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Is paying for your child post-college a thing?


J-rap
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My dd, who has her first job post-college, is teaching in France.  It's not easy -- rent is high, utilities are high, rental insurance is required, and she doesn't earn a lot.  But, she does it all herself. 

 

She was telling me that several other teachers (U.S. citizens recently graduated from college) have parents who are paying for everything:  apartment rent, travel expenses, etc.  My dd wasn't telling me this to say "Why aren't you?" but rather "It seems really strange!" 

 

I would never have expected my parents to keep supporting me financially once I graduated from college, but then again, I got married right after college so we were really completely on our own. 

 

Is this a trend?  Has it always been this way?

 

 

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This wasn't my reality, but my brothers have mooched off my parents for years. I distinctly remember graduating on May 4th and my dad calling me in August to say I was officially "off the parental payroll."

 

My brothers have thought of all manners of events which require additional parental support. They must be smarter than me. ;)

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It's always been this way in some families.

 

It's getting more common in others.  Salaries have not kept pace with living costs in many places.  I understand that the whole unpaid internship trend is significantly less of a factor than it used to be, but that was just ramping up when I graduated college, and there were entire career tracks that you couldn't enter unless you could get a full time unpaid internship for a year.  

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I can see us paying some post-college expenses..........if dd has a full ride to college!

 

Our kids know how much money they get from us for college. If some is left over, then they would receive that money for grad school. I could extend that thought to someone living abroad for a finite period of time.

 

Anyway, family cultures vary :)

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My parents would've paid for post-college education (e.g., medical school), and I'm pretty sure they would've helped me with living expenses in case of unexpected circumstances. 

They expected me to basically support myself after college, but they've always offered to pay for my trips to visit them and have been quite generous with Christmas, birthday, and housewarming gifts over the years.  They're pretty comfortable financially, and it hasn't been a burden for them.  

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In my family it was always that we were gifted very generously in our youth. Both dh's and my parents and grandparents gave us very generous monetary gifts at holidays and birthdays when we were just starting out. They never paid our way... if we hadn't been earning money and financially planning, we would have been screwed... but realistically, the money went into rent and so forth and let us live with fewer money worries.

 

My guess is that it is more common now as the economy has changed, but also that a certain sort of family has always paid the way of young people as a matter of course... especially the sort to go live abroad...

 

 

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I think many parents finance adult children when their goals (the kids') line up with the parents' ideas of what would be beneficial, but when the child wouldn't or couldn't go for it without assistance.

 

Its a function of viewing a family as a team, where some people have money and other people have time, talent, or freedom -- they facilitate something together.

 

It might also be a modernization of 'paying for the wedding' -- if someone isn't doing a wedding at that point in life where a parent would usually be financing that event, a parent might consider what other life's ambition they could support in a financially equivalent way.

 

Obviously, only people who "have money" are in the position to decide how to act as their adult child's "patron" in any way -- but among those who can, many do. What I mean is that it might be a "old trend" more than a "new trend". 'Sending a child to France for a season or two' is more old fashioned than new.

 

In the upper crust, people don't expect their children to suddenly decend the socio-economic ladder and begin scraping by on what they can earn themselves at a mall job... Especially not right when they are in the market for a spouse. Nobody wants that for the family money or reputation... They have other goals, and a dynastic view. They don't see it as propping up an independent adult who isn't successful on their own -- they view it as a component of their own legacy of success.

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It was relatively easy for me to "launch". I had a full-time teaching job lined up before I graduated from college. I had a roommate to share expenses with. I had a summer job at The Gap (and I continued to work a few hours per week after teaching started). Things aren't necessarily so easy for everyone. My sister needed some help for a year or two until she landed a commission job she was very good at. I think kids graduating with teaching credentials today have more trouble landing a full-time position. I don't assume everyone should be able to launch without help, and if our kids need a little help, we'll try to provide it, but always trying to help them become fully independent.

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Back in the day, some of my friends from affluent families had financial assistance.  Parents bought their kids cars or paid insurance. In one case, parents bought an apartment in NYC for their daughter who was one of my friends.

