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Old 02-24-2021, 07:12 PM   #21
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I *tried* to hide it. It's a little hard to hide that you're retired early, though. I think she suspects.
We didn't hide anything. We also lived below our means for many years, certainly while the kids were growing up and even the youngest observed plenty of that lifestyle. They all knew we were doing "well" but they turned out just fine, so I guess it didn't wreck them :-).

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And she recently applied to college. Both of us need to fill out some financial aid paperwork. I resisted. Tried to explain that there was zero chance she'd be eligible for need-based aid, but she was advised to submit.
Interesting word, submit. I have to say it was one my life's small pleasures to snub the whole FAFSA thing. It's none of their business.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:23 PM   #22
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I don't want to drag this too far into the FAFSA weeds, but my concern was that schools might not consider her for merit scholarships if we didn't do the paperwork. Turns out she did get several offers that included scholarships/aid, but I still can't say for sure if FAFSA helped.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:10 PM   #23
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Enjoyed your post, rodi. How'd you handle FAFSA, the kid's car and stuff like iphones if I can ask?

I hate apple products, but apparently kids need them to function.
While they were below 18 I bought inexpensive androids or paid 1/2 if the cost of better androids. Older son just bought an outrageously expensive i-phone and got quite an earful about what a waste of money it was from his parents But it was his money and he's 20.

FAFSA... Filled it out. Older son was offered loans. Younger son is in the college acceptance process and financial aid hasn't been offered yet. If he gets anything it will be merit based but we have 529s so it's ok if he doesn't.

I pay for gas and insurance on the beater truck that we own but they use. It is part is the deal since we're charge older son rent.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:11 PM   #24
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My son has always been the one we worry about financially. He tends toward lazy, so we’ve not told him anything, other than the fact that we are retired. My daughter has always been more of a go getter, and we took her aside one day and gave her some basics so she’d know what she needed to know in case of our early demise (we’re still pretty young at 59). She hasn’t mentioned it since, but sometimes her attitude is a little off-putting...like she doesnt feel like she needs to save because she sees an eventual inheritance. So, telling her as much as we did may have been a mistake. I would not share much with the younger kids, and even with the adult children, caution is advised.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:53 AM   #25
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Enjoyed your post, rodi. How'd you handle FAFSA, the kid's car and stuff like iphones if I can ask?

I hate apple products, but apparently kids need them to function.
Android phones work well, I've never had an apple product, but have used them at work.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:12 AM   #26
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I agree with those who’ve said they spend to the extent their kids feel as safe and secure as possible, but they don’t need to know you could afford better homes, cars, etc. - as long as you make sure they’re in good schools.

I suspect this is preaching to the choir for the OP so FWIW.

The examples you set are much more important than what you tell them anyway IME. I’ve known parents who say one thing and do another with their kids and then wonder why the kids don’t listen to what they’re told.

My parents put a high priority on grades and doing well in school.

Both our parents were careful with their money, and we saw that everyday - and they definitely didn’t let us think we could have whatever we wanted (even though we know now they could’ve easily afforded much more). They didn’t waste things either, ever.

They taught us personal finance all our years growing up. We had allowances (do parents even do that anymore), and it meant something - if we wanted something non essential we had to save for it ourselves. DW and I really avoided debt most of our adult lives. Last car we financed was 1982. We paid off our (modest) home 30 year loan in 15 years. All because that’s what our parents ingrained in us.

They made us do chores all our years growing up, even though they could’ve hired the work out.

My Dad fixed things whenever possible, instead of throwing things out and buying new - and he had me at his side teaching me every time. I still take great pride in figuring out how to fix things around the house (it’s much easier now with YouTube). My tools are among my most prized possessions.

I could go on and on, but kids are smart and they follow your consistent example much more than what you say...
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:50 AM   #27
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We have not told our sons the details, but they know I have saved a lot, RE'd at 57, we travel extensively, remodel the house, etc.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:15 AM   #28
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Our children participated with us becoming debt free, and then in a debt free scream to DR back in 2002. We became transparent with the bad decisions that we made previously, and the change that we made later.

