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NOW CLOSED: When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help? Discuss this topic with Barclays - £150 JL voucher to be won

(190 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Nov-12 16:52:44

Hello - you may know we are working with Barclays on all things money.

This week they have launched a big campaign to get people talking - they want to know what you think about home buying and money topics.

The team at Barclays say "We want to hear what Mumsnetters think about home-buying and the money dilemmas you face around property for your family. The topic in this thread is about how you deal with financial help in your family relationships between children and parents. We have three questions this week, and the question on this thread is "When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help?"

The other two questions asked this week are:

Are you saving for retirement or your child's deposit? and

Is it still a home if you don't own it?

Please share your thoughts on this thread - please note, there are no right or wrong answers and the question will mean different things to different MNers.

Add your thoughts and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £150 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks MNHQ

PS Please note your comments along with your MN name may be used on the Barclays pages on Mumsnet and elsewhere.

PPS We'll do the draws for all three threads on Tuesday.

larry5 Mon 03-Dec-12 11:41:28

I would never ask my parents for help although my parents have given me money at various times without me asking. I know that my brothers have asked for help in the past but we have managed on our own most of the time.

I have adult children and once or twice in emergencies they have asked for help and if we have been in a position to help we do but the older children are now managing very well. My dd is still at uni so we are supporting her during the holidays. She does not ask us for anything on top as she manages her money very well but I will give her small amounts of money to make her life easier.

ksld Mon 03-Dec-12 11:42:19

I would say you are too old to ASK for help once you enter full time employment. For me this was once I left university - I left home to live at university, but my parents financially supported me through my degree.

Now I am married with my own family I would hate to take money from them, they have done their bit and should use their money for themselves. However they have benefitted from the property boom and some sound financial decisions in the past and are retired in very comfortable circumstances. They are therefore in a position to OFFER to help without it affecting their circumstances, and I feel able to accept that help as I know they can easily afford it (eg buying baby stuff).

I also know that should the worst happen - eg redundancy/illness my parents would offer financial assistance before I needed to ask, and I would accept this rather than have the children suffer.

My parents help me often since I fled exh but I don't ask.

I dont care what age dd is, if she needed help I would help her.

NotAnArtist Mon 03-Dec-12 12:03:28

I have never asked my parents for financial help, not once. It wouldn't occur to me to do so - they have expenses and finacial obligations of their own to worry about, and they've always made it clear that they expect us to stand on our own two feet, etc. They bought me up to think if you're old enough and able to work full-time, then you should support yourself and your family financially. Having said that, I've helped my sister a few times, and would in the future too. (I offered, she's never asked)
DH's parents feel differently. They think that times are harder for our generation with regards to house buying, etc, and that their children may never own a house without help. They approached us recently with an offer of a large amount of money towards a deposit for a house. (they have the same amount put by for DH's siblings in a few years time) We were gobsmacked, as we had no idea they had savings at all, let alone ones earmarked for us. We will take the help, and very gratefully too, but would never have dreamed of asking.

skatebauble Mon 03-Dec-12 12:06:52

I dont remember ever asking for money after I got a part time job when I was 14. When i moved into my own home, I was desperate for new windows. I didnt actually ask for the money, but my dad did give it to me.
He said he would rather see me use the money than let it sit in his account not being of use.
My dm does a lot of childcare for me and there is no way I would ask her for help; even though I could iykwim.
As for my own children - I would like to think If I could help them out, I would offer before they asked.

lynniep Mon 03-Dec-12 12:13:44

I dont think your age dictates anything - its the financial status of your parents and your relationship with them as well as all sorts of other factors in yours/their life that indicates whether you can/should be asking for their help or not. Parents are parents for life.

I recently had to ask my step-mum for a loan to cover a tax bill after the goverment 'stole' the money we had saved to cover it (thats another story!). I've never asked her for money before - she inherited everything after my dad died nearly 3 years ago and that was fine by me - it was rightfully hers. I am an adult and I am responsible for my own families finances along with DH. I'd not asked her/them for anything since I got married nearly 8 years ago and I asked my dad if he possibly had anything put aside for the wedding? (He didnt LOL but he gave us a grand towards it bless him).

