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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.

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.

Frontpaw Mon 03-Dec-12 12:59:47

As soon as you leave home! In my case anyway! My sister didn't think the same! My parents were very very generous and did offer to buy tickets, washing machines... But we never took them up on it (except housewarming or birthdays).

Mum did slip a few grand into my savings account just before she died as she knew we had been saving up for a long anticipated real holiday. She died before I could slip it back to her...

Dontbesodramatic Mon 03-Dec-12 13:01:24

Depending in you circumstances, I don't think you're ever to old.
My mother helped me financially when I became a lone parent and really got me back in my feet and for that I'll be eternally grateful. Even now when DD has an unexpected payment for School my DM will always ask whether she can help.

When my DD is older, I will do exactly the same for her.

Dontbesodramatic Mon 03-Dec-12 13:03:01

*on & *your
Stupid auto type!

choccyp1g Mon 03-Dec-12 13:05:34

I think as soon as you move out and/or earn your own money. It would never have occurred to me to ask for help from my parents.

Offred Mon 03-Dec-12 13:17:55

Don't think age is much to do with it or parents either. I think families should really help each other out through tough times, including tough finances. I think it is a really bad idea to set up paying for old age care to be dependent on owning a house and also buying your first house to be dependent on help from parents.

newyearnewattitude Mon 03-Dec-12 13:34:19

I personally think once you move out (and that should be early 20's at the latest!) and if you cant afford to buy on your own then don't!

hobnob57 Mon 03-Dec-12 13:50:56

In my case I have never asked my parents for money and always understood I would fund myself once I left home, including my wedding. I come from a large family and funding me is the least of their worries.

OTOH DH's family are well off and on more than one occasion have offered to dig us out of a hole. They would rather help than see us and the kids in strife.

I think it depends on the means and sentiment of the parents. But asking for money is not something we would ever do. Shudder.

CanonFodder Mon 03-Dec-12 13:57:08

I think it depends. I funded my own education as my parents were not then in a position to help, the resultingdebt from this led to me being priced out tof the Market house and deposit wise and my parents have since kindly given us a deposit as they inherited some cash. I am in my mid 30's. I know they would help us again if one of us lost our job or because gravely I'll and couldn't work, but we are very careful not to rely on or expect that, and most certainly would never, ever ask for it.

CanonFodder Mon 03-Dec-12 13:57:41

Became gravely ill, bloody iPad.

RubyrooUK Mon 03-Dec-12 14:00:24

I don't think you are ever too old for parents to offer help or to ask for it.

However, I wouldn't want to ask my parents for help as I'm an adult with my own family. I pay for things myself and don't want money from my family. But if the situation was desperate, I know it would be really important to my mum that I did ask, as she would love to help her children however she can.

In the same way, I hope my kids will ask for help if they need it financially when they reach adulthood. I may or may not be able to help depending what was being requested but I'd like them to know that they could ask.

I do think it is important to be financially independent as an adult and not NEED your parents to cover life expenses. But I am sure help is there if I need it and want my kids to feel the same.

I think it depends on the relationship with your parents and the circumstances.

If you've left home, finished university and have a full-time job then I doubt you would rely on parents for money.
If you are saving for a deposit on a house and parents had the funds to help you, then there wouldn't be a problem.

Personally, I haven't relied on my parents since leaving home at 18. If I want something, then I save up.
DH's parents save money on everything and are in a position to help him or his sibling if they need it.

shriekingnora Mon 03-Dec-12 14:03:21

Never too old but you're also never too young to be sensitive to your parents' own needs. I wouldn't ask for help if I had been recklessly spending and wanted to continue funding a lifestyle I coudn't afford but I didn't hesitate to ask for help when DH was made redundant and we were struggling to buy food. I have also recently borrowed a huge amount from them to start a business but they insisted as they didn't see the point of us paying huge amounts of interest to the bank when they had the money there. I realise I am extremely lucky to be in this position and I don't take their help for granted at all. I hope I am able to do the same thing for my children.

EdgarAllanPond Mon 03-Dec-12 14:03:24

you're never too old to ask for financial help from your parents

you're never too young for them to say no

Never too old if circumstances allow in my opinion. It all depends on the dynamics in your family and how much money each member does/doesn't have I guess <<shrugs>>

I still have a debit card linked to my mums account and I'm nearly 40 blush In fairness I do work in a family owned business and so the debit card is mostly for expenses, but I do use it if I am short, and don't hesitate to do so.

I think my dad still pays for a few things too, AA membership and a life insurance type scheme that he thought I should have after becoming an LP, possibly more.

They can afford it, we've always been a family of sharers grin When I was younger I had waaay more cash than Dsis who was at Uni and I used to spend lots on/for her. These days she spoils my kids rotten when she see's them and I get lovely gifts.

Swings and roundabouts as someone said further up.

Tyranasaurus Mon 03-Dec-12 14:22:14

Once you finish uni

noidles Mon 03-Dec-12 14:28:08

It's a bit fuzzy for me - my Dad has always drilled into me the mentality that I should support myself financially, and I never ever asked my parents for money. They helped me with some of my tuition fees at university, and while I was there I got into a little bit of debt, which scared the hell out of me. Too ashamed to tell them, I ebayed a few things, took loads of extra hours on at my bar job, and I've always been really careful since.

I'd have LIKED financial help to help buy a house, but never dared ask, but then my Mum sold her house and said she'd split the money between me and my sister to help us to get a deposit for our own house. It was a very welcome offering!

When I have children I think I will like to offer them support getting on the housing ladder, but that is going to be 20-30 years from now, so who knows what the housing situation would be like then? I remember 15 years ago my sister planned to buy a house with her then boyfriend, and the house was around £35k, and now it's up for about £ who knows if prices will fall or rise ridiculously again.

I think ultimately, the future feels really uncertain when it comes to the cost of buying a house and other household bills. I hope that when I do have children that they always feel they can come to me when they are in a bind financially.

derekthehamster Mon 03-Dec-12 14:28:27

Once I started earning the only thing we asked for was the deposit for our first house (2k shock) which was a loan from pil. When we got married, they gave it to us as a wedding present grin

Since then we've never had to ask for money, although my Mum is very good at anticipating when we'll need some extra cash and offering us a loan, she would always prefer to loan us the money interest free, rather than us increasing the mortgage take out a loan.

chrisrobin Mon 03-Dec-12 14:30:07

You are never too old to ask parents for financial help. My parents would be very upset to think I couldn't ask them for help if we were struggling, they also know I wouldn't ask unless I really needed it. DH was recently made redundant and the first thing my Dad said was don't worry we will help with the bills- I didn't need to ask, they just wanted to help. I would hope that my DC would feel they were able to ask me if they were in need of help (when they are older- not at the moment when they feel they 'need' money for Lego).

imdreamingofaskyebluechristmas Mon 03-Dec-12 14:31:50

When I was 28 I bought my first house. It cost £42500 and needed £7K worth of work on it to get the mortgage. My parents helped me then as they could see that I would never get on the property ladder without them.... 7 years later I sold the house for £125K...... this meant that I could put a massive deposit down on a detached place for me, XH and DD. I was so grateful to my parents and never ever expected another penny from them.

