Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

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rj342
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by rj342 » Sat May 11, 2019 11:06 am

stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:56 am
Living so far below our means is in part so that our children do not know we have anything. We don't do without, but we live a more simple (cheaper) life than most of our peers that have much less resources. Hopefully by the time they begin reaping the rewards of our hard work, they will still have no idea that we've been successful. We've got a good 20yrs to go.
I see several people saying this, but I assume at some age you would want to start making them aware why you are making the choices, and what the benefits are, while youre doing it. Otherwise later, it just seems like magic, and a teaching opportunity lost.

Tdubs
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Tdubs » Sat May 11, 2019 11:12 am

Miguelito wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:07 pm
Just to be clear, our kids are approaching middle school age and we are in our 40's. The question was not based on present conditions. But we do have good jobs, and projections point to us being able to retire in our 50's if it came to that.

But given our non-affluent backgrounds, it seems wrong to turn down the opportunity to make good money that could help others (particularly our own children) if it's not unbearable to do so.

The idea is not to subsidize their lives. Certainly one of the best financial gifts we can give them is making sure we are never a burden to them. But as I alluded to in the examples I gave (college savings for their kids or help on a larger down payment), the help would not be of the ongoing kind, but rather a leg up of sorts.

My kids are too young to know what to expect, but there is no reason to think they will not be successful enough for us to not have to to worry about them. They are growing up with plenty of a leg up compared to most kids (and certainly compared to my wife and I growing up).
For most of human history, generations have been very concerned with leaving something to posterity. Only in recent times has anyone approached this question with another question, "What has posterity ever done for me?" I'd say if working a few more years in a job you don't hate can make their lives better, why not? The fact is, helicopter parents produce more successful kids.
Last edited by Tdubs on Sat May 11, 2019 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

EddyB
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by EddyB » Sat May 11, 2019 11:15 am

stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:56 am
RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
If my kids decided to start a family of their own before they can support that family on their own, they are "on their own". That's pretty much where I draw the line. It's very common in my area/culture, to get married very young and start having kids and with no plan; I don't support that, period.

Living so far below our means is in part so that our children do not know we have anything. We don't do without, but we live a more simple (cheaper) life than most of our peers that have much less resources. Hopefully by the time they begin reaping the rewards of our hard work, they will still have no idea that we've been successful. We've got a good 20yrs to go.
I don’t want to encourage or support irresponsible behavior, either. But given a reasonable degree of responsibility and accountability, I’m not sure I wouldn’t subsidize employment that I saw as societally undervalued. For example, I’m in a profession that includes people who make a lot of money doing things that aren’t particularly meaningful (to me personally) and others who make peanuts to do things that are important. I’m not sure I’d concede parenting failure if I subsidized one of my kids growing up to do something that I value more than society at large does.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 11, 2019 11:16 am

Tdubs wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:12 am
Miguelito wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:07 pm
Just to be clear, our kids are approaching middle school age and we are in our 40's. The question was not based on present conditions. But we do have good jobs, and projections point to us being able to retire in our 50's if it came to that.

But given our non-affluent backgrounds, it seems wrong to turn down the opportunity to make good money that could help others (particularly our own children) if it's not unbearable to do so.

The idea is not to subsidize their lives. Certainly one of the best financial gifts we can give them is making sure we are never a burden to them. But as I alluded to in the examples I gave (college savings for their kids or help on a larger down payment), the help would not be of the ongoing kind, but rather a leg up of sorts.

My kids are too young to know what to expect, but there is no reason to think they will not be successful enough for us to not have to to worry about them. They are growing up with plenty of a leg up compared to most kids (and certainly compared to my wife and I growing up).
For most of human history, generations have been very concerned with leaving something to posterity. Only in recent times has anyone approached this question with another question, "What has posterity ever done for me?" I'd say if working a few more years in a job you don't hate can make their lives better, why not? It will make their lives better. The fact is, helicopter parents produce more successful kids.
Not necessarily.
Helicopter parents can end up with children/young adults who are not accustomed to adversity, and don't know how to deal with it, either pragmatically or emotionally.

It could go either way.

ETA: They may also have less ability to *avoid* adversity in the first place.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Tdubs
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Tdubs » Sat May 11, 2019 11:21 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:16 am
Tdubs wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:12 am
Miguelito wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:07 pm
Just to be clear, our kids are approaching middle school age and we are in our 40's. The question was not based on present conditions. But we do have good jobs, and projections point to us being able to retire in our 50's if it came to that.

