how to invest


career, food, travel


saving, credit, debt


insurance, security


401K, IRA, FI, Retire

Home » Retire

Would you Support your Financially Negligent Parents?

Last updated by on January 4, 2016

On the surface, the answer of whether or not you should support your parents in their later years is an easy one – yes, of course you should, right? You don’t want to see them aimlessly walking around the neighborhood, begging for food and meds. Besides, you would be paying them back for raising you and paying your expenses and maybe even helping you financially with your education.

But… what if your parents decided to live a very extravagant lifestyle and made zero effort to boost their retirement savings? And were ignorantly or purposefully negligent in their financial decisions. Should you support their retirement then?

Family is family, but you didn’t exactly have a choice about supporting yourself when you were brought into this world. You were a dependent with no alternative and really no freedom of choice to earn an income. You were entitled out of necessity.

Parents who don’t make conscious decisions to invest in their retirement and live below their means DO have a choice. They are choosing present or future financial entitlement and opting to think about themselves instead of the family members that they eventually become dependent on.

Taking that a step further, what if they were 100% capable of earning an income to delay withdrawing from a tiny nest egg, but instead choose to not work at all and live now off of their paltry savings, knowing full well that in a few years they would be 100% dependent on their children or other family members? Do you still owe it to them to support them and that behavior?

filial responsibility

Like it or not, I think this is going to become more and more of the norm. Baby boomers are going to demand retirement (ignorantly or not), and as I explored last week in my inheritance post, their average retirement savings are dismal:

  • Only 15% aged 44-54 have over $250,000 saved
  • Only 19% aged 55+ have over $250,000 saved.
  • 44% aged 44-54 have less than $10,000 in total savings.
  • 29% aged 55+ have less than $10,000 in total savings.

Even if your parents are in that stark minority (15 or 19%) with a decent amount of savings, would you feel safe having them retire to never work again on that amount of savings? I sure wouldn’t.

The thing is, you may not even have a choice. Unbeknownst to me until I was researching for this post, as many as 30 states have filial responsibility laws that mandate adult children to pay for their parents basic life needs, should they need it, including nursing home care.

But… for the sake of discussion, let’s imagine you DO have a choice and your parents lives aren’t entirely dependent on your decision. If your parents were negligent in their financial decision-making and you had your own family and self to financially look after, would you still foot their bills for them?

About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 10,000+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • Trevor says:

    As fiscally conservative as my parents are I really can’t imagine the scenario that you’re talking about however I would probably do it regardless if for no other reason then it’s the right thing to do.

    • DAN says:

      the first part of your statement negates the second part of your statement

    • Noway says:

      I can not disagree more with your statement. My mother abandoned us when I was eight, ran off with her boyfriend. At one point she signed over all rights of her children to my father for 10k and we moved out of state. Never supported us financially or otherwise, never came to events other than my wedding. Has been nothing but distant and abusive. She has not been in my children’s lives as I have chosen to shield them from her driven tirades. We have been estranged for years.

      I have one drug addict brother who she has taken a shine too and has allowed him to exploit her financially. Now that she is old, broke and needing a lot of care he has left her behind but not prior to taking her car. She has enough monthly money to meet her needs but she chooses to give what she does have to him and expects us to step in and support her.

      No way!!! I have kids I am putting through school, I do not feel responsible to support her as I have no say in her finances and how she squanders her money, why should I have to financially support someone who basically only let me use her womb for nine months? I think each case should be looked at individualy. I would hope that you would not expect an adult child to support an abusive parent as it is literally like abusing that child again.

      • Raphaela says:

        Care of her fate because they were close, but now she is saying she doesn’t have time. She is my grandparents who say she is too much to handle. They keep threatening to leave her on my doorstep. She verbally abusive to the point that my brother doesn’t to hear her name. I can’t have her leaving with us. Also she has no insurance no savings and no place to live. What can I do to protect the kids?

        • Suhaila says:

          Depends on your location and if they have services that can help. If you think your kids are going to be harmed emotionally or physically then don’t accept her. Tell your grandparents that they’d be hurting their grandkids if they do what they’re threatening to do. If they can’t handle her how can you when you’re raising kids? She may have to go into a government program. Sounds like she has mental Illness but depending on your location there may not be any programs to help. In that case she made her choices and now she’ll have to live with them. And that may mean being homeless. If you can and you want to you can maybe help out your grandparents financially a little bit but that’s about all you can do.

      • PJ says:

        Thank you, Noway, for bringing reality-based perspective regarding irresponsible, selfish, entitled parents into much needed focus! The social cueing/brainwashing that levies a ridiculous guilt trip – based on ‘morality’, no less- and imagines that ALL elderly individuals were once nurturing, responsible, caring parents/role models needs to be discussed honestly and frankly. The hard truth is that a rather large percentage of elderly parents have NOT earned/do NOT merit a level of concern, caring and commitment that would have their children stepping in and bridging their misfortune and/or negligent financial planning to a comfortable lifestyle.

        I refuse to continue to enable irresponsibility at a cost to my own immediate family’s security! #should’ve been a more responsible, dedicated, heartfelt, honest, invested parent if you expected me to invest and engage in you in your senior years!

    • Grant says:

      Trevor, you have no clue what life is all about. My father left my mother when she had one kid in college and two in high school When my father left he decided he longer wanted to pay for the home that we all lived in, nor the car that my mother used to get to work and to get all of us kids to and from school, work and sports.

      On top of all that I was a freshman in college and did not receive a penny from my father. My brother, sister and I all made it threw college with financial aid, waiting tables, and other jobs that we could get our hands on. We graduated with many years of debt, but overtime everything worked out fine.

      Twenty years later my mother is very sick, can’t work and her car has died. She was married for a short time after she was married to my father, but her and her 2nd husband only lived for the day and not for the future. Her 2nd husband passed away and they had not a penny to their name. My father has no clue, nor does he care that we are all working hard to take care of our own kids and families while having to help support our mother.

      She has done a lot for us as kids, and we all appreciate it, but it is difficult for us and causes lots of internal arguments. I’m glad your parents are financially stable, but stop and think of the others that did not grow up in the same financial situation as you did.

  • Matthew says:

    While thankfully I won’t have to worry about this as my parents are extremely financially responsible, I would absolutely help them as much as I were able to. I have to say the idea of not doing so seems ridiculous to me actually. How did your parents handle it when you did something stupid?

    • G.E. Miller says:

      I am merely throwing it out there for debate because I don’t think the answer is always as easy as “of course I’d support them”. For example, would you foot the bill to house your parents while they were still capable earning money if it meant that you wouldn’t be able to save for your child’s education and your own retirement? Just like parents kicking their kids out of the house to encourage them to financially support themselves, wouldn’t there be some terms and conditions you would want to dictate before giving them support? What is ridiculous about that?

      • BG says:

        That is the Baby Boomer generation’s retirement plan: to have the next generation pay for it. Whether that means paying into social security and expecting nothing out, paying high prices for goods to fund their pensions (with no pension for yourself), or outright cash payments for their needs as you point out.

        We have to fund their retirement, while somehow try to save for our own.

        The boomers, collectively, have all the wealth — and they will still bleed their children/grandchildren dry. I think this is going to be a major problem for Generation X/Y to deal with.

        • kim says:

          This is my situation. My Mother-in-law. She retired at 62 so she could have a new car. She had 0 savings. She divorced my husbands step father later.She bought another car just to get the rebate to blow.I have seen her blow through thousands for her shoppping addiction. My husband is now disabled and we have one income. I have a decent nest egg,but am only 51. My mother is passed, and my father well off. He works still at 73, although he doesn’t have too.My Mother-in-law would take my last dime. I have helped for years, but I will have to sacrifice MY retirement, and I’m not going to anymore.May sound harsh, but I am struggling with the ability to work overtime anymore. My husband hasn’t gotten disability yet. My Mother-in-law knows about my nest egg and thinks I’m cruel. It isn’t that much, only $300,000.What do you guys think?

          • Ronna says:

            It is your money period

          • anne says:

            Either she starves now or you starve later. At some point, its not selfish to take care of yourself when its them vs. you. If she is being financially irresponsible, F*#$% her.

          • nema says:

            communication is the key to love.

            try it.

          • Nicole says:

            Take care of yourself first!

          • Tony says:

            Since she is not your biological mother and your husband has no income, you are not financially responsible for her according to all laws that I have read on this subject over the 30 states that require children to pay for elderly parental care.

          • Leah says:

            This is a very difficult problem-

            I find that people who were raised in safe loving homes where they didn’t have to worry about wondering where their next meal came from and if they were very lucky had college paid for or even better know they will have some sort of trust fund or inheritance find the thought of not helping their parents rediculous. Fortunatly for them this happening is nearly impossible/Unlikley.

            The people who are actually facing this situation (such as myself) who have been buying their own clothes since the age of 15, had been evicted from their housing situations in childhood due to their parents lack of responsibility and have student debt to pay off- are in a different place- Some here obviously had it worse- dealing with neglect and abuse in childhood.

            Helping our parents before they “need” help is a financially stupid move- unless you can easily do it (ie became a millionaire during your lifetime- with plenty of passive income) Many psychiatrists would point out it is an unhealthy codependent situation. Don’t throw stones in glass houses and walk a mile in one mans show before judging.

          • Jeaane says:

            $300,000 is not much. Invested and held in stocks it might generate $1,200 a month. You’re going to need it. Give time and help to needy parents, not cash. Another thing to consider is the idea that charity begins at home. My husband and I started putting away $300/month for his financially strapped mother’s future needs and stopped sending money to outside charities.

        • Dang Smith says:

          you are ungreatful child period.

          • PennyRex says:

            If your comment is directed to Kim…..its not even her mother, its her mother in law. Why in Gods name should she use HER money to support that woman?

          • Common Cents says:

            Whoa you aren’t ungrateful you are a rational adult entitled to your savings that you had the intelligence to accumulate. Ungrateful for being brought up by a parent that elected to have you or married into your family?

            I’m sorry if my parents generation didn’t think of the financial and emotional responsibility of raising a child, it is not your child’s responsibility to take care of you, it is your responsibility to take care of your child.

            When they are adults they are their own creature, do not expect them to be around to help you out, you should have responsibly planned to take care of yourself. Let’s not forget that the worst case scenario even if you are not completely backwards in your logic, your children could even die before you do.

          • WM says:

            “A Good Parent Leaves Behind An Inheritance For Their Children”. Pretty straight forward to me.

            I told my stepson “I want you to have a Better life than I had” not “I want to sponge off of you because I was irresponsible or lazy”

            I’m not going to enable anybody’s bad habits but I do think things should be looked at on a case by case basis as we do have a familial responsibility.

          • Elizabeth says:

            My mother is exactly this way. My husband and I have been financially prudent and we’re in our late twenties. We’re already saving for retirement and have been for some time. My mother, on the other hand, has absolutely zero in savings. She’s physically capable of working, but can’t, or won’t, get a job. She moved in with us due to some poor life choices she’s made and since then we’ve been supporting her. It’s not right in the slightest, because we’re having to cover her portion as well and will likely continue having to do this for some time to come. We’re also not talking about a woman who is 78. No. In fact, she’s in her early fifties and more than capable. I feel major resentment towards her for her lack of fiscal responsibility. The article mentioned less than 10,000 saved? I’d be really surprised if my mother had 250.00 in “savings.” The worst part is, she moved in with us under the premise that she would pay 1/4 of the utilities and 250.00 in rent (super minimal amount). This would cover her portion of the utilities and the “rent” could go into a general savings account. She’s 1,400 behind. Should we continue to be responsible to her and help her out when she’s clearly unwilling to even help herself out? Oh, and her car, a SAAB which is super expensive to fix, is broken again so now if she’s got somewhere to go she uses my husband’s car. The point about the car is that we’ve been telling her for the past three years to put money away because every time you turn around that car is breaking down. She still hasn’t gotten rid of it and we come back to less than 250.00 saved.


            Annoyed with a fiscally irresponsible parent

          • texan says:

            Dang needs to wake up, every situation is different

            Elizabeth – I feel for you, get her out NOW before it affects your marriage, she needs to get a job and a small apt or find a rich husband. My father has lived with me off and on (more on) since he was 50 because he chose not to work and while he was working he saved nothing for retirement. He is still living with me as he has nothing but SS and he is now 79 and extremely healthy (which is great) other than hygiene issues (very little bathing) due to laziness. I am a single parent who has provided for him longer than my own children and now that mine kids both out on their own, I am ready to downsize my home and get on with my life and feel stuck continuing to support him and let him live with me. Needless to say, he does no chores and has an attitude and says later (which never comes) if I ask him to help clean the house.

          • Michelle says:

            I am thankful to my parents who worked hard every day giving me the best of everything ( ,,from Mexico ),,,as they grew up here in the United States …were taught nothing comes free ….In this life . My sweet boyfriend and his siblings were not so lucky . The parents demand they support them when living here or in Mexico . The parents are young early fifties ,,,,my boyfriend was crazy young when they made him start working . I have been with my boyfriend for five years . I see these kids pay for speeding tickets … I am not amused .. I’m hurt for my boyfriend .a situation has raised my concerns even more .. My boyfriend has a child he supports along with his parents in the same small town in Mexico and they can’t even get the kid on the phone ( not the child’s mothers fault .) yet they call every weekend to ask about the money ….they didn’t even raise him??? What a great guy I have .

        • Genny says:

          I don’t like your assumption.All the while raising your generation parents have sacrificed a lot to give you guys more than we had.Your toys were more expensive,we paid thru the nose for electronics that only keep getting better year after year and everyone had to have the latest.The pension plans and unions, etc.died along the way with our parents’ generation – keep that straight.There is no longer security in work,everyone is dispensable.Most parents don’t want to live with their adult children because of the selfish, opinionated, callous people they have become.I say most,I am not generalizing here.

          • Common Cents says:

            Toys are more expensive therefore that’s why you have no savings? Toys aren’t a part of a good quality of life, emotional bonding and development are. A sense of purpose and community are. Financial stability certainly is, but not toys. Who said you had to buy the latest and greatest? Why not reach your child to enjoy what the have?

            A child is a one way investment, period. If you think otherwise your kids will suffer because of your irresponsibility.

            The financial landscape changed, true, but that’s not a child’s responsibility to figure out, you still chose to have a child, accept the risk that there could be another Great Depression and it will be your job to take care of them. Otherwise, don’t become a parent, it’s that simple.

          • Miss Lady says:

            Expensive toys, what! When raising a child the parent has the option to buy toys, clothing and anything else in a frugile manner. Regardless, being financially negligent is not right on any level. It is ok to help your parents when they need it but only when they are not purposely taking advantage of you or making you feel like you owe them. Afterall, children don’t ask to be born. Parents should always make good decisions financially & not make their children their “go to” when they want something. My fiance’s mom comes to him every month for bill money. This is after she has taken other family members out to eat & finished her monthly HSN or Kohls run. I can’t stand it because she spends her money on her wants & comes over to his place to manipulate him into paying for her needs. Not right at all. I tred softly when this issue comes up (he is burdened by the way) because this is his mother but it is uncalled for. Again, it is ok in certain circumstances but shopping addictions, gambling, living beyond your means and not giving a care & then guilt tripping your kids into paying for your bills is very selfish. Do all you can to become independent unless you want your child to resent you, be stressed over your actions or lack their of, or be dead weight.

          • Scott says:

            All the older ones has to do was to buy a house and hold on to that house and they would be wealthy enough to retire.

            Yet for some reason 83% of Australian’s retire below the poverty line – I worked as a paraplanner and helped over 100 people to agree to a plan to retire broke so I know what I am saying.

            Please do blame retail super funds, life insurance, financial services companies, the over valued stock market, fiscal conservative behaviour by the retirees (buying 1% bonds or 3% term deposits for example while paying more than that in fees for advice to do that resulting in negative earnings in superannuation).
            The governments taxation and welfare policies are poor, we are noncompetitive with Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. The governments approach to job creation which is simply shuffling around part time employees and construction workers to fudge numbers while cutting university funding and increasing immigration of skilled workers. While young people are now being priced out of the housing market and not gaining access to careers in many cases resulting in over educated people who can explain very clearly why they have terrible problems but who have no experience or capital to fix them.

          • Mary says:

            What crap! I’m looking at supporting my 60 year old father because he chose women and drugs, rather than working for a living. I have four kids, two in college, and have to put MY mortgage on the back burner because as capable as he is if working, he’d rather wait it out until his minuscule social security check starts coming in a few months. Resentment? You bet. My parents sacrificed nothing. I’ve been on my own since I was 16.

