Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Financial Obligations as a Parent
Old 05-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 79
Financial Obligations as a Parent

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?
__________________

__________________
Apex1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Harrogate, UK
Posts: 864
Yikes...I avoided kids (but for the fact that I was a teacher)......big $$$ involved....
__________________

__________________
F4mandolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 109
We are planning on B, but it's a long way off now, so who knows?
__________________
hausfrau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,400
Obligation? In most cases, I would say A as I look at obligation as what I am required to do.

What am I doing in practice? Basically B, with a little bit of G. We are willing to pay college tuition, CC for the first couple of years and then for 2 years of state university.

We are not willing to pay for many poor grades. If a child has a bad semester - this happened twice for different kids - we would usually be willing to pay for one more semester. Any bad grades after that would require the child taking at least a semester off to mature more.

G - A used car for each at about age 18. A modest contribution (maybe a couple of thousand) for each one to be "launched" to move into his/her own place when leaving the nest.

In general a child over the age of 18 who lives with us either needs to be in school (or on school break) or working and contributing at least a small amount to the household.

We have some willingness to help out financially in a modest amount if we feel it is a good reason. However, this would typically be a loan or with strings and if not repaid or conditions not met then we would not be likely to help in the future. Of course, every situation would be considered on its own merit and depend on our financial situation at the time.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 09:36 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
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.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Austin
Posts: 224
For my kids, state flagship is the commitment. + a new car.

We invest our time and money NOW to prepare them for their own life after college.
__________________
HillCountry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #7
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,949
Once you are a parent, you are always a parent. You work hard to teach your kids to be independent, but even when they have reached that blissful state of being on their own, and no longer require day-to-day financial support from you, you are still a parent and your financial obligations, while less, never end.

As a parent, in an emergency you are there for them and that is a financial obligation. While not a financial obligation, surely you will also want to give them gifts. I paid for my daughter's wedding after she had been self-supporting for quite some time, because she was not making much and I knew she had always dreamed of a beautiful wedding. I didn't have to; I wanted to (though the financial hit made me grimace! ).
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:08 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
JakeBrake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 548
I have to go with E & F. IMHO most parents will go with E & F. My youngest is 37. My children have completed their educations and are gainfully employed. They have not asked for or needed financial assistance for many years. But, I'm here if they need me. My opinion might be different if they had caused me any major financial woes.
__________________
JakeBrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:14 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,627
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.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,149
Quote:
G) other
Far too many variables to have a definitive answer. Each kid is different as are the economic circumstances at the time they reach adulthood. My advice: set clear goals/limits but understand you may need to be flexible - within reason.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 79
Quote:
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.
I wish I was wired to think this way LOL!!! I would be a free man by now!
__________________
Apex1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 03:47 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 534
I consider 'A' to be my obligation, 'B' to be my privilege.
__________________
jon-nyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #13
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Far too many variables to have a definitive answer. Each kid is different as are the economic circumstances at the time they reach adulthood. My advice: set clear goals/limits but understand you may need to be flexible - within reason.
+1
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:13 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,364
I would say (A) is the obligation, and anything after that depends on your financial situation and your perception of your children, as each one is different.

I was raised with a strong emphasis on the importance of "practical" education, and my parents sacrificed to for me and my siblings to go through college. DW (whose parents also held the same attitude) both agreed to do the same things with our kids. So we chose (B) as our obligation to get our kids through college without them or us having any student loan debt.

Since they graduated without debt, anything beyond (B) is dependent upon our perception of the child and our financial situation. For example, we offered to by them cars as a college graduation present - but used ones we could afford, and they were responsible for the insurance. We keep them on our insurance as long as they were eligible. They are on our phone plan because it is cheaper for them, but they pay their line costs. We do give them monetary gifts for their birthday and part of their Christmas gifts, as that is their current desire. We have "encouraged" them to stay out of the house after college by offering to pay their security deposit and several months of rent for their first apartment (when they have lived at home we charged them some level of rent and they had to abide by our rules, which also encouraged them to move out as soon as possible ).

As for marriage, house down payment, and beyond, it will depend. DW and I agree that if they hit an unexpected emergency that was not of their doing, or a major family event that they would have a difficult time to attend due to transportation costs, we are willing help out. For example, one child had their car totaled through no fault of their own, and we supplemented the insurance money to help them quickly get a replacement car ad not impact their ability to get to work. One of their grandmothers had a "milestone" birthday and wanted to have all of her grandchildren, so we helped one out who had to fly cross country to attend. But, for example, when one used his meal money for other things and used it all up before the end of the semester, we told him he had to figure out himself how we was going to eat (and he did).

