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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.

prettybird Tue 11-Dec-12 22:34:56

What a lovely treat just before Christmas! smile

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Dec-12 16:54:18

prettybird wins the £150 JL voucher for posting on this thread

Fillybuster Tue 11-Dec-12 13:14:43

I don't think you are ever too old to ask for help, but I do think there comes a point where you can no longer expect it to be easily forthcoming.

My parents (and PIL) have been enormously supportive over the years, and we did ask for some support (of the loan type) when we recently bought our house. But we did also have a Plan B in place in case they couldn't help us....and with other siblings, and their own retirements/pensions to think about, we were very careful about what sort of help we asked for and how quickly we would be able to pay back the loan.

FreelanceMama Tue 11-Dec-12 12:29:25

You're never too old to ask for help. You may be too proud to though.
I hope our son always feels he can ask for help rather than get into really bad financial difficulties. But it also works the other way - parents need to feel that they can ask for or accept help from their children if they need it.

racingheart Mon 10-Dec-12 19:21:39

The last time I asked for help was in a sandwich year from university, when I was living abroad and had to pay my own course fees. My parents paid the fees but I had to work to meet bills.

My parents offered to help with the deposit on my first flat, and I am forever grateful that they did.

fabulousathome Mon 10-Dec-12 17:53:33

My parents have helped with house deposit (DH had a flat when I met him) but only after we were married. Also gave a monthly percentage towards private school fees for secondary school DSs place. Have also taken us on holidays (e.g. USA) with their grandchildren.

They gave a set amount per month to both DSs while they were at Uni so that they did not have to get jobs but could do unpaid work experience to enhance their CVs. We realise that we are all v lucky!

ClothNappyQuestion Mon 10-Dec-12 17:53:28

I think this very much depends on your relationship with your parents. Since finished my degree I have not asked my parents for any financial contributions. Sometimes they have given money as a gift at xmas but it would have to be a dire emergency for me to ask for money I think.

GetKnitted Mon 10-Dec-12 10:01:34

Since finishing education I have never asked my parents for anything, though they have given us much. For me as soon as you are earning it is down to you to live within your means. That said, I do think that families should help each other out in an emergency (not just parents!) and that it is preferable to pay day loans etc.

LadyLapsang Sun 09-Dec-12 23:18:39

Financially independent from 18, wouldn't dream of asking for money from parents / parents in law. Both DH & I fully paid up for state pension and now have more savings than mortgage. Paying more into work / private pensions and saving to be in a position to give DS a deposit to buy a home when he is ready. Also trying to minimise DS student loan, he hasn't taken it out this year. Main bugbear, I made financial decisions earlier on (e.g. to return to work straight from maternity leave) based on retiring at 60 (the position at the time) so feel betrayed that now the Government expects me to wait until I am 67 for my state pension when I was fully paid up in my 40s - crazy; personally I would prefer a return to 40 years contributions for a full state pension. Not being able to really rely on the Government or employers (entitlement changes and employers are closing final salary pension schemes which mean you will be likely to suffer a reduction in retirement income even with AVCs etc.) makes it v difficult to plan well for retirement.

whatagreatname Sun 09-Dec-12 23:15:50

I don't think that age comes into it really, some parents will be in a better position to help financially than others and I know that if my can ever help me or my sister out they always will.

I know I would do the same for my children, whatever age.

PavlovtheCat Sun 09-Dec-12 21:38:24

We borrowed the money from her - should read, we borrowed some of the money from her. We had a fallback fund, but due to the extensive messup, it needed more than finishing, it was a full on remedial job so cost more than our contigency fund, and then some!

PavlovtheCat Sun 09-Dec-12 21:36:34

dilly i know what you mean, my MIL always insists of paying for our meals, and my mum when she was alive, well she was not any better off than me but insisted on paying for meals and it was nice to be treated and I know they enjoy doing it. I always try to pay and so make it up in another way.

We asked our MIL for some financial help. She was/is in the financial position to do so. We had building work go wrong due to a builder who messed it up, and it cost us a lot of money to put the bad workmanship right, to make it safe and liveable. We borrowed the money from her. She has told us not to pay it back at all, but we are clear we wanted a loan due to the amount we needed.

She felt pleased she could help and that it avoided us having to take bank loan which we would have struggled to pay back as DH also lost his job around the same time. We had to ask, rather that it be offered as she lives in USA so would not have known we needed it without asking. If she were here she would have offered without us asking. We felt comfortable and able to do so.

If she were not in a financial position to help, we would not have asked.

So, it is not about age. As others have said, it is about circumstances. And I hope, that when my children are in their 30's, should they have a financial difficulty that they need my help with, they ask me, if I don't offer first, I will be glad to help them.

MavisGrind Sun 09-Dec-12 20:14:34

I have recently borrowed money from my parents in order to buy a house (am a lone parent in my forties). I don't like the fact that I've had to borrow it but there was no way I could do it otherwise. My parents offered to help, I wouldn't have asked.

So I think it's not about how old you are but the circumstances, whether or not it was offered or asked for and what it might do to your relationship subsequently (i.e. is it something that's hanging over you).

If my 2 dcs needed financial help in adulthood, I would do all I could to help them, but again, dependant on circumstance, need and ability to help on my part.

Like most people I don't think age is relevant - it is the circumstances of both parties that are important.

