• April 26, 2018, 06:41:18 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Supporting your parents?  (Read 6423 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Member
  • Posts: 713
Supporting your parents?
« on: April 22, 2013, 02:53:01 PM »
Got a question for everyone. I just want different views on it. My IL have no retirement and have poor money skills at times but do help out when they can (non monetary ie watching dd or helping us fix things up)  and I try to help them in small ways too...My mom has no retirement and does not help a whole hubby thinks when we are older we should support them.  I told him no since they made their bed and can lie in it. Neither one of them listens to advice money wise (when we have been talking about it so not prying) or sound interested but never follows through. My thoughts are we should worry about our own retirement and our own family and they do what they need to...hubby thinks it s cold..What is your perspective?


  • Member
  • Posts: 4271
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 02:58:06 PM »
I feel the same way as you. I'm not going to give up my financial future for someone who has chosen to be completely unprepared for their retirement.

The only way I would help a retirement age parent is if they had planned for their retirement but experienced some massive tragedy that left them destitute. Otherwise, it's their responsibility and they know it.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."


  • Member
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 02:59:38 PM »
This is, as most family matters are, going to be different for every family.  I would never let my parents be destitute no matter how foolish they had been with their money.  But my parents spent their lives sacrificing for their kids, so I feel I owe them, plus I love them, and for me, it's the right thing to do.  Fortunately, my parents managed to plan pretty well for their retirement and it's unlikely my mom will need a lot of financial support. Just in case it should become necessary, we built a guest house on our property for her use should she ever need it. Right now it's a rec room.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys


  • Member
  • Posts: 8322
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 02:59:57 PM »
Tough one. I don't think there's any right or wrong answer, just what you and your husband are comfortable with. (Though you do have to be on the same page about it.) In some cultures it's expected that the adult children will take care of their parents in many ways. I don't think that expectation is very strong in mainstream US culture, however.

Personally, I would not like the expectation that I will take care of a competent adult, who got into a bad financial situation through their own poor choices--whether this person is my parent, my child, my SO, etc.. If it was through circumstances beyond their control, and we always had a good relationship, and they had done/did a lot for me in return (even if non-monetary), I would be much more open to working something out.


  • Member
  • Posts: 2310
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 03:04:42 PM »
I feel the same way you do.

My in-laws have very little savings, just took out another home equity loan, and have one small life insurance policy.  They have made their bed.  I will make sure they are not homeless, but they will live with very, very little.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.


  • Member
  • Posts: 210
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 03:09:10 PM »
My FIL is an attorney and is working past his retirement age to try and keep up with MIL's spending.  I have since told hubby that if FIL is the first to pass away, no way are we taking care of his mother.

My own parents (divorced for more than 20 years now) don't have retirement plans.  They were good to me as a kid but I don't think kids should have to financially support their folks.  If you are a grown-up then you should plan for your own retirement. 

My BFF's in-laws take the cake though.  Her MIL opened a credit card in her son's (BFF's DH) name and racked up several thousand dollars worth of debt.  They also promised to pay his college tuition and had told him it was paid off for years.  He should have double-checked because Nope!  Mom and Dad never paid a red cent and just lied about it.  So BFF and her hubby are paying his folks' debts and will probably be doing it until the ILs pass away.  BFF and her DH are very well off and able to take care of his folks but it makes me sick to think of someone taking advantage of family like that!

And as for the credit fraud, I'd have called the cops.  Family or not that is insanely illegal!


  • Member
  • Posts: 14140
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 03:10:14 PM »
I think that if you have your finances under have savings, college fund, retirement, mortgage under control and have extra money, then sure. If they have supported their parents and you expect your kids to support you, then sure.
But if you do not have a culture where you are expected to take care of your parents and you have to help pay your kids college and are financially strained yourself, then no.


  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 03:11:37 PM »
I think it depends on the definition of "help", and on your own ability.

In our circumstances, if something happened to my dad's retirement and he became dependent on us, it would mean living in our tiny tiny house with two little kids.  We would be more than willing, but there is no way he would choose that unless his only alternative were to be homeless.

Dave Ramsey has lots of good advice on finances, and helping people without ruining yourself.  For example, helping might mean helping them sell the big old house and downsize into an apartment they can afford, or helping them figure out a budget, or helping them apply for assistance or (depending on your circumstances), buying groceries/paying rent if needed.

I don't think helping means "helping them afford the lifestyle to which they were once accustomed".  But unless you have a reason to totally cut them out of your life, and you were really the only thing standing between them and being homeless - I think it would be very cold not to help in some way.


  • Member
  • Posts: 554
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 03:15:45 PM »
I think he's putting the cart before the horse. You guys have to get your own finances under control to be able to contribute anything to other people.


  • Member
  • Posts: 559
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 03:26:07 PM »
It totally depends on the parent-child relationship.  My mother made so many sacrifices for us and has always been there for me and my siblings.  I would support her in a heartbeat regardless of her choices.  My dad is completely on his own.


  • Member
  • Posts: 924
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 03:48:03 PM »
For me it depends on what "support" means.  I could see it taking about $5k per month to support my mother and that we couldn't do, especially if DH had living parents who needed money as well.  Now if it were something much smaller money wise or drives to appts, meals, and maybe someday living in my house that I could work around.  I would never let my mom be homeless but I also wouldn't pay upkeep on a large home and as many vacations as she likes.  Luckily, my mom can afford it on her own.

I could also see if I were living at home still as an adult I would certainly add money to the household or if I lived with my parents until 40 rent-free I would think I did owe them some retirement support since they supported me well beyond 18.

Just Lori

  • Member
  • Posts: 4463
  • USA
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 03:59:43 PM »
My parents may not have managed money well, but they gave us more than enough love and attention and affirmation.  They will always have a place to live in my home, if they ever need it.  In fact, I just had this conversation with my father this weekend, as my mom is in poor house and may need to be in some sort of facility for the rest of her life.

There is no right answer to this question, of course.  Each relationship is different. 


  • Member
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 04:00:16 PM »
For me, it really really depends...  (and is academic at the moment since DH and I have neither the space to move our parents in with us nor any spare money to send them).

BUT... I do think that there is a big difference between supporting someone who planned and "did everything right" and then had some kind of catastrophe that was out of their control, and supporting someone who just sat around and hoped for a visit from the retirement fairy.



  • Member
  • Posts: 316
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 04:11:04 PM »
Just speaking for myself, I think mine have figured out that failure to plan on their part...yadda yadda. One got the cut direct years ago; the other is preparing to move back to their home state to be closer to their siblings. Definitely for the best; even if I were willing to be a caregiver, I don't have the financial, temporal, or physical resources to do so. And I'm not expecting anyone to do things for me when I get older, either. I'm a big girl, if I can't plan wisely, it's my problem.


  • Member
  • Posts: 12441
  • xi
Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 04:18:12 PM »
I wouldn't.  In fact I once told my mom I was glad they were financially stable, because I wouldn't be supporting them.  In my case, it is because during college I sometimes went without food.  I was working 30+ hours per week and two jobs in the summer to pay for college myself because they refused to even allow me to fill out the financial aid form (needed their tax return)  They also contributed zero dollars.  She was a bit surprised but she couldn't argue with my logic. 

My grandmother is now moving in with my aunt. In their case, I think it is for the best because they spend all their time together anyway.  But, that set of Grandparents frittered away their money. 

Sorry, this topic is locked. Only admins and moderators can reply.