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Weekly Reader 12.5.11

Good Night iPad

One of the many wonderful aspects of being a grandparent is that you get to read all those great children’s classics again. One of my personal favorites is “Goodnight Moon. ”

Considering how technology has taken over our lives, it’s amazing that we even have hardcover books left. We’ve all witnessed the toddlers tapping away on mom’s iPhone, and the iPad is at the top of some children’s holiday lists. Maybe it’s time to turn off these “electronic babysitters.” So suggest the authors of a new book, ‘Goodnight iPad.Enjoy the promo video.

Boomerang Living

Boomerang kids have been well documented: unemployed or underemployed college grads who move back to the family home. The Wall Street Journal notes that this trend has expanded to “adults of all ages” with older children facing mid-life-financial crises, who return to the nest often with their own children. Also heading to adult children’s home are elderly parents whose savings have been decimated by the recession and health care costs. More 50 million Americans lived in multigenerational homes in 2009, up 11 percent since 2007, according to Census Bureau data.

In “When the Budget Calls for a Move Back Home” reporter Rachel Louise Ensign writes that coping with a crowded household “takes frank discussions about money, household rules and expectations.” Her piece list suggestions culled from experts:

For college grads:
• Set a timeline for moving out
• Expect employed young adults to help with expenses
• Put both in writing

For adult children who move back with their own families
• Determine how much financial assistance parents will provide beyond housing—and whether it’s going to be a loan or a gift.
• Establish a time frame with the goal of getting the younger family back on its feet.
• Ask for help groceries or monthly expenses if the adult child or spouse is employed, and ensure that they have an aggressive savings plan in place.
• Agree about household rules the kids need to follow, how much disciplining the grandparents will do and how much baby sitting they are willing to take on.

Parenting the parents:
• Take stock of his or her assets (savings and investments), income coming in (salary, pension, Social Security) and any major expenses (health care).
• Calculate how much a parent can contribute to household expenses and how much you and any siblings will need to dole out.

Or you can just move and not leave a forwarding address.  The illustration that accompanied with the story sums it up:

Tim Foley, The Wall Street Journal

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