However in financial boll**cks I had no one else to ask for help, so I asked her. I had no idea whether she had the means or not and I didn't expect her to say yes but she was brilliant. Came up with it immediately from her savings. Understood that whilst I would have taken out a loan to cover it, it wasn't an ideal scenario. We just got the means to pay her back this week but instead of accepting it, she told me it was a christmas present and to keep it. Will not take no for an answer. I am beyond grateful. She has lifted a heavy weight from us. I am 38.

ouryve Mon 03-Dec-12 12:14:53

I don't think there's one answer to that question. Yes, adults should be able to stand on their own two feet, but things do happen that get in the way of that. I would think nothing of someone middle aged being given a loan by their parents, but similarly I'd think nothing of someone middle aged giving their parents a loan. Providing, that is, that the relationship is strong enough and no one is setting out to fleece anyone.

dontaskforthe99 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:15:58

We had help from parents on both sides. My mum loaned us £3000 for a deposit on our first house but it came with a standing order to repay at a set amount each month over 3 years. She never let us forget how much she had given us and commented on everything we bought or did with our money over that 3 years although we never missed a repayment. I vowed that we would never ask for help again and later on this irked her because she wanted us to be in her debt. My husband's mother helped out without judgement or asking for repayment (again for £3000) when we found ourselves being gazundered and having to rearrange our mortgage one week before the birth of our second child.

I hope that my children will feel able to ask for help with their deposits when they want to buy and would encourage buying rather than renting. I hope to be in a financial position to help all three of them. I fear that if they go to university they may not want to add to their debt burden and take on a mortgage. I won't mind if they need to live with us for a bit while they save up for a deposit but think they'll have alot more fun if they are living independently.

DorisIsWaiting Mon 03-Dec-12 12:19:05

I think it very much depends on circumstance. There is no hard an fast rule.

Ideally dc are no longer dependent once they leave FT education and move on with their lives, however life occasionally throws a few curve balls, I know my 30+ year old dsis is getting help from my parent for work on her house to accomodate her disabled dc. She has tried all the channels she can think of and as a single parent she's pretty much on her own. I don't know if my dsis asked or my parents offered and I don't really care as she will repay the debt. I would hope that I would be able to help my dc if they ever got into a similar situation.

SolomanDaisy Mon 03-Dec-12 12:21:58

I don't think there's a stage when you're too old. I do think in many families there is a stage when the financial situation becomes equal and starts to reverse, as parents retire and the adult children earn more. At that stage, if you're the sort of family where the parents would always help out if they could, then I think the children need to be willing to help the parents if they need it. I can't imagine a time when my parents and I/my sibling wouldn't help in either direction if it was needed and I also can't imagine a time when I wouldn't help my DS if he needed it.

Asinine Mon 03-Dec-12 12:22:03

We have had a liitle help financially from our parents, but only when offered, we would never ask. As others have said if my parents were struggling at all themselves, or I felt they were no longer able to make reasoned judgements, I wouldn't dream of accepting anything.

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Mon 03-Dec-12 12:22:57

I don't know that there is any such thing as "too old" but as time goes on the sort of relationship you have with your parents might change.

jen127 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:24:09

I would say that this is difficult one as I would help my DS to buy his first home but I have only one. But he would have to prove to me that he was worthy of it. As in if I was helping then I would expect him to demonstrate his ability to save and a willingness to curtail some of his nights out.
I have been financially independent from the age of 18 but this did not stop my parents giving me money as a gift when my father retired. Also when I did struggle along the way there was always a bag of food to take home.
I never asked for money from my parents and neither did I expect it !
I have to say that I find it hard when I hear of the expectations som children have, if you want it work for it. If you can't afford it and it is non -essential then do without!

Decemberinthesun Mon 03-Dec-12 12:24:10

I became independent from my Dad about 2 months after I graduated from Uni. The hardest thing for me was graduating, then getting a job, then needing a months rent in advance and some expenses to buy clothes and get to work. Since then I have not needed a penny. I really hope that DH and I can help our children as much as he helped us. I would ideally like to be able to help my DS's with deposits for a flat so they can get on the property market from an early age and not waste a penny on rent.

