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What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 08:30 PM   #1
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What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

I have been fortunate and blessed with a decent job (FIRE last year) where I could afford to send my only child to private schools and pay for his college. He has married and turned out well, so far. This discussion came up with some friends over lunch who have raised their children (still paying for a one child going to his fourth college) and are now looking at taking in a parent as they don't want or can't stand the thought of putting her in a home. I guess I am wondering, what one does owe their children, their parents and when if ever does one get to just put it on automatic pilot and enjoy life without the worries about children and parents.

What are your financial responsibilities to your kids and your parents ?
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Very interesting question... and I am sure that I will not be in the majority...

You owe them nothing..

Now, let me explain... if you brought your kids up right, they should be out on their own earning their own way... you should not be giving them money to get out of tight spots as it will make them dependent on you.. HOWEVER, if they were to get injured and need care then that is a whole different ballgame and I would say you should help out as they are your children..

Your parents should have provided for themselves.. yes, moving in is fine, but they should have some money to help defray the costs of having them there... and again, if they have medical problems etc. that causes them to run through their money it is a different matter...

But, if either your kids or parents lived it up and did not every save (or try to save)... your on your own..
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Hopefully you were raised by loving caring parents that sent you on a responsible productive journey through life.

Hopefully you responded by being loving and caring parents that sent your own children down that same pathway.

What goes around comes around.

The term "owe" never enters the equation.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Nothing I have no relationship with my parents. And DW/I chose to not have children. We spoil our godkids,niece and nephews.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 09:44 PM   #5
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

My son will "get" half his college costs paid for by his parents. Providing he keeps his grades up. After that he is on his own with the same stipulations that Texas Proud mentioned.

Both my wife and I were brought up by single parents so we only have two parents to worry about. My mother can have whatever I have. After all the sacrifices she has made to make sure I had a roof over my head and a fullfilling childhood that's the least I could do. Now if she takes up drinking and partying all night and is broke at the end of the month, that is a different story.

Not sure if you ever get to go on autopilot, but the requirements should be reduced as your child enters adulthood. Then again, by that time your parents are getting up there in age and I guess the support just shifts from your children to your parents.

At least when people asks what do you do all day you have something to tell them. See the above discussion.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwsinron
Nothing I have no relationship with my parents.
vs.:

Quote:
My mother can have whatever I have. After all the sacrifices she has made to make sure I had a roof over my head and a fullfilling childhood that's the least I could do.
These two responses illustrate the problem with this question perfectly. Different people will have very different relationships with their children and parents. What they think they owe them will be very different as well.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-13-2006, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge
These two responses illustrate the problem with this question perfectly. Different people will have very different relationships with their children and parents. What they think they owe them will be very different as well.
I was thinking the same thing. You owe what you heart tells you is owed, and that's about as personal and individual as it gets.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 12:56 AM   #8
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

I may be in the minority with my perspective. I was raised by parents who were wealthy and could have retired but continued to work hard to build up more assets and provide more opportunities for their children. Of course, I have "trust fund" friends who do not have any work ethic and will likely be bums their entire life. But their lack of character is less a result of money they knew they had and more a result of parents who did not take any active role in their lives. I saw this play out many times. All of my friends who had both trust funds AND active parents who cared about them, loved them, and took an interest in their lives, are all very happy, successful professionals. The philosophy I have now is that my money is mine of course, but held by me in trust to open up opportunities for my children, their children, and so on down the line. I think this is how families were oriented for many hundreds of years in history. And on a personal level, this helps me LBMM to a great extent, as it makes me a very long-term thinker. As I was raised in a wealthy environment (and I was way down close to the bottom of the totem pole), I saw that life is not really fair. Wealth and connections can matter much more than brains and hard work. While I will stress the value of hard work to my kids, I want to be able to provide them the opportunities that require wealth and connections as well. One study I believe showed that 80%+ of US Senators have come from wealthy families who were able to support them while they developed a career. If my kids grow up to be ethical, successful, hard working people, then what's the harm in being able to help them buy a house? Is it necessary to make them work 80 hours a week to "earn" a house that 30 years ago would have been easily affordable. I don't think so...

And who knows what the future will hold. My parents worked at fast food places when they were teens. Every fast food place within 10 miles of where I live now is staffed by illegal immigrants or welfare-to-workers. Just because they did it, they did not want to have me doing it. In order to secure housing, health care, education, and other staples for a family, I think you have to be able and willing to provide for them financially. It is not enabling or unhealthy to be able to want to provide these things for your family.

Of course, since my parents have done so much for me, there is no limit to what I would do for them. If I had to descend into poverty in order to take care of them then that is what would happen, and I think I can honestly say that I would feel no regret or resentment towards them for it. I anticipate that as they grow older and may be unable to live completely on their own, they may want to move in with me, or into a guest house close by, and I would happily welcome them, even if it was an inconvenience to me. Isn't that what life is about? I think I am fortunate to come from a very close knit, emotionally balanced and healthy family. I know that not everyone is this fortunate.

One of my favorite movie scenes is from the Godfather 2, when Michael Corleone and his father are talking in the garden: "I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life--I don't apologize--to take care of my family, and I refused to be a fool, dancing on the string held by all those bigshots. I don't apologize--that's my life--but I thought that, that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the string. Senator Corleone; Governor Corleone. [Michael: Another pezzonovante] Well, this wasn't enough time, Michael. It wasn't enough time. [Michael: We'll get there, pop. We'll get there.]" At least for me that's part of what it means to be a family, forward progress and what not...
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 03:58 AM   #9
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Hi,
I do not feel that we "owe" as this implies that we have to make sacrifices in order to get rid of debt.

