Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Of parents, inheritance, and greed


I could hardly believe my eyes when I read this whiny, self-centered, greedy complaint.

... my parents seem to have developed a full-on travel bug. And with every taken-on-a-whim excursion to Provence, every luxury jaunt to Thailand, New York or Costa Rica, I'm afraid to say I grow ever more resentful.

It is not a pleasant thing to admit, but the fact is their dream holidays are draining my inheritance.

As an impecunious 34-year-old millennial in an impossibly expensive property market, I am relying on, at some stage, a handout from them. But all I can see is my money receding into the distance on a long-haul trip to Bali.

With many of my friends in a similar position, and the cost of living crisis still at full throttle, the question troubling us over the generational divide is this. Who is being selfish? Us for wanting them to save their money so we can one day have it? Or them, for splurging it all so freely on themselves?

. . .

While their pensions are healthy, this level of travel is eating into their savings. Is it unbelievably awful to think of the money they spend on these trips as mine?

They had, after all, mentioned they'd divide any eventual sum between my sister and me, and I've been quietly counting on that to get a leg up.

At 34, I am still renting and living hand-to-mouth. Unlike the boomers, my generation are more used to working freelance or making do with gig economy jobs than climbing the corporate ladder in a solid job for life. Soon, AI will come for the white collar workers among us anyway.

I know that when I finally get on the property ladder, I'm going to be in so much debt that there will be no way out without help.

How can I ever settle down and give them grandchildren if there isn't any money in the pipeline to support them? Do they want to go on holiday more than they want me to be able to have and bring up children?

There's more at the link.

I'm at a loss to explain the writer's attitude.  Where on earth did he get the idea that someone else's money was actually his, by entitlement if not by actual transfer?

I can't speak for others, I guess, but I can use myself as an example.  I was raised by parents who survived the Great Depression in England in the 1930's.  My father and his younger brother were abandoned in a workhouse by their mother after their father left home, because she couldn't cope with the cost of feeding them during economic hard times.  They almost certainly hated every minute of their time there;  but they nevertheless buckled down and got on with it, because there was no alternative.  Dad joined the Royal Air Force in 1936 as a mid-teenager under the Aircraft Apprentice Scheme, and worked like a dog to pass the three-year course and become an aircraft fitter.  He then used that background and his own nose for opportunity to become a commissioned engineer officer, which saw him through World War II.  He and my mother (neither having so much as a Grade 12 school education to begin with) went on to complete their Ph. D.'s after the war, emigrated to two countries, raised four kids, and had, all in all, a pretty successful life.  Did we kids think they "owed" us the fruits of their quite incredibly hard labors?  No way!  They clawed their way out of the gutter and into a middle-class lifestyle through their own blood, sweat and tears, then told us that if they could do it, we could too - and they expected us to do precisely that.  It was up to us to succeed, not up to them to do it for us.

I don't like the way the economy has gone over the past couple of decades, but that's my problem, not something I can expect others to magically resolve.  I don't have a pension from my service as a pastor - I forfeited that when I took a stand over the clergy child sexual abuse issue, as regular readers will understand.  That hasn't made me whine and weep and look to others for support.  It's just thrown me back on my own resources, and I'm using them as best I can to support our family (along with my wife's income, of course).  What right do I have to expect others to pay for me?  None whatsoever, as far as I can see.

Therefore, to read such expectations of his parents, and the implied guilt-trip he's trying to lay on them, infuriates me.  Sure, he's going to have a harder time of it, economically speaking, than his parents did - but their parents probably had it worse than he does, and if he goes back far enough, I'm sure he'll find some ancestors who starved during famines or perished during plagues.

President Theodore Roosevelt had some sage advice that I've made my own since I first read it:

Do what you can,
with what you have,
where you are.

That sums up my life, and the writer's, and everybody else's life too.  We can't rely on anyone else to do those things.  It's up to us.  Anything extra, like winning the lottery, or having generous parents, or whatever, is a bonus - but it's not guaranteed.  We could inherit a million dollars tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow watch as the bottom falls out of the economy and our fiat-currency-millionaire status evaporates like snow on a hot rock.  It boils down to making our own way as best we can under the circumstances confronting us.  If those circumstances are worse than our parents had them - so what?  We still have to cope with them.  They're our problem, nobody else's.

