How Your Retirement Affects Your Kids Retirement

How Your Retirement Affects Your Kids' Retirement

Updated on Aug 07 2019


A recent survey sponsored by The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA) found a clear link between how millennials think about retirement planning and their perceptions of their parents’ financial security.

Learn more about the connection between parent and child when it comes to retirement planning.

The Influence Parents Have on an Adult Child’s Financial Future

A new survey from TIAA has found that the financial experiences of parents have a profound effect on adult children as they begin to plan for their own financial future. As adult children see their parents struggle with saving enough money for retirement, it’s changing how they save for their personal financial future. According to the survey, 61 percent of respondents say they are taking a different financial approach to avoid making the same mistakes as their parents.

Based on their parents’ approach to finances:

  • 21 percent of adults say they have concerns about their retired parents running out of money in retirement, despite being confident in their retired parents’ long-term financial security.
  • 57 percent of respondents say their parents’ financial planning for retirement has impacted their own approach.
  • 44 percent avoid taking on significant debt.
  • 38 percent consciously limit spending money on non-essentials.
  • 34 percent have actively educated themselves about saving and investing.
  • 32 percent contribute regularly to a non-retirement savings account.
  • 29 percent save for retirement through employer and individual retirement accounts.

Building Financial Confidence in Retirement in Your Family

Personal finances are not taught in most American schools, leaving financial planning and wisdom up to individual families. “People’s financial habits and retirement planning are shaped by the experiences of their parents,” says Dan Keady, chief financial planning strategist at TIAA.

The good news is that it’s never too late to change your family’s trajectory and make financial planning part of the conversation. To make positive changes in your family’s financial future consider taking these three steps.

1. Create a financial plan.

A comprehensive financial plan that includes current assets, investments, and future goals is crucial to a financially successful retirement. Not having a financial plan and having concerns over a parent’s financial future could lead younger generations to make unnecessary financial sacrifices.

2. Talk openly about finances with family members.

Establish open and honest lines of communication with all generations in your family. Discuss your financial outlook, what you are doing to ensure you have enough money to last through retirement, and how you are planning your own financial future.

Financial strategist Adam Paoli, Sr. notes, “Most parents want what is inherently best for their children and help them learn from their mistakes. As a result, I find most parents who feel their retirement savings amount is inadequate, or have a poor strategy, are often vocal with their children about what they should do to avoid the mistakes they have made.”

3. Hire a financial expert.

Hiring a financial expert to walk you and your family through a solid retirement strategy can increase planning confidence for you and your family. A fiduciary financial advisor can give you an honest assessment of your finances and help you create a retirement plan and an estate plan while helping families get on the same page with financial expectations. Consider hiring a trusted financial planner to help you and your family have open and honest communication while building a solid financial future.

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