"Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

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nightpharmer09
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by nightpharmer09 »

Randomize wrote:
rustymutt wrote: This all started when on his 18th birthday, instead of having his party, I called for a room cleaning party, and mom and me helped him clean the pig pen. I had ask him repeatedly over 2 weeks to clean his room up. (fire hazard) That's why he moved out. Good luck to all you loving, caring parents. It's tough to see kids grow up into what they are, but we have to cut ties at some point, and I believe nature does a great job of encouraging this.
Rusty, that's pretty harsh. His 18th birthday was the big one, the day he officially became a man, and you chose that to make him clean his room? Obviously I don't know any backstory, but if I were him, I'd view that as having my dependence on you rubbed in my face at the worst possible time. Then I'd move out and hold it against you for a long, long time.

It's your relationship - I can't tell you what to do. I can only suggest that you sincerely apologize for making a show of force on his 18th birthday. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
Maybe all involved could have handled the situation better, however, I find it fascinating to take the side of the child. Should the parent have rewarded the disobedient child with a extravagant birthday party? It seems on the brink of "official manhood" he would show his father a little respect and at least attempt to clean his room... :annoyed
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Leesbro63
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Leesbro63 »

clubby wrote:Holy cow, I was fighting wars on foreign soil when I was 18 and earning my own way. Who are these 20 year old college freshman and where do I sign up? :D Wait, 20 year old freshman? My son started high school this year as a 13 year old freshman.
Actually he is a 19 year old freshman now and will be 20 before he starts his sophomore year this fall. He was held back in kindergarten.
Randomize
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Randomize »

nightpharmer09 wrote: Maybe all involved could have handled the situation better, however, I find it fascinating to take the side of the child. Should the parent have rewarded the disobedient child with a extravagant birthday party? It seems on the brink of "official manhood" he would show his father a little respect and at least attempt to clean his room... :annoyed
Are birthday celebrations a reward for obedience in your household? That's certainly not how I view them.
Rodc
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Rodc »

Randomize wrote:
nightpharmer09 wrote: Maybe all involved could have handled the situation better, however, I find it fascinating to take the side of the child. Should the parent have rewarded the disobedient child with a extravagant birthday party? It seems on the brink of "official manhood" he would show his father a little respect and at least attempt to clean his room... :annoyed
Are birthday celebrations a reward for obedience in your household? That's certainly not how I view them.
Good point.

Also, FWIW, I can understand being annoyed with a child (or man-child) that won't clean his room, but in the general scheme of things kids can do this probably qualifies as a something of a "first world" problem...

(He did not steal and wreck your car, steal and run up your credit card, get busted selling crack,or even get some girl pregnant, etc.)

This sounds more like a chest thumping competition that got out of control. Maybe an apology and a little heart to heart would be in order.

Just an unsolicited thought.
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Midwest Dave
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Midwest Dave »

I probably wouldn't spin him off totally. I think substantially increasing his responsibility is a good thing, but depending on the individual more or less guidance may be indicated. We wanted to raise adults, not children, so we stayed involved to assist with budget development, expense tracking, etc, to help our young men to be successful later. Doing this gradually will probably have a greater chance of achieving the desired result; independence.

As has been said, the tax deduction is yours if you provide more than half of his support. I'm no lawyer but I think that anything he did that you would be liable for wouldn't change.

Good luck :happy
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Lars_2013
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Lars_2013 »

My parents set up a checking account for me when I was a kid, into which I deposited gift money and the little money I made doing extra chores, etc. When I got my drivers license in high school my father got a joint credit card in my name and his name so I could start building credit and learn about paying off my credit card every month. So by the time I was in college I was pretty much managing my own money. I certainly think that by age 20 most kids should be paying their own bills, etc. And it sounds like he's got plenty of assets to cover his expenses. The "bank of mom and dad" will presumably still be open to providing a loan or gift if something unusual happens (a major illness, a great internship opportunity that means forgoing a summer's income, etc).
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archbish99
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by archbish99 »

I got my own checking account in high school, and a monthly amount (determined by my parents) for my "expenses" (gas, books, eating out). Parents paid car insurance, no cell phone. Scholarships covered college tuition, a meal plan, and a dorm; for living expenses, that arrangement continued. This continued in college (with the addition of a parent-funded cell phone) until I started co-oping, so that I had income. At that point, parents continued to pay insurance, but I took over the cell phone and expenses, with the obligation to save enough from my work semesters to pay my expenses during school semesters.

