Article by Beth Pinkser | Article Found on Reuters
George Gagliardi knows the old adage about the shoemaker with barefoot kids: The financial adviser has two adult sons bunking at home.
Gagliardi’s biggest challenge? Imparting financial advice to his own offspring.
“I get ‘Grumble. Grumble. Stop telling me what to do,” said Gagliardi, who founded Coromandel Wealth Management in Lexington, Massachusetts.
As another crop of college graduates heads into the real world, Reuters asked financial advisers with “boomerang kids” -adults who have returned home to their parents – to share advice on launching them to success and independence.
* Ease them in
Gagliardi is taking a gradual approach.
“You try to infuse a little knowledge and then let them make the small mistakes, and hopefully they learn from them,” he said.
His older son, now 26, has lived at home after college to save money while he works full-time. That son is about to move out, while his younger brother, almost 22, is about to come home after graduating from college.
“If kids are moving home, there should be a cost to it,” Gagliardi said. “You can’t just coast along.”
He charges his older son a nominal rent of $350. He also made him map out three- and five-year life plans.
* Get them ready to jump
Thomas Yorke’s older daughter lived at home for about six months in Red Bank, New Jersey, after she graduated from college. Yorke’s main advice was for her to make sure she chose her roommates wisely, since she was likely to be in cramped quarters.
“If you are going to be cramming into a small space, you better do it with good friends and not someone you recently met,” said Yorke, of Oceanic Capital Management.
The daughter saved about $10,000 before moving in with people she knew in New York.
She is now mostly independent, except for lingering on the family cellphone plan ($50 a month). Yorke plans to cut her off from the plan soon or have her contribute.
A second daughter is about to graduate from college, and a third just started. Yorke hopes they are learning from their older sister.
“It’s really important to get the first one right,” Yorke said. “The others fall into place.”
* Have patience
David Haas was worried because his son was staying out late and not getting up in the morning.
“We were concerned that he was scared about the next step,” says Haas, of Cereus Financial in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
Haas and his wife decided to wait it out. At the six-month mark, their son got a job in another city and drove off, happily independent ever since.
Haas’ younger daughter, 22, graduated from college a year ago and has been living at home ever since. She pays for her commute, her clothes and her entertainment. Haas picks up the car insurance, about $900 annually.
“I know that she wants to be independent, and she’s also very good with money and frugal,” Haas said. “So I trust that she’s going to make good decisions when she has to make them.”
* Set a deadline to cut off support
Brett Anderson, a financial adviser for St. Croix Advisors in Hudson, Wisconsin, wanted his older son to move home after getting his master’s degree, mostly to save money.
“But there was no way I was going to leave him on the payroll,” Anderson said. “I have clients paying for two or three kids beyond college, and it starts to add up.”
While Anderson paid $50 a month for his son’s medical insurance, he offered a bike instead of a car.
“You have to draw the line,” Anderson says, noting that his wife was equally influential in the decision-making process.
After some career coaching, the son headed to Texas for a job after six months, and now, at 26, is fully independent.
Next up is an 18-year-old daughter who will graduate from high school in June. Anderson thinks she will be a much more difficult case.
“We’ll have the same conversations with her,” he said. “We’ll have to help her understand money better.”
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