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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.

helibee Mon 03-Dec-12 10:09:49

I'm not sure you are ever too old. My dad lives with us so we take on a lot of the financial responsibility for him. However if my brother and his family have needed help then my dad has given them money. When we were little and my dad was made redundant, there were times when we were very poor and my grandparents helped to support us financially. We now support them financially so its swings and roundabouts smile

I don't think any loving parent would want to see their children struggling to put food on the table or clothe their children and would help out if they could.

As for helping with house deposits, I think it's just depends on the financial position of parents and if the children would take the money. Many children are moving back in with parents with living costs soaring so I'm sure some parents see giving some money as a deposit for a house cheaper in the long run wink

BahSaidPaschaHumbug Mon 03-Dec-12 10:12:10

From a personal point of view, I wouldn't have considered asking for help once I was earning a full time wage, so 18, although they did pay for the odd carpet lay as a christmas present, and some baby bits recently. Once I became entirely independent with a home of my own its never been a consideration at all.

Thats not to say my parents wouldn't have tried to help if it became obvious I was struggling, they have bailed my brothers and sister out a few times at much nearer 30-40.

As regards my own children, I think early twenties financial independence will be the threshold except for emergencies. After that barring illness or accident they will be largely on their own.

WiseKneeHair Mon 03-Dec-12 10:17:20

I think once you have finished full time education, be that GCSE's, A levels or a degree, that you are too old to ASK for financial help.
However, that doesn't stop a parent from offering it if they see their child in need of help.
Obviously, the extent of help will be dependent on the parents own financial position.
Personally, I stopped receiving any help from midway through my degree as I was able to support myself with a combination of holiday jobs and student loans.

CMOTDibbler Mon 03-Dec-12 10:24:05

I think that once you have finished your initial education, you are too old to ask for help - but its nice if parents are in a position to offer to help if things are tough.

Petershadow Mon 03-Dec-12 10:26:02

I would like to think you could always ask for financial help from your parents.

It really depends if they are in a position to help.

My parents have paid for holidays, flights, trips and given very generous gifts, even though we could have afforded them ourselves. They like to do it. They don't stop contributing when we can start to afford it.

weenwee Mon 03-Dec-12 10:30:49

If it is a legitimate emergency, you are never too old. For instance, I imagine a great many families have been asking for help in the flooded areas, and we wouldn't look our noses down on them. Floods happen, cars crash, fridges just break down. You ask for help, you pay it back. But for non-essentials, I wouldn't ask. An iPhone isn't an essential - food is. Luxuries are called that for a reason - not everyone can afford them. You deal.

Personally I stopped being supported by my parents when I left home at 18. It would have been nice to have support at uni but it wasn't possible. Now, if I was absolutely desperate in a 'can't feed the DC' type scenario I would ask my mother for help, but I wouldn't ask for help unless I was utterly desperate.

weenwee Mon 03-Dec-12 10:33:34

Sorry, I went off topic, as this has to do with home purchases as well. If I could afford it, even if it meant really slim living for quite awhile, I would purchase on my own. Unfortunately, housing prices are so high in some areas that I might consider asking for a loan from Bank of Mum and Dad if I had to move (say, because of a job). If I just wanted to move, I wouldn't ask them.

dsay Mon 03-Dec-12 10:35:18

Good <message>

Once you have finished formal education imo. I wouldn't dream of asking my parents for money, not any significant amount anyway. I have borrowed the odd tenner if I haven't been to the cashpoint and I need some cash but I pay it back asap - there is no question that they are giving me money and they won't see it again.

I cannot conceive of a situation where I would have to ask for money. That isn't to say I wouldn't take it if it were offered and I was desperate but actually asking for it, no never. They have done their bit for me by financing my degree, I can't ask for more.

I suppose it depends on how independent you want to be. Some people want to cut the ties completely and some don't feel the need. I personally don't want to be beholden to anybody and I would also hate to put my parents in a position where they were obliged to help because I had asked.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Mon 03-Dec-12 10:42:21

At this point in my life I wouldn't ask for help with anything.

However, my mom and step-dad recently offered to give me part if my inheritance early when we're ready to buy a house in about 2 years. It was actually my sister who suggested it to them as they haven't helped any of my siblings buy a house, but we are struggling a bit more than most of them due to health issues.

It will be gratefully recieved but hardly expected.

PhilMckrakin Mon 03-Dec-12 10:42:31

I don't think you are ever too old. I'm 33 with 3 dc's and a mortgage but my mum has just lent me money to replace our broken boiler before winter. She offered the money and would rather lend it too us than see us pay intrest to a loan company.

However as said up thread, I would never borrow money for non essential items for example mobile phones, computer etc as I feel you should only have these if you can afford them.

