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Old 01-27-2017, 01:50 PM
 
327 posts, read 264,520 times
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For Child #4, I fall somewhere between you and your wife. I would want to encourage them with turning their live around, but would be cautious as well. I would tell the kid that if they want to go to college that they will need to save up or take out loans for the first semesters tuition. Once they successfully complete that semester, you will reimburse them for their tuition and books to use to pay for the next semester. You can then continue doing this each semester so that you are paying for completed classes not their desires. Then at the end, the kid gets the original money for the first semester back.

This way you are supporting and encouraging without enabling. I think you don't need to pay for living expenses since they are an adult, so it will end up less but paying for the actual college classes and books would be a huge help, especially if done in this way.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,877 posts, read 1,201,677 times
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Some children are not college material, and as a parent you know the one that is or is not. I made the decision that all are equal, the one not attending college will get the same amount at a certain age. The money was invested, and in order for them to start saving, I also matched dollar for dollar until they decided to use the money.

Even today as adults, I will give them $3K to $12K annually, because I can.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:06 PM
 
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I have always told my three sons when the day is done it will probably be equal (told them that when they were growing up, have never had to repeat it). I am not going to keep tabs on who is getting what. In the end, it will be fair how ever it is dished out.

Do they get the "same"--define same?! I have one that is a work in progress in his late twenties. He has had challenges--things are different for him, he didn't get the same deck of cards that the other two got. No one seems to be concerned that things are different for him.

Love your kids, help/encourage them thrive.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
7,883 posts, read 7,223,375 times
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My parents let my siblings and I know early on they would pay for any and all undergraduate expenses including spending money up to a certain point.

If we wanted to go out of state or to a private school, we were responsible for the difference. If we got below a C average, they would stop paying.

If we wanted to go to graduate school, we were responsible.

My brother and I did undergraduate only (I flunked out but that is another story and did eventually graduate) while my OCD/Control freak sister went to medical school on her husband's family's dime.

Because expenses change, give your kids similar parameters but maybe not similar money.
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:43 AM
 
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I don't think you need to give each child the same amount of money. Have you given them the same amount of money raising them-or spent the same amount exactly on activities, clothing, etc.? It's ridiculous to even try. Being fair isn't giving everyone the same thing, it is giving everyone what they need. Your oldest child had an opportunity to take advantage of your generosity to help pay for college, she made her choice. I would guess the if she decided to go back after a couple years, you would have been ok paying, now, she has a job, a life and from the sounds of it, is getting married. It's up to her now. As for the other kids, if the money is there for college, it's there for college, and if they choose not to take advantage of that, oh well.

Now, I don't see anything wrong with giving your older child some money for a wedding, but honestly, if you are talking $14,000, give it to her when she is looking at buying a house, or put it into a retirement fund for her, something that will benefit her...and then a small amount for the wedding.

Maybe your wife and you need to sit down and figure out what you are really trying to do with that money. I know many people that are willing to pay full freight for college tell their children you have X dollars for college. If you go to a school that costs less than that, the remainder is your money to use to put into a down payment on a house or we will set up a retirement account for you with the remainder. If you go to a college that costs that much or more, when the money is gone, it's gone. I have yet to hear of a child that had this option use all of the money for college .
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:19 AM
 
799 posts, read 609,242 times
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In military hospitals they divided the wounded into three categories - 1) Those who will probably make without medical attention; 2) Those who will probably make it if the get medical attention; and 3) Those who will not make it. All resources were invested into the second category because that's where the return is. Its application is also useful in other areas.

From the limited amount of information you've shared it seems like the first two children are in the first category. You can give them something just to let them know you care, but no real investment is needed. They'll figure it out with or without you. Child 3 seems like he's in the second category. I'd invest in a trade school and if he does well, the capital to get started in that trade (truck, equipment, etc.). Its probably also very important for him to know you don't expect him to follow the other kids path. Hate to say it but, the fourth child seems like the later category. Most people thinking about going back to school are thinking about it because someone else/loans will support something better than their current lifestyle for a couple years.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,009 posts, read 15,328,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfalz View Post
In military hospitals they divided the wounded into three categories - 1) Those who will probably make without medical attention; 2) Those who will probably make it if the get medical attention; and 3) Those who will not make it. All resources were invested into the second category because that's where the return is. Its application is also useful in other areas.

