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Old 09-24-2007, 06:18 PM   #41
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But if we're just talking about whether or not to give money to your kids, I like the Buffett approach: Give them enough so that they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.
That quote makes a nice soundbyte but I think it has little practical value. You can do nothing with nothing (or very little). You can do anything with anything - or nothing! I know many people who could retire but keep working because they enjoy what they do or the challenge.

I think it comes down to a person's character and work ethic, and how they were raised, not how much money they may have been left.

Look at the biggest expenses that a young family w/ kids faces: private school tuition, college tuition, extra education and enrichment opportunities, an expensive house (if you want to live in a nice/safe area), health care (dental, orthodontics), etc. I always saw family wealth as a way to help provide these things for the youngest generation. Maybe that is because I was raised around a lot of immigrant families whose attitudes seem to differ from the traditional blue collar American attitudes.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:58 PM   #42
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That quote makes a nice soundbyte but I think it has little practical value.
Sorry, my family & friends have conditioned me to keep my Buffett bites short & sweet. But since you asked...

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You can do nothing with nothing (or very little). You can do anything with anything - or nothing!
He's publicly mentioned paying for college degrees and buying houses for his kids. His oldest son is on the board (and will probably continue as Chairman) so he's taken care of by the company payroll and whatever shares are handed out to directors. Another son is a performing artist who's mentioned his father's support of his projects. And Buffett even put up with a divorced daughter-in-law writing a book about him.

But all the kids appear to be continuing to work by choice at least as much as by budget. I'm not sure about the subsequent generation(s), but I'm pretty confident that they won't be cluttering up the Forbes 400 list like the Walton heirs.

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I know many people who could retire but keep working because they enjoy what they do or the challenge.
And more power to them-- if they've found their avocation then they'll never have to work again! But it's awfully hard to distinguish avocations vs jobs among those who claim to have found their bliss while they're actually working to be able to pay their bills.

I know a retired flag officer who's nearly 80 years old and receiving what has to be at least six-figure federal pension with a COLA. He claims that he's enjoying himself too much to quit but his spouse pulled mine aside and asked how we managed to retire. My spouse started talking about savings, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and owning our house. His spouse said "Oh, we never had any of that." My spouse asked "What, stocks?" and she replied "No, savings"...

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I think it comes down to a person's character and work ethic, and how they were raised, not how much money they may have been left.
We all know posters on this board, ER'd or close to it, whose siblings or parents have nowhere near the skills, knowledge, or intent to be able to ER.

I think that a person's character & work ethic will develop until the development is halted by affluenza. That seems to happen to some kids as teenagers while others manage to make it to adulthood and do just fine. I suspect it's a function of how much of other people's money you can get your hands on.

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Look at the biggest expenses that a young family w/ kids faces: private school tuition, college tuition, extra education and enrichment opportunities, an expensive house (if you want to live in a nice/safe area), health care (dental, orthodontics), etc. I always saw family wealth as a way to help provide these things for the youngest generation. Maybe that is because I was raised around a lot of immigrant families whose attitudes seem to differ from the traditional blue collar American attitudes.
I think it's a parent's obligation to give the kids the tools they need to succeed after high school. For some parents it's a hammer & screwdriver, for other parents it's an entire NASCAR mechanic's trailer. And some parents will even build the kid's house, fill it with furniture, and provide 24/7 room service.

I think that parents should provide the basics of housing, food, clothing, education, and a safe/loving environment. But by the time they're teenagers you'll be able to figure out whether it's worth paying for their college education or suggesting that they apply to a nice military academy. Any support beyond high school has to be weighed against the consideration that it could very well delay the parent's own retirement.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:15 PM   #43
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I think it's a parent's obligation to give the kids the tools they need to succeed after high school. For some parents it's a hammer & screwdriver, for other parents it's an entire NASCAR mechanic's trailer. And some parents will even build the kid's house, fill it with furniture, and provide 24/7 room service.
I agree. I see where some parents' ability to let go of their kids has just as much to do with their own self identity as it does with wanting what is best for their child or adult child. (If the adult child 'fails', I have 'failed'.) Hence, the adult kid 'must' have the right address and mix in the right circles and the parents make sure of it by providing as much as they can to shore the kid up.

IMO, this 'help' cripples the adult child. The adult child never really makes his own decisions and takes the consequences for them. He's always looking over his shoulder either for approval or for help.

