“富不过三代 (fu bu guo san dai) = Wealth does not go beyond three generations”- Chinese proverb. Let's look at how to create multi-generational financial security.
We humans are selfish, especially when it comes to money. Given the past 20 years has been pretty volatile in the financial world, it's hard to know exactly when our money will run out. Exacerbating the situation further is we also don't know when we'll die. This is why I've proposed everyone retire by a certain age, rather than by a certain figure.
The end result of uncertainty is that we hoard as much wealth as possible and die with plenty left over. What a waste! A good goal is to try and amass roughly $5.43 million per person before we die and give away or spend the rest while living. As you've already paid taxes on your income while living, getting taxed roughly half your assets upon death seems outrageous.
I've come up with a way to develop more financial security for generations to come. It first takes a leap of faith from people with retired parents, but I know this can be done.
CREATING MULTI-GENERATIONAL FINANCIAL SECURITY
Here are some truths:
* Our parents will probably die before us.
* If we max out our pre-tax retirement accounts and save an additional 20% or more in after-tax accounts, while living below our means, we'll more than likely end up with money left over when we die.
* People who work have more earning power than people who are retired.
* We should take care of our parents when they are old because they took care of us for 18-25 years when we were young.
* What goes around, comes around.
Transferring Wealth To The Next Generation
One of the greatest fears any retiree faces is the fear of running out of money. When we retire, we put our income generation at the mercy of the markets if we haven't developed passive income streams.
Think about all the retirees who got screwed during the financial crisis, or when the Federal Reserve started aggressively cutting interest rates since 2000. The income they thought they'd earn dissipated.
It took me a year longer than I wanted to negotiate a severance. At age 33, I had passive income of around $80,000 a year. $80,000 may sound OK for a single person, but if I were to have to support a spouse or a family, things would be very tight living in San Francisco where two bedroom apartments regularly cost $4,000 a month.
My fear of running out of money made me linger on for one more bonus cycle.
What if we could eradicate the fear of running out of money? I think there would be many more people following their dreams, leaving jobs they hate, and doing more productive things to help society. There'd probably be less hatred and unhappiness as well.
How To Create Multi-Generational Financial Freedom And Security
1) Adult children pledge to give all excess funds to their parents to spend in their retirement as they wish. To figure out an estimate of the excess funds, adult children and parents will first have an open conversation about their respective budgets and financial situations. There are probably plenty of parents who are cash-strapped, but too embarrassed to ask their children for financial help. This open conversation helps address this problem.
2) The current annual gift tax exclusion amount for 2023 is $17,000. The gift tax exclusion amount will stay the same or increase by $1,000 every two years if history is any guide. This means that an individual can gift $14,000 per parent if they are both still alive. Given most adult children probably don't have in excess of $28,000 a year to give to their parents, most of us won't have to keep track of our gifts for tax purposes.
3) If you're loaded with excess cash and want to give more than $17,000 per parent without paying extra taxes, then you can pay for your parents' expenses directly. For example, you can pay your parents' medical and dental bills.
You can also pay for their vacations, property taxes, and car maintenance expenses. If they have all their expenses paid for, and have an extra $17,000 a year in cash + Social Security benefits, life should be pretty good!
This strategy helps with gaming the college financial aid system, as it reduces your assets outside your retirement accounts.
4) The final pledge is made in the will by the parents to leave all remaining assets with their children upon death. A lot of retirees tend to be asset heavy, but cash poor because they no longer work. Assuming the parents were fiscally responsible by not spending more than their income in retirement, adult children should be able to inherit sizable assets. As already mentioned, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.34 million per individual, $10.68 million per married couple.
Maximize Your Wealth While Still Alive
With this solution, we are better maximizing our money during times of need. I've got funds just sitting in multiple accounts trying to make money. Yet, I don't spend 50%+ of what I make each month. Instead of hoarding cash or investing my money, what if I could just let my parents utilize the excess funds as they wish to live a maximum life? There's no point in both of us not consuming money at an optimal level!
If a parent is financially secure, then the parent can politely reject the offer from their kids. If the parent is in need of financial assistance, of course we should do all we can to make our parents' lives as comfortable as possible with the money we have. It's our duty.
The tricky situation is when we have financially irresponsible parents. Then, it's best we don't relinquish control of our money to our parents, but just help them out by paying their expenses.
I keep telling my parents to live it up a little with the money they've saved. Frugal habits die hard, but I've slowly gotten them to spend money on nice dinners and cruises.