        • Rebecca says:

          I agree that the generation X/Y (of which I am a part) will be placed into a financial crisis as we enter the retirement era of our parents. As a group of individuals who are taking over the leadership roles that our parents once held, we have to start problem solving this right now. My parents are 62/63, healthy, have made good money but have never been financially responsible. My dad told me last week they are upside down on their mortgage and have only $12,000 left in their retirement savings. My mother is a huge problem – she spends money and gambles on the internet. I am very concerned about how to help them get into a better position to retire, but its not looking very good.

          • Tony says:

            Hello Rebecca,

            There are help programs for those who have gambling problems, my mother on the other hand is 66 years old and has been on disability since her early 50’s. Recently she had to be placed in a nursing home and will never leave due to her inactivity while she was home and living off of the rest of us. To top it all off, now her insurance and medicare are running out and she expects to get on medicaid to improve her chances of not going to a state hospital. Meanwhile her house is on a mortgage so can not be put up for sale, and her car is not paid for so not an asset that can be sold to help pay for her expenses. I have three special needs children, am a full time college student, and am just now working on getting my internship which is going to end up costing me money. According to the laws regarding my mother and her situation I am liable for her bills upon her death if I can afford them since she was there for part of my life until age 16. My father died when I was 12 so I helped pay my way to age 18 from age 12 so I should be exempt from this law due to the fact that my income was half or better of the annual income that our household had. Long story short, you should get your mother help for her gambling problems before you end up facing the legal battles that I am trying to avoid paying for someone who refused to take care of themselves before it was too late.

      • Jen says:

        Mr. Miller, my reply is a tad late considering this article was written two years ago. I recently dated a guy, (we are not together now) who’s son was paying his rent. I did not know this at the time we began dating. The ex is 65, in excellent physical condition and can work. But he refuses to do so.

        Recently, he was evicted from his loft. He did have problems in the space, but he should have placed his money in an escrow account until those problems got resolved. He did not. His son is going to assist him with moving into another place. Wonder how that will turn out. He is well off and helps his father, along with his other siblings.

        Aside from his son paying his rent, he has very little money, save for a few dollars from social security. He also has no car. Yet, I have observed him running out buying the newest iphone and other doo-dads and gadgets. He was self-employed for most of his adult life. He and his wife were married 40 years and raised six children. She is now deceased.

        He is now wagering that since he has a patent and is also skilled as an artist, that he will receive some measure of income and become independent of his son. I would add, that I have no respect for him. I can’t wrap my head around a man feeling that he has a sense of entitlement and that his child should aid him financially. Even though his son is doing it willingly, or so he says, it gives me the feeling that he is a spineless wuss. He also likes to live in the best neighborhoods. I tried to get him to live in an affordable senior community until he could get himself together. He stated that those communities made him depressed. Nothing wrong with this. But what happens if the son withdraws support and leaves him having to fend for himself.

        His son has his own wife and family. For the life of me, I can’t wrap my head around someone my ex’s age, who seems to have a sense of entitlement concerning his son paying his rent. I guess since I’ve always had to fend for myself, this seems foreign to me.

        Just my thoughts,


        • andrea says:

          I have to agree. My partners parents moved cross country to live with us and help with the new baby. I had no idea they would never help with the bills or with anything financially. I also had no idea his father would be losing his job completely. Now they are living in their own house with my partner paying their bills fully. I do not even see him father trying to find a job. This pisses me off to no end..

    • KRJC says:

      I have a parent who has suffered for many years with depression and anxiety and has been unemployed for over 2 years, and while you may find it hard to imagine not helping them, you might not understand how frustrating and fruitless it is to hand over money – it’s just throwing money at a symptom of a problem. It’s not just about money – it’s about learning a lesson. If someone is not willing to take the necessary steps to help themself, there are only so many ways I can help. I have taken this parent to mental health facilities, provided countless support program information, called for state resources, paid for their car repairs, given them my own money when I needed it for myself. But the bottom line is, if someone is not willing to change their patterns for whatever reason, at some point I have to take care of myself. This parent has no savings, no retirement plans. I can only save myself and make sure I don’t turn out the same way.

  • Leah says:

    My parents gave me life, raised me, fed me, put clothes on my back, a shelter over my head and gave me all the advantages they could for our modest middle-class upbringing.

    If they ran out of cash, I wouldn’t have one qualm in the world about giving back what they gave me.

    • Dang Smith says:

      Ther you go a good greatful child. Good thinking!

      • Brian says:

        You are a complete moron!!!! it’s my parents were that irresponsible ,….let Medicaid take care of them. They can visit anytime. give me a break!!!

      • Common Cents says:

        Sounds like you may be a dead beat. If you think it’s your children’s responsibility to take care of you, you must be.

        They are individuals with no obligations to you, you choose to have them not the other way around. You should have thought about that before you had kids.

      • Common Cents says:

        I never knew such laws existed! They don’t in my state but I understand the motivation is really for people that could easily afford to take care of their parents to take some pressure off the system. If you are a millionaire and your parents are in a home being paid for my the government…. come on you can actually afford to do something.

        On the other hand if you are a regular middle class joe trying to save for your own retirement or your kids college it is a totally different situation, which most of these laws take into consideration.

      • michael49022 says:

        What if the child can not afford to support the parent(s)?
        I make an average wage of which I pay not only my own bills but put 20% away for my own retirement. I hope I will have enough. I am 52 and have no children to take care of me when I no longer can. My parents are divorced. My dad seems to be ok financially but my Mom, age 72, still works in a factory for $9 an hour and has no savings and still owes about $45k on her home. She has never made much but still found ways to waste what little she did have. It worries me what will become of her when she can no longer work. Her S.Security is only $800 a mth.

    • Shawn says:

      your an idiot…if your parents decide to irresponsibly blow their money knowing you will foot the bill….they are on their own…..why should you pay for it. I wouldnt expect them to do it. Get real and look at the big pic

    • Common Cents says:

      No offense but your parents should have expected to give you all of those things before they had you, it’s their responsibility since they elected to have you.

      It is not your responsibility since you did not choose to be born to your parents.

      Of course if you have extra money after all of your own responsibilities are met, by all means do what you want, support your parents out of the charity of your heart, great.

      But make sure you aren’t placing their needs ahead of your own or your own children’s.

    • Yorkshirebird says:

      My parents raised me too. Im 36 they are 56 and ive been lending them money constantly for 14 yrs, my brothers also do. It is morally right to help your parents but its also infair of them to put this on their children. They are in so much debt, yet they bought an £800 motorbike yesterday then ask me for £35 today because my mum needs cigs. Its making me ill. Please think rationally before you comment that you would definitley help your parents, thats nice but see how you feel when ypu have to live like i do and lend hundreds and thousands to a couple who just dont care….

    • Amber says:

      So what if it was your mother in law? Would it be okay too since she raised your husband, etc. And she was in her 50’s, completely able to work, previously making over $100,000 a year and squandered it away? Then moves in with you and doesn’t cook, clean or lift a finger? Complains day and night about everything. Brings her hoard to your house so now your garage and back porch are full of her crap? No unemployment, no savings, only a broken down vehicle that was sold cheap. Then spent that $2000 on pedicures, eating out, movies, etc.?

      Now what?

      • Cristina says:

        Wow, that sounds like my mom. I am praying for guidance because she is addicted to spending–it is one of the ways she copes with depression and abysmal self-esteem. The spending feeds it. She needs serious help from the Lord and from professionals who understand the gravity of addiction and depression. It’s hard to put my foot down when she comes asking for money. I recently had her visit for two months and took good care of her, showed her lots of love and affection, cooked for her–but felt rather abused by the end of it. I love her and am thankful for her, despite her bad decisions. God has put her in my life, and I need wisdom for how to love her best–whether that means giving her a few bucks now and then or completely leaving her to her own devices. Sometimes people need to hit the depths of poverty before they come realize they’ve been doing things all wrong. I don’t know if that’s the case for my mom, but I trust that God will give me wisdom in this and that He has the best plans for her. Thank you for your post and to all who commented here. This was a really interesting article.

        • shy says:

          My mo worked in the US for 15 years to send me and my 3 siblings to private schools ( which was her decision, being an ambitious mom). We were told growing up that we are to give her money when we stat working. I revolted from this thought from the beginning.
          We could have gone to school in the public system( Philippines) alright.My dad worked full time but cheated and squandered money only 2 years of my mom being abroad. He and mom are now separated.
          Mom doesn’t have any savings.
          Me and my siblings are all married. I have 2sons.Mom recently joined me and my family here in Canada as a visitor.She tells my husband that she expects her children to pay for her retirement years.Makes me so angry!!!

          She was making alot of money working abroad and made poor choices, lifestyle, etc. She said , she sent her kids to school because she expects us to repay her by supporting her financially!!!

          How sound is that?!?!

          • Ricardo says:

            Sounds about right. Especially for that small percentage of parents from the old country that see children as “the help.”

            My mother always ran a deficit spending budget for the household. Though she & my dad worked hard she always “borrowed from Paul to repay Peter.” I was often the lender. I saved paper route money & she took it. During graduate school in 2005 she used my 840 credit to buy a house to flip, then ended up living in it (upgrade) & renting out her smallet house. I was too busy with school & had utmost faith she was looking out for her prized son, that i didnt notice the house was overpriced at $600k, now $400k today. I got a good job, she retired early, had a stroke, then my father got cancer & died. All her overleveraged homes got foreclosed, including the one i signed for (i did not benefit $1 from that home).

            My wife & i bought our house soley under my wife’s name because my credit has 1 and only 1 giant red flag (the forclosure). Mom stays with us part of the year, the rest with my deadbeat sister who takes all her SS & my Dad’s pension. Worst part is, mom keeps asking me for money to supplement my sister’s mistakes (extravagat wedding, divorce, DUI, blah blah). If i give her money, she gives it away to others ad a gift from her. So i dont feel bad if i cant give her my grown up paper route money certain months. My wife cant stand the way she tries to get my (our) money. I just keep it in & give money if i can spare it. I dont ever mistreat her, make her feel guilty, or do anything ill regret when she is gone (soon, shes bed ridden). Butive told our kids of the situation- if i ever become that irresponsible & selfish they should push my wheelchair off a cliff.

        • Sarah says:

          I have a similar story.
          i offered my mom a place to live for free so she could retire because she’s sick and 70. My family as been in a new house for the past fivemonths-my mom has a large awesome apartment and has already racked up credit card debt.
          She was a terrible mother and didn’t cobtribute anything to my life, but she’s helpful to some degree with my children which offsets Her living with us for free.
          However, she has been extremely financially negligent, saved nothing and all she does is go on the computer and spend money. This is not new behavior but she was supposed to make some money my brother and sister gave her last a while. $19,000 is gone in five months!! And she is angry that my brother won’t hive Her more money. And I can’t afford to feed her too; electric, cable, phone and heating oil are big expenses! And since she only leaves the house a few times a week, she is always using resources.
          I wouldn’t let her be without but she just takes and really thinks its all right. I was concerned for her health and knew I would have to take care of her one day, but sometimes I think I should have let her just have happen to her whatever would have happened.

    • jeffrey says:

      It’s wonderful that your parents did that for you. However,these are a lot of emotions rather than logic. When you don’t use logic a whirlwind of negative emotions will follow.They can work well together but not when emotions trump logic. That is why my mother is dependent on me now. She let raw emotions cloud solid logic and skew judgment. No saving or secure job. “Common cents” already explained the logic behind this very thoroughly. It is our responsibility to take care of our offspring if we choose to have them. I don’t consider myself obligated to my parents at all financially for that. I do love,respect and care for them for that. However, I will have kids and support them just as my parents did while remaining financially responsible and not burdening my offspring who have their own obligation to take care of ( kids) later on in life. Needing support from you kids is totally avoidable in most circumstance. Needing support from your parents when you are young is not. Either way, I will probably help out my mother as long as she is as independent as she can be to the best of her abilities. To ignore the irresponsibility of the past and not change them in future generations is ignorance.What if we do die before our parents? then what? nothing and everyone is screwed because we didn’t think and plan ahead. unnecessary, avoidable drama.

    • Miss Lady says:

      This article is about negligent parents not parents who make good financial decisions & later need help. Your comment doesn’t apply here. Of course most people would help their parents if they needed help as long as they have not purposely blown their savings.

    • June Banahan says:

      What a lovely person you are…

  • ERHR says:

    I can definitely relate with this scenario because it’s one I’ve been mulling over recently. My parents and I do not agree on how to manage finances and they do not live within their means, despite being high-earners. The “saver” of them knows what to do but it seems the “spender” always wins out. I had to unlearn a lot of lessons when I started managing my own money after college! They have retirement savings, but not nearly as much as I think they should by this point. So I may face this very decision in the next decade or two.

    I think that if I were to help them out monetarily on a continuing basis, it would have to be on my terms. As in, we make a budget together that I approve of and if they don’t stick with it I withdraw my support. Harsh but I think it’s the only sustainable option.

    I’m trying to avoid getting into this situation by probing my parents about their finances now, when they are still several years from retirement. I have made suggestions in the past about at least keeping track of spending and I think over time I will become more insistant. (Actually, my parents would be doing OK now except that my adult siblings are still living with them and are almost entirely financially dependent. So that’s another twist!)

  • David says:

    @ERHR I can completely relate you having to unlearn lessons. My parents were not and are still not financial ready for retirement. I might have more savings at 25 then they do currently. I also have that twist, my father still contributes a large percent of his income to my adult siblings.

    I will not be providing my mother any financial support, and I would be willing to help my father, but definately on my own terms.

    My mother and I are not on speaking terms, so I don’t see why I would.

    Also I don’t know how giving them money will solve the problem. I hate giving people money, its normally the first thing they ask for and the last thing they need.

    When I was in high school I worked with many elderly people as a bag boy there is nothing wrong with that (It’s the 30 year old working there that worries me). These part-time jobs plus social security is often enough to live a bare minimum life style.

    They took care of me as a child, their parents took care of them. I do not expect anything from my children. I am an adult and I have to live with my decisions. I know my grandmother would never take a dime from my father and my father would never ask me for a dime.

  • Brandy says:

    My Dad owns his own businesses. He loves to work and says he will work until the day he dies. He has no debt but has very small savings outside of the business. I think the businesses can run without him and pay for his medical bills, but what if is in the hospital for years? My mom can retire in 3 years, but she has a lot of debt. She is working hard to get it paid off, and I think she will, but what if she doesn’t? I have several siblings but at this stage in life, I feel like the financial responsibility will fall on my shoulders. I have thought that I should set aside money for them just in case, and if I don’t use it for them, I can use it for my retirement. Both of my parents work hard and don’t want to leave any debt to us so I don’t feel bad about helping them. However, if they were just racking up the debt and not trying to change, I could see how I would feel resentful and not want to help them.

  • Little Miss Moneybags says:

    Whoa, I did not know about filial responsibility laws!

    I would most likely help my parents however possible, but hopefully I will not be faced with this decision. I have a friend with a parent who was abusive and neglectful and he really struggled with their relationship when his father got older and sicker. I don’t know whether he helped him out financially – I doubt he could have afforded to – but he lives in a state with those laws. His father passed before becoming completely unmanageable, but I hope that the courts take into consideration the actual relationship an adult child has and has had with their parents before requiring the support.

  • K C -Stl says:

    I am facing this now. Growing up, my parents were very careful with money. After I left home, they started spending. My father passed away 10 years ago, and my mom has now blown through the cash, and took out an interest only mortgage that she will no longer be able to afford in 3.5 years. Several months ago, i advised her to get and stick to a budget. an elder care lawyer advised her about her future $$ including what happens when she becomes unable to care for herself. Not a pretty outcome.
    Just found out, my mom is still spending and increasing her credit card debt. I’m not sure how she will be able to afford her real estate taxes. somehow she worked out with the mortgage company, 6 years ago, that she would not escrow her tax $$. She promised me 3 months ago she would open a savings account and start putting the money away. She hasn’t done it. This seriously the polar opposite of the mom i grew up with. She is currently 74 years old, not in good health but could potentially live another 15 years!
    I’m mad and angry. She is NOT helping herself, she is making things worse. So do i have to go over there and take away her check book? I think it would get very very ugly.

    Until you are in the situation and everyone’s circumstances are different, you do not know what you will do. I envision i will have to support her someway, but I have a special needs child that will need that $$. (plus two other college bound kids) I’m stressed! Brothers and sisters unable and unwilling to help.

    • Paula says:

      Your mother sounds like she has a mental illness such as depression. You should insist on a thorough physical exam including psych testing. Many people use shopping as a remedy for lonliness, anxiety and depression. I know my mother did and so have I I was recently diagnosed bipolar and my mother’s heart was broken after the death of my father and she became seriously depressed. All I can say is I would give either one of my parents (both now passed) anything in my power to give them.

