Barbara’s Amazing Retirement Journey: Section 1

Barbara Mock is joining the Rock Your Retirement Show to share her Retirement Journey with us!  We'll be following her on her pre-announcement.  We'll be following when she announces to her superiors.  We'll discuss what happens when she tells her team.

What will happen the next few months after the announcement?  What happens on the last day of work?

How will her relationships change with her friends?  What about her family?  How will her relationship change with her husband?

Will she go through the dreaded stages of retirement?

We'll all find out together as we embark this journey with Barbara hand in hand!

Join us on the Rock Your Retirement show podcast so you can go through this journey with her.  This is section 1.  It's best to listen to these sections in order so you can follow her journey.

And she's writing journal entries along the way.  After today's episode, you'll be able to follow those as well.   They'll be in the “blog” section of this website.


To listen to the podcasts, search for the “Rock Your Retirement” show in your favorite podcast catcher, or click subscribe on the player below, and follow the instructions.


Not Exactly Goodbye…

The future of the Rock Your Retirement showUpdate 8/3/2020:  We are changing the format of the show.  Stay tuned.  We will still be releasing at least monthly but you are going to LOVE what's coming!! (Also if you added a comment here earlier, we had a computer blip that affected this post.  It wasn't you, it was us.  Sorry about that).



The episode below replaces what I originally wrote.  Please listen to it.  It explains our new format that we created after I wrote the info below.

Prior to recording this, I wrote the post below:


I wanted to let you know what the future is for the Rock Your Retirement Show.

If you have listened to the episode where I discussed my traumatic event, you’ll remember that I’m re-evaluating my life. This event was life-changing for me. If you haven’t listened to the episode, and you are interested, just go to Episode 209.

Since this traumatic event, I decided I wanted to scale back on some of my workload. I have already announced to my remaining financial planning clients that I’ll be retiring from financial planning on 12/31/2020. Although I partially retired from financial planning in 2015, I continued to work with my favorite clients.

With Covid-19 affecting so many of our lives, I’ve had additional time to reflect. In my time of reflection, I have discovered that I need to make some further changes. And those changes affect the show.

Since 2016 I have been paying to host the show. Although I’ve added some advertising it has never supported the show. In fact, my affiliate link provider has indicated to me that I’m not getting enough click-throughs, so they want to start charging me as well! So, if I continue to run ads it will actually cost me money!!

It has been a tough choice however, I have decided that after we run all the shows we’ve already recorded, I’m going to take a break and we will stop doing our weekly episodes. It costs me about $150 per month to keep the show going, and my revenues are nowhere near that amount.

The only way I can continue on a regular basis is to get some listener support. You can support the show at a $3 per month basis if you’d like. If a small percentage of my listeners did this, then I will get the $150 I need to continue weekly episodes beyond 07/06/2020 when our last weekly interview is scheduled to be released.

Don’t worry though, even if I don’t get the support I need to continue on a regular basis, I’ll still pop in sporadically to tell you how I am doing. So, stay subscribed so you get the notifications.

In case you’re interested in supporting the show, here’s where you can do it: http://RockYourRetirement.com/Support

Your friendship over the last few years, and support of the show and me personally, means the world to me.

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com


How Multi-Generational Living Will Work Ep 235

How Multi-Generational Living Will WorkIf you are living in a multi-generational household or considering it, you must listen to this series. Last week we discussed the pros and cons of multi-generational living. Today, we are talking about tips for living in a multi-generational household.

Multi-generational living means a single household that includes family members of several generations, grandparents, parents, and children, all under one roof. Was once a cultural phenomenon, has slowly become a national trend. For some families, it’s about caring for aging parents, others have adult children returning home. Also, for some, it’s a cultural expectation. And others have adult children that haven’t left.

Learn to Deal with Conflict

It's tough from the spouse’s point of view. For Tae’s part, you can't be as a direct daughter-in-law it's hard for his wife to talk to her father-in-law like, “Hey you two you need to clean this up.” Time’s a little bit different, all of us have to contribute in a multi-generational household. To avoid any kind of conflict down the line, Tae would rather do the work upfront.

Tae’s wife is not living with her parents, she's living with his parents. So, it's very important to recognize, appreciate, listen to her concerns about a multigenerational household, without being judgmental but just kind of hear her out.

Set Boundaries

Tae’s family shares a community fridge. Everyone shops at their own timeline and then everybody was just kind of stuff their own things in different sections of the refrigerator. There was this time when Tae’s wife was going to cook and couldn’t find the carrots that they just bought. This is one of those items where you know it keeps coming up. So what they did to fix this problem was they labeled parts of the refrigerator saying, okay this my section, this is the grandma section. We don't go into each other’s sections and everyone's got their own section.

We have come up with the system of separating parts of the refrigerator and then just reinforce it on a regular basis.

Even Though You're In a Multi-Generational Living, You Still Need to Prioritize Privacy

It is recognizing that everyone has their own personal space in the house and one of the things that helped out was having separate spaces within the house. Tae’s family has their own little community area where they can have their television and just sit on their couch. They lay out the things that they want, not getting into each other’s space as regards to like who left the newspaper here or who left tissues here. It’s a place where we can create our own mess, they can create their own mess, and we're not getting into each other’s space. That was very important for them.