 

These days I see parents assisting college grads who have entered Americorps or Teach for America.  Wages are so low that often the young adults cannot afford a car which may be needed for the job.  It is not uncommon to keep a young adult on the family insurance plan since many starter positions do not have benefits.  Or wages at all with the number of interns who are exploited!

 

As previously noted, family cultures and circumstances vary. Some families help with living expenses when their young adult attends graduate or professional school. 

 

I have known many families help launch their adult children by incorporating them in the family business.  Or sometimes an aunt or grandparent takes in a young adult who is relocating across the country. 

 

I don't see assistance as a bad thing, depending on a variety of circumstances of course.

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I can see helping an adult child toward the launch of financial independence. Funding a full year in France, doesn't sound like it's working toward that goal, especially when the adult child is working and could be using the salary towards living expenses as the OPs dd does. 

 

My brother helped his dd pay for med school (she still took out loans). 

 

I suspect internships will be required for one of my dc. Thankfully, we live in an area where the types of internships he would need would be located, so he could live at home for free and maybe works nights/weekends for some money. The child would love a fully funded year in France. I won't be telling him that apparently some parents provide that. 

 

 

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My parents and extended family did in the 80s and 90s. It depends on individual's family culture.

 

ETA:

For cousins and I, there was a significant pay increase/jump after postgrad so parents, aunts and uncles feel it is a good return on investment for us. Hubby and my pay doubled after postgrad and we enjoy a higher pay ceiling.

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My parents helped my sister and I get started in life.  I doubt I will be able to the same for my children due to the fact that we just don't have that kind of money anymore.  If I had the $$ I wouldn't even think twice about helping if they needed it.

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I do think it's more common than it was lo these many years ago when I graduated from college. 

 

Our family situation isn't typical, but we did end up having our daughter live with us for about two and a half years after she graduated. Of course, she earned her B.A. at 16, which meant it would have been challenging for her to strike out on her own. We told her that we had no intention of punishing her because she went to college early and that we would support her to the best of our ability until a more normal graduation age. She lived with us, and we paid her basic expenses, until she felt ready to make a go of it on her own. She worked and saved her paychecks and built up a nest egg and then moved out when she was 19. She has been self-supporting since then, although she lives in an expensive place (NYC) and is also paying tuition for a part-time professional training program.

 

(Edited to add: I should say she is self-supporting other than he health insurance. Because none of her jobs offer insurance as a reasonable cost and it costs us nothing to cover her on my husband's policy, we keep her on ours.)

 

My son also ended up going to college early, although not as extremely so as our daughter. If all goes smoothly, he will finish his bachelor's just after his 20th birthday. We've told him that he is welcome to take advantage of the same deal we offered his big sister. His current plan, I think, is to try and start working right after graduation. If he happens to find a situation that makes it possible for him to move support himself right away, then he'll be off and running. If not, of if he'd prefer more time to transition, he may stay with us for a year or two while he works and saves his money. He hopes to be with us for no more than a year after graduation, because he is eager to get on with his life.

 

I can't swear that we would handle this differently even if our kids were more traditionally aged college students. I know a lot of families offer help in one way or another to get young adults on their feet after college. Some folks give graduation gifts of enough cash to supplement first-year expenses, lend or give money for down payments on houses, etc. Those things are not within our financial power. So, we do this, instead.

 

We have made it super clear, though, that we can't/won't support them financially forever. We have examples in our families of people who simply never grew up and became functional adults, in part because it was just easier and more attractive to let Mom and Dad handle things, and we are adamant that we want much more for our kids. So, while we're happy to help them transition, it's definitely a temporary situation with the intention that they use that time to get their own ducks in a row.

 

With that said, my daughter does know quite a few young adults who are receiving significant assistance from their parents while living on their own. One of her friends moved away from her home city. She had a job in her field that didn't cover all of her expenses and was getting help from her parents from the beginning. Then, when she quit the job a few months later, her parents completely supported her for several months (most of a year) before putting a foot down and insisting that she either get another job or move back home. She took a retail job just a few days before the deadline they had set, but they will now continue to supplement her paychecks so she can stay in her apartment.

