For the first time since the Great Depression, a majority of US adults (52% to be precise) are living at home. It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic as the resultant economic fallout is to blame. As if 2020 couldn’t help but add insult to injury, this circumstance arises just as a litany of other stressors are reaching fever pitch (yes, I mean the election, natural disasters, social unrest, and rising virus numbers worldwide). Naturally, families are feeling the squeeze. Below are six tips to not only survive the present moment but, in some small measure, turn lemons into lemonade.
1. Enjoy this time together
While perhaps easier said than done at times, don’t lose sight of the fact that this moment is precious. If you’ve got adult kids, at some point you probably felt the pangs of an empty nest. Remind yourself that having a full house is a bonus round opportunity to make memories. That, and notice the chance for symbiosis. While you can help your kids out of an economic pickle, they can help you get Netflix working on the living room TV or finally attend to clearing old belongings from the basement.
2. Level up your relationship
Adult family relationships depend on treating one another like adults. One way to rewire the parent-child dynamic is to ask working adult children to pitch in for household expenses. After all, that’s a thing adults do. You might ask for a “rent” contribution or to simply share the labor and cost of groceries—whatever is feasible in the present circumstance. If in having your children back at home, you notice your budget growing strained, speak up. Airing such concerns opens the sort of communication channels needed to support an adult relationship.
Related to the above is the need to build a holistic financial plan. While the pandemic has brought many economic consequences that might impact your long-term financial planning, having the kids back at home shouldn’t be one of them. Make sure this is the case by consulting a good financial advisor and drafting a plan that considers risk and retirement needs as well as strategies for paying off debt.
4. Take this opportunity to institute (or update) an estate plan
As tempting as it is to drown out the present in Netflix binges and elaborate DIY projects, there has never been a better time to sit the family down and pen your will. While it’s no fun to acknowledge, none of us will be here forever. With folks home, now’s the time to talk about old age care, inheritances, and the roles you’d like loved ones to play in the related processes. An experienced estate planning attorney can walk you through the specifics of assigning power of attorney, appointing an executor, and ensuring your assets are transferred smoothly and equitably to your children and loved ones.
5. Consider a legacy trust
While setting aside time to attend to estate planning, take a moment to consider a legacy trust. Flexible asset protection and saving option, a legacy trust is an irrevocable trust that allows you to protect your life’s work for future generations. Assets are removed from your primary estate and placed in a secondary estate which takes the form of a trust, thereby shielding them from creditors and judgments against you or your family. What’s more, is legacy trust is not subject to probate and so the assets contained a sealed from public view.
6. Encourage children to set up a plan of their own
As kids grow, the opportunities to parent them become fewer and further between. While relating as adults is paramount in the present, so too is having an estate plan. With folks back at home, seize the opportunity to teach one more important life skill: planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Every US adult should, at a minimum, have a general durable power of attorney and advance directives in place. Anyone married or with children needs a will and life insurance. As you update your estate, counsel children through instituting their own.
Not only does attending to the above allow you to make the most of an extraordinarily challenging moment, but it also set you and your family up to weather this storm is the best of possible conditions and emerge ready to meet the future safe and sound.
Should you have questions about any of the above, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We’d be thrilled to chat about all issues mentioned in this article except, maybe, how to get Netflix set up the living room TV. After all, we’re not that young ourselves!