  • Jason says:

    This concern crossed my mind a while ago. I feel like my parents have done ok saving, but question whether my wife’s parents have made the same choice. I think they fit in the 44% category…44-54 year olds with less than $10k. I can’t imagine walking into their home and telling them they need to shape up. After all, they aren’t my parents, but when it comes time for them to need financial help, I don’t doubt we will be supplying it.

    • G.E. Miller says:

      Why not tell them to shape up? If you think they might be dependent on you for income, it’s really not much different than a 27 year old who has overstayed their welcome at home. You’re an adult now, just as the 27 year old is – it’s just that the dynamic is different in that the discussion is going the other way. I understand it’s taboo to discuss b/c they are your parents, but should it be when your future financial livelihood is at stake? Not promising that it will go over well though =)

  • Vanessa says:

    My mother retired in 2003 and my father in 2010. They have exactly 0$ in savings and live off of their government pensions. Earlier this year I found my mom serving my dad/brother peanut butter sandwiches (she skipped supper that night) and I forced them to take 5000$. After they blew it on crap and on bailing my brother out of debt, I don’t think I will help them out again.

  • Natalie says:

    I think it depends on what you mean by “help.” Will I hand my parents money? NO. Will I welcome them into my house and help pay for their food and basics if necessary? Yes. I expect to have to do this with my mother and mother-in-law. As far as medical expenses, I don’t feel obligated to pay for debts in someone else’s name. My parents may have to declare bankruptcy. That’s what those laws are for. The two family members I mentioned have less than 10k in savings between them and are 57 and 64 respectively. Both parents have helped me out of many jambs, stupid or not, without question. I do feel it is my duty to care for them, but it not my duty to give them any lifestyle they desire.

  • Ron Ablang says:

    Wow. That is a tough call.

    I think that I could not support them w/ money. We ourselves are struggling w/ what we have so I think the best that I could do is to allow my parents to live w/ us in our house. They would get food & shelter and the least they could do in return is to provide free baby sitting and house cleaning services in exchange.

    I wouldn’t be able to put them up in their own place nor pay for any of their vacations.

    • jeffrey says:

      I would probably help bail my parents out as much as is financially responsible. However, before I do this we would sit down and talk about the poor financial decisions of the past. The lifestyle changes that need to happen now and devise a plan to be as financially independent as possible for the future. If they disagree with any of these things or stray from the plan in the future. The gravy train stops.

  • Amanda says:

    My parents, although still married, have EXTREMELY different views on money and working. My father will work until he dies (and he owns his business, so they have a little stockpile in that if it is sold). My mother was on trial for embezzlement when I was young (and got her first job when I was 12 after her court ordered community service was done). She then proceded to secretly go $40,000 in CC debt and steal my identity. I go home for Christmas, but I haven’t called her Mom since clearing my credit history of all her crap. My father won’t need my help, and my mother has no right to ask for it…

    I am from one of the states on that list, though, so I may not have a choice. Darn.

    • G.E. Miller says:

      Your mother embezzled, racked up $40K in CC debt, and stole your identity? That ranks up there with one of the craziest stories I’ve ever heard. You need to write a book!

      • Amanda says:

        I’ve actually thought about writing some kind of book, however I am an engineer. I’m a little too concise to get more than 15 pages from my life…I like bullet points too much :).

        Her aweful example and my father’s “push you out the door, have fun paying for college” technique have made me extremely financially independent. I also gained the experience of working with the credit agencies and credit cards to clear information from my report 5 years ago. It wasn’t as bad as I’ve heard recently, but I’m sure they’ve cracked down. One credit card still checks my report about every 6 months (I think it’s to ensure I wasn’t just trying to get out of a true debt).

  • Trisha says:

    I am sadly already in this situation. My widowed mother saw fit to live well outside her means as well as support an older (10 years+ my senior, married) sibling of mine’s bad habits. She easily ran through the money my father had both left to her and saved for them within a year. The result is that I gave up college, took a dead end job and live with the constant fear of her relapsing to helping my deadbeat brother (which has happened and will continue to happen until I cut them both off). Two years down the road and I’m just finally digging myself out of the hole and considering my exit strategies.

    All I can say is that my own upbringing drove me to help her but I’m quite sure my late father would be horrified by the entire situation and beating my tail for not staying away. Although I’m grateful to her and dad for raising me, if I had to do it over again I would have let her sink on her own. Law or no law.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Trisha

      I think if you are not in the situation yourself no one can understand the accony of us only trying to live our own lives and often the people closest to us sucking the life out of us.

      My father is very lively and healthy, for years he had his own business did very well but did not handle money well.

      After my mom died he was in terrible debt because of hospital bills. He sold our family house and spend all the money on luxuries.

      He ended up without a job my husband took pitty on him offered him a job in our compnay, he never took responsibily, made stupid mistakes, acted like a fool in front of our clients, really did stupid things. He does not clean his home and often walks in his pajamas for days does not bath. He gets agressive whenever we ask him to get his act together. We have screaming sessions and it interferes in my marriage.

      To top everything up my brother who was a drug addict cleaned himself up and is also staying with us. It is going to be hard but I need to set them free. My dad is capable of dating women, he is in perfect good shape but he is just so lazy he crawls under my skin. For years now I tried to do the right thing but it feels as though he takes advantage of me. I developed a tumour and is so sure it is because of my frustration with them.

      Wherever I moved they always showd up said they are coming for coffee en then my husband and I have to move to get rid of them. We even had to toe his broken down car to the next home.

      If i look at this picture I laugh at myself and think It is like the dann Adams Family, it is a joke.

      If I know they are ok I dont think I would ever want to see them again I would phone them ones a year from a enynomous line in case they trace where I stay. I am so fustrated with the situation.

      Other people also get furstrated with them, you can’t tell me that the 20 odd people that chased them away all are in humane.

      I feel for you, some people are so lucky to have team players for parents.

  • matt says:

    my folks have always been responsible. I love them dearly but, they can set a camper up in my back yard and stay there if its that or homeless.

    • Nicole says:

      My 75 and 80 year old in laws retired at 45 with the belief that they were going to screw the system. All they did was screw themselves. They are very broke. Their house is a dump from lack of care. Their truck is broke down their car is junk. They only call when they want something or to hint that they do not have grocery money or money for their property taxes. For 25 long years they have treated my husband I like we don’t exist. Always laughing and calling my husband a fool because he works 60+ hours a week. I’m the greedy bitch that makes him work so much. The time is coming in the very near future that they will be asking for a nice sum of money. And the answer is no. If you cannot help yourself in the least bit, I will not support you.

  • PigPennies says:

    This hits close to home today regarding my parent’s in law. It’s funny how most of the people who are shocked anyone would even consider not helping have responsible or hard working parents. In that case sure, if something drastic happened, they would help. But in the situation with my in laws, where they are both over 50 and in an extreme debt situation (I would be overjoyed if they had anything close to $10K in savings!) and are in their situation solely because of irresponsibility, I can’t imagine ever giving financial help because it would just be throwing good money after bad. Just today a “loan” was requested, and I’m terrified of opening that door. Despite having a little bit of sympathy for the immediate situation, I can’t help thinking that the small loan would be nothing but a band aid to the gaping wound that is their overwhelming financial situation.

    On the other hand would we let them die in the streets? No, but I don’t think it would ever come to that. The fact is that they always seem to muddle through, but I don’t ever want to be the one supporting financially irresponsible people.

  • Melissa says:

    No. My parents would not help with college, my wedding, and I have worked since age 14. They give money to 2 brothers and don’t save at all. In laws are even worse off and have asked us for money several times. They did not pay for hubby to go to school but paid for sis then asked us to help pay for her school when she was still in after 6 yrs and she wouldn’t get a job.

  • Leslie says:

    Wow, great topic.
    @ERHR I can completely relate you having to unlearn lessons. I was not taught or even mentioned to about investing, the different options for savings, college costs, house finances, etc. Nor was that a class at the elementary or high schools I attended. I then proceeded to have to learn on my own – and thanks to my man I am better off now (despite the dismal market).

    Yes the parents’ raised you and YOU think you owe them (some parents -the reasonable ones- didn’t expect to be ‘paid’ back when they raised you, they had you because they wanted the enjoyment of having a child).
    With that being said, they can still pass down their debts to you after they are gone! PLUS learning about these LAWS that mandate filial responsibility sucks.
    It’s not fair if a parent won’t discuss their finances with you.

    My mom keeps asking me to buy her a house! Out of the 4 kids she had, I am the oldest and most responsible and well off child (for a 27 year old, that has been financially independent since 17/18.)

    Everyone needs to find a way to be able to live the way they want to live. Most would disagree with the ‘mooching’ strategy, but it is a real one. Protect yourself – I think I heard you can declare “financial independence” or something like that even if you are an adult from your parents to protect yourself from inheriting debt.

  • Agatha Kulesza says:

    Ugh this is such a hard one. My parents were up sh*t’s creek financially the past few years and I had a hard time with wanting to help but also still needing to build up my own nest egg. Most of us in our 20’s and 30’s are still building for your own future. Who’s going to take care of you if you deplete your savings or go into debt to take care of your parents? It’s one thing if you are young and have hundreds of thousands already saved but if you are like most people who don’t then I think you should focus on taking care of yourself first. Then once you are on solid ground you’ll have plenty to take care of others with.

  • LaTisha @YoungAdultFinances says:

    This is actually a big concern of mine because my parents are not really budget conscious. I am working really hard to save and invest because I know that I will probably be the one taking care of them financially in a few years unless my dad decides to never retire.

  • Eric says:

    Fortunately my parents have always been extremely retirement/savings conscious, and while earning a decent living, lived within their means. My two sisters inherited this responsible nature and I know my family won’t ever need to call on me for help, but if they did I would most definitely help, as I know whatever occurred would have been out of their control.

    My girlfriend’s (and likely future wife’s) family is the polar opposite. Despite making a decent livable wage, they continue to live paycheck to paycheck. They are in their low 50’s with $0 in savings. They are completely irresponsible in general, but particularly with finances. My gf and I joined finances a couple of years ago and are working hard to pay for our needs/goals/wants and planning for our future. We’ve already “loaned” money to her family’s company, parents, and sister, and I know in the future we’ll be called on more. I have no plans of continuing to help them out until they can show they’re at least making an effort to be more financially responsible. /rant

    • Agatha Kulesza says:

      I so completely agree Eric. My parents are just like your girlfriend’s parents so I’ve really had to draw the line there. If you keep giving money to people who are irresponsible financially that’s like rewarding them for their behavior. It doesn’t solve any problems and only becomes a financial drain on you. It can be so hard though when they are your family and you love them and don’t want to see them suffer.

  • Jennifer says:

    This is the perfect post for me. I have to say no I would not. My parents have never been financially responsible. As a CPA, I have attempted to help them over and over.

    Now they have chosen to support my adult sister, who has chosen to quit her job to change careers for the 5th time in so many years, and at some point they will run out of money and come to me and my husband. I’m at the point where I would like to go to them now and tell them up front don’t come to me asking for money, because I know it is coming.

    Me and my husband work very hard and save very hard, my mother has not worked in 20 years (by choice) and they pay my sisters bills (by choice). I will have to tell them to move in with her, since they paid for half her house anyways. (sorry that sounds kind of bitter 🙂 )

    • bschild79 says:

      My dad has worked HARD all of my life, mother would work only during the holidays and almost always quit the day after christmas. Her last job was in 2000. My dad is a owner/operator driver. After paying insurance an gas for his truck he sometimes comes home with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! My mom has stated that she does not want to work and have no plans of working. She’s constanly asking relatives for money, constanly borrowning money from the church, and from my sister and I. They’re over a year behind in their mortgage and currently facing foreclosure (duh!) She spends her day gossiping on the phone and buying more furniture to fill their 2600 sq ft home. My dad says NOTHING to her, he always states that he’s willing to do anything to make her happy (sweet gesture, but wake up buddy!!.What makes this situation worse is that my younger brother (age 29) is staying with them he has two kids from two different women and pays childs support for at least one, he has no other expenses except for his drinking and Masonic affiliated expenses. He doesn’t pay rent or bills in the house, He takes trips out of the country whenever he feels, he shops like theres no tomorrow. My mother is always finding blame with my sister and i. We both have husbands, kids, homes, etc. She’s always nagging about how we don’t help her out and how selfish we are, etc. So to answer the question will i help out my irresponsible parents NO….better yet HELL NO!!!!
      Don’t get me wrong I love my parents but I have a life of my own to live. My husband and I can barely make it on the salaries we have. My sister and her husband have the same situation. I’m sorry but 100% of the problems they’re having is their fault and their alone.

  • BW says:

    This is an excellent article, and really got me thinking. This is an incredibly emotional topic, and as such it is difficult to think in the abstract about what you would do. I do not foresee this issue with my parents, but I do worry about my in-laws. How would others feel about taking on the burden of the spouses parents? It is much easier to feel resentment!

    • Agree with BW says:

      I face a similar situation where my in-laws have been financially irresponsible. They have portrayed a lavish lifestyle while making bad decision upon bad financial decision. There is no discipline, there is no long term vision, and now they are faced with significant financial challenges.

      The spectrum of emotion has ranged from ‘its not my problem’ to ‘what plan can i put in place for them, while also supporting the future investment needs of my family’. It has been difficult to say the least. For now, I am choosing to be disengaged, because my efforts in the past in trying to change behavior have been ignored. Basically, if they’re not willing to change, I can no longer waste my most valuable asset: my time.

  • Quita says:

    My parents moved in with me and instantly became a financial drain. I gave a one year cap to assisting them. I am 25 and I have been a homeowner for almost a year now . They are 42 and443. My dad makes 2x my income and depends on me bc he is wasting his money. They don’t have retirement accounts. 🙁

  • Freaked Out says:

    My divorced mother decided to retire early (meaning a decreased pension and SS payment) then spent her savings on remodeling her house, vacations, furniture, etc. until she started to run out of cash. So, she got a part time job at WALMART and promptly bought herself a Cadillac (what every Walmart cashier needs). After a year or so she got “sick of working” and quit her part time job. She proceeded to sell all her jewelery, silver, etc., NOT to pay her bills or buy food, but to buy MORE new furniture, new landscaping and new hardwood flooring in her home. I’m so angry because I know she is squandering her money because she feels that when she runs out and can’t pay her bills, she can just move in with me and my husband. We are aggressively opposed to that idea because my mother is perfectly capable of earning and saving but chooses not to. Her living with me and my husband would put a horrendous strain on our marriage.

    I don’t know what to do or say to her. She already proposed a few years ago that she was considering moving in with me and my husband (apparently she just assumed we’d be thrilled with the idea), and I made it clear then that we were NOT on board with that, and would never be on board unless she had serious health issues and needed care. Yet she continues her reckless spending. I feel like I need to have a heart to heart with her but not sure how to go about it in a way that won’t sound heartless and mean. How do you tell your mom, “You better stop spending your money because you’re not moving in with me”???

    • Tony says:

      If you have not had that heart to heart with her you could do exactly what I did today, bring up all the crap that was brought to your attention that she did that directly affected you. Thanks to my parents I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and according to the state in which I live I am responsible for my mother’s medical bills upon her death because she is applying for Medicaid. I mentioned in an earlier post I have three special needs children so my money is already stretched past the limit especially with 2 of my children being autistic, so I do not see where it is right for any state to expect a penny for care for someone who refused to work and I helped pay for my own upbringing from the age of 12 to 18 and she did not have custody of me for three years due to her negligence. Anyway if you do not have this talk it will end up blowing up in your face if you do not get her to stop now.

    • kimba999 says:

      Hey FreakedOut, I don’t know if you’ll see this but I wonder how it turned out. I hope you stuck to your guns.

  • Yiiup says:

    My father can go drop dead in a ditch for all I care. He’s a violent criminal and did me no favors. If I was held accountable for his basic needs as an old a-hole I would sue the state for allowing him to have me in the first place. Or something to that tune.

    My mom is altogether another animal–but I’m not sure that she’s going to get the retirement she thinks she deserves. What is up with people thinking they “deserve” everything???