Split Expenses, Where Possible

When Tae’s family decided to cohabitate, Tae would take over the mortgage a majority of the utility expense. His parents thankfully said they would take care of the electric bill and the phone bill. So, to clear things up, they said they would take care of the gas bill, the water bill, the mortgage, and then you guys can get take care of the phone bill and the electric bill. Food is a little interesting because they don't have clear agreements. Tae and his wife would go and do their own shopping at Costco for what they want and then for his parents they would purchase what they want.

In a Multi-Generational Living, Going with the Flow

Conflicts are going to happen on a weekly basis just because when you have four adults living in the house. It's natural for Tae and his wife to just recognizing where his How Multi-Generational Living Will Workparents are coming from. That helps get things into the right mindset. You need to approach things with a mindset of appreciation instead of trying to say, okay, like this is not working for us. At the same time recognizing that, hey, there's a cost to everything.

For us we make a conscious decision to cohabitate because there is a mutual benefit from both financial at the same time from a family perspective. It’s comforting to have parents around. So, recognizing that we've made a conscious decision to be where we can't get everything that we want but in the end, the benefit outweighs the cost and they're the things that we have to work through. Coming back to the right mindset try to look at everything from a very empathetic perspective.

Multigenerational households only work with a high degree of mutual respect, communication, and, above all, loving family ties.

About Our Co-Host

Tae is the blogger behind Financial Tortoise. He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being a sandwich generation. Tae and his wife cohabitate with his aging parents while raising their own children and building their careers.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Tips for Multigenerational Living

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

The Colored Pencil Art Class Experiment

colored pencil art classI did a little 6-week colored pencil art class experiment

If you are in the Rock Your Retirement Facebook group, you probably already know what it is.

Basically, I have been working with colored pencils. In other words, I've been trying to bring my artistic tendencies back.

I created three colored pencil drawings of three different Kingfisher birds. And to do that, I basically took two on-line classes. The two classes were completely different.

The first one was a video where you got to watch the instructor create the drawing. She told you what pencils she used, and you got to draw along with her. This was over five hours of video.

The second class wasn’t like that at all. The instructor was a retired high school art teacher. He also gave you the pencils that he used, but really what he did was an outline. There were videos, but they only totaled about an hour, and they were edited.

For my third bird, I didn’t take a class. I found a picture of a local Kingfisher bird and used the knowledge I had gained from the first two drawings to create the third one all on my own. It came out a lot better than I thought it would because I felt kind of lost while I was doing it. But it came out good.

So, I thought to myself, there must be people who are looking for something to do during this COVID stay at home order. A lot of us feel lost and lonely. We aren’t used to staying at home and not talking with other people outside our home. Plus, I figured that so many people are putting together puzzles and other things, that colored pencils might be the next thing. After all, the adult coloring book thing is still a thing and people might want to learn what else they can do with their pencils.

So, I decided to create a class. If you are one of my clients, you already know that I have several Medicare Class videos out there. But this wasn’t about Medicare.

It was about something that I had barely learned. So, I was very nervous about it. I reached out to the Art Club where I live and asked if they would like me to create a free online class using Zoom. I sent them the pictures of the three Kingfishers I had created, and the art club agreed.

Why did I make it a free colored pencil art class? Most of the art club classes cost anywhere from $60 to $150 here. There were several reasons.

The first reason is that honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to put an art class together and I didn’t know how I was going to show the students what to do using Zoom. But I just kind of figured it out as I went along. I didn’t have a class outline. I knew what I was going to do for the first two classes, but after that, I wasn’t really sure. But now that the art club agreed, we picked a date for the class to start on the following Wednesday. I wanted it to be an hour-long, for six weeks, so that’s what we did.

The second reason I didn’t want to charge for the class is that I’m no expert when it comes to colored pencil paintings. I call them paintings instead of drawings because that is what they wind up looking like when everything is done.

And the third reason I didn’t want to charge is that I knew more people would sign up for a free class. That way I’d get the social interaction I was looking for.

Plus, I wasn’t looking to make money from this class. I wanted to find other people to fall in love with colored pencils.

Because if you are already an artist, you’ll find that the medium is completely different from anything else you’ve done. It takes a lot of patience. The paintings take a lot longer to create. But you can make them look very realistic if you are patient.

Maybe you went to one of those wine events where you paint a picture, and everyone is painting the same one. Color pencils are totally different from painting or drawing with a regular pencil.

A lot of people will buy colored pencils for their grandkids, and then they'll decide to pick them up and try to start using them, and they'll get really frustrated because they don't do what you want them to do. Part of that is because it's totally different.

So, my goal was to work with people who had never created a picture themselves, or maybe were coloring in adult coloring books, or maybe that were artists with a different medium. My goal wasn't to work with people who already knew how to use the medium.

There are a lot of people out there who are intimidated by art. Colored pencils are easy to use if you know how to use them. I wanted to share the limited knowledge that I had with non-artists, so they could find joy in becoming an artist.

Now that I had made the commitment, I had to start preparing. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do, so I prepared some slides for the first class. I wanted to do a demo at the end but wasn’t sure how to do it. I didn’t want to spend any money buying a camera for this purpose and figured that there MUST be a way to do it with my cell phone. So, I spent a couple of hours searching YouTube for ways that this can be done, and I found a way.

