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

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  • babyharry5
    babyharry5 Posts: 258 Forumite
    GrowMoney wrote: »
    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

    I really disagree with everything that you have said here!
    I worked as a debt arrears manager for a very large bank for over 15 years -there are lots of reasons that people get themselves into debt - losing their jobs - hours decreased at work - maternity leave - mortgage ands cost of living increasing, but their parents having a home with a lot of equity is not one of them!!
    PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY & OWNERSHIP is something that many people need to take a long hard look at!
    Yes she is a single parent and that is not easy - but many couples with/without children, old or young are in the same position.
    It this lady is struggling with basic bills such as mortgage utilities food etc then it may be better for her to sell the house - perhaps even move in with her parents, pay off her debt and learn to live on a budget for a while.
    Alternatively if she wishes to keep the house, then maybe she needs to visit a debt counsellor in order to sort a detailed payment plan and budget that she can stick to.
    IMO the main problem these days is that people want it all and they want it now! Nobody forces these people to sign a credit card form, hand it over in shops for non essential items and build up a large debt that they can see increasing with their monthly statement.
    She has shown from history that she has not learnt a single lesson from two previous 'bail outs' - indeed she may well think , like yourself, that she has a right to use the EQUITY that her parents have benefited from over the years - this is my opinion is very selfish.
    This is not a young girl who has been silly but a grown woman with responsibilities & two children - life may have dealt her a poor hand and left her on her own but that doesnt mean you have a right to spend other peoples money
    I have lost count of the number of times that people used to visit me with their soa and had included all manner of non essential items such as - 300 cigarettes a month - luxury gym membership - trombone lessons!! - footbal season tickets with the train season ticket to match - £200 p/m/ for their holiday fund & £30 week for their curry nite!
    Then on the same page they plead poverty for their min credit card payments of £50
    People need to get real and spend only what they have . not what they want.
    IT's not easy, but as all you people know on here, it can be done and you can have fun along the way.

    p.s. after completing hundreds of soa's in my career those people driving around in range rover sports, taking luxury holidays and have huge houses are the worst credit offenders out there - so dont try and keep up with them unless you want to end up in the doo-doo!!
  • Dorrie
    Dorrie Posts: 66 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    No way should the parents bail out this irresponsible immature woman any more. Where is the father/fathers of her children? Why are they not helping to support their children? Does she even have a job? Doesn't say one way or the other. If she hasn't, then she should get off her lazy backside and get one. If she does have a job, then look for a better paid one - don't keep expecting everyone else to support her and bail her out. Her parents have helped twice now - which is once more than they should have really!

    I know it sounds harsh, but when are people going to grow up and take responsibility for their actions?
  • noody123
    noody123 Posts: 16 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have a friend who was in this position, we advised her not to bail her daughter out. We suggested they buy a sack of spuds and some shopping for her and her 2 kids.
    The daughter struggled with her finnaces got help with the Consumer Credit council.
    At first she did resent her parents for not bailing her out again.
    2 years on she is now thanking them. She said if they had not stopped bailing her out, she would still not be taking resposibility for her finances, she new they would allways bail her out so she carried on the same. Only when they stopped and she realised that no one was going to bail her out did she take responsibility, then sorted it out and taught her self to manage her money. That would not of happend if her parents had carried on.
    She now says she is embaressed to admit to people that she could not manage her money and worse that she squandered money from her parents.

    My answer would be no d not give them money but be there for them in other ways.
  • bigwedgie
    bigwedgie Posts: 26 Forumite
    What a tough choice to be faced with, they should ensure that she is getting all the assistance she is entitled to and that she gets advice from a debt councilor, they may temporarilly want to make sure that the children have the essensials but they should never give away half of their nest egg under these circumstances.
  • Marker_2
    Marker_2 Posts: 3,260 Forumite
    Why is she overspending, what is she overspending on, does the father contribute?

    I would help my daughter, as a parent I didnt bring kids into this workd to see them suffer in the future, regardless of whether it is their own greed that got them into that situtation in the first place - maybe the parents didnt educate their daughter enough on finances.