But given our non-affluent backgrounds, it seems wrong to turn down the opportunity to make good money that could help others (particularly our own children) if it's not unbearable to do so.

The idea is not to subsidize their lives. Certainly one of the best financial gifts we can give them is making sure we are never a burden to them. But as I alluded to in the examples I gave (college savings for their kids or help on a larger down payment), the help would not be of the ongoing kind, but rather a leg up of sorts.

My kids are too young to know what to expect, but there is no reason to think they will not be successful enough for us to not have to to worry about them. They are growing up with plenty of a leg up compared to most kids (and certainly compared to my wife and I growing up).
For most of human history, generations have been very concerned with leaving something to posterity. Only in recent times has anyone approached this question with another question, "What has posterity ever done for me?" I'd say if working a few more years in a job you don't hate can make their lives better, why not? It will make their lives better. The fact is, helicopter parents produce more successful kids.
Not necessarily.
Helicopter parents can end up with children/young adults who are not accustomed to adversity, and don't know how to deal with it, either pragmatically or emotionally.

It could go either way.

RM
It could for any style of parenting--you can say that of bootstrapping. But parenting styles around the world are often intensive and intensively involved in the effort to leave the next generation better off than their own.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/opin ... onomy.html
Last edited by Tdubs on Sat May 11, 2019 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 11, 2019 11:21 am

rj342 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:06 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:56 am
Living so far below our means is in part so that our children do not know we have anything. We don't do without, but we live a more simple (cheaper) life than most of our peers that have much less resources. Hopefully by the time they begin reaping the rewards of our hard work, they will still have no idea that we've been successful. We've got a good 20yrs to go.
I see several people saying this, but I assume at some age you would want to start making them aware why you are making the choices, and what the benefits are, while youre doing it. Otherwise later, it just seems like magic, and a teaching opportunity lost.
That's definitely something to think about. We are learning on the job as parents and this is new territory that our parents can't help us with. We had a talk yesterday with my 7yr old on the way to a convention where I was presenting. We drove through a neighborhood of McMansions and she said that she wants to live in one of those houses some day. My wife's response was "we can actually live in one of those houses now, but daddy and I choose to save so we never have to worry about money instead". We are doing what we can to instill financial responsibility concepts in their brain, but we don't have any intention of talking numbers with them.

stoptothink
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 11, 2019 11:27 am

EddyB wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 11:15 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:56 am
RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
If my kids decided to start a family of their own before they can support that family on their own, they are "on their own". That's pretty much where I draw the line. It's very common in my area/culture, to get married very young and start having kids and with no plan; I don't support that, period.

Living so far below our means is in part so that our children do not know we have anything. We don't do without, but we live a more simple (cheaper) life than most of our peers that have much less resources. Hopefully by the time they begin reaping the rewards of our hard work, they will still have no idea that we've been successful. We've got a good 20yrs to go.
I don’t want to encourage or support irresponsible behavior, either. But given a reasonable degree of responsibility and accountability, I’m not sure I wouldn’t subsidize employment that I saw as societally undervalued. For example, I’m in a profession that includes people who make a lot of money doing things that aren’t particularly meaningful (to me personally) and others who make peanuts to do things that are important. I’m not sure I’d concede parenting failure if I subsidized one of my kids growing up to do something that I value more than society at large does.
I'm not financially supporting one of my children, married and with children of their own, because they want to pursue a career path that brings them joy, but not enough resources to support that family. These are decisions you make before starting a family, and adjust the lifestyle accordingly.

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celia
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by celia » Sat May 11, 2019 12:01 pm

RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
Have you considered that having extended family live with you could turn into built-in elder care for you? As your kids do caregiving, they become role models for their own kids.

There’s nothing wrong with having extended families living together as long as everyone involved is agreeable.

In a way, I wished I had known my grandparents better, but my parents moved across the country individually and were married here. It was only during 2 or 3 cross country trips with a car packed full of kids, that I was able to see them.

FBN2014
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by FBN2014 » Sat May 11, 2019 12:43 pm

celia wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:01 pm
RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
Have you considered that having extended family live with you could turn into built-in elder care for you? As your kids do caregiving, they become role models for their own kids.

