How to Launch Your Child’s Financial Independence: A Four Step Process

[Part II of a two-part article] launch-childs-financial-independencePart One: Financially Helping Adult Children: When and How to Teach Independence

How do you help launch your adult child to financial independence? We’ve put together some tips for being the supportive parents you want to be, but at the same time, helping them have financially independent lives.

 

Four Step Process to Launch Your Child’s Financial Independence:

  1. Make Your Decision
    Assess the monthly support you are providing and decide on when it is time to help your child become financially independent. Both parents should come to an agreement so they will have a united front when discussing this with your child.
  1. Have a Family Meeting
    Set up a time to meet together to discuss becoming financial independent and be prepared for the meeting. Make a list of all financial help that is being given – cell phones, insurance, car payments, etc. and the amount being paid. Discuss what your needs and expectations are and how you want them to be financially independent adults. Help them understand the impact the financial help has on you and that you are making real tradeoffs to support them.
  1. Create a Written Plan With Dates
    Create a game plan where responsibility for the bills is given over to the child. This can be mapped out to a zero outlay over time. If dates are included in the plan, the children will know what to expect. One gradual way to do this is to have an additional expense being taken over by them every four to six months. By writing the plan down, it will reduce any confusion. Specific information and dates will help everyone understand the plan. Consequences can also be included.
  1. Be Prepared for Hiccups
    There are going to be challenges and hiccups. Decide beforehand to which crisis you will respond. There will be health issues, bad bosses, car problems, and grandchildren needs. By deciding before you get those phone calls, you already know what your reaction will be and how much you are willing to help.

As you help your children transition towards financial independence, keep the communication channels open. Even when you’ve shut down the ‘Bank of Mom and Dad‘, having a financial coach can be helpful as children learn to manage their money and develop the tools they need to be financially independent and responsible adults.

As experienced wealth managers, Blankinship & Foster is trained in assisting with sensitive issues of this nature. If we can assist you, or anyone you know, with this type of challenge, please don’t hesitate to contact 858-755-5166 or info@bfadvisors.com.

About Teresa Kakadelas

Teresa Kakadelas, CFP®, CDFA™ is a lead advisor and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Teresa heads up the firm’s Financial Planning Team, continually identifying and helping solve financial planning issues for clients. Teresa started the firm’s “Wise Women” luncheons, designed to help clients with financial education. Teresa and her family live in Carlsbad. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her family.

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