He needs to get his own life, and stop hankering after his parents' lives.



Anonymous said...

My uncle and Aunt used the direct approach. They gave their two daughters a paid for college education, then told them not to expect any inheritance. The parents had given them the opportunity to make their own lives and by God they did just that.

More than fair I think.

BillB said...

I expected very little from my parents' estate. They had told my brother and I that they would try to spend as much as they could. However, I knew they would leave enough for us to take care of the estate. My father died in Dec 2000. My mother continued on to very early 2014. As executor of the estate, all that I had expected was enough to manage the estate until it was taken care of, and it was that and more. But again, I had no expectations beyond the minimal.

Anonymous said...

"As an impecunious 34-year-old millennial in an impossibly expensive property market ..."

This, right here.

Peteforester said...

My mom's the exact opposite. She won't spend money left to her by her mother without feeling guilt. 'Says she wants to be able to leave us something. I told her it's HER MONEY, and that she should do what she wants with it. My brother and I have repeatedly had to tell her "BUY THE THING. YOU NEED IT." In fact, whenever we land on the "inheritance" topic, we repeatedly assure each other that there will be no infighting or argument over it. Whatever is there will be split 50/50; end of story.

People who sit around waiting for someone to die to get at their money are vultures, plain and simple!

Anonymous said...

I see. Family doesn't exist. God's commandments to leave an inheritance to your children's children (not just your children) don't matter. How sad.

It's not "his parent's" money anymore than "his" money is his. In a healthy, biblical family, not warped by satanic modern society, it's *the family's* money. And frittering it away is evil. Deliberately refusing to leave an inheritance, is literally sinful and evil.

"1 Timothy 5:8 King James Version (KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

That apostolic command, and curse, doesn't say anything about "until he turns 18, then he can take care of himself, the lazy bugger" And the funniest part? The people who share the attitude of this article writer's parents are still going to expect their children, whose divinely mandated inheritance they have squandered, to take care of them in their old age, in addition to the grandchildren they've deliberately abandoned and disregarded. I hope they enjoy the nursing home run by immigrants they imported.

No other generation has so blithely disregarded and rejected the biblical command to leave an inheritance for future generations of their families. None.

Vox says it well: https://voxday.net/2024/03/19/the-wicked-generation-british-boomer-edition/

Anonymous said...

Because past generations had it worse, generations that are immensely blessed should not bless their descendants. And those descendants have no right to expect such blessing, despite our Lord God literally commanding such. That's so wrong it's not even funny.

Anonymous said...

"Am I selfish?" Yes, yes you are, and not thinking about inheritance taxes.

The writer doesn't seem to realize that various government entities will devour a large chunk of what he/she/it thinks is his. Mom and DadRed have made it clear that while Sib, me, and Red 2.0 will inherit some things (art, books, small stuff),we need to work now and save for our own futures. If something is left that the governments don't get, that's delightful, but they earned the money and it is theirs to enjoy, give away, and so on.


Anonymous said...

That post frosted my mug. Here is a suggestion to promote thru "our community". The writer says his generation is "more used to freelance or gig jobs"...that is a choice. Choices have consequences. Talk to your kids, your grandchildren, neighbors and their kids. Ask the question "so, what do you think you would like to do in life?" "what kind of career do you think you would like to pursue"" Stress the need to make good choices and have a strategic plan. This is just an offshoot of "our" preparedness culture. The future is uncertain and frankly, getting weirder by the day. Preparing for uncertainty and "weirdness" is what we do.

Post script: This comment has been edited a couple of times, I was really torqued by that post, ha-ha. Bottom line, talk to the young people in your life, guide them, show them the way. Help them to make good choices and then support them as best you can while they work their plan.

Carteach said...

That thinking is in-line with the general attitude of the last few generations, and EXACTLY in line with our current government.

