What have you told your kid about life after college?

<p>What is your philosophy about supporting your S or D in any way after college graduation? I've heard some parents say the best thing they ever did was tell the kids (lovingly but firmly) that they would not get a penny in support after college because it helped them take school seriously as preparation for life afterwards.</p>

<p>Other parents allowed the kids to move back home with no strings attached "until they find their footing."</p>

<p>Others allowed the kids to move home but make them pay rent, utilities and all personal expenses. </p>

<p>Where do you stand on this? Or do you have a stand? And if you do, have you communicated it to your kid and how has it worked out?</p>

<p>Personally, I prefer option 1 and would allow option 3 but would not allow option 2 even though I know the economy and housing is tough for new graduates, etc, etc...</p>

<p>We'll deal with that eventuality if and when it comes. S (college sophomore) is quite independent by nature, has some loans to help with college costs and pays for everything beyond tuition, room, and board. Should he need our help after graduation, he would be asking for it most reluctantly. And, should that time come, we would evaluate the situation at hand and try to respond responsibly and with sensitivity. As long as I have a roof over my head, he will have that roof as an option, if needed.</p>

<p>Option 2 is out of the question</p>

<p>My kids fully expect to be on their own after school and are eager to live in a city (as opposed to being in the suburbs with us.) But we are committed to helping them through grad school. (Or I am, at least -- my H is not as convinced about the grad school part). They are both interested in health fields and should be very employable when they are done.
I would never deny my kids help if they really needed it or turn them away. I just don't think either of them have any plans to come home after school.</p>

<p>Our son respects us and we respect him. We would never put limits on the support we would give him, and he would never abuse our willingness to support him. I know other families have other dynamics, but this is how we reared our son because this is how we want our relationship to be.</p>

<p>We are changing our locks, so my husband says.</p>

<p>Health insurance is the major issue for us.....we will not let our kids go without it, because I know that I would sell my soul to make sure they had what they needed for care. We look at the insurance as insurance for us. It is not currently an issue, but it has been, and we found a major medical plan with a huge deductible to cover during gap before job gave insurance. I expect that we will do it again for S.</p>

<p>It would be silly to require a separate cell phone plan, when the family plan is so much cheaper....that extra $20 a month is minor compared to what S would have to do to set up his own and what a solo phone would cost. </p>

<p>It is good not to make home too comfortable, however.....they need to be motivated to be on their own. Our house is nicer than what they will manage for awhile, but the independence issue needs to dominate their choices. We all agree that we would not let them starve, but we would drive each other nuts if grown kids lived with us.</p>

<p>Our home is their home. If they are out of college then they are expected to help pay the expenses and help with the chores. If they are still job hunting then more chores since no rent. Son moved back in briefly a few times while apartment hunting and moving around. It was kind of nice to have someone to help with the big jobs around the house.<br>
Oh, and we didn't mean to do this, but accidently got a new bed for his room that was hard as a rock. The beautiful guest room is a "3 days and you're begging to leave" spot....</p>

<p>I hope ZG will come home till she gets a job and a place to live. Before she went to college, she was a considerate housemate, an enormous help with our little one, and frequently did things like shop, cook or run errands. Should she be that considerate after graduation, we won't expect her to pay to live here because she's always so generous. I'd be surprised if she came home for very long, though, because she's very independent and practical.</p>

<p>My family supports each child differently in whatever way is appropriate. My sister may be continuing her education after college in a post-bac program and then go onto med school (though she's not 100% sure right now). She would take out loans, but I think my parents would also try to assist her financially. I'm planning on going straight into full time work after college, and I don't expect to need their money. I have told my parents that I would appreciate some financial help for things during college (i.e. living in a city for the summer, taking an unpaid internship, etc.) that would help prepare me for getting a job after college that will allow me to be financially independent. My brother went abroad after college for 5+ years, but when he was home for short periods of time he lived at home. My oldest sister lived at home after college for a time while working full-time in our hometown. As long as everyone is working hard, I don't see the harm in helping out a child who needs it after college if the parents can afford it. </p>

<p>I believe my parents have helped both of my older siblings out when they've fallen on hard times. Why shouldn't they? My parents are successful enough that it's not a hardship, and my oldest siblings were working and trying very hard whenever they needed help. An example is when my brother and his wife had a newborn. My brother was working 2+ hours from their home as a new lawyer and was spending the night in his office a couple of days a week before their new house near his office was ready. His wife, my SIL, was having a very hard time caring for her first baby by herself. She was worried because she had no car in case something went wrong. She's also not from the US, and I think felt insecure for that reason. My parents helped out by paying for them to live in a hotel near his office until they could move into their new house. I'm not sure whether this was a loan or a gift. My dad has also given both my oldest sister and brother his old cars before buying a new one, either for free or cheaply.</p>

