Say your adult son wants rent money. Your spouse wants to cover the bill; you don't. Get ready for a long talk with your partner.
Handouts to family members are a common cash drain for people close to retirement. Merrill Lynch found in 2013 that 62% of workers 50 and older supported a relative, usually an adult child.
When your son asks for help, you first need to determine whether shelling out threatens your financial security. In that case, giving money is a nonstarter. "If you run out of money in retirement, that won't help your kid," says planner Adam.
Will the expense merely curb your lifestyle? Then you'll have to hash out other issues. If you spent money on your son, where would you cut back on yourselves? Is this a one-time problem, or is he living beyond his means? And before you say yes, decide at what point you'll start saying no.
Your ultimate goal, says Adam, is to help your son be self-sufficient for when you won't be around to help.