With their adult children moving back home, Jerry Cannizzaro's clients are frustrated. They wonder why the economy has been so weak, letting down their kids, said Cannizzaro, a retirement-focused financial planner.
But parents are not pointing the finger at their children, he said.
With job losses continuing to mount, older Americans' wallets are being stretched by their own children: Three-fifths of 10,000 recently surveyed grandparents said they have been providing some sort of financial support to their grown kids and grandkids in the last 12 months, according to a new poll from Grandparents.com.
When adult children move back in, parents need to take steps to protect their own finances. For example, experts said older parents need to make sure their homeowners and auto insurance will cover the adult children and even grandchildren.
Here are five additional tips from experts about how older folks can stay financially secure:
1. Establish a planMultigenerational households need to have an open discussion about financial expectations, said Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president for livable communities at AARP.
"Put everything out on the table ahead of time," Ginzler said. "Have a very important family conversation so that, from the very beginning of the new household, there are clear understandings."
Families should avoid reverting to decades-old behavior, from when the adult children were still teenagers, when it comes to bill paying.
"You can't go backwards. You are not the same people as you were before," Ginzler said. "The conversation needs to be open and honest and take into account the realities of the financial situation for the families."
2. Share personal financial informationAs emotional and relationship issues collide with financial issues, it can be hard for families to talk, she said. Still, older parents need to be wise and cautious, and can demand that their adult children share personal financial information.
"If the adult child doesn't want to share that, that's a deal breaker," Ginzler said.
And information sharing does not have to be a two-way street -- older parents can demand more information from their adult children.
"You don't have to share every piece of financial data about yourself," Ginzler said. "It's OK for older parents to say, 'You don't need to know how much money we have saved for retirement.'"