Mark Patterson writes the “Tough Money Love” blog, which offers retirement advice. The man obviously knows the boomer worldview, and in a column he penned for US News & World Report he lists five “attitude adjustments” necessary for retirement success. We offer them here, along with our own spin, so you can share them with your boomer-age clients.
1. Your retirement is more important than your kids’ college education. “We must learn to accept when our parenting obligations are complete,” writes Patterson. If you are sacrificing your retirement nest egg to pay your kids’ college education, he says, you have the wrong priorities.
We agree in part. Parents have a powerful instinct to nurture their offspring. The decision to subsidize a child’s education depends on what he or she is getting out of it. Earning an engineering, IT or business degree will do more to help kids enter a rewarding career than applying feminist theory to deconstruct 19th century English novelists.
2. Your retirement is worth more than your kids’ lifestyles. Do not pay your adult child an allowance, do not pay for his cell phone, do not make her car payments, Patterson urges. Here, we totally agree. If adult children cannot afford to support themselves, they can live at home with free room and board–and they can help out around the house while they’re at it. Subsidizing the kids’ lifestyles saps their motivation
to improve their condition.