As we changed our lifestyle to LBYM, they recognized it. They are both now LBYM, daughter more than son...But it is a life long lesson.

We share when we hit major $ milestones, and they are happy with us. Daughter is mapping our her plan to save and retire early - before she even began working! She converted her boyfriend (now married).

It was a little uncomfortable the beginning - but it was in the light of education and how things work out. Not in the sense of bragging or precocious, etc.

They regularly seek out our counsel and want to LBYM, and do FIRE. They'll beat us, as we were NORMAL for the 1st 10 years of working!
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:19 AM   #29
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Our children participated with us becoming debt free, and then in a debt free scream to DR back in 2002. We became transparent with the bad decisions that we made previously, and the change that we made later.

As we changed our lifestyle to LBYM, they recognized it. They are both now LBYM, daughter more than son...But it is a life long lesson.

We share when we hit major $ milestones, and they are happy with us. Daughter is mapping our her plan to save and retire early - before she even began working! She converted her boyfriend (now married).

It was a little uncomfortable the beginning - but it was in the light of education and how things work out. Not in the sense of bragging or precocious, etc.

They regularly seek out our counsel and want to LBYM, and do FIRE. They'll beat us, as we were NORMAL for the 1st 10 years of working!
That's awesome! When they were little I made my kids listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts in the car (captive audience). We had the most interesting discussions about debit, how credit cards work, etc
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:20 AM   #30
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As young children the kids were aware that we did not have more than the local average income. This meant they did without in some cases.

When they developed in their first jobs and saw how difficult things could be, they asked for advice. I used those opportunities to reveal more and more of our details. Over the next 5-10 years we grew closer, and each of us knows the entire financial story.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:22 AM   #31
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The kids' school environment was very important to us. We selected a public grade school where we liked the principal and teachers. When they got to middle school age, we no longer had that option. In the first parent/teacher meeting, the teachers made it quite clear that parents were not welcome in "their" school. We moved our daughter to a private school and they remained in private schools through high school. This was quite a change for the kids, but I think they learned a lot from it. In today's education environment I would make sure I had some agreement with the education provided by the public schools and have the resources to go elsewhere if not. Private school certainly lets your children know that your family has money, but our kids still drove an old, beater car and had parents who were careful with their money and we did not do fancy vacations or own boats, etc.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:34 AM   #32
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interesting word, submit. I have to say it was one my life's small pleasures to snub the whole fafsa thing. It's none of their business.
😂
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:47 AM   #33
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First generation wealth here too... I worked since I was in my early teens and was never embarrassed of having a few extra bucks... I didn't wave a flag either, unless you consider living in a nice house or driving expensive cars is waving a flag. If so, too bad... I raised my family the same way. I live "within my means" but certainly not below it. I did make an extra effort to teach/explain/impress upon my DD, when she was in her teens, what it takes to live like we do....
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:53 AM   #34
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We moved our oldest son to a private school after he had some issues at the public school. It was not his idea and he wasn't happy about it. In one of the conversations he said he was going to hate it because his classmates were going to be a bunch of rich jerks. I laughed and said, "honey, you know we ARE the rich people, right?". He glared at me and said, "But we don't ACT rich." I thought he was exaggerating till I ended up in the car line behind a Maserati.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:03 AM   #35
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We lived in a middle class suburban neighborhood - simple house and decent utility cars. We took vacations when the kids were growing up and had opportunities to stay at nice hotels, ate out regularly, etc. They wanted for nothing important and although they saw some friends had bigger fancier houses they never really demonstrated a material or acquisitive streak. The first big impression they got that we were better off than most was coming out of private college with no student debt which made an important impression when they talked to their friends and they are eternally grateful. When they were older I did talk with them about paying yourself first, saving for the future, and using debt responsibly and it seems to have gotten through. Now that they are grown one is very successful by their own efforts (wants to be able to provide for their family what they got) and the other lives modestly LBYM and is happy and self motivated. We are generous and gift them now and then but there is no expectation or feeling of quid pro quo. They know we have resources but the prospect of any inheritance does not seem to have impacted their life plans (of course I HAVE told them that I plan to live to be 100!). Just luck of the draw I guess
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:14 AM   #36
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I agree with those who’ve said they spend to the extent their kids feel as safe and secure as possible, but they don’t need to know you could afford better homes, cars, etc. - as long as you make sure they’re in good schools.

