Navigating your finances as an empty nester

 

 

 

Empty nest? All of us who are in our early 50s or even late 40s would be or are going through this. Children going away for higher education or job.  The last few years seen a massive shift in kids getting an education abroad. Indian students going abroad for higher education recorded a six-year high in 2022 at 750,365, according to the education ministry data submitted in Parliament on Monday.

It’s no doubt an emotional period, parents have to come to terms with the fact that their children have grown up and are ready to spread their wings in the world.

Depending on whether the child is going abroad (or even to another city in India) for Graduation or Masters, it can also be a financially impactful period.

Graduation abroad is an expensive affair, so am assuming you have been building the necessary corpus to take care of the expenses. The next 3-4 years will be payout time. So a few basic things have to be looked into (this can be relevant even for those whose kids are going out to another city in India to study)

  • The money that you have set aside for this purpose should be shifted to less risky products, have a short- term horizon and can be accessed as and when required.
  • Review the Term Insurance of the earning member(s), so that God forbid if anything untoward were to happen, the child’s education and other family members’ life remain stable.
  • Review your debt situation, hopefully you have cleared all your debts by now. If not, try to keep it as low as possible.
  • If you are dipping into your retirement corpus to fund the education, then you need to start refilling it as early as possible. At least ensure that a small amount is consistently set aside via SIP for retirement.

At the same time, you need to teach your kid to be moneywise. (https://womoneya.com/2017/05/15/money-wise-in-this-digital-world/)

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If your child is going abroad for Masters, you may choose to fund the education or take a loan which the child will have to pay for.  If it’s the former, then all the above points apply, if it’s the latter, you still need to foot their expenses for a year or two till they settle down with a job and can pay the education loans.

So, whilst you are busy planning for your child’s education, do not lose sight of your financial planning.  This is the time to go back to the drawing board and relook at all your finances.

You may have new goals to consider like traveling and hobbies, to keep you busy and active, but these may need finances as well. Start the next phase of life right by working with a financial advisor to develop a financial plan that supports your current needs and future goals.

Watching your children leave the nest should give you a well-earned sense of accomplishment. It’s an exciting time for them and you. Embrace the change and celebrate it.

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About the Author

Usha Mallya

I have been in the finance and investment field for the last 15 years. I believe that women empowerment is incomplete without knowing how to handle your money. I educate women about money, finance and read more...

6 Posts | 10,872 Views

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