  • So Angry!!!! says:

    My in-laws are completely financially irresponsible. They have no savings and they have a small amount of CC debt, but a house they “rent” to no profit to them, in AZ that the bought during the housing bubble, proceeded to put in travertine tile, granite countertops, and a pool, and now they owe $130,000 more on it than it’s worth after the recession. And not only that, THEY WERE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS working at minimum wage jobs the whole time!! (Now they’re legal). My mother-in-law was working 80 hrs a week to pay for it all–it’s really her that wants it all too. They were well off in their own country, and she can’t handle the status change I guess. But that house was nicer than any house my parents have owned and my dad’s a dean at a university. Umm, yeah. Oh, and they also spent oodles of money supporting my lame brother-in-law who only wants to party and drink and get tattoos. My other brother-in-law is nice and financially responsible, but whenever my husband tries to talk to him about plans for their retirement, he acts like he has the emotional capabilities of a 15 yr old girl and says along the lines of “I just can’t think of them getting old” and gets all emotional and his mom when my husband tries to talk to her, acts the same, “You act like we’re in the grave already!!!” and starts to cry. Yet, really, if they were just going to die soon, none of this would be a problem except for paying for the funerals. The problem is how are they going to LIVE when they can’t work anymore. My husband and I have tons of debt from grad school (just finished this year) and pilot training, and while we earn the most, we also have 4 kids with one on the way and a couple more possible. (Yeah, I’m one of 9–I love big families–but my parents are extremely smart with their money). And one of our children is an adopted family member that my mother-in-law asked us to take in years ago, and because of that instead of having 15 yrs to pay off our own debts and free up some money before needing to help with kids in college, we’ll be barely managing to help our daughter go to college in 6 yrs. Having that old of a child given to us threw off all our financial planning to begin with. And I know my mother-in-law just expects us to take them in. In fact she’s made comments along the lines of “I’ll never forgive you if you put me in a nursing home.” Anyway, it’s so frustrating because in 10-15 yrs when they won’t be able to work anymore (long past their retirement age) I’ll still have kids in elementary school. My husband tries to advise them (get a smaller apartment instead of renting a 3 bedroom home, stop leasing the expensive Toyota and buy a small Ford Focus, etc) but they won’t listen and just continue to say that in ten years they’ll be able to buy and pay off another house for them to live as long as they’re independent. Errrr….that’s impossible. I’m so angry. So, so angry.

  • Angry, Frustrated, & Confused says:

    With my parents, yes, I would support them if necessary. This is mainly because of their financial management values. They have always pinched pennies, and scrimped and saved, and never splurged on themselves. They’ve always provided me what I needed, and have never left me truly missing out. If they needed help, I know it would be because they were absolutely desperate and tried everything within their power to avoid it.

    The anger, frustration, and confusion comes my boyfriend’s family. To keep a long story short, until I addressed this with him, he was just handing over whatever they asked for without question and I’m not talking about chump change. And my frustration comes from seeing a complete disrespect for this support by not cutting unnecessary items, giving it away as gifts to “save face”, lack of creative problem solving when it came to accepting a job offer without ideal hours, spending on vacations, gambling it away, and more. Beyond the actual money, it’s frustrating that the family doesn’t communicate about what the budget actually is, and how they plan for the future given that they have no assets or pension. I understand the cultural implications of taking care of your elders, but this should not happen in your 20’s and when they are not even 60 years old. It’s hard to be okay supporting people who don’t want to face reality, and treat your loved one like an ATM.

  • angela t says:

    my parents i would help yes. my mother in law, no. she screwed over her kids so bad. they had vehicles repoed and even when my husband had tried cosigning a loan (big mistake which was also before we got married) to help her consolidate she failed to pay that back too. so on his credit there is 30k + of unpaid debt all because of her. i try to get along with her because of the grandkid but dont get me started on her being extremely irresponsible with money and then saying it was everyone elses fault. she had won a 300k lawsuit from a surgery and it was gone very quickly. credit card debt, goin out to eat all the time. buying all kinds of unnecessary crap for people. the list goes on. why she didnt pay her house off in the first place i dont know. but her house foreclosed and she is starting all over. living on part time income plus unemployment. she needs full time work but being too picky about where she works. then has the nerve to ask if her sons (c and my husband) if they’d help her pay a life insurance policy thats on their dad cause she cant afford it $200 every 3 months and then asked if me and my husband could take it over when he goes back to his old job. (my name isn’t even on there and how do we know if she wont go taking the guys’ names off so its just her on there) all ready in the grace period and only a day till that period is up. i am sorry, but i will NOT be financially responsible for this woman. she needs to go down the frickin walmart get a full time job there and she wouldnt have to bum money off of people. i know it is hard to find work here but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

    as far as i know, she has nothing but a few dollars in the bank and that life insurance which may or may not benefit her down the road. its not that much anyway. live off it for a year then you’ll be right back where you started. no retirement or anything. i am not gonna be trying to help her out when i still need to set up college savings for my daughter and retirement for me and my husband. she just needs to quit being lazy and pick whatever job someone gives her (just like she told me that walmart was gonna hire her but i guess in my opinion she is too good for them). sorry if this seems harsh but i dont care. every bit of it is true. the baby boomers CANNOT rely on us to take care of them 100%! we can help but the last thing i want is my mother in law living with us when she gets older. you’d have to be frickin nuts

  • theresa says:

    It’s hard for those with responsible parents to imagine this scenario. But for those of us constantly being asked for money by a parent who is 67, tens of thousands in debt, and who has facilitated one of my three siblings’ financial neglect, this is our reality. Just recently, my father, with guidance from two of his children, sold his house to settle several debts. He is marrying a lovely lady, so he has a place to live and a chance at a new life. But this came at a price, as he basically ran away and left us, the kids, to clean up his very messy house. But we did it. Fact is, we would have inherited his debt. That would have been very unfair. Parents who spend tomorrow’s prosperity today end up less than prosperous. And for those who find this hard to imagine, count your blessings. It is not fair to ask me to support my father when I have a family, one child in college and the other preparing to graduate high school. I am saving for retirement so that my children never have to go through this. It’s sad and unfair.

  • Leslie says:

    Where can I find the laws about debt passing to the children? In Georgia. Maryland.

    • Sue says:

      Ga is a filial responsibility state. In fact 30 of 50 states are filial responsibility states. These laws are old and were never intended to be used in this manner. The original intent was to require family to provide basic food and shelter to their elderly. PA is the worst state to try to enforce this old law. From what is on the net it looks like they believe it will get to be a bigger and bigger problem. Since the assisted living/ nursing homes have won awards in PA the belief is they will try it in all filial responsibility states. The wise thing would be for people to start contacting their state congressmen and representatives to get these laws modified or done away with entirely. The rich own corporations including assisted living facilities and nursing homes. They want the money even if it means the children of these elderly will have nothing left to fund their own old age!

  • YoungNOTDumb says:

    So, I’m 24, and just graduate college last year. I’ve just been able to book substantial interviews. Thus, I’m on my way to a job that actually caters towards my degree. (That is, a more than minimum wage paying job. No retail, food, etc.. for me!) Btw, I stayed in my college after graduating, until returning a few months ago.

    I live between my two parents houses. My mom is 43, and hasn’t worked for about 9 years due to a work accident. However, for the last 7 years she’s been physically able to working her own, but chooses not to. (No legit college education, or high school diploma.)

    My father lives comfortable, maybe even under his means. He doesn’t say anything about paying bills because he knows I’m trying. However, my mom thinks I should chi in and help with bills?! Really? What do you all think about this?

  • Frustrated says:

    I am in this very situation with my husband’s mother. We are only in our early 30s but will likely be financially responsible for his mother for the rest of her life (she is only in her mid-50s) due to irresponsible choices she has made in her adult life. If it were my parents or his father, I would bend over backward to help them as they have worked very hard and saved hard their whole lives. Were they to need us, it would truly be because of circumstances beyond their control, but I resent that my family will now have to support his mother’s health, transportation, housing, food, etc costs for the next 30 plus years because of her poor choices. My biggest worry is that she is going to defer money my husband and I would otherwise have put towards our future retirement savings and that my children may one day have to care for me because their grandmother couldn’t get her act together. Older people may lament Generation X/Y, but the Me Generation couldn’t have been more aptly named.

  • Thomas Armstrong says:

    I am 25 and my parents are getting divorced. Not my real parents mind you. My mother and my step-father. Our combined paychecks from 3 seperate jobs have barely made enough to scratch by in the luxury apartments that we live in. That’s not all…I have lived with them in 2 other locations in the past year, giving them money because of the expensive things they choose to finance. I do not argue with them about the poor decisions they make because it always turns into a guilt trip about how much she “provides” for the family. We are dead broke (Once again) but they can for whatever reason afford to finance HD televisions and luxury furniture. Now a paycheck is walking out the door and I am once again looking forward to going broke to house and feed my mother and a couple of siblings. I mean WTF!!!

  • Justannoyed says:

    My father gambled his entire life. He is a high earner (doctor), so was able to hide it from most of the outside world but I saw it destroy first my mother (till she died) and then my step mother. My parents have never lived frugally and have several mortgages around the country. I gave my inheritance money to my father which he gambled away. They said that I didn’t need this money, and that they would provide for me when I needed money. Well, I’m getting married next year, and so far…. nothing.

    Yes they clothed me and sent me to a good school, but they would never miss an opportunity to tell me what a huge favour they were doing me. If I have ever discussed finances with my father he has practically exploded with anger. He never listened to anyone, saved absolutely nothing, but still has two other kids to put through college. He’s already past retirement age.

    I don’t feel like I owe them a penny. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but they certainly won’t be able to live in their current lifestyle if he is only drawing a pension. I’ve supported myself since I was 17 and learnt to live within my means. I say it’s about time they learnt that lesson for themselves.

    • Real Advice says:

      Don’t complain about your parents frivolous spending habits and then ask for money from them to pay for a big wedding.

      Get married at the Justice of the Peace, much better financial decision…

  • Another 2 sense says:

    I usually just read through posts like these but after so many similar tales I decided to post a bit about my own situation. I am 53 Y.O. and am funding my mother’s retirement beyond her S.S. check which does not cover her basic housing-btw I paid for her current mobile home and the one she had before this one. After working gas station jobs and the like in my early 20s trying to save enough to move out on my own my mother just casually asked if I could “loan your ma a few thou for a mobile home” Whatever! I gave it to her and kept working. I knew back then that she would have no real retirement and that if I did not want her living with me I had better start saving for that. I was lucky back in the early 80s in two ways first, that I saw the problem early enough to start preparing mentally and financially for it and second that I got established in a career that allowed me to make a good living and save both for me and my mom but it was a long couple decades of worry and stress to get here. I do not feel like it is my responsibility to help her but I also know that I cannot live with the alternative easily so I struck the compromise to save some for her and some for me and she is very lucky in what has happened though she does not recognize it at all. Before I got married I told my girl what my situation was and that if she did now want to marry into that I would understand… she hung in there anyway and today we are good because I have been able to keep our life mostly insulated from the nightmare that is my mother’s retirement. I have separate funds saved for her and she will NEVER live with me. I want to say that while I am paying for my mother I do not think it is my responsibility and it is an awful thing for any parent to do to their child.
    I have saved $250,000 (yup 1/4 mill!!!) just to make sure my life and marriage are safe from the volatility and hardship of a non-funded parental retirement but I know how luck I have been to have had time and work to accomplish that. I say to anyone suffering with this because their parents have acted irresponsibly that you should SAVE YOURSELF FIRST and then if you can help and want and choose to then go ahead-especially if you have your own children you need to put yourself and children first. You MUST break a cycle of stretched resources and under funded retirement scenarios. What your parents have done is done do not contribute to a continuation of this cycle by jeopardizing your future and that of your children. Just my two cents plus another $250k !!!

  • Zack says:

    So my situation, I’m 21 and have been watching my parents squander all of their resources for years. They always ate at restaurants instead of cooking and maxed out all of their credit cards. My dad’s job at a university got cut to part time in 2003. several years later they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy. My dad is 62 and my mom is 57. They see no way out. They will work until they die. My parents have withdrawn all the money from their retirement accounts to keep the house and some other things. Because of this they end up owing the I.R.S. more than $20,000 in taxes a year They have $8 in their checking account, but more than $3000 of financial obligations this month if they are to keep the house, phone and cars. If any minor thing happens to them, they would immediately be homeless. One incidence of car trouble, or a health problem would end them. They both work a paper route, my dad works an additional 2 jobs, and my mom works at a grocery store. They’ve been good parents, but I don’t see anyway I could even help them. I’m still in university, teaching abroad in Korea right now. I’m able to forget about the situation while I’m here, but anytime I talk to my parents I hear news that just makes me feel absolutely helpless and in despair. They look so much older after I’ve been gone only 4 months. If I could help them I would, but how?

    • Common Cents says:

      They need serious financial counseling, in these situations you’ve got to let the house go. People get emotionally attached to houses but it’s the people that make a home, not the walls and roof.

      Ironically you can keep a house if you declare bankruptcy since you need a place to live, but it doesn’t make sense to have more than 1000 square ft for 2 people in my opinion, you just pay more in utilities and management.

  • Kristine says:

    What if it is you grandparents? I have been in tears because they support my middle ages uncle (that has made some very poor decision over and over for years that have now landed him homeless), go on trips, pay for my uncles cell bill as well as his two daughters but neglect to contribute to the household. I an 27, make less than 30,000 aq year and newly married with a 7 week old infant-the financial burden of them is affecting my marriage.Someone please tell me Im not wrong for wanting them to contribute.

  • DMG says:

    Hi, my father receives a retirement, he retired early only because he was forced. He has always had an on and off alcohol problem. My grandmother bought him a mobile home (paid for) and all he had to do was pay utilities and the almost $300.00/per mo. My father with his “problems” ended up shacking up with this woman who was taking him for every penny he had and then when she was evicted from the mobile home park where my father lived due to the fact she was selling her daughters pills, my father decided to move in and take her to move in with my grandmother who has dimensia. Well, the girlfriend started writing checks and having my grandmother sign them taking money from her as well as opening over 20K in credit cards in my grandmothers name. My father after he found out continued to take her over there when I was not able to be there and continue to steal from her. He supported this woman stealing from my grandmother who is on a fixed income and lost a leg, has dimensia and cannot work. My grandmothers deceased male partner left her enough to not work however my father and his girlfriend has taken her for everything so now she has no nest egg either. My father’s mobile home, bought only a few years back for $45K was sold by him for $12K because he would no longer live there because his girlfriend was not allowed. Well, after all his money is gone, and she is gone as well he has the opportunity to live in a VA substidized home however he doesnt like living with the other VA’s and he doesnt feel that he should waste his money and pay $500/per month to stay somewhere so instead he is going to CHOOSE to live homeless. I have two kids, I am a single mother, I work hard to take care of my family, my kids don’t want their poppop living with them because last time he did he would drink and scare them. I don’t feel as though I should put my kids in that position to make them uncomfortable in their own home because he wants to guilt me to try to move in so I can take care of him, OR who knows if he would steal from me and continue to lie. Why should I put myself and my kids in that situation. How is that wrong? Why should I be responsible to take care of him because he wont take care of himself nor will he work because he is picky on what kind of job. All the other family members and friends refuse to help him, I only help him by storing his stuff and take him to lunch and breakfast, etc. Any thoughts? I feel bad but I feel that I should not have the make this decision because he is well able to take care of himself.

  • janiie says:

    My fiancee has had a labor law advising business for sometime now and I joined her to career change as well as get to know the trade to better our income. In south africa its very difficult for white males to find work so you try to keep what you have.

    My questionable / problem is that she spend more than R11000-00 ($1250-00) p/m on her semi “retired” parents. She pays thei whole house for the full year and her moms medical insurance and monthly groceries which amounts to the above amount mentioned.

    Now my issue is that we are paying (renting) our own apartment for less than what we pay for them and I mentioned the other day to my “wife” that we cant afford to carry on doing this, we need to put some money away for our own retirement, plus extra need theday come that we cant support ourselves, so that we DO have at least income from the retirement fund. She says she refuses to pay any less to her parents and thats how it will be forever. I was knocked off my feet. I did not say DONT help you parents I said try to balance things in life a little.

    I enjoy life and love wit her, but seems to me that mommy and daddy comes first. Maybe its time for me to rather ove on…..?

  • Louie says:

    I am beginning to face this issue now. Ultimately, we will help our parents as much as we can without annihilating our children’s chances for college and our chances for a reasonable retirement. My struggle is that one of my parents has always been stubborn about work ethic and spending habits. No sense of saving for a rainy day or preparing for the later years when one can’t earn a living as well anymore. No willingness to work for someone else and be “told what to do”. Always self employed, rarely with a consistent and adequate income. No retirement, no attention to being healthy so as to avoid typical health issues that come from irresponsible living. The other parent is frugal, easily contented with a simple life style, doesn’t believe in debt or unreasonable spending. (Washington could learn a thing or two…) Always paid off debts as quickly as possible. The problems they are facing now are a direct result of one’s irresponsibility but both are suffering. BTW, the irresponsible one is also physically unhealthy and the opposite is true for the responsible one. So, we’re beginning to look at helping with certain bills and figuring out how to save the house. I’m sure we will later be faced with more serious issues. But, we will not blindly give money. We will seek some professional financial advice so that we and my siblings can make sure our parents have what they need and minimize the financial burden to us while they’re still with us and after they’re gone. None of us have disposable money. I love my parents so I don’t say this without care, BUT…their current lifestyle and the issues they are facing are natural consequences. I can’t fix everything for them, nor should I be expected to. Love them? Care for them in their old age? Yes. Tell my children no so I can instead clean up their grandparent’s mess? No.

