The average cost of childcare for just one child is nearly $10,000 per year, according to Market Watch. As a result, The Huff Post reports that 74% of grandparents are taking on the role of babysitter to help reduce these costs for their own children. However, when you’ve worked and saved hard all your life so that you can retire early and go on a cruise vacation of a lifetime, it’s crucial that you set some childcare boundaries so that you can enjoy your extended retirement.
Have a set schedule
One of the biggest benefits of early retirement is being able to do what you want when you want. But, this freedom can be jeopardized if your children think they can call on you whenever they please to look after the grandchildren. By creating a schedule early on which stipulates you’ll only have your grandchildren one afternoon and one evening per week, expectations will be set. Best of all, if you want to go out for a spur-of-the-moment posh lunch with your partner or reinstate your passion for arts and crafts you can.
Ask for financial support
The average retired household has $2,000 leftover per year when their income and expenditures are taken into account. And while you’re sure to want to treat your grandchildren occasionally, keeping kids entertained on a regular basis can cost a significant amount. As your own children are sure to recognize this fact, it’s wise to discuss payment when you agree to a babysitting schedule so that you can recoup your costs. By doing this, it will ensure that your retirement finances remain healthy and will provide you with the funds you need for the years ahead.
Know when to say no
Early retirement provides ample opportunity to go traveling and explore all the countries and landmarks that you failed to visit while you were embracing your career. Baby Boomers take an average of six to seven trips per year, according to the AARP. And you shouldn’t let your babysitting duties put a halt to your travel plans. Where possible, discuss with your children when they plan to go on vacation so that you can organize your trips away around theirs. However, if, for whatever reason, that’s not feasible, don’t be afraid to say no to looking after your grandchildren for a week or two. Although, giving plenty of warning so that alternative childcare arrangements can be made is advisable.
Early retirement is a time to kick back, relax, and to indulge in all the things you’ve missed out on over the years. And while you’re sure to want to spend time with your grandchildren during this time, you shouldn’t let babysitting take over your early retirement plans.