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What should new empty nesters do after the kids move out? Unfortunately, far too many wallow in indecision and waste money.
The smartest approach is to make a timely decision about how to proceed with downsizing the living space, dealing with Parent PLUS loan debt, revamping the monthly budget, and more. The good news is that there are excellent tools for handling everything.
Other concerns include solidifying travel plans and creating a social life that suits a new schedule that doesn’t focus on maintaining a house and looking after family concerns.
For millions of adults ready to enjoy the empty nest lifestyle, the number one item on their to-do list is refinancing education debt related to their children’s schooling. Here’s how to get started.
1. Refinance Parent PLUS Loans
Many moms and dads who get Parent PLUS loans to help their kids through school are glad to have access to such a financial resource.
However, many borrowers are surprised that interest starts accruing on the debt from day one, even if principal payments are deferred for six months after graduation. Plus, because Parent PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate, they’re not always the smartest way to finance a college education.
Fortunately, parents can review a worthwhile, detailed guide on how to go about refinancing Parent PLUS loans and when it makes sense to get debt under control.
If you got in over your head with education-related borrowing, now is the time to check out all the options. Refinancing can deliver solid results for many and quickly turn the situation around.
The practice of downsizing as an empty nester is tried and true. After children are gone, couples can usually get by with much less space. Some choose small houses, while others prefer efficient condos, apartments, or manufactured homes in gated, 55+ communities.
Florida, Arizona, and Texas are top destinations for parents who wish to relocate to sunny locales where the cost of living tends to be relatively low compared to the nation’s metro areas.
3. Restructure the Monthly Budget
For nearly everyone who enters a stage of life that includes less stress and more free time, it’s wise to redo the monthly budget to account for all the changes. If you move, monthly rent or mortgage expenses will likely be substantially lower.
Other spending categories that can decrease include groceries, car insurance, and many more. Make a plan about when to begin taking retirement benefits, social security, and IRA withdrawals. A new life requires a whole new budget, so get busy on the details as soon as possible.
The main benefit of having an empty nest is the ability to travel. Most parents look forward to the day when they can plan two vacations. Even though it’s important to stay prepared while traveling, the situation is even better for retired adults because they don’t have to deal with work schedules or juggle vacation days.
In that case, relaxing is deciding where to go and making the necessary arrangements. Don’t overlook the chance to take group tours overseas with social groups, church friends, and relatives.