After six years of retirement, this Chartered client shares two significant lessons they as a couple have learned about this new phase of life … as life does not always go to plan!
Lesson # 2: Care for the kids, too
We had not anticipated what our move would mean to the children who still lived in or near home. Our eldest son had lived abroad for a few years, his life was more established and he had his own circle of friends. In time, our middle daughter married and moved away.
There are many considerations for young people today as they make their way in an ever-changing world. Gone are the days where your salary would cover your rental, medical aid and pension. When we left, we wanted to ensure that our youngest daughter was in a safe complex, so we needed to supplement her income.
She felt pretty lonely, although she had a good circle of friends and was quite active. She missed being able to come home for a meal and a visit … we had left a bigger void than we had ever imagined.
Unfortunately, her job was subject to enormous seasonal changes and the winter months were exceptionally difficult. At times like this, it seems that there is so much that adds to the pressure. Someone drove into her car, it was not her fault, but because of her age the insurance didn’t cover much. The break-up with a pretty nasty boyfriend led to a downward spiral.
After much consultation and deliberation, we decided that she should come home to us and get some professional help. The distance felt huge, so bringing her home for a time seemed like the best option. She has made excellent progress and is doing really well. She has decided to stay on and is enjoying a smaller town. It has its ups and downs, but for now it is working well.
When you, as a parent, are trying to help your child find her financial feet, it is completely understandable that you might provide a living space at home even when she is an adult; but, there should be some plan to have a handing over process in which you require her, gradually, to pay rental and/or to make an increasing contribution to her living costs. This is because you, as a parent, have an equally strong desire to see your children growing in their independence. This goal may be a moving target, depending on circumstances, but the principle is sound.
Our daughter currently lives in our flat, which gives her the space she needs.
Life changes, and so do our circumstances, and so the retirement plan needs to be flexible. We are fortunate that we have been able to help out as we have, but the figures don’t look the same six years down the line. We are grateful to our team at Chartered who have been able to help us adapt our plans as life looks so different to the plan!
This is the second instalment in a two-part article entitled: Two into Six goes Two. It is a Chartered Client’s article on the two unexpected lessons that she and her husband have learned in their six years of retirement – important financial considerations that can easily be overlooked. Click here to read the first lesson.