They do not just think, but believe, that all assets and wealth are theirs by right. They *believe* it's unfortunate and downright wrong that other people possess what they *believe* is theirs.

Bob G said...

The writer is indeed an entitled little $*** at age 34. He ought to be embarrassed to even have such thoughts. My parents chose to leave my siblings and I nothing, but I had already moved out, with a full-time, professional job, and I was OK with that. This person sounds like my brother, who was still living at home, playing video games and getting stoned. He tried to get my parents to sign over power of attorney to him, with plans to kick them out, sell their house, and keep the money. They saw through him and threw him out of the house.

I worked my way through college and sought degrees that had jobs attached--unlike many college students today. Something like a gender studies or media studies degree gives you all the job potential of a high school graduate, and I've heard multiple millennials opine that their college debt needs to be forgiven (paid for by taxpayers, they mean).

Anonymous said...

At 39, i am not much older than the author, and i can't understand the logic either. I have been fortunate to have Parents and Grandparents who have all worked blue collar and manufacturing jobs. While they always supported me, they also instilled a sense of independence and work ethic. When they retired, they bought a new truck and RV and Dad even joked about spending all of my inheritance. I honestly was able to look him in the eye and sincerely say I hoped he and mom enjoyed spending every penny of the money they had worked so hard for.

Empire of Kristi said...

I told my Dad he could leave his money to a Home for Angry Cats, if he felt so inclined. Thank goodness my sibs had a similar attitude; it made things easier after he and Mom died.

I miss them both so very much.

Anonymous said...

Proverbs 13:22

Wayne Johnson said...

Not exactly a new viewpoint.

The parable of the prodigal son has a similar view.

For a more recent example, see Sidney Poitier's famous monologue in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner".

Human nature doesn't change.

Kimberwarrior45 said...

This reminds me of a story with a moral about a young man who told his father 'I wish you were dead so I can have what should be mine, now!'. Did not go well for him at all. It also remindes me of another warning in the same book that at the end of the age the love of many will grow cold. How can they not see (understand) what is right in front of them?

Anonymous said...

This speaks more to a structural problem then a moral one, if the only option to afford a house is an inheritance is this the fault of the people or the government? The answer is clearly the latter, for the native son is reduced to working for peanuts in a job that his grandfather could have made a middle-class living out of. Why you ask?

Because all western governments import competition, how can a western man get a programming job in California when he must compete with HB1 visa Indians who will live four men to a studio apartment, each only making 40k USD a year? This is the reality, remove the imported competition from the jobs market and soon enough native sons and daughters will make enough to live decently.

For labor is a good just as milk, a car, or a house is. Make the good scarcer and its value will rise.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Peter. My mother (my father is dead) worried about doing things & buying large items, 'spending my inheritance'. I finally pointed out that I'm quite successful, but moreover, she & Dad scrimped & saved all their lives, and she should enjoy it. My words, actually, were "Spend it & enjoy life!"
It must have worked. She'd always wanted a convertible, and she bought a used one. Didn't keep it that long, but she got the bug out of her system, and good for her! Now she travels & has fun when she wants.
--Tennessee Budd

Anonymous said...

Vox is an arrogant ass. You are wrong as well. You stink of socialism, cloaked in religious words. No one should be expected to give anything to anyone unless they choose to do so freely.

Anonymous said...

Then God Himself was a socialist, because He commanded that men leave an inheritance for their children's children, or be damned as wicked, and their wealth given to the righteous. And, if you deny that command, you are a heretic. The tale of the prodigal son is instructional, here. God (Jesus the Christ being "Fully God of Fully God) felt so strongly about "their money" not being "theirs" that, in his story, he had the righteous man give the prodigal son "his portion of the inheritance" *while he was still alive*. Do you understand that? The money *already belonged the "prodigal" son* by Divine command. Before his father had even died. Just because our wicked society has forgotten that, as it has forgotten the evil of usury, does not change God's Commandments. I will pray for your soul.

Chris Nelson said...

Dude got off lucky.