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Any support beyond high school has to be weighed against the consideration that it could very well delay the parent's own retirement.
Again, very practical advice.

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Old 09-25-2007, 09:37 PM   #44
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He's publicly mentioned paying for college degrees and buying houses for his kids. His oldest son is on the board (and will probably continue as Chairman) so he's taken care of by the company payroll and whatever shares are handed out to directors. Another son is a performing artist who's mentioned his father's support of his projects. And Buffett even put up with a divorced daughter-in-law writing a book about him.
There is some interesting information about Buffett's relationship with his kids in Roger Lowenstein's Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist.

Re the erstwhile daughter-in-law's book: Buffett didn't have any real choice but to "put up with" it, did he? In any case, as I recall it is very admiring, to the point of being fawning.

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I know a retired flag officer who's nearly 80 years old and receiving what has to be at least six-figure federal pension with a COLA. He claims that he's enjoying himself too much to quit but his spouse pulled mine aside and asked how we managed to retire. My spouse started talking about savings, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and owning our house. His spouse said "Oh, we never had any of that." My spouse asked "What, stocks?" and she replied "No, savings"...
Well, I guess they don't really need any savings, with that gold-plated pension. So he probably can afford to quit (I take it he has a post-retirement job on civvie street?) any time he wishes.

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I think that parents should provide the basics of housing, food, clothing, education, and a safe/loving environment. But by the time they're teenagers you'll be able to figure out whether it's worth paying for their college education or suggesting that they apply to a nice military academy. Any support beyond high school has to be weighed against the consideration that it could very well delay the parent's own retirement.
Well said.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:18 PM   #45
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3. Public schools are free.
Not really. I would say "you get what you pay for", but that isn't exactly true in this case... you (all of us, actually) pay far, far too much for public education, and the result that we get is a sad joke. Sending your kids to public indoctrination centers is far too likely to leave them with a legacy of misery... unable to think creatively or rationally, pumped full of liberal, politically-correct nonsense, and basically not able to compete in the real world.

if I had kids, I would send them to a private school that was accountable to me, that had to compete for my dollars and earn them with results.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:34 PM   #46
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Well, I guess they don't really need any savings, with that gold-plated pension. So he probably can afford to quit (I take it he has a post-retirement job on civvie street?) any time he wishes.
You would hope so, since if his pension has kept up with inflation it's roughly $105K/year plus Social Security & Medicare.

He has the "usual retired flag officer" part-time job, consultancy, and directorships. Perhaps he's bringing home another $60K-70K/year, although he didn't say.

But the guy is at least 75 years old (USNA '50) and he's not lookin' happy about working. I don't know about his alimony/mortgage/college situation and whether he's paying for other family... he was wearing a $60 Reyn Spooner aloha shirt to a class reunion, too, but that's probably a middle-of-the-road price.

I think he's spent the last six decades working and doesn't know how to quit, let alone how to track expenses and LBYM. We're separated by a lot more than a few ranks & years.

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you (all of us, actually) pay far, far too much for public education
Yeah, especially those overpaid rock-star* teachers!

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if I had kids, I would send them to a private school that was accountable to me, that had to compete for my dollars and earn them with results.
Has anyone on this board ever found a school like that?

Admittedly we've only raised one kid and done local private-school research (public school's worked out much better) but I'd say the only school meeting those criteria would be: homeschool.

*(For some of you readers, let me clarify: That's sarcasm.)
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:51 PM   #47
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Public, private its all the same it boils down to the kid.

Has anyone on this board ever found a school like that?

Admittedly we've only raised one kid and done local private-school research (public school's worked out much better) but I'd say the only school meeting those criteria would be: homeschool.

*(For some of you readers, let me clarify: That's sarcasm.)[/quote]
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:47 PM   #48
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I think getting money from parents or giving money are both hard on everyone. In 1985 my dad gave me 13K, I was divorced and just starting to figure out how to get a house. I offered a low a ball offer on a tiny house and was starting to save. Dad's gift went to 11,500 down on a 51,500 house and closing cost. Dad was happy he wanted me to have a house. I was rather sad because I wanted to do it myself and I would have but couldn't turn down the gift.
This last Christmas I gave my nephew $5K because his wife was sick and he was having problems paying the bills. Now he has remodeled his basement and seems to be recklessly spending. My gift was a gift with no strings but it still feels wrong that he didn't learn to save for the next time his wife is sick or if she dies. She can't get life insurance and probably won't live to 50 so he needs to learn not to live on her income. I know I have no right to tell him how to live and I bet he feels he should feel guilty when he waste money after getting a gift.
I don't regret gifting him the money, he needed it and it was interesting to feel how it felt. My investments have gone up 50K since I gave him the 5K so it is like tithing, letting money go.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:42 AM   #49
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My gift was a gift with no strings but it still feels wrong that he didn't learn to save for the next time his wife is sick or if she dies. ......I gave him the 5K so it is like tithing, letting money go.
I can understand how that would be difficult - wanting him to 'learn' a special lesson, or to pay certain bills with your financial gift. That's a good attitude to view it as a tithing.