In general, once beyond college, we play it by ear. They have shown varying degrees of financial acumen, so it becomes a matter of discernment for each child. It is a balance between getting them independent of your finances, but assisting them as one can based on the situation. But their is ONE thing we will never do, no matter the situation. We will NEVER co-sign anything for them. We have more than a few friends who have done this and not realizing it obligated them as well, and then had to deal with the consequences. So co-signing is a definite no-no.
__________________
Current target FIRE date: Under negotiation, can happen anytime.
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:21 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Brett_Cameron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Eastern USA
Posts: 1,010
I feel obligated for A) but am fortunate to be able to do F) although I do not treat each child the same based on their individual level of effort.
__________________
All that glitters is not gold. -G. Chaucer, W. Shakespeare
All that is gold does not glitter. -J.R.R. Tolkien
Brett_Cameron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:30 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
Delawaredave5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Originally I thought "B", but now, if you ever saw movie "Parenthood", - I think I'd be Frank - I love when he tries to bring Larry (blacksheep) into family business - and kid says "sure - after I go to Chile".

Frank resolves Larry's debt, takes in Larry's kid, loans Larry money, and let's Larry skip family business and go to Chile....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenthood_(film)
---
Larry (Hulce), Gil's brother, is the black sheep of the family, but is Frank's favorite. Rather than settle into a career, he has drifted through life trying to cash in on get-rich-quick schemes. He has recently shown up, along with his son, Cool, and wants to borrow money from his father. It soon becomes apparent that Larry needs the money to pay off his gambling debts, or else he must pay with his life. Frank is disillusioned, but still loves him and tries to help. Frank refuses to bail him out completely, but offers to teach him the family business so he can take over for Frank (who has to put off retirement) and use the income to pay off the debt. Larry instead suggests a plan which involves him going to Chile, and Frank agrees to look after Cool.
__________________
Delawaredave5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:41 AM   #17
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,492
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
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:46 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 434
It was B for us.

I had my college paid for by parents/grandparents so I always considered it my responsibility to pay it forward. Our kids have 4 years at the U of MN level paid for. Anything more than that is on their own.

Now, if we have more resources I'm sure we will try to help along the way. We would much rather spend money on them during our lives than have a bunch left over when we die.
__________________
Fishingmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:55 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Brett_Cameron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Eastern USA
Posts: 1,010
Quote:
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
Well said!
__________________
All that glitters is not gold. -G. Chaucer, W. Shakespeare
All that is gold does not glitter. -J.R.R. Tolkien
Brett_Cameron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2013, 06:59 AM   #20
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
I would say (A) is the obligation, and anything after that depends on your financial situation and your perception of your children, as each one is different.

I was raised with a strong emphasis on the importance of "practical" education, and my parents sacrificed to for me and my siblings to go through college. DW (whose parents also held the same attitude) both agreed to do the same things with our kids. So we chose (B) as our obligation to get our kids through college without them or us having any student loan debt.

Since they graduated without debt, anything beyond (B) is dependent upon our perception of the child and our financial situation. For example, we offered to by them cars as a college graduation present - but used ones we could afford, and they were responsible for the insurance. We keep them on our insurance as long as they were eligible. They are on our phone plan because it is cheaper for them, but they pay their line costs. We do give them monetary gifts for their birthday and part of their Christmas gifts, as that is their current desire. We have "encouraged" them to stay out of the house after college by offering to pay their security deposit and several months of rent for their first apartment (when they have lived at home we charged them some level of rent and they had to abide by our rules, which also encouraged them to move out as soon as possible ).

As for marriage, house down payment, and beyond, it will depend. DW and I agree that if they hit an unexpected emergency that was not of their doing, or a major family event that they would have a difficult time to attend due to transportation costs, we are willing help out. For example, one child had their car totaled through no fault of their own, and we supplemented the insurance money to help them quickly get a replacement car ad not impact their ability to get to work. One of their grandmothers had a "milestone" birthday and wanted to have all of her grandchildren, so we helped one out who had to fly cross country to attend. But, for example, when one used his meal money for other things and used it all up before the end of the semester, we told him he had to figure out himself how we was going to eat (and he did).

In general, once beyond college, we play it by ear. They have shown varying degrees of financial acumen, so it becomes a matter of discernment for each child. It is a balance between getting them independent of your finances, but assisting them as one can based on the situation. But their is ONE thing we will never do, no matter the situation. We will NEVER co-sign anything for them. We have more than a few friends who have done this and not realizing it obligated them as well, and then had to deal with the consequences. So co-signing is a definite no-no.
+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.
__________________

__________________
Sandman62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:22 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.