Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
Jimsad
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jimsad »

Hi .
I would like to know how others feel about this .
We are doing fairly well in terms of meeting our financial goals .
We have kids still in school (middle and high).
Whenever , I feel that may be we can ease up a little bit and cut down on the work , my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
We plan to help them by Paying for most of their education but my DW feels that itself is not enough and it is our responsibility to make sure they ‘settle ‘ well in life .
How do others feel about this ?
User avatar
David Jay
Posts: 9374
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:54 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by David Jay »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm...she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life...
So let me get this straight - you want us to get between Mama Bear and her Cubs? :shock:

On a serious note, I have read of a number here on BH who have retired while their kids are still at home. Not many Dads get to go to afternoon athletic events and visit their kids’ classrooms. And all summer spending time with them at the [lake, beach, cottage, mountains, etc.].

But I would not want to start retirement with a significant difference in view between spouses.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
marcopolo
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by marcopolo »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm Hi .
I would like to know how others feel about this .
We are doing fairly well in terms of meeting our financial goals .
We have kids still in school (middle and high).
Whenever , I feel that may be we can ease up a little bit and cut down on the work , my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
We plan to help them by Paying for most of their education but my DW feels that itself is not enough and it is our responsibility to make sure they ‘settle ‘ well in life .
How do others feel about this ?

I don't see how the two are connected.
Sure, if you still have kids at home, you have a lot of kid related expenses ahead of you. But, they are just like any other expenses in life. As long as your plan for FI covers them, i don't see the problem.

We retired with kids still at home.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
chevca
Posts: 3473
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by chevca »

I don't know your definition, OP, but easing up a little and cutting down on the work doesn't equal FI in my definition. If you can't say you never need to work again and you will be just fine, you can't claim FI, IMO.

I'm nowhere near that, so...
Topic Author
Jimsad
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jimsad »

marcopolo wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:19 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm Hi .
I would like to know how others feel about this .
We are doing fairly well in terms of meeting our financial goals .
We have kids still in school (middle and high).
Whenever , I feel that may be we can ease up a little bit and cut down on the work , my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
We plan to help them by Paying for most of their education but my DW feels that itself is not enough and it is our responsibility to make sure they ‘settle ‘ well in life .
How do others feel about this ?

I don't see how the two are connected.
Sure, if you still have kids at home, you have a lot of kid related expenses ahead of you. But, they are just like any other expenses in life. As long as your plan for FI covers them, i don't see the problem.

We retired with kids still at home.
How can you know ahead of time if they will do well in life .
What if you end up having to support them for a long time ?
So if you retire when they are still in school , you may end up having to do Back to work again .
chevca
Posts: 3473
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by chevca »

Again, IMO, if you wonder these things or have to ask these questions, you're not FI.
marcopolo
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by marcopolo »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:31 pm
marcopolo wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:19 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm Hi .
I would like to know how others feel about this .
We are doing fairly well in terms of meeting our financial goals .
We have kids still in school (middle and high).
Whenever , I feel that may be we can ease up a little bit and cut down on the work , my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
We plan to help them by Paying for most of their education but my DW feels that itself is not enough and it is our responsibility to make sure they ‘settle ‘ well in life .
How do others feel about this ?

I don't see how the two are connected.
Sure, if you still have kids at home, you have a lot of kid related expenses ahead of you. But, they are just like any other expenses in life. As long as your plan for FI covers them, i don't see the problem.

We retired with kids still at home.
How can you know ahead of time if they will do well in life .
What if you end up having to support them for a long time ?
So if you retire when they are still in school , you may end up having to do Back to work again .
How do you know what your medical expenses will be in the future? There are a myriad of things that can (and many that will) go wrong in a 30, 40, 50 year retirement. You can't plan for them all. You can make reasonable assumptions, build in a cushion, bigger the longer span you have to cover, and stay flexible. Which may mean cutting back in other areas, or even going back to some type of work if necessary. There is no such thing as financial independence if you are looking for a guarantee.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23027
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Listen to your wife.
She has plans, she just hasn’t quite elaborated other than to drop the hint that you have to get them to “fully launched”.
Let me give you an example of what is involved in that - kid graduates college, kid gets first apartment - you will be furnishing part or all of it. That involves trips to Bed Bath Beyond, Costco and other home goods stores/sales. Or kid gets engaged, you will be gifting something.

