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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 20th May 08, 8:43 PM
    • 1,874Posts
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    MSE Archna
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should retired parents pay off their daughter's debts?
    • #1
    • 20th May 08, 8:43 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should retired parents pay off their daughter's debts? 20th May 08 at 8:43 PM
    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.

    Click reply to have your say





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Page 1
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 20th May 08, 10:27 PM
    • 10,297 Posts
    • 37,128 Thanks
    luxor4t
    • #2
    • 20th May 08, 10:27 PM
    • #2
    • 20th May 08, 10:27 PM
    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 ....
  • michaeliholt
    • #3
    • 21st May 08, 12:10 AM
    You have to be cruel sometimes.
    • #3
    • 21st May 08, 12:10 AM
    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.
    Last edited by michaeliholt; 21-05-2008 at 12:13 AM.
    • littleange
    • By littleange 21st May 08, 12:17 AM
    • 1,054 Posts
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    littleange
    • #4
    • 21st May 08, 12:17 AM
    • #4
    • 21st May 08, 12:17 AM
    Sounds a bit harsh
    • mum2one
    • By mum2one 21st May 08, 12:48 AM
    • 16,154 Posts
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    mum2one
    • #5
    • 21st May 08, 12:48 AM
    • #5
    • 21st May 08, 12:48 AM
    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
    Tackling the debt free life one day at a time xx
    RIP Dad, - Always love you, - He was 1 in a million xx
  • bridle
    • #6
    • 21st May 08, 5:17 AM
    • #6
    • 21st May 08, 5:17 AM
    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.
  • angeldog
    • #7
    • 21st May 08, 6:44 AM
    paying off your daughter's debts
    • #7
    • 21st May 08, 6:44 AM
    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
    • #8
    • 21st May 08, 6:58 AM
    Help Her!
    • #8
    • 21st May 08, 6:58 AM
    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
    • #9
    • 21st May 08, 7:03 AM
    Money Moral Dilemma
    • #9
    • 21st May 08, 7:03 AM
    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
    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.
    • macaroni
    • By macaroni 21st May 08, 7:30 AM
    • 438 Posts
    • 271 Thanks
    macaroni
    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.
    Originally posted by michaeliholt
    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 !!
  • babyharry5
    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
    Originally posted by 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
    • By Dorrie 21st May 08, 7:53 AM
    • 66 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    Dorrie
    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
    • By noody123 21st May 08, 8:01 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    noody123
    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
    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
    • By Marker 21st May 08, 8:28 AM
    • 3,070 Posts
    • 3,974 Thanks
    Marker
    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!
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  • babyharry5
    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?
    Originally posted by Dorrie


    spot on dorrie!!!
  • patchy
    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
    • By pollyanna24 21st May 08, 8:58 AM
    • 3,887 Posts
    • 4,794 Thanks
    pollyanna24
    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!
    Last edited by pollyanna24; 21-05-2008 at 9:02 AM.
    Pink Sproglettes born 2008 and 2010
    House Worth (approx) - 400,000
    Mortgages (3rd Nov 2017) - 180,813.85
    Equity - 219,186.15
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 21st May 08, 9:25 AM
    • 10,297 Posts
    • 37,128 Thanks
    luxor4t
    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.
    Originally posted by GrowMoney
    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 house 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?
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