<p>Like dragonmom, our home is their home.
Now that the first 2 have graduated and are earning, they pay us a nominal rent and help with chores. Our house rules are those of common courtesy, as for any house mates. We've told them they are always welcome but we do expect that they take the opportunity to invest in their retirement accounts and for a rainy day.</p>

<p>I don't think any parent would leave their kids out on the cold. We would be in the position to help if need to, but it is important for our kids to live within their means. We also do not want our kids to live at home even if they were required to pay rent and expenses, the reason is there is one thing owing money to parents and there is another to have to owe money to utility companies and landlords.</p>

<p>Would I help my kids with their house down payment? Yes. Would I buy the house/apt and have them pay me monthly? No. I have too many friends with grown up kids still living at home. I have a friend who lived at home after graduation while he was saving up money for an apartment. His father used to go into his room the first of every month early in the morning to ask for his rent money. He really resented it, but moved out in 3 months. When he moved out, his father gave back all of his rent money. I also have friends that let their kids stay for free, use of family cars, laundry service, etc. They are working 12-14 hours a day, meanwhile their kids are sleeping until 12 everyday.</p>

<p>We started with S1 very strict, he owed rent to us after 3 months back home, on his own cell for phone and car etc. He moved out and came back 3x's for financial reasons. We eased up on each one after that. S2 moved on out when I started to charge rent after 6 months, but stayed on cell and car insurance for another year. S3 has lived at home without rent for longer, but has a harder time finding a full time job, only part time. Rent starts again soon. But he wants to move out because how do you invite a girl back to your parent's house? So if he moves, he is still on cell and car for another 6 months. Then we told him it is his problem. It is expensive here and hard. It is hard to balance help vs enabling.</p>

<p>Our Ds know, and always have known, that they will always be welcome in our (and their!) home. We never had a conversation telling them that we would not assist them financially after graduation. They all know that my H and I would do anything possible to provide assistance, in any way, if the need arises. We have made it possible for all of our Ds to graduate with no student loans to be repaid. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to do this.</p>

<p>D1 graduated from grad school two years ago and is working (and getting married this summer!). She lived with us briefly after grad school before finding her own apartment, and no, we didn't charge rent. We helped her, and her fiance, buy a house last year. Both are in careers where they'll never have an excess of money, but they have slowly but surely taken control of paying all of their expenses. We assist now and then to make life easier for them.</p>

<p>D2 graduated last year and fortunately, found work immediately. She earns a decent amount and our financial assistance to her has been mainly to pay for her flights to come home and visit! D3 is still in college and D4 will start in September. D1 and D3 have cars that we bought for them, D2 doesn't need a car where she lives. </p>

<p>We have not found that our Ds needed to be told that "they would not get a penny in support after college because it helped them take school seriously as preparation for life afterwards". All of our Ds have always taken school seriously, and all of them have always been <em>A</em> students so a threat of this nature wasn't necessary. They all appreciate the opportunities they have been provided, and the fact that they would be neither burdened by student loans, nor worried by how to pay their bills. My H and I struggled financially during our early years of marriage, just after college, and there was nothing positive derived by those worries. There's no way I would wish that on any of my children.</p>

<p>Ours kids are still on our cell plan, although our son reimburses us (when I remember to ask him). Daughter sold her car rather than pay car insurance; son is still on family plan and I do ask him to reimburse us for that one.</p>

<p>I pay their health insurance because otherwise I couldn't sleep nights. But it's a huge-deductible plan intended only to cover emergencies. They're on their own for dentists, eyes, and (for D) BC pills. </p>

<p>I put money into a Roth IRA plan for both kids, which they own. That's emergency funds for them, but hard to get to... and when I'm 90 and I've burnt through all my money, they can use it to support me.</p>

<p>Finally, my kids are welcome to move back home anytime they want. My D wouldn't dream of it; my son moves in and out and in and out... Right now he's out, sort of, but he'll still be here for four days next week. I love having the kids around, and my son pays "rent" in the form of doing whatever needs to be done, cheerfully, willingly, and well. </p>

<p>My parents were in the "you're on your own, not welcome at home, no money here" school of thought, and frankly, I struggled so desperately for the first few years, and lived in such terrible (dangerous) places, that I couldn't wish it on my kids. Plus, I actually like my kids.</p>

