A shorter grocery list. Silence from the laundry room. Extra money in the checking account at month’s end. All signs you’re an empty nester. The kids—and the monthly vacuuming up of cash—are out of the house. It’s enough to leave you reeling. And maybe a little confused about what to do.
It’s no surprise that raising a child is expensive. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s annual report, the cost of raising a child through 17 has jumped to $233,610.
But what happens then when all the kids reach 17 and empty nesters consider estate planning?
Assess Your Spending & Savings
It’s time to get up to speed on the new normal. That means sitting down and looking at your monthly spending budget.
You’re likely going to be spending less on daily supplies, such as clothing or groceries. On the other hand, your kid-related expenses may increase, if you’re helping kids with college tuition, or perhaps travel, if you’re planning visits to kids who are far-away.
You should also review your savings. You may be able to invest in less-liquid options now that you won’t need as much cash handy in the day-to-day. Resist the urge to splurge on big-ticket items (like huge trips or home renovation), and instead think about where you can safely invest for a future that isn’t so far away.
Look into Life Insurance
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to invest in life insurance. Assess your needs by forecasting your needs far down the road—ten, twenty or thirty years from now.
A variety of investment options exist, including insurance for long-term care. The sooner you secure insurance, the lower the premiums, so it’s a smart choice now.
This may be a good time to consider selling your large home and moving into a more manageable house, condo or apartment. The housing market continues to be at historic value, but it’s unclear how long that will last. Now might be a good time to start thinking about what your next move may be.
Review & Assess Your Investments
You likely set up investments when you first started a family (or at least when you started considering sending kids to college). It’s time to check in on those investments. Many have likely grown, but might not be the smartest place to have money today. Take the time to look at what you have and really ask yourself if your financial goals are still the same.
When children move out, it’s a crossroads moment. You should think of it that way for your investments, too.
Call us any time to discuss your estate planning, 501.221.7776.