Thankfully when I divorced recently, XH did the decent thing and walked away from the capital in the house as it was mine.... However, I can only get a mortgage in my own name for £14K less than I owe on the mortgage...

I did not ask my parents for help, they offered, as they came into a bit of money, to make up the difference, so that me and DD can stay in the house and not and have to move. I am so grateful to them for that and can never repay them.

lubeybooby Mon 03-Dec-12 14:34:10

I last asked my dad for an emergency £50 when I was 29. I felt a bit pathetic and vowed to make sure I was never in that situation again, and so far haven't been (now 32)

That is my own decision though, I'm sure if I ever asked he would still be happy to help. It's just personal pride that made me sort out my finances a bit more and get some savings buffer, and get better at keeping an eye on things (any direct debit bounce charges etc) to hopefully avoid unexpected emergencies.

I haven't asked my mum for anything since I was 27 and leaving my ex, she put an amount towards a rent deposit for me. I then paid this back by having her live with me for a short time and financially supporting her with a weekly amount when she had a breakdown, left her job and needed a new place herself.

I know she would help me again too though if I really needed it. Again it's a personal thing of feeling like I really should be standing on my own two feet that would make me hesitate to ask either parent

It's splitting hairs but I felt I ought not to be asking for money once I was earning my own which for me was age 23 when I was in employment after graduating from uni. That's not to say that I won't accept money from them and indeed do - we wouldn't have been able to buy our family home without a very generous contribution from my parents. But as has been stated up thread, no parents want to see their children go without and will help as long as they can afford to and I will absolutely do the same for my own children. One day, I would love to be able to repay my parents the chunk f deposit that they gave to us.

nextphase Mon 03-Dec-12 14:56:41

Never too old if you NEED the money.
But it should be for things beyond your control - not because you choose to live above your means, and then need a new boiler. However if you are existing on nothing, and need a new boiler, and your parents are in a position to help, I think thats valid.

But then equally, maybe you should never need to ask - if you keep up an honest dialogue with those close to you, they should know when things get tricky, and offer, if they are in a position.

But that is all assuming that you have that sort of relationship with your parents, and they have the means to support you.

Dotty342kids Mon 03-Dec-12 14:58:58

I'm not sure that you're ever too old actually! In any family there will be members of the family that, at various times, will struggle and need help, and there will be others who are in a position to help. Whether that's children asking parents or grandparents when they need to move up a house size or whether it's working children helping struggling grandparents, I think it's the case that families do often help one another out.
For example, when my car unexpectedly went "kaput" a couple of years ago, it was my inlaws who had the cash, in savings, that they could instantly give to me to help finance a new one, which I then paid them back gradually. They've always saved during their lives and rather than wait to die and then it come to the three of their adult children, they'd rather give it to us as they go along and see it put to good use. So, when we moved house recently and really stretched ourselves, they gave us the money for a new kitchen. But, we accept it knowing that should they ever be in need, we'd step in and help in return.
I suppose the only point where we wouldn't ask them, is if we knew they didn't have it to give, I can't think of anythign more stressful on either side!

chez2708 Mon 03-Dec-12 15:04:18

Never too old, if parents knew you didn't ask then would be hmm unhappy that you didn't let them help, so I say never, but same for me if my children struggle I don't want to find out any other way than my kids telling me x

eggsandham Mon 03-Dec-12 15:09:34

I think it probably depends upon the amount of money your parents have. Mine earn enough to get by comfortably, but do not have thousands in savings etc so I would have felt bad asking as soon as I'd left uni and got a job. My parents made so many financial sacrifices to give me and my two sisters everything we could have wanted, providing for our education etc and I am so pleased that they can now spend the money they work hard to earn on things that make them happy. I wouldn't dream of asking them for money now that I earn my own - and if I haven't got enough for something I want, I need to find a way to earn it or go without.

PieEyedAndLairySanta Mon 03-Dec-12 15:15:24

Can't remember the last time I actually needed help from my parents but I had to ask them to be on stand by last week as there was a very real chance of us not being able to pay the rent. Hopefully we are only in a temporary hole due to DH being off work with a disability. His benefits were paid a week late so sorted in the end. I am 46 and they are retired - it was totally humiliating having to ask and I really think it should be the other way around by now. blush

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 03-Dec-12 15:24:05

I don't think you are ever too old, but I think there's a huge issue in terms of feeling obligated to your parents and ashamed you need their help.

I feel that rightly, you should be independent from age 18, really.

I feel ashamed that my dad still stood as guarantor to me renting a flat, when I had the right amount of income (from a student grant as a postgrad). Yet the lettings agency would not accept this was income! And my bank does not accept it is income. I find that really insulting.

Incidentally, since this is Barclays, I will point out that it would be lovely if, along with considering how we feel about parents, you'd consider how we feel about our spouses.

I did not take kindly to being lied to by a Barclays staff member, who told me it was 'illegal' for me not to change my name upon marriage. I certainly didn't enjoy it when another staff member commented jokingly to me that a joint account for me and DH would be good for me as a woman, but not good for him as a man, since women spend men's earnings.

I found this to be rather more of an issue than anything to do with my parents, if you want to know.

WowOoo Mon 03-Dec-12 15:26:55

When you leave home and start work I think you are too old.
I suppose it's a different case if you really need the money and they have money to spare.
But, this doesn't stop them offering to help.
My parents helped us and offered us more than we ever accepted. It was very nice to know if we needed help it was there.
My parents were very open about money and talked about looking after it and the value of saving a lot.

i have never ever asked my parents for help. But that hasn't stopped them helping me and getting quite cross that i haven't asked, big credit card bills as an example. They have helped us out in every way imaginable, from deposits for houses to weddings to cars to holidays to hard cash. i couldn't begin to add up how much they've given us over the years. We're in the funny position of being absolutely skint, but having two cars and some great holidays. it's madness really.

i very much hope to be in a position to do the same for my girls when they're older. i very much doubt it though sad

BlimeyRiley Mon 03-Dec-12 15:52:59

This is a tricky one as I think it depends on a whole host of factors - I myself am very fortunate in the fact that my parents can afford to continue to help me into adulthood and I do know that they would never ever see me struggle - so if I were in real need I would not feel bad for asking at any age. I do also know that if they knew I were struggling and hadn't asked for help they would be cross!

However - I do think it is extremely important to stand on your own two feet and support yourself - which would put me off asking them entirely. It would be like taking a step back in time. And if I knew that they themselves were struggling I wouldn't dream of asking.

I have recently moved back in with them in order to save for a house (they will also be helping me with the deposit) and whilst I am living there I am paying minimal rent. I do feel v lucky that I have this opportunity and know that I would want to do the same for my DCs when I have them one day.