Katryn Mon 03-Dec-12 10:52:48

My mother is paying for my son's education - she offered, I would never have asked. She can afford to and she wanted to. I wouldn't ask for help otherwise, for anything, unless it was an absolute emergency.

LilyThePinkaPinkaPink Mon 03-Dec-12 10:53:52

I don't think you are ever too old.
I hope in the future if I am in a position to help my dc I will.

TeaTowelQueen Mon 03-Dec-12 10:55:09

I don't think you get too old - although as you get older the more desperate you have to be to ASK for help, a couple of years ago my husbands employer 'forgot' to run it's payroll and we had to ask for immediate help just to make sure we met all our payments that month, it was awful. We now have more accessible savings!

We're now coming to the point when we need to support our parents so they can move closer to us, what goes around comes around! smile

We've had small loans or gifts on money in the past if we were struggling to buy dc's shoes, clothes etc, our families will always help if they can and it works the other way round too. If our inlaws are skint we would do the same. When we've been struggling waiting for benefits etc to be sorted our families would invite us over for hot meals or give us a bag of shopping to get us through.

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Mon 03-Dec-12 11:05:43

My parents never helped me financial from the age of 18 and i paid (got in debt) for my own degree. I have never asked them for money even when i was in need of it because the are OAPs and do not have the money to give and never have. I think if they had the money they still wouldnt give it if i asked. So i have and will never give them money.

Because of the above i have a totally different pov to money and my own children. They both have trust funds for when they are 18 and i will help them as adults as much as possible and i manage my financise to reflext this opinion.

I'm not sure you're ever too old to get help from your parents financially. Personally, I'd never ask them for financial help but they have been known to offer. We wouldn't have been able to purchase our first house if it hadn't been for my parents helping out with the deposit, which we are paying back to them.

Vajazzler Mon 03-Dec-12 11:26:27

If you know that they have the financial ability to help then i dont think you're ever too old to ask for help. I wouldnt ask at the moment as my Dsf has been out of work for a few years and they have no savings left but in the past, knowing they had the ability to help out then i have asked and the help has been granted.

elizaco Mon 03-Dec-12 11:29:46

I think once you start full-time work, you are too old to ask (ie after school/college/uni). However if parents offer to help with a major purchase or if their child is struggling financially, that is acceptable, but the child SHOULDN'T be asking.

Once you are in employment.

I have to say on a personal level I got a saturday job at 14 so I wouldn't need to ask my dad parents for money.

Slugslasher Mon 03-Dec-12 11:31:10

I personally became independent from my parents at the age of about 17 when incidentally I met my life long-partner and married at 21 (him 22) (1970's). We never had any financial help bar one loan from my parents who were not wealthy to pay for exams fees (for husband) which we paid back as quickly as we could. Due to sensible saving and frugal living in our youth; enjoying the advantage of the property boom (despite struggling with high interest rates); and husband's career progressing so that he now is a higher rate tax payer, until retirement in a handful of years, we are in the enviable position of overpaying our mortgage to be mortgage free which should coincide with his (early) retirement. We helped our two 30 something sons with cash injections as gifts to help with deposits towards their own homes but only when they had proved to us they were saving themselves (which they did). We are now concentrating on being financially secure for his retirement ( I never went back to work after having children as husband was working all hours, then travelling and away through work). We would not hesitate to help our two sons and their families if required. They have never asked for financial help but we have helped them with interest-free loans when they have bought cars for instance (instigated by us). The fact that they and their partners have a good work ethic, don't fritter their money and are striving their way in life as did we, means we are secure in the knowledge that if needed we would have no hesitation in helping them again if the need arises.

SandWitch Mon 03-Dec-12 11:39:29

I have never asked my father for financial help - although I am old enough to have been eligible for a grant at university.
My father just does not have the means to be able to help, I know this so would never put him in a position that he has to struggle himself to help me out.

My dh's parents are in a very secure position and we have asked them for help and they have offered on many occasions. Any help is always a loan, not a gift. We pay back the loan with a small amount of interest so that it does not disadvantage the in-laws to have helped us. They get a similar interest rate to that which they would have received had it been in the bank and we pay less interest than we would on a formal loan.

I don't think you are ever too old to ask, or receive help; it is what has been done for generations, be that money, or childcare or property or household goods etc.
As adults, we are too old to expect any help though. I would hope to always have the means to be able to help my children in any way I could. Financially or otherwise.

MrsHoarder Mon 03-Dec-12 11:40:35

I think you are only to old when your parents are starting to struggle to manage their own affairs. That said, once you reach the age at which your plan is to enter full time employment, such help should not be on a regular basis, but in emergencies, for advice or as a freely given gift.

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