Your Finances Come First, Your Children’s And Parents’ Second

March 18, 2014
by Michelle Perry Higgins

Start Shopping for Long-Term-Care Insurance at 45When it comes to baby boomers who are caught in between supporting their parents and their children, I recommend handling this type of situation the same way you would in an airplane emergency: Put on your own oxygen mask first before you help anyone else.

The thinking behind this is that if we try to help others before ourselves, we risk hurting everyone involved. Similarly, before you become involved in someone else’s financial affairs, you need to be mindful of your own financial plans and needs. Your finances are priority over anyone else’s. It may sound selfish at first, but it actually safeguards those who depend on you as well.

You should also put clear boundaries in place for anyone asking for your support. For example, let your children know that their funding will last only until a specified date. Inform your children that they will be expected to pay rent if they live in your house. Written agreements will make this task much easier and provide a reference to quell possible future disagreements.