Listen to your wife, keep saving.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
marcopolo
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by marcopolo »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:49 pm Listen to your wife.
She has plans, she just hasn’t quite elaborated other than to drop the hint that you have to get them to “fully launched”.
Let me give you an example of what is involved in that - kid graduates college, kid gets first apartment - you will be furnishing part or all of it. That involves trips to Bed Bath Beyond, Costco and other home goods stores/sales. Or kid gets engaged, you will be gifting something.

Listen to your wife, keep saving.

Or you could let the kids (college graduates?!?) actually be adults and go to B,B&B, Costco all by themselves.

Do you go with them when they have their annual performance review at work? I actually had a late 20s employee that asked if they could bring their mom in for that.

Have to cut the apron strings at some point.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
stoptothink
Posts: 8308
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by stoptothink »

marcopolo wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:57 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:49 pm Listen to your wife.
She has plans, she just hasn’t quite elaborated other than to drop the hint that you have to get them to “fully launched”.
Let me give you an example of what is involved in that - kid graduates college, kid gets first apartment - you will be furnishing part or all of it. That involves trips to Bed Bath Beyond, Costco and other home goods stores/sales. Or kid gets engaged, you will be gifting something.

Listen to your wife, keep saving.

Or you could let the kids (college graduates?!?) actually be adults and go to B,B&B, Costco all by themselves.

Do you go with them when they have their annual performance review at work? I actually had a late 20s employee that asked if they could bring their mom in for that.

Have to cut the apron strings at some point.
+1. OP's "responsibility" is whatever they want it to be. And yes, absolutely 100% talk to the wife, but you don't just bow to her whims; you are an equal partner in deciding what your "responsibilities" are.

Like you, I've had a few experiences with employees attempting to get their parents involved in work-place issues. IMO, there couldn't be a more clear sign of bad parenting.
FoolMeOnce
Posts: 980
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:16 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by FoolMeOnce »

David Jay wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:11 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm...she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life...
On a serious note, I have read of a number here on BH who have retired while their kids are still at home. Not many Dads get to go to afternoon athletic events and visit their kids’ classrooms. And all summer spending time with them at the [lake, beach, cottage, mountains, etc.].
This is an important point. You can't get that time back, so if you can cut back while still enabling yourselves to help your kids launch if necessary, find that balance.
David Jay wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:11 pm But I would not want to start retirement with a significant difference in view between spouses.
Another important point.
Pomegranate
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Pomegranate »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
Super weird statement. There are a lot of stories about ppl who were doing extremely well but faced issues with injuries, liability, health etc. Don't really understand how you can relax even in theory.
KlangFool
Posts: 17679
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

1) You can retire and your wife can continue to work and support the kids as long as she wants. She can do that with her money.

2) You need to have a long discussion with your wife as to how long she wants to support the kids. You probably do not have the same answer.

3) My job as a parent is to make sure that my kid supports themselves as an adult. They would be given a better starting opportunity than most people. I intend to spend my own money on myself after that.

KlangFool
KlangFool
Posts: 17679
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by KlangFool »

FoolMeOnce wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
This is an important point. You can't get that time back, so if you can cut back while still enabling yourselves to help your kids launch if necessary, find that balance.
FoolMeOnce,

A bigger picture question is

Is that "help" good or bad for the kids' growth? It may be counter-productive.

KlangFool
KlangFool
Posts: 17679
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

There is another issue when the parent FI while the kids still in school. And, it is not financial. How do you feel about retiring from full-time work to be a full-time parent?

The best time to FIRE is when the kids left for college and the nest is empty.

