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Old 05-16-2019, 05:22 AM   #21
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*Weddings

I'd have $75,000 for each kid ready to go.
IMHO, that is ridiculously high.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:51 AM   #22
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I don't have an opinion on the amounts. Not my business.

You should give some thoughts on the methods. Stay within the annual limits of gift giving to avoid paperwork and reducing your tax-free estate amount when passing. Strongly consider matching any wages they earn with Roth contributions so that their money grows tax-free.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:26 AM   #23
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If I was pulling the plug in my 40s I hope I would have done something along the lines you outlined to try to cover education, weddings, and a bit of emergency help. In fact, I was in my mid 50s and paid for the kids' college, my daughter's wedding and helped with a down payment on my son's house and will do so for my daughter. I felt an obligation concerning school and weddings. I only popped for the housing because it was apparent that I could do so without jeopardy to our own retirement finances. They are both living in my crazy expensive area so I am glad to help with housing. I am more concerned that I don't do anything that would reverse the situation and cause my wife or me to become a financial burden on them later. I'm 70 now, DW 66. In 5 -10 years (depending on how the market goes) I will consider gifting to the kids, but only to the extent that I don't negatively affect our own situation. Beyond that we will bequeath the bulk of our estate to them. When we are winding down and it is clear that the bulk of our remaining assets will be available to them I will probably consult them on their preferred AA of our funds.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:00 AM   #24
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I would encourage more sharing of the college load. I used a 50/50 approach where my sons had to fund 50% through scholarships, work, and student loans. You probably do not need to go that far, but they need to learn good work ethics and budgeting. It is OK for the Bank of Dad to be there for emergencies, but the training for real life needs to start at age 18 and not at age 22 or 24 as a lot of bad habits and good habits can be learned in college. IMHO
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:03 AM   #25
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Iím gifting enough to fund DSís Roth IRA, for now. At 27, he has not yet found career employment, works, but lives at home, saves virtually every penny, works and is in graduate school. He is likely to see a very significant inheritance, based on FireCalc, and that he is our only heir. I only have one niece and nephew, and they will directly inherit from my sister.

I would rather gift more now, encourage investing and saving and a frugal lifestyle. Iím not planning to leave a lot, but we are not planning to spend a lot either, even if we can. Depending on his wants and needs, gifting will be flexible, and is likely to increase as my husband and I wind down our own activities.

I doubt heís going to want to work for money until he is at full retirement age. But then neither did I.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:46 AM   #26
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My mother had the perfect retirement, with great friends and traveling the world. And when she passed, she had $5K in cash. That's about perfect.

Our kids have been offered an education and automobiles. Only one took us up, and she's an accountant. She's fiscally responsible.

Unfortunately the other two have not made good life decisions, and they're not saving anything for retirement. They will not be rewarded for performance when we're gone.

Our two youngest grandchildren (7 & 10 yrs. old) are well provided for, however. But times change and wills get changed over time.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:19 AM   #27
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Our children will get everything. Whatever it is.

But our grandchildren get the first slice. In addition to a college fund each child, they will each inherit $100K off the top of the estate for their education expense. First slice. Any left, are there will be a very tidy sum, goes to the parents.

Our goal is to provide enough money for our children to enable them to retire early as we were fortunate enough to do.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:20 AM   #28
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My mom's philosophy was to give it while you are alive, so you can feel their gratitude. I divide up part of my RMD among our 4 sons every year.

I also feel they could use the money now, instead of 10-15 years from now.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:36 AM   #29
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Our plan was for good schools (which meant private in our neck of the woods), a state college degree, one new car < $20k, a reasonable wedding and some help with their first homes. So far, this has been enough for successful launches.


Like some other responders, I share some concern for doing too much and denying their sense of accomplishment as well as motivation.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:52 AM   #30
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I feel so different than most here. We told our 2 sons (currently around 40 yrs old now) we would pay for part of their in-state college costs. The added cost of out of state schools was on them if they chose that. They needed to work Summers, apply for scholarships/grants, and take out loans for the rest. We both felt that having a chip in the game helps them grow into adults. Graduating with a loan less than the cost of a new car was a good investment. I saw too many trust fund kids in college screw off and party-away their parent's money. We told them very early that we would house them after college for 6 months. After that they were on their own or pay rent. We also paid for 1/2 of their weddings. Beyond that, whatever is left when we pass is theirs. It could be a lot, or it could be a little. I'm thinking more on the "lot" side since we are 80% equities and our expenses are on the low side. In the mean time, our hard earned and invested money is there for us just in case we have some unexpected late life expenses. You never know what lies ahead and the path is long.

Both sons have grown into responsible adults with families. We are proud of what they have become. If we had to do it over again, I don't think we would do things differently today. We might feel differently if we were in the last 1/2 of our retirement years and felt the need to "Spend that dough". But probably not.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:56 AM   #31
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Whale poop, whale shmoop; you're doing great by your kids

Our five children shared the same genetics, lived in the same houses, ate the same food, played in the same neighborhoods, went to the same school systems...

...and each one turned out radically different from each of the others.

We covered college for all, and they each took it up according to their interests and talents and ambitions. One has a doctorate, two hold Master's degrees, one stopped at a bachelor's degree and one dropped out of college after a year and a half.

Two are married and own their homes. Two share apartments with friends. One boomeranged to the ancestral estate during grad school and hasn't gotten around to moving back out.

All are employed full time, although in different professions their earning power covers a range of 10X.

DW and I have assured them that their loving parents will always have their backs if misfortune befalls them, but that our primary goal always was to get them to be fully independent adults rather than to clear their way once they left the nest. The occasional obstacle is essential for them to develop their own strengths.