Basically, I had to sign in to Zoom twice. Once as the instructor, and once as a student. The student would be my phone and would do the demo. I was really nervous about the technology, but in my pre-class emails, I let everyone know that this was an experiment and they needed to be patient with the tech. On the first day of class, I actually had 31 people who signed up for this free class and wow, that was a lot of people! I learned a lot about teaching the class.

Number one, if I do this again, I certainly don't want that many people. In the end, I had 15 people, and that was a nice size. I learned a lot and the class learned a lot! The last day we took a screenshot of everyone who was in the final class, and all their drawings looked fantastic! These were mostly non-artists.

I purchased this contraption that holds my cell phone, I signed into the Zoom class as a student and showed everyone how to do the drawings. But it didn’t really work very well, and it was difficult. For the people who couldn’t attend the live class, and wanted to watch the Zoom recordings, it was impossible. The recordings would jump around to whoever forgot to mute themselves.

I got a brilliant idea around the third class to just record it ahead of class. So that is what I did. I recorded myself doing the drawings and talking. So, the demos were recorded and then the class sessions basically turned into a Q&A.

On the day of the class, I would send the videos for that class and then I would sit in the Zoom Room and answer questions as they came up. Then it evolved into sending the videos out ahead of time.

The reason why I am telling you this is I want you to think about something that you can do or teach in your own community. You don’t actually have to have everything set up in advance. You can make changes as you go along as I did. Even if you don't think you're an expert, you can share your knowledge. Just like I did! I am not an expert at colored pencil drawings, but I shared what I knew, and now there are about 10 people out there who want to continue with it! Sure, some people didn’t want to continue, but now they know that it’s not for them. For the people who did continue, now there are some more artists out there because I was there to help them.

I got so much out of that, I had so much fun, and I learned so much. Teaching what you know is really something that can help you rock your own retirement. You can do it for free as I did, or you can do it for money. It’s your choice! The two classes I took were not free and I gladly paid for them.

I know that there are a lot of gurus out there that are saying, you know, make money by teaching classes and, yeah, sure, you could do that, if that's what you want to do. And there's probably a ton of things that you know a little bit about where you could share your knowledge and you don’t have to be an extrovert. People think that I'm an extrovert when they meet me because I can engage in conversation with people. However, after about two hours I am drained and I really need to leave and to go home. I am the type of person that I can go to a party for two maybe three hours max. Even if it is just visiting with family, I really need to decompress afterward.

The point is that if you are an introvert, that doesn’t mean that you can’t share your knowledge with others. You don’t have to have a huge class of 31 people. You could have a class of 3 people if that is easier for you.

Teaching a class might help you rock your own retirement! You can pretty much do whatever you want, you can change it midstream. It doesn't have to be fancy, and you can learn from it too. Whether that means something that you did for work, or something you do for pleasure, or something you do or did as a side gig.

Let me give you an example. Let's say that you are someone who has been investing in real estate, and you have three or four houses, and that's how you were able to retire. Or you have 10 houses, or whatever. So, you have a lot of knowledge in this area. Well, you could do the same thing that that I'm doing.

You could put your knowledge out there and record yourself. Talking about exactly what to do and how you did it. Like how you found your first property if you remember that far back. Or what are the processes that you use when you're managing your own property, or how did you figure it out. How did you find the handyman that you're using? What do you do when somebody calls you at 2 am? You know, you could just talk all these things through.

Put them in a private YouTube video or several YouTube videos and then just ask your friends if they would go through the videos, one at a time. You can also do zoom recordings where it just records you as the speaker. You could get two or three friends together or just people who were interested in whatever it is that you're able to do, and just walk them through it in a Zoom room and record it. The zoom will record your videos to your own computer, or if you have the paid version of zoom, it will record it to the cloud. Then you can pull those videos off later.

All I am saying is that I got so much benefit from sharing my knowledge for free. It is kind of like your ongoing legacy to share what you know.

I was actually talking with a friend who is thinking of retiring and before she retires, she was going to take all of her information and workshops on what she does for a living, and she was going to hand over all of this information to another one of her competitors basically. She's not 100% ready to retire yet and I said to her, “Hey, why don't you put together a class? Why don't you take all of these power points and information you have and just turn them into a class?”

Because she works with nonprofit organizations, churches actually, and you know not everybody can afford her, not all churches can afford her prices because she is a consultant. I said, why don't you put these all these things that you know how to do in a class. Then for people who can't afford your fee, sell it to them for $197?

So think about some of the things that you can do either for free or for money and put them in a class and share your knowledge. You can build your legacy that way. Just think about it.

If you are a beginner, interested in colored pencils, I will let you into my class. Just go to http://RockYourRetirement.com/Art  to sign up. Use the coupon code JULY2020 and the class will be free. Otherwise, it will be $25.

What I would like you to do though, is to consider putting your knowledge in some sort of electronic format. So that can be passed down to others.

I wish my dad would have done that with his real estate investing knowledge. Now my dad has Parkinson's disease, he can't share all that knowledge that he had. There is a lot of knowledge out there with books and things like that. But I would have loved to have my dad’s knowledge, and I am sure that there are people out there that would love to have YOUR knowledge.