There’s nothing wrong with having extended families living together as long as everyone involved is agreeable.

In a way, I wished I had known my grandparents better, but my parents moved across the country individually and were married here. It was only during 2 or 3 cross country trips with a car packed full of kids, that I was able to see them.
Several generation ago this was the norm that the elders would live with their children and grandchildren. But that was in the days when most women were stay at home moms and people grew old in the same location that they lived as young adults. Not so sure that wasn't a better model for raising a family and taking care of our elders.
"October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May March, June, December, August and February." - M. Twain

ThePrince
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by ThePrince » Sat May 11, 2019 12:47 pm

furnace wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:24 pm
DonIce wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:18 pm
At some point the bird has to leave the nest and fly on its own wings.
The sooner, the better for all involved.
+1

delamer
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by delamer » Sat May 11, 2019 12:57 pm

rashad3000 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:02 am
At what age are we expected to finally let our children become independent?
How do you define “independent?”

I know a couple in their 30’s with a household income of about $200K in a medium cost-of-living area. They own a home, save, pay all their own bills. But their infant is being cared for by the baby’s grandmothers — purely voluntarily — while the parents work.

Is the couple independent? They could manage fine financially if the grandmothers weren’t available/willing.

Do we measure independence based on just finances or are there other factors?

RadAudit
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by RadAudit » Sat May 11, 2019 1:06 pm

celia wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:01 pm

In a way, I wished I had known my grandparents better, but my parents moved across the country individually and were married here. It was only during 2 or 3 cross country trips with a car packed full of kids, that I was able to see them.
I'm sure you meant your post as a jumping off point for further discussion and not specifically for my situation. Would be an interesting discussion, though.

On a personal note, I'm sorry you didn't get to know your grandparents as well as you wanted to. It could be fascinating. Three of my four grandparents were dead before I was old enough to remember anything about them. The fourth was a real pistol. And, the 2nd great grandfather in that line had what could be referred to now as an unsavory lifestyle - (a possible explanation / excuse could be that he was once a U.S. Congressman :D, but I digress. ) It may be a inherited characteristic that skips a generation or so every once in a while or not - we'll see. Best not to contaminate the grandkids with my example.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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FIREchief
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by FIREchief » Sat May 11, 2019 1:23 pm

rashad3000 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:02 am
At what age are we expected to finally let our children become independent?
Define "independent." If it means letting them make their own decisions and work to pay their own bills, then I would say the sooner the better. If it means just standing back and letting them sink or swim when the unexpected shark attacks, then assuming a person loves their kids I would say never. I don't believe this is a binary situation.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

harrychan
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by harrychan » Sat May 11, 2019 1:25 pm

Depends.

Kids are young now but from my observation, they won't have a problem graduating and finding a job or having a business that will make them financially independent. My own experience is that my parents supported me through college and I was on my own the moment I got my first job out of college. Unfortunately, my parents didn't plan for their own retirement and as such, I am funding their retirement. I don't want to be in that position. I don't know where I will land but I do hope that I can bless my children (and grandchildren) by helping with their down payment for their homes or kick starting college funds for my grand kids. It is similar to what my great-uncle did. He was an extremely savvy and disciplined investor. When he departed, he left an account in his will that had well over 7 figures. It was designated as a "vacation fund" for all 5 of his kids and families for them to go on vacation with all of their families using that fund.

I want a legacy like that.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Ged
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Ged » Sat May 11, 2019 1:36 pm

celia wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:01 pm
RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
Have you considered that having extended family live with you could turn into built-in elder care for you? As your kids do caregiving, they become role models for their own kids.

There’s nothing wrong with having extended families living together as long as everyone involved is agreeable.

In a way, I wished I had known my grandparents better, but my parents moved across the country individually and were married here. It was only during 2 or 3 cross country trips with a car packed full of kids, that I was able to see them.
I think the idea of extended families living together is much more natural and over history has been the dominant pattern of life.

RadAudit
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by RadAudit » Sat May 11, 2019 3:30 pm

Ged wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 1:36 pm
I think the idea of extended families living together is much more natural and over history has been the dominant pattern of life.
Since we're sharing I thinks, you're probably right. It may be rooted somewhere in the distant past in the idea of the elder generations taking care of the grandkids while Mom and Dad were out hunting and gathering. And, maybe, more recently taking care of the older generations because of the inadequate social programs and lack of personal assets necessary to ensure their adequate care. In this most recent generation, that model may have broken down somewhat as family sizes decreased, and social programs and assets became more available. I'm not saying that the current model is better.