I think the lesson here is that the determining factor in the paths one's children follow is their own choices. You are free to support them as lavishly as you wish - and you ARE laying in lavish support - but even if it were ten times as much it wouldn't guarantee anything regarding their future.

You are setting them up for success, which is all you can do. It's absurd to feel guilty about that. Pax vobiscum.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I don't have an opinion on the amounts. Not my business.

You should give some thoughts on the methods. Stay within the annual limits of gift giving to avoid paperwork and reducing your tax-free estate amount when passing. Strongly consider matching any wages they earn with Roth contributions so that their money grows tax-free.
I agree with this.

Nothing wrong with helping oneís children, but also nothing wrong with them learning to face and overcome some adversity and lifeís challenges.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:13 AM   #33
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DGF and I have 5 children between us, but none together. They range from 19-36. The 19 y.o. lives with us and trying to get him back to school, or he will move out.
None of the other 4 have been truly successful to date, especially the 2 older ones. They are still finding their way and we shall see what happens.
Tons of love and some monies along the way, but we are on the lower side on NW on this site and just can't afford early in our retirement to keep providing monies, so that has stopped for now.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:25 AM   #34
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The Fate Worse Than Death

Oh, and one more thing.

Our plan, expectation and hope is that as DW and I age, we will NOT be a burden on our kids. That's more important than slipping them a free car or house.

Our portfolio needs to sustain us until we drop off the twig, so we aren't figuring on tapping it for premature gifting unless it were to compound to a crazy large amount.

Earlier posts mentioned wide ranges of where legacies could end up. If ours dwindles to its last five bucks the day we're both planted, as long as it covered us that's fine.

No doubt some folks will disagree. But I'd rather leave my brood ten million I didn't consume than to pillage my stash early, causing it to run out and end up guilt-tripping the children to support their crotchety old parents.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:45 AM   #35
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My mom also spent her money traveling and doing what she wanted. She prepaid her funeral and told us to sell her car and take everybody that came to the funeral for a certain restaurant for lunch. That’s what we did. The amount of money that some on this site spend on their kids is unbelievable. I would be concerned about running out of money later or setting up expectations that are unrealistic. I think there is something to be said for saving for your first home, budgeting and having to go without certain things. Learning to make good financial choices early on.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:03 AM   #36
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You feel bad "only" giving your kids 1.5 million dollars?

I'd suggest trying to regain touch with the rest of the world. Sadly, you're out of it.

ETA: Your plan will also likely result in kids that are out of touch with reality as well. IMO
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #37
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To a responsible child I'd leave most of my $. Children that might injure themselves with money make for a tougher decision. Dividing it unequally between children can lead to family strife. I know some cousins that won't talk to each other because their great-grandparents left more to one of the great-grandparents' children. The resulting animosity has sadly spanned generations. Leaving $ in trust for grandchildren has its own complications.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:18 AM   #38
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OP's kids are young at 10 and 6 years old. At the sweet young ages they are now, of course you want to plan to take care of everything for them, but things will be different as they grow up. Be flexible, see what happens.

Personally, I would let all children know gradually through the years whether or not college is going to be paid for or not (neither choice imo is good or bad, but knowing that may affect their college choice and their school performance to get into that college). No need to share the rest of the current plans, like the wedding or the house down payment, until there is a fiance/fiancee involved or plans to go househunting. You can just add cars to the household "stable" as they need them, too, and let them become the kids' cars.

Keep the $100K emergency fund set aside in your planning, but I don't think I'd even get into it with them, and $350 a month--why? I'd just reinvest that as it might become a little bit of a crutch. They probably will realize you will be there to help them if they need it if you are still a close family when they are older, but I'd let them make their own way once they are working, and learn how to live within their means. Is it really a good thing, for example, to buy more house than one can afford?

Disclosure: We paid for our kids' college but they both also worked during college and summer breaks anyway and they continue to appreciate that it was paid for. They each ended up with a new cheap car from us (Civic and Corolla). We (and their inlaws) paid for their weddings. After that they were grownups. They have houses, good jobs, and their own young children, none of which we kicked money in for. We love surprising them occasionally with a little cash but it's not a sure thing on any schedule, and there is no plan to quantify to them future amounts. They'll probably get a nice chunk of change when we pass away but who knows--they are not living their lives depending on it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:24 AM   #39
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pb4uski and I may have been separated at birth, except that I'm the one who was raised more lower middle class, and with student loans, and my partner was the one who was more solidly middle class with no student loans. And although it's your money, since you asked for opinions, I also agree with pb4uski that it risks your kids losing perspective on money. We're now much better off than either of our parents, but our kid doesn't ask for or need much, and other than completely paying for college and letting them graduate debt-free, we're matching their summer job income and putting that in a Roth IRA to give them an early start. And whatever's left over when we die, as we only have one kid, but I'm not planning to leave a specific amount, but considering we want to be conservative there will probably be something significant left over.

Of course, there are plenty of trust fund babies who have strong senses of perspective and civic duty, but IMO you do need to be more careful. I have a cousin who is being left a LOT of money, and I worry about him because he's never really had to work for anything in his life. He would be really screwed if he ran out of money, whereas I grew up broke and could deal with it just fine.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:32 AM   #40
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OP- You are being very generous to consider so much for your kids, obviously you have the financial means to do so.

We have helped our kids through out the years as we have been able. The only thing we did promise as they were growing up was we would cover two years at community college. By the time college arrived, we were able to cover the full cost beyond two years.
Who knows what the next 20-30 years will be like? We will continue to offer financial assistance to our kids, or do yearly gifting, but only if we are not putting ourselves in financial risk.
We worked our butts off to get where we are, I am not going out with no money to care for myself! And we plan to continue to enjoy ourselves in retirement. Our kids agree and encourage us to spend more on ourselves.
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