 

That happens to be the story I know best, but this young woman is not alone in getting significant continued financial support from her parents well into post-college adulthood.

 

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My parents would've paid for post-college education (e.g., medical school), and I'm pretty sure they would've helped me with living expenses in case of unexpected circumstances. 

They expected me to basically support myself after college, but they've always offered to pay for my trips to visit them and have been quite generous with Christmas, birthday, and housewarming gifts over the years.  They're pretty comfortable financially, and it hasn't been a burden for them.  

 

We'd pay for our kids to visit us too, and have.  But it just seems funny to me to still pay for everyday expenses when they actually have a job.

 

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I think many parents finance adult children when their goals (the kids') line up with the parents' ideas of what would be beneficial, but when the child wouldn't or couldn't go for it without assistance.

 

Its a function of viewing a family as a team, where some people have money and other people have time, talent, or freedom -- they facilitate something together.

 

It might also be a modernization of 'paying for the wedding' -- if someone isn't doing a wedding at that point in life where a parent would usually be financing that event, a parent might consider what other life's ambition they could support in a financially equivalent way.

 

Obviously, only people who "have money" are in the position to decide how to act as their adult child's "patron" in any way -- but among those who can, many do. What I mean is that it might be a "old trend" more than a "new trend". 'Sending a child to France for a season or two' is more old fashioned than new.

 

In the upper crust, people don't expect their children to suddenly decend the socio-economic ladder and begin scraping by on what they can earn themselves at a mall job... Especially not right when they are in the market for a spouse. Nobody wants that for the family money or reputation... They have other goals, and a dynastic view. They don't see it as propping up an independent adult who isn't successful on their own -- they view it as a component of their own legacy of success.

 

Interesting food for thought.  Also, I guess the "working as a team" idea makes some sense to me.

 

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I am somewhat tainted in my view because I have a child with some special needs.  He will possibly live with us well past 18.  But we have an open door policy and any of them are free to live with us if they need to.

 

What else we will pay for will depend on the circumstances.  Do they need a reliable car to get to/from work to get on their feet?  We may or may not be able to help.  

 

I would rather they live at home until they have a career underway and can save for a good downpayment.  

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I feel lucky that my parents have always been willing to help me with medical stuff.  When I was first married, insurance companies could have a cap on the amount of prescription benefits you could use in a year.  It was equivalent to a single month of my medication. That's it.  We were able to get some assistance through various programs, but not enough, and the medical expenses cost more than our rent plus food plus car plus gas for each month.  My parents could easily afford to pay, and did.  After about a year, we got better insurance, and they stopped helping us.

 

There was another instance that they helped us financially. I was extremely ill, and hospitalized for several days.  Some of the doctors at the in-network hospital were out of network, and thus I got slammed with bills.  I negotiated them down, but still we struggled to pay. My parents graciously helped out again. 

 

I doubt they would pay for living expenses for any of us, or help with other sorts of bills, but I don't know. It hasn't really come up.

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It was relatively easy for me to "launch". I had a full-time teaching job lined up before I graduated from college. I had a roommate to share expenses with. I had a summer job at The Gap (and I continued to work a few hours per week after teaching started). Things aren't necessarily so easy for everyone. My sister needed some help for a year or two until she landed a commission job she was very good at. I think kids graduating with teaching credentials today have more trouble landing a full-time position. I don't assume everyone should be able to launch without help, and if our kids need a little help, we'll try to provide it, but always trying to help them become fully independent.

 

And this I can understand.  But in my dd's circle, her colleagues actually have a full-time job, yet still receive nearly full support from their parents, which is what confuses me.  I suppose because the job doesn't pay a lot and expenses are high.