The financial security of the giver and the extent of the need of the recipient are the most important factors. It is easier (or perhaps less guilt inducing) to ask and receive help from your parents if you know it will have little or no impact on the quality of their lifestyle and especially if you know they were also helped financially by their own parents. You just become part of a cycle and in turn you will help your own children. I think this is a big part of what family means - support in whichever way appropriate.

Also sometimes it is much easier for the parent to give financial help rather than practical or emotional support - writing a cheque is a much easier option for some people.

janglebells2013 Sun 09-Dec-12 13:42:18

i don't think you are ever too old but it depends on individual circumstances. when both parents and 'children' are adults, family is there to help one another out, so whoever is in a better position financially will help the other when necessary. my mum paid the insurance on my car as i didn't have the money. i never asked though - but she knew i didn't have the money and offered. if i was in dire straights i would ask, but if it were the other way around and it was me who was financially secure i would be making sure i was helping them out when needed.

sparklefae Sun 09-Dec-12 12:19:29

I don't think that you are ever too old to ask for help with money, its an important commodity that none of us can really do without in our current society. I do believe however that asking for help should be something considered seriously and heavily before undergoing, as if you become reliant on an income that is lent to you, or that you haven't earned, there are going to be some serious ramifications and not learn the responsibilty of managing your own money.
I relied heavily from financial support from my parents when I failed university at 19, and was struggling to find a job. However, I have tried my hardest to not go to them once I had a job. At present, I owe them a lot of money from that time and am trying to save to pay them back while raising a little boy. This is a struggle and am now learning the value of a penny, as every single one counts.
This said though, I have always lent towards asking for help from my family, who I know will be understanding and flexible while I am learning how to manage my money, rather than take out a loan or borrow from an "official" provider, as I am very scared of not being able to keep up with payments, and the problems that not making those payments can bring and now I am a mum, not having a safe warm house or not having food to put on the table everyday is no longer an option.

DillyTante Sun 09-Dec-12 09:26:05

I don't know. My mum isn't much better off than me so it's not really an issue, though if we ever go out for a meal or anything she always pays. I like it, not because of the money but because as a grown up it's nice to be looked after by someone else occasionally.

Macaroons Sun 09-Dec-12 09:13:23

It's never too old if it's for a good valid reason (eg got made redundant and there's no money for food) but wouldn't do it unless I absolutely have to.

Dromedary Sun 09-Dec-12 00:36:40

I have a DS who has always done a huge amount for her children. Including letting them stay on living at home, and most recently buying a house for them to share. They are in their mid to late 20s, and have full time jobs (though not very well paid I imagine). I think a problem with this approach is that the children get the message that they don't have to work hard / do well in their exams / try to get a higher earning job, etc. Mum will always be there to pick up the pieces and provide a decent lifestyle. And eventually I suppose to provide a good inheritance. I suspect that they would achieve more if they didn't have this level of support.

louisianablue2000 Sun 09-Dec-12 00:17:29

Once you have a job. I certainly don't approve of people using their parents to facilitate a lifestyle that they can't really afford. I have relatives (a couple) who between them don't do a full time job (they have both chosen to walk away from good jobs that could have been done part time) and who get their parents to pay for various home improvements (like having a brand new rather fancy bathroom put in) and holidays. I think that is really cheeky.

TheSecondComing Sat 08-Dec-12 23:19:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notanotter Sat 08-Dec-12 22:24:46

if they go to university fair enough pay SOMETHING but other than that...nope
I come from a long line of spongers siblings who rely far too heavily on the bank of mum and dad but i'm a bit of a stalwart and am proud to suffer in silence stand on our own two feet!!

changeforthebetterforObama Sat 08-Dec-12 21:43:36

I am in the never camp. My Dad helped me when I started my degree at age 30. It meant I only needed to work in the holidays - result, very good degree. He's helped me since XH left. I work, really hard, but don't earn much. I would be very happy to help my kids if able (which given my present pension arrangement is not so likely hmm). I don't actually ask much but Dad offers regularly.

funnyperson Sat 08-Dec-12 20:15:43

I think there is a difference between asking parents for financial help and making financial arrangements to keep the family or grandchildren secure.

For example I think that once a person has done their postgraduation and is earning a salary they should definitely not be asking their parents for financial help- even for things like holidays (especially for things like holidays), and indeed a person needs to be planning to earn or save money for thier needs themselves not depending on others.

However putting money in trust or gifting into an ISA for a young persons first house deposit , or for grandchildren's education, can be very sound ways of using family money and decreasing inheritance tax liabilities in the longer term.

That said I think here is a period when parents are relatively healthy and wealthy in their fifties and sixties when it might seem all right for them to give away money but actually they might need that money in their seventies and eighties so I think it is important to be careful about accepting it.

Corygal Sat 08-Dec-12 20:04:41

Me too aftereight.

An afterthought, however - independence is one thing, not helping family is another.

In an age where 25-yr retirements (inc sickness and disability) are the norm, as a parent today I'd think twice before setting up a Everyone for Themselves system in the family.

No one here has yet mentioned the greying elephant in the corner - wealthy parents who could help DCs and GCs but choose not to. They are a minority, but a sizeable one, and bad news.

The generation above us is much richer than we are and the Silas Marner ethic is coming into play as never before. Meanness is really financially inefficient. Money is a rubbish commodity to hoard, because it loses value, and that's before the old end up losing it on care because their families are too busy earning to look after them.

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