When your children are grown and leave home, you are released from being the financial “provider”: No more bills for everything from food and clothes to visits to the dentist. Along with this “freedom” may come immediate temptation to spend your “extra” money on the things you have been waiting for over the child rearing years.
Instead, you should purge that urge to splurge! Now is the time to put a sizable portion, if not all, of that extra money away in a savings and investment plan earmarked for your retirement.
Add Up Your Savings
Figure out just how much those tuition bills and other child rearing expenses have cost you. Your smartest move is to save and invest that much for at least the next several years. If you feel you just can’t resist splurging on yourself before retirement, make up a short-term savings goal list to reward yourself at intervals along the way.
The important point is to make sure the extra dollars do not land in your general budget where they can disappear all too quickly, eaten up by a meal out here and a “we-deserve-a-little-luxury” purchase there.
Check Some Facts, Reduce Your Tax
At this stage of life it is also wise to assess whether you are taking full advantage of every opportunity to reduce your tax bills. The number of dependents you can claim will drop; are there additional deductions you can claim to replace them?
After your children have flown the nest, take the time to evaluate your personal financial situation and make adjustments as needed.