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I can't imagine my parents paying for basic living expenses once I moved out. Can't afford to live independently? Then don't move out. But, then again, paying for your childs university isn't so much a thing in my country either. And an above poster mentioned helping with living expenses for a married child? Nope, totally outside my realm of experience. But I guess Australia has always had a bit of a hard work, earn your way attitude. There was no hard feelings between anyone when my husband and I were living in a tiny unit with medical bills to pay off, while our families lived in large houses with money to spare, taking vacations. It was our turn to forge our own life, and we knew our parents had done the same thing, starting with nothing. DHs parents moved countries the day after they married, and mine didn't have much money starting out, or as time went on either. If we wanted to marry and start adult life we would learn from hard lessons and experience ourselves. And we did. And we are currently in quite a nice financial position and grateful for the things we learned in those first few years of scraping things together. And I will feel no guilt when my kids are grown and starting out themselves. 

 

I can see footing the bill in certain circumstances, like a young graduate, or health issues, or being unable to find work, reasonable things where family helps family. But choosing to chase a temporary job in another country 'for the experience' with no money saved or house sharing arrangement or the willingness to give up luxuries for it, or whatever to make it a possible dream? Nope, doesn't qualify. My siblings have travelled, and they paid for it themselves, by working for it.

 

Lest you think our families are cruel scrooges, they're very generous. Our house was fully furnished when we got married from various hand-me-down items, which we have replaced when we're ready over the years. We got quite sizable gifts for our first few christmases, though those are downsizing now we have 3 kids. Our wedding gifts were very generous. And if we go out the older generation always pays, and sizable gifts of food have found their way to our doorstep from time to time. But asking them to pay regular expenses is a whole other matter. 

 

 

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I think there is a distinction to be made between families who "assist" adult children because the children sometimes "need it" -- vs families who "finance" adult children because they think it is right and good.

 

Families who help needy children (with money or housing) seem to think there is a problem, that it isn't ideal, and that the child is hopefully going to launch properly eventually. The questions of this situation are: "How badly do they need help?" / "Why do they need help?" / "How much can we afford to help?"

 

Families who finance adult children because they think it is the right thing to do are asking different questions, more like: "What's the best future for our child?" / "What's the most efficient application of money to help make that happen?" / "How can we bridge our child from post-adolescence into an adulthood of similar lifestyle to our own?" / "What will help our child reliably care for their inheritance which we earned?" / "How can we ensure that our grandchildren have a positive lifestyle and every advantage while they are young?"

 

Yes, Virginia, there is an upper middle class, and many more above them. They have to do something with their money. It all depends on what they think is worthwhile.

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I can't criticize any parent who chooses to help or not help their adult kids. Too many different situations out there mean I can't possibly know the whole story.  Our youngest two are living at home and paying off student loans and saving to launch. So yes, we do provide room and board and they are on our health insurance. Our oldest two are out on their own but we help on occasion.  They live far away and I can't be there to fix meals or help with the grands...so we do other things for them...things that involve writing a check. 

 

We can afford it and are comfortable with our choices, but I totally get others not wanting to help adult children. 

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Trust funds seem like a significantly less hands-on approach. (It would be hard to start a fund for an infant and just pick a date on which to hand over a fortune to a young adult you haven't met yet.)

 

I've heard of trust funds from grandparents or great grandparents, as part of their estate -- if the child inherits before age-whatever, they are too young so it is in a trust fund until that age is reached. If the g/grandparent lives past that age, the child inherits whenever the g/grandparent passes, and the 'trust' issue becomes irrelevant.

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I suppose I have a different view. Most of my friends (class of 2002 from college) were supported this way. Salaries are low, cost of living is high, yeah parents help. My grandparents did the same for my parents. I guess I'd ask why you care how other people spend their money. I moved to London for a few years after college. My job paid rent and basic living expenses but certainly not enough to afford travel and the other opportunities afforded to one living in London. My folks paid for that. And, frankly, sometimes for nicer dinners (my aunt had a reservation at The Ivy she couldn't use, this was 2003! No one could get a reso there and she offered it to me, no way could I afford it! Mom called the restaurant and gave them her card. It's a dinner I won't soon forget!) gosh, I knew I was lucky. Even if I werent, it's how my family chose to use their own resources. And, really, none of your business.