They are realizing that despite spending more money than normal, they'll be OK. Despite both of them having pensions for working over 30 years, they have frugal habits that make them continue to save.
Thankfully, they are regularly contribution to both my children's 529 plans for generational wealth transfer purposes.
As long as there is a regular flow of money to where it's most needed, I think we can improve the lives of everyone we care about. The biggest snafu is once again the government, and its rules of what we can and can't give our loved ones because of estate tax consequences.
It should make us happy that we can financially give back to our parents. Parents will probably be more than happy to pass on their assets to their children as well if their children have shown so much financial generosity. Accumulating generational wealth helps ease a parent's anxiety after they are gone.
Each case will be a little different in terms of how much to give, but the goal is the same. To allocate money to where it can be best utilized.
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Multi-generational financial security is a FS original post.
53 thoughts on “How To Create Multi-Generational Financial Security”
Wow, there are a ton of complexities you didn’t get into. First if there are multiple kids then there will likely be multiple amounts of spare money. In my case my son and his wife will be making well over one million per year within five years from now, maybe two million. But my daughters are in much lower paid jobs and probably would struggle to have much of anything to give me. So if the kids give disparately then what, the parents keep some complex spread sheet tallying who gave what and then that is trued up when we die? Or say I die and sweet wife remarries some guy with ten kids who didn’t contribute at all. Are my kids supposed to support new guy in the style to which I was accustomed? Also while you say you can pay parents expenses directly and avoid the gift tax that is only true for some medical and educational expenses. Utilities, rent, groceries, etc. all add into that same $14,000 max. You might sneak by if you don’t report them but you would be committing a federal felony crime if the total exceeds $14,000. And then of course, if you have financially prudent parents, parents like me and spouse, I’m in far better financial shape than any of my kids. I’m retired and my net worth increases every day because while I live well I still can’t begin to spend what my investments and side gigs are earning. It would be ridiculous for my kids who aren’t yet rich to send me money. If anything I may need to start sending it to them to stay below that Federal inheritance tax limit.
Check out: Everything You Want To Know About Revocable Living Trusts
My readings suggest that half of baby boomers will never receive a significant inheritance.
At my minimum wage workplace, I have a 70-year-old co-worker who can’t afford to retire.
I think this is a great idea, and I’d even open up your scheme to non-relatives. I think it runs smoothest when both the older and younger generations share a common philosophy with respect to what are reasonable expenses and savings rates. In my family, my reference frames are firmly anchored by my upbringing so they pretty much mirror the values of my parents. But I have siblings who have quite different ideas, and for them, I’d say a scheme like yours still could work, but they’d have to ‘adopt’ compatible elders. Another issue would be in ‘mixed marriages’ where the pair in either generation have wildly divergent attitudes towards money– in such a case your idea could accelerate a divorce!
I developed a similar scheme aimed at the opposite end of the time horizon. My nephew is attending college using a ‘family student loan’ that I am funding. The deal is after he graduates, he has the option to pay off this loan by contributing to his 401k plan (only his dollars count, not his employer match). This means he gets to choose whom to repay– either me or his future self. What’s in in for me is that if he fast-tracks into financial independence and early retirement, I’ll have someone to watch over me until he gets the rest of the pile when I’m gone. My bet is that my nudge will put him on the right path early on, but of course if he marries wrong, it may be for naught.
Sam, I like your novel approach to things. Maximizing money during times of need with your parents makes a lot of sense on an intellectual level. Having said that, I think most people would have a difficult time practicing this unless the parents and children are completely in sync with their views of money (which I don’t believe is often).
I know for my own Dad, he wouldn’t want to accept money from me simply because of old fashioned pride of being the paternal provider. Additionally, he lives a simple lifestyle that doesn’t require a large cash outlay, even though I’d love to see him live it up a bit more!
Although my Mom isn’t around now, I would have taken an opposite approach with her because she loved buying “things”. So while I’d definitely help out with essential living costs, I’d be hard pressed to provide any extra discretionary income that would simply fly out the window because it would drive me nuts!
Good point Michael. You touch upon a potentially big problem: the lack of open financial communication with parents and their adult children.
I want to encourage anybody reading this post to have that financial talk with their parents. Adult children can ask easy questions like:
* How are things going?
* Is there anything I can help you with?
* Any major upcoming expenses I can help you with.
* Is anything bothering you?