    • Louie says:

      Sorry…I left something out – my parents would not WANT my help to be at an expense that would hurt my children’s college opportunities, or cause us to struggle. I think my first post sounded as if they may not care, untrue. Sigh…They’re just running out of options.

  • Lisa says:

    I am a 20-year old single girl working in Asia. I moved here from South Africa because I have to support my destitute parents. My father receives a small pension, but other than that neither of them work. To make matters worse, my older sister is emotionally unstable and seems to be incapable of holding down a permanent job. She relies on them (me) for financial and emotional support. I have spent my 20’s working, worrying about money and desperately trying to think of a way to make the future seem a little brighter.

    I have always been an ambitious girl and dreamed of having a career that made a difference. I have never been able to start my career because the starting salary would not pay enough to help out. Therefore, I have been working two, sometimes three, jobs at a time just make ends meet.

    I have come to a point where it does not seem like I will ever progress and have a life of my own. I have not been able to hold down a relationship because the men I meet can not cope with my stressful situation. I have not had the opportunity to travel or explore because there has been no money available. Its safe to say that this situation has ruined my life.

    A series of unfortunate events led to my parents financial demise from which they never recovered. I try not to blame them but do find myself wondering why, when we have been so destitute throughout our lives did my mom not work? Although I try not to blame, resentment creeps in and the feelings I have been experiencing towards them are a mixture of love a hate.

    I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone!

  • Shannon says:

    Me parents did well financially until my senior year in college, when they lost their business. Tney had always lived big and spent everything, so there was no savings and although opportunities were available, my dad refused to work for someone else. My parents have spent the last 20* years renting various houses and working on “deals” that never come to fruition. My parents have used us, impacted each of us (children) financially in a significant way. My brother had to declare bankruptcy and my sister had to short sale her house as a result of my parents. My parents made no apologies. They borrowed and lost money from both sets of grandparents, an aunt, my dad’s brother, anyone who would extend a hand. Anyone who could be manipulated. The money was used to support their lifestyle and failed businesses and there were and are many fragmented relationships as a result. My parents have also received several inherientces, which they blew through…again, supporting themselves and on failed business ventures. I spoke with my parents many times, pleading with them to put a portion of the money down on a house to create some security, but he houses were not good enough for them. They had to make it big, roll the dice….with no regard for their children and no thought for how things would be if they didnt make it big. And any mention of this, was compelte betrayal….Of course things didnt work out as they hoped and now my dad is sick with Lewey Body and my mom is taking care of him. They are ok on social security and the part time job my mom has. She works from home. My brother leased them a car when their car finally conked out. He’s continually had to help make the payments. We buy them groceries and bring them food, but do not want to give them cash. They have enough money to live on. They just dont have enough money to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out everyday, shop at expensive grocerey stores etc. There’s more to all this, but this is the gist. They’ve been irresponsible their entire adult lives from the time I was a senior in college. Prior to that, they had money and paid for things. I have told my mom several times now that they can come live with us, but that I will not give them cash or pay their bills for them, while my mom refuses to cut back…. I was a single parent raising 2 boys for years and now my husband and I are helping to put my 2 boys through college, we’re saddled with 2 rental houses we cant get rid of and need to save for our own futures…When I explain this to my mom and talk to her about being responsible financially, she’s outright dishonest or in denial abut her spending and I end up feelign guilty? I would help them with medical or housing, but I dont want to be used to supplement their lifestyle. They feel entitled! …and yet I feel guilty. I dont get it.

  • Shannon says:

    I really appreciate the honesty and posts on this website. Its helped me tremendously to read about other people’s situations. I plead with my parents for years to put aside a small amount as a downpayment for a house, to create some type of security, yet they refused and were angry at any suggestion we (me and my two younger siblings) made to them. They were going to roll the dice and make it big, with no regard for how this would impact their retirement. I’ve now figured out why they didn’t consider that. On, they’ve lived their entire lives in denial about their finances and those in our family they’ve taken advantage of and there have been many. Anyone they could manipulate into funding a deal and their lifestyle was fair game. And when the money was gone, there was no apology only justification and another marred family relationship. My parents feel entitled, period. They have a front to maintain at church and they have refused to modify their spending and lifestyle. They continue to do the same thing over and over as ling as there’s someone there to assist them financially. My grandparents are gone and so is their inheritance. My grandparents on both sides were very financially responsible and my parents never had to even consider paying for a nursing home, household bills, medication etc. My grandparents were respectable, educated people who meant the world to me. I still cannot figure out how my dad and mon became so entitled. They were not raised that way. Anyway, the bottom line is that my father and mother assume we will supplement their ways…again with no change on their part. … So, following the most recent incident where my mon was two car payments behind and needed help, i sent her an email stating that i loved her and she and my dad were welcome to live at our house for free but that we would not be supplementing their lifestyle. We would help them if they needed medical care or medications, but we would not make their car payment when they have money to do this but choose to continue overspending. I explained that if this happened again (calling for money to pay bills) that i would assume that they are unable to manage their finances and any future help from us would be contingent on them making changes and my controlling their money, which would go to pay first for their “needs” and then an allowance for their “My mom is angry because she wants what she wants on her terms- what new, we’ve never been close. I really do not want her to live with me and would actually exhaust all efforts to find other housing for them etc before doing this. However, i would not leave them homeless. I do love them despite what jerks they’ve been. However, i have drawn the line in that I wont give them cash or make payments (ie: car and house) for them. Im sure i could put the money together, but Im done with being victimized by my own parents. I am entitled to a life! Just like they were. And i have a husband and two boys in college and we are way behind in planning for our own retirement….so, what i do know is that the truth is ugly. My parents feel entitled and don’t think twice about taking money from my family. I’m just another person in a long line of family and friends that they can take from. And The reality is, I dont have to be a victim. I can set a boundary about what I will do to help, which is not all that they want. But so what, its time for them to grow up at the age of 68 & 69 and its time for me to stop feeling guilt and take care of myself and my family so i do not repeat this cycle. I have worked my tail off to get where i am with no help from my parents financially. I’m not throwing them to the wolves. I will be there if they need a place to live, but I won’t be an open checkbook…and with them that’s what it is if you give them $. And its never enough. . …so, thanks for your posts and helping me to sort this all out. I dont feel so conflicted anymore.

    • Rebecca says:

      Shannon, I don’t know who you are but you might as well have written about my parents. I’m in the EXACT same situation. Grandparents were wonderful saved money, did well. Both of my parents (divorced years ago) have a huge entitlement mentality. They were raised well, college paid for (mom dropped out) and were cared for well into their adult years with grandparents giving them only when they needed. They weren’t left with much and what they did inherit is log gone. Neither saved anything really, didn’t pay for my college, wedding, nothing. I’m VERY financially independent, thanks to them I had to be. Husband and I do we’ll so of course now they look at us as their retirement. Mom won’t work and dad is reluctant but still does. They are both 65. I truly have a big problem with them, didn’t help me with hardly anything beyond high school and they both lived well beyond their means. Now they expect me to help them and I find this disgusting. Sadly, I’m an only child too. Ugh. It was great to read your post as it spoke to me. I can relate. And sadly, I’m appreciative that others share my issue, makes me feel like I’m not alone in this. I hate it for you. For me too.

  • Chi123 says:

    It’s a lose lose situation. My mother chose not to work for the better part of the past 20yrs. She’s BK’d twice now. Had to walk away from 2 homes. Now she’s 72, in great health but is broke… she’s mostly always been broke or in debt. Zero savings, zero retirement but gets 1100 in SS a month. We pulled her through until she could wait to pull at 70 to get more. It’s torn our family apart. There are 4 of us children, all 40+… 3 successful, 1 not. But now it’s just “on us” to handle it…. all the while I’m angry and resentful about the laziness and decisions that were made by her all these years. And now the arguing has commenced between me and my brothers about who’s doing what, what everyone “should” be doing, etc. It’s horrible. In the meantime my mother has chosen to buy a camper to live in Palm Springs, she goes to a gym almost everyday, and to the library. She’s not a horrible person but certainly, how could she not know this was going to happen?? Money doesn’t grow on trees! So did she just assume we would handle it?! Makes for a terrible relationship, as is the whole family unit now. It’s completely broken. The difference being, this is wasn’t a “hardship” situation… she COULD have worked the whole time!! But chose not to and now is just “well, this sucks”. Drives me mad!! If I say.. yep, well you made your bed, well then I’m a terrible daughter. If I just give her $ then I exacerbate her behavior. Very tough, very emotional situation.

    • amber says:

      I hear you!
      My mom is only 57 and living with us. we been helping her since her husband died 10 years ago but all the money and stuff we did never helped and she ended up in our home 2 years ago. I resent her so much bc she cheated on my dad and left him and every since then had made horrible decisions which now lay her rite at my and my families feet. I only have one brother which is an addict also like my mom and he is in and out of jail. I don’t know what to do I just wnt her out of our house now but not sure what to do to make this happen. she tearing my family apart let alone leaving us bigger and bigger in debt. hope it gets better for you I feel little better knowing im not alone. good luck. any suggestions at all are welcome!

  • Tiffany says:

    Wow! It’s stunning to read so many comments from people going through the same thing as me. Sometimes you feel all alone, and wrong for not wanting to help, but I have to take care of myself and my household.

    My mom is in her late 50’s and hasn’t worked in at least 11 years. There’s nothing wrong with her, she just doesn’t want to. I had to file bankruptcy at 27 years old just to get out of the hole I let her put me in. Now that I’m 32 and back on my feet financially, she doesn’t get any help from me. She won’t get help unless or until she is actually physically unable to care for herself.

    The bankruptcy would have been worth it if she were actually thriving now as a result of it, but she’s in worse shape now than she was 11 years ago when she regressed to a teenaged entitled mindset and just stoppped working. I’m over her narcissism and guilt trips. She actually pulled the, “Other daughters do blah blah blah for their mothers” card. Well, I never got the kind of help most parents are expected to give their children. I got zero help with college (not even a textbook, No help with my wedding (not even a wedding present), no support once I was out on my own (not even a housewarming gift). She even goes so far as to use the Bible to try to manipulate me into giving her money. My response: Gal. 6: 7-9 You reap what you sow.

    The truth is, a lot of people are irresponsible just because they expect someone to bail them out later. Why should I have to pick up the pieces? I’m ready to start a family of my own and can do that comfortably if I’m taking care of able bodied adults who don’t want to do for themselves.

    • amber says:

      my mom is the same way but she has wormed her way into my house for the last 2 years and she is little by little digging my family in to a hole. she works from home but only 10 hrs a week and has meds that cost more than what she makes. so all else goes to us. she tells me I need to pray and how selfish I am. im so glad to hear im not the only one but she is hurting my family now and she starts cussing and screaming and doesn’t do anything to try to get her life under control. she says I am so selfish and brings god into it bc I don’t just keep trying to take care of her. she is only 57 and except for being lazy, on meds, and smoking, can work. I do all the researching to try to find her assistance HUD, food stamps. I am at the end of my rope and she tells me I am the one who should feel like crap. any suggestions to get her out of my house and into her own bc once she is out I am done until she is physically disabled not just mentally unstable. I go from furious to feeling bad for her. where can I get her help to get out on her own again?!PLEASE

  • amber says:

    I am to my LIMIT!!
    My mother 15 years ago cheated on my father and divorced him and married the man which was an alcoholic and had nothing no car no job no home. she was with him for 10 years and then he died of liver cancer. since then she works small jobs and gets fired she has horrible temper. since I met my husband 10 years ago she has always mentioned wanting to move in upstairs, well, she finally screwed up every place she lived moved about 6 times in as many years and finally she had no where else to go no job and money and we had to let her move in upstairs. she is selfish she eats all of our food and has us buy her cigs and meds. did I mention she is also an addict, and her personality all reflects this. I cant take it anymore. we don’t have the money and she is hurting my husband and son bc we have to help her she pays nothing. and she gets mads and screams and yells when I ask her to try to help herself by doing something.pls help im fed up and cant take it anymore!!!! any suggestions?pls

    • Louie says:

      If you view your situation the same way you would view an adult child still living with you, not contributing, on the contrary, draining you financially, mentally and emotionally because of his/her addictions and irresponsible behavior, tough love would suggest that you stop enabling the behavior and hold the child to the same standards as other members of the household. This is much easier for me to say than for you to do because what it really means is, clean up, contribute, comply or get out. There is so much more to this than I could possibly write here. Please speak to a professional who can walk you through the steps of dealing with an addict. You are no longer “helping” your mother in the current situation and it sounds as if it’s really hurting your family. Your answers are not going to be easy. Simple? Probably. Easy? No. I really feel for you. I believe in honoring our parents, but watching her self destruct, and allowing her to take your family with her on the journey is not honoring.

    • Kim says:

      OMG!! Thought I had problems!!Have her baker-acted and sent to rehab. Call your local Family Services and ask for help to get her into her own living arrangement. I would say kick her out but realize that’s family. You need to get her out to protect your family. I hope and pray you can find a solution!

  • Kim says:

    My name is Kim and I wrote one of the first posts in here and had mixed comments. Most of which most agreed with me at shouldn’t feel responsible for my mother-in-law’s retirement. should have added that if my MIL had become indigent through medical reasons or no fault of her own I would, of course, be more open to assisting her. She is in assisted living with 3 meals a day. She isn’t going hungry and has a roof over her head. I still assist with very limited personal items she needs. If I give her cash she will give it to my drug addict, non working sister-in-law who is younger than I am and needs to go to work. I am no longer paying for her to get her hair dyed ect. I was a single mom for years and had to do without things to catch up on my retirement. I do not feel that I owe her anything. I don’t think you should owe parents just because the gave birth to you. I want to hang on to my retirement money so that MY CHILDREN aren’t in this position and I am glad that most of you agreed with me. I am also very happy to hear that adults in their 20’s are thinking about their retirement. Thanks for all the support on my issue!! Kim

  • Pansters says:

    Hi there,
    I sometimes feel the sharp sting of other people’s judgement when I tell them my dad is homeless (as in on the street). So, I don’t really tell too many people. I’m 30, my husband is 29, and my only sibling is also 29. We all live in California, while my dad bums around New Jersey. It doesn’t matter that I have an extra bedroom in my rented, 2-bedroom apartment. I don’t have a responsibility to let him mooch off of me for the rest of his life. It wasn’t ME or my BROTHER’S choices that led Dad to the street.
    Without knowing a family’s complete and entire history, there’s no way someone else could possibly judge why we all make the choices we do. I know that telling my father “No” is the best thing we can do for a long-time gambling addict that has been given dozens of “2nd chances” by friends & family, and fudged them all up to the point that no one is willing to help any longer. I just want to put out a word of warning- even if you know it’s the right thing to do, it WILL be difficult to tell your fiscally irresponsible/gambler/drinker/addict parent that you won’t take them in. You WILL have very confusing feelings, such as guilt, shame, self-doubt, etc. You MUST speak to a professional MFT/addiction specialist to deal with these feelings, or your resolve WILL weaken over time. There are so few resources on the internet to deal with this exact situation, I thank this forum & Mr. Miller for putting it out there.

    • nema says:

      heartlessness breeds justification.

      • Bingo says:

        “Heartlessness breeds justification”? That is the most ridiculous comment a person with sound judgement could make. Take that however you want.

        • MJ says:

          Bingo, Bingo! I was just thinking the same thing! Heartlessness breeds justification?! How is that helpful?! That seems quite a “heartless” reply to someone who has what is obvious to any thinking, feeling person a heartbreaking situation.

    • sue says:

      please be wary of “professionals,” many are wolves in white coats. having read these posts, the word “narcissist” screams. there are several excellent websites written by adult children of mooching (narcissistic) parents. extremely self-centered individuals know every trick in the book, to keep their family members giving and giving and giving, and they do not care about anyone’s future but their own.