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I don't have a problem with the thought of helping my sons financially through out their adult lives. I believe I read some where that often wealthier families allow/encourage their adult children to remain in the family home longer than poorer families. Wealthy families view assisting their adult children as an investment, not as an expense.

 

If we are all making a little more than minimum wage, it makes more sense to share a house and put together some savings, vs everyone live separate and we all struggle to make ends meet. It makes it harder for the next generation to break out of poverty if they have to start from ground zero financially.

 

I am working to claw my way out of poverty, to provide a better life for me and my sons. Why would I encourage or force my children to regress towards poverty so that they can start out behind and struggle as hard (or harder) than I did? What purpose does that serve?

 

I want my sons to experience more of life, to make connections, have opportunities and live through experiences that can enrich and change their lives for the better. I hope that my grandchildren will be born and grow up middle classed. Not in the government housing block right next to me.

 

 

 

 

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My parents helped my sister and I get started in life.  I doubt I will be able to the same for my children due to the fact that we just don't have that kind of money anymore.  If I had the $$ I wouldn't even think twice about helping if they needed it.

 

And this I can see.... if they are working toward a goal and they need it to reach that goal (and of course if we are able to help), it does make some sense.

 

But if they don't really need it -- they have a job, they are making ends meet (though they might not have much extra or any to save yet), I don't quite get it.

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I do think it's more common than it was lo these many years ago when I graduated from college. 

 

Our family situation isn't typical, but we did end up having our daughter live with us for about two and a half years after she graduated. Of course, she earned her B.A. at 16, which meant it would have been challenging for her to strike out on her own. We told her that we had no intention of punishing her because she went to college early and that we would support her to the best of our ability until a more normal graduation age. She lived with us, and we paid her basic expenses, until she felt ready to make a go of it on her own. She worked and saved her paychecks and built up a nest egg and then moved out when she was 19. She has been self-supporting since then, although she lives in an expensive place (NYC) and is also paying tuition for a part-time professional training program.

 

(Edited to add: I should say she is self-supporting other than he health insurance. Because none of her jobs offer insurance as a reasonable cost and it costs us nothing to cover her on my husband's policy, we keep her on ours.)

 

My son also ended up going to college early, although not as extremely so as our daughter. If all goes smoothly, he will finish his bachelor's just after his 20th birthday. We've told him that he is welcome to take advantage of the same deal we offered his big sister. His current plan, I think, is to try and start working right after graduation. If he happens to find a situation that makes it possible for him to move support himself right away, then he'll be off and running. If not, of if he'd prefer more time to transition, he may stay with us for a year or two while he works and saves his money. He hopes to be with us for no more than a year after graduation, because he is eager to get on with his life.

 

I can't swear that we would handle this differently even if our kids were more traditionally aged college students. I know a lot of families offer help in one way or another to get young adults on their feet after college. Some folks give graduation gifts of enough cash to supplement first-year expenses, lend or give money for down payments on houses, etc. Those things are not within our financial power. So, we do this, instead.

 

We have made it super clear, though, that we can't/won't support them financially forever. We have examples in our families of people who simply never grew up and became functional adults, in part because it was just easier and more attractive to let Mom and Dad handle things, and we are adamant that we want much more for our kids. So, while we're happy to help them transition, it's definitely a temporary situation with the intention that they use that time to get their own ducks in a row.

 

With that said, my daughter does know quite a few young adults who are receiving significant assistance from their parents while living on their own. One of her friends moved away from her home city. She had a job in her field that didn't cover all of her expenses and was getting help from her parents from the beginning. Then, when she quit the job a few months later, her parents completely supported her for several months (most of a year) before putting a foot down and insisting that she either get another job or move back home. She took a retail job just a few days before the deadline they had set, but they will now continue to supplement her paychecks so she can stay in her apartment.

 

That happens to be the story I know best, but this young woman is not alone in getting significant continued financial support from her parents well into post-college adulthood.

 

In your case it certainly makes sense (being so young when they graduate), and we do help our post-college kids with some expenses.  For example, most of them are still able to stay on our health insurance plan, and a couple of them are still on our family cell phone plan.  But as long as they have a job and are independent, it honestly never occurred to me to pay their rent and everything else. 

