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Self-Sustained Kids?
Old 01-07-2016, 06:46 PM   #1
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Self-Sustained Kids?

To build off the other "sustained" thread, I'd be similar to others (18 Navy), but one of the keys for my FIRE was three daughters becoming self-sustained (18-18-17), all three in the Coast Guard.

Anyone else pass on the self-sustaining gene (Rich dad, Poor Dad type thing)?

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Old 01-07-2016, 07:21 PM   #2
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My kids are still in the leech stage. (kidding of course... sort of.)

I'm hoping they go to college or a trade school and have money set aside. If they want to do something else they will move out or pay rent. I'm a mean mom. I'd be ok with them joining the military, also.

Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:23 AM   #3
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Just a thought. My paternal grandmother outlived my parents and other grandparents and lived alone until her 80's. When I was in my 20's and getting my career started. I offered to help pay some of her bills and she took me aside to explain she had "enough and a bit extra every month and the best thing I could do to help her was just to take care of myself. She said many of her friends were helping their children and grandchildren financially and she was grateful that her 5 grandchildren were self supporting. As I look around now, many folks I know can't even think about ER because their adult children are so dependent on mom and dad. Most of these parents have enabled their children's dependency but some folks did everything right to raise self-supporting children and just had "bad luck". My own 3 girls (30, 28, 25)are doing well but 2 are living at home while they pay for grad school and get help with things like car insurance. Unfortunately, none of them went for technical degrees for college but that should only be a speed bump and not a barrier to making a living because of the abundance of managerial/administrative careers in this area.
...with no reasonable expectation for ER, I'm just here auditing the AP class.Retired 8/1/15.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:28 AM   #4
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what kids? can't afford them
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:56 AM   #5
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Both completely self-sustaining from the day of college graduation ten plus years ago, as I was and DH was. Knock on wood and praise the Lord. DS recently found a "fortune telling" third-grade assignment that included a question about what he would do when he grew up. He actually had written down, as an 8 year old, that he would have a job because his mother would kill him if he didn't. True that.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:03 AM   #6
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We were really fortunate in this regard to self-sustaining kiddos...
DS1 - 31 years old making over 100k in healthcare industry
DS2 - 30 years old making over 120k in defense/aerospace industry
DD - 28 years old making 60k in University edu.

All 3 are LBYM and all in Vanguard funds.

We told all of them that we would pay for half their college and expenses and they would pay for the rest.
Each had a tremendous work ethic and value system.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #7
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Too complicated to explain, so I won't .

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Old 01-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #8
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Our 30 and 26-year olds are doing well in their respective professional career (the older now has the title of Director), with the college education that we paid for up to completion of their BS degrees. They paid for their graduate degrees, with the help of their employers.

So, we are fortunate that our investments to make sure that they would not become boomerang kids paid off.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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My DW and I felt that setting clear expectations is one key to helping children mature and grow into responsible adults. We told our kids when they were in early high school that when they were 18 we expected them to be ready to go out on their own and be independent. The one ongoing support we had in our plan for each was to pay for a 4 yr public college degree if they chose to go to college. Each understood we meant those things and made appropriate efforts to do well in school (including each in college), get part time, then full time jobs, etc... And while we helped them out a bit in other ways when they needed (even a bit past 18), it was only when we felt they really needed help AND would discuss with us how they were addressing whatever issue they were needing help on so it wouldn't be an ongoing challenge to their independence and happiness in life.

We've enjoyed seeing each kid grow into strong adults. Each is quite different and handles things in their own unique way. Sometimes they make choices we don't agree with but we honor and accept their independence to make those choices.... very proud of each. Children are a real joy in our life.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:41 AM   #10
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We told both kids from an early age we would pay for 4 years of college and after that they would be on their own. DD graduated when unemployment was still very high and had a lot of part-time jobs and such to support herself until she landed something truly sustainable about 6 months after graduation. But she has always been mostly self-supporting - we continued to pay her health insurance for a few months at the beginning, she is still on our cellphone family plan (because I don't want her to give AT&T that extra money), and we helped with the deductible on her insurance after an accident. DS landed a high-paying position right out of college. He's now hoping to go back to grad school (PhD) but expects to be able to handle it on his own.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:16 AM   #11
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Both our kids were self-sustaining essentially the minute they graduated college. One could even argue that DD#1 was self-sustaining before that. She had a choice between a state school with a full ride + other funding OR a prestigious private school with some scholarship support. At the age of 16 she said, "Why would I want to graduate with $50K in loans when I could graduate with NO loans? It's where you go to grad school that counts, anyway." So she paid for all of her undergrad work and had cash left over to buy a used car when she was done. She then financed her own way through grad school and law school.

DD#2 joined Teach for America when she realized that her undergrad English degree wasn't likely to land her a job in the 2008 economy. Turns out she likes teaching.