However, I hope to behave towards my parents (at least) like a fair return of what they have given to me in my early years, but I make sure that I do not neglect all my other obligations. I would probably not homecare but I would make sure that they are in a good facility and would visit regularly. I would not give money to an irresponsible parent or accept insulting treatment from them.

To my kids I owe fair participation in my lifestyle as long as they live in my house or are minors. I would not spoil them or try to make available to them what I regret not to have at their age.
I am responsible to teach them self responsibility. I am responsible to provide an adequate education - if they are able and willing to cooperate. This means I would not accept self destructive work habits.

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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 07:02 AM   #10
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Hubby and I owe ourselves financial security and stability. We worked long, hard hrs to attain what we have along with lboms.

We owe our sons our time and experiences. They are grown, on their own with good jobs and, for now, job security. If something changes and they need financial help we will provide. And, yes, we paid for their educations although it wasn't that we "owed" them...we just plain wanted to.

We also owe our parents our time. My mom is set financially, DH's parents are another story. Since they spent their money on new houses every few yrs (after they retired), new cars every few MONTHS, and casinos we don't feel we owe them financial help. They now live at poverty level when, at one time, they were financially secure for life but that's long gone. We will provide food and medicine if it comes to that but that's as far as we're willing to go.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 10:31 AM   #11
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

For kids, I say pay through college (with them contibuting as much as they can) and then your obligation is fulfilled.

Parents: That's a tough one -- I think you have to take that on a case by case basis.

My mom and sister both sold their houses together so that sister could buy a mcmansion, and have Mom move in with her (against my advice). Mom now is pretty much bedridden and needs a lot of care. She probably has about a month to go.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 11:20 AM   #12
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

had i not been gay with convertibles instead of str8 with kids, i likely would have acted similar to my brother and paid their way through college.

my ol'man once told me during one of my inappropriate adolescent fits: "you could never repay your mother for all she's done for you." more than 30 years later, he's still right.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 01:30 PM   #13
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

DH and I dont have or want children, my father died 15 years ago, i havent seen or really spoken to my mother and siblings in 5 years, DH's parents are self sufficient finanically. would I help my mother out financially if she really needed it - probably.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 02:00 PM   #14
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
For kids, I say pay through college (with them contibuting as much as they can) and then your obligation is fulfilled.

Parents: That's a tough one -- I think you have to take that on a case by case basis.*
Other than spending every Sunday with Dad after Mom succumbed to cancer, I never had to help. He was fit as a fiddle until 95 and died from complications after a fall (fell Sunday, died Wednesday). If they had needed it, I suppose I would have stepped up to the bar.

Did the same with the kids as you did. Lots of moral support and tuition but they worked and earned their living expenses. Youngest son made so much money working at The Keg during college that he kept working there for 18 months after graduation, then worked part time during his first real job to save for a new car and the downpayment on a house.
Quote:
My mom and sister both sold their houses together so that sister could buy a mcmansion, and have Mom move in with her (against my advice). Mom now is pretty much bedridden and needs a lot of care. She probably has about a month to go.
Interesting issue. How will her share of the equity in said McMansion be handled by her estate?
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 09:35 PM   #15
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

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Originally Posted by frayne
when if ever does one get to just put it on automatic pilot and enjoy life without the worries about children and parents.*
*
At the risk of sounding heartless ... after the funerals.

* *Be grateful you have parents and children to worry about.* I suspect that a couple I know would happily pay all of their son's college tuition if they could ... unfortunately the young man recently was killed in Iraq.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-14-2006, 09:53 PM   #16
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

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Originally Posted by claire
would I help my mother out financially if she really needed it - probably.
Oftentimes, as one's parents age, helping them financially becomes trickier. What's one to do if the rent-and-food money that one gives to the parents is quickly extracted by telemarketers, "helpful friends" and other scum life forms? And then there are even more complicated/sad scenarios like the one described by OldAgePensioner a few months ago*
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-15-2006, 05:53 AM   #17
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

its difficult isnt it, the issue of how far do you go, not something i really think about as we are estranged. I think it depends upon the relationship/history between the parties and the resources of the person helping.

For me personally it would be helping with a roof over head and food in the cupboards - i dont feel i owe beyond this.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-15-2006, 06:42 AM   #18
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

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Originally Posted by VoyT
At the risk of sounding heartless ... after the funerals.

* *Be grateful you have parents and children to worry about.* I suspect that a couple I know would happily pay all of their son's college tuition if they could ... unfortunately the young man recently was killed in Iraq.
Not heartless at all, excellent reality check.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-15-2006, 08:54 AM   #19
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

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Oftentimes, as one's parents age, helping them financially becomes trickier. What's one to do if the rent-and-food money that one gives to the parents is quickly extracted by telemarketers, "helpful friends" and other scum life forms?
In that case I would pay the rent and utilities directly. And drop off food weekly. As people age they turn into teenagers with money. So instead of giving them cash I would just take care of their bills. You can always find a way to tackle any situation.
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?
Old 07-15-2006, 12:21 PM   #20
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Re: What do you owe your kids, parents, and yourself ?

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Originally Posted by kcowan
Interesting issue. How will her share of the equity in said McMansion be handled by her estate?
Properties held in joint tenancy do not pass through probate.* Daughter & SIL now own Mom's share.* Very common "estate raiding...err planning" tactic used usually initially instigated by parent to ensure property passes to family not realizing the true consequences after death or potential consequences before death as when the SIL's actions cause loss of the property!
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