Do you have something you could share with others? Let us know in the comments below!


Is Multi-Generational Living for You? – Ep 234

Multi-generational livingAre you living in a multi-generational household or considering having your parents move in? Do you take care of aging parents as well as your own children? Do you know someone who is having challenges with caring for their parents? If any of these situations are yours, then this series is for you.

If you’re asked to picture a typical American home, you’ll probably imagine a single-family dwelling holding a mom, dad, kids and maybe a family pet. That picture isn’t as typical as it once was. Today’s family home may also house grandparents or a young adult or two. Multi-generational living is a term used to describe households in which there are at least two adult generations in residence. Two types of multi-generational living are becoming more common in recent years; two-generation households, where adult children live with parents, and three-generation homes, where there are adult children, parents, and grandparents living under the same roof.

Challenges in Parenting

Having parents around has some advantages, like being able to be a backstop for any kind of child care. A lot of young parents go through this challenge when they first become parents on what to do with childcare you know one of the spouses stays home and one of them calls part-time. Can they do remote work opportunities, or can they make it work if your work is close enough?

Where they can have an in-house nanny? There's a lot of just different challenges when talking to peers. One of the first to talk about is how are you handling child care. Have you found a nanny or have you found good child care, a daycare in your location? For Tae, thankfully having his parents there has allowed them to continue full force on their career. Thankfully, on the days that both of them have to leave the house, his parents are able to help out with that. It's amazing just having that support.

Save Up as Much Money as You Can

You want to be just as financially prepared as possible, especially when it’s your peak earning years. To be able to just kind of get our head down, work as much as you can because you know there could be a time and hopefully not ten years down the line if one of you really needs to be home to spend more time with one of your parents. That could be a possibility, and for Tae’s family, they don't want finances to become a burden.

A lot of people in my generation, the baby boomers or Gen Xers, even though we can financially afford to retire we would feel that something was missing in our lives if we weren't working and that's what a lot this show is about. It started because I've been trying to retire on my own, trying to let go of work, and that's why we're here. But it is good to listen to the other generation’s point of view as well and I think as long as you and your parents and your wife are all communicating so that when your parents don't want to work for a week or whatever you know because when you're older, you don't have as much energy to run after a five and six.

In a Multi-Generational Household we Should Have a Time for Ourselves and a Time for the FamilyMulti-generational living

Tae said it is very important just for his parents to have their alone time with their friends or just the 2 of them. For his wife and kids, they also have their own family time. They try to go to get away for the weekend, just the 4 of them. Thankfully, just as his parents are independent they're okay with them saying, “Hey we're going to go away for the weekend” and they're totally fine with that they're like, great the house is going to be quiet for the weekends. Once in a while, they go together on family trips.

Every family and situation is different and living in a multi-generational home will work very well for some and be quite difficult for others. As population centers become crowded and new construction continues to fall short of demand, multi-generational living will become even more economical in the future.

About Our Co-Host

Tae is the blogger behind Financial Tortoise. He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being a sandwich generation. Tae and his wife cohabitate with his aging parents while raising their own children and building their careers.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Pros and Cons of Multi-Generational Living

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

Challenges for the Sandwich Generation -Ep 233

Challenges for the Sandwich GenerationAre you living in a multigenerational household or are you considering having your parents move in? Do you take care of aging parents as well as your own children?

Do you know someone who is having challenges with caring for their parents? If any of these situations are yours, then this series is for you.

In other countries, the sandwich generation is a cultural thing, and it has been passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, it’s a given. But is it necessarily a bad thing? There is nothing wrong with caring for family members.

In last week’s episode, we spoke about what the sandwich generation is and what issues you may face if you are taking care of both your parents and your own children. Today, we’re talking about six lessons for the Sandwich Generation. Now Tae and I didn't get through all six of the lessons in our conversation but they are all listed below

Get to Know Everybody’s Finances

Growing up as an immigrant family, Tae’s parents didn't know anything about retirement savings, and money wasn't discussed in his household. Tae said when his parents moved in they didn't have a formal sit down but he does have a sense of his parent's financial situation. His father has a small business where he generates a little money from that, but both of his parent's main source of income is Social Security.  He also knew that whatever money that had saved was really the down payment that they had for this home. So his parent's offer was we will help you with the down payment for your home bu you know, that we come with the house and you guys take care of the majority of the overall expenses.

The conversation of finances can be tricky because there is a fine line between knowing everything about your parent's financial situation and still respecting his parent’s independence and their decision making. So, definitely, by living together, they were able to have more natural organic conversations where he learns more a little at a time. But he doesn’t know if he could sit down with that and be like ‘alright, let's learn everything'.

Understand whose money it is

Just because you are responsible for paying all the bills doesn’t mean it’s “your money.” If you can have your parents make some of the financial decisions that is the best way to go. Also, if you have children living with you, make them pay their fair share for certain things. Even if you are able to afford to shoulder the cost alone. Many experts suggest that grown-up children who return to the nest post-college should pay their parents for a portion of the household expenses. “Otherwise, they don’t grow up to be independent.