  • Walla says:


    I’m 25 and my parents have 0$ in savings and live way beyond their means. They gave me everything they could when I was growing up so I could have things they didn’t and they gave me a great education. Once the recession hit they stopped helping me financially and were in trouble of losing their home and filing for bankruptcy. I thought they were suffering because of the slow economy. The truth is they had 0$ in savings then and were irresponsible when in came to money, although the economy did have a lot to do with their downfall. They borrowed a bunch of money to stay afloat and now that the economy is improving it doesn’t seem like they have learned their lesson. The ridiculous and unnecessary pending the goes on is sad. They buy the latest gadgets, drive fancy cars. When they were going through tough times I let them take out a car on my credit and cosigned on a loan for them because they had no credit or money to buy a car/keep their home. I was 20 at the time and now I realize I should have never let them use my credit. Now that time has passed, they haven’t made payments on time, and have messed up my credit score and they haven’t paid back all of the money they borrowed. I am upset that they know they need to save, but instead go out to fancy dinners and buy expensive gadgets that they don’t need but want. Meanwhile they don’t pay their bills on time or repay the money borrowed. I am young and I make sacrifices and save my money. I want to be the complete opposite of my parents and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I am just very concerned because I know that they will not have enough money to retire and will become a huge burden on my family. I will have to take money away from saving for my kids education or my retirement to help them out. I will do it, but they will have the basics and that is all. Unfortunately I think this will cause them to fall into depression since it will be a major difference from their accustomed lifestyle and they are not strong people. There really is no way to fix them. They’ve gone through tough times and have not learned their lesson! I have brought it up so many times that they need to live within their means. The other week I walk into their house to find pamphlets for interior decorating. It pisses me off to hear or see their irresponsible spending every time I make contact with them. Furthermore, they continue to pay and support my brother who is almost 30 and has never had a real job. They tell me I’m the strong and smart one with direction, and that pisses me off even more because I work hard and make sacrifices I have to pay for their crap. They tell me they don’t need me to pay for them in the future, but they have no savings and no plan! Obviously someone has to pay for it and it won’t be no-job-Bob (bro).

  • Debbie Graham says:

    My father is self employed as a general contractor for 40yrs plus.My father is mow 70 yrs old.My mother has always worked until retiring several years ago.My father had skin cancer which turned into the loss of his neck and shoulder muscles and has kept him from using his left arm.My fathe r now has a torn shoulder rotator cuff in his other arm.My father was in business with my husband and brother until 6mos ago.My brother moved off to colorado and now me and my husband are leaving due to a very rare disease my daughtet had in houston.Well niw my father is all alone and cant work well alone and is really struggling.He c ant afford to hire help so now ge is applying at home depot on weekends and nights plus still trying to work.I am so worried.I cannot financially help.My father canmot work this much I xant leave them on the street what can I do.He will not move to houston from dallas as he is a mon paid pastor at several nursing homes and will not leave them.I almost canmot get hy myself after moving to houston.I’m affraid of outcome.My mom had spent everything th we y have ever had.What xan I do to get help for them.

  • Andie says:

    My dad is 73 and diabetic, and my mom is 70 with stage-4 Parkinson disease. They were once rich, but several bad business and personal decisions have severely depleted their wealth. Now, they are living off of what they have left from their savings, and have no retirement income other than minimal social security benefits that is barely covering for the Medicare supplements. With the combination of their high egos and prides, accustomed to carefree spending, and love to do more “business”, they will completely deplete their financial resources within two years.

    They have already sold their house to tap in the funds, so reverse mortgage is no longer an option. Both enjoy living in their old ways and are not willing to face the reality. Until their funds are fully depleted, they want to continue to maintain their expensive lifestyle.

    I have tried to talk to them about financial planning, transparent with their financial status and understand future healthcare needs… nothing worked. All I got was hostility from them (nasty emails and threats). They have also refused to take advice from any friends and family.

    I realize I cannot help them if they refuse to help themselves. And they are ultimately responsible for their own actions. But precedent suggests they will simply blame others for their “bad lucks”, and it is not their fault for wasting all their savings. So once they hit bottom in the next two years, they will have no problem showing up on my door steps asking me to take them in. They will be only 75 and 72… and with no savings, no income, and not mentioning by then they will require nursing care assistance, they will be imposing enormous amount of annual expenses on me. And to rub it in, it proofs to them that their irresponsible behaviors have no consequences. Meanwhile, I have been working hard and saving diligently so I can retire safely someday. I resent my parents selfishly imposing their retirement on me, setting my own retirement back 15+ years. I feel absolutely screwed by them…

  • X says:

    I stumbled upon this article, as its sort of my situation at the moment. I noticed a lot of people who will never have to worry about it, are quite proud that they would of course do it as it’s ‘the right thing to do’, and they would be ever so happy to do it.

    That’s where I’m at now. Because it’s the ‘right thing’. What these people don’t realize, is just how much of a burden these situations really are.

    I moved to a new country to make a fresh start for myself, my old one just didn’t have any promising future or way up the ladder for me, so I moved. I spent everything I had on plane tickets and hostels for my first month, pretty much going through hell and working menial fast food jobs, anything to just get started here. And I’ve done well. In the past few years, I’ve managed to start my own small business, (with my initial investment of a whopping 30.00), into a relatively steady, albeit somewhat unreliable, 3,000.00 a month.

    I live in a single room, in a shared house with 3 other roomates. I don’t own a car. I only take 600 for myself each month, strictly for the bare essentials and nothing else except the occasional small special treat, and everything else I pour entirely back into my business. And it’s growing, and getting a little steadier now too.

    My ultimate personal goal is small, I just want to afford my own studio apartment and still be able to save some decent money on the side. Primarily, I want my business to continue it’s growth, if I can get it to be a little more solid. It was part luck getting here, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t work my butt off as well (and continue to do so). I’ll so be happy just to set myself up with a little more home privacy and financial stability, and wow, to be self employed is such a dream for me.

    I have no savings. I live month to month, and refuse to spend on anything but barely surviving, and the rest goes only for my business. But it’s ok, I’m 29, and I feel like for the first time in my life, things are finally going right! It’s only going to get better from here! Or that’s what I thought…

    My mother made some really poor financial decisions, and squandered her life savings on some really bad business/personal ‘investments’ that, to me, were red flagged from the get go.It wasn’t entirely her fault – she was incredibly naive – but that was all of it, including the house, spent right before retirement age. And she wasn’t hoodwinked, she just purchased some things as investments that were incredibly poorly thought out, living in an imaginary world where she could afford the risk. Strangely, that’s pretty out of character in comparison to my youth, when she raised 2 children who never wanted for anything, and went from nothing to home ownership in 10 years time, all by herself.

    After losing it all, and seeing she had no prospects left there, she has just moved to the city I moved to, and she’s starting out from 0. My brother, myself, and other family (none of us have a lot) have all had to pitch in to get her readjusted in a new apartment and cover her living expenses temporarily. She has found work and is a good employee with great experience, but she is already over spending like mad on unnecessary things, because that’s just what she’s used to, like back when she had some money. If she managed to acquire any credit cards here, they’d already be maxed out.

    Realistically, I’m not too sure she can actually afford to live there on her new wage (which may last some time as she’s new to the country) and it’s a pretty miserable apartment as it is, there isn’t really anything cheaper she could step down to.

    It’s so painful for me to watch her fall from where she was (steady life with a retirement savings and a decent house), to where she is now, at literally 0 and starting from scratch in a new country at her age, when she should really be considering retirement.

    It’s not just the money (which is eroding my tiny business and only hope for my own future, and that hurts!) but it’s also the stress of knowing that she’s gotten herself into this situation and the rest of us are going to be bailing her out for probably the rest of her life. It’s not just a financial burden, it’s also an emotional one.

  • Publius says:

    Well first of all, I consider filal responsibilty laws to be outrageously unconstitutional.

    No government entity in the country has any authority to impose affirmative obligations on any adult for any other adult – regardless of whether they are related or not.

    Using force to make one person work for the benefit of another wothout compensation constitutes slavery – which is prohibited by the 13th Amendment.

    Making someone pay anothers debts is also a violation of 5th Amendment private propery rights. It is a taking of private property without compensation.

    As for what people should do in the way of support, it is entirely up to them as to what they want to do and how much help they provide. No one has any “inherent” obligation towards another unless they want to. And as some here have noted, many parents make foolish and irresponsible decisions that the children have no legal say in determining. Why should the children have to pay the price for it?

  • Bingo says:

    I agree- to force me to be responsible for my parents mistakes is unbelievable. Unfortunately, my parents live in PA, so this may be a reality for me. I moved as far away as I could at the age of 17 and by the time I was 30, I had given them a car that I had paid off, sent them money countless times and now I’m getting some passive-aggressive guilt trip because they want to retire and my husband and I are “retired” at 40. We were smart with our money and are living our dreams. Self sufficient and debt free for many years. My parents make decen money, had countless times where they had more than enough to save, but they always blew it- an not on us kids. At 16, I was buying my own clothes and lunch at school. I paid for my own car, payments made to them- the one that was supposedly purchased for me with what was left of my biological father’s life insurance payout when he died. I have never asked them for anything, not even when i was a single parent who became stuck with my ex husband’s debt that i didn’t even know about. I also suspect that they’ve tried to apply for credit in my name. I have had to initiate a fraud alert on my credit files for years because of a few strange items that have shown up over the years- mysteriously in their town, which I have not lived at for 23 years. They’re so “proud” that they blow their money on stuff to make them look like they’re something special. I live across the country from them and they’re seethingly jealous of my lifestyle. We’ve worked hard to raise our family in a simple, loving environment and I’m not going to let them take that away from us.

  • Mission Viejo says:

    This is a hard question to answer and there is no standard right or wrong answer that is for everyone. But this kind of difficult situation emphasizes to us how important it is to be educated early on about financial planning and having an insurance or financial security.

  • Florida says:

    My boyfriend is 27. He had been taking care of his parents financially since high school! They are latin. They act like they are entitled to being taken care of! His sister lives with his parents (at a home that he pays for) and she is 37 with a 2 year and is not married. They get resentful of me and always make him feel guilty if he chooses to express that we have a life of our own. We have been together for 7 years and we live in our own home that I’ve had for years and is paid for. I am older than he is and the way they take advantage of him and disrespect him and our individual life is discusting! I think it may be a cultural thing. His sister acts like she’s also entitled to being taken care of by her younger brother. People who have children to take care of them when they are older are bottom feeders!

  • sue says:

    It tears me apart that, at this time, I am unable to toss good money after bad. Even though I wasn’t the one who for decades, blew money on vacations. Actions have consequences, and I feel bad – and upset. So fed up with MOOCHERS!!!

  • JC says:

    Reading through everyone’s posts has been a huge relief in that I see that I am not the only one who has been screwed over by their parents financially. I am from the UK and living in Canada.

    I can say that up until the age of 15 I enjoyed life (when I wasn’t at school) my parents seemed to be financially secure at the time but the house we lived in was rented. My brother and I were both at boarding schools so living away from home during the term time anyway.

    My Father throughout his youth enjoyed a wealthy, lavish lifestyle – had his own apartment in London, flash cars and a cleaner. When he married my mother they lived in Monte Carlo and Paris and mingled with famous and successful people. A life that would be envied by many.

    My father had gone through a series of sinecures, but had never done anything with them, and he hopped from one opportunity to another and never became successful himself at anything. For the last 24 years he has worked from home as a Freelance financial advertising consultant earning commissions, but this industry gets hit the worst during recessions so he has been unable to maintain a steady income, has no pension or life insurance. My mother hasn’t worked since they married over 40yrs ago though she would have been capable.

    My parents supported their hired help for their entire lives until the day they died. The house they lived in was owned by my brother and I (my father had left it to us in trust) but we had to sell it at a huge loss and all the proceeds have gone back to keeping my parents with a roof over their heads.

    We went on expensive family holidays, my parents always paid for everyone whenever there was an occasion that we were eating at a restaurant etc., they entertained a lot.

    The shit really hit the fan 15 yrs ago when my father announced there was no money (I had suspected this was the case for some time). They were renting (yet again) a huge house and as usual living beyond their means. They had just been on a very expensive cruise in Antartica and bought an Audi estate car. My mother attempted having a ‘career,’ working for a charity which lasted a year. She spent all the money she earned on furniture.

    I on the other hand was living in a shithole (nothing new here), I had put myself through university and an MSc and making a crappy living as a scientist. My brother had had his education paid for by my father right through to his PhD and then lived for free with them until he got his first job aged 30. I started working at 17 as my parents had run out of money so was fending for myself.

    To cut a long story short, the money that had been left to my brother and I by our paternal grandmother has now had to be diverted to our parents for the rest of their lifetimes because they are broke. I am nearly 40 and this has really F****d things up for me. My father is 80 and my mother 72. I am married but forget having children as we can’t afford them. My parents might as well be the f’ing children. I have been suffering from anxiety and depression for years and am on medication. No one wants to have to go through this believe me.

    I long to have my own life back and not be depended on by 2 aging people who clearly can’t look after themselves but always knew how to have fun. I haven’t been able to have fun in a long time.

    • JC says:

      By way of an update and some free advice:

      Having recently been talking to a shrink, I was advised that I should be looking after myself/my husband BEFORE looking after the parents. The shrink was trying to get me out of the “stuck in cement” way of thinking. In other words, making me realise that the future could have a different outcome.

      This is something you guys should consider.

      Just like they tell you before a flight, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you.

      All I can say is, is that there are going to be some major changes in the near future.

  • Taluah says:

    My partner is Korean and his parents moved here from Korea 35 years ago in pursuit of the glamorous American life. I absolutely abhor that they don’t live within their means (or at least they didn’t use to). They live in a 5 bedroom mansion (which is now owned by the bank and terribly run down because they simply can’t take care of it anymore in their old age), drive a luxury car and run around in fur coats. They have 0 dollar saved at the age of 67 and 68. At this point, I think they should be institutionalized. I’m terrified of their weekly calls they make to my partner requesting money, anywhere from a thousand to ten thousand dollars for some emergency they are facing. They owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to family members and friends from the time they owned their business that did not pan out so well.

    My partner and I have not taken a vacation in 3 years (this I can deal), not given each other xmas or birthday gifts for as long as I can remember (this I can deal) and have often been faced with difficulty paying our own expenses (this I can not deal). Every time we see his parents, they ask for money, and yet I witnessed them blowing $400 we handed over to them on liquor last Thanksgiving. I could not help thinking that $400 could have gone to my partner’s dental treatment he’s been needing for some time 🙁 Their behavior is so puzzling to me because they see us both working extremely hard and barely making ends meet. I’d imagine this is what one goes through having delinquent kids who waste your money and time.

    At this point, it’s hard to have respect for them at all and I fear their family is plagued with this terrible cycle. My partner calls what they are going through “a terrible bouts of misfortune” but really, that’s not it at all. All of what is happening is because they were negligent and not because his father’s business had failed. They could have saved when their business was booming at one point, they could have purchased a smaller house…they could have…should have…the list goes on and on. The fact my partner can’t recognize their dangerous tendencies tells me he has some propensity for repeating this with his own children as well should he have any in the future.

    So who is the willing victim ready to clean up their mess around here for the next 15-20 years? I ask myself in the mirror this question everyday.

  • D says:

    This is a generalization, but it seems that those of us who have had financially irresponsible parents are understandably more wary of helping them that are those who have not been in that position.

    Emotionally, I can’t stand to see my mother be on the verge of homelessness; rationally, it seems less clear that she should receive my financial support.

    My mother is 65, has not worked since her late 20s or early 30s because she was supported by my father, and received a decent though not luxurious settlement (livable alimony until retirement + good retirement account) when they divorced around 15 years ago. At that time, she lived beyond her means – purchasing a house in one of the most expensive areas of the country, buying luxury goods, and then paying repeated IRS penalties for dipping into her retirement account too early. In less than ten years, all of her money was gone. Near the end of her run, she sold the pricey home, moved, and adopted a more modest lifestyle. She also had the support of a boyfriend at that point, but he eventually ended things. She now lives off of a relatively small amount of social security, waning support from the ex-boyfriend, and occasional cash infusions from sales of her jewelry and help from my sister and me. Due to some changes with the ex and otherwise, she is reaching a point where she really can’t cover basic expenses. Although she is more responsible now (despite the occasional pedicure; sigh), she still doesn’t fully take responsibility for her mistakes or her situation, and often uses guilt to manipulate my sister and me to help her even though we have little extra money (example: “If you don’t help me, I will live in the gutter, suffer, and die all because you were ungrateful and selfish”). She even has said that we should sacrifice some of our (reasonable) goals to take care of her. At the same time, she won’t accept any conditions on money given to her and goes into raging hysterics when we propose solutions that would force even more modest standards on her or require her to move again.