And, somewhere the idea / desire for parents to provide for their off-spring and the continuance of the family has morphed into the concept of expanding childhood / adolescence from working in the fields at about the age of six to getting them educated and keeping them on your health care program until they're 26. Not saying that's bad either. Might be necessary in an industrial society with employment opportunities requiring specialized training.

But, it does sort of get us around to the idea of how long should we continue working for the benefit of adult children.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

123
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by 123 » Sat May 11, 2019 3:46 pm

If you have to work longer in order to provide more for your adult children (who are not disabled) then you may have failed as a parent. If they are unable to support themselves (and live a lifestyle that is consistent with their abilities) how can they raise their own children (your grandchildren) to be self-sufficient? While many feel that providing financial support to adult children is a benefit if those adult children are not already self-sufficient you may be crippling them financially. Financial support from parents, which could include a large inheritance, can encourage children to live beyond their means. Money given as a gift is frequently wasted, after all it was "free".
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

stoptothink
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 11, 2019 4:04 pm

Ged wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 1:36 pm
celia wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:01 pm
RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
Have you considered that having extended family live with you could turn into built-in elder care for you? As your kids do caregiving, they become role models for their own kids.

There’s nothing wrong with having extended families living together as long as everyone involved is agreeable.

In a way, I wished I had known my grandparents better, but my parents moved across the country individually and were married here. It was only during 2 or 3 cross country trips with a car packed full of kids, that I was able to see them.
I think the idea of extended families living together is much more natural and over history has been the dominant pattern of life.
I don't disagree at all. But, it is one thing if it is best for the family and everybody likes the idea, it's another to do it because kids are unable or unwilling to be self-sufficient. We're in a position where we have done it off-and-on over the last 4yrs and likely permanently in 2yrs (in-laws living with us); I like them a lot, but it is still frustrating that we have to do this because they are not financially responsible. I could see one of my children living with us, with their family, in the (far) future - I might like that - but it won't be so they can be irresponsible or lazy. In pretty much every situation I know of, that's the case.

smitcat
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by smitcat » Sat May 11, 2019 5:30 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 4:04 pm
Ged wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 1:36 pm
celia wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 12:01 pm
RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:44 am
stoptothink wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:38 am
Many of my friends, cousins, and neighbors are still to some extent financially dependent on their parents - including several who are married with kids living with their parents and not financially helping at all
Anyone else beginning to think this whole thing may be going a tad too far? Not that I may not end up with the same problems - but how do you draw the line and when? For their own good as well as your own?
Have you considered that having extended family live with you could turn into built-in elder care for you? As your kids do caregiving, they become role models for their own kids.

There’s nothing wrong with having extended families living together as long as everyone involved is agreeable.

In a way, I wished I had known my grandparents better, but my parents moved across the country individually and were married here. It was only during 2 or 3 cross country trips with a car packed full of kids, that I was able to see them.
I think the idea of extended families living together is much more natural and over history has been the dominant pattern of life.
I don't disagree at all. But, it is one thing if it is best for the family and everybody likes the idea, it's another to do it because kids are unable or unwilling to be self-sufficient. We're in a position where we have done it off-and-on over the last 4yrs and likely permanently in 2yrs (in-laws living with us); I like them a lot, but it is still frustrating that we have to do this because they are not financially responsible. I could see one of my children living with us, with their family, in the (far) future - I might like that - but it won't be so they can be irresponsible or lazy. In pretty much every situation I know of, that's the case.
"We're in a position where we have done it off-and-on over the last 4yrs and likely permanently in 2yrs (in-laws living with us); I like them a lot, but it is still frustrating that we have to do this because they are not financially responsible"

Financially irresponsible parents are potentially much more of a threat to your own finances and retirement than children - use caution at all times.
Been there and done that one … YMMV

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Ged
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Ged » Sat May 11, 2019 5:38 pm

RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 3:30 pm
Ged wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 1:36 pm
I think the idea of extended families living together is much more natural and over history has been the dominant pattern of life.
Since we're sharing I thinks, you're probably right. It may be rooted somewhere in the distant past in the idea of the elder generations taking care of the grandkids while Mom and Dad were out hunting and gathering.
I seem to remember the transition to the empty nest came with the move off the farm to the cities when farm mechanization occurred. This led to the necessity of social security type programs.

