When Boomer Kids Move Back Home

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Your retirement plans are set and you are easing into them. For most Baby Boomers, this means implementing a budget and looking forward to travel, golf and other enjoyable activities. Then, junior or princess shows up on your doorstep needing a place to crash “just for a couple of weeks.”

Except for the wealthy few, most young people have a hard time making ends meet these days. Even a college degree cannot save many from the working at the Golden Arches. Those who lack specific degrees with high market value (e.g., engineering) face a rough road. Even if they do find work, today’s salaries are often not enough to live independently. It’s a much tougher world out there than the one we enjoyed at their age. And let’s face it, we are not going to turn our children away when they knock on the door with suitcase in hand.

However, parents who are adverse to practicing “tough love” at this point face a rough road, including watching their retirement savings dwindle and losing the peace on mind that they had begun enjoying. Without quickly laying down rules, these Boomers are in danger of losing their sanity.

Mutually Set Rules

A review of several articles on this subject makes it clear that handling “boomerang” kids goes much smoother when the rules are agreed upon at the beginning:

  • House rules: No laying around, no laundry services, no hot meals every night, no bad habits (e.g., smoking, dope or drinking), TV off time, use of car and phone, etc.
  • Rent: Agreeing on a monthly rental fee is one way to remind your kid(s) that this situation is temporary. If you wish, this money can be put aside to be given to them when they move out.
  • Insurance: Find out what insurance (health, car, etc.) they have in case of an emergency.
  • Household Expenses: Consider asking your child to contribute to household expenses if their stay is likely to be long.
  • Set a Deadline: Don’t leave their stay open-ended or they may never leave.
  • Loans: Be careful about giving your kids money, as a loan or otherwise, especially if they put a dent in your retirement plans.

Fast Reads

The Bottom Line for Baby Boomers

As Boomers, we love our kids. We worked hard to raise our families and help our children step into independence. And it is difficult to deny them when they need assistance.

But remember, you are not doing anyone a favor by accepting kids back into the household on an open-ended basis. Without rules, both you and your offspring will become frustrated. Your kids are adults now and it’s OK to treat them as so without guilt. Discuss rules and expectations upfront. Let them know that you love them no matter whether their stay works out. Help if you can, but put the onus on them to solve their problems. Do not forfeit your retirement to address a (hopefully) temporary situation. It’s a tough, often awkward experience, but everyone can get through a boomerang situation with clear rules, mutual respect, kindness and love.

Baby Boomers and Addictions

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My Baby Boomer friends drink. All of them. But it’s beer and wine, typically for dinner or occasions like the “19th hole.” I honestly don’t know anyone who consumes hard liquor. A few do smoke marijuana for medical purposes, but no one who I know is into coke or other hard drugs.

However, there apparently are a lot of Boomers who do have drug or alcohol problems, and that number is growing.

As noted recently in the Chicago Tribune:

Researchers see a steady rise in alcohol use and binge drinking – as well as what’s known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), an umbrella term for mild, moderate and severe abuse of alcohol – in the 65-plus demographic. Between 2005 and 2014, the percentage of older Americans who reported engaging in past-month binge drinking (defined as women consuming four or more drinks in about two hours, and men consuming five or more) increased from 12.5 percent to 14.9 percent, according to the NIAAA. The increase in drinking among older Americans is most pronounced among people with greater levels of education and income, and among women.

The situation gets worse when prescription pain killers, such as opioids, are mixed with alcohol. And I have encountered a few people who admit to taking opioids for medical reasons and are afraid they are hooked. Doesn’t stop them from drinking though.

What are the reasons behind Boomer addictions? Research shows it typically stems from retirement, bereavement, change in home situation, infrequent contact with family and friends, and social isolation. And oddly, it is typically occurring among the better-educated and financially fit Baby Boomers.

About 10% of all baby boomers use prescription drugs non-medically. According to government estimates, more than 5.7 million people over the age of 50 will need substance abuse treatment by 2020.

If you or a family member or friend has an alcohol or drug problem, get help! It’s that simple. The Winter of our lives is meant to be a time of personal growth, exploration and deepening love. Don’t waste this precious time. And don’t turn your legacy into an ugly memory.

