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Would you help your adult children financially ?

munchkinmunchkin Posts: 1,260Registered User Senior Member
edited April 2012 in Parent Cafe
Under what circumstances ? Do you have any limits as which to help them ?

For eg. buy a house, pay for the grandchildren's private school, college ?

Would you still help them if they are not doing well financially because of choices they made in life ?
Post edited by munchkin on
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Replies to: Would you help your adult children financially ?

  • engineer4lifeengineer4life Posts: 366Registered User Member
    Would you still help them if they are not doing well financially because of choices they made in life ?

    No. (10 chars)
  • QuantMechQuantMech Posts: 5,728Registered User Senior Member
    I saw your thread title, munchkin, and I thought, "Well, that's easy, yes." Then I saw the "eg. buy a house" and I thought, "Whoa, we're talking about a totally different socio-economic class, for this to be possible." And while I'd love to be around when the grandchildren reach college, frankly it seems likely that any funds from me for the grandchildren's college education will wind up coming from money that I leave as an inheritance, for my purely-hypothetical-at-this-point grandchildren. But before "I'm totally outta here," I'll mention that I would not condition the assistance on my approval/disapproval of choices a child made.
  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Posts: 3,711Registered User Senior Member
    I have a friend whose parents take all the adult children and the extended family on a vacation together every summer...I would love to be that kind of grandparent!
  • collegeshoppingcollegeshopping Posts: 1,930Registered User Senior Member
    If one of our kids calls and asks for money it is usually for a good reason. It is so hard to judge on whether the choices they might have made have caused whatever issue that is causing the cash flow problem. If we decide to aid one of them financially it is never in form of a loan. I believe loans cause too much stress in familial relationships. We have always told our kids if they choose to give anyone money it should be in the form of a gift and never a loan. Money should never trump people, and loans just screw that up.

    Now with that said, we have one kid that taps into us more than the others and that will be clear when we leave the earth. My husband does keep track of he dishes out and adjusts our will accordingly.

    **Edited to add....we would never tap into our emergency fund or retirement saving to do this.**
  • TatinGTatinG Posts: 3,110Registered User Senior Member
    If they need it, and I have it, yes. I would not want to miser it away for myself and watch my children go without. Makes more sense to give it away. No one knows what the death taxes may be in the future.
  • munchkinmunchkin Posts: 1,260Registered User Senior Member
    I know of a situation where the children are in their mid-forties. Never managed to save enough to buy a house, so the parents paid for a house... These children never seem to manage their money well (big spenders), now the roof needs replacing and the parents are thinking of helping them.

    The children's family car was getting run down, for the sake of safety, the parents paid for a new car.

    If, one of yours turn out this way, would you had made the same choices the parents did ? Would you let your little grands go around in a totally run down and unsafe car ? Would you let the family without a owning a home forever (since they are not likely ever to make it on their own ) ? This is assuming the ability to help out is there, without big sacrifices on the parents' part.
  • pugmadkatepugmadkate Posts: 5,807Registered User Senior Member
    Financially, it's just not realistic for us to think in terms of helping our son buy a house. We think more along the lines of gifting a washer and dryer or some other high ticket (to us, at least) item for said house.

    One expense I can see us helping out with is childcare before our grandchildren are school age. It's so darn expensive and it's so crucial that it be high quality. That help may be in the form of tuition or it may be in the form of helping our son or his husband stay home with their very young child. Of course, this is all years and years away.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 38,419Registered User Senior Member
    If necessary...yes.
  • TatinGTatinG Posts: 3,110Registered User Senior Member
    One of the worst mothers in history has to be the "witch of Wall Street" whose son needed an operation. She had millions in stocks sewn into her skirts but would not pay. The son died.
  • munchkinmunchkin Posts: 1,260Registered User Senior Member
    TatinG - how old was the son ? And how old was the mother in question ?
  • tom1944tom1944 Posts: 5,393Registered User Senior Member
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 38,107Registered User Senior Member
    Don't college financial aid systems expect parents to help their adult children with college expenses, unless they are married, 24 years old, or military veterans? And it seems that many parents on these forums are willing to do so, though they may not always be able to help to the amount expected by the college financial aid systems.
  • TatinGTatinG Posts: 3,110Registered User Senior Member
    According to Wiki, I had the story a bit mixed up. The son lost his leg as a child because Hetty was too miserly to seek proper treatment.
  • GladGradDadGladGradDad Posts: 2,794Registered User Senior Member
    I know of a situation where the children are in their mid-forties. Never managed to save enough to buy a house, so the parents paid for a house... These children never seem to manage their money well (big spenders), now the roof needs replacing and the parents are thinking of helping them.

    The children's family car was getting run down, for the sake of safety, the parents paid for a new car.
    This is the down side of parents just continuing to baby and take care of their adult 'children' (hard to say that when the 'children' are in their 30s/40s/50s). In the example you cite the 'kids' probably figured out long ago that they don't need to be responsible because mommy will take care of them financially and they're fully willing to take advantage of that. I think it's a poor choice on the parts of both the parents and the 'kids' to behave this way.
  • SilpatSilpat Posts: 547Registered User Member
    If the OP wants just a flat yes or no, the answer is yes. The real answer is, it depends.

    We're happy to provide mortgage financing but wouldn't outright buy our kids a house. No, I have to say that even that isn't cut and dried. One kid has a serious chronic medical issue which could eventually result in needing to go on disability. In that case, we might buy a small house for which that child would have a life estate (or, other arrangements might be made if grandkids were in the picture.)

    For lesser things, we won't spend money that ought to go into our retirement fund. Dh is concerned now that our mortgage is paid off, I might be tempted to divert more of that free cash flow to our kids when he'd rather I spend it on myself (or even him.) So far, I've resisted.

    One kid whose employment trajectory hasn't been very smooth (due to the economy) got help with a new car purchase; then we found other ways to even things up (although no one has ever hinted that's expected.) We've spent an unexpected bonus on a family vacation, too.
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