BlueCable
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by BlueCable » Sat May 11, 2019 5:48 pm

It's been a while since I read it, but I recall that one of the conclusions from The Millionaire Next Door is that subsidizing your adult children's lifestyles will leave them worse off.

There's a spectrum between kicking them out at 18 and financing their BMWs through their forties. I hope to pay for college and semi-regular family vacations throughout my retirement.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat May 11, 2019 7:27 pm

I’ll tell you our personal story. We live in a great neighborhood with outstanding schools in a VHCOL area (Bay Area). I teach at a public school and my wife is a stay-at-home parent. Our parents think we’re sort of poor but no one helps us financially. I’m grateful that they believe in us to make it on our own. If they only knew that we are saving half our income and what we have accumulated so far, I think they’d be rather surprised. They don’t meddle in our finances, though.

We plan to extend the same respect to our daughter when she’s an adult. We’ll cover college and help launch her but then she’s pretty much on her own (unless there is some circumstance where she literally can’t work).

I’ve heard that helicopter parents have transformed into snow-plow parents these days and am noticing the same thing (I teach at a school with, let's just say, very "involved" parents). Parents often want to remove obstacles to help their kids but the struggle is a vital part of the journey. There is so much to be said about being able to pick yourself up and making your own way through the world.

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FIREchief
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by FIREchief » Sat May 11, 2019 7:41 pm

BlueCable wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:48 pm
It's been a while since I read it, but I recall that one of the conclusions from The Millionaire Next Door is that subsidizing your adult children's lifestyles will leave them worse off.

There's a spectrum between kicking them out at 18 and financing their BMWs through their forties. I hope to pay for college and semi-regular family vacations throughout my retirement.
"Benefiting adult children" is not necessarily the same as "subsidizing your adult children's lifestyles." I don't believe the OP mentioned a timeframe. It is certainly possible for someone to let their adult children live their lives on their own while stockpiling a future inheritance to protect them in the event that they aren't able to save enough for retirement or might face a forced early retirement due to bad health or ageism. There seems to be an unstated assumption in this thread that a properly motivated adult child is always capable of providing themselves with a lifestyle equivalent to their parents'. Unfortunately, life happens, and this can sometimes not be the case due to bad health, divorce, poor market returns, changing labor markets, etc. Is this the parents' fault? No. Should the parents help out if they can?
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by RadAudit » Sat May 11, 2019 8:35 pm

OP, glad we could provide answers for your original concerns. :happy
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 11, 2019 9:26 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 7:41 pm
BlueCable wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:48 pm
It's been a while since I read it, but I recall that one of the conclusions from The Millionaire Next Door is that subsidizing your adult children's lifestyles will leave them worse off.

There's a spectrum between kicking them out at 18 and financing their BMWs through their forties. I hope to pay for college and semi-regular family vacations throughout my retirement.
"Benefiting adult children" is not necessarily the same as "subsidizing your adult children's lifestyles." I don't believe the OP mentioned a timeframe. It is certainly possible for someone to let their adult children live their lives on their own while stockpiling a future inheritance to protect them in the event that they aren't able to save enough for retirement or might face a forced early retirement due to bad health or ageism. There seems to be an unstated assumption in this thread that a properly motivated adult child is always capable of providing themselves with a lifestyle equivalent to their parents'. Unfortunately, life happens, and this can sometimes not be the case due to bad health, divorce, poor market returns, changing labor markets, etc. Is this the parents' fault? No. Should the parents help out if they can?
I'm not sure that the necessary goal is an "adult child ... capable of providing themselves with a lifestyle equivalent to their parents".

I suspect that many of us, especially boomers, did indeed end up "doing as well or better" than our parents. (In both of our cases, although we are not "rich", we definitely have ended up with a much more comfortable life style than our parents, and *not* because of any help beyond college - and in one case, not even help with college.)

But the next generation may not "exceed" that lifestyle, and in some (many?) cases won't have quite the same.
However, they will still be "comfortable".

And I do agree that if there is some sort of disability, that is quite a different situation than "supporting adult children in the lifestyle to which they would like to remain/become accustomed..."

