Financial relationships between parents and children (and other family members)

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,534
#1
What is your view on the "money question" in family circles..

  • Should parents support their children indefinitely
  • Should they support them until some point (age 18? 21? 25? until they get their first job? or other point in life?)
  • Should children support their parents indefinitely ? After retirement ?
  • What about other family members (brothers, grand children etc...) ?

How should such relationships be structured ?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,534
#2
Just a small story

About a year into my first job a new guy came in.... he was remarkably candid about money

He did shock us by telling us that he was lending money to his relatives , with interest... he was quite proud that this interest was significantly above the interest he was getting on his bank deposits , so for him it was good business.... But, his argument was, this interest was still lower than what they would get from a bank, so it was a win win....
 
Oct 2012
410
#3
What is your view on the "money question" in family circles..

  • Should parents support their children indefinitely
  • Should they support them until some point (age 18? 21? 25? until they get their first job? or other point in life?)
  • Should children support their parents indefinitely ? After retirement ?
  • What about other family members (brothers, grand children etc...) ?

How should such relationships be structured ?
I think you should help out your familiy members if they are in need and you can afford it. Charging intrest from your family makes you an a..hole.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,534
#4
I think you should help out your familiy members if they are in need and you can afford it. Charging intrest from your family makes you an a..hole.
But then how is that different from friends ?..... I mean should not family members be more of an immediate concern ?

As for the second part, to be the devil's advocate, there is some validity in that guy's point of view in that -if there is high inflation- by not charging interest you are in fact making a gift not a loan..... Which is fine, but then money should be given, and not lent....
 
Jun 2017
2,501
Connecticut
#5
Context is needed. I'm generally of the viewpoint that kids are your responsibility because you chose to have them and they didn't choose to exist and unless you have valid reasons for not supporting them that they are entitled to some degree of support depending on the circumstances.

1.Depends on the context, generally yes.
2. I am very distrustful of the whole "personal responsibility" arguments linked with "getting a job"(which I see as corporate propaganda) and financial independence because these things are much more difficult for modern children to attain than it was for their parents to so naturally children should be given far more leeway than their parents were given when these goals were considerably much more reasonable to expect because these goals . Then again children are also more difficult to support because things are more expensive, so this could be a two way street, so I'd say this is also a means question if the parents have less money then this changes, also maybe based on the relationship this changes?
3.Depends on the context, generally yes. Again depends on the means of the two parties, if parents have more money(which is likely given how much better off the previous generation was) then no they shouldn't expect support(and I don't think they'd ask), if the opposite is true, yes they probably should. Given the price of relevant healthcare barring some changes in our medical system, children should chip in if they are able because these costs are reaching a point where it's getting harder and harder to see situations where that sort of thing is affordable even for quite wealthy people(even short term costs can quite easily hit 7 figures and anyone is going to have a difficult time taking that sort of hit). Anyone having to foot the bill here though I see as a moral outrage but we have to play with the hand we are given sadly.
4.Depends on the quality of the relationship, as here no one is responsible for other party's existence vice e versa(grandparents I guess are indirectly choosing to have kids isn't choosing to have grandkids?). I agree with Lalli that charging interest makes you an a..hole, shouldn't try to make a profit off of family members but I would be more inclined to see a situation where a family member asks for money as them being unreasonable where with parents and children, I'd take a "you should have thought of this before you decided to have kids" kind of deal. But yeah wouldn't see financial assistance as an inherent responsibility here but it's still a nice thing to do if one has the means. Depending on how close relatives are, it could be seen as an obligation IMO but that is based on the context of a situation and is by no means inherent.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,534
#6
Context is needed. I'm generally of the viewpoint that kids are your responsibility because you chose to have them and they didn't choose to exist and unless you have valid reasons for not supporting them that they are entitled to some degree of support depending on the circumstances.

