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Old 05-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #21
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My parents obligation to me = A. They had the attitude that after HS graduation I was on my own for college, etc. DW's parents obligation to her was = A. They could not afford more.

I was very happy to finance a debt free college education for DD. That was probably my best investment since she is now independent and successful by her own efforts. DD knows that I will always be there in case she ever needed help in some sort of extreme emergency.

I would not do D. a nice house warming gift yes, but not a down payment.

My motto is.... "a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. I don't pay tax on the dollar I saved."
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:07 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I have kids.

We are not obligated to clothe them in more than rags nor feed them more than at a subsistence level. We are not obligated to drive them around since they have legs, so they can walk to where they need to go. We are not obligated to give them any money at all past food, clothing, shelter, and limited healthcare. The government pays for their education (with the help of your taxes).

The neighbors have pity on them and give them food and clothes. My kids have a good life.
+1 - I think this hits it about exactly right.

But seriously, there is a balance between making it easier for the kids and taking away their initiative, drive and independence. Mine is an extreme case, having worked since I was 15 and having lost both parents by age 20. I derived tremendous gratification in putting myself through college, buying my own home with no outside help and hitting a 7 figure portfolio by age 45.

I've seen a number of parents pour money onto their kids partly to help them out and partly to continue to control them. Every case is unique, but I think that it is better to give the kids less outright but be there in an emergency to keep them safe. Happiness is not a new house and car. Happiness is self respect and confidence.

Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:13 AM   #23
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G) Until they finish college and move out on their own.

That's what my parents did for me and that's what I would like to do for our kids. That being said, when my first career flopped and I had to go back to school, my parents easily accepted me back into their home which saved me a lot of money (I did pay minimal rent). I also worked my way through college and hope my kids will do the same.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sandman62 View Post
+1, except for the moving out on their own right after college. I'm 50 and DW will be this summer. Seeing we have the means to help, and we've paid off our mortgage, saved for retirement, have pensions and LBYM, we feel compelled (not obligated) to give them a nice head start. If we didn't have the means, we'd obviously adjust. We're also fortunate that our kids have worked hard in the classroom and in sports and other activities, attained great grades and stayed out of trouble. So we're proud of them and don't mind helping them get ahead. Plus both chose the flagship state U over more expensive private colleges. Though both do/did live at school, despite it being less than a 30-minute commute.

Our DD is graduating this weekend and DS has 3 years left. We encourage both to live home a year or two after college to build their own nest egg to help launch them. We'd understand if they chose not to do this though. Like you, we've paid their college costs with no loans, so they already have that nice head start.

But we've discussed parameters for them living home:
1. Rent free as long as they're working or in school.
2. They must save a good chunk of money and not just blow their salaries on fun stuff.
3. They can stay on our insurance and phone plans to access cheaper rates, but they can pay us their portions. Health care, we will continue to keep them on our family plan at no cost to them as long as allowed.
4. They can help out around the house, starting with their own bedrooms, but also a share of upkeep - cleaning, shopping, cooking, lawn mowing, ironing, etc. - all things that they'd be 100% responsible for once they move out.
5. We are not planning to pay 100% of weddings. Ideally, we'd contribute 1/3, so would they, and hopefully their spouse's parents the other 1/3. If that's not possible, we may go to 1/2, but we're certainly not paying the whole thing. Our big head start for them was college with no loans, plus a used car to drive through high school and college.
6. Home down payments: Hopefully, with the head start we've provided, they should be able to save for this themselves. I wouldn't be shocked though if we helped here a little too. But I don't think they're expecting it. They seem appreciative for what they have already, especially when they hear about their friends' loan debt.

This is the plan anyway. Check back in a few years to see how it went.
+1 this is pretty much where I stand except with #6. A home is a privilege and the kids need to make the financial commitment. I didn't get my first home until 31 and worked hard to get the down payment. But that also made me understand that it had to be kept up and worked on to maintain. Home ownership is probably one of the biggest decisions in a young adult's life and they should have 100% ownership of that decision.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #25
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Once they turn 40, I'm done suporting them !