We can't control other people at all, can we?

Thanks for sharing.

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Old 09-29-2007, 12:19 AM   #50
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I can understand how that would be difficult - wanting him to 'learn' a special lesson, or to pay certain bills with your financial gift. That's a good attitude to view it as a tithing.

We can't control other people at all, can we?

Thanks for sharing.

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Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
He did spend the money wisely, paid bills, saved some for his property taxes and paid down some principal on his car. I knew decades ago that the only person I can control is me. I have been waiting and watching hoping favorite nephew would mature but I don't tell him when he isn't doing things my way. I divorced my ex without once trying to change him, didn't want him the way he was so I left, didn't bother to even tell him why. I found help for myself to change my reactions to him but I didn't try to change him.
I always try to remember I am not right I am just me. Some of us are saver and happy, some spenders are happy. Some spend it all and stay in debt and retire dead broke and aren't sorry they didn't save. They could think I am wrong to save and do without to retire in comfort. They don't have to be me and I don't have to be right.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:30 AM   #51
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I've had friends whose parents have subsidized their early adulthood, and personally I think it's due more to the parents being unable to let go. It's selfish, and I think it does more damage to the children than the parents would like to believe.
Right on the money; it's all about keeping them dependent and (selfish) parental control.

Lance

PS-When a mother/father says my 14 year old daughter/son is my "best friend, I want to throw up. How does one tell ones "best friend" to clean up their room, to come home on time and to cut the grass?
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:46 PM   #52
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PS-When a mother/father says my 14 year old daughter/son is my "best friend, I want to throw up. How does one tell ones "best friend" to clean up their room, to come home on time and to cut the grass?
By those criteria our kid is pretty sure that we're her worst enemies.

Especially when she lets me kick her in the head.*

*Sparring at tae kwon do, wearing a helmet, and usually right after she's kicked me in the head... only enough contact to score the points and never hard enough to cause problems.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:50 PM   #53
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PS-When a mother/father says my 14 year old daughter/son is my "best friend, I want to throw up. How does one tell ones "best friend" to clean up their room, to come home on time and to cut the grass?
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By those criteria our kid is pretty sure that we're her worst enemies.
Well, I back you both up. I think we need more active fathers within the family system.

David Blankenhorn, Author of Fatherless America notes that 80% of the young men in juvenile detention facilities were raised without fully participating fathers. He also points out that prison is our #1 social program for young men. .. But thatís a whole other topicÖ

Be well, stay strong!
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:14 PM   #54
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Not really. I would say "you get what you pay for", but that isn't exactly true in this case... you (all of us, actually) pay far, far too much for public education, and the result that we get is a sad joke. Sending your kids to public indoctrination centers is far too likely to leave them with a legacy of misery... unable to think creatively or rationally, pumped full of liberal, politically-correct nonsense, and basically not able to compete in the real world.

if I had kids, I would send them to a private school that was accountable to me, that had to compete for my dollars and earn them with results.
Well, that's throwing down the gauntlet, ain't it? It may surprise you that the public schools that my kids attend are outstanding and accountable to the parents. They are every bit as good as the local private schools. The local schools (both public and private) enjoy outstanding reputations academically, artistically, and athletically.

Oh, I help teach at a private university / medical school, so I think I have a yardstick to help measure education. I'm sorry your local public schools are so dismal in your eyes. What are you gonna do about it?
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:53 PM   #55
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By those criteria our kid is pretty sure that we're her worst enemies.
Well done Nords I'm sure she respects you for enforcing the rules, even if she may, uhm "protest" at times

Off topic, but I think ER and parenting are a great fit. Kids need Dad and Mom to be around and parents have the opportunity to actually interact with their children as they grow up and become adults.

Preaching over
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