even parents with kids not yet in college at this age have an expanded budget, for family finances plus saving for a looming retirement. So what to focus on first?

Review your own finances with an eye toward just how on track you are to save for your own retirement. Just as they say on airplanes, parents need to put on their own oxygen masks first, before a child or anyone else needing assistance. If you have no or little financial breathing space, you’ll be of little help to those you love. If you have older kids or college grads living at home with you, make it a monthly habit to have a family meeting about how things are going financially. Keep kids informed of the pressures on your budget, and ask them to contribute to monthly expenses and pay their own bills (such as cell phone service) while there. Shelling out hundreds of dollars a month on an adult child is tough to afford for many — and can your retirement afford it? Be frank and approach expenses as a family — as a team.

Beware the temptation to borrow off your home equity to pay for college. Your home equity is a large part of your retirement assets and once you pay off your mortgage, you can save a thousand dollars or much more every month in expenses. Your kids have many more years to earn money and build equity than you do — make clear that the home is part of your shorter future and security and that you’ll have to find other ways to pay for schooling that don’t interfere too drastically with your golden years. Getting resistance? Remind the kids that if you don’t take care of yourself now, they’ll end up taking care of you.

Make Your Money Plan a Family Plan

Taking Care of Your Kids While Taking Care of Your Parents Too

Which may be the situation you’re in with your own parents. At this age it’s more and more common to be taking care of aging parents. Hopefully, you still have time to get their finances in order before taking full responsibility. If you do, try to discover the following about their finances: What are their insurance policies? Where is all their income coming from (pensions, investments, etc.)? Do they still have a mortgage and if so, how much is left vs. the home value? How do they pay their taxes and do they have a will, trust and estate planning? All this digging is not only about numbers but information — find out where they keep all their important documents and where they do their banking.

Then do the same for yourself with your own kids. Give them all that information so they too can plan for their own future while keeping yours in mind. Sharing financial information as a family is just another way of taking care of yours.

Information provided for educational and illustrative use only and is not a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or sell any specific security or strategy and is not intended for persons residing in any jurisdictions where we are not authorized to do business. Although the information provided may include material about the investment process generally, neither TD Ameritrade, Susan Bradley nor any other third party is providing personalized investment advice and does not represent that any such securities or investments are suitable for any website visitor, investor or client. Investing involves risks and losses may occur, including loss of principal. Consider your financial circumstances before investing.Research provided by non-affiliated third parties. TD Ameritrade and its affiliates are not responsible for the content and accuracy of the information provided by any third party.TD Ameritrade does not provide tax or legal advice. Investors should consider their personal circumstances and consult their legal or tax advisor prior to investing.

THIRD PARTY LINKS THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN LINKS TO WEB SITES CONTROLLED OR OFFERED BY THIRD PARTIES NOT AFFILIATED WITH TD AMERITRADE. TD AMERITRADE HEREBY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ANY INFORMATION, MATERIALS, PRODUCTS OR SERVICES POSTED OR OFFERED AT ANY OF THE THIRD PARTY SITES LINKED TO THIS WEB SITE. BY CREATING A LINK TO A THIRD PARTY WEB SITE, TD AMERITRADE DOES NOT ADOPT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE OR RECOMMEND ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES OFFERED OR INFORMATION CONTAINED AT THAT WEB SITE, NOR IS TD AMERITRADE LIABLE FOR ANY FAILURE OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES OFFERED OR ADVERTISED AT THOSE SITES. SUCH THIRD PARTY MAY HAVE A PRIVACY POLICY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF TD AMERITRADE AND THE THIRD PARTY WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE LESS SECURITY THAN THE TD AMERITRADE SITE.

This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business. Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC/NFA. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ® 2012 TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Offers require establishing an account with LearnVest, Inc. There is no fee to open and maintain an account with LearnVest, Inc. Offer subject to the execution of an advisory agreement with LearnVest Planning Services, LLC (LearnVest Planning). LearnVest Planning is an SEC registered investment advisor and an affiliate of LearnVest, Inc. LearnVest Planning and TD Ameritrade are not affiliated entities and offer separate services.