Seek out the right professionals and organizations for help

You don't have to do it alone! Unless you’re a financial and legal wiz — and an ace social worker to boot — there’s no way you can manage the myriad affairs of your life, let alone your parents’ lives. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to consider working with a financial adviser for everything from retirement to college planning. You’d also be surprised how much direct help you can get — or referrals to professionals — through government programs or nonprofit organizations. (Best of all: A lot of these resources are free.) A great place to start is your local Area Agency on Aging (these are programs funded through the federal government

Find good care

If your aging parents need extra care, get help! In the article, the author writes: If there’s a single professional who’s made the greatest difference in my life — and my father’s life — in the past couple of years, it’s the caregiver who spends about 35 hours a week with him. She not only takes care of a lot of day-to-day needs, but she also provides companionship. Not a small thing when you’ve reached the point in life, as my father has, where you’ve outlived your spouse and most of your friends. But finding good care is no easy task. (And the same is true if you’re looking for a caregiver for your children, though I’m thankfully well past that stage.) It may be something of a cliché to suggest this, but it never hurts to ask friends, family members, and neighbors for recommendations. I found my dad’s caregiver through a neighbor who just happened to know a caregiver looking for a new client.

Raising the Kids

Grandparents love to spoil the grandkids, so an example would be, they'll come home late and they'll ask his kids  ‘Hey, do you guys want some ice cream?' and it's like 9 pm. And as parents, they would say like ‘oh no, you can't do that'. We've had to let grandpa know, and come to a level of understanding saying, “hey after eight o'clock, can we make sure there will be no more snacks.”

It's definitely a fine balance between trying to because we're still learning how to be good parents and we don't know what the best approach is. Having an agreement with raising our children is fine but at the same time being open-minded that ‘hey, is this really that big of a deal?', aren't, our children being able to live in a home where they feel loved? That's more important versus trying to uphold certain rules. Finding the right balance between trying to have the best parenting approach but at the same time being open enough to know, kind being able to step back and see the big picture and say okay you know, the environment on which they grew up matters more.

Making Time for Yourself and Making Time for Your Loved Ones

You have to have quality time with your spouse. For Tae this has been crucial to find quality time. Having parents and kids there, weeks can go by without him and his wife having their own time. Tae’s wife has been really good at saying ‘hey we need to go for a walk' or ‘you and I need to go out so we can take advantage of the built-in child care. So at times the will ask his parents to watch the kids for the evening while they go out to dinner.

It's one of those things where if they weren't intentional about making time for themselves, it wouldn't happen. Having some alone time a couple of times a week lets them talk about what is happening in the household and their lives. It also allows them to talk about how they are feeling. Knowing that this is the challenge of living in a multigenerational household, if you're not talking to your partner about it this on a regular basis, that's where things will really fall apart.

Our Co-Host

Tae is the blogger behind Financial Tortoise. He writes about navigating the intersection between personal finance and being a sandwich generation. Tae and his wife cohabitate with his aging parents while raising their own children and building their careers.

Mentioned in This Episode:


6 Lessons for the Sandwich Generation


Dave Ramsey

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com


Transcription below includes light editing for readability.   Thank you to listener Sharon Drury  for the help!

Kathe Kline 0:08
Welcome back to the Rock Your Retirement Show. I'm your host, Kathe Kline. And today we have Tae Kim in this series from the sandwich generation. Now, if you listened last week, you know that Tae is coming from the perspective of a 30-something who has small children.

Most of my listeners are probably on the other end of that. You're probably in the grandparents section. So, if you are living, or want to consider living in a multigenerational household, you must listen to this series. If you didn't listen to last week's show, you might want to head on over there and listen to it first. In last week's episode, we spoke about what the sandwich generation is and what issues you might face if you are a 30-something, and you're taking care of both your parents and your own children. But we also looked at it from the perspective of the grandparents, the people who listen to the show. What could you expect if you wound up moving in with your children, it can help you and your children save money, and so you can both have a better life. Today we're going to be talking about six lessons for the sandwich generation. Next week we'll talk about the pros and cons of multigenerational living. And in the fourth episode, we'll discuss tips for living in a multigenerational household. This includes things like planning ahead and organizing shared expenses. So if you are considering moving in with your children, or if you know someone who's having financial challenges, then this series is for you. My guest today is a blogger who writes about finances and also being in the sandwich generation. Tae and his wife cohabitate with his aging parents while raising their own small children and building their careers.

But before we start, I wanted to tell you that this episode is brought to you by the Medicare Quick Step by Step Guide for Signing up for Medicare. The Step by Step Guide is absolutely free and will help you easily make the transition into Medicare. Get it free at Medicarequick.com/checklist. Tae, thank you so much for coming back. And let's talk now about the article that we're discussing, which is called “The Six Lessons for the Sandwich Generation”. And I didn't know, that you could probably have written this article. I've got it pulled up on my screen right now, the listener, we're testing a program that allows Tae and I to view the same thing at the same time so we can talk about the article. One of the things that it says in the very beginning, is that you and your parents should talk about money. Is it something that you and your parents have done?

Tae Kim 3:11
Not exactly, but we are aware of each other's finances. I think the importance of what the article is talking about is you want to have as much information as possible on both ends. So the way my wife and I started living together with my parents, as we referred to in the last episode, a good part of it was finances. My wife and I, live in Orange County, Southern California, where housing is very expensive. My wife and I, are typical millennial. We started off our marriage, about eight years ago, with $105,000 in student loans.