The goal is to simply help facilitate the best possible life for our parents. Pretty simple goal. And perhaps, it will be our turn to have thoughtful children when we are old.
I’m late to this post, but commenting anyway.
Kudos to you Sam for being so passionate about supporting your parents, especially coming from a “son” (male).
Personally, I think it might be somewhat of a cultural thing … that asian children feel a sense of duty to provide whatever support needed by the parents, regardless whether they ask for help or not. My parents raised a very large family, primarily on one full-time income, by a father who was “not allowed” to get educated past middle school … but somehow managed to buy a house, raise many children (all of whom went to college on their own dime — scholarships, loans, part time jobs, top ramen on a daily basis — basically, whatever it took to survive and graduate college). I’m very fortunate in that I have an awesome spouse, who has allowed me to provide some form of financial support for my parents for the past 25 years, without squawking. My sister feels exactly the same as me, and also has a very supportive spouse who lets her provide financial, emotional, and physical support to our parents too. She’s been providing support to them for ~ 15 years.
We’re fortunate to have the financial means to help them, so it is an easy decision. But I know we would help them even if we weren’t as financially independent as we are.
The rest of my siblings are not able to help our parents, but that is OK too. I feel like my parents worked hard, and provided tremendous opportunities for me and my siblings to go to college, improve our living situations (better than theirs), to have good values instilled in us, to raise our children to respect their elders, family first, and that doing well in school and working hard will pay off. And it has for all of us!
Yes we are the “sandwich generation” and I wouldn’t change anything about it. I know my parents appreciate our support, and my children will be fine as we’ll pass on generational wealth (but they don’t know it cause we’re practicing stealth wealth). I feel truly lucky that I was raised right, and the results of their raising me with strong cultural values, has paid off in many more ways than $$$.
So I say: Keep up the great work with your blog, you’re a very good son, and your parents must be very proud of you.
Devil’s advocate here. Would you help someone you don’t like?
This is a fascinating cultural phenomenon that Asians at home and now in U.S/west civ. continue to participate in. I personally do not believe that because my parents chose to make me, that I’m then obliged to care for or assist them or others in their generation. Nor is my daughter, simply because I brought her into the world, obliged to use her life to care for me and my wife. She doesn’t owe me anything. Life is short. I’d prefer not to get onto any cultural/ritualistic hampster wheels that redirect my time and resources from me deepening my own experiences. I don’t buy the logic that because you came before me you are entitled to my time and attention and I am indebted to you. That being said, the abundant wealth in my life, some certainly due to my affluent upbringing, top notch education etc..may just allow me the free time and self confidence to think that I am an island and I am obliged to no one! Were things different and were I destitute or sickly, I would surely be grateful if my daughter were there to help me out..
I don’t think your daughter would want to take care of you either I’d you don’t feel it necessary to take care of your parents. Makes sense right?
The upside is, if nobody gives a crap about our parents, we should all be much more financially secure because we can’t depend on the help from our children.
We’re on our own!
while i’ve generally enjoyed reading this blog, I’ve always found some selections of the advice out of touch with my (20-something) reality of wanting kids in the future. Sam, I know you have parents and a sibling… and maybe a girlfriend but do you actually have or genuinely want children? You seem to make a lot of decisions as you and your money vs you+spouse+child(ren)/future child(ren).
Also, I love my parents and will help if they need but as they’re retiring early I presume they have a plan. It would be better for them to enjoy their own money because otherwise I’d owe inheritance taxes because inheritance is generally only tax free between spouses not to children… So your plan involves gift free taxing up to inherit later down the generations with tax implications of estate (some states) and inheritance (many states)? that doesn’t make sense. but offering to help them because they need it, even as far as moving in with you does
Just to clarify, are you saying this post is not enjoyable because it tries to figure out a way to optimize capital while simultaneously helping parents who may be in need of financial support, but are too embarrassed or proud to accept assistance?
It might be helpful to focus on 20-something blogs that are more focused on helping themselves than helping others. And this is fine. Because once we get ourselves right, we can do a lot more good. But then again, reading financial advice from 20-something year olds is limited to 20-something year old experiences.
I have enjoyed reading your blog for some time. I’m 33 and married with 3 kids. I just wanted to point out that having kids is not something you do because you are focused on yourself! Sure, you have kids because you want them, but it’s also a gift to the extended family and the world. Helping my parents or in-laws financially is not really within reach for us right now because of the kids (and my resulting part-time working status). That said, if it was really needed, we would take of whoever needed help. Something not mentioned above that commonly comes up for people with kids is that the grandparents can provide a much needed service of childcare (way more important than money that may be inherited later), in exchange for living with the family or an apartment/expenses.