 

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I am somewhat tainted in my view because I have a child with some special needs.  He will possibly live with us well past 18.  But we have an open door policy and any of them are free to live with us if they need to.

 

What else we will pay for will depend on the circumstances.  Do they need a reliable car to get to/from work to get on their feet?  We may or may not be able to help.  

 

I would rather they live at home until they have a career underway and can save for a good downpayment.  

 

Well in your case, of course it completely makes sense!  And we have an open-door policy as well regarding living at home while they get on their feet, pursuing a career post-college, etc.

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I can't imagine my parents paying for basic living expenses once I moved out. Can't afford to live independently? Then don't move out. But, then again, paying for your childs university isn't so much a thing in my country either. And an above poster mentioned helping with living expenses for a married child? Nope, totally outside my realm of experience. But I guess Australia has always had a bit of a hard work, earn your way attitude. There was no hard feelings between anyone when my husband and I were living in a tiny unit with medical bills to pay off, while our families lived in large houses with money to spare, taking vacations. It was our turn to forge our own life, and we knew our parents had done the same thing, starting with nothing. DHs parents moved countries the day after they married, and mine didn't have much money starting out, or as time went on either. If we wanted to marry and start adult life we would learn from hard lessons and experience ourselves. And we did. And we are currently in quite a nice financial position and grateful for the things we learned in those first few years of scraping things together. And I will feel no guilt when my kids are grown and starting out themselves. 

 

I can see footing the bill in certain circumstances, like a young graduate, or health issues, or being unable to find work, reasonable things where family helps family. But choosing to chase a temporary job in another country 'for the experience' with no money saved or house sharing arrangement or the willingness to give up luxuries for it, or whatever to make it a possible dream? Nope, doesn't qualify. My siblings have travelled, and they paid for it themselves, by working for it.

 

Lest you think our families are cruel scrooges, they're very generous. Our house was fully furnished when we got married from various hand-me-down items, which we have replaced when we're ready over the years. We got quite sizable gifts for our first few christmases, though those are downsizing now we have 3 kids. Our wedding gifts were very generous. And if we go out the older generation always pays, and sizable gifts of food have found their way to our doorstep from time to time. But asking them to pay regular expenses is a whole other matter. 

 

This is similar to how we view it.

 

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Is helping a child directly significantly different than families who have set up trust funds for adult children which become available at a certain age?

 

I think it is different.  A trust fund I assume waits til a certain age, while financially supporting them right away doesn't give them a chance to try and figure things out themselves.

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I suppose I have a different view. Most of my friends (class of 2002 from college) were supported this way. Salaries are low, cost of living is high, yeah parents help. My grandparents did the same for my parents. I guess I'd ask why you care how other people spend their money. I moved to London for a few years after college. My job paid rent and basic living expenses but certainly not enough to afford travel and the other opportunities afforded to one living in London. My folks paid for that. And, frankly, sometimes for nicer dinners (my aunt had a reservation at The Ivy she couldn't use, this was 2003! No one could get a reso there and she offered it to me, no way could I afford it! Mom called the restaurant and gave them her card. It's a dinner I won't soon forget!) gosh, I knew I was lucky. Even if I werent, it's how my family chose to use their own resources. And, really, none of your business.

 

It's not like I personally care as much as I am just curious.  And, I totally understand helping (vs. full financial support) even after they have full-time jobs .  We do help our adult children quite often.

 

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I don't have a problem with the thought of helping my sons financially through out their adult lives. I believe I read some where that often wealthier families allow/encourage their adult children to remain in the family home longer than poorer families.

 

If we are all making a little more than minimum wage, it makes more sense to share a house and put together some savings, vs everyone live separate and we all struggle to make ends meet. It makes it harder for the next generation to break out of poverty if they have to start from ground zero financially.

 

I'm all for our kids (and their families) choosing to share a home with us forever! 

 

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I can't imagine why it is anyone elses business what I do with my money.