KlangFool
Topic Author
Jimsad
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jimsad »

Pomegranate wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
Super weird statement. There are a lot of stories about ppl who were doing extremely well but faced issues with injuries, liability, health etc. Don't really understand how you can relax even in theory.
For health - health insurance , for liability - umbrella insurance etc. can be done .
But how to know how much your kids will need your help?
Last edited by Jimsad on Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
Jimsad
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jimsad »

And how much to save for this?
oldfatguy
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by oldfatguy »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:40 pm
Pomegranate wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
Super weird statement. There are a lot of stories about ppl who were doing extremely well but faced issues with injuries, liability, health etc. Don't really understand how you can relax even in theory.
For health - health insurance , for liability - umbrella insurance etc. can be done .
But how to know how your kids will need your help?
If your adult children need help, then help them as much as you are able and desire to help them. If you can't or don't help them, then they will figure it out on their own. You are making this way too complicated.
FoolMeOnce
Posts: 980
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:16 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by FoolMeOnce »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:25 pm
FoolMeOnce wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
This is an important point. You can't get that time back, so if you can cut back while still enabling yourselves to help your kids launch if necessary, find that balance.
FoolMeOnce,

A bigger picture question is

Is that "help" good or bad for the kids' growth? It may be counter-productive.

KlangFool
Definitely a question to consider, and I like what you said above: "My job as a parent is to make sure that my kid supports themselves as an adult."

But if OP's wife won't budge, perhaps there is still room to cut back on work hours.
7eight9
Posts: 1440
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 7:11 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by 7eight9 »

You raise your children the best you can and trust that you have provided them with a good start on life.

Graduate high school and you are typically old enough to vote, join the military, etc.
What you can do when you are 18 --- https://thelawdictionary.org/article/wh ... -youre-18/

If you want to provide your children with a college education that is your CHOICE but certainly not a RESPONSIBILITY. Beyond that? Making sure they 'settle' well in life? I think pretty obviously that is a choice.

If you have enough money to support yourself and your wife going forward (and the kids through high school) then you are financially independent.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
Pomegranate
Posts: 371
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Pomegranate »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:40 pm
Pomegranate wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
Super weird statement. There are a lot of stories about ppl who were doing extremely well but faced issues with injuries, liability, health etc. Don't really understand how you can relax even in theory.
For health - health insurance , for liability - umbrella insurance etc. can be done .
But how to know how much your kids will need your help?
Well, if you work for Congress maybe your health insurance covers everything. For most of other people - google stories about bills after ICU :oops:
tibbitts
Posts: 11874
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by tibbitts »

David Jay wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:11 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm...she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life...
So let me get this straight - you want us to get between Mama Bear and her Cubs? :shock:
I believe male bears routinely do come between mama bears and cubs - and kill the cubs, even if the cubs are their own. Apparently this is efficient in the grand scheme of bear reproduction, and possibly would also be, in theory, in pursuit of a Boglehead retirement.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23027
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

marcopolo wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:57 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:49 pm Listen to your wife.
She has plans, she just hasn’t quite elaborated other than to drop the hint that you have to get them to “fully launched”.
Let me give you an example of what is involved in that - kid graduates college, kid gets first apartment - you will be furnishing part or all of it. That involves trips to Bed Bath Beyond, Costco and other home goods stores/sales. Or kid gets engaged, you will be gifting something.

Listen to your wife, keep saving.

Or you could let the kids (college graduates?!?) actually be adults and go to B,B&B, Costco all by themselves.

Have to cut the apron strings at some point.
Sure, and I’m sure the OP’s wife is fine with them doing so. Only, they will be going with a generously given donation from the loving parents.😉
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
User avatar
teen persuasion
Posts: 1262
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by teen persuasion »

Pomegranate wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
Super weird statement. There are a lot of stories about ppl who were doing extremely well but faced issues with injuries, liability, health etc. Don't really understand how you can relax even in theory.
Agreed that this statement struck me as super weird. At what point are the kids settled in life? What kind of help do they need that I can't better provide with more free time?

And what about when helping one impinges on the others? I'd love to be free to quit my job to help out my DD1 and her DH with their new baby, but I've still got a son in HS here at home, while DD1 and family live 6+ hours away. In a few years, DH and I could relocate, but what about the other kids in 3 different cities?