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Wildebeest » Sat May 11, 2019 9:30 pm

My parents loved me very much (or at least that is how I perceived it), but I would not have wanted them to work one more day than they had to.

I plan to work for many more years, but that is because I enjoy it.

I can see that you want to continue to work to give to charity, but I can not see continue working to support your children unless you have special needs children.

However if you feel it helps your children, you should go for it.
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Miguelito » Sun May 12, 2019 6:09 am

RadAudit wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:35 pm
OP, glad we could provide answers for your original concerns. :happy
This discussion is exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted to see people’s point of view, especially from a population that, for the most part, is educated and fiscally responsible and who tend to focus on early retirement.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by flyingaway » Sun May 12, 2019 6:41 am

Wildebeest wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 9:30 pm
My parents loved me very much (or at least that is how I perceived it), but I would not have wanted them to work one more day than they had to.

I plan to work for many more years, but that is because I enjoy it.

I can see that you want to continue to work to give to charity, but I can not see continue working to support your children unless you have special needs children.

However if you feel it helps your children, you should go for it.
I would never view any charity more important than my children.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by basspond » Sun May 12, 2019 6:55 am

If your number one goal in life is money and that it will buy you acceptance with your offspring after you die then work, work, work till you drop. If spending quality time with your relatives and enriching your lives with experiences you can’t put a price on then enjoy as much time with them.

I am biased though, a parent of ours got sick within a year after retiring and died within 18 months of being diagnosed with terminal cancer. No guarantees in life and no guarantees that money will cure anything.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Dandy » Sun May 12, 2019 7:20 am

It seems it is a lot harder for young adults to make it today then when I was starting out and starting a family. Even with both working and saving and spending wisely.

I am retired and we decided to start early inheritance distributions to our two children. We want to ease some of their financial stress now instead of them inheriting money from us hopefully a decade or more down the road. We are fortunate that we can afford to do that.

If I was 60ish and had a nice job and was in good health I might consider working a few years more to benefit the family. Actually, I had no choice as I was forced to retire at age 60 in 2008.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by JTColton » Sun May 12, 2019 7:27 am

I do not plan on working any longer or harder than necessary to provide the basics, then off you go. I'm still young in my late 30's but I've seen enough to realize that the most important gift I can provide to my family is time and availability, money is far down the list.

RE: multi-generational households, what's old is new again. Due to the twin specters of health and child care costs it's suddenly en vogue for family to watch the kids. Growing up there were long periods of time where my grandmothers lived and traveled with us. They are some of the most amazing and interesting people I've ever known and I credit them with giving me my sense of adventure.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Sun May 12, 2019 7:28 am

My in-laws actually retired for the benefit of adult children. When my wife announced she was pregnant, they decided to cut back on daily work (they own a business) and moved closer to us to help with the baby. So it wasn't direct financial help, but they did save us $1600 in monthly daycare costs. We get along great with them so it worked out really well for everyone. They have since moved back, but we will always be grateful for that time and sacrifice.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by RadAudit » Sun May 12, 2019 9:26 am

The question is ... do you worry about setting up your grown children financially?
No. I am concerned about setting up my kids to take care of themselves in a manner they'd like to become accustomed to. And, I'm also concerned about not becoming a burden to them in my old age.

First, take care of themselves. It is painful to watch some of the consequences of their decisions; but, they are their decisions. It is also their lives. If that is the life they choose then I should respect that choice. But, I also concern myself with being an ultimate safety net if one of the consequences of those decisions is undo financial hardship to them or their off-spring. (I don't envision myself allowing any of them to live in a tent unless, of course, they're out camping.) And, how to get them back on their feet after dire financial hardship is also a concern.

Second, becoming a burden to them. In spite of some of the wonderful stories of the results of multi-generational households (and I'm happy for them it worked out well and I'm as jealous as heck, too.), I doubt for a number of reasons peculiar to my extended family unit that it would work out well - either financially or emotionally for us or them. (Although from the distance of almost a generation some of the stories of extended family living can be amusing; but, it's a long time to wait to see the humor.)
Last edited by RadAudit on Sun May 12, 2019 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by stoptothink » Sun May 12, 2019 9:32 am