Seriously, I told my one and only son that when the day comes that I can't claim him as a dependent on my tax return, he's on his own. I supported him and paid for college up to the ripe age of 24 and that was it. Every summer he was out of school, he worked various jobs from factory worker, mover,and life guard in order to buy his own vehicle.

Today at 34 he is degreed, married with two kids and has his own business and doing good.
Normal is an illusion...what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:15 AM   #26
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To me the obligation ends at 18 but I think most parents (including me) have gone well beyond that. Depends on the kid, parents and situation.
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Parental Financial Obligation
Old 05-16-2013, 07:26 AM   #27
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Parental Financial Obligation

A, B, D

We paid undergraduate college tuition but required our daughter to work during college to cover some of the cost. She paid 100% of her graduate school education (working and loans). She still lives at home (age 27) but pays 25% of her net income from her full time and part time job as rent/board. Fortunately she is thrifty and is socking away as much as she can after her other expenses (auto, clothing, incidentals). Unfortunately she works for the county government at very low pay but loves her job. DW wants her out now. I say she must be out by age 30.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:30 AM   #28
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We paid for college and cars because we could afford to do so not because we felt obligated. Both doing well but I still pay for auto insurance and phone. We've told them that when they get a new car that they are to purchase insurance for themselves. I have a feeling that my son will be driving the car I gave him for a long long time! Damn Toyotas!
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:56 AM   #29
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When I was 18 my Dad said he'd pay for my education through PhD if I wanted, but the spigot turns off if I get married, since at that moment I have declared and formed my own family. Wasn't really an issue given my dating history in college.

I wound up taking him up on it through college and one more year for a masters. As with all my siblings we also had the carrot of a new econo-car (with some string, 4 doors for safety) and a year of insurance on graduation. They didn't pay for my wedding, but their gift wasn't far from the cost and very generous.

I'll probably do the same, but it isn't an obligation past A. My wife had help with her undergrad, and I paid off her grad school loans when we got married.

Special needs kids are a whole nother ballgame.

If my kids had a crash and burn divorce, had kids too early, etc I am sure I'd provide some rent-free living for a good stretch. Probably the same coming out of college, with more strings to help them launch.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:02 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Apex1 View Post
Where do the financial obligations of a parent end?

A) age of majority/high school
B) college tuition
C) until they get married
D) help with down payment on first home
E) forever
F) help as much as possible
G) other

This will probably be a loaded topic but I'd like to hear what everyone has to say and their rationale. I've only begun to think about this so my stance is pliable.

Like my signature says, I've decided to work until 42 for the kids education. Kids will be financially set with no student loans to saddle them. I think I've done my part as a parent....or have I?
B - That was a lot of $$$$ ( just for the college we put money away for 8 years)

I know a lot of E's I know this girl who still give $$ to her children even though 2 of the 3 make more than her!
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:36 AM   #31
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I have 2 in college now. They are doing very good in grades and no trouble. They just both got home for the summer....the house is quite lively now!
I am paying for their college and if they want to live here after graduating to get their legs - it will be rent free. If they move somewhere else I may help to get them situated (first/last etc) but after that it will be on a case by case basis.
I am very fortunate to have motivated and loving kids. They add so much to my life. I can't think of any better investment.

I do plan to still pay for family vacations in the future. They get to the resort (like San Diego) and I pay for the rooms and most of the meals. My father did this a few times at the Hotel Del Coranado and it is a wonderful family memory for me my DW and both kids.
Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:18 AM   #32
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My parents (most definitely LBYMers to the max) provided full university education to both my brother and sister. Noone got cars. Most of my education was paid with scholarships/fellowship/research grants, yet I still graduated with 100k in student debt. I have no ill feelings though as I would like to think that my investable assets have surpassed my parents before my mid-30’s. In fact, I have given back a handsome yearly amount to my folks since I began work at 26 (they really don’t need it, but I think it’s a good thank you gesture for all they’ve done for us, maybe even an olden day cultural thing; mom says she’s giving it back to me in her will but I tell her to go ahead, treat yourself, and enjoy life and of course its hard to…. being LBYM her whole life!!).

