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Family holiday crisis? A money-saving guide to beating those half-term blues
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Back to the top. Half of Gen X and Boomer respondents said the same. The retirement crisis in America is an ongoing worry for Americans. As companies have shifted away from offering traditional pension plans to employees, much of the responsibility in planning for financial life after work now relies heavily on individuals. Unfortunately, some are struggling to keep up. As some Americans reach retirement age and realize they may not have saved enough, they find themselves being forced to work longer than planned. In , the labor force of Americans ages 55 and up accounted for about 23 percent of the average annual labor force.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by , that figure will increase to almost 25 percent.
Some of those challenges include a lack of substantial wage growth, according to Hamrick. Although parents might want to help their adult children out by footing their bills, some experts say it might do more harm than good. Laura Dabney, a psychiatrist specializing in interpersonal relationships, says parents who are sacrificing their financial futures for their adult children should reevaluate their assistance.
The conversation about cutting off financial assistance to children, Dabney admits, can be intimidating. Parents who have been providing financial safety nets for their child might worry about how discontinuing the aid might be received. Adult children who have been dependent upon the money might feel as though they are being treated unfairly. But the longer the conversation is delayed, Dabney says, the more likely it becomes for resentment to start building from both parties, especially from the parents if the financial assistance is jeopardizing their retirement plans.
And then, listen to the child — and maybe come up with a compromise. Starting a couple of months before peak holiday season might be cutting it a little close for grand savings schemes this year, but you do have options. You still have two months for saving and planning. The longer you have to build up cash reserves, plan your budget and buy gifts. Get a solid understanding of how much that is and try to keep expenses, including gifts and food, within that amount.
To build your holiday budget, trim discretionary expenses over the next couple of months. Cut back on dining out or going to the movies, or temporarily cancel a couple of monthly subscription services. Create a gift list that fits your budget, find good deals, and consider reducing holiday spending on food and gifts across the board to avoid going into debt.