Money Moral Dilemma: Should retired parents pay off their daughter's debts?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should retired parents pay off their daughter's debts?

A retired couple have saved all their life to build a nest egg. Now their 34 year old daughter, a single mum with two young kids, is badly in debt; so much so they’re knocking at her door and repossession is possible. Twice before she’s been in a money troubles and they’ve bailed her out; yet she keeps on overspending and has limited financial control; but if she can’t pay they’re worried about their grandchildren. Repaying the debt would eat up half their retirement funds.

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Comments

  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125
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    Time for tough love, I think.
    The DD appears to expect the lifeboat (= parental help) to appear each time she messes up and I wonder if they help this 'last' time she will expect help again further down the line. Time they dragged / encouraged/ insisted DD off to debt counselling.
    The parents will have health needs soon due to age etc and these days there is little enough that is free.

    Oh, and remind me that I said this in 15+ years when my kids will be in their 30s ....
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • I would not give my daughter any more money. I would sit her down and go through her incomings and outgoing and show her how to manage her finances. I would consider looking after the children whilst she worked extra shifts.
    I would consider buying the childrens' immediate essential needs but explain this would only be temporary whilst my daughter gets a grip of her budget/finances.
    If she failed to improve her financial position over an agreed period of time my support would cease.
  • littleange
    littleange Posts: 1,431
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    Sounds a bit harsh
  • mum2one
    mum2one Posts: 16,279
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    The trouble would be the daughter has twice run up debts and they have been paid off for her, I think it would be a case of she hasnt learnt the lesson of life on money and now it would be time for tough love. Sorry if I sound harsh, but talking as someone whos parents pulled me out of debt twice, once at 17, when I was irresponsible and run up a £300 o/d, (that may not seem much now, but back in end of the 80s it was a lot). Then again, my mum gave me a credit card in her name as long as I paid the bills, ok no probs, then fell pregnant went from £1,00o take home salary (inc £50/100 bonus), to ssp of £250 month, that included £50 tax rebate), by the time all the interest charges had been added on I owed 3k, when dad retired he pd that bill off, but now yes I have debts, some through stupidity, others trying to rob peter to pay paul, but since then I have paid off 2 cards, brought my other ones to a manageable level, and I can now account for every £1.00 that comes into and goes out of my account, inc paying my parents back my debt free date is march 2011, I'll be 40 by then, but by heck have I learned my lesson. TOUGH LOVE
    xx rip dad... we had our ups and downs but we’re always be family xx
  • bridle
    bridle Posts: 15 Forumite
    I agree its time for tough love.

    Help her by showing her where she can cut back and maybe buy some of the kids essentials but dont bail her out again or she will just keep doing it and ach time she will expect you to bail her out again.

    And she has to learn how to survive on the money she has because when she dosent have you to bail her out she will end up in a worse position.

    from someone who has been there dont bail her out again.
  • I've been there several times with my own daughter and we are retired - I have always helped but last time I decided was the last time. I will always help with grandchildren's needs but in future she will have to sort out her own finances with her partner as they earn more than we have and they must learn how to budget. I am worried about our own future now. The debt advice helpline is very good for advising people in debt and offer several ways that debts can be paid off over a period of years. Tough love maybe but ultimately this is the best way.
  • GrowMoney
    GrowMoney Posts: 19 Forumite
    Her parents need to ask themselves if it is actually their daughters fault that she is in debt. I suspect as in most cases the fault is actually more with the parents although they do not realise it.

    The daughter is a single mother with two children. This situation happens. She probably has very little chance of earning a high salary.

    Her parents will be living in a house that their generation has enjoyed increasing in value many times. They have lived the last decade or so believing that they are well off and financially stable based on this over inflated price.

    The daughter is also a home owner. However she is likely to have had to overstretch herself in order to even get onto the bottom rung of the property ladder. Her mortgage payments will take up the majority of her salary, leaving very little left and the inevitable build up of debts.

    Really it is time that the older generation realised that the impossible situation their children find themselves in is largely their fault. That their perceived wealth based on their property price is false and that they need to be passing this capital onto their children now.

    An inheritance when their daughter is in her 60's will be of little use to her. If they paid off £50,000 of her mortgage now it would be life changing for her.

    If they care about their grandchildren they should help her by paying off some of her mortgage. They shouldn't watch their grandchildren grow up in poverty, whilst rattling around in a huge oversized, overpriced house and spanking vast quantities of money on various overpriced and unnecessary [insert your parents spending here]

    GrowMoney

  • Dorpend
    Dorpend Posts: 6 Forumite
    What is this daughter learning if her parents keep bailing her out. When their money is gone will she expect them to sell their house to bail her out again. :confused:
    All this is teaching her is selfishness and greed.
    When her parents are gone and their money with them who bails her out then.
  • Pip-squeak_3
    Pip-squeak_3 Posts: 81 Forumite
    Parents love their children and will do almost anything for them but to bail their daughter out again would be throwing money away and give them money worries for the future. The parents who own their home worked and saved long and hard to do so. It may have gone up in value but it is their home and the money tied up in it is not availabe without risking losing the house. They should support their daughter, provide for the family with goods not money and advise their daughter to get advice about maanging her money - maybe log on to this site.
    Challenge 2 adults food and household.
    2009 £1214.37
    Target for 2010 £1250
  • macaroni
    macaroni Posts: 447
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    I would not give my daughter any more money. I would sit her down and go through her incomings and outgoing and show her how to manage her finances. I would consider looking after the children whilst she worked extra shifts.
    I would consider buying the childrens' immediate essential needs but explain this would only be temporary whilst my daughter gets a grip of her budget/finances.
    If she failed to improve her financial position over an agreed period of time my support would cease.

    Totally agree !!

    GrowMoney- why should they bail her out AGAIN? Whys shouldnt they enjoy THEIR money and splurge on stuff theyve probably not been able to afford until now? Its not her inheritance until theyre dead, she doesnt have a right to it! Help out buying clothes for the grandkids by all means, but only what they need and certainly not designer stuff.

    She does need tough love and helping with her finances and probably telling, in no uncertain terms, that she needs to buy CHEAP clothes and CHEAP food and CHEAP funishings instead of buying designer stuff and stuff she does not need !!
    :hello:
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