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Kids making a big mistake
Old 07-19-2018, 05:48 AM   #1
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Kids making a big mistake

My DW and I are concerned our kids (daughter and her husband) are about to make a mistake.
They are both in their late 20's, both collage grads with decent jobs, a house, and lots of debt. They informed us they plan on quiting their jobs, selling their house and moving out of sate and live with friends until they get settled.
I'm concerned they will "start over" with no jobs and immediately go farther in debt. My wife and I are bothered because we think they are a being a little reckless because they know our financial situation and think we can bail them out when the money gets tight.
We are 2 years from ER and are trying to accumulate as much as we can at this point, and helping support our children because of their bad decisions in not in the plan
Advice?
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:07 AM   #2
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Have to let them live their own lives. My 29yo DS and his girlfriend are selling everything and heading out for a year or more on the road in a 1973 Airstream trailer. I figure it's better for them to get it out of their system now than ten years down the road. Of course, they may still be vagabonds at that time but if that is what makes them happy....

To address your concern though, I think you should tell them that bailing them out is not part of your retirement plan and they should not be counting on it.
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jjflyman View Post
We are 2 years from ER and are trying to accumulate as much as we can at this point, and helping support our children because of their bad decisions in not in the plan
Advice?
You cannot tell adult married children what they can and cannot do. (Did your parents run your life once you were married?)

But you can make it clear that you will not be in a position to help them out financially.

Sit down with them, explain your situation. Don't criticize their plans. Don't attack them personally. Don't call their choice a mistake, unless you are specifically asked for feedback. Just make it clear that the decision is theirs, but that your financial support simply isn't available.

Tell them that you love them, that you will support them emotionally, and that you wish them well. Then hope for the best.
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:17 AM   #4
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They could be in a much better financial position than you think. Because of how my wife and I conduct ourselves, our families didnt come to realize how much money my wife and I had until our mid 30's. They still have no idea to actual numbers, but have since been able to figure out that we do extremely well and have many times the net worth that they have. We've never discussed $ with family because we're easily the biggest earners on both sides and if family knew what we made, the requests for loans and "investments in nonsense" would be never ending. I think they finally let me start picking up the dinner bill at about age 38.

Like others have said, they're married adults. I'd butt out before you have a resentful kid on your hands.
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:21 AM   #5
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I concur with previous posters.

Good luck, Jjflyman. For yourself and DD.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:08 AM   #6
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Thanks you all for some great advice. I think we will "let the chips fall where they may", and give them emotional support. Maybe it will never come to the point where they request financial help. We love them and really do wish them the best.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:12 AM   #7
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think you should tell them that bailing them out is not part of your retirement plan and they should not be counting on it.
Thats all you can do financially speaking. Then wish them all the best and make sure they keep in touch. You may enjoy the adventure (lived through them) more than you realize. It’s just life. Be thankful they’re not really destructive like being addicted to substances. That would be a lot harder to watch.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:19 AM   #8
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All of those things everyone else has said, and add one - don’t let them store their stuff in your garage
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:20 AM   #9
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You cannot tell adult married children what they can and cannot do. (Did your parents run your life once you were married?)

But you can make it clear that you will not be in a position to help them out financially.

Sit down with them, explain your situation. Don't criticize their plans. Don't attack them personally. Don't call their choice a mistake, unless you are specifically asked for feedback. Just make it clear that the decision is theirs, but that your financial support simply isn't available.

Tell them that you love them, that you will support them emotionally, and that you wish them well. Then hope for the best.
+1 Well stated.
DGF and I have 5 combined children of whom not one is a financial success yet and they know there will be no ongoing financial support from us.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:32 AM   #10
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Thanks you all for some great advice. I think we will "let the chips fall where they may", and give them emotional support. Maybe it will never come to the point where they request financial help. We love them and really do wish them the best.
Might be a good idea to let them know "as best you can" that you and your wife are planning retirement soon and you are not their piggy bank, especially if you think that may be part of their plan. Maybe a little tough love but (IMO) it would be best they hear the words and know, especially since they have good jobs now.

