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What young empty hedges need to know about money

This spring, many Millennials will experience a new milestone: their children’s graduation. Here’s what these young empty cattle creators need to know.

16 May 2022 | Money

Millennials, whether we like it or not, are becoming middle-aged – and if you were a Millennial who had children at a relatively young age, you may face the prospect of a soon-to-be empty living this graduation season.

“Since I’m in my mid-millennium with two children two and under, my empty nest is still a long way off,” said Riley Adams, CPA and Senior Financial Analyst at Google, who shares financial advice on The Young and the Investors. “But math makes perfect sense for Millennials who had children in their early to mid-20s just before the Great Depression.”

If your children are going to college this fall, you do not need to tell yourself that you are facing a big change. And as they begin this exciting chapter in their lives, you may begin to experience mixed emotions. But this is a good time to start managing your finances during this transition – and find out what to do with your extra time.

So you’re an empty tenant, what now? “Take a step back to think about how you envision the next step in your life,” suggests Danielle Miura, a Certified Financial Planner professional who offers financial planning to young professionals and families through her fee-paying company Spark Financials. “What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to be?”

If it feels a little overwhelming to focus on yourself when you are dealing with high school graduations and shopping rounds in the dorm, we have three simple questions to help you get started.

In this article:

What do you want to do with your time?

The first big question to ask yourself is simple. What should you do with all your free time?

When it comes to managing the syndrome of empty living, some people may immediately think of hobbies, TV shows or catching up on sleep to cope with feelings of loneliness or sadness. Other people may feel obligated to fill their empty hours with new responsibilities, such as spending more time with their own parents. If you are not careful, you will spend your extra hours staring at social media – or become that parent who can not stop checking in with their adult children.

Because of this, Miura suggests not just formulating the question time, but also about goals. “What did you wish you had accomplished before the children that you might want to do now?” she asks – and we recommend that you take at least some time to think about the answer, even if the only thing you can think of to accomplish right now is help your kids pack up for college and plan one last big family vacation.

This question is especially important if you are a Millennial Empty Hedgehog who gave birth to your children early. Some of you may have felt out of sync with your peers; others of you may realize that you are not actually in sync with your. “You have structured your life around taking your children to school, going to sporting events and cooking,” says Miura. “Now is the time to focus on your life ambitions.”

What do you need to do with your money?

The next question is of course how to afford your big life changes.

“Millennials in this situation are likely to end up in one of two extremes,” says Adams. “Some people will enjoy the newfound space they are likely to find in their budgets. Other people may find that they do not have enough money set aside for their long-term financial needs.” Although some expenses may disappear, a few large ones, namely payments for college fees, can put an even greater burden on the economy.

Adams notes that some Millennials have been underpaid compared to previous generations – so if you have not been able to pay off your credit cards or put money into retirement, you are not alone. “Saving for the future is easy to ignore when you need to put food on the table.”

That said, there is no better time to start than that right now. “If you have extra space in your budget after your children leave home, start making significant contributions to your retirement funds,” advises Adams. Take advantage of all employer matches, maximize all available tax-benefit accounts, and consider investing excess cash in a diversified portfolio of investments. “

What happens if you are already on the verge of retirement? If so, it’s time to start investing in yourself. “Some people may need to learn to spend more on themselves,” says Adams. “This could mean more frequent vacations, paying for better grocery items or spending more money on restaurants and entertainment.”

Miura agrees that some Millennial-empty hedges may be able to invest in themselves – but she suggests that you invest your money in a more fun career or a career in something you are more passionate about. Is it time for you to go back to school or start looking for a job again? Where do you want to be in the next five years, and what do you need to do to get there?

“Once you’ve figured out what you want to do,” Miura says, “contribute a portion of your income each month to achieve those goals.”

“You have structured your life around taking your children to school, attending sporting events and cooking. Now is the time to focus on your life ambitions.”

—Danielle Miura, Certified Financial Planner

What are the next big family milestones?

The last question – and one that many married couples do not take enough time to consider – is what comes after the empty nest? If you do not think carefully about what your family may need in the next few years, you may not be prepared for any of the emotional and financial milestones.

To begin with, your nest may not be as empty as you expected. Many parents are surprised and / or happy to know that their newly started college students may return home almost every month, depending on the college or university’s scheduled breaks and holidays – and even if colleges begin to transition from hybrid and distance learning programs adopted during the pandemic , you never know when your child may need to spend an entire semester taking lessons from his bedroom.

All of these trips cost money – that is, someone will have to pay for your child’s gasoline, air travel, food, and so on. Even if you plan to let your child cover the cost of coming home during the holidays, students are not always the best money stewards. Start saving now, because you never know when you will have to cover an unexpected trip home.

Parents should also prepare for their children to stay home after college, whether it is a few weeks or – in some cases – a few years. Some Millennials were members of the Boomerang generation themselves, of course, so you are probably already familiar with the idea that it takes some young people a while to set up their own nests. The real question is whether you will offer financial support during this transition – and if so, how much.

“Whether parents decide to financially support their child depends on what they can afford and how they want to place their boundaries,” Miura explains. For example, some families help their children cover the rent for their first apartment; Other families charge their children rent for the benefit of living at home. Regardless of the accommodation arrangement, make sure that your parenting choices remain consistent – and make sure that your children understand both your and their financial responsibilities.

Early empty nests should also ask themselves what might happen if their children choose to follow the same path as they did – that is, have their own children at a relatively young age. Will there be weddings, down payments and baby shows in the next five years? If so, it’s probably a good idea to start setting aside money for these big family milestones.

Some financial advisors, including Miura, will suggest that you prioritize your own financial goals first, especially if you are lagging behind in saving for retirement. “Once your finances are in order, you can start focusing on saving money for weddings or helping with a down payment.” But many families will do what they have always done and come up with a way to make it all work. After all, when your child tells you that you are about to become a grandparent, you will want to help in any way you can – whether you are helping your child to take up their new home or start a multi-generational household in your own. .

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Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that it can be refreshingly easy to navigate decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that it can be refreshingly easy to navigate decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal adviser.

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