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View Poll Results: How much would you help your adult children during a lay off ?
They could move back in 34 41.98%
I would forgo my vacation and give them the money 9 11.11%
I'd lend them money at no interest 24 29.63%
Nothing , They are adults 14 17.28%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-16-2009, 07:27 PM   #21
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I definitely want to keep them off the streets and out of the guest suite !
We have no kids, so I can't offer any sound advice.

But speaking of guest suites - I saw a thread on a woodworking forum where a guy and his wife had two adult children lose their jobs at about the same time. Both children were married with small families and both families moved in with the parents. The parents didnt have room in the house, so the father remodeled his large detached workshop into two separate suites to house everyone. Then he sold all his woodworking tools because he didnt have room for his tools.

I dont think I would go that far.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:57 PM   #22
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I'd hope that our kid was either still on active duty... or drilling in the Reserves and able to pick up a set of active-duty orders.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:26 PM   #23
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Don't have any adult kids yet, but I guess I am an adult kid of my own parents. After my (messy) divorce I was set back quite a bit financially - then I got laid off. My parents were worried about my finances and nosed around a bit - making it clear that they would be happy to help me if I needed such a thing (my sister offered similarly obliquely). It isn't unprecedented and I have siblings who have moved in with them and other relatives who have been loaned money by them. Not all these arrangements have worked out very well for my parents, but they are still generous people and offer help if they think it might be needed.

OTOH - as the responsible LBYM adult that I am, I would have to be in dire straits indeed to ask for such assistance. I was vague, but truthful about my situation and my belief that I could probably work it out on my own. They asked again every six months or so for a couple years, which I take as their effort to let me know they were willing to help. I don't see me ever asking for money from them.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #24
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OTOH - as the responsible LBYM adult that I am, I would have to be in dire straits indeed to ask for such assistance. I was vague, but truthful about my situation and my belief that I could probably work it out on my own. They asked again every six months or so for a couple years, which I take as their effort to let me know they were willing to help. I don't see me ever asking for money from them.

Me either , I went through some really rough patches ( I was a single Mom for six years ) and I did not ask my parents for help ( maybe pride ) . I sold my jewelry and worked extra shifts . My daughter has not asked me for help mainly because she knows I'm always willing to help . Sometimes too willing !
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:56 PM   #25
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We've helped our youngest daughter and her husband a bit lately as his work hours have been cut back. They have no debt, a very used car and literally eat beans and rice. They also have a 3 year old, and a 10 month old baby. They live in a modest apartment. Son-in-law is in the process of getting on with state law enforcement. If he gets a position, they will have a good salary and benefit package.

Any time they get money from us, we tell them "This is a gift." We don't care for the "lending" route where friends or family are concerned.

If they were living beyond their means, it would be a different story. We would still help, but it would first require the same type of sacrifices that we'd make in a bad situation, i.e. sell everything including the kitchen sink. Food, rent, utilities, basic car only until things improve.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:18 PM   #26
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I imagine that when my kids are on their own, I will still be willing to help if they need assistance. I believe strongly in helping them pay for their college for instance. But I do think I'd temper any such help depending on how responsible I think they've been. If they approach life LBYM and responsibly, I can easily see offering help, or if they need something special like special services for their own kids, I can imagine helping quite freely. OTOH if they got themselves into a jam with spendthrift habits (so far showing no signs of any such inclination) I'd likely be a lot more reluctant to enable further bad behavior.

I've also seen another side of this dilemma. Parents helping adult kids can inadvertently set up jealousy between the siblings. In my family, parents helping youngest sister get established and once with a new car purchase after a setback, have apparently rankled another sister who got no such support. Nevermind that she is more successful and affluent than all the other siblings, parents, aunts and uncles combined. She still feels slighted.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:47 AM   #27
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I have two kids, one in college and another almost there, so I am still paying. I have not voted, and probably won't because I don't know the answer, and can't really know the answer until I see the situation. It could be any of the above, or most of the above. Here's what I think I'd do, if:

-they're still young, not really been solid on their feet yet, living in apt nearby,
a) invite them to live with us until they got a job. If they had any money, I would collect a token rent, but would give it back when they were ready to move on

-more advanced in years and maturity with a modest mortgage and predominantly LBYM lifestyle, living further away, then b) I would probably visit them to check on their circumstances, ask them if they needed help and if so, ask them to disclose and discuss their finances with me so I could determine how best to help them. In this case, I may be willing to pick up some or all of the mortgage for a few months while they were looking.

-If they had a happy go lucky, devil may care attitude about money, and came asking for support, then c) I would visit them, ask them to disclose their finances as above, but as a condition for any help I would ask them to work out a plan and a budget with me, specifically spelling out what they were going to do (i.e., sell the boat, the timeshare, the motorcycles and the RV) to reduce their debt, the job search plan, and how I could help with immediate needs. In a situation like this, I am very likely to go to the grocery store and buy them a bunch of food (and maybe even a freezer to put it in) rather than to give much in the way of money.

In most cases, I would not let them go hungry or homeless, but I would only give or lend money where responsibility is shown on their part. If they are not able to do that, I will go shopping for them, and their diet will have lots of beans and rice. I'm willing to live on beans and rice to support them that way, if I have to, in addition to giving up vacations. If, after counseling with me, they were not able to give up the extras, I would not offer, or would cease any support currently offered. If they ended up homeless or hungry in this case, it would have been by their choice, not mine.