1.Depends on the context, generally yes.
2. I am very distrustful of the whole "personal responsibility" arguments linked with "getting a job"(which I see as corporate propaganda) and financial independence because these things are much more difficult for modern children to attain than it was for their parents to so naturally children should be given far more leeway than their parents were given when these goals were considerably much more reasonable to expect because these goals . Then again children are also more difficult to support because things are more expensive, so this could be a two way street, so I'd say this is also a means question if the parents have less money then this changes, also maybe based on the relationship this changes?
3.Depends on the context, generally yes. Again depends on the means of the two parties, if parents have more money(which is likely given how much better off the previous generation was) then no they shouldn't expect support(and I don't think they'd ask), if the opposite is true, yes they probably should. Given the price of relevant healthcare barring some changes in our medical system, children should chip in if they are able because these costs are reaching a point where it's getting harder and harder to see situations where that sort of thing is affordable even for quite wealthy people(even short term costs can quite easily hit 7 figures and anyone is going to have a difficult time taking that sort of hit). Anyone having to foot the bill here though I see as a moral outrage but we have to play with the hand we are given sadly.
4.Depends on the quality of the relationship, as here no one is responsible for other party's existence vice e versa(grandparents I guess are indirectly choosing to have kids isn't choosing to have grandkids?). I agree with Lalli that charging interest makes you an a..hole, shouldn't try to make a profit off of family members but I would be more inclined to see a situation where a family member asks for money as them being unreasonable where with parents and children, I'd take a "you should have thought of this before you decided to have kids" kind of deal. But yeah wouldn't see financial assistance as an inherent responsibility here but it's still a nice thing to do if one has the means. Depending on how close relatives are, it could be seen as an obligation IMO but that is based on the context of a situation and is by no means inherent.
On your first point, while "you choose to have kids" there is another popular arguments that "your parents have made so many sacrifices for you, its time to pay back".... I had a chinese acquaintance (female) who had started working at age 4 (sewing and doing other stuff)... this was normal in HongKong

I agree that there are different contexts.. For example , for families rising out of poverty (this is especially true in developping countries) its children who would be much wealthier than parents...
 
Last edited:
Feb 2017
172
Canada
#7
Yea, depends on your discretion and relationship with the person.

As far as kids go, though, it's your role to raise them to be independent. If they aren't able to be independent when they reach adulthood, that's on you. You can stop supporting them if you want, but need to be prepared to suffer any consequences from doing so.
 
Likes: Rodger

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,243
US
#8
In an ideal world my children would be able to support themselves once they have finished their studies, preferably college or a trade school, which I would help pay for, but not exclusively. I have co-workers who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from parental loans for their children to attend expensive universities. One in particular has shared that her daughter and and husband are making money hand over fist but have never offered to pick up the loan she took out for her daughter to attend the university. That is just plain wrong. I had to fund my entire education, working full time while going to school. It was difficult but I watched other students just party and not study as they told me that it didn't matter to them as their parents were paying entirely for their school, so the intended to milk the free ride as long as they could. I would have never done that to my parents. Now, once an adult, I am quick and generous to give money and other support to my grown children. They are my children after all and I was raised to be caring and generous to my family and others. For me, family is everything. My one daughter had to move back home after some difficulties. I won't ask her for rent until she gets back into a position to do so. I would never charge interest to a family member. That to me defies the definition of family.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,243
US
#9
Yea, depends on your discretion and relationship with the person.

As far as kids go, though, it's your role to raise them to be independent. If they aren't able to be independent when they reach adulthood, that's on you. You can stop supporting them if you want, but need to be prepared to suffer any consequences from doing so.
Exactly. While it isn't ideal for an adult child to live with their parents, the other option is to kick her out. How would you feel if she then ended up living in an environment that includes domestic abuse, drug use, a dangerous neighborhood or even living out of their car or homeless?
 
#10
Parents have to show consistency in financially supporting all their children; I've heard and seen countless examples of one child receiving too much support causing resentment amongst the other siblings. Sounds like "why does he/she get all this help while I work my arse off & get nothing in return? I pay my taxes just to subsidise your laziness" e.t.c.

The family member's character also comes into play. I'm not lending an inveterate gambler money just because we're related, nobody gains anything from that loan.
 

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