IMO an independent adult ASKING their parents for financial help is a bit off.

What's wrong with adults being self sufficient and not relying on parents?

My mum has always relied on my nana, they are now 50 and 70 and the situation continues as my mum has always known she can ask. I on the other hand have always been too proud and independent to ask for financial help and mot surprisingly am extremely careful/ responsible with money.

FreckledLeopard Mon 03-Dec-12 16:02:56

Difficult question. We have a weird set-up, given that my mother feels that 'her' money isn't really hers, since my father was the one that worked, earned it, then died. I'm an only child, parents pretty old when they had me, my mother has always had high expectations of how to live (i.e. she does a daily shop and has never, ever worried about money). Unfortunately, I inherited her care-free approach to money and, as a single, student parent, got into debt, she bailed me out, and I've had numerous handouts ever since. She contributes towards DD's school fees and extra-curricular activities. I am still skint (getting divorced and moving house isn't great for debt management), my mother is still helping out. I suppose though, that I would have the same kind of attitude for DD - expecting to help her financially for a long time....

I think we just have a screwed up attitude to money, really confused

worldgonecrazy Mon 03-Dec-12 16:07:45

When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help?

Never, and the role is reversed too. I hope, should they ever be in financial strife, that my parents would feel able to ask me for help, whether that help be financial or of other forms.

But we are talking about ideals here aren't we? I think financial aid is just one of the ways that good strong families support each other.

EarnestDullard Mon 03-Dec-12 16:09:13

I think that once you are living away from your parents and earning a wage you should be able to cope financially by yourself. But there can be extenuating circumstances; sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, and I'd like to think my parents would help me out in an emergency, if they were able. I wouldn't expect or demand it, but I'd like to think they'd want to.

Also, I would have struggled to get onto the property ladder without help from my parents (when I was about 21). I didn't ask for or expect their h, but I was (and still am) very grateful.

gazzalw Mon 03-Dec-12 16:31:19

I agree with the posters who say that once you've left home you really should be financially independent. We don't all have the luxury of relying on the Bank of Mummy and Daddy to bail us out. However, if I need some advice about financial investments etc...I might consider asking respected elders although not necessarily my parents as they never had a cent to their name and in retirement my Dad just spends his pension indulging himself in a way he never was able to in his deprived childhood or when he was a young and impoverished parent!

All those of you who have had financial help getting on the property ladder can count yourselves as very lucky. DW and I did it on our own (and not with particularly well paid careers either) which is probably why we live in not a very nice area!

CheeryCherry Mon 03-Dec-12 16:40:56

I have contradictory opinions on this as when we first set up home, we did it by ourselves, and proudly too-though we would not have expected any help at all, wasn't an option. However 20 years on with 3dcs and debt problems, we were thrilled when my parents handed over a few thousand when they downsized. It made a ripple on our money problems but nonetheless was so appreciated. My BIL on the otherhand constantly scrounges off his parents...which I feel is a selfish, thoughtless manner. We feel he should be independent as he's in his forties, works, spends unwisely. As a parent when my dcs grow up I would love to be able to help them out, but its very doubtful it will happen.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 03-Dec-12 16:41:04

DPs own their own house thanks to the generosity of my DGPs, who lent them a large deposit at a low interest rate.

I am comfortably off thanks to DPs supporting me fully through 5 years of higher education (wasn't eligible for grants or loans).

DB owns his own flat thanks to extensive support from my DPs when he was in his thirties.

I am now in my forties and was chatting about holidays to DM - I mentioned in passing (literally as a throw away comment) how shock I was to find that a Mark Warner family holiday in the Med now costs 4 grand. She immediately offered to pay - I declined, for any number of reasons. I'd never take money for a holiday, or a new car when our crappy old one still works fine. I wouldn't ever ask for money for me, but I would ask for the DCs. If DH ran off to Acupulco with all our savings I'd ask for help to get decent accommodation for them, or a computer so they could do their homework, or school uniform that fitted. And if we ran out of cash with a DC midway through exams at private school (private school is very rarely a necessity, but if you're half way through A Levels then staying on can be vital) I'd ask for help with the bills without a qualm.

In return I will help the DCs if they need it for as long as I am financially able and in sound mind.

SantaJaxx Mon 03-Dec-12 16:51:37

I don't know if you're ever too old TBH. My nan was helping my mum out financially right up until she died and my mum was 51 then.

I honestly wouldn't be able to survive if it wasn't for my mum and dad and I'm 34! They're helping us more than ever atm because we're on the dole, but even when DH was working they still helped us out financially. I'd like to be able to not have to fall back on them but we've never earned enough to be able too (always on MW).

I realise I'm very lucky to have my parents to fall back on. DH has never had help off his mum, ever, and had to stand on his own 2 feet from the age of 16.

I'd like to think when my dds grow up we'll be in a position to help them. Although DSD is grown up now and unfortunately we're not in a position to help her at all. (Although she does still live at home rent free).

Thanks gazzalw, I never would have known to be grateful if you hadn't pointed it out. Phew. hmm

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Dec-12 17:16:21

LRDtheFeministDude - we raised your feedback direct with Barclays and they have asked us to pass on the following message "We're sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience. Please contact Barclays direct at with your full name and postcode and they will be happy to look into this for you"

TheProvincialLady Mon 03-Dec-12 17:27:33

I think you are too old to expect financial support once you leave home, or earlier if you are working. I don't think you are ever too old to ask for financial support if you need it and your parents can afford it - as long as you graciously accept their answer if they say no. I would expect the same from parents who needed to ask their children for financial support.

My parents paid the stamp duty on our home, and have paid for a new boiler and many other things and I am incredibly grateful. My mum says she likes to support us because she never had any money when I was growing up, whereas now she is very well off. I don't always accept her help but when I do, I am mindful of how lucky I am.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 03-Dec-12 17:31:05

You're never too old to ask for help in a real emergency. I imagine most parents would rather their grown up children borrowed from them than have them take out a loan or credit card debt.

My parents have made it clear that I can ask them for help should something go horribly wrong with our finances, but I would feel embarrassed to have to go to them. I'd have to be seriously desperate to admit I needed their money, but I hope I could solve the problem before it came to that.

The minute that I got out and got a job as a teenager I felt too old to ask my parents for financial help. I knew that things were tight for them and would never have dared ask.

That said, they are very generous when they can afford to be, and they did help us out with furnishings and baby things when my DD was born.

When it came to buying a house, they were great in helping us find, decorate, move house etc and had us round for tea when we were too skint to feed ourselves due to saving for deposits etc - but I would have died of shame to have actually asked for help outright.

In this day and age I feel that it's working both ways - we kind of support each other. Just that now I am in a vastly better position than my mum, so I am in the 'parent' role. On the other hand, we do borrow money from DH's dad when times are rough, so swings and roundabouts.

I suppose I am in the minority in that I have never, and probably never will be able to, ask my dm for financial help, basically because she doesn't have it. But she supports me in other ways and would give me the shirt off her back if she thought it would help.

