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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.

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.

CrackedNipplesSuchFun Thu 06-Dec-12 20:09:25

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.

TotallyEggFlipped Sat 08-Dec-12 12:57:10

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.

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