Up to this point, helping the adult kids has mostly been giving advice, and our home is always open to them if they need a place to stay. That isn't really an extra cost to us, and has been rarely used except when DD1 had leave or was between duty stations (we considered it an extended vacation visit with us, not nearly long enough).
StealthRabbit
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by StealthRabbit »

Yes, yes, YES... 1000 x yes... (FIRE ASAP!)

My idea... Not shared by many :mrgreen:
(I am the opposite of a conformist... ask my parents, teachers, bosses, spouse, friends, kids...) :wink:

1) Retire while your kids are home, go back to work (if you must) when they leave home!
2) Start a few family businesses that you can do together as a family (kids will learn a lot, and so will you)
3) Train kids to be financially independent very early. About age 12 is a good time, so as teenagers they can fund their own needs (especially clothes and sports),
4) Allow (require) kids to participate in budget, bill paying, travel planning, grocery shopping, and charitable giving. Help fund some of their choices / projects. Engage the entire family in international and local aid... volunteering in homeless shelters and orphanages. Gives them a very wide perspective. (and attitude adjustment)
5) Enable them to become Bogleheads. Ours started at age 12. 8 would have been better. (They had enough in Roth IRA's to fund their college, should they have chosen to use 'qualified' funds to do that. They chose loans (at 2.7%) because they were making much better returns in their investments (acceptable idea for parents as well). or... help them to pay off THEIR loans AFTER they graduate. (grows their personal responsibility and accountability)
6) Sit them down at age 12 and explain how THEY will be on the hook for their college costs (that gives them plenty of time to pursue many opportunities for vast options including FREE college (USA and abroad), employer reimbursed, military, loans, investments, J-O-B-S, grants...
7) Teach them some skills so they can get high paying jobs in HS and College (or run their own businesses).
8) Consider helping them grow a business / investments / skills to be fully self funded by High School. (ours designed built their own homes while in Jr High (family project)) We all helped each other, as we had just finished a family home a year earlier (together). One local 'home-school' started business now employs 100+ (in a community that really needs jobs) and has annual sales of $10m.
9) Spend whatever precious time you can with your very Short duration time at home with kids. POOF... they are GONE!!! (we lived and worked and volunteered internationally as a family)
10) Grow a heritage that will be healthy for your kids. Mine are FAR smarter about 'work-life' and recreation and social sensitivity that I ever was.

Kids are VERY resilient and creative. They will shine brightly as they are set free and trusted by you. (about age 12...)

Ours and most of their peers are nearing age 40, and have done very well with the above plan.

Socially engaged in their communities, secure in finances, employment (or companies they own), and have not rebelled (yet)...
aristotelian
Posts: 8055
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by aristotelian »

Why not just factor some support for the kids into your FI number? Shouldn't be much more than your current level of expense. Another option is for her to continue working.
User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 5608
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by RickBoglehead »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:10 pm I believe male bears routinely do come between mama bears and cubs - and kill the cubs, even if the cubs are their own. Apparently this is efficient in the grand scheme of bear reproduction, and possibly would also be, in theory, in pursuit of a Boglehead retirement.
:shock:
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm Hi .
I would like to know how others feel about this .
We are doing fairly well in terms of meeting our financial goals .
We have kids still in school (middle and high).
Whenever , I feel that may be we can ease up a little bit and cut down on the work , my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
We plan to help them by Paying for most of their education but my DW feels that itself is not enough and it is our responsibility to make sure they ‘settle ‘ well in life .
How do others feel about this ?
I think you and your wife need to sit down and discuss things. To work 10-12 more years for the sole purpose of being able to bail out your kids is crazy.

We have two boys, late 20s and early 30s. We provide advice. They have zero idea of our assets, but know we are planning to retire in under 2 years. Oldest asked us if we planned on helping for college for grandchildren, and we said yes, and gave him a "today" number that is 100% invested. He knows how to do math and rule of 72s, so he knows what it might add up to. Other than that, they expect nothing.