I don't think you are ever too old to ask for financial help from parents. The world is such a funny place at the moment and it would be difficult for someone nowadays to assume that they aren't going to need any financial help in the future from parents - you never know what life is going to chuck at you.

nickysom Mon 03-Dec-12 18:29:56

These posts make me sad but also make me feel a little guilty as I am in my 40s and still get financial support from my parents when I am struggling.

I would never class myself as being too old but on the other hand I think maybe if my Mum and Dad had been less inclined to help whenever things were tough then maybe I'd have been more capable of standing on my own two feet and not requiring assistance. It's a difficult one but I do agree with helibee who says it's swings and roundabouts. My Grandparents often helped my parents out, now my parents help me out and I would like to think that I'd help my daughter out if and when she needed it. In relation to my parents if they ever needed me to help them either on a financial basis or just to take care of them or have them move in with me then I would without a moments hesitation. In fact I have lent my parents money in the past and my parents are due to move in with my brother in a few weeks time to enable them to find a new home now that they are moving back to the UK so I guess my brother has the same attitude.

I guess it just depends on your own family views and circumstances but I am very happy that my family are close and would do anything to help one another out and support one another, be that financially or emotionally.


crochetcircle Mon 03-Dec-12 18:40:03

You're never too old, but you might get too rich?!

My dad thinks both his kids are doing just fine, as my brother earns more than him and I earn nearly as much. So that makes it hard to justify asking for anything.

Dededum Mon 03-Dec-12 19:04:08

Our parents helped when DH was made redundant and we would have lost the house. We asked but I knew the they would help, being very financially secure. They helped because they knew that we were doing our bet to get back on our feet.

carovioletfizz Mon 03-Dec-12 19:07:45

I guess once you're married with children, in an ideal world you should be able to support yourself and not need to ask for help. However, that's an ideal world and the reality of modern life is often very different.

I think though once you've finished your education your parents aren't really under any obligation to help, though I'd like to think I would help my children whatever their ages and circumstances.

IceNoSlice Mon 03-Dec-12 19:26:35

I think for day to day financial support, this should stop once you leave FT education (if not before). After that, I think it ok to ask/offer in emergencies as I can't see parents ever wanting their DCs or GDCs to go hungry, cold or lose their home. In that situation it would probably be an informal loan.

However for capital items (houses etc) then I think there is some sense in parents passing on money that would have been DCs inheritance early to help with deposits and to keep the Loan-To-Value down to keep borrowing rates as low as possible. Depends on whether there is family money to be passed down.

IceNoSlice Mon 03-Dec-12 19:29:18

In addition, I think we will need to be prepared to support them (DParents) in their old age if they need it too. Care homes are not cheap.

toomuchteaching Mon 03-Dec-12 19:30:04

Once you've taken on the responsibility of your own house then you ought to be able to financially look after yourself. Although for me as soon as I left university and got a job I expected to take care of myself... I don't think I would ever ask my parents for money. I do agree with OPs though who suggest it may make sense for parents to help out with big purchases, especially with Inheritance Tax as it is.

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 03-Dec-12 19:34:08

My parents supported me until I finished fulltime education aged 22.

I lived with them for 6 months prir to getting married and they were generous enough to not charge me anything (even though I was earning) which allowed me to save some money.

SInce then I have never asked for help, however, they have been very generous. I know that I could ask my mum anytime (I'm sure she would take the attitude you are never too old) but I would prefer not to.

hackneyzoo Mon 03-Dec-12 19:46:22

My parents used to bail me out financially every now and then, once I ran up a credit card debt and they lent me the money to pay it off (I had to pay them back). They also helped me out buying my first flat many moons ago.
I'm 33 now, my DM died about 5 years ago and my DF is very old and has end stage heart failure, so they are no longer in a position to be able to help.
I have 3 DC and moved to a new area of the country about a year ago because of DH's family and work. There have been several situations that have arisen, when , if they had been able to, I would have called upon my parents to help me out.
e.g. The boiler broke, something went wrong with the car and there was a leak in the roof, all in the space of about 10 days. We are both working freelance at the monent and money is very tight and we simply didn't have enough money saved to cover all of this. We had very little choice but to pay for the car and the boiler using a credit card. A few similar situations have occured (big, unforeseen bills coming in, running out of money for food/petrol) and we now have a £4K credit card debt. So I guess my parents helped me out when I got into debt, I am crap with money, they aren't here to help any more.....and now I am in debt again!

Snog Mon 03-Dec-12 19:48:37

Children - even adult children - are never too old to ask their parents for help, whether financial or otherwise.
Parents are free to refuse this help - mine do, and this is the reason I have stopped asking them, nothing to do with my (considerable) age!!!

kellestar Mon 03-Dec-12 19:59:42

My parents wonder where I got my financial know how from, they are terrible with money and have very odd views to it. I had a part time job from 12 and added to that pretty much every year after, at 16 I wondered how the hell I had time to even see my boyfriend between jobs and schoolwork. I've saved and bought logically. I wouldn't listen to my parents advice, in fact I'm the one now in the position of giving them financial advice after they got themselves into a spot of bother.

I bought a house with my boyfriend at the age of 22, we saved the deposit up between us. We have worked really hard, saved, scrimped, made do and mended to afford what we have. We'd rather the money paid off our mortgage than an exotic holiday. I am taking a break from work to look after my DD, I'm pregnant with DC2. I worked hard to afford to do this for a short time.

Both of my siblings are useless as well, always asking for money off mum and dad, who earn much less than they do, yet constantly drainng my parents of any excess cash they may have or persuading them to take out loans for them. My sister in particular doesn't care if they end up in debt, as she's already way above her head and can't get in any more. I am disappointed as she's an intelligent woman. They moan they can't afford a mortgage, or this and that, but they have way more luxury than we do, horses, dogs, cats, posh cars every few years, exotic holidays twice a year, the latest gadgets and clothes. I've never badgered my parents for money, I feel embarrassed asking mum for some change to pay for parking and always pay her back. Mum, Dad and my siblings have approached me and DH for money, but I know it won't get paid back [have already learned that one!], but they seem to think that we are rolling in it, though we have no debt it's because we've paid it off and gone with out. Things are tight and they don't care, because to them we are in the black and they are seriously in the red.

I see the difference in my IL's who are really super tight and save save save all the time, they worked hard for what they have, but they aren't scared to share it with their children, 3 DC's. When we bought our house, we could afford the deposit and mortgage, but his parents gave us £5,000 towards DIY needed on the property, both his brothers got the same. Any time that there has been money given to one of them, they've all had the same given. And it's the same for GC's. We know we could go to them if we needed help or advice and we'd listen.

So in effect I want to pass on common sense to my children so that they don't get in money trouble, as long as I was in a safe financial position myself I would help them out. However I wouldn't get into debt on their behalf. I would want them to know that I would be there for them and I hope they respect the advice I offer, knowing that I've got where I am by hardwork too.