<p>I am a mean old lady. We expect our kids to take care of themselves after they graduate. If that means they live in a tiny apartment with garage sale furniture, so be it. Millions have survived living in less than luxurious digs. Our kids know that we are raising them to be independent adults, and they are aware that they need to support themselves when they finish school. We love our children dearly, but we are completely confident that they can figure out a way to live within their means (whatever that might be). </p>

<p>I will add a caveat, though, because I know from experience that stuff happens. I have a brother who was addicted to drugs/alcohol & needed to come home as an adult while he was recovering/regrouping. He lived at home for awhile, but there was a time limit/goal for getting back out on his own. Another brother has had problems with depression, and some financial assistance has been necessary over the years. If our kids had extenuating circumstances, we would be open to different options. </p>

<p>Maybe I am less inclined to support my adult kids because I have never been well off. My parents worked hard for what they have, and my in laws worked hard for what they have. My husband and I would not have considered asking them to give us money. We do not live in luxury, and we will sacrifice to send our kids to good schools. When they graduate, we know they will work as hard as the rest of us have --- and they will accept whatever they can afford as the way things are, since that is how they have been raised.</p>

<p>My parents have been extremely generous, paying my tuition/rent/food/insurance expenses all through college. Their mentality was that they'd rather me worry about my grades than my ability to pay the bills. I have a paid research fellowship that gives me spending money and adds to my savings. So I've been able to set aside a few thousand dollars for post-college, but will be starting my job almost immediately after graduating.</p>

<p>Because they were so generous these last few years, I fully intend to support myself 100% after I graduate. I feel like they've already done enough for me and I want to be independent. They did offer to chip in a couple hundred dollars a month in rent if I needed it (the DC area is very expensive to live in with an entry-level salary). However, I decided to live with a roommate instead so that I could afford the entirety of the rent. In my opinion, supporting myself is a crucial part of being an adult.</p>

<p>I think we will only play it by ear. Both our kids are very independent so maybe we believe we never have to worry about it. We are fortunate enough to be able to support them when they need it and we will have no hard and fast rules about when or what support will end. It would entirely depend upon the circumstances at the time, but we have no doubt at all that doing so would thwart our kids in any way. </p>

<p>My parents, who had much much less money than us, always had that sort of philosophy. Their home was always our home. At different times over the years they they provided different support in ways they could to us four kids. But we all turned out very independent and hard working professionals (who were able to then care for them as they aged). Not surprisingly, our mother now lives in our home. </p>

<p>I think this kind of thing is cultural too. We live in a country where its not the norm for kids to 'move away to college' like they do in the states. We live in a city where homes average $1mil so one wonders where or how our kids would live initially if they wanted to live here as adults. Also we live in a city dominated by several immigrant groups whereby the norm is for multiple generations live under one roof. In many cultures, young adults do not move on their own until marriage (and to do so would hurt the parents), or married couples live with one set of parents after marriage. </p>

<p>As such I think there is no right or wrong here, just different families and ways. And all the kids turn out fine. These rules have nothing to do with whether kids turn out independent, with a work ethic (which I think is established over 18 years of development).</p>

<p>We fully paid for both kids' college tuition and they were fortunately to have job offers before graduation so they had been on their own ever since. When they left home for college, they never came back to live except during school vacations and a few summers. Although I am proud of their independence, I am at times envious that some of my friends' kids move back home after graduation even though it usually means they are not financially independent.</p>

<p>My D is now in grad school and we are paying her living expenses (she got loans for her tuition) but we've made clear to her that it is a loan and we expect repayment when she gets a job.</p>

<p>Both kids know that our home is always open to them and they are always welcome to stay as long as they put in effort to get back on their feet.</p>

<p>I've jokingly told my son (who is doing very well financially at age 25) that he is my long term care insurance policy.</p>

<p>From the recently-graduated-student side...</p>

<p>My parents split the cost of furniture for my apartment bedroom, and my mom paid the initial deposit on my apartment, as graduation gifts. Other than that, it was expected that when I graduated, I would have a job and a place to live lined up. I doubt that either of my parents would have enforced it, by, say, making me live on the streets, but they had an expectation, and I lived up to it. To me, I think the disappointment that would have been expressed had I not done so would have been enforcement enough. I never felt that it was a way to make me take school seriously, just a reasonable statement that I needed to be able to stand on my own feet once I left college.</p>

<p>Edited to add: They paid all of my undergrad tuition and housing bills, but always said that I would have to finance my own way through grad or professional school if I chose to go.</p>