Anyways, I have only begun to think where my financial responsibilities are with my own kids now and what age I will work to provide for that. I will make sense of all your responses in time. Thank again to everyone who contributed to my thread! I’m still a newbie around here but this is an awesome forum. Where else can I can get the collective wisdom of so many smart people who have “been there and done that”??
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #33
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Put me down as a "B", with the caveat that they will also receive what will probably be a sizable estate upon the demise of the wife and I.
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (4, 10, and 11).
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:23 PM   #34
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Well, if I want to be a smart ass I would simply say: "Never"..........

My 2 sons are very different, the older one thinks money grows on trees, and the younger one won't spend money no matter what. Maybe I'll have the young one tutor his older brother in FIRE...........
Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)

This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #35
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My parents chose B), undergrad only and no spending money. I felt very fortunate.

I have no children, but experience with 2 of my 3 step kids is G) - especially after a divorce for one and mental illness/disability for another.

A wise friend says it is unimportant when kids move out of the house - but time to celebrate when they move out of your wallet...
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:08 PM   #36
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I don't have kids but my siblings and I got A.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:22 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Thinking back to how my parents and their siblings were raised, how my siblings and I were brought up, how my siblings did with their children and how we raised ours, my conclusions are

1) parenting is difficult
2) there is no right answer or best way
3) it's very easy to be critical of others
4) how they turn out may not have that much to do with how children are brought up
+1 Michael!
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:29 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
I don't have any kids, but my parents always said that once I graduated from college, I would be on my own. And they followed through on that promise. The last time I received any kind of financial support from my parents was when I was 22.
That's how DW & me were both raised- & it worked out pretty well for us too (IMHO, of course ).

Not sayin' you should abandon an adult child, but philosophically speaking having a defined time to financially 'leave the nest' seems a logical progression in reaching maturity.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #39
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We are covering what they cant get in student loans. Tried twice with DD and failed to launch. As far as C - F that would very much depend on the child. I am much more inclined to help out when my advice is taken.

REminds me when my 18 year old wanted to shack up with his girlfriend and wanted me to foot the bill for first and last months rent. I did not agree with his choice and would not invest in his plan. Told him he was free to make his own choice at 18 but do NOT look to me to foot the bill.

I try to give all 5 kids the same opportunity - whether or not they take advantage of it is their choice.
"Up sluggard and waste not the day, in the grave will be sleeping enough." Benjamin Franklin
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:11 PM   #40
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B with a safety net...

My parents offered me the option to pay for college (undergrad) as follows:
- Major that led to a career.
- Cal State or UC school (we lived in CA). No private school.
- B average or better. Grades dip to a C average and I was on probation with Dad for the next semester... 2nd semester of bad grades would have ended the spigot. (I only had one bad semester - but had medical issues that semester too... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)
- Support at a bare poverty level (ramen noodles were my friend) - if I wanted spending money I had to get a part time job.

I plan on offering the same deal.

I was not given a car - but my dad helped me shop for a motorcycle (all I could afford). Good decision for me since it was cheaper to run and cheaper to insure. But then again my medical issues (mentioned above) was due to a crash that blew out my knee and had me in a cast for the entire semester.

We've told the kids we'll match them on $1 for $1 on their first car. And while they're in highschool/college we'll pay HALF of their insurance. We want them vested in their vehicles so they don't crash them.

I will loan money for a downpayment on a house if the kid is credit worthy. I will match the bank rate. My dad did this for me - I paid back the downpayment, with interest, in less than 5 years. My brother borrowed and never paid back... he lost access to the "bank of Dad".

I will contribute some to a wedding... but will encourage small weddings. My wedding was perfect - and very small. We spent $3500 including the honeymoon. No invitations to work friends of my parents... only closest friends and family. I have boys - so I don't foresee forking out $10's of thousands.

The big thing is to have them graduate (if they choose to go to college) with a useful degree and no debt.

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