I suspect this is preaching to the choir for the OP so FWIW.

The examples you set are much more important than what you tell them anyway IME. I’ve known parents who say one thing and do another with their kids and then wonder why the kids don’t listen to what they’re told.

My parents put a high priority on grades and doing well in school.

Both our parents were careful with their money, and we saw that everyday - and they definitely didn’t let us think we could have whatever we wanted (even though we know now they could’ve easily afforded much more). They didn’t waste things either, ever.

They taught us personal finance all our years growing up. We had allowances (do parents even do that anymore), and it meant something - if we wanted something non essential we had to save for it ourselves. DW and I really avoided debt most of our adult lives. Last car we financed was 1982. We paid off our (modest) home 30 year loan in 15 years. All because that’s what our parents ingrained in us.

They made us do chores all our years growing up, even though they could’ve hired the work out.

My Dad fixed things whenever possible, instead of throwing things out and buying new - and he had me at his side teaching me every time. I still take great pride in figuring out how to fix things around the house (it’s much easier now with YouTube). My tools are among my most prized possessions.

I could go on and on, but kids are smart and they follow your consistent example much more than what you say...
We’re in the same boat as the OP, but bought the big house in the nice neighborhood. Our kids are 5 and 3, so it’s still TBD on how it will impact them. But we follow much of MidPack’s advice.

I fix everything I can, we have nice, running cars, but aren’t buying the crazy sports cars many of our neighbors have, etc. We spend our money on quality things for the home, but not on lots of junk. They don’t have all of the crazy toys etc...

Right now they go to a private school that attracts a lot of kids from diverse but mostly middle class backgrounds. Most are going there because their local schools aren’t great. Next year they’ll transition to the local public schools.

We talk a lot about the value of money and the cost of things and the trade offs involved. I comparison shop like crazy and we buy a lot of things used.

We’ll see what the teenage years bring. When I see some of the teenagers in our neighborhood it worries me, but there are others here who are amazing human beings.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:48 AM   #37
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I think you should live the way you want, and educate your kids to understand what's going on. IMHO many parents don't give their children enough credit for intelligence, so they make up scenarios that the young ones see through easily. Just be honest and straightforward about what you're doing and why.


Seems wise. Bill Gates’ father was a highly successful Seattle attorney and Warren Buffett’s father was a four term congressman and business person, so I’m not sure there’s a clear correlation to find between parents’ finances and their kids’ “drive.”
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:07 AM   #38
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Android phones work well, I've never had an apple product, but have used them at work.
I tried logic. Functionality, price/performance, Apple's anti-competitive behavior, and the way they lock you into various "ecosystems."

Peer pressure > logic. Somewhat age-dependent equation.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:48 PM   #39
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We didn't hide it, but we didn't talk much about it either. There were only a couple of times she probably really picked up on it. We rewarded her with a car at graduation, then we paid cash for first 2 years of college, then gave her a budget to get married. The biggest was probably when she mentioned to us that living without credit had hurt her & hubby in getting a home loan...we rewarded them for being debt free with loaning them a home loan with no closing cost, of course. Not that we're oober wealthy, but we're comfortable...

We're all learning and recently she mentioned opening a SEP 401k (she heard that I opened one) for her hubby's side-gig...we're all better for learning from each other.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:15 PM   #40
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Kids? Heck, I still haven't told my wife. She thinks I'm laid off.
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