I disagree that I have a duty to take care of my parents. They are divorced and my father is remarried. While I don’t worry about him being okay financially, my mother is a different story.
My mother was physically and emotionally abuse towards me growing up and has been enabled her whole life by her mother. If I gave her any money, she would just spend it on stupid crap or pot. She’s lucky my grandmother has set her up to be financially comfortable now and after she’s gone.
I disagree that I have a duty to take care of my parents. They are divorced and my father is remarried. While I don’t worry about him being okay financially, my mother is a different story.
My mother was physically and emotionally abuse towards me growing up and has been enabled her whole life by her mother. If I gave her any money, she would just spend it on stupid crap or pot. She’s lucky my grandmother has set up her to be financially comfortable now and after she’s gone.
Interesting ideas here, although I’m not sure I completely agree with you on this one. If you have a ton of extra cash I think it would be a nice thing to do to give parents some extra cash, but I also think it would be a nice thing to do to give it to folks who need the money a lot more than your parents might. Thanks for the post – interesting to think about. Do you think if you had kids your article would be written a bit differently — would you potentially write about spending that extra cash on those kids (i.e., education, sports, etc.)?
Great website overall! Very inspiring.
I provide a fairly significant amount of financial assistance to both my and my wife’s parents. On one side it’s mainly cash, on the other it’s primarily material gifts outside of money. I would estimate that it accounts for 60% and 20% of their income respectively. Probably will cause me to retire a couple years later than I could have, but it’s important for them to be able to live relatively comfortably too.
Also, in regard to the probate/estate discussion, I would mention the irrevocable living trust. No probate, no will squabbles, far less problems imo.
I will have to write about the irrevocable living trust! Thx for bringing it up.
I feel like many working people are squeezed trying to support aging boomer parents that didn’t manage money well and supporting kids in a world of rising costs and stagnant wages. Boomers being a large voting block have voted themselves very nice public benefits that will likely be reduced when we grow old.
Sadly my parents still make more than me even though they are retired.
You should be happy! It means you won’t have to financially support them and you will probably inherit something.
I know right! They have been super role models and push me far to do the same for my kids. They always advice me financially and though it irks me I need them.
I appreciate everything my parents have done for me and they know that. They also won’t accept a dollar from me, they won’t let me pay for a dinner let alone a family vacation. We have discussed this openly and their sentiment is simply such that as an Adult my duty is now to take care of my family and my kids first and foremost. This means not just financially but also to make time to be there as a mentor, friend, tutor, coach etc.
Support can be given in many ways, not just financially. Its hard to explain but I just don’t think my parents would feel happy about themselves accepting money from their children. What they do appreciate is my wife and I coordinating to make sure all family members on both sides get time with the grandchildren throughout the year and holidays. This is all they ask for and we make it work.
Yes, it makes things easy that financially they have done well, and this is attributed to their work ethic and savings ethic which has been passed down to my sister and I and hopefully down to our children. If my situation was different, perhaps my sentiment to this subject would be as well.
However, if your parents have saved, lived within their means and have a secure retirement with savings to pass down, isn’t this simply a cash flow exercise? If yes, what is the point other than self gratification?
Not sure anybody will argue with the belief there’s no need to financially take care of financially independent parents.
This post is about helping those parents who may be struggling, but don’t let their adult kids know. For both sides to start a conversation. And for capital to be optimized in the best way possible, instead of being left doing nothing.
“When you’re young, you can live on love. But when you grow old, bring money!” – Jane Bryant Quinn
FS, my takeaway from this is 1) you are thinking of returning to the work force?!?!!; and 2) don’t your folks have a paid-off home in Hawaii, plus a paid-off home for you from your grandparents, plus two sweet government pensions with healthcare, plus their savings? Come on! It is almost as if you are trying to soften them up for upcoming grandkids!:-)
btw, you often talk about a ‘passive-income’ amount, i.e. $80K when you retired, or $200K as a current goal. Does this include a house payment, for most the biggest expense? A mortgage on the ideal amount of $1,000,000 winds up at about $50K/yr, so the income-less-housing amount in your calculation would be useful.