If I want to spend my money on my child what business is it to anyone else?

 

What about the people who spend tens of thousands on their minor children at different stages of their development?

People have the right to invest in their children in whatever way works for their family and I can't imagine what good the judgement of random busy-bodies does.

 

 

 

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My Uncle has paid some/most of the living expenses for my 2 cousins.   The first dropped out of college to join the Israeli army came home w/ 30  grand lives with him contributes nothing and is having is 2nd go round of school paid for.  The 2nd chose to go out of state to school to be near better skiing, stays their all summer (no classes) and continues to live off his dad with no job while he reapplies to more med schools.  It must be nice.

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I think many parents finance adult children when their goals (the kids') line up with the parents' ideas of what would be beneficial, but when the child wouldn't or couldn't go for it without assistance.

 

Its a function of viewing a family as a team, where some people have money and other people have time, talent, or freedom -- they facilitate something together.

 

It might also be a modernization of 'paying for the wedding' -- if someone isn't doing a wedding at that point in life where a parent would usually be financing that event, a parent might consider what other life's ambition they could support in a financially equivalent way.

 

Obviously, only people who "have money" are in the position to decide how to act as their adult child's "patron" in any way -- but among those who can, many do. What I mean is that it might be a "old trend" more than a "new trend". 'Sending a child to France for a season or two' is more old fashioned than new.

 

In the upper crust, people don't expect their children to suddenly decend the socio-economic ladder and begin scraping by on what they can earn themselves at a mall job... Especially not right when they are in the market for a spouse. Nobody wants that for the family money or reputation... They have other goals, and a dynastic view. They don't see it as propping up an independent adult who isn't successful on their own -- they view it as a component of their own legacy of success.

 

This message board has helped me see this, and my own failure to make it like the children who were bought cars, college educations, down payments, so clearly.

 

I used to think that it was my fault that I only went from a poor post-college student to middle-class and not upper-class by 35. I was working so hard, and everyone said I was talented, but how much can you make saving for your own down payment, paying your own way from 18? I thought of that as a virtue.

 

Now I realize that almost nobody does that, certainly not without going into a top pay field or getting lucky in business, and I was in an average-paying field in which I rose quickly. They get help or they stay poor. Nobody gets to upper-middle-class totally on their own without luck, and luck is rare. We can't all be engineers.

 

So I will now do this for my kids, for these exact reasons. To get out of the poverty cycle. I used to think it was a virtue to earn your way up.

 

Now I realize that everyone says that but for their own children those who have and expect wealth provide a "soft landing pad" and make sure they are "safe" in their very nice cars and that they have everything. A suit for a job interview. Everyone on here who did well, they either started in the 1960s and 70s when prices were low and sold high twice, or their parents helped them. NOBODY is saying,

 

"Yeah, I started out in the 1990s and things have worked really well.

 

We had small but real college debt, nobody helped with a down payment, we paid our own cars, we had children before 40, and we're fine. What, how did I save up a $80k down payment and pay off $30k in student loans before having children at 30 - 35 to avoid IVF or adoption costs, AND avoid the recession hit to my home price? Pfft. Don't be silly." And in fact, I don't know anybody IRL who feels that way. Everyone got college paid for. Everyone was upper class then who is upper class now. I'm one of the few people I know who grew up really poor and definitely one of the only ones who paid their own way through state school.

 

To be honest this has been very good for me to realize. I'd rather die than commit my own children to poverty and have changed my attitude towards money. I never wanted that for them but I thought they could work their way up. I am now committed to ensuring that my children have appearances, connections, and that most of all they don't start out in debt.

 

Before I had spent much time here and on College Confidential, I really was thinking in working class terms which was kind of to believe the Horatio Alger myth, that you had to work hard and it would all fall into place.

 

I don't believe that any more. I can't afford to take that risk.

 

I have written about the virtue of work but I'm ready to give up. Why work when you could have a life? The people who are well off never write about the virtue of work. They write about how much they love their children and how their children need love. That was interesting to me.