Youngest got job, 100% relo reimbursement. Had nothing in bank due to the rent we charged after a 1 year grace period of living in our house post grad school. We gave a $10,000 loan, with signed agreement to repay when company repaid, and not more than 90 days. He did.

Once your kids are done with college, beyond maybe a small loan to get them started, you're done financially except for possible wedding contributions.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Topic Author
Jimsad
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jimsad »

teen persuasion wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:37 pm
Pomegranate wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
Super weird statement. There are a lot of stories about ppl who were doing extremely well but faced issues with injuries, liability, health etc. Don't really understand how you can relax even in theory.
Agreed that this statement struck me as super weird. At what point are the kids settled in life? What kind of help do they need that I can't better provide with more free time?

And what about when helping one impinges on the others? I'd love to be free to quit my job to help out my DD1 and her DH with their new baby, but I've still got a son in HS here at home, while DD1 and family live 6+ hours away. In a few years, DH and I could relocate, but what about the other kids in 3 different cities?

Up to this point, helping the adult kids has mostly been giving advice, and our home is always open to them if they need a place to stay. That isn't really an extra cost to us, and has been rarely used except when DD1 had leave or was between duty stations (we considered it an extended vacation visit with us, not nearly long enough).
Donating our time is not a problem to help them , we will have plenty of that if we retire early . But what if they require financial help and you know that you could have helped them if you had worked a few years more ?
livesoft
Posts: 73338
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by livesoft »

Is there a problem here? Are people really declaring financial independence when they reach some bare minimum?

My experience is that when people reach financial independence, they just keep going for a little while (A few years?), so that not only is there very little chance to fall back, but that their assets and wealth just keep on building and building.

If your spouse is worried about this, then they can just get a job and give all their money to their children. Nothing wrong with that.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 5608
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by RickBoglehead »

Jimsad wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:07 am Donating our time is not a problem to help them , we will have plenty of that if we retire early . But what if they require financial help and you know that you could have helped them if you had worked a few years more ?
A few years?

If you are FI, you need zero more money.

Working a few more years is likely 6 figures. What in earth could you think you should provide to an independent child that has that magnitude of cost?
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5756
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by JoeRetire »

Jimsad wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 pm Hi .
I would like to know how others feel about this .
We are doing fairly well in terms of meeting our financial goals .
We have kids still in school (middle and high).
Whenever , I feel that may be we can ease up a little bit and cut down on the work , my DW reminds me that our kids are a long way from being settled in life and she feels it is our responsibility till the end to make sure they are settled in life and we cannot relax till then (another 10-12 years at least ).
We plan to help them by Paying for most of their education but my DW feels that itself is not enough and it is our responsibility to make sure they ‘settle ‘ well in life .
How do others feel about this ?
I mostly agree with your wife. The earlier you claim financial independence, the higher the risk that you haven't accounted for some financial need down the road. In this context the financial need could come from your children.

That said, you can claim financial independence whenever you like - there are no rules. And if you aren't able to be both financially independent and responsible for helping your children get settled in life, you can always change your course at that point in time.

It's not clear if "ease up a little bit" is the same as "claim financial independence" in your context. Perhaps a middle ground exists. But make sure you and your wife both agree on whatever plan you come up with.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5756
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by JoeRetire »

StealthRabbit wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:00 am1) Retire while your kids are home, go back to work (if you must) when they leave home!

3) Train kids to be financially independent very early. About age 12 is a good time, so as teenagers they can fund their own needs (especially clothes and sports),
:confused

Were you kicked out of your home at 12?
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
SrGrumpy
Posts: 1193
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by SrGrumpy »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:16 am Working a few more years is likely 6 figures. What in earth could you think you should provide to an independent child that has that magnitude of cost?
Maybe OP's wife got anxious after reading some of the wedding threads here.
User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 1027
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by alpenglow »

marcopolo wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:57 pm Do you go with them when they have their annual performance review at work? I actually had a late 20s employee that asked if they could bring their mom in for that.
:shock:

I get upset when the secondary school aged kids I teach don't advocate for themselves. That's just pathetic.
Last edited by alpenglow on Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5756
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by JoeRetire »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:16 am Working a few more years is likely 6 figures. What in earth could you think you should provide to an independent child that has that magnitude of cost?
There are plenty of thing that could be expensive. Depending on how tight the FI budget is, they could easily derail plans.
- education expenses
- delayed independence of the children
- housing
- medical issues
- marriages, divorces
- grandchildren issues
- etc, etc.