    To me, this is a case of a parent who does not seem to know how to look out for anyone’s well-being, whether her children’s or her own, so my sister and I have to be careful and look out for ourselves. It’s really, really hard to experience and deal with. In the near future, we may have to face some very difficult choices and either watch a decline in her situation or put our own futures at risk.

    • JC says:

      These people (our parents), have done this to themselves. And yet they try to make us (their offspring, pay for their mistakes both emotionally and financially).

      My mother hit the bottle (turned to alcohol) big time when she found out there was no money. I would spend the weekend with my parents, and my mother would start drinking (vodka and oranges) at 4pm, become abusive, scream, smash glasses onto the floor, etc., etc., she became paranoid and would also blame me for what had happened i.e say things like “Dad and I sent you to expensive schools, took you on amazing holidays and really the money that your grandmother left to you (aka. my inheritance) was intended for Dad, but she knew he would probably have spent it all. From now on all of that money is going to Dad and me for the rest of our lifetimes” – you get the picture.

      In the end she became so abusive and nasty that at the time I didn’t see any other option but to acquiesce to her demands, as it looked like she was drinking and smoking herself to death. At least it was unbearable to watch her in self-destruct mode.

      This whole situation has resulted in the following actions on my part:

      1) Changed career (with the intention of earning more money). I have done this job for the past 10yrs now and hated every minute of it.

      2) Moved continents (pursued life in another country thinking it would improve things), in some ways it has but mainly we were better off back in the UK, except this time (when we return next year) we will have a DIFFERENT way of life. A life that will make us happy (me and my hubby).

      3) Turned all my inheritance over to my parents (big damn mistake). Don’t fall for this one like I did. ALWAYS look out for yourself first THEN figure out what to do with your parents. PLEASE NOTE that I will shortly be putting a stop to this current financial arrangement as it is TOTALLY weighted in their favour and I have not seen a penny of my money as it has so far been uses to pay their rent and keep them accustomed to a way of living which isn’t sustainable.

      4) just had to take 3 months off work (covered by insurance thank God), due to daily panic attacks and anxiety disorder/depression. Shrink put her finger on the cause being the whole subject of my parents financial irresponsibility. I am on anti-depressants and figuring out my next move (work wise). Don’t let yourself get this bad. Don’t let your parents screw your life up like mine nearly did. Thanks to several weeks of seeing occupational health nurses, doctors, behavioral counsellors and shrinks, I now have the means to turn my life around.

      I know how hard the situation you have been forced into is, and if I can help other people to get their lives back, then great.

      • Junglechicken says:

        Please note: I subsequently lost my job in June this year in the first round of layoffs.

        This was definitely due to the medical leave. I wasn’t able to find another job in time as there was a hiring freeze in the company.

        If we hadn’t been returning to the UK to live, (I have been unemployed for 4 months now) things would have been a whole lot worse.

        • Suhaila says:

          I’m sorry for your job loss. I hope that you can emotionally recover from the bs your parents have put you through. The lesson of being selfish first is necessary to learn especially when dealing with the past generation. I’m not saying to not help when a parent through no real fault of their own is in a bad situation but even still not to the detriment of your financial situation.

          Although those parents would probably put whatever money you could spare to good use to get themselves in a better situation so they won’t need as much help as before instead of just blowing it. A bottomless pit will never be filled and being able to see it for what it is before you put too much time, money, and effort is the only way to win. It’s hard though because they’re your parents.

          I think instead of giving money to parents who are suffering from something be it mental breakdown, alcoholism, mental health issues in general, or even just self control issues your money is better spent getting them help. It’s also a good test. If they’re willing to get help there’s hope for their circumstances to improve. If unwilling you know you’re just wasting time, resources, and your sanity.

          I wonder if there’s a specific support group for this sort of thing. Seems that many people are in need of it.

  • JD says:

    This is a very sensitive but very good topic…I just happen to come across it and thought I’d put in my two cents.

    If I were in a situation where my parents are consciously or unconsciously not taking financial responsibility for themselves while they still can and end up with nothing, the least that I would do is make sure they have food to eat and roof over their heads. I would do this only because my parents raised me properly and was not mean and abusive or anything like that. If I can’t afford it, they’ll have to live with me in whatever house I have and eat whatever food is in the house. No paid leisure. There are tons of leisurely activities that do not require money. If I can afford it, they will have their own place so they have their dignity and privacy and maybe pay for some paid leisure here and there.

    One tip for those whose parents make you feel guilty, I’m sorry to say but they do not love you as much as you think. Their only concern is their own welfare. At this point, I recommend just walk away with no guilt whatsoever. No amount of money you give people like that will be enough. I’ve heard these stories many times over. If you feel like all your life you’ve been neglected or you never got the thumbs up from your parents, suck it up. You are an adult grown up. You don’t need anyone’s approval for your actions. You need to make sure that you don’t compromise your own retirement by forking money that is not well received anyway. Walking away takes a lot of guts. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a better person!

  • D'oh! says:

    Intentionally vague to protect the “innocent”.

    Parents divorced as long as I can remember. I have a family of my own and we’re trying to survive. One parent (parent 1) is married again. Another parent (parent 2) is not married and has worked as little as possible. Parent 2 never owned or rented their own place and has zero savings.

    I have been told by parent 2 that when they “retire” as soon as they can collect Social Security that they will move in with my family. This makes me angry because I have parent 1 and in-laws that would like to visit grandchildren also. It’s still 2 years away so hopefully things will change by then. Selfish parent 2 doesn’t care about anyone else.

  • Jay says:

    Short answer: I will make them work for it. I will have none of that “entitlement” thing. If they need it, then okay. But if they say they “deserve” it, screw it.

  • tay says:

    I have a 79 year old father whom is still working hard. He has has several opportunities to retire but he keeps financing more things after he pays them off. We had paid things off for him to give him the opportunity to retire, but he goes out and finances a truck. Now if he has to stop working because of health issues ( which is starting to happen), he will not be able to afford it.The only option is to give the truck back? I just don’t know how to help him. I love my father, I just want him to be able to enjoy his last days , but he is headstrong and stubborn. He has always worked hard all his life.

  • Brittany says:

    My dad is now in his late 50’s, in very poor health, currently living in a different city. He can not seem to hold down a job. He suffers from depression, which is sometimes debilitating. He was a subcontractor for most of his life but is unable to work fast enough now (with his poor health) and so he loses jobs quickly. His lack of self-esteem prevents him from finding work that is not so hard on his body. He doesn’t believe he is capable of anything other than construction.

    He was on employment insurance once but began working while still collecting and as such he now owes the government money for EI. Employment insurance is no longer an option for him when he loses jobs.

    In addition to these problems, my dad decided about 25 years ago to stop paying income taxes (easy as a sub-contractor). I don’t even know how much he owes the government now. Because of this I don’t think he’s entitled to the Canada Pension Plan.

    Needless to say, he doesn’t have any retirement savings.

    I also made some poor decisions in my youth and am just beginning to get my own life on track (I’m 30). I am trying to pay off my debts and begin saving for my retirement. My husband and I are also trying to have a baby now. We have financial strains of our own.

    I love my dad very much and fear that without our help he will end up homeless, but if we do help, there’s a very real chance that we’ll end up just like him at his age.

    Seems like a pretty hopeless situation… any advice would be welcomed.

    • Jen says:

      Brittany, you aren’t alone. Please read my comments below and you will see the conclusions I came to which might be of help to you. You have to take care of your family first. Get out of debt, build some savings and take care of kids. If there’s a little left over, you can consider a small monthly stipend for Dad. If you don’t take care of your own household first, you will never have the option of helping your Dad! You can’t fix his problem right now, it’s too big. Don’t feel guilty about that. Read Dave Ramsey or something similar if you need a plan. It’s never hopeless…

  • Jen says:

    This is such a heartbreaking issue. Even though my father’s parents were super responsible and never took a penny from any of their children, my father thought nothing of quitting a perfectly good job and “retiring” in his 50s (although he has been perfectly capable of working). He just “didn’t feel like working anymore.” He hasn’t worked a day since. He had inadequate savings then and almost nothing now that he is 69. He has taken vacations overseas and spent money on luxuries. Last summer, he showed up on my door step and stayed in my guest room for 8 months (minus a trip to Equador) and was very disrespectful of me personally the whole time he was here. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that the man who brought me into this world would be so irresponsible and hateful. I finally had to set an end date for him to find his own housing, which he did, but not before bad-mouthing me to the family. After a lot of thought I came to the following conclusion: My responsibilities are first to my expenses, second to my childrens’ education, third to securing my own savings for old age, and forth to a few reasonable extras that are my reward for working hard all of my life. Once these are taken care of, he will receive a small stipend from what is left as long as I have it to give. He will receive the respect I owe him in my manners as his daughter. I am very satisfied by this plan and feel no regrets. His behavior has ruined our relationship. I will never put this kind of burden on my children and do not plan to retire until they drag me out. For those of you who think I owe him everything for raising me, I respectfully disagree. He was fairly neglectful in that respect so I don’t feel a strong pull by the argument. I believe that every member of a family has the responsibility to respect the others by taking care of his or her own financial business and to only ask for assistance when he or she has legitimately fallen on hard times. Grown-ups, the best gift you can give to your children is to be responsible for your own life, money and happiness!

    • Brittany says:

      Thank you Jen for your advice and sharing your story. Very helpful and it makes me feel better to know I’m not alone.

      • Sharon says:


        Your comment gives me pause. I have hit a point with this by stating I will offer my parents the same deal they offered me. They are welcome to live with me in a location of my choosing where I will provide the basics. Giving them cash is were I am really reluctant. Granted my parents are pretty pleasant, they hate where I live (city) and would not choose that option easily. They are messy which would drive me a little crazy. Perhaps I am completely wrong. You have the benefit of hindsight.

  • Toka says:

    I know this is a really old post but reading all these comments makes me amazed at the amount of people that are in similar situations.
    Right not I’m wrestling with feelings of guilt, frustration, anger and hopelessness. I love my family very much and would never see them homeless or hungry but sometimes I’m fed up of always being the financial saviour to the point I’m unable to save any money of my own as I’m always helping immediate and extended family. I could have saved enough for a deposit on a house by now but that money is always needed for something and with the way things are going I never will save enough.
    My Dad is self-employed but was never good at the business side of things, he mixed business with pleasure too much and got stabbed in the back from friends more times they you could count so lost a lot of money. My Mum is a school teacher but doesn’t earn very much, ever since I was little they always borrowed £10 here, £20 there from Birthday/Christmas money but in adulthood it has been in the thousands to help with mortgage, the business, bills etc. It’s me (29) and my sister plus two younger brothers (14, 12) who my parent’s had later in life. One of my brothers was doing badly in school and got expelled from 3 schools, they decided to send him away to a specialist boarding school, saying they would save money each mouth to pay for fees but they didn’t, I ended up paying for it. Clothes and stuff for my brothers I usually pay for. In addition my sister who is 26 doesn’t work and has never really worked I’ve ended up paying off some of her debts as she was threatened with court, plus whenever we go out I always pay her share. When I mention about looking for a job, world war 3 breaks out.
    I feel depressed because I also live at home, there is no way I could live elsewhere, pay rent and give all that money. People think because I’m living at home I must have saved loads of money but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
    It’s a vicious cycle because my parent’s also help out their family back home in South Africa, that’s why I’ve decided not to have kids I want to break the cycle plus I couldn’t afford them. I don’t mind helping out my family but it’s the fact that it’s always such large amounts of money and I’m worried about my own financial future, when my parents are unable to work or care for themselves I would have to do it but if I don’t have finances of my own how can I as they have no saving themselves.
    I know I’m a horrible enabler but can’t say no to my family. I feel guilty for feeling angry because I know they don’t want to be in this position.
    Sorry for the long post needed to get it off my shoulder

    • Amanda says:

      You can’t say no to them, and they KNOW you can’t. I’ve found that the first time I say no is very hard, but once I say it, they may no longer expect as many yeses. Once the family realizes that you aren’t the head of the family, maybe they can try to do something for themselves.

      A woman at age 26 without a job depending on family sounds a lot like my aunt, who ended up as a shut-in at my grandma’s house. My other aunt and uncles are still trying to figure out how to get her out of the home she’s living in rent free (my grandma died 2 year ago).

      The hard thing may be the best thing: move out, leave them to their own devices, and live your own life. That’s how you break a cycle. (I paid a mortgage payment for my mother when I was 12, and she later stole my identity.)

  • Carrie says:

    I am very worried about this! My husband and I live well below our means so we can save for our own retirement and put our 4 kids through college. My mother, on the other hand, retired at 55 because she didn’t feel like working any longer, and is spending down her savings on frivolous vacations and an out-of-control shopping habit. She lives far above her means. I have attempted to intervene many times over the past 2 decades to help her write a budget and save her money, but she is completely unwilling to change.

    I put myself through school, paid my own rent, and have been independent since age 14, so the idea that my husband and I will have to use our own savings to subsidize her extravagant lifestyle makes my blood boil. And I’m sure any court would look at our savings and decide we do have the ability to pay, so we have no protection from this incredibly unfair statute.

    At this point, if I can’t get some sort of legal protection from this, I am actually considering buying her a long term care insurance policy – simply for my own peace of mind. And my husband and I have vowed to never, ever do this to our own children!

    • Suhaila says:

      Long term care insurance policy? I’ve never heard of it but it sounds like the best option if you live in a state with these laws. That or doing something legally speaking to protect yourself. Is divorcing parents still a thing?

  • Hopeless says:

    It appears this question was posted several years ago, but remains relevant and controversial. It also exactly describes the situation I am in today. My mother and stepfather of many years are approaching 60. They are both healthy and have stable jobs with years of tenure. They have historically had bad credit, lots of debt, and no other retirement savings. They have decided to take an early retirement and want to live with me and my family to survive on this reduced income. I have lived on my own since 18 with pretty much no help from them financially. (I borrowed a small amount of money from them only once shortly after moving out and I repaid the loan.) I am now in my mid-40’s, I still have children at home as well as a spouse. My spouse isn’t ready for my parents to live with us now and I have had the most difficult time communicating this to my parents. They view it as a rejection and an ungrateful reaction from me. I am very confused, conflicted, and torn. I am a Christian who believes in honoring parents, grace, and mercy. However, I feel so stuck in the middle and my parents feel that it is my duty to help them whenever they ask, if I have the capacity to do so. I have an extra room in my home, but my spouse and children have expressed that they would feel uncomfortable with the new arrangement. This is a tough situation because my parents don’t NEED to retire early they are CHOSING to retire early. In fact, I have recommended to them to hold off until they have additional funds for themselves, but they rejected my suggestion. Part of me feels that it is so unfair for them to put this burden on me and shame me for not being there for them when it is a choice they are making, not a need. I agree with the previous response that this is nothing more than an unhealthy codependent relationship. It just took 40+ years for me to realize it and I don’t know how to fix it. So far, talking to them has been futile and disastrous.

    • Suhaila says:

      Don’t feel bad. You’re not rejecting them, they’re out of line for pushing moving in with you not to mention being super selfish.

      If it makes your family uncomfortable for them to move in, it’s not an option period end of discussion. They are not sick, they are not unable to work, they are just exhibiting the selfish behavior that they’ve shown for their whole lives, hence why they don’t have savings.

      And even if they wait till the kids are out they are causing you to lose money. You probably will want to downsize in the future once the kids are gone and now you can’t. You’ll be paying for a larger house or at least losing the opportunity $$ you could make on the difference you make from selling the larger house and buying a smaller one. All your bills will increase. All that money that is being lost because they couldn’t get their act together to save to retire early or even possibly retire at all. And that lost money is money being stolen from their grandkid’s inheritance.

      Essentially they want to steal from their grandkids. It’s a super harsh way to look at it but it’s true. You will probably give what you have made in your lifetime to your kids when you die and it will be less because now you have to pay for your parents who through being irresponsible and selfish put you in that position. And it’s not like they’re going to get anything from their grandparents either.

      Maybe framing it that way will help them understand how their selfishness is hurting their grandkids and they will elect to not retire early and work extra hard to get rid of their debts and put away something for retirement.

      Either way, selfish people aren’t who you’re supposed to help as a religious person. You’re supposed to help those who are actually in need. Do your parents at this time really qualify for your or anyone’s charity?

  • Tyler says:

    My mom has always been there for me financially when ever I needed her. She has worked hard her entire life and continues to today. If there ever came a time when she needed help financially, I would have no problem helping her out.

    • Suhaila says:

      I’m glad that you have a great mom who helped you. These kinds of parents I think kids wouldn’t have much of a problem with helping out even if it put a burden on their family. But the best thing is to make sure you don’t have to help out (beyond giving gifts because you love your mom) by talking to her about retirement now and see what her options are. I doubt most parents who did help their kids want their kids bailing them out if they can avoid it. It’s the selfish or neglectful parents people here are mainly talking about.