My senior year, I had two school semesters without work in between, and my parents went back to paying for certain things, but this time it was me who proposed how much I thought I would need, and they agreed. In graduate school, I had a stipend out of which I covered living expenses, and went on the school's health insurance; Mom & Dad signed over the car and bought me some furniture for my grad school apartment, but I was still on their car insurance. They did bail me out once when my car needed $2k of work.

Toward the end of grad school, I set myself the goal of being completely independent before I proposed to my now-wife, so I got off their car insurance, got my own renter's insurance, etc. The only things they paid for after that point were loans -- one toward going to present at a conference that had accepted a paper (school reimbursed the cost afterward), and the other for living expenses between grad school and my job's start-date (repaid out of my signing bonus with first paycheck). I really hated that I needed those loans.

Personally, I think the phased approach worked out really well, but you also need a kid who's generally responsible to start with -- I think I initiated more of the "let me get my own _____" changes than they did.
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celia
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by celia »

I have heard that if your 20-something child is living with you and causes a car crash, you are still liable, even if the car and the insurance is in his name. Possibly the story wasn't relayed to me correctly, but was what an insurance agent told my brother. I suggest you verify if you are liable for anything your son does by calling your insurance agent.
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celia
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by celia »

vachica wrote:Recent legislation has made it very difficult for college students to be declared independent of their parents for financial aid purposes. I think the impetus for this was that lots of middle-income students were passing the bar to be declared independent, and thus receiving more financial aid.
This is not a recent change. The rules look the same as they were 15 years ago (that's as far as my experience goes but it has probably been the same for 25-50 years. To be considered "financially independent" for college financial aid, the student needs one of these:

* Be at least 24 years of age by December 31st of the financial aid award year
* Be enrolled in a Masters, PhD or some other post-baccalaureate degree program for the academic year of the financial aid award
* Be married on the day you apply for financial aid (being separated still counts as being married)
* You have children who receive more than half of their support from you
* You have dependents other than children who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you (for example, a grandparent)
* Your parents are deceased
* You were a ward of the court until age 18
* You are serving active duty in the armed forces (other than training)
* You are a veteran of the U.S. armed forces

In general, if you are a traditional college student (under 24, unmarried, no kids, non-military, and with living parents), it is nearly impossible to finagle the system to get independent status. This info was copied from: http://collegeapps.about.com/od/payingf ... al-aid.htm
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Professor Emeritus
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Professor Emeritus »

rustymutt wrote: This all started when on his 18th birthday, instead of having his party, I called for a room cleaning party, and mom and me helped him clean the pig pen. I had ask him repeatedly over 2 weeks to clean his room up. (fire hazard) That's why he moved out. Good luck to all you loving, caring parents. It's tough to see kids grow up into what they are, but we have to cut ties at some point, and I believe nature does a great job of encouraging this.
Wow you drove your son away a age 18. I put up with a few more years of paternal abuse so I could graduate from law school. In public my father did amazing wonderful things. In private he was a controlling, self centered, mean spirited jerk to the day he died. His golden rule was 'I have the gold I make the rules". But it gave me a wonderful template for my daughters. Whatever he did , I did the opposite. I made our home a place they wanted to be by respecting their autonomy despite their financial dependency.

One of the realities of modern financial life is that children are not finished being prepared for the world professionally and financially when they are adults physically and legally. Mentoring a young adult is very different from parenting a child. parents have to set limits ON THEMSELVES so that they stop parenting and keep mentoring. E.g. you have to learn to stop asking questions that are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
As one example I always refused to talk to parents about their children who were undergraduates. I did not care if they loudly said they were "paying for the education" That was not my concern. Whatever they needed to know they should get from the offspring.
dekecarver
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by dekecarver »

sscritic wrote:
Crimsontide wrote: +1. I didn't have no stinking 18th birthday party either :happy Kids these days....
Did you get a Quinceañera or a Sweet 16? How about a Bat Mitzvah? Anything to recognize you as an adult? It doesn't have to be at 18, just at some point in your life. What about a 40th birthday party?
I was handed a bill of what it cost to raise me to the age of 18. Then a pat on the back, followed by I'll give you a $1000 bucks to get your college edu started, after that your on your own. Fortunately I was allowed to stay at home rent free as long as I was working and taking classes. Worked out just fine. Oh yeah and I had to keep my room clean :D
IowaFarmBoy
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