I had one neighbor who had to adopt his granddaughter when his drug-addicted daughter failed to improve after years of (parent-funded) interventions. He also had his younger daughter, along with her unemployed boyfriend and their special needs child living with them for years. He and his disabled wife had no chance to retire early, although if it was just the two of them it would have been simple. The legal fees alone used to make him cry. While his daughters were trouble at a young age, all of the really expensive problems started soon after they graduated from high school.

The earlier you retire, the bigger the risk of unexpected financial burden. The more years you are exposed to such risks, the higher the probability.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 5608
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by RickBoglehead »

I have to ask, have I missed that people "claim" financial independence? Are there t-shirts?

Don't people just retire/stop working?
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Topic Author
Jimsad
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jimsad »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:02 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:16 am Working a few more years is likely 6 figures. What in earth could you think you should provide to an independent child that has that magnitude of cost?
There are plenty of thing that could be expensive. Depending on how tight the FI budget is, they could easily derail plans.
- education expenses
- delayed independence of the children
- housing
- medical issues
- marriages, divorces
- grandchildren issues
- etc, etc.

The earlier you retire, the bigger the risk of unexpected financial burden. The more years you are exposed to such risks, the higher the probability.
The issues highlighted by Joe Retire above,

"- delayed independence of the children
- housing
- medical issues
- marriages, divorces "

All of these may apply to grandchildren also if we live long enough . So no end in sight? :(
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5756
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by JoeRetire »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:04 am I have to ask, have I missed that people "claim" financial independence? Are there t-shirts?
As I recall, you are obliged to find the nearest hilltop, stand with your right fist in the air and shout "I... claim... financial independence!"
I think you then plant a flag or something.
Don't people just retire/stop working?
Hopefully there's at least some planning before that point in time.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5756
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by JoeRetire »

Jimsad wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:11 am All of these may apply to grandchildren also if we live long enough . So no end in sight? :(
That's for you and your wife to decide. We all get to decide which risks we are willing to take.

My two children were sound financially before I retired. They can bear the risks for such issues with their own children.

If you decide you want to personally take on the burden of support for all of your heirs, then indeed there will be no end. Most folks find a happy middle ground.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
bampf
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by bampf »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:25 pm
FoolMeOnce wrote: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:12 pm
This is an important point. You can't get that time back, so if you can cut back while still enabling yourselves to help your kids launch if necessary, find that balance.
FoolMeOnce,

A bigger picture question is

Is that "help" good or bad for the kids' growth? It may be counter-productive.

KlangFool
I agree with this. Help is one thing. A lot of help is another. It sort of presumes that the value of a thing is the thing itself. Sometimes true. However, I believe the value of a thing is the effort you employ to get that thing. Hard to feel the pride of accomplishment and attainment of one's goals when it is the cashing of a gift. Adversity comes in many forms.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5756
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by JoeRetire »

bampf wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:18 amI agree with this. Help is one thing. A lot of help is another. It sort of presumes that the value of a thing is the thing itself. Sometimes true. However, I believe the value of a thing is the effort you employ to get that thing. Hard to feel the pride of accomplishment and attainment of one's goals when it is the cashing of a gift. Adversity comes in many forms.
Thus gifts have no value. An interesting point of view.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
Jags4186
Posts: 5119
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Jags4186 »

Jimsad wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:07 am Donating our time is not a problem to help them , we will have plenty of that if we retire early . But what if they require financial help and you know that you could have helped them if you had worked a few years more ?
How old are your kids? If they are 12 years old yes you should plan to help them for another 10 years. If they are 20 then no.