Kathe Kline 3:52
Wow, that's $105,000. That's incredible.

Tae Kim 3:58
Yeah, not the smartest decision. It's a funny story, my wife and I were engaged, I remember my wife, wanted to have a serious conversation. And she said, can I tell you something? And I said was like, what is it? And it was super serious. I was like, Oh my goodness, have you been married before? Do you have a kid somewhere? And she says, I have $15,000 in student loans. And I have $90,000. So I responded back, Ha ha, don't worry honey, I have $90,000. I see your 15, I countered that with my 90.

Kathe Kline 4:32
Tae, were you concerned that if she was so concerned about $15,000 that she might not want to marry you since you had $90,000?

Tae Kim 4:40
She already said yes. It was after we got engaged.

Kathe Kline 4:45
So she couldn't take the engagement back, that's it.

Tae Kim 4:49
She could have, but thankfully she didn't. Thankfully, she committed to the burden that I was bringing to the marriage.

Kathe Kline 4:57
Now you have a great story about what you did after you Got married. You are a follower of somebody who helps people get out of debt. Do you want to tell that story?

Tae Kim 5:06
Yes, yes. So thankfully right after we got married, we went to a Dave Ramsey conference, here in California. He came out to Long Beach, California. And prior to going his to his conference, I think I had a very skewed perspective about money. My family came from Korea when I was eight years old. With a lot of immigrant families, money management wasn't something that we discussed in the house. Money was always tight, and we knew that, but from my parents perspective, their advice to be successful, was go to college, you know, study hard, go to college, get a good job, and, good luck after that. So, we follow that template. But I came into the working world without understanding how a credit score worked, what good debt or bad debt was, how to invest, nothing like that. So, of course, in my 20's, I made all of the wrong decisions. I bought a brand new car, I leased furniture, I leased an apartment that I couldn't afford. And so by the time I went to graduate school, and we entered into our marriage, and listening to Dave Ramsey, where, he calls you out on all these dumb decisions that I made. It just kind of really, really triggered something for both my wife and I, that we had to get our act together. So, we dialed back everything. We decided that we were going to live off one income and use the other to pay down the loan. We were able to pay down the $105,000 in about three and a half years.

Kathe Kline 6:43
Oh my gosh, that's incredible. In three and a half years.

Tae Kim 6:48
Yeah, when we reflect on it, it was definitely, both a blessing and a curse because it was emotionally overwhelming, but at the same time, it taught us such a good money management skill. Knowing how to live off a budget, knowing how to save, knowing how to say no to a lot of things. And honestly, it's hard, especially living in Orange County, where, you see just this affluence everywhere, or this perspective of affluence everywhere.

Kathe Kline 7:20
Keeping up with the Jones'.

Tae Kim 7:21
Yeah, definitely, definitely. So it definitely taught us good money management skills. Since then, after having paid off our student loans, we've definitely have been able to get into a better financial position. And during that time, we also had our children which triggered the decision to live, start cohabiting with my parents. I think for us, having this good financial management skill has really helped us tremendously as regards to not only take care of our kids, but then to an extent be able to provide overhead support for my parents.

Kathe Kline 8:00
So, I have a question. First I want to tell the listener who Dave Ramsey is, just in case you haven't heard. Dave Ramsey has a very popular radio show and podcast where people come in and he helps them figure out how to get out of debt. His main thing is, cut your expenses to the bone. Get a second job. Don't use credit. That's kind of what he preaches. But also people come onto the show and they yell, I'm debt free. Did you get to do that I'm debt free. yell?

Tae Kim 8:39
No, no, I mean, we thought about it after we paid it off. But I think we were too shy.

Kathe Kline 8:49
Great. Now when your parents moved in with you, so let's say I'm 65 or 66 years old, and I've made this great offer to my children that I will basically give them the downpayment, and to the listener, if you want to know the whole story, just listen to the first episode of the series. Did you know about their finances? They knew that you were in debt. Did you ask them about their finances? Do you know anything about their finances now?

Tae Kim 9:25
Yeah, I think I definitely know more now. We didn't have a formal sit down. And, let's kind of open up everything. But what I've noticed is as we started living together, my parents have deferred some of the decision making to both my wife and I. So I think through that, subtly, we've learned more about their finances. But growing up as an immigrant family, my parents didn't know anything about retirement savings, 401 K's, Roth IRAs, nothing like that. I knew they didn't have any of that. Whatever money that they saved was really the downpayment that they have for this home. Right now, with my parents. I know my mom, she receives Social Security. My father has a small printing business where he generates some income from that, but he's also living off primarily Social Security, but their primary saving was pretty much in this home. So, that was thankfully, their offer which was, Hey, you know, we'll help you with the downpayment. But, you know, with the caveat that we come with the home and you guys take care of all, you know, the majority of the overhead expenses.

Kathe Kline 10:32
Hmm. Okay, you know, it sounds like you're sharing information, but it's not formal.