Welovecouscous Mon 03-Dec-12 20:07:00


MikeLitorisHasChristmasLights Mon 03-Dec-12 20:09:13

Im another that was raised by financially crap parents.

As soon as I got a job (14) I bought whatever I needed and paid some keep.

My mum has helped out over the years with the big purchases for the dc but she would be the last person I would ask for financial help.

McPhee Mon 03-Dec-12 20:36:57

Well if Barclays would be willing to pay me back all the money they've robbed off me over the years, I wouldn't have to ask for family help smile<<<passive aggressive.

FrillyMilly Mon 03-Dec-12 21:00:10

I don't think you are ever too old but you can't expect your parents to bail you out all the time. Every now and again I have had to ask my mum for help but usually when it was a situation beyon my control for example when there was the issue with natwest. My in laws also helped us out with money for a car which we paid back in full. I wouldn't expect either of them to help is out because we where living beyond our means

I don't think there is ever a set age when you are too old to ask for help from your parents.

Personally I try to never do it. I have always tried to be independant and my DP is very proud when it comes to money and doesn't ever like us to ask for anything.

My dad can afford to help us if we were ever in dire straights and I find it quite comforting to know that if I really did need to ask then he could help. Fortunately for me he is very good at picking up on things and a couple of times over the years has picked up that things have been difficult and has helped me out in an emergency. Last year I was waiting for some medical investigation and was quite ill. The waiting list was over 12 weeks and without me asking he booked me in to see a private consultant and paid for it for me. However, I suppose that was more of a lovely gesture rather than me asking for his help, I was happy to wait. He has offered to loan me money in the past too so I could avoid taking a loan and paying interest on it.

My parents are divorced and it would be a different story with my mum - she doesn't have any spare money so I could never ask for help even if I wanted to. More often than not it is me helping her out with money, although she would happily give me her last penny.

I am fortuante enough to be working and between us (me and DF) we earn enough money to not need help unless it was a large amount and a dire emergency.

Overall though I think that once you have left home and earn money yourself you should never rely on parents to help - if they do it is a bonus but I think it is wrong when people expect their parents help just because they have the means to do it. They have worked all their lives to have the financial security that they have, so they should enjoy it, not spend it on helping out their adult children. Having said that I have been eternally grateful on the odd occassion that I have received help.

Arcticwaffle Mon 03-Dec-12 21:15:12

I think it makes a big difference how well you get on with your parents. I don't think I've asked for any money from my parents since I was 18 (though they paid my student grant til I was 21), and I'd rather live off sawdust (or get a bank loan) than ask them for money, but that's very much to do with us having a poor relationship anyway. My parents would use money as a way of controlling and approving of their adult children's behaviour, and I don't want to give them that opportunity.

When it comes to my own children though I don't mind if they ask me for money in the future. I think they'll probably have to borrow money like most of their generation, much more than my generation. I don't think it's a problem if you have a good relationship and respect each other.

gemma4d Mon 03-Dec-12 21:24:24


Its not an age issue but a question of who has the money and who needs the money. My parents would rather I have some of their money now, to buy a house with, rather than them sit on it (with it invested) and I inherit it when they die - when I no longer have the need for it that I do now.

My Mum's Mum helped them buy a house, and now they are happy to be in a position to help me.

littlemonkeychops Mon 03-Dec-12 21:29:21

I think it depends on your parents financial position, there's a big difference between a wealthy set of parents giving their children money if they can afford it and want to, and parents who struggle themselves making themselves worse off to help adult children who are capable of looking after themselves.

Personally i'd never ask for help unless my DD was going to be homeless or staving, but then i'm very independent and don't see it as a parents role to financially support me as i'm a big girl now :-)

Smudging Mon 03-Dec-12 21:37:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Firawla Mon 03-Dec-12 21:47:26

As some others have said I think when you are an adult then you should not be asking for help, if they want to offer then that's fine if everyone is happy then why not, nothing wrong with helping out family but shouldn't ask and expect all the time. I think it keeps you in a child like state if you have to keep asking your parents for money, as in any unexpected expense or financial problems come up and its just run off to ask parents - thats very juvenile. Real emergencies is different and is someone is genuinely desperate and have to ask then they have to ask, but shouldn't be something ppl rely on doing.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 03-Dec-12 21:49:50

My answer to this has changed recently as I have become a mum to a child old enough to leave home.

A few years ago I would've said I felt I was old enough to not ask my parents for any financial help as soon as I left home and got a place of my own but now it is MY child out there, in the big bad world, I would say I hope he always felt it was possible to ask us for help before turning to a financial institute for help. I realise we might not always be able to help but I'd like to think that if we could, we would.

Tigerbomb Mon 03-Dec-12 21:57:54

As soon as you leave home. My mom and dad are pensioners now and as I earn more than them, I am fully prepared to help them out.
Both my adult DC (early 20's) can't afford to leave home, I help them one of them out (unemployed) and the other I help out when there is too much month left at the end of his money

Vixjax Mon 03-Dec-12 21:59:17

I think it depends on both you and your parents circumstances, you are never too old to ask for your parents help but sometimes by ones late 20's/early 30's you are in a position to help your parents not the other way round.

BabysPointlessPocket Mon 03-Dec-12 22:11:23

Dh and I are 32 and 33. We stopped asking for financial help about 10 years ago, but parents still give us help in one way or another anyway.

Our house has been falling to pieces this year and without asking, our in laws have kindly lent us the money to get all repairs done, with no pressure on when to pay back.
Also they have really helped with us budgeting our money. We had got into a bit of a bad habit with the overdraft, so whenever pay day came, once the wages had gone in and the bills out we were back in the overdraft again. They helped us to budget and set limits and targets and although we are very low earners, we are now managing well and living comfortably, in the black! and setting aside money for things that we know (or don't know) that will arise in the future. It's hard to stick to a very tight budget, but it gives a a lot of piece of mind when you know all your bills are comfortably taken care of.

I would hope that i would be able to give just as much financial advice and help to my children, there is not an age cap. If one of them asked me for help at 57 for example and i was in a position to help financially or just for advice, I wouldn't send them away because they are too old and should be responsible for themselves. People, generally only tend to ask for help when they really need it anyway.

I also think a lot more focus should be on helping children to understand money and budgeting. Perhaps taught in schools in maths as part of the curriculum.
I would be able to pass on the things that i have learned or been shown through the kindness and patience of my in laws to my children to hope they would never have to go through what me and their dh has gone through but sadly, my parents are approaching retirement age and still have money problems and still have to ask people (their parents or their children, i.e us) to bail them out. They have got into a life cycle of debt that they have never been able to break out of, due to many factors. They would be too proud to accept my advice of budgeting, or money management and would never take advice on such matters from anyone really and will probably (almost certainly) stay the way that they are till the end of their lives.

BornToFolk Mon 03-Dec-12 22:20:16

My dad's just paid off some of my mortgage. I'm 35.

