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Old 06-24-2020, 11:54 AM
 
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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/b...gtype=Homepage

Interesting article about various scenarios in which one is called upon to help family out with money during pandemic. In particular, the issue of giving money to a child who is in need, and it triggering resentment on the part of the others, especially if they see their sibling as having spent money frivolously, while they saved, and now the spender is coming for help.

A friend of mine had a brother, who got married young. The new wife saw the parents as a resource to be sucked dry, and continually approached the parents for financial help. The father was wise about it. He would say, "Of course we are happy to help you with 10K for the whatever. But to be fair, we will give our other son 10K too." Each time that the daughter in law went to the parents for financial help, they gave, but let her know that they were giving her brother in law the exact same amount of money (which he wasn't asking for), so that she would know that she was not diverting the inheritance to herself and her husband. Pretty soon, she quit asking them for money, since she realized that she was just enriching her brother in law.

The point is, if an adult child of normal ability is coming to the parents for financial assistance, and the parents have the means, they should give the same amount to each child, each time. Grasshopper free spending kid comes for 10K to pay the rent during the pandemic? Give 10K to each child, and make sure they all know that each child is getting the same gift. Of course, if there is a child with a disability, that child should have a trust made for them by the parents, so that the handicapped child doesn't wind up a drain on the siblings, assuming that the parents have the finances to do so.

The parent doesn't have the means to give each child an amount to match that being given to the child who comes begging? Then they really don't have the means to support that adult child, either.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Another excellent post by parentologist.

If a parent needs to give one adult child some money, IMHO, they need to give their other children, the same amount of money. To me that seems like the only fair thing to do.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:53 PM
 
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The way my parents handled it (we are all long past being dependent, even in times of strife) was to loan the money, not give it outright. Their interest rates were about 5% as I recall.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:51 PM
 
6,930 posts, read 3,126,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/b...gtype=Homepage

Interesting article about various scenarios in which one is called upon to help family out with money during pandemic. In particular, the issue of giving money to a child who is in need, and it triggering resentment on the part of the others, especially if they see their sibling as having spent money frivolously, while they saved, and now the spender is coming for help.

A friend of mine had a brother, who got married young. The new wife saw the parents as a resource to be sucked dry, and continually approached the parents for financial help. The father was wise about it. He would say, "Of course we are happy to help you with 10K for the whatever. But to be fair, we will give our other son 10K too." Each time that the daughter in law went to the parents for financial help, they gave, but let her know that they were giving her brother in law the exact same amount of money (which he wasn't asking for), so that she would know that she was not diverting the inheritance to herself and her husband. Pretty soon, she quit asking them for money, since she realized that she was just enriching her brother in law.

The point is, if an adult child of normal ability is coming to the parents for financial assistance, and the parents have the means, they should give the same amount to each child, each time. Grasshopper free spending kid comes for 10K to pay the rent during the pandemic? Give 10K to each child, and make sure they all know that each child is getting the same gift. Of course, if there is a child with a disability, that child should have a trust made for them by the parents, so that the handicapped child doesn't wind up a drain on the siblings, assuming that the parents have the finances to do so.

The parent doesn't have the means to give each child an amount to match that being given to the child who comes begging? Then they really don't have the means to support that adult child, either.
Sorry. This is terrible advice, doing nothing more than encouraging the children to keep score on who gives what. Or worse, it plays the children off against one another to nitpick the other's lifestyle.

What if one child is doing quite well for herself while the other child loses his job or goes through a wholesale, unavoidable disaster? These things happen, you know, even when both children are doing everything they're supposed to do.

Or what if one child has a terrible disease that prevents their working for a while even as the other child is able-bodied and self-sufficient? Are you going to stroke equal checks to the both of them in those circumstances?

In fact, if one of my children got into a serious jam because of a job loss (Those are quite common right now. Our three children are, fortunately, all employed and self sufficient) or some other disaster, you bet I'd help that child. And if my other two children actually whined and said, "Well, where's miiiinnnnnneee?" I'd tell them they were being petty and to put a sock in it.

The real sticking point of the scenario laid out is that the parents never taught their children self-sufficiency in the first place. When I first started out, I remember asking my parents for a loan precisely once for $166. And I paid them back. When my wife and I were first married and we got in a tight space, we did without. Because, again, we weren't raised with the notion that our parents were a Comstock Lode to be relentlessly mined until exhausted. With that in mind, the kids described in the article come off as complete, self-centered brats.

Yes, borrowing from the parents is a necessary course of action sometimes. But just because one sibling in distress does it, that doesn't mean you are automatically entitled to an equal sum as well.

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 06-24-2020 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:04 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Interesting...

Why do I recall that my dad, quite a miser himself, only tended to offer assistance in the form of money to the kid who never asked for it even when they found themselves in a pinch...
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:09 PM
 
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My transaction with loaning or donating is between me and the recipient.The law seems to follow that system to.
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
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Thank goodness I only have one kid. I was widowed, also, from a man with a child so I have always had a stepchild, too. But my stepchild’s business is doing very well. My son & his wife own a retail “non-essential” store in downtown Fort Worth. So he was closed for 2 months. Just when he was allowed to open again, the protests began and the city’s curfew caused him to close early — their store does most business in the evenings. His primary customers are college students and they all went home in March and April anyway.

Yes, I am sending him money to help his family. Even if I had more children, I wouldn’t send equally. And yes, if my stepchild was in the same situation, I’d also help.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:06 PM
 
5,220 posts, read 4,520,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Sorry. This is terrible advice, doing nothing more than encouraging the children to keep score on who gives what. Or worse, it plays the children off against one another to nitpick the other's lifestyle.