Tae Kim 10:39
Yeah. And I kind of scratched my head what the best way was to approach a lot of these conversations at times, just because there's a fine line of trying to balance, hey, I need to know everything, but while respecting my parents independence. So I think definitely living together We're able to have more natural organic conversations where I learn more, but I don't know if I could sit down with them and be like, alright, let's learn everything.

Kathe Kline 11:11
Here. Let me get out my pencil.

Tae Kim 11:14
Yeah, one of the ways that I've been able to have more conversations with them, is my wife and I, are going through our will and trust process for just the two of us, for our kids. So, that's one of the ways that I've been able to kind of bring up the topic with my parents because they don't have a will or a trust set up.

Kathe Kline 11:32
That brings me, I just want to remind the listener what article we're discussing, because I don't think, I said that at the beginning of the show. We are going through an article written in 2015. It's called “How to Manage Your Parents, Your Kids and Your Sanity”. So, the first part of the article talks about finances and then, the author, Charles passy, I believe is how he pronounces it, talks about Seeking out the right professionals and organizations. And, he talks about, is that estate plan and getting things in place. So, rather than just going to your parents and saying, hey, what's your estate plan, do you have a power of attorney? I want it you're doing it and then leading them by example.

Tae Kim 12:19
Right? Yeah, and we just had this last couple weeks where I come home and I tell my dad, hey, we just came back from meeting with an estate lawyer. It was very informative. We learned about this, and this, and this. And that naturally segway's into what have you thought about your estate plan? You know, of any lawyer, any Korean speaking lawyer? I think those are ways where we can have more of that conversation and more of those information out open without forcing them to be like, Hey, we got a, we got to talk about this.

Kathe Kline 12:52
That's great.That is great. Okay, let's say what are some of the other things that they talked about? Now this next one, it does say make time for yourself. Now, my experience is the wife, that could be different with millennials, but the wife, the burden, in my generation is on the wife. So if I were, let's say I had children and I want to move in with one of them, the conflict would generally be between me and the daughter in law. Are you finding that to be the case as well?

Tae Kim 13:28
Oh, definitely. Yes. it's funny, I mean, it's been six years and both my wife and I, when we are able to kind of reflect upon what's happened, we are able to wisely say, oh, we know, we've grown a lot. But, there's a lot of times where I come home and I could see it in my wife's eyes like oh, no, what happened between you and mom? It's, like, oh, the kitchen knife, I placed it here. How come your mom always moves it over here.

Kathe Kline 14:03
It seems like your wife is always bringing up this knife situation.

Tae Kim 14:09
It's the knife, it's the ladle, there's always something, it's definitely where, the kitchen I think we joke around how it's like the battleground because, we have one kitchen and it's a commingling space. It's utilized by a lot of people. It's been a challenge.

Kathe Kline 14:29
Do you have a solution for the kitchen, or is it still a work in progress?

Tae Kim 14:32
It's a work in progress. And we have some agreements that we come with, my mom, as regards to, for example, in the refrigerator, we would say, okay, these two top sections, please don't put anything here. This is for us. So then my wife knows that if she bought something from the grocery store, she always knows those are in those two sections. And then you know, we have to keep reinforcing it. Even though my parents are like, Okay, Okay, I get it. But you know, we have to keep reinforcing it. So I think what's helped out was just having different sections around the house that are identified, as you know, these are our areas, or these are your areas and in the shared areas, kind of identifying what are the subsections, in which, you know, this is where we want to keep ours and this is where you keep your items. So, those agreements have definitely helped out.

Kathe Kline 15:27
Are there agreements regarding the children? How they're being raised. Has there been any arguments because you did bring in your parents for financial reasons, but it turned out that they are now also helping to co-raise your children. Have there been disagreements about children aren't allowed this, and then the grandparents give them that, or for whatever reason.

Tae Kim 15:49
Definitely, definitely. I mean, grandparents love to spoil the grandkids. An example would be, he'll come home late and my kids, their names are Jonathan and Katherine, they will be like, hey, Jonathan and Katherine, do you guys want some ice cream? And it's 9pm at night? And we are like, Oh, no, no, he can't do that. So, we've had to let grandpa know, like come to a level of agreement saying, hey after eight o'clock can we make sure we're not giving them any snacks.

Kathe Kline 16:19
Especially sugar.

Tae Kim 16:20
Yeah, especially sugar, because they are not going to go to sleep.

Kathe Kline 16:23
Or you just let them, you know, just make them both sleep in grandpa and grandma's rooms if they're all loaded up on sugar. Okay, you're over there tonight.

Tae Kim 16:32
Right, you have to deal with it. But it's definitely a fine balance because one of the things that we talk about is that we're still learning how to be good parents. We don't know what the best approach is coming to an agreement, but at the same time being open minded, that hey, is this really that big of a deal? Aren't our children being able to live in a home where they feel loved? That's more important, versus trying to uphold certain rules. And, you know, to be honest at times, like we're not even sure that, that rule is the best rule. So I think it's just finding that right balance between trying to have the best parenting approach, but at the same time being open enough to know, kind of be able to step back and see the big picture and say, okay, you know, the environment in which they grew up matters more.

Kathe Kline 17:25
Speaking of environment, what about the relationship with your wife and you? How has that changed? I mean, obviously, relationships change when there's children, but what about when there are children and parents in the home? Do you have a lock on your bedroom door? How How do you deal with that?