NormaSnorks Mon 03-Dec-12 12:25:32

I don't think it's age that is the deciding factor - it is genuine 'need'. My parents (although not wealthy by any means) offered to help at the points in my life when I needed a little help - with paying Uni fees or buying first car/ house etc.

I think families fall out though when different siblings have different views about what is reasonable. My 50 year old brother still expects my 80 year old father (now in a care home) to pay the bills for a house which only my brother ever uses (it's a former family holiday cottage). I've recently told my brother that we need to sell it to pay towards Dad's care fees and he gets all uppity about it. He only visits it for about 5-6 weeks a year, and my father is still paying all the bills.

I think it's completely unreasonable to still be expecting (non-urgent) support from a parent by the time you're in your 50s!

GreenPetals Mon 03-Dec-12 12:25:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

turnipvontrapp Mon 03-Dec-12 12:29:03

when you start working yourself.

Unless you are in dire straits then don't ask but if they offer then that's different (or if they have just won the lottery grin)

RabbitsMakeGOLDBaubles Mon 03-Dec-12 12:34:55

My mum would help me with the last penny she had.

Whether I would ask her for it would depend, if it was a dire emergency then yes, and if I could arrange with her a repayment plan and she was put into no difficulty, then I might consider it for important buys that I could not afford alone, but the frivolous stuff I leave it up to her whether she does or not.

I would ask her to be a guarantor if I moved and needed one for a new home too, which is in a way putting her in a position of financial responsibility should something happen to me.

I know she has savings accounts for my children, and I have followed in her footsteps and opened an online (Barclays) saver account with a standing order going into that weekly for them.

BadRoly Mon 03-Dec-12 12:37:44

I don't think there is an age limit. We wanted to remortgage earlier this year but were £10k short to get the deal we wanted. We explained to my parents and asked if we could borrow the shortfall. They said yes they were delighted to help and would rather we went to them.

GooseyLoosey Mon 03-Dec-12 12:39:15

Never. Families are there to help and support each other. I would and have financially helped my parents and they have done the same for me.

BadRoly Mon 03-Dec-12 12:44:35

And to add to my post earlier, my Dad died shortly afterwards and for a while Mum wasn't able access money she needed to, we stepped in and returned the favour (and returned the 10k). Surely if you are in a position to help, it makes sense for family members to help one another?

SuperChristmasScrimper Mon 03-Dec-12 12:52:41

For DH it was the moment he graduated. He has never/I doubt ever will ask his parents for anything again. We have been in very tricky situations and he has never agreed to ask for help. He feels it would be utterly demeaning and akin to admitting he has failed to manage his own life/be a grown up.

BalloonSlayer Mon 03-Dec-12 12:53:28

I think if I or either of my sisters needed financial help and couldn't get a loan we would still go to my Mum.

She lent me the money for my first car more than 25 years ago and I think she would still be pleased to lend my sisters or I money.

She loves planning for her death hmm and would probably also enjoy giving one of us some cash and re-writing her will so the money we got would come out of our inheritance. She would not think that morbid at all. In fact one of my Aunties did just that for my cousin quite a few years ago.

SuperChristmasScrimper Mon 03-Dec-12 12:57:39

For me, parents are divorced. Dad is not in a position to help himself let alone me after decades of really poor money management and overspending.

I could, if really really desperate, ask my Mother but, like DH, never ever had even when really really in trouble as I know she would use it against me later. She is very controlling and uses money to have a hold over people. So it would need to truly life and death before I'd allow her the satisfaction tbh.

hk78 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:58:37

I don't think there's a set age where you are too old to ask parents for help. We don't do this ourselves and haven't done for a long time, however I have been told that we should do if we find ourselves in dire straits.

My parents do have the means, and a long time ago, helped us out with a deposit (in our twenties.)

When it come to my own dc, while I hope they will be financially independent and successful - i.e. comfortable - my wallet door will always be open.

I suppose the usual cut-off point would be after finishing education and starting work, so generally speaking that would be 21/22, however:

One of my dc's is disabled, although should be able to live independently etc., but this will probably take longer than average. My other dc is NT but I cannot treat them unequally.

We probably won't have the means to help with deposit like my parents did, but a roof over their head will always be available in my lifetime.

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