5 ways to support your millennial kids—without writing a cheque

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Whether your young adult children are grinding on a 9-5 work schedule or job searching from your basement, supporting more than one household financially may not be an option for you during your retirement. Luckily, as your career winds down and your kids’ ramps up, you’re more equipped than ever to give your kids your full attention just when they could use someone to turn to. Leverage your wealth of experience and newfound free time to help them launch into adulthood.

Offer Career Advice

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Whether they excelled in school or landed impressive summer internships, your children are brand new to the working world. They know almost nothing about how to handle negative professional feedback, navigate office politics, or produce perfect work on a tight deadline. But you do—you’ve spent the past 30 or so years learning from your own mistakes. The workplace may have changed since you were starting your career, but the wisdom you gained is timeless. Share it with your kids if they ask, and offer them the perspective that they won’t remember the tiny traumas of work when they’re your age.

Help Decode the Tough Stuff

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What’s a capital gains tax? What about a deductible? What’s a reasonable interest rate for a credit card? These questions and terms are second nature to you but seem like a foreign language to your kids. Help them help themselves by patiently demystifying these intimidating topics.

Search for Airline Deals

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If your kids live far from home, even if you can’t afford to fly them back often, you have the luxury of time now that you’re retired. Sometimes finding the best airline deals means simply fiddling with the search options until you hit the jackpot. Spending a few hours scouring the web for the best deal could pay off for your kids, making them extra excited to come home and spend some time with you.

Recommend Reading

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What do a college graduate and a recent retiree have in common? Time to read for fun—finally! Set aside some favourite page-turners for your kids to take with them next time they visit. Reading is free, after all, and there’s nothing a 20-something appreciates more than a free, fun activity. Plus, pop-sci self-help books like The Defining Decade allow you to deliver real talk through the safety of a third party: the author.

Share Your Recipes

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If your daughter begs for her favourite pecan pie every Thanksgiving or you send your son home with frozen meatballs each time he visits, consider sharing your family secrets with them. Gather recipes from their childhood, print them out and file them in a 3-ring binder. If your household was more takeout than Top Chef, find recipes from restaurants you loved or steal a few from your parents’ or siblings’ rosters.

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