“What’s love got to do with it?” -Tina Turner
I’m thinking things are going to start getting dicey over the next 24 months, so it’s beating build up reserves and earnings power now before they disappear.
My ideal expense per person in SF is $100,000 after tax. $200,000 is $140-160k after taxes, hence my goal.
Winter is coming.
The breakdown in this idea is that there’s an exchange taking place: kids giving money to parents, and parents leaving their assets to the children.
But are there parents who AREN’T leaving their assets to their children already? Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve always assumed that this was a given. Doesn’t apply to the mega-rich, who will leave a bunch of money to schools, hospitals, etc……but I don’t think we are talking about them anyway.
If you follow the assumption that assets are already going to the kids, then all this really means is that kids are paying for their parents’s retirements. If you feel there is a duty to do this anyway, there’s no problem. If you’ll only engage in this idea in exchange for the assets later…..you’re going to get them anyway, so why do you care?
The biggest value here is forcing the conversation between family members and planning things together. If this framework drives more of those conversations, it has value. But I’m not really sold on it overall; you can get to the same place by just pushing people to have a financial/retirement talk with their parents.
Check out: The Average Inheritance Amounts By Country
A conversation is key.
This is a great idea, but I don’t see how it would be possible for most unless you are way above average. If you are married, then you would presumably have four adult dependents to be responsible for, because taking care of one set of parents and disregarding the other is simply not fair. This does not include the financial responsibility of your own needs as well as two children until age 18. Presuming you have children. That’s a whole lot of pressure! I am in my late 20s and plan to stay at home to raise my children (one on the way, and hopefully have one more) so this pressure would rest solely on my husband until I go back into the workforce. It is a very interesting topic.
Great pressure creates beautiful diamonds.
I’m fine with supporting my parents but any conflict between my family’s needs and my parents’ needs would have to be addressed as they arise.
One annoyance with your model is the probate process. Even though there’s a $5M exemption for estate tax, some states, like California, allow lawyers to charge a percentage of the estate for probate fees. No point losing money through the inheritance process that you don’t have to.
Support your parents if you want. But make sure you consult a tax and estate specialist before you make plans based on inheritance.
That is great in theory and yes I agree, we need to help our parents. But what if you feel your parents did not make smart choices in their lives…how much do you help them when you have your own children growing up in this expensive world, i.e; private schools, college costs, no jobs for them possibly down the road. Our parents had a great economic climate- low interest, low cost of housing, plentiful jobs (I’m speaking of 1950-1990 approximately for our parents working years). The average family income has not gone up since 1969 but yet everything is sky-rocketing. Can you tell I’m trying to justify not helping my parents that much?!?!?
I donno Chris. I think it is our duty to help our parents, ESPECIALLY if they are now struggling.
It is not only our duty, but a great honor to be able to take on a second or third job to help them.
I’m formulating my plan for next year, and it might go something like this:
* Get a full-time job
* Continue consulting for corporations
* Increase biz dev partnerships with Financial Samurai
* Work on increasing passive income
* Side hustle via Uber and other sharing economy gigs.
In other words, I’m looking to work harder b/c you are exactly right. Average / median wages / net worth have gone nowhere since 1969. Given we know this, the only way is to try harder. If we know this and don’t try harder, then are we just delusional or lazy to expect more income to just come to us?
When did it become our duty to care for our parents? I believe it is my duty to care and guide my children, to help society, to take care of the less fortunate, but I don’t think it is my duty to care for my parents. I’m biased because they are not good people. All I share with them is DNA.
Take care of the people who deserve it, whether its your parents or total strangers. The world will be in better shape because of it.
I agree with this poster’s sentiments; helping parents is a choice, but by no means a duty. I had a financial talk with my parents about a year ago, and found that they were in about the financial position I expected them to be (which was poor). I’ve talked to them about changing their habits and thinking for their next step in retirement, but very little change has been effected. Even if I committed all of my assets and income to their cause, I couldn’t negate the decades long head start they’ve had in making bad financial decisions.
Pay for a family vacation? Treat them to a nice dinner? Absolutely. But I have to think about saving and providing for my future as well, and shouldering my parents’ financial issues would be a huge millstone around my neck.
Interesting take. What did they do to you to dislike them so much?
Maybe it is a cultural thing. Asian culture is about always respecting our elders and taking care of them when in need.
100% agree with this
“It is not only our duty, but a great honor to be able to take on a second or third job to help them.”
