Tightening the Family Ties

Sometimes I feel like an in-house publicist for my three adult children: a text to the middle son asking him to give his sister a call; an email to the oldest telling him about his brother’s time on a half-marathon; a phone call to the youngest suggesting she check in with her brothers. Why persist in trying to tighten the sibling bonds? Because adult children are often at different stages – and locations – in their lives so it takes …

Social Security Halts Tax-Refund Grab to Recover Old Debts

Update: The Social Security Administration says it will immediately stop collecting old debts by grabbing taxpayers’ refunds. In a statement, Carolyn W. Colvin, the acting commissioner of the agency, says: “I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law to refer debt to the Treasury Department. “If any Social Security …

Why Your Children Should Help Pay for College

Spring means college admissions, and we still recall the agonizing wait for the mail carrier. A thin envelope brought bad news, a thick envelope acceptance. Today, though, the “envelope” arrives via email – and that’s not all that’s changed. These days, the sticker price for private colleges starts at about $40,000 a year, going much higher for a prestigious institution; in-state schools run about half that. Nearly as soon as the anxiety on the admissions front dissipates, it’s replaced by …

Is Marriage More Loving, or Boring, in Retirement?

Is marriage more boring or more fulfilling in retirement? (Hint: It’s better than you think.) Do spouses in blended families have different financial priorities for their own children than for their stepchildren? These were some of the questions that 5,415 people were asked in a study called “Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room.” Folks weighed in about their hopes and fears when they retire, whether they’d sacrifice their own financial security to help their adult children now, and …

More Filial Support Cases Ending Up in Court

Some 30 states have “filial support” or “filial responsibility” laws, which create a statutory duty for adult children to provide financially for their parents if the parents cannot otherwise pay. They’re based on the centuries-old moral principle of filial piety, which holds that adult children have a duty to respect, obey and personally care for elderly parents and relatives. >> Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Typically, these laws obligate adult children to pay for their indigent parents’ …

Who Cares? Boomers Don’t Want to Live With Their Adult Kids, Either

Guess what Millennials? Your boomer parents aren’t dying to move in with you if they need care in retirement. That’s one of the takeaways of a new study. (With three young adult children, that’s what first caught my eye!) Bankers Life and Casualty Company’s Center for a Secure Retirement surveyed 1,299 Americans ages 49-67 (boomers) with an annual income of $25,000-$75,000 to find out their views on their future as recipients of care. In the study, boomers say that in the past …