We count ourselves EXTREMELY lucky to have had daughters turn out like this.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:19 AM   #12
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I left home when 19 and have been self sustaining since, as was my (now) Wife. We told our sons we would pay x amount per semester for their College, They would have to come up with the rest. In-state/out of state, no difference. After school, they had 6 months to find work and be out of the house. One went to Jr College for one year then entered the Coast Guard. Been there for 17 years now and loves it. The other son went to state schools and got a BA degree. Immediately went off on his own and got a job in his chosen profession. Found it didn't pay much! in a couple of years, he found another job and eventually went back to school nights for his Masters degree and a teaching certificate. He has been teaching and coaching the last few years at the HS level and loving it.

We are so blessed that our family has not had the soap-opera life issues so common elsewhere.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:31 AM   #13
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Three sons. Eldest completed his masters in one year and is earning $100k and has saved $100k in just 3 years while buying a car and repaying a loan (from the "bank of dad") for grad school. 2nd son just graduated with dual BS degrees last May and just started his first job. Lower income, but self sustaining and starting to save. Youngest still has 2+ years of college left. We paid 50% of 4 years college and they had to use gifts from my parents to cover their share. I will cover the cell phone for 1 year then either they can stay on our plan and reimburse me or get a plan on their own. They had cars while in school, and can keep the car until they want something other than the "beater". The oldest plans on being able to retire early from his j*b (he is in analytics), the second has a very modest lifestyle and never has wanted the "high life". The youngest . . . Likes the good things in life and wants them given to him!😬

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Old 01-08-2016, 10:52 AM   #14
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Once they're 40, they are on their own.
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
My kids are still in the leech stage.

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Old 01-08-2016, 11:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
Once they're 40, they are on their own.

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Old 01-08-2016, 11:55 AM   #17
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I was mostly self-sustaining at 18 when I went off to college. Parents paid what they could, when they could, which wasn't much... maybe about one-third of my undergrad tuition costs and zero for grad school. I worked throughout college, no loans or financial aid of any kind.

When our 2 kids were growing up, I always told them that would be the expectation for them as well. Turns out, that's not entirely feasible, given the rate of inflation in college cost vs minimum wage. We didn't want to see them take on debt or spend 7 years going to college, but we wanted them to have some "skin in the game." So some balance was in order.

We ended up paying 100% of their tuition and fees, and about 50% of their housing. We also covered their health insurance, car insurance, and cell phones. They paid everything else via part-time and summer jobs (50% housing, all food, gas, bills, etc). Once graduated, they were 100% on their own immediately. They both graduated on time with no debt. One is a teacher and one is an electrical engineer. They both had jobs lined up well before graduating.

Both are in their mid 20s and off to a good start in terms of staying out of debt and saving regularly. They both live below their means, but are not saving at a high rate yet. I've noticed as they get raises, they tend to find ways to spend it rather than increase savings rate. They'll find their own balance over time. Either way, they're both much better off than I was at their age.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:59 PM   #18
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Every family is different on this issue and I don't think one approach will suit everyone. My daughter is 31, recently married and self sufficient. She is an intelligent, hard working young women with no sense of entitlement that I can detect. Her husband is also very hard working and intelligent. They both have good jobs and earn relatively high salaries.

We have only recently (since their wedding) stopped subsidizing their lifestyle. In particular housing costs in Toronto are exorbitant. It is also my plan to help them in the future if the need arises. We have already gifted her enough for a reasonable down payment which is paying dividends until they sell the stock to buy a house. If more is required in this regard I will consider it. She has received significant support from us up to this point including all education costs to the masters level. I will pay for the education of any grandchildren that hopefully appear. Despite all this assistance she has never asked for anything nor acts entitled. She is down to earth and realizes how lucky she is. We have an exceptional relationship in my view.

It seems less than optimal not to help them when they are young. Alternatively I can simply leave her legacy in our wills. But that seems to be too much too late.

Some might think hardship and struggle builds character? Perhaps for some, but I think this is overrated. I could certainly have used a little help early in my life, although things worked out pretty well for me eventually. Having supportive parents doesn't always result in a spoiled, entitled, dependent child although I agree it is a risk. Each child is different and the parent should act accordingly.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:35 PM   #19
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My littlest actually became self sustaining the day he turned 9 mos old. The older one did not reach that stage till 10 1/2. I have too sit down with both of them at some stage and explain the social security and the American tax system to them. They are not aware that if they don't renounce their citizenship by 18, they will have to pull that oxcart for many years.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:56 AM   #20
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Dear daughter is 24 years old. She graduated two years ago from Cal Poly with a Statistics degree and works at Juniper Networks in Silicon Valley. Ex-wife and I paid for her college. Ex-wife helped her with a down payment for a condo and paid for first year of property taxes and HOA. I paid for first two years of home insurance. I think she is finally on her own. I still pick up the cost of materials when I help her with home improvement projects (i.e. crown molding).

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