Tae Kim 17:43
Yeah, our bedroom door does lock. So, thankfully, the house that we we live at is four bedrooms, the rooms are spaced out enough, where we're not right next to each other. So, there's two rooms on the one side of the house and two rooms on the other. My parents, you see, have the two rooms on one side of the house and we have the two rooms on the other. So there's a physical distance between the two. And we know, if we we are going to enter into their space, we knock, we let them know that this is not our space. This is not like the kitchen where we can go in anytime. So, coming to that arrangement, coming to that agreement of knowing what's private space and what's shared space, that was very important.

Kathe Kline 18:27
Well, that's good. And it's good that it seems to be working.

Tae Kim 18:31
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think once again, I referd to the kitchen earlier, the shared space battleground. There's no perfect agreement. I think we try to come to an agreement that works for both of us.

Kathe Kline 18:43
Maybe something, a little kitchenette in that second room, in the parents area, might be a good way to deal with that.

Tae Kim 18:52
Yeah, I mean, we've definitely thought about it. We have a lot of discussions as regards to the finances, like, oh, it'd be great if they had this in their area, like your separate kitchenette but do we want to invest $10,000 there? Or do you want to save that, so we can have the flexibility down the line. So those are the trade off discussions that we have.

Kathe Kline 19:11
Well, if it's only $10,000, I think that would be a bargain.

Tae Kim 19:15
Right, right, yeah.

Kathe Kline 19:19
I could be wrong, but I don't think you could put in a kitchenette for $10,000.

Tae Kim 19:22
Like a really tiny kitchenette.

Kathe Kline 19:25
Maybe you could buy a burner at Costco and a small refrigerator. So yeah, it sounds like you're still a work in progress when it comes to getting things worked out. What are some of the other issues that maybe the article didn't go over that you've come across.

Tae Kim 19:42
The article talks about making time for yourself and making time for your loved ones. I think having quality time with my wife, I think that's been crucial, like intentional quality time, just because having my parents there, having our children there. If we are not intentional weeks can go by without us having our own time. My wife's really good at alerting me, saying hey, we need to go for a walk, or you and I need to go out. We can take advantage of the built in childcare. So we would ask my parents, can you just watch the kids for just an evening while we go out for dinner? It's one of those things where if we're not intentional about it, it wouldn't happen, having alone time a couple of times a week, debrief about what happened, talk about the kitchen knife.

Kathe Kline 20:32

Tae Kim 20:33
How she feels about it, talking about the feeling in which I'm not in control. Knowing that this is the challenge of living in a multigenerational household. If you're not talking to your partner about this on a regular basis, that's where things can really fall apart.

Kathe Kline 20:46
Right. Now, what about your parents? Do they schedule their alone time as well? Do they have a date night?

Tae Kim 20:53
Oh, yeah, I mean, I think when I was referring to how rules have reversed, it's funny because they would go out and do their thing. And it's like nine o'clock at night. And I'm asking them, hey, you guys are late. Where are you? You shouldn't be out this late. So it's interesting because, we joke around alot. I feel like we have four kids in this house. They're adults, they're pretty good about spending time with each other. They're very involved in the, we live in a community where there's a large Korean population. And the church is a pretty big hub for the Korean community. So they spend a lot of time at the church. That's their community, which we recognize as so important. Just that sense of being around people with a similar life stage is so important for them.

Kathe Kline 21:44
That's great. Now your parents are still relatively young. They're the same age as much of my audience, but in ten years or so they may or may not be driving. One of the nice things about living in today's society is we have Uber, Lyft and probably in ten years we'll have self driving cars. Have you given much thought to the future and what your life is gonna look like having your parents live it in your home?

Tae Kim 22:12
Yeah, it's a, my wife and I, we discussed a lot about, what the next ten years would look like, especially with our parents. I think there's a lot of unknowns. But I think what we've come to agreement is that, as we've noticed how our parents become more subtly dependent upon us, we are going to need to so we're looking at it from a financial perspective, we want to be financially prepared so that when that time comes where they might need more support from one of us wether it's driving them around or being at home more often, one of us could, leave our jobs or take a temporary time off our jobs and it will be okay. It wouldn't have a detrimental effect on us. So I think we're thinking from that perspective, because we'll never be fully prepared, I don't think for what kind of support my parents are going to need but it's inevitable. So I think that we're just trying to financially be best prepared as possible for that.

Kathe Kline 23:09
That's great. Well, I am so glad that you were able to come on the show again. And next week, we're going to be talking about an article written by Melissa, I don't have a last name, but it's called “Multigenerational Living for you, What are the Pros and Cons” and we already discussed some of the pros and cons, but we're hoping that the article will bring in some new thought processes in your own quest of whether or not you should do the same thing that Tae's parents did. Offer to help out with the finances and potentially help out with the child care as well. Tae, thank you so much for coming on the show again, I really appreciate it.

Tae Kim 23:55
Great, thank you Kathe.

Kathe Kline 23:57
And for the listener, we'll see you next time. On Rock Your Retirement. Hey, this is just a shout out to Glenna Davis, and she has been a big supporter of mine on Patreon and Glenna, if you're listening, I just wanted to thank you.


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