We tend to view parenthood as a special time in our lives. Then the kids are grown, parenting is over, and we move into more of an adult relationship with our grown children.
But is that realistic? Ask any parent whose college graduate just moved back home, or whose 30-year-old needs help with bills. The truth is, parenting never truly ends. But if we’re lucky, our 20-somethings and 30-somethings actually start listening to us at some point!
That is definitely true with regard to financial planning. The TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America) recently conducted a study on this very issue, to see how parental behaviors and decisions can shape the way their millennial children view retirement planning.
What they found might surprise you. Yes, the kids are watching and listening. More importantly, they’re learning. In fact, 60 percent of millennial respondents said that they’ve learned from their parents’ retirement planning mistakes, and made different planning decisions in response. About half of them have decided to avoid significant debts, because their parents communicated their own regrets, and 38 percent are consciously limiting their spending habits.
As you might have guessed, much of this financial education was gleaned from observing parental mistakes. So does that mean your own adult children won’t learn financial planning, if you’ve mostly found success? Not so fast…
Others reported observing their parents’ successes, and attempting to mimic those behaviors. Most likely, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve been very successful or you’ve made some missteps; the common denominator here is communication. If you’re communicating what worked for you, while also sharing your regrets, then your kids are likely to listen and put those lessons to use.
Of course, we’re here for you either way. If you want to improve upon your retirement plans, please give us a call. But if you’ve been happy with your progress, we want to help you continue to meet with success. Keep us in mind if your adult children ask for guidance. We can help you continue the family tradition of wise and responsible retirement planning.
Source for statistics: https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/learning_from_parents_retirement_financial_planning.pdf