I had a joint mortgage with exP. He buggered off. The only way I could get a sole mortgage was to reduce it a bit and for my mum to be a guarantor. They were both insistent that DS and I get to stay in our home.

I didn't ask, I wouldn't have asked. I don't feel particularly proud of it as I've been financially indpedendent since I finished uni. And I've always been good with money, I work hard, save, have a pension and no debts so it does really bother me that I've had to accept help.

But the alternative would have been for me and DS to lose our home and I really don't want to put him through that if it could be avoided.

noidles Mon 03-Dec-12 22:26:48

It's interesting that people are saying that they have had to turn to their parents for help during divorce or separation in order to keep a house. My mum who is in her late 50s had to do this when she divorced my dad a couple of years ago - she needed a car to get to work and they bought her a new car, and they paid for her to have a holiday.

I think it never stops - I know it works in reverse, if my parents or my dp's parents needed money and we had it I wouldn't hesitate.

LiveItUp Mon 03-Dec-12 22:36:52

Never too old.

It would have to be for something important though, and only if they are in a position to help. Over the years, my parents have seen me save and been pretty good with money, so they know I'm not reckless with it and wouldn't ask if the need wasn't there. I always like to pay it back though, although they have paid for a couple of holidays in recent years.

Similarly, if I came into a large sum, or was very comfortable, I would want to help them out, or my brothers and their families. I'm sure I'll be happy to help out my DS's when they grow up - so long as i see them being sensitive about what they ask for, and being responsible with money generally.

CheeseStrawWars Mon 03-Dec-12 22:39:37

Hopefully I'll have given my kids an idea of things like budgeting and managing money on a basic level by the time they move out. If I was bailing my kids out (or being bailed out by my parents, in the reverse position) on a month to month basis, I'd think that was enabling behaviour which isn't truly independent, unless there were extenuating circumstances. But then shit happens, and I would hopefully be able to offer rather wait to be asked if my children were in genuine need.

If it was helping out with a deposit for a house, a one-off helping hand payment, then I think, as we've (to some lesser degree) had the benefit of housing market growth which has seen house prices soar away from the reach of most unassisted first-time buyers, that's fair enough. But it's a bit rubbish that the market/country was managed in a fashion that created this situation.

Flamingmarvellous Mon 03-Dec-12 22:46:25

When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help?" disrespect to them but when they are dead?! Due to the financial crises we are in, we have to do what we have to do, putting pride aside...which is horrid.

HappySunflower Mon 03-Dec-12 22:46:58

Age is irrelevant really in my opinion.
Situation and circumstances are more important to consider.
Speaking as a parent, my daughter will never be too old for me to want to help.
However, as a daughter myself, I am very independent and would try hard to be self sufficient. It would take something like needing expensive medical treatment for me to ask a parent for support!

OptiMumPrime Mon 03-Dec-12 22:49:57

I never asked for fininacial help, even as a teen. The money wasn't there! I did, however, live at home, rent free, until I left for university at 18. I then asked if I could move back between the ages of 27-29 so I could save for a deposit for a mortgage. I paid nominal rent - enough to cover bills inc food. So, not a direct hit for parental cash, but still help. I would have managed to save a deposit otherwise, it just would have taken me twice as long. I think my presence helped anyway, with shared bills. I never felt like I wanted to ask for direct cash help, probably because my mother was not in a financial position to help much, and I like to be independent.

I would never ask for cash, but then due to my situation as a child (parents divorced, mother struggled financially) I have made myself as secure as possible, plus, well, she doesn't have a lot to ask for!

I will help my child/ren for as long as I possibly can. Obviously I will raise them to be self-sufficient and good with money, but if I can help them with a deposit for a home, and pay off some of their mortgage as and when we can, we will. No point in it just sitting in our bank account. I'd rather that than have them tied down to a hefty mortgage.

DeGlitterBug Mon 03-Dec-12 23:20:46

Speaking as a patrent, for my own children I hope the answer is never, if they are in genuine need smile

trikken Mon 03-Dec-12 23:30:49

never too old, but you must be prepared that the answer may be no. Parents should only hand over money if they are prepared to give it and not lend it as this can cause major family rufts and problems, re: being repaid by how much and how quickly and what happens if you find yourself in a position suddenly where you cant repay it.

trikken Mon 03-Dec-12 23:31:38

rifts * not rufts.

lisad123 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:57:19

Never, I think my parents would always help if they could but while we don't ask, I know we could if we needed to.

Rachel130690 Tue 04-Dec-12 00:06:44

I think your never too old to ask for help.

When my hours where cut in work and was made redundant last year my mum helped me out so much financially.

I needed a new bed which she paid for, I also struggled to pay for my car (hire purchase) I got myself in quite a bit of debt trying to 'manage' everything on my own. I only went to my mum when things had already got too bad. I had been independent from I was 18 and really struggled asking for help.

My mum gave me a loan of over £1000 to clear my overdraft and my credit card. When I got a job I paid every penny of that back, as I really appreciated everything she does. Knowing my mum is there for me no matter what is great but I wouldn't rely on her to sort me out.

I found out in Jan I was pregnant and was made redundant again in May and I saved as much as I could as I didn't want to be in the same situation before. My mum has paid for things for me, for example heating oil which I paid back in instalments. It's great knowing I can go to her anytime if I am desperate.

Getting myself into so much debt made me realise that by asking for some financial help from your parents doesn't mean you've failed.

floweryblue Tue 04-Dec-12 00:31:31

You are never too old to ask for help, there is a point where you are too old to expect it, then other things might kick in

EllenParsons Tue 04-Dec-12 02:57:07

I am 26 and would definitely feel awkward asking my parents for money. I know they would help me if I was really desperate but I just wouldnt like to ask. I do feel too old and I feel quite independent, so it would seem wrong in a way to rely on them. I would generally find it a bit odd if people were relying on parental help after graduating or when working as an adult but I suppose it is up to the individuals. My mum has mentioned a few times about lending me a house deposit but we have not discussed it seriously and I don't think it will happen, for various reasons. I would also feel wrong accepting something like that when they haven't done it for my siblings (I think they got help from their in laws though)

JakeBullet Tue 04-Dec-12 06:42:28

I don't feel you are ever too old. Families support one another and my parents will loan me the odd £30 if I am short. Likewise I will do the same for them.....have just lent my Mum €50 for an unexpected vet bill as her cat was ill.

Midgetm Tue 04-Dec-12 08:55:56

My parents are in their 80's and I would still ask for help if I needed it. They would be insulted if I didn't, they would want to help. I would only stop if they were not with it anymore as that would become immoral. Otherwise I will keep asking and they will keep helping. It's what families do.

WitchOfEndor Tue 04-Dec-12 09:01:16

I asked DM for a small loan aged 31, so I could buy my house when I split with exP. I was just short of the deposit amount and really didn't want to go back to renting (which costs more than my mortgage). I have since paid her back and would hope not to be in a position where I had to ask her again, but thankful that she could help.

