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With today's economic times, having a child move back home after college or between jobs or aging parents finding it necessary to move in with their children is becoming more commonplace. In this New Day Northwest segment, Community Relations Coordinator Suzanne Klenk offers suggestions for a smooth transition if this happens in your household.

Lay out a financial plan
Before the family member moves in, discuss and decide on a financial plan. Determine who will pay for which expenses, how much (if any) the family member will contribute toward rent, groceries, utilities, etc. This also includes a financial strategy if you have siblings who will be helping with expenses for parents who have moved in with you.

Have a written agreement
This may sound strange, but having a written agreement signed by everyone involved keeps the agreed-upon details clear and helps prevent problems down the road. Here are some things to include:

  •  A monthly savings plan (if you have a child who is returning home due to financial hardship).
  • The financial contributions from siblings (if you have parents moving in with you).
  • The monthly contributions to be made by the family member(s) moving in, whether those contributions are monetary or in-kind (chores, upkeep, etc.)
  • How long the family member will be staying with you.

Of course, the agreement can be reviewed and renegotiated as needed, but having the original document reminds all involved of the agreements made from the beginning.

Set up a P.O. Box
Keeping your mail separated is a good idea and establishing a P.O. Box for the returning family member or yourself is an ideal solution. Side note: if you don't have a locking mailbox at home, consider buying one. It's the perfect deterrent against would-be identity thieves.

Protect your financial information
When you have someone new in your household, it means new visitors as well. Keep your personal financial documents secured in a locked drawer or small safe and keep temptation away.

Define your roles and financial responsibilities
It's all too easy, especially for parents with returning children, to blur the financial boundaries. By defining who is responsible for what expenses and sticking to it will help keep the peace. Periodic check-ins to review roles and responsibilities is another best practice.

Have a financial question for Suzanne?
If you have a financial question you would like to ask Suzanne, please feel free to send her an e-mail.

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