 

Thinking about it that way--that your children will compete with the children of people on this board who are willing to do anything to help them succeed--you'd be insane to throw them out in the cold.

 

They'll never "win". The game is far too stacked against them.

 

By "win" I mean, have children before their childbearing years are nearly over; be homeowners by the time the children go off to college; drive a safe car; live in a neighborhood in which schools are average or above average and in which you can breathe the air and play outside by yourself. A "normal" life. Think of how many people on this board have that who turned 18 after 1990. Yep.

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I think it is different.  A trust fund I assume waits til a certain age, while financially supporting them right away doesn't give them a chance to try and figure things out themselves.

 

Often the age is 21 or 25.  Regardless, it is setting money aside for an adult, and it isn't always from an estate (which someone else mentioned above). 

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I can't imagine why it is anyone elses business what I do with my money.

If I want to spend my money on my child what business is it to anyone else?

 

What about the people who spend tens of thousands on their minor children at different stages of their development?

People have the right to invest in their children in whatever way works for their family and I can't imagine what good the judgement of random busy-bodies does.

 

Hmmm... Maybe you are misinterpreting this conversation.  It's not judgment, it's curiosity.  It hadn't occurred to me to support my children after college (helping yes -- fully supporting them, no).  I think it's an interesting idea though and worth discussing.  Perhaps it's a very good thing to help get our children on a more solid path.  Or, perhaps it's better to let them figure things out on their own.   I believe it's possible to discuss these things without judgment, to gain insight into what might be helpful to our children as they learn to become responsible and financially stable adults.

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"How can we bridge our child from post-adolescence into an adulthood of similar lifestyle to our own?" / "What will help our child reliably care for their inheritance which we earned?" / "How can we ensure that our grandchildren have a positive lifestyle and every advantage while they are young?"

That is the social circle my grandparents, parents and me grew up in. My extended family is mainly self employed middle class though and just want the next generation to have a headstart in a middle class lifestyle.

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I'd be interested to know if these other teachers are from upper or upper middle class families, or more average families.  I would suspect upper based on people I know.  IME even when they're no longer being funded by parents or trust funds, it's typically due to a job secured through nepotism.

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I don't think it's a new trend. I think parents have always provided what they can for their children at various stages of their lives. I don't have a problem with parents helping their children out when they can do so - there isn't a better investment than investing in the lives of people.  It is a generous thing to do, actually. 

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I don't think it's a new trend. I think parents have always provided what they can for their children at various stages of their lives. I don't have a problem with parents helping their children out when they can do so - there isn't a better investment than investing in the lives of people. It is a generous thing to do, actually.

Well said!

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I don't think it's a new trend. I think parents have always provided what they can for their children at various stages of their lives. I don't have a problem with parents helping their children out when they can do so - there isn't a better investment than investing in the lives of people.  It is a generous thing to do, actually. 

 

Very well said.

 

I would do it for my children, if I had the money.  And if I had lots of money... well, you can't take it with you.  I'd rather spend it on my kids than to just let it sit in a bank.

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The concept of NOT helping children as much as possible was totally foreign to me until I joined this board.  I can't imagine not helping ones children launch into the world, for however long it takes, if you have the means to do so.  That's assuming they're working toward something (not lazing around being totally unproductive).

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I don't have a problem with parents helping their children out when they can do so - there isn't a better investment than investing in the lives of people.  It is a generous thing to do, actually. 

 

I certainly agree with this:  we have paid for our children's education, they are welcome to live with us for as long as they need to/want to post-college (and several have), we usually pay airfare for them to come home or even to take advantage of special events or opportunities, we have invested in businesses they are trying to start up, they remain on our health plan as long as possible, they remain on our family cell plan until they choose to leave it, and more.

 

But.

 

To pay for their daily living expenses on top of all of that, when they have full time jobs, (and being college graduates) is something new to me.  It seems like there is something to be said about starting small, learning your priorities, learning how to budget, and being okay with living simply and frugally while figuring things out on your own.  I'm not talking poverty level of course, and I guess part of it comes from the assumption that my kids have good skills to keep moving forward in their lives.

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