Alcoholics and druggies are no fun to be around. They are a burden to all. But there are successful programs to help Boomers who have problems. Show your love by extending aid and a helping hand to guide them to recovery.

Learn more about Baby Boomer addiction and treatments by reviewing these websites:

Boomers – Want to Live Longer? Get Involved!

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Time and again, medical reports have shown that a major key to a longer (and more enjoyable) life is to get involved. In what? It doesn’t matter. Just keep physically and mentally active.

I read about three books weekly, run several home-based businesses, am active in a local Toastmaster club, play golf weekly and either go to the gym or do a bike ride every day. And “Yes,” I do have those morning aches when getting out of bed in the morning. But that just comes with age. The important thing is I feel alive. I’m squeezing the most out of every day because life is precious and I don’t intend to waste any of it!

I hope your life is invigorating too. When I see fellow Boomers just letting the days go by, spending their time watching TV while their mental and physical health decline, I want to scream “Wake up! This is it. Live your life to the fullest because the end is on the horizon.”

Not convinced? Take a look at these short articles:

One of my favorite quotes is by Hunter S. Thompson:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

Wake up. Have adventures. Try new things. Show love to everyone and witness how it comes back to you. Make your bucket list and commit to fulfilling it. Be alive.

I urge my fellow Baby Boomers to heed this wisdom. Life is short. Die without regrets, my friends.

Should Retired Baby Boomers Homestead Their Homes?

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The other day, someone asked, “Should I homestead my home? Does that gain me anything?” Good question. To tell the truth, I wasn’t up on this subject myself, but wondered if homesteading has some benefit for retired Baby Boomers.

To begin, what is “homesteading?” According to Wikipedia:

The homestead exemption is a legal regime to protect the value of the homes of residents from property taxes, creditors, and circumstances that arise from the death of the homeowner spouse.

Such laws are found in the statutes or the constitution of many of the states in the United States. The homestead exemption in some states of the South has its legal origins in the exemption laws of the Spanish Empire. In other states, they were enacted in response to the effects of 19th-century economy.

Homestead exemption laws typically have four primary features:

  1. Preventing the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors, usually except mortgages, mechanics liens, or sales to pay property taxes
  2. Providing the surviving spouse with shelter
  3. Providing an exemption from property taxes on a home
  4. Allowing a tax-exempt homeowner to vote on property tax increases to homeowners over the threshold, by bond or millage requests

For the purposes of statutes, a homestead is the one primary residence of a person, and no other exemption can be claimed on any other property anywhere, even outside the boundaries of the jurisdiction in which the exemption is claimed.

In some states, homestead protection is automatic. In many states, however, homeowners receive the protections of the law only if they file a claim for homestead exemption with the state. Furthermore, the protection can be lost if the homeowner abandons the protected property by taking up primary residence elsewhere.

That’s a mouthful! Basically, having a homestead filed on the property where you live protects you if creditors try to force a sale to pay during a financial hardship…except for mortgages, mechanic liens and property taxes. And if you die, it prevents creditors from selling your home out from under a surviving spouse.

So How do Boomers Homestead their Residence?

It turns out that in many states, Boomers have automatic “Homestead” rights – you don’t have to do anything. Asset Protection Planners notes:” Some states, such as Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas have provisions, if followed properly, allowing 100% of the equity to be protected. Other states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania do not offer any homestead protection.” So the first thing to do is to determine whether you need to do anything in the first place.

What does your state allow? Here’s a chart that will help you quickly determine your homestead rights and amounts.

The states and territories that do have homestead laws typically have online forms that can be completed and recorded. Usually, these must be notarized as well. Google your state to determine the procedures to be followed.

Be advised, however, that lenders will typically require you to eliminate a homestead declaration before refinancing a residence. They don’t like having it clouding the property title.

The Bottom Line for Baby Boomers

Homesteading a residence seems to make the most sense if you are having financial difficulties or are in ill-health. It’s an added layer of protection. Even though your state may have automatic homesteading in place, there are circumstances where having a formal, recorded document adds protection and may even increase the amount covered. Baby Boomers should each determine  what is best for their unique situation.

 

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