What if one child is doing quite well for herself while the other child loses his job or goes through a wholesale, unavoidable disaster? These things happen, you know, even when both children are doing everything they're supposed to do.

Or what if one child has a terrible disease that prevents their working for a while even as the other child is able-bodied and self-sufficient? Are you going to stroke equal checks to the both of them in those circumstances?

In fact, if one of my children got into a serious jam because of a job loss (Those are quite common right now. Our three children are, fortunately, all employed and self sufficient) or some other disaster, you bet I'd help that child. And if my other two children actually whined and said, "Well, where's miiiinnnnnneee?" I'd tell them they were being petty and to put a sock in it.

The real sticking point of the scenario laid out is that the parents never taught their children self-sufficiency in the first place. When I first started out, I remember asking my parents for a loan precisely once for $166. And I paid them back. When my wife and I were first married and we got in a tight space, we did without. Because, again, we weren't raised with the notion that our parents were a Comstock Lode to be relentlessly mined until exhausted. With that in mind, the kids described in the article come off as complete, self-centered brats.

Yes, borrowing from the parents is a necessary course of action sometimes. But just because one sibling in distress does it, that doesn't mean you are automatically entitled to an equal sum as well.
And what about the child who saves, doesn't take expensive vacations, doesn't drive expensive cars, lives within his means, and builds up an emergency fund? Vs the child who lives well beyond his means, with credit card debt, leases expensive cars, spends freely on himself, and is teetering on the edge of financial disaster even in good times, who goes running to the parents whenever he gets in a financial bind?

My point is that helping family out financially is tricky. Parents should plan for their children with disabilities, to reduce the financial burden on the able siblings, who will be left with the responsibility of caring for their disabled sibling. Beyond that, it seems right to me that when adult children require financial help from a parent, if it is within the means of the parent to help, they should give equally to all the children. And if they cannot do that, they're probably endangering their own financial stability to help the one child financially.

As for the concept of lending to the child, rather than giving outright - this is even worse. The siblings could be left with the notion that the spendthrift child owes them money when the parent passes away, because of course the spendthrift kid is never going to pay anything back. In fact, the parent may be putting themselves in a position of needing to go to the financially stable children for support, as a result of the gifts/loans that they made to the financially unstable child.

It's complicated. But for peace in the family, and to prevent resentment, it's probably best for parents of means, when one adult child asks for financial help, to give equally to all the children.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
27,993 posts, read 26,673,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Interesting...

Why do I recall that my dad, quite a miser himself, only tended to offer assistance in the form of money to the kid who never asked for it even when they found themselves in a pinch...
My parents did that for me a few times. I never asked them for money. My dad was a depression kid, so parting with money was painful for him --but-- I was his his youngest child and a good girl.
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Old 06-24-2020, 09:07 PM
 
6,930 posts, read 3,126,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
And what about the child who saves, doesn't take expensive vacations, doesn't drive expensive cars, lives within his means, and builds up an emergency fund? Vs the child who lives well beyond his means, with credit card debt, leases expensive cars, spends freely on himself, and is teetering on the edge of financial disaster even in good times, who goes running to the parents whenever he gets in a financial bind?

My point is that helping family out financially is tricky. Parents should plan for their children with disabilities, to reduce the financial burden on the able siblings, who will be left with the responsibility of caring for their disabled sibling. Beyond that, it seems right to me that when adult children require financial help from a parent, if it is within the means of the parent to help, they should give equally to all the children. And if they cannot do that, they're probably endangering their own financial stability to help the one child financially.

As for the concept of lending to the child, rather than giving outright - this is even worse. The siblings could be left with the notion that the spendthrift child owes them money when the parent passes away, because of course the spendthrift kid is never going to pay anything back. In fact, the parent may be putting themselves in a position of needing to go to the financially stable children for support, as a result of the gifts/loans that they made to the financially unstable child.

It's complicated. But for peace in the family, and to prevent resentment, it's probably best for parents of means, when one adult child asks for financial help, to give equally to all the children.

Then that's between parent and child.

The situation might not be ideal, but your prescription is far, far worse for a host of reasons.

First of all, it creates a situation where the other kids are incentivized to mentally slice and dice the financial life of the offspring in question. Now with every purchase, every decision the child in question makes, he has to run the gauntlet of the entire family. What's more, the standards are pretty arbitrary based on the whim of whoever is doing the scrutiny.

Further, if the child is struggling, it only creates a sense of insecurity and a potential blow to his self-esteem. Maybe he doesn't want his financial struggles played out for all the family to see. Instead, under the scenario you propose, every financial problem the child in question is played out for all the family to see.

Even then, who's to say what is profligate spending and what is not? I mean down to what molecular level does a child's finances get scrutinized? That's the kind of Us vs Him, a piling on that you're opening the door to.

At the same time, it creates a situation where the kids are getting into the parent's financial business, which is absolutely insane.

What's more, when it means the parent has to give matching gifts to all the children, no matter what, the parents are potentially bled dry for no other reason than to fulfill some arbitrary standard of what is fair and what is not. Basically fulfilling the whim of grasping children who dictate to the parents out of pique.

I mean, if you can't see what a toxic family environment your notion could create, I just don't know what to tell you.

Money doesn't destroy families. Greed destroys families, especially when it is incessantly bobbing to the surface of all family dynamics.

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 06-24-2020 at 09:26 PM..
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