Go Blue 99 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:28 am
My in-laws actually retired for the benefit of adult children. When my wife announced she was pregnant, they decided to cut back on daily work (they own a business) and moved closer to us to help with the baby. So it wasn't direct financial help, but they did save us $1600 in monthly daycare costs. We get along great with them so it worked out really well for everyone. They have since moved back, but we will always be grateful for that time and sacrifice.
Interestingly enough, one of the ways we have helped my in-laws is by pulling my son out of daycare and paying my MIL to watch him. I had gotten her a job before (her first in her 61yr life), but she quit in 2 days. We pay her more than we were paying daycare, I stay home with him every Wednesday and every other Friday, and it is done in our home so we pay for all the overhead (but it is a little more convenient). Proportionally, we are probably paying about double what we were, but she is great with my son.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun May 12, 2019 10:18 am

JTColton wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:27 am
I do not plan on working any longer or harder than necessary to provide the basics, then off you go. I'm still young in my late 30's but I've seen enough to realize that the most important gift I can provide to my family is time and availability, money is far down the list.
I have reached the same conclusion as you. Time is incredibly valuable. If our daughter happens to have a less expensive house and car and fewer things as an adult, that doesn't necessarily mean she'll be less happy than we are. We're trying to teach her not to focus on material things. We're also trying to teach her self-reliance. She's proud of herself (and we are too) when she does things for herself like make a sandwich when she's hungry (she's four years old). I don't plan to deprive her of these good feelings of self-reliance when she's grown. We will continue to offer her our time and guidance. Leaving money to my grown kid doesn't enter my thinking process.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by m@ver1ck » Sun May 12, 2019 10:26 am

Really a cultural thing. I was taking to someone atbwotk and he measured success by three things -
- Having enough for self
- Leaving a smallish legacy for kids. Getting through them college and paying for their weddings.
- supporting parents in their old age - financially as well as otherwise

You retire when you can achieve all three.

I agree with him - apart for the legacy for kids part. Once they are well educated and put on their paths to success legacy is unnecessary.

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by smitcat » Sun May 12, 2019 10:26 am

Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 10:18 am
JTColton wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:27 am
I do not plan on working any longer or harder than necessary to provide the basics, then off you go. I'm still young in my late 30's but I've seen enough to realize that the most important gift I can provide to my family is time and availability, money is far down the list.
I have reached the same conclusion as you. Time is incredibly valuable. If our daughter happens to have a less expensive house and car and fewer things as an adult, that doesn't necessarily mean she'll be less happy than we are. We're trying to teach her not to focus on material things. We're also trying to teach her self-reliance. She's proud of herself (and we are too) when she does things for herself like make a sandwich when she's hungry (she's four years old). I don't plan to deprive her of these good feelings of self-reliance when she's grown. We will continue to offer her our time and guidance. Leaving money to my grown kid doesn't enter my thinking process.
We really have/had no issue with having plenty of time and being able to assemble extra funds that we can use however we want. Our daughter has had many jobs each one of which has been a learning experience - having funds for our parents and our kids has been a great experience that we look forward to continuing in the future. YMMV

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Re: Continue working for benefit of adult children or retiring earlier?

Post by afan » Sun May 12, 2019 12:23 pm

This is a broader question than simply working to benefit your adult children. I would happily work longer for that goal but that is not all there is to it.

I plan to keep working as long as I can. "Can" means that I have the physical and mental capacity and there is demand for my services. At some point at least one of these will run out. To retire before that happens would be throwing money away.

With all the debates on this forum about investment strategy, how many single digits basis points funds may charge, Social Security claiming strategies and estate planning, the clearest planning answer is that generating earned income is more profitable than not doing so.

Accumulation of assets is preferable to spending them down. Planning should include the possibility of a severe long term evonomic crash. Great Depression type of thing, only worse. There are people who could take a 90% drop in assets, with no recovery, and still be wealthy. A couple with $200M would still have $20M, for example. Short of that, "for the sake of the adult kids" is only part of the story. One would be working in part to expand the margin of safety.

Retirement is not a goal. It is something that may happen if my ability to work runs out while I am still alive. I make plans in case that occurs, but I hope to die at work, late enough in the evening that they pay my estate for that last day.

So I work to further minimize the risk of running out of money. I work so that we can fully fund college and grad school for our yet to be conceived grandchildren. I work so that our kids will have a nest egg to help them with security long after we are gone. I work because I have no interest in doing the things I see retired people do.

I work because I get paid for it.
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