I've never asked my parents for financial help, but have bailed them out on numerous occasions when they've overspent on big holidays and can't afford fuel etc, even when I was a student I helped them out from my student loan.
I think people are either good with money or they aren't, and it's not a good mix when parents are poor budgeters and their offspring are good, as it disrupts the family dynamic.

jennywren123 Tue 04-Dec-12 14:09:16

I don't think you are ever too old to ask for help if you really need it. It's about assessing the situation first. Have you really tried everything you can to raise the money. Do your parents have money which they could loan you?

cherryjellow Tue 04-Dec-12 14:19:52

DH asked his parents for help ( a loan) when we wanted to buy a house. They can afford to help so it wasn't too awkward, plus they had helped his siblings. I dont think you are ever too old to ask for help, but like whats been said before, you can't expect it as an adult. The parent has to be in the right situation and frame of mind to ask. It would be unfair to make themstruggle on your behalf. I do hope I can help my DC's in the future.

I don't think age comes into it, rather more the relationship you have with your parents.

I wouldn't ask them for help, but then I would rarely ask them for help for anything...we don't have a very good relationship.

However, I hope that my DC's feel they can always ask me, regardless of their age. If anything..the years between 30-40 are so hard in terms of childcare etc...I would rather help them then when its really needed.

whattodoo Tue 04-Dec-12 14:25:26

I don't think you're ever too old. They shouldn't feel they're too old to ask their children for help either.
What is more of a factor is whether the need is crucial and all other avenues have been explored, and whether the person being asked can comfortably afford to loan.
I've never asked my parents for financial help, and my DF once said that because of that, he wouldn't hesitate to help me if I ever asked because he would know that it was for something very important.

Quodlibet Tue 04-Dec-12 14:26:18

I imagine that it's in Barclay's interests that we never feel too old to ask for help from the Bank Of Mum And Dad, seeing as this is now about the only thing keeping the mortgage market afloat.

jellyandcake Tue 04-Dec-12 14:36:33

My parents do one afternoon of childcare a week for me - this is an enormous financial help and I know a lot of people who rely on their parents for free childcare. I know my parents love to do it but I am aware the they are doing us a big favour. Both my parents and DH's have offered us help with sorts of things - house deposit, wedding, repairs etc. I think they remember struggling financially when they had a young family and now they are in a position to help us, they want to. I wouldn't ask unless desperate - and I know they would prefer to help us than see us in dire straits. I hope one day I'll be in a position to repay them for everything!

Chandon Tue 04-Dec-12 14:43:21

I have not asked my parents for financial help since I bought the house, when I was about 30. I had been saving up, and my parents said they wanted to help with the deposit.

I think a lot of parents LIKE helping their kids, if they can.

In the end, a combination of our savings, some extra money from our parents, and a mortgage from the bank enabled us to buy our flat.

I hope to be able to help my kids too, but houses may be too expensive for normal people by then.

When are parents too old to ask for financial help? As that is my situation - over the years I have paid of debts, paid for housemoves, rental deposits and been a guarantor on rental agreements for my mother.

My Dh parents have in turn helped with the purchase of our current house (adding a few grand to our deposit), for which we are very grateful. We will help our children to leave home when they are adults. I truly hope they never have to bail us out, but families should support each other however they can.

prettybird Wed 05-Dec-12 20:39:26

Within a couple of years of finishing formal education - but only ever with the intention/expectation of paying it back. It's a case of parents helping out their children through short term cash flow issues (for example when setting up a house) and not of subsidising a profiligate lifestyle. And with the important caveat that only if the parents can afford to do so

Dh is in in 50s and his mother is still baling out his older sister hmmconfusedangry and never being paid back His younger sister, he and I can't work out what she spends her money on confused.

Even when I was at Uni (and I was fortunate to go before student loans and when there was still a grant, which, although means tested, was made up to the full recommended amount by my parents), any "luxuries", such as a nice holiday in the summer holidays, I worked for. Mum and Dad usually gave me a bit of extra spending money (about £50) - but I never expected it and always saw it as something to help cover emergencies.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Dec-12 11:35:29

When I was in my teens and twenties (20 years ago!), my parents were struggling financially (father had to stop work due to ill health - no life insurance or anything) and wouldn't have been able to help anyway. I think it is wrong to assume that this is always an option. I had to get by on whatever student finance I could get (last days of grants, early days of small loans) and earn. I have also always been actutely aware of life insurance and saving. I have never directly asked my mother (father died nearly 20 years ago), but she has helped me out when she knew I was struggling. Help towards house deposit (£2K), has occassionally bought the DCs shoes ad paid for a term of swimming lessons when DH was made redundant last year.

GeraldineH Thu 06-Dec-12 14:08:06

"When are you too old to ask your parents for financial help?"

Once I left home at 19 I never asked for money again, occasionally it has been offered but we have always scraped by without it, even to pay for our wedding and our mortgage. I've told them that if we are ever desperate we will go to them, but that if we ever ask for financial help then they will know that we really are in desperate need.
My sister constantly has to be bailed out and my parents have given her tens of thousands over the years. She is 37 now and they are about to pay for her second wedding and help her with another house deposit.
I think if it is a case of keeping a roof over your head, you are never too old to ask for financial help, they would be mortified to learnt we were desperate and hadn't told them. But, in my sisters case it is just another source of cash for when she has spent too much at the shops and needs to pay off her credit card, that is unacceptable in my opinion.
A close friend of mine told me that she and her DH have £500 go into their account every month from her parents, despite the husband having a good income. She admits they don't need it but that it means they can have a nicer house and holidays. I'd be ashamed to take my parents money if I didn't need it, but everyone is different.

scripsi Thu 06-Dec-12 14:12:49

I became independent at 16 which was tough. But I would not expect my DCs to ever feel that they were too old if they were in real need. However I would encourage them to be independent adults and we encourage DCs to be responsible with money and learn how to manage it, as I have seen the odd power plays involved with adults depending on their parents too much: it can affect both parties adversely.

StainlessSteelCat Thu 06-Dec-12 14:22:49

I don't think you should ever ask for financial help from your parents.

Until you are out of full time education, your parents should support you. If they can afford it, they should provide you with what they can so that you can concentrate as much as possible on your studies.

Once studying has finished, you need to be able to stand on your own 2 feet and I'd expect you to have had to budget before this point so you can learn how to do it. You need to learn how to live with what you have, and not rely on handouts.

However ... if your parents have enough money to help, I think they should at least consider offering some financial help. This may be towards a mortgage deposit, or a car, or to get you out of a financial mess. It doesn't have to be accepted, but if both sides are happy with the idea, then why not?

I think the problems arise when a child expects parents to help out and so doesn't learn how to stick within their means, or parents think that they are somehow buying their childrens' time. Communication is essential - is it a loan/gift? Any conditions attached?

clubnail Thu 06-Dec-12 19:11:25

I don't think it's ever a problem to ask for financial help. In the UK in general we're too uptight about discussing these issues. If within my family we can help each other get ahead I'd hate to think we held back because society deemed it unacceptable.