From the limited amount of information you've shared it seems like the first two children are in the first category. You can give them something just to let them know you care, but no real investment is needed. They'll figure it out with or without you. Child 3 seems like he's in the second category. I'd invest in a trade school and if he does well, the capital to get started in that trade (truck, equipment, etc.). Its probably also very important for him to know you don't expect him to follow the other kids path. Hate to say it but, the fourth child seems like the later category. Most people thinking about going back to school are thinking about it because someone else/loans will support something better than their current lifestyle for a couple years.
I actually think that far more parents should use that example.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:36 PM
 
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OP, my parents family does things evenly because their families didn't do the same for them.

I can appreciate some small variation but here is a suggestion.

Keep track and tell them in advance that it will come out of their inheritance.

So the kid that took little will have more inheritance than the others but they'll have gotten more education and thus not need as much inheritance down the road.

So, let's say you spend 100k on Sally to become a doctor and nothing on Paul who went into the army and became a mechanic. Well, adjust the amounts for lost interest and 40 years late when you pass give 300k more to Paul.

*shrug* Just be honest and open and tell them up front.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:28 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
16,699 posts, read 16,849,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonthedog View Post
I don't think so, so what would you do Riley? Do all kids get the same no matter what or??
YES ALL kids get the SAME! That is the only fair solution period. Not everyone wants the same thing out of life as far as degrees and whatever and you should just be treating them equal unless of course one has a drug problem and money would be a negative impact. You can't give one kid $20,000 and the other $1,000. Paying for education is of course a little different. I don't think you need to be totally equal on that outlay because one college is less than the other. No school? Maybe offer the no college kid something to help in another way.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,834 posts, read 1,627,215 times
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MY parents had three kids, and the same dilemma.

I went to college. They paid for the tuition and books. IF I wanted to live on campus or anywhere other than at home, that would be my bill. Any other things would be my bill. I stayed at home and commuted, they paid for my food at home, I paid if I ate out. I bought the bus pass for my 1.5 hour trip to college, I hitched a ride home from my aunt sometimes, I borrowed my mom's car when it was available and paid for the gas. I had several part time jobs.

My older brother did not have the college aptitude or interest. He attended the jr. college and earned all of the auto mechanic licenses. Mom and dad paid for the books and tuition AND bought him the tools he needed to start that career. He earned extra money fixing vehicles, as he had done since he was 15 years old. So, his college costs were much less, but by buying him the tools he needed it was pretty much equal. HE was a great auto mechanic and earned his income with his own shop that he eventually bought himself.

MY younger brother is the general @#$ up. He cut high school more than he went. He wanted to go to a school at the beach, where mom and dad knew he would never attend class. He went from one thing to another. After a few years, he decided he wanted to become a licensed contractor. He was working in that field then. So they made a deal with him that if he took the licensing classes and then passed the licensing test they would reimburse him for the costs, but they would not pay for it upfront as he did not follow through with anything. He eventually did take the classes and got his license. Then mom and dad bought him some of the more expensive tools for the trade. And yep he took them to the pawn shop at times and wanted new ones, but they held firm that they were only helping him get started, which they completed that phase and it was up to him to stay on top of new things he needed, just like older brother did with the auto mechanic business.

So then ended up spending about the same amount of money on each of us, but they did have to use a different strategy for the @#$ up kid.

And they did the right thing for each of their kids. If a child does not go to college, but wants to work as a plumber, electrician, etc. Parents who can afford to help their 'trades' child should help them just as much as they help their college career kids, in my opinion. Helping with the tools to start a trade and getting that training is just as important as helping with college costs.
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