Anotherangle on this is getting the parent "spun off" from the children as they start building assets. Our kids had checking and credit union accounts held jointly with me that were started when they were minors. They seems to be on the path to being good little bogleheads and one day I realized that if I had a bad accident or were sued, their money would be at stake, too, so I got off the credit union accounts and IRAs asap. I think I am still on one checking account because she hasn't gotten around to going to the bank with the form I filled out for her.
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Leesbro63
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Leesbro63 »

celia wrote:I have heard that if your 20-something child is living with you and causes a car crash, you are still liable, even if the car and the insurance is in his name. Possibly the story wasn't relayed to me correctly, but was what an insurance agent told my brother. I suggest you verify if you are liable for anything your son does by calling your insurance agent.
This is pretty much what my insurance agent told me too.
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Wildebeest
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Wildebeest »

frugaltype wrote:
3Wood85 wrote:
Randomize wrote:
rustymutt wrote: This all started when on his 18th birthday, instead of having his party, I called for a room cleaning party, and mom and me helped him clean the pig pen. I had ask him repeatedly over 2 weeks to clean his room up. (fire hazard) That's why he moved out. Good luck to all you loving, caring parents. It's tough to see kids grow up into what they are, but we have to cut ties at some point, and I believe nature does a great job of encouraging this.
Rusty, that's pretty harsh. His 18th birthday was the big one, the day he officially became a man, and you chose that to make him clean his room? Obviously I don't know any backstory, but if I were him, I'd view that as having my dependence on you rubbed in my face at the worst possible time. Then I'd move out and hold it against you for a long, long time.

It's your relationship - I can't tell you what to do. I can only suggest that you sincerely apologize for making a show of force on his 18th birthday. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

Asking to clean his room is harsh? Well you wouldn't have liked my mother.
Asking him to clean his room is not harsh. No eighteenth birthday party and rubbing his face in it is harsh.
Every body is an authority when it comes to judging other people's parenting skills. I think that Rusty's quote starting living a life of it's own and should be read as part of his/her post.

It is easy to feel good about your parenting skills if your child does well. I found "No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality [Judith Rich Harris]" eye opening and consider it a must read for parents who want perspective.

My view is that we live in such a rich child centric society that to give children a $ 200,000 college education seems to become a right and not a treat if you can afford it. If you put your own retirement at risk by not saving enough, you put your children at risk for having to provide for your old age. And who is it to say that the child would not have been happier at a community college and would have learned more about life.

For most 18-20 year olds it would be a great learning experience to be " spun off" in a loving fashion and I admire the OP for doing it in such thoughtful way.
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Nuvoletta
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Nuvoletta »

A friend of mine has 3 boys. From early on, he made them aware that, after their 18th birthday, they have a week to move out and be on their own financially. He gives them all the life skills training they'll need before that and they each have a pre-paid tuition plan for 4 years at our excellent state school. They have to work for anything the tuition plan doesn''t pay for (other fees, housing, cost of living, extra year). He says with a smile that if they aren't moved out in a week, they'll find their stuff on the front lawn.

Uh, he's got a military background and acts it, but he also has a heart of gold. I know he would help them out if something really serious happened.

So far, according to him, it has worked well for the first two and I think the third is getting close to move out day.
Professor Emeritus
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Professor Emeritus »

Wildebeest wrote:My view is that we live in such a rich child centric society that to give children a $ 200,000 college education seems to become a right and not a treat if you can afford it. If you put your own retirement at risk by not saving enough, you put your children at risk for having to provide for your old age. And who is it to say that the child would not have been happier at a community college and would have learned more about life.

For most 18-20 year olds it would be a great learning experience to be " spun off" in a loving fashion and I admire the OP for doing it in such thoughtful way.
OFGS it is not "child centric" unless you consider Wall street "stock centric" It is called investing in "human capital" No question some investments are smarter than others. All Smart investments can do is improve probabilities. Society providing free education is sort of "index investing". Society invests in the whole market despite the reality of some duds. Parents cant do "indexing" they have to actively invest and manage the offspring they have. They have about 16-18 years to make the investment a success. . Voluntarily Spinning off or cutting lose a kid at 20 is just admitting you made a poor set of choices.
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Wildebeest
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Wildebeest »

Professor Emeritus wrote:
Wildebeest wrote:My view is that we live in such a rich child centric society that to give children a $ 200,000 college education seems to become a right and not a treat if you can afford it. If you put your own retirement at risk by not saving enough, you put your children at risk for having to provide for your old age. And who is it to say that the child would not have been happier at a community college and would have learned more about life.

