What Are You Teaching Your Adult Children About Retirement?

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What Are You Teaching Your Adult Children About Retirement?

Posted by Benchmark Financial Group, LLC
8 months ago | July 1, 2019

We often think that we’re finished teaching our children once they’ve grown up and left home. But in reality, your adult kids are still learning from you. In fact, they’re likely to make their own retirement planning decisions based largely upon what they’ve observed you do, and what you’ve shared with them.

A recent study set out to determine just how much parental input influences the younger generation, with regard to retirement planning. TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of American) conducted a survey among millenials, to see how they’re planning for their own futures and how those decisions were guided by information from their parents.

The results might surprise you! A whopping 61 percent of respondents said that they are taking a different approach to retirement planning, based upon watching and hearing about their own parents’ mistakes. About half say that they don’t take on significant debt, and 38 percent limit their spending habits.

But does that mean you need to set out to make mistakes, just so that your kids can learn a valuable lesson? Well, of course not. You might also be interested to know that millenials whose parents retired comfortably have also learned from those lessons. They tend to mimic responsible behavior when they perceive their parents as successful.

The common factor doesn’t seem to be mistakes or success; it’s communication. When we communicate to our kids, whether we’re sharing our regrets or passing along tips for success, they really are listening!

The takeaway lesson is this: If you’ve learned a strategy that works, make sure to talk about it. Your adult kids are likely to learn from your example. But when you make mistakes, don’t feel that you must hide them. Share the lesson with your children, so that they can learn a valuable lesson alongside you.

And of course, if your kids want to carry on the family tradition of responsible financial planning, please do pass along our number. We will be happy to help the next generation of your family as they plan for their own retirement.

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