New Book Explores Financial Planning for Empty Nesters

By Steve Dinnen

With four kids entering college, or grad school, Matt Meline (pictured) found himself at a financial and parenting crossroads. How should he prepare his children from a blended family for life in the workforce once they had finished college? And how should he handle his money now that the kids were out of the house (at least for a while) and relief from tuition payments was soon on the way?

As he moved his way through this situation, the West Des Moines-based financial planner and coach took notes, mental and physical, and they eventually blossomed into a book. “Empty Nest, Full Pockets: How to Emotionally and Financially Prepare for Your Family’s Future” is the result, an examination by someone who has been through the process of navigating student loans, tapping savings, putting kids into college and then preparing them – as well as mom and dad – for the future.

Boiled down to its basics, Meline said the secret “is to help those parents who are confused about getting their kids ready to launch.” Your nest may begin to feel empty, he writes, but “you’re not stuck navigating this new phase of freedom alone. With a helping hand from a dad who’s done it, you can prepare for your transition from full-time parent to empty nester and set your family up for a successful future.”

Meline, 54, is a longtime banker, stockbroker, and financial adviser in Iowa and the Midwest. He currently is CEO of PrairieFire Wealth Planning in Valley Junction.

Focus points of the book include:

  • The balance between staying engaged in your growing children’s lives and encouraging their independence, confidence and goals.
  • How to reevaluate your new financial priorities and living arrangements, like what to do with a home that is too big.
  • Creative strategies for paying tuition without student loans while still saving for your retirement.
  • Simple tips to positively influence your child’s financial future.

The book is designed to demystify the college planning process while clarifying changes that take place when parents become empty nesters. Selecting and paying for college is complicated, so Meline works through a preapproval process similar to applying for a mortgage.

“In addition, we discuss many of the beginning empty nest issues like relocation, building an empty nest dream ledger and caring for aging parents,” Meline said.

The goal is to help parents gain greater clarity both emotionally and financially. Noble causes.

“Empty Nest, Full Pockets” debuts today. It costs $8.99 on Kindle, while the paperback version is $14.99. Both  are available through Amazon.

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