What do you define as financial help? I drove a crappy cars, lived in crappy apartments with roommates, and went on crappy “vacations” for the first few years out of college. I paid for all of my stuff. If you see your son living in a crappy apartment will you feel that’s beneath little johnny? If your daughter is driving a 12 year old Toyota instead of a Mercedes will that send you and your wife in a tizzy? Are you going to be super upset if the first house they buy is a starter house and not some McMansion you assisted with a $xxx,000 down payment?

Having a little will hopefully motivate people to want to work hard and make more money. That’s what’s motivated me. And while I’m not like many here who make multiple hundreds of thousands a year, I have quadrupled my income in the 11 years since I’ve graduated college.
stoptothink
Posts: 8308
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by stoptothink »

Wife and I were on our own <18, haven't received a penny from (loving and "good") parents since, and now in our mid-30's are in a position where we are helping both of them out. These threads always resonate with me: the greatest gift you can give your kids is ensuring that they won't have to financially support you as you age. You should not feel any guilt to continue working (when you don't want to) just in case you have to support your grown children. You decide when "enough" is "enough, for you.
UpperNwGuy
Posts: 4096
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I retired while my youngest child was still in college. I paid his tuition and fees. My ex paid for housing and food. We made it work.
MikeG62
Posts: 3088
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by MikeG62 »

OP, it’s a bit unclear what you mean by “cut back a little bit with the work”. On the one hand, that does not sound like retiring now. Other comments you have made suggest it might be.

I understand your wife’s desire to make sure they launch well in life. If you plan to help them finance their college education then it seems you may well be doing that (along with everything else you’ve already done). If it takes them a while to get a job out of school they can live with the two of you. Should not add a ton of extra cost.

What will add a lot of cost is retiring early (assume you are in your 40’s) and needing to buy health insurance on the exchanges - not just for you and your wife, but for your kids too. That will, IMHO, swamp any extra costs you incur if your kids graduate college and stay home with the two of you for a while.

Having said all of this if your wife believes launching them means incurring all sorts of other costs (furniture for their apartments, helping them pay their rent, their cars, etc...), then the two of you need to get on the same page with that. Have her detail what she thinks those costs could be and then determine if you have enough to cover all of that (with a buffer on top).

Honestly, this feels more like a personal decision you need to sort with your wife than anything we can help with.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience
Elysium
Posts: 3209
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:22 pm

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Elysium »

Oh boy, this is indeed an eye popping discussion. I used to think American way was all supposed to be about getting independence and living life your way. That meant when you are young working hard, earn and spend your own dime, getting yourself up by the bootstraps, and go where you wish to go. Have we come to the point where young people have all become dependent on parents to support them through life :shock:

It's one thing to provide the occasional support or gift to your adult children, but another to support them until they are 'settled' fully in life.

Boy, am I glad our HS aged son keeps telling us he doesn't need a thing from us, and will go his own way at the earliest possible. I get a feeling sometimes he is saying that to get away from being accountable for the time being :wink: but that still makes he happy that I will one day be free to pursue my own hobbies and not working until I croak to pay for adult children to 'settle' in life :oops:
getthatmarshmallow
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

If it were me, I'd sit down and figure out what I intended to support. College? House down payment? Include that as part of your FIRE calc but don't keep working for "just in cases" as there's no end to that.
Cyanide123
Posts: 305
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 9:14 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by Cyanide123 »

My brother has a 6 month old, he's 34. He's thinking of selling his tech consulting business and retiring soon. But he'll have a net worth around 7-10 million, so however expensive children he has, i think he can afford them.
stoptothink
Posts: 8308
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by stoptothink »

Elysium wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:34 am Oh boy, this is indeed an eye popping discussion. I used to think American way was all supposed to be about getting independence and living life your way. That meant when you are young working hard, earn and spend your own dime, getting yourself up by the bootstraps, and go where you wish to go. Have we come to the point where young people have all become dependent on parents to support them through life :shock:

It's one thing to provide the occasional support or gift to your adult children, but another to support them until they are 'settled' fully in life.