Most folks in their 20's have lot of debt but they don't just quit when it's hard and start over.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:42 AM   #11
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If they sell their house, is there enough equity buildup to pay off all their debts, so at least they have a better restart scenario?
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:44 AM   #12
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All of my kids know with certainty that I’m not their bank. Though they are all well aware of our wealth, they have no expectations of an inheritance. I think that’s important.

If you do want to incentivize them for good financial behavior, you might want to announce to them and give them an annual gift equal to a certain percentage of their personal income. Just a thought.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:44 AM   #13
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This is the norm now with young adults. They either want to travel and not work...or just not work and do whatever. That way they can brag to all of their friends at starbucks about how awesome they are for not working.

I understand that the younger generation value life experience over things...which is a good thing. Materialism is toxic. What else is toxic is working, saving a bunch of money...then not working again and blowing all your money. Not a good cycle to be in.

Nothing you can do as a parent...let them figure it out on their own.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:50 AM   #14
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This is the norm now with young adults. They either want to travel and not work...or just not work and do whatever. That way they can brag to all of their friends at starbucks about how awesome they are for not working.
Not the norm for any of the young adults I know. In fact, just the opposite. I find them to be hard working people looking to take on greater responsibilities and make their way in the world.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:05 AM   #15
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This is the norm now with young adults.
You really shouldn't lump all young adults in one basket.

Apparently my children don't fit your "norm".

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They either want to travel and not work...or just not work and do whatever. That way they can brag to all of their friends at starbucks about how awesome they are for not working.
It's funny that you would write this on an Early Retirement forum.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:07 AM   #16
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This is the norm now with young adults. They either want to travel and not work...or just not work and do whatever. That way they can brag to all of their friends at starbucks about how awesome they are for not working.
Your sweeping generalizations are not in fact the norm. I have a lot of young, hard working, smart engineers working for me that are grateful for the opportunity. Some have left for greener pastures, but all had a paycheck attached to it. Can't say I've had anyone quit to go hang out at starbucks.

Perhaps you got a late start at yelling at kids to stay off your lawn today.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:23 AM   #17
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If they sell their house, is there enough equity buildup to pay off all their debts, so at least they have a better restart scenario?
The Op's kids are still in their 20's, so the chances are they have little to no equity, or worse, in their house.

But the key is they are in their 20's, so now is the time to make mistakes. Plenty of years ahead to recover, and hey, maybe things won't be all bad.

All you can do is let them know you love them, even if you think they are nuts, and wish them nothing but the best (but yes you can add the disclaimer of "don't come crying to bank-of-me")
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:38 AM   #18
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I will go against the grain a bit...


I would have no problem giving them my opinion on their decision and why I thought that way.... but I would also say it is their life and if that is what they want to do then I hope it works out well for them...


In that I would say that I will not be willing to help out financially... however, that is probably not going to change their mind anyhow...


BTW, this could be the best thing to happen to them... either they get great jobs in a place they like or it is a wake up call to them to make better decisions...
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:41 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by joeea View Post
You cannot tell adult married children what they can and cannot do. (Did your parents run your life once you were married?)

But you can make it clear that you will not be in a position to help them out financially.

Sit down with them, explain your situation. Don't criticize their plans. Don't attack them personally. Don't call their choice a mistake, unless you are specifically asked for feedback. Just make it clear that the decision is theirs, but that your financial support simply isn't available.

Tell them that you love them, that you will support them emotionally, and that you wish them well. Then hope for the best.
+1 Good advice. Also +1 on the "don't let them store stuff in your garage". Don't ask why I know that Mom and Dad Storage Co. is a bad idea!
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:48 AM   #20
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Not the norm for any of the young adults I know. In fact, just the opposite. I find them to be hard working people looking to take on greater responsibilities and make their way in the world.
+1

I agree. There are differences in certain areas like loyalty to an employer, but one can argue that is a result of employer behaviors towards their parents generation.
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