For most 18-20 year olds it would be a great learning experience to be " spun off" in a loving fashion and I admire the OP for doing it in such thoughtful way.


OFGS it is not "child centric" unless you consider Wall street "stock centric" It is called investing in "human capital" No question some investments are smarter than others. All Smart investments can do is improve probabilities. Society providing free education is sort of "index investing". Society invests in the whole market despite the reality of some duds. Parents cant do "indexing" they have to actively invest and manage the offspring they have. They have about 16-18 years to make the investment a success. . Voluntarily Spinning off or cutting lose a kid at 20 is just admitting you made a poor set of choices.



Hi Professor Emeritus,

I like the analogy. You make an excellent point. In my opinion most parents much over estimate their "active" investing skill in education and their influence over the outcome. The best a parent can do, is be supportive and loving and not go bankrupt in the process.

Have you read " No two alike, Human nature Human Individuality" by Judith Rich Harris? What do you think?

By the way I consider Wall Street "Greed out of control " and not stock centric.
Last edited by Wildebeest on Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mursili
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Mursili »

Crimsontide wrote: Come to think of it, I did get a nice letter from the Selective Service folks :happy
I recently had to fill out a form for work that asked for my selective service number. Luckily the form provided an easy link to looking that up since I did not keep that paperwork from ~30 years ago. I figured they would know how to get in touch with me if needed.
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livesoft
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by livesoft »

When this thread started, I was amused. Parents have been "Spinning Off" their children since before time immemorial. I don't think modern families have any special lock on best methods and timing for this.
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Leesbro63
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Leesbro63 »

Wildebeest wrote: My view is that we live in such a rich child centric society that to give children a $ 200,000 college education seems to become a right and not a treat if you can afford it. If you put your own retirement at risk by not saving enough, you put your children at risk for having to provide for your old age. And who is it to say that the child would not have been happier at a community college and would have learned more about life.
My own feeling is that you pay for college to the degree that you live your life. If you drive a Lexus, take expensive vacations to Europe and have a McMansion, then yes, you should pay for the best college that your kid can get into (assuming that's the best for the kid...sometimes the "best" college a kid gets into isn't best for him/her, but usually it is). Is it right to be a poser and have those things, but make the kid settle? Actually I would argue that you shouldn't have those things unless and until you can fund your kids' college. I agree, however, that for average folks, retirement should be a priority before kids college.
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Professor Emeritus »

livesoft wrote:When this thread started, I was amused. Parents have been "Spinning Off" their children since before time immemorial. I don't think modern families have any special lock on best methods and timing for this.
The more primitive the society(or the animal) the less time you spend raising offspring to adulthood. Humans have evolved to have an extremely long guided development. We are virtually unique among animals. We race Horses at 3 years old but not with 3 year old jockeys. You can have a 14 year old soldier but not an engineer. Jobs with little mental development or skill can be done by teenagers. Parents largely decide by their level of support where to place kids in the rat race ladder , bottom , middle or top. Society can also help a bit.

Of course it is all probabilistic, no guarantees.
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Wildebeest
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Re: "Spinning Off" my 20 Year Old Son

Post by Wildebeest »

Leesbro63 wrote:
Wildebeest wrote: My view is that we live in such a rich child centric society that to give children a $ 200,000 college education seems to become a right and not a treat if you can afford it. If you put your own retirement at risk by not saving enough, you put your children at risk for having to provide for your old age. And who is it to say that the child would not have been happier at a community college and would have learned more about life.
My own feeling is that you pay for college to the degree that you live your life. If you drive a Lexus, take expensive vacations to Europe and have a McMansion, then yes, you should pay for the best college that your kid can get into (assuming that's the best for the kid...sometimes the "best" college a kid gets into isn't best for him/her, but usually it is). Is it right to be a poser and have those things, but make the kid settle? Actually I would argue that you shouldn't have those things unless and until you can fund your kids' college. I agree, however, that for average folks, retirement should be a priority before kids college.
Hi Leesbro63,

I agree with you. I was raging about entitlement and lack of fiscal prudence and did not choose my words well.
Thanks
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