Boy, am I glad our HS aged son keeps telling us he doesn't need a thing from us, and will go his own way at the earliest possible. I get a feeling sometimes he is saying that to get away from being accountable for the time being :wink: but that still makes he happy that I will one day be free to pursue my own hobbies and not working until I croak to pay for adult children to 'settle' in life :oops:
My uncle, one of my closest friends in the world, was basically booted out of the house at 14 when my grandfather remarried and his new wife did not want a kid in the home. He eventually moved in with an aunt in another state, joined the military, put himself through school, and is now a successful business owner who teaches at the local U on the side. Probably the best example of hard work and grit in my life. He told his kids that he'd pay for their college education because his own father didn't help him at all...of course it didn't stop there. His kids are now 30, 27, and 25. All 3 of them still live with him, the 30 and 25yr old are married (so they are in their childhood bedrooms with their spouse), and the 30yr old just had his first child. Only the 30yr old has graduated and finally recently got his first real job...and they bought a home, but as a rental as they continue living with my aunt and uncle. My uncle is nearing 60, as is his wife, and they are both starting to have some health issues but both continue working because they financially support the entire family. They also continue to live in the McMansion that they now have a difficult time maintaining because they have 5 other adults and an infant living with them. He really wants to downsize the home and stop working; he's just plain worn out.

Every time we have a family gathering he pulls me into a corner and tells me he is kicking them all out, but it never happens. They are essentially the family joke. An extreme example and just a single anecdote, but his kids have become my parenting nightmare. Over the last few years, every time we spend time with my uncle we come home and my wife and I have a discussion about what we can do to ensure that our kids do not become them. We will have the means our parents did not have, so we will be able to help out our kids, but where do you draw the line?
getthatmarshmallow
Posts: 650
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Can you claim financial independence with kids still in school

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

stoptothink wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:51 am
Elysium wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:34 am Oh boy, this is indeed an eye popping discussion. I used to think American way was all supposed to be about getting independence and living life your way. That meant when you are young working hard, earn and spend your own dime, getting yourself up by the bootstraps, and go where you wish to go. Have we come to the point where young people have all become dependent on parents to support them through life :shock:

It's one thing to provide the occasional support or gift to your adult children, but another to support them until they are 'settled' fully in life.

Boy, am I glad our HS aged son keeps telling us he doesn't need a thing from us, and will go his own way at the earliest possible. I get a feeling sometimes he is saying that to get away from being accountable for the time being :wink: but that still makes he happy that I will one day be free to pursue my own hobbies and not working until I croak to pay for adult children to 'settle' in life :oops:
My uncle, one of my closest friends in the world, was basically booted out of the house at 14 when my grandfather remarried and his new wife did not want a kid in the home. He eventually moved in with an aunt in another state, joined the military, put himself through school, and is now a successful business owner who teaches at the local U on the side. Probably the best example of hard work and grit in my life. He told his kids that he'd pay for their college education because his own father didn't help him at all...of course it didn't stop there. His kids are now 30, 27, and 25. All 3 of them still live with him, the 30 and 25yr old are married (so they are in their childhood bedrooms with their spouse), and the 30yr old just had his first child. Only the 30yr old has graduated and finally recently got his first real job...and they bought a home, but as a rental as they continue living with my aunt and uncle. My uncle is nearing 60, as is his wife, and they are both starting to have some health issues but both continue working because they financially support the entire family. They also continue to live in the McMansion that they now have a difficult time maintaining because they have 5 other adults and an infant living with them. He really wants to downsize the home and stop working; he's just plain worn out.

Every time we have a family gathering he pulls me into a corner and tells me he is kicking them all out, but it never happens. They are essentially the family joke. An extreme example and just a single anecdote, but his kids have become my parenting nightmare. Over the last few years, every time we spend time with my uncle we come home and my wife and I have a discussion about what we can do to ensure that our kids do not become them. We will have the means our parents did not have, so we will be able to help out our kids, but where do you draw the line?
Tough question, especially because it's hard to spot the line between helping and enabling except in hindsight. Given many I see around here, however, I'd say "finish education before marriage" and "have a place to live before having kids" will do a lot of the work for you.
Post Reply