    I would sit her down go through all her finances, set out a plan, and see whether she sticks to it for a couple of months, if so I would write off her debts with my retirement, and then make sure she understands thats the last of the golden pot - I would also give her a few home truths about what her life 'could' be like if she does not curb her spending.
    99.9% of my posts include sarcasm!
    Touch my bum :money:
    Tesco - £1000 , Carpet - £20, Barclaycard - £50, HSBC - £50 + Car - £1700
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  • babyharry5
    babyharry5 Posts: 258 Forumite
    Dorrie wrote: »
    No way should the parents bail out this irresponsible immature woman any more. Where is the father/fathers of her children? Why are they not helping to support their children? Does she even have a job? Doesn't say one way or the other. If she hasn't, then she should get off her lazy backside and get one. If she does have a job, then look for a better paid one - don't keep expecting everyone else to support her and bail her out. Her parents have helped twice now - which is once more than they should have really!

    I know it sounds harsh, but when are people going to grow up and take responsibility for their actions?


    spot on dorrie!!!
  • this sounds an awful lot like an allegory for the banking sector to me...

    retired parents = Bank of England
    daughter = banking sector
    grandchildren = the general public

    The BoE took the 'tough love' line last August, and Northern Rock fell over in a big way. Since then, it's changed its tune substantially, and the banking sector (daughter) is getting better and is much happier....

    ... but it still doesn't seem to have done any good for the grandkids.

    just a thought.

    Anyway, my argument would be: don't give her the money – to begin with, anyway. Offer her support in other ways – eg looking after the kids – so she can work more/get a job to at least begin to repay the debts.

    If it works out, great. If it doesn't, then the parents can still bail her out should the absolute worst happen.
  • pollyanna24
    pollyanna24 Posts: 4,370 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I agree with all the people who say "don't bail her out." It's stressful to see other people in debt who you love, but I have worked so hard and so long to get where I am and we are still struggling, but we are not in debt except for the mortgage.

    My parents are not in a position to bail us out and I would never expect them to. Me and bf know there is no one to turn to if we screw up our finances, so maybe that's why we are better at managing them than some people you see. We have always just lived within our means.

    I'm pregnant at the moment and I am going to teach my kid from a young age that mummy and daddy have a nice house because we worked damn hard for it and there is no way I am risking it just so he/she can go on luxury holidays!
    Pink Sproglettes born 2008 and 2010
    Mortgages (End 2017) - £180,235.03
    (End 2021) - £131,215.25 DID IT!!!
    (End 2022) - Target £116,213.81
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    GrowMoney wrote: »
    I suspect as in most cases the fault is actually more with the parents although they do not realise it.

    ... 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.

    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.

    Why blame the parents? the daughter has run up big debts THREE times, and has been bailed out twice!


    Do you really think starting on the house ladder was easy when the parents set out? Yes, prices were cheaper BUT salaries were lower, mortgages harder to get and you had to have a 10% deposit. I know - I have been there and wished I could have afforded the T-shirt, but the [STRIKE]house[/STRIKE] sorry, flat (houses were too expensive) came first.

    The parents would have struggled through the 80s when mortgage interest shot up and up, new buyers went into negative equity etc etc. I know about this too, OH's job moved and we had to sell at a loss.

    Why do you think the parents have saved so hard for their retirement? They have learned the hard way that money does not grow on trees and that they need to prepare for their future, which may well include medical needs that the state will not meet. This is what happened to my parents.

    Their daughter is 30+ not 13, and needs to take responsibility for her own life. What will she do when she has bled her parents dry? What are her own kids learning about money - that they should expect her to rescue them?
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • ginnygee
    ginnygee Posts: 15 Forumite
    GrowMoney wrote: »
    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

    Is anyone else absolutely sick and tired with people basically blaming the older generation for the financial problems of today? I know that it is difficult for people today, but what makes you think that it was easy for the older generation? Why should'nt they enjoy living in their house when they have probably gone without and worked extremely hard to purchase it? Don't forget, years ago the majority of people didn't have the luxury of relying on inheritance from their parents. In fact, back in the 1970s, the majority of younger people didn't expect to be able to buy a property. My parents couldn't afford to buy a property when they got married (over 50 years ago) and in fact only bought their house just over 20 years ago after being council tenants for over 30 years.

    Everyone is responsible for their own actions. No-one forces anyone to take out credit cards, loans, etc. People just have to realise that they must take responsibility and try to live within their means, like they used to years ago.

    I understand that the grandparents are concerned about their grandchildren and if they want to help out with their welfare that's great. However, they can't keep bailing their daughter out - when is she ever going to learn to be responsible for her own finances? And what would happen if her parents have to start paying for care but have no money to do so? Is she going to dip into her pocket and help them out? I don't think so.

    I would like to say that I have been in financial difficulties and still am, however I am taking charge of that situation and going without and cutting back to resolve this situation. I am not expecting my mother to bail me out!

    Yes, I know - I do go on!

    Ginnygee
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