I am 27 and just purchased my first home in the DFW in Texas. I moved my 62 year old mother (raised me as a single parent) into the house I purchased from over 500 miles away. She works from home, we split some of the bills, and she is just happy to have someone to talk to even if it is just for a couple of minutes after coming home from 12 hour work days.
Its great seeing any financial blog bring up this subject.
Great job! Single parents are some of the most courageous people I know. Their ability to gut things out, multi-task, struggle, and be selfless are all incredible attributes.
Thanks Sam, it means a lot coming from you. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
My parents are doing just fine. If they needed help or even if they were in a marginal situation I’d be first in line to support them without waiting for them to ask.
However they have more than they can spend each year coming in so I think they will do just fine.
The bigger issue is that I live in Asia and they live in the USA and miss seeing their grandchild regularly. Not sure what I can do about that except continue to fund their annual vacations out here!
This makes a lot of sense to me. I help my parents out with money when I have some excess cash after “paying myself first” (i.e. max out my retirement contributions, save, invest). They are hugely appreciative and since I gift them money of differing amounts at varying times throughout the year, there is less pressure on me if I don’t have excess some months.
I also started tracking how much I give them in a spreadsheet, which helps me make sure I’m not over giving beyond my means and savings goals, and also motivates me to keep doing what I can to help them. I’m not able to give anywhere near the gift tax maximum now, but if I were to in the future, the spreadsheet would help track that too. In exchange for some of my gifts, my parents sometimes do little things for me if I need an extra hand too which is nice. It’s been working out well. My parents sacrificed a lot raising me, so I’m doing as much as I can helping them in their retirement.
Using a spreadsheet to keep track is a great idea, so is paying yourself first before giving. Put on your oxygen mask first as they say!
This is a nice idea, but it would not work for me.
As you know my parents are not really the role models others have. If I were to give them my access cash, I would only be enabling their substance abuse lifestyles.
They have never held down a job and they will likely die with zero assets and debts owed.
That is a tough situation. How do they survive now though? What about just taking care of some of their necessary expenses?
Great idea, FS! To me, it seems like the obvious way family members should treat each other, but to your point, parents might be unwilling to confess their need for cash.
It seems to me, also, for this approach to work, then there has to be some expectation of this cycle of giving to continue. If a child gives their cash to their parents, then they are forgoing future retirement savings of their own. Which mean, their own children have to be willing to pledge cash in support. What about people who don’t plan on having any children?
I also wonder, what % of the general population this situation applies to – what % of people have a higher cash flow than their retired parents? It is probably pretty high among your audience, but my completely non-scientific opinion is that that is not the case generally.
Yes, one the lineage stops, this breaks down.
Given we can currently give $14,000 a year per person tax free, this amount would be a great target amount to shoot for if we have parents in need of financial assistance.
I appreciate your sentiment. We max out our 401ks and have a healthy post tax savings rate but I don’t feel comfortable today pledging to give excess cash to parents or spouse’s parents. This is because I am more concerned with saving enough so my very young kids will have enough funds to be cared for in the event of our early demise and alternatively so we can pay for skyrocketing college costs, give them every educational benefit, contribute to their weddings and be able to help them as adults. They have their own challenges that make me concerned they may have a harder time navigating to adult hood. I put them on this earth- they are my priority. I cannot give excess to an older generation without putting the younger at risk. This is where I think a breakdown occurs. I am comfortable with my prioritization (though I don’t know if the older generation would be).
Totally agree! Great way to word it…
I tend to agree with this sentiment, but it’s easy to say because I doubt that I’ll ever make or have as much money as my parents do. As a single mom (one young kid), I am doing better than fine under the circumstance, but I feel the sole pressure to make sure he can go to any college and/or post-graduate school that he can get into, because my parents gave that to me. So I guess rather than feel an obligation to care for them financially (which they would surely decline), I feel a very strong obligation to pay it forward to the next generation. I do expect and hope to be able to spend a lot of time caring for my family in the future, and as you’ve said, that will be an honor.
I guess the question is, when you are old and no longer have a steady income, and are having a tough time paying for soaring medical costs, will you be OK with your kids not helping?
Interesting idea, Sam. I like the concept of this plan. But I wouldn’t describe myself as someone with a lot of excess cash. And my parents, fortunately, aren’t in need of my assistance. I agree about taking care of our parents, though. The only problem is they live near Boston and I live near Nashville. It’ll be an interesting conversation when the time comes!