  • Ally says:

    I’m in this situation right now. I’m moving back home for a year while I do grad school and recently found out my parents have no retirement plan and I was shocked. No savings or investments at all, and mortgage still left to be paid off. They are living solely on my dad’s paycheck(which is low). My dad is sickly and he has to retire at least in 1-2 years. My mom stopped working to stay home long time ago and is clueless. I had to point it out to her that dad needs to retire. I always knew that they were financially illiterate but I had no idea it was this bad. Part of it is that they are lazy, after me and my sister moved out there were 2 rooms and basement in the house they could rent out but they just left it there.. I just thought they had some sort of financial backup plan but it turns out they had none and didn’t really prepare for anything. Now I have to do their retirement planning for them. It’s so stressful. I always paid for school and other expanses myself by working. This grad program is super important to me and I need to really focus but I also feel like I need to make sure they don’t fall flat on their heads…Me and my sister would have to support them to some extent later on for sure…

  • Paul says:

    My girlfriend has a deadbeat dad in his 50’s with nothing to his name. I had to move out because i couldn’t take it anymore. I just wondered if anybody has experienced this type of person, because I have never seen anybody like this my life. He addicted to gambling, so every dollar he has he borrows a car and takes off for 1-2 days at a time and comes back broke. He refuses to work even though hes perfectly capable of working. He recently was kicked out of his sons house so the only other person was my girlfriend(daughter) to live with. None of his 9 siblings want anything to do with him and my girlfriend doesn’t want him there either. I just can’t wrap my mind on how a man who has not worked in the past 15 yrs thinks ??? I’m guessing this one how some people become homeless.

  • KD says:

    I am having a really sad situation and my mum has always been a very generous lady. So she would spent money as she pleased and bought the most expensive things she could find.

    She made me an my brother so worried about her and she is still picky with jobs. Even waitress, she wanted to do business and demanded her partner to let her waste more money. She never made up her mind or keep going with her study. She is only in her late 40s. I am a stay at home mum and trying to look after two of my kids under 5.

    I have now, feeling like I have to go back to work and support her with some money. She has no jobs and had a massive gambling debt but she said she couldnt find work and her boy friend is paying for her debt. Lucky, she still own a house with him and she asked me for $50 bucks on and off now. I gladly gave it to her but I felt so sad that she is like this. I have no choice but to help her because If I say no I would feel so bad. I know she might not deserve it but she is my mother after all. I would be heart broken if my kids neglect me when I need help regardless.

    I guess there should be a balance, give money or help without costing yourself and your family. Explain why you have to save $100 for your kids education and be loving , there are many ways to help than finance such as: act of service, spend time with them and just be there 🙂

  • alice says:

    Im in the same boat..if anyone has found a book on the subject please post.
    Blessings to all!

  • alice says:

    how to deal with parent guilting using bible/scripture?

    • Suhaila says:

      There’s enough ammo in the bible to shoot back at them if you want to do that.
      You can say that you love them but you’re not God and can’t save them from their poor life choices. Maybe they need to pray harder because you pray and you don’t seem to have their money problems. Other than that you may just have to ignore them.

      You can’t compromise your future for them. Trust me, it’ll be better to not worry about your finances in the future and to take care of yourself but be considered a heathen than to let them suck you dry and tell you that you’re a good girl.

      And don’t forget to frame it as tough love.

      I’m assuming they’re not just asking for a small amount to get by (like $50) and are looking at you like the 401k they never bothered putting money into while they were working but totally expect you to pay out.

      I’d also look into services that they may qualify for and just send them that info if they bug you.

      And if all else fails remind them that then church, or whatever their religion is’s home base,is also their family and maybe they can help out if they need it. That’s what it’s there for!

  • Amanda@GFS says:

    I guess to some extent there is a sense of moral responsibility that works. I don’t know about others but no matter how reckless my parents have been, or not supported me financially, or didn’t save enough for retirement it is our responsibility to support them no matter what! If not anything else it will differentiate between them as us. The fact that they didn’t bother will not be a tit for tat to do the same with them. At least it will give us mental peace that we did what we should have.

    • Suhaila says:

      That works assuming you’re not hurting your own retirement plans or taking away money from your kids college or inheritance(or worse going into debt) which also affects your grandkids’ financial futures as well. It’s not just a matter of being better than them, it’s a question of should you waste precious resources on those who aren’t worthy at the cost of hurting yourself or your own kids (financially speaking). And there’s a lot of subjectivity on what is “taking care of them”. But in any case I don’t think the state should force you to pay for them period. Just like they wouldn’t force your parents after you were an adult to pay for your medical care. Kids, because they can’t sign a contract to pay can’t actually get billed directly so you’re the one who assumes the financial burden and that’s the only reason they can go after you for nonpayment.

      I think that planning for the future is your own problem and not your kids’ problem. Unfortunately my mom’s retirement plan has always been to use her kids as a checking account while also being ungrateful for it and even complaining that she only gets 1k a month with a paid off condo and complaining that she sometimes has to babysit (like maybe twice a month and they’re old enough to be left alone, just need an adult with a pulse around to make sure they’re not getting into trouble.). I don’t know of many babysitters who get a grand a month for maybe two nights a months.

      But I digress. If you help out your parents (and I mean really help not just chip in with fixing the car or getting them a new fridge when theirs dies or giving them an extra $100 here and there to help with bills) you’re also showing your kids that no matter what they do someone will always sacrifice their hard work and take care of them and there’s no consequences for being irresponsible with their retirement plans. It’s not the best lesson to teach them. Or they can see that their future is less important to you than rewarding your parents’ carelessness.

      Also most people just don’t have an extra 1000 to kick to their parents a month. It’s just asking too much of people, especially if they also have kids.

  • Japorska says:

    No. It’s what they call causality. If a parent is so selfish to raise their children by depriving them of financial sustainability and neglecting parenting to “live their lives”. And probable most of them use hard drugs while traveling abroad, spending immense amounts of money that a tuition fee wouldn’t hurt for more than 5 years into their salary… they have no right to claim anything! If they implicitly always told you are a burden on every level of their lives since you were a baby, they deserve nothing if not damage from you in their lives. It doesn’t matter how much they say they love you. This is not love.

  • help me says:

    I am a 27 year old male who does electrical work in natural gas plants i get almost 100k a year i been helping my parents who brained washed me ever since i was small making me think i owed them because they gave me life. Ever since i started working at the age of 16 my parents asked me to give tmhem money and i always thought it was the correct thing to do because i was raised in a really poor family and i couldnt enjoy or have any luxuries because my parents always needed money week after week so i always helped them. they dint ask for much only when i dint make much money but the more i made the more they asked for . Ever since i can remember My parents never worked my dad said he had many jobs and worked in many places but he got a epileptic attacks and filed for disability my mother was an illegal alien and made up yhe excuse that she couldnt work because of her status. But when i was 17 i worked in a clothing store with a guy who had the same illness as my dad he told me he dint want money from the goverment he wants to make his own money…. also i have seen many illegal alien females who support themselves and their kids with out any problems they have regular jobs they just get paid cash.. so today after so many times my parents have asked for money i finally said no and i dont feel guilty actually i feel anger because they have been so lazy for so long asking for money from me and my 4 other siblings wich they will never pay back… i spoke to them about my bills and my family and my needs its not my fault they were lazy for so many years and they have to find another source of income because since i can remember they have never moved a single muscle for the money they get its the either their kids or a disability check who pays their bills they need to get off their ass and make some money no fukin excuses . I have never asked them for money because i felt bad i was always clothed bad for school and never had money when i was small they should be ashamed of themselves of making me go thru that i remember one year i went a whole semester wearing only 3 shirts that costed 10 dollars for all three that was pretty fuked up on their part. One more thing to add i had tried talking to them about their situation but i feel like if im talking to a brick wall they want to hear 0 percent of my non sense lol . Thankyou for reading my story i have so many things to add but my spelling and grammer sucks and my story just got boring after some time so if you have questions or anything to add feel free

    • Suhaila says:

      If they’re getting disability than they should do their best to live on that. If they’re smart about things they can live pretty close to just that and only need a tiny little amount to get by (the odd $50 here and there) instead of what it sounds like fairly substantial amounts of money they’re asking of you. They may not be able to work if they fear losing disability but that’s up to them. Go earn more than disability would get them or learn to live on what disability gives them. Their destiny, their choice, not your problem.

  • drmunch says:

    Many,but not all young adults are greedy,self centered lazy. My wife and I have a 23,25 year old young men. I am disabled. My wife and I have never run around spending money for nothing.We bought these son’s cars the first time,the wrecked them. The second son went jail for unpaid speeding tickets. We bailed him out. The youngest son works. The older son worked seven years and paid nothing. We end up paying everything. My wife does their laundry and picks up after them.

    I can understand abandoned children being angry. What is just pain Crago is after eighteen years old we owe them nothing.We have supported,housed,Fed our children out of love. We’re we perfect,no.There is no such thing. But this generation of mid twenty and thirdly somthing think they DESERVE somthing for nothing are plain old lazy and spoiled rotten. We can’t save anything for retirement,much less emergency funds. My wife and I are finished with this crap.

    • Suhaila says:

      The only difference between my generation and yours is that yours raised ours and anything that you don’t like is a direct reflection of your generations’s actions and inactions. I’m sorry that your kids are jerks but maybe not enabling them to continue to be jerks is the key not bashing an entire generation. (And “mostly” counts as basically the entire generation).

      If they want to live the way they are that’s their problem but you shouldn’t be paying for their mistakes at the cost of your retirement and then complaining about it. You cannot control others, only yourself and you chose to help them out at a cost to you. The point of this article is that the law is making kids pay for their parents care when the parents screwed up and didn’t save enough and whether that should even be legal since if I cannot control someone legally why should I be held financially responsible for their actions and inactions?

      No one made you pay for your kids after they turned 18. You chose that. That’s the difference here.

      (I’m assuming that you cannot save for retirement because of helping them out. Otherwise your anger is especially misplaced.).

  • Snottykid says:

    I like how all the comments assume your parents were loving, support (financially & mentally) In my case, they weren’t. My dad was a bum my whole life, my mom footed his behavior so much that I am not allowed to visit home. But now both want me to support them financially after watching them make bad decisions throughout my whole life. And now I’m apparently legally obligated to support them? Some parents pay for their kid’s schooling or basic necessities, but mine never did. I think some adults/kids can’t imagine having parents like this, but it is common I would think.

  • Alice says:

    My mother won’t let me visit my father I was carrying for him than I stopped paying their bills cause I found out that my niece is taking all his money and gambling and someone called the state and my mom thinks I did HELP text to 609-816-1379

  • Jon says:

    Thankfully my parents are pretty safe with their finances. But if they had lost everything, given what they have done to raise me, I would do what I could to help them.

  • Sunshiney says:

    This post gave me pause. I saved all of my life. I put myself through a private college. I built three businesses. I made sure our son graduated from college and he earned a degree in computer science that has his earning $70/hr at 24-years-old. I stayed with his “good times” dad who he loved but who I wanted to leave the entirety of his growing up. I maintained a peaceful home, enabled him to have a mom/dad home, and became the bread-winner. And then, a diagnosis of cancer by my husband who concurrently announced he had cancelled his health and life insurance before the diagnosis (2008 impact on construction field) has left me as a 64-year-old scrambling for enough money to pay the bills. I paid all of his medical with my decades of saved cash — retirement cash — after shutting down all work to care for him as he died. It’s not what I ever dreamed would happen. But here it is. And guess how many people hire one at this age — no matter how great your resume is.

    My issue? My son “lectured” me (when did I get to *that* age!) for my stance on any conversations on this issue. Yes, I became momentarily teary but just needed an ear and a boost. Instead, I was told that if I will not allow him to give me money monthly, then he sees no way of helping me, doesn’t want to hear about it, and he cannot deal with knowing about the situation, as his thoughts affect him during his day.

    So I have a son angry at me, unloading on me for not being willing and eager to take a dime from him and only wanting, instead, a periodic “Go Mom.” Do I moan on him incessantly? Heaven’s no. I called him for the first time last night after two months (he lives far away) because he had emailed to say he’s flying up next month. I’m uncomfortable with the visit because I’m living (in a free and clear home, thankfully) on lentils and oatmeal and even that is an expenditure that is too much. I didn’t want him to see or experience this or to feel a need to care for me.

    So parents have it hard either way…

  • Megan says:

    This is my worst nightmare. My parents were financially conservative when I knew them, but it’s been 10 years since we last talked (long story, but relationship was damaging to everyone). I’m the only child who has any amount of empathy for them. I fear that one day they’ll show up on my doorstep.

    My husband’s parents are constantly buying new cars, going on expensive vacations, refinancing the house and taking money out, and have cashed out at least one 401k. They’re currently helping pay the bills for a grandparent, and are bitter about it. Some of their mail gets misdirected to our house, and the envelopes are marked in a way that indicates bills for both households aren’t getting paid. We’ve tried talking about finances and planning for retirement, but got nowhere. There is another child, but he’s even less fiscally responsible than the parents.

    My husband works hard; I’m home and work part-time. We make a good income, but it doesn’t go as far as you’d think. We are self-sufficient, saving for retirement, and working on paying off debt. Vacations are camping trips; clothes are bought second hand; entertainment is by groupon/coupon, etc. My husband’s job is very physical, and he may not be able to work it as many years as he would plan to; finding something that pays comparably would be hard. We’re working to get ourselves into a position so if/when that happens we’ll be ok w/o having to rely on others.

    But if any of the parents end up needing us to support them that would throw a huge wrench into everything. We’ve worked hard to get where we are, and I admit I won’t be happy if either side shows up with their hand out. But I’ll feel guilty if we don’t. My husband says he’ll have no problem telling them no (yes, we’ve talked about this, and both see it as happening).

  • Sue says:

    People really suck. I’m the oldest of 3 sibs, the oldest is the only one married with 3 kids all over 30, all successful in their careers and relationships. My mother was frugal and has enough to live modestly but my dad just died and not a one of them called, sent flowers, sympathy card….NOTHING. People have no respect these days for the people who were just trying to do the best they could with what they had. Now you stick your noses up at them and can’t pull yourself away from your iphones during dinner. My brother thought my father was a bad, messed up dad and person but he actually is more like him than he knows. My mom has still not gotten a visit from the oldest boys first baby. Her only great grandbaby and well, dad’s gone and could have met the little baby. So sad. People are so shallow these days. Yeah, I’m sure they were taught how to make a living, but not how to live with manners or respect. It’s only money. I’ve had money and I’ve had love and neither are worth dick unless you dont take it for granted.

  • Jane says:

    One theme I see a lot is that if parents are fiscally responsible and do their best to prepare for their retirement, the kids tend to be willing to help them if they run into unexpected and extreme financial difficulties. However, if parents have been fiscally irresponsible, then the kids resent having to provide for them in the parents’ retirement years. Unfortunately, I’m in the latter group.

    My father chose not to work for over 25 years. My mother was the one who worked and supported the family, but both she and my father like their expensive toys and vacations and keeping up with the Joneses. I moved out when I was 17 and had been supporting myself ever since. Ever since I started working full-time, I’ve been sending my parents money every month, but they felt that it was not enough and that I should be giving them a bigger percentage of my income.

    Now my parents are 61 years old. My mother wants to stop working, and both of them want to move in with me. Neither of them have savings, health insurance, nor a retirement plan. They have also started asking me when I’m going to get married and have children “so that you’re have someone to take care of you and provide for you when you’re old.” I guess that shows their intentions for having a child.

    I told them that they will not be moving in with me because I cannot afford to support them, and they are furious. And I’m okay with that.

  • 121GW says:

    Facing this scenario with MIL. She’s always been irresponsible with money. She made it through life from financial support from her parents until they passed (her mother passed at 92).

    From the age of 9, my husband had a hand in supporting the household with jobs outside of the home. MIL used the money for cigarettes and her own entertainment. If he needed something, he either had to work for it or another family member had to provide it.

    By the time she reached retirement age (65), he had been out on his own for almost 20 years. Did MIL work steadily or save money? Nope. She just kept living the way she wanted and leaching wherever she could.

    Husband and I have two small kids. We’re saving for our future to not burden them. We’re also saving for college. Bottom line – we’re not MIL’s retirement account. If she needs money, we’ll use the same line on her that she uses on everyone else… “you need to get a job.” Thankfully, Husband realizes the problems she’s caused along the way and knows his priorities.


Enter your:

Home | Sitemap | Terms | ©