I think it is very much down to circumstances and therefore do not think there is a right or wrong answer.

Personally I have no parents to ask, however if my DS needed help I would be there for him, any age.

spoonfulofnutella Thu 06-Dec-12 21:28:05

I don't think you ever are. We've asked for parental help after we were both made redundant very close together and our savings were swallowed. Sometimes it doesn't matter your age, you can still find yourself in a financial situation you didn't expect to be in. I don't think you should ask for help with paying for luxuries but essentials like bills are fine. I would expect my kids to be able to ask me in the future as well.

BlastOff Thu 06-Dec-12 21:33:01

Having not asked my parents for any help for years, the last year has been really tough and we've borrowed (and repaid) money. I don't think there is a particular age. I'd help my children out as long as they needed, and if it were needed I'd help my parents out in a flash.

I became financially independent when I left university and wouldn't have dreamed of asking for help for many years. However, as I've got older my dad has started to want to help me and my siblings so things have changed somewhat. Dm died 8 years who so Df downsized and sold his business. Although the majority of his money is invested he offers to lend money to me and my siblings as he would rather we didn't rack up debt for things like new cars, home repairs etc.

He also likes to take us for days and meals out. We are a close family and enjoy spending time together but would struggle to do as much without dads generosity. Its a two way street to some extent though. He lives alone but eats with me, Dp and Ds most days. I help him out with shopping etc, db takes him to football and cricket, dsis undertakes a 160 mile journey every weekend so ge can see gcs. Obviously we would for these things anyway. I suppose what I'm saying is that we, as a family, help each other out in whatever way we can. Df can help financially, I'm skint but a great cook so I feed everyone etc.

redskyatnight Fri 07-Dec-12 09:35:24

There is an interesting assumption here that one's parents are actually in a position to offer financial help. Neither DH or I have parents who would be able to help out financially though they would help out practically if we were in dire straits.
Because we know they can't afford to, we would never ask for financial help.

Offred Fri 07-Dec-12 10:08:38

I think that sometimes comes down to people's attitudes to money rather than the actual amount they have, my PIL put money into our bank account so we can't argue to help out with things like house maintenance (they do for his sister too) and they have very little. My parents by contrast have saved £64k this year (and are much younger and both doctors working full time, PIL are pensioners with part-time admin/trade jobs) and my dad regularly shouts in my face about how I always take their money and I'm not having any of it despite me not ever asking for any money ever... My dad thinks he is poor, my PIL think they are rich...

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sat 08-Dec-12 09:45:27

I've been financially independant since I was 17 when I got a full time job, I still lived at home with my mum but paid half the rent and bills.

My wonderful mil loaned us the deposit for our house last year but we are paying her back, neither of us could of got a loan or mortgage from a bank so she kindly offered, we wouldn't have asked.

I've been off work sick recently and returned on reduced hours so money has been really tight but instead of asking our parents for help we have made as many cost cutting savings as we can, such as turning the heating off.

Mil has been inviting us for dinner a lot lately which is her way of helping and my mum has brought us practical things for birthdays and christmas which helps but neither of us would ask or accept money from them.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Sat 08-Dec-12 11:31:03

I don't think it's ever a matter of age, more a matter of if they can do it financially. I know me and my partner have had help financially to buy our house (very complicated situation) until we could afford to do it by ourselves.
I wouldn't dream of asking if they were not financially able to help or I it would make things very difficult but I know our parents are always there. It might not always be financial help but financial advice.
I used to feel very guilty about it but having had a child I've realised family is there to help each other in situations. My parents are happy to help in whatever way they can and I appreciate that so much. I don't like asking but it's worth so much knowing we've always got someone who is looking out for us.

I don't think you're ever to old to ask your parents for financial help, but it works both ways. I know my parents would be as willing to help me or my brother out as we would them. (subject to funds!!)

I'm not saving for retirement, even though I know I should. It's something I keep meaning to do, but I don't know where to start and right now I don't have an income.

Of course it's still a home if you don't own it, but I've never lived in rented accommodation without the intention of moving on in 12 months or less. I'd like to think that I could feel secure and able to put down roots in a rented house, but maybe the fact that the landlord could change their mind and we'd have to move again would stop me feeling completely at home.

jaffajiffy Sat 08-Dec-12 14:47:43

I've paid for everything myself since I started babysitting at 14: shampoo, clothes, holidays, uni fees, first flat. Everything. I've paid for a car and student fees for my mum and holidays for siblings. My parents have never been an option for financial help, though they are a great help in other ways. I'm now married to someone with very rich parents, and we've borrowed from them for a bridging loan between properties, and I wouldn't mind asking them for help for something specific, but I'd never ask for help for 'running' costs. If we don't have enough, we will just have to earn more or spend less. I'm grateful money isn't a problem but I'm sure I'm better equipped having had to manage on my own since I was young.

Corygal Sat 08-Dec-12 15:54:02

Seconding everyone who says you're never too old to ask for help.

Also hugely seconding everyone who would prefer to be offered, rather than ask, for help.

I'd say that you ask for help for things you have to pay for rather than things you just want.

But - Big But because I suspect some may disagree - I would suggest most of us think property purchase is the exception that slips under the 'need' banner, because it's much cheaper in the long run to own a home.

Final observation: Help cuts both ways. Whatever their means, generous, kindly parents tend to have a stronger guarantee of care in old age than parents who whip open the invoice book the moment the child turns 18.

It's entirely the parents' choice to do what they like with their own money, but they ought to remember that no one can repay what they've never had.

fallingandlaughing Sat 08-Dec-12 16:37:31

I don't think there is a cut off age. It depends on your circumstances, relationship with parents etc. Having said that I am well in to my 30s in a well paying job so feel bad when my parents "help out". DH is a SAHD at the moment so money is tight. My parents will sometimes buy us a few bits of shopping or whatever, I wish I could afford to refuse.

maybeyoushouldrivesantassleigh Sat 08-Dec-12 17:08:13

Agree you are never too old to ask your parents for money - obviously depending on their circumstances and yours...

I know my Dad would give us every last penny he has if we needed it, but happily we are in a position not to have to ask. My MIL is much much better off than us so if we were in need we would ask her for help (she has offered in the past).

Equally if our parents need financial help then we would love to be able to help them, we are family what's ours is theirs etc etc smile

aftereight Sat 08-Dec-12 17:31:52

I don't think anyone is ever too old to ask their parents for financial help, but I think that any adult of working age cannot expect any financial help from their parents.
I have been completely financially independent since leaving university, and The only circumstances in which I would ever ask my parents for financial support would be a dire emergency, and after spending every penny of my savings on trying to keep afloat.
I will bring up my children to expect, and want (hopefully!) to be financially independent of me.

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

What a lovely treat just before Christmas! smile

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