BTW, when we built our home, we did so with the presumption that it was possible that one or both the kids will either visit or need to move back home with their kids for a period of time...at the same time. We are largely set up for it should it become necessary (but still perish the thought of a long term move back home...thus the collection of a token rent mentioned above).

Slightly off topic, but still relevent:

All of this said, MIL and SisIL seem to be in dire straits right now, monetarily speaking (MIL lives with SisIL). MIL essentially hands her SS money to SisIL when she gets it...SisIL spends it frivolously, and then tells MIL to complain to us that they don't have enough money for food. We lent SisIL $600 last month (again...don't expect to see it returned, along with the other $25-30k lent/given to FIL/MIL and SisIL over the past 8-9 years). DW and I have decided that we will no longer support them with greenbacks, but will buy and deliver enough food for MIL to not go hungry.

This is a sad situation where people who were formerly well-to-do ended up too deep in debt because they could not learn to LBYM, could not change their spending habits when their earning power declined, which eventually pushed them into bankruptcy.

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Old 05-17-2009, 08:42 AM   #28
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Thanks everybody , lots of good answers . We truly are the sandwich generation .
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:22 AM   #29
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No kids, but I voted let them move back in.

Which is what I did for 18 months during my divorce. While there, though, I paid either all or half the utilities (I forget what the arrangement was), repainted the entire house and hauled out 30 years of junk that my packrat father had accumulated. Also I was putting away about $900/month toward a down payment on a house for me and worked all the voluntary overtime I could get. So it wasn't like I was lounging around.

Now, if they'd done something stupid like kick the boss in the shins and got fired as a result I'd have a different take on it.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:09 PM   #30
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We truly are the sandwich generation .
I wonder if we're just the first generation with enough mobility to expect to be able to not live in multi-generational housing...
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #31
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Oh, they could move back in. DW has preserved their rooms, untouched, exactly as they left them.

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Old 05-17-2009, 12:58 PM   #32
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Compared to most of the rest of the world, American parents and children don't understand one another very well, don't like one another very much, and don't help one another very much.

It's a loss I believe.

Ha
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:02 PM   #33
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Compared to most of the rest of the world, American parents and children don't understand one another very well, don't like one another very much, and don't help one another very much.

It's a loss I believe.

Ha
Only the parents would be to blame for that. Other countries tend to eat their young if they sass back or disobey.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:18 PM   #34
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Compared to most of the rest of the world, American parents and children don't understand one another very well, don't like one another very much, and don't help one another very much.

It's a loss I believe.

Ha

Actually I disagree I think a lot of Americans including me love their children a lot and help them out more than maybe is good for them . I've always jumped in and helped my daughter out of every crisis and lately I've discovered that maybe I've hurt her ability to figure a way out of crisis .
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:41 PM   #35
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I don't have kids, but I'll fling my opinion out anyway....

Like others it would depend on how financially responsible they are. However, even with the worst case scenario of financial "goofiness", I would make sure they had their own place to live. Even if this means making the check payable to the mortgage company/landlord.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:51 PM   #36
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My sister just graduated school and hardly anyone in her class has secured a job - (in design field) - this is after total of 7 years of education - so her 10 plus years of working at a chain restaurant as a server/trainer is coming in handy as back up - never her intended long term career.

Just talked with a friend who is in his 70's, is not retired (has good university job, hasn't touched SS yet either) and his 30ish year old son finished law school and can't land a job either (a lot of firms are disappearing) so they've had to revisit their finances, bought him some health insurance and figuring out how to get him thru as he explores opportunities.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:55 PM   #37
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I'd do anything for my son, but he has earned that respect, etc through his frugal ways and level headed decisions so far. He's still in college, but this time next year he'll be graduating and we'll see.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:19 PM   #38
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We've gone through some similar thought processes related to sending our first and only off to college. How much do we help without destroying his initiative to make his own way in the world? And how much should we help, given our own pressing needs to build a retirement nest egg?

Bottom line is that we would always do what's needed to provide basic food and shelter, IF he's doing everything in his power: working or trying to find work, LBYM, etc. But luxuries and free time -- he has to earn those on his own, as the rest of us did.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:41 PM   #39
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DD could certainly move back in. We would be glad to help her learn an in-demand trade, too. I'm sure there will be plenty of call for cooks, housekeepers, butlers, and drivers in the future. I'll be in the den watching TV if she needs me.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:17 PM   #40
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...I've also seen another side of this dilemma. Parents helping adult kids can inadvertently set up jealousy between the siblings. In my family, parents helping youngest sister get established and once with a new car purchase after a setback, have apparently rankled another sister who got no such support. Nevermind that she is more successful and affluent than all the other siblings, parents, aunts and uncles combined. She still feels slighted.
Been there, done that. Mom let me borrow her older car for 1 year when I lived off campus to save money on room and board, until I could save up for my own used car the following summer. I paid for all costs - gas, maintenance, tires, half the insurance, repairs (lots via DIY and favors from friends), yadda yadda. The car's condition was better at the return point than it was going in.
My siblings have carried a grudge about that for years.
BTW, I'm the youngest. Any questions?
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