Funding parents retirement

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Funding parents retirement

Post by thrifty++ »

I am wondering what peoples thoughts would be around whether you would fund the retirement of your parents while also trying to save for your own?

This is bearing in mind if your parents had been reckless in preparing for their own, in terms of insufficient work by choice and/or extravagant spending.

I think the responses are likely to highly depend on how your childhood was and how your relationship has been with them as an adult. So it would be helpful for you to also describe in your answer how your childhood was and how your relationship with them as an adult has been.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by ertyu »

i would if they made me sole inheritor of their apartment

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

My relationship with my parents is pretty good, albeit every family has some caveats.

I wouldn't consider any financial help in retirement. Happy to help them navigate the landmines regarding their investments, long term care, elder planning, but wouldn't fork over any of my own income to subsidize their lifestyle.

My parents have been generally smart with money, but they need to make some important choices in the next 5-10 years in order to ensure they are "set for life".

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by jacob »

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by Frita »

Nope. My one remaining parent has been retired for nine years (loved working, forced retirement from school at age 68) and doing well. DS’s parent and two step-parents do not handle money well. They whine and hint. We offer support in the form of advice, which is routinely declined. (In the past when we gave cash, nothing changed except for an uptick in requests.)

If there were some extenuating circumstances, like caring for a disabled child in the article Jacob linked and/or health issues, I would be willing to help. I will not be paying for kitchen remodels and other wasteful endeavors for anyone (!).

The parental units aren’t quite sure what to make of our ER. When we were both working part-time, it seemed they thought we were broke and financing trips. Then I quit and they’ve reconsidered that we may have a bit more moola.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by IlliniDave »

I think I would help as long as whatever got them into the predicament wasn't too egregious and they were willing to live within their means. I say help because for much of my life I couldn't swing supporting two households entirely even without saving for my own retirement. My relationship with my parents was typical on the positive side. And in reality I never gave it any thought because there was never a question of whether they'd have enough to live reasonably well in retirement.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by flying_pan »

I would not help financially at all. I will be more than happy to help in social capital (advice, help to move/clean/whatever), but people who are bad with money will just get used to your help and start to count on you. So no, I would not do that.

On the other hand, I'd definitely muddy the waters so that they don't know what exactly my financial situation is, otherwise it might lead to some potential conflicts. Sounds too cautious and cold, probably, but I know people who fight with their siblings to get financial help from their stepdad. They don't really need, but they just got used to it and feel it is unfair to them.

If they really need it, though (like something unexpected happened), yes, I'd help, probably we would split it with my sister.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by Seppia »

My parents always gave me and my sisters all we needed, and very little in terms of superfluous stuff.
The basic reason why I’ve always been good handling money is their education.
So they’ll never need my help as they always lived well below their means, but if they ever did, I’d surely help (I know it would be a real need and not the result of not planning/capricious behavior)

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by Sclass »


I take it your problems with your dad and step mom are not gracefully resolving themselves. Pressure building up? Your step mom will lean on you and you need to turn it around on her.

One size of advice won’t fit all.

I’m not even sure it’s possible to leave a parent high and dry. Unless you have a sucker sibling who is willing to singlehandedly take responsibility for the parent while you disappear. My sister recently told me that we were all playing a game of chicken that I just lost. That was painful to hear but it was honest of her. They wore me down and I didn’t have the nerve to do nothing while I waited for someone else to change my mom.

As I recall your siblings were far off. Your stepmom was a baby and didn’t like her new role as caregiver. And you were close by and possibly burdened by some acceptance issues. I hope you can rewrite the boundaries so everyone can contribute a fair share. Good luck.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by Lemur »


My childhood and family dynamic could have its own reality TV show...

I have no plans to fund my parents retirement. They were completely reckless their entire lives. Did not even try to save for retirement. Both insufficient work and extravagant spending and overall mismanagement with money. Both of my parents are on medicaid, no savings, no pensions, high medical and car debts (over $10k for Mom, $40k+ for Dad), and health issues. My relationship with my Mother is almost estranged (maintaining arm-distance) relationship with my Father is more complicated as I am sympathetic to his mental health issues.

Two of my brothers are supporting my Mother directly (living with her, paying the bills, etc.) and my Sister is supporting in other ways. I have another brother like me who is mostly cut-off from the drama.

I don't feel cold or anything about the situation. Long story. I only feel bad for my siblings who fell for the narcissistic traps.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by ZAFCorrection »

My parents have no savings and also blew through about 750k of inheritance, so there is no such thing as enough for them. I've already started the convo with my brother that I am willing to kick over a few hundred a month, and that is it. That plus two pots of social security from years of making good money should be enough for just about anyone. It's more than we spend on ourselves.

My attitude is there is no amount of money that would well and truly fill that hole, so I'll just do what seems reasonable to me, regardless of any complaining from my parents or brother.

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Re: Funding parents retirement

Post by naturelover »

My parents have continuously made poor decisions with money and don't save whatsoever. My mom seems to be better these days but my father blows through cash like you wouldn't believe.

So even if I wanted to fund their retirement it wouldn't work and I'd just screw my own family in the process.

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