At least his parents didn't drain his savings account, (which was built from his own labor), get a divorce, abandon him to relatives and pedophiles, then come back when he was an adult and expect him to pay for their retirement.

Anonymous said...

I'll just leave this here: https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Proverbs%2013%3A22

Anonymous said...

The participation trophy generation - raised and told they were "special" and received a "reward" for everything. The boomers' (of which IR1) grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

Obviously never heard of “Being of sound mind I spent it”

Anonymous said...

Substitute the concept of salvation as money: Sin is the ultimate unplayable debt and salvation is the only true treasure beyond compare.

Imagine then that someone used their treasure to only benefit themselves. In other words: they are saved but they are not about to help save others because “they have theirs” and the others can “find their own way…. Like they did”

Last I checked not sharing the gospel (the ultimate treasure) is a bad thing and those who don’t will be held to account. In fact this blog once said to speak the gospel continuously. If necessary: use words. How correct would it be to see family struggling financially and not only refuse to help, but spend money frivolously? Isn’t this a form of refusing to share the Lords bounty?

Of course this all changes if the child is not working or even worse choosing a lifestyle that is destructive. But then as I type that I am reminded of the prodigal son.

Perhaps if both sides took the same attitude: the child realizes they don’t deserve anything and the parent wants to give all regardless….. maybe then it would give room for Gods grace, which we all sorely need.

Dan said...

The nasty truth is the major of young people demonstrating this attitude got that attitude from their parents. And there is no "right answer" to the questions posed about inheritance and money. It's a purely personal choice belonging to the person(s) who earned the money. And if you don't like the choice the money holder makes....too effin bad.

Anonymous said...

Much like many commentators, my parents paid for my college tuition through my Masters. So I started my "productive life" debt free. Far as I'm concerned, I've already received my inheritance in the form of my ability to generate income.

When they were working on their will after retirement, I told them what I had already received, and asked them not to leave me anything more. They are still in very good shape, especially given their age. I hope they get to enjoy their golden years.

I've been blessed with two loving daughters, one biological, one not. I know my stepdaughter isn't expecting anything from me, since we don't have a "legal" relationship. I hope she'd be pleasantly surprised when I kick the bucket and pitch in what little I can toward her future. I don't think my biological daughter is expecting much, either, as she tells me to stick around long enough to do my part to teach *her* daughter what she or her husband can't.

My sons are probably expecting something. Or a lot. They don't talk to me much these days, except to accuse me how greedy I am. I plan to spite them by leaving them only token amounts to tell them I haven't forgotten about them, and how little they have thought of me. Petty, I know. But whenever I'm asked, "how are you?" I have a chance to say, "denying my sons of their inheritance." Little do they know.

Javahead said...

My wife and I have fairly nice retirement accounts and a paid-for house.

We intend to husband our money so we don't run out (my parents, alas, were "we won't live that long so might as well spend it" types who are now in their late 80's with tight budgets).

But beyond that? We plan to live while we can. I should be retired by the end of this year, and we have a LOT of places we'd like to visit and things we'd like to do.

So yes - travel, new experiences, eating out occasionally. We're not planning on going wild - who knows, we might live another thirty years, after all. If not, and there's money left for our kids and grandkids, that's good too.

But as long as we're alive, it's our money, not theirs. And if I heard "you're wasting our inheritance!", I'd be tempted to reply "No I'm not - for that, I'm writing you out of the will."

Jen said...

Is it a class distinction?
Upper class: primogeniture, long held family property and all that, lowers never having the expectation of passing anything on, and middles increasing in both their numbers and their expectations of not so much inherited family wealth, but personal windfalls?

Anonymous said...

My Mom kept apologizing for spending my inheritance; I told her that her goal in life should be to run out of health, life, and money at the same time. (She failed and left money.)

kurt9 said...

I saw this on Vox Day's blog. He has the complete opposite view as Peter Grant does. Compare and contrast.

Old NFO said...

Ridiculous is what that is... No one is 'guaranteed' money from their parents. As an 'older' boomer, yes, I've helped my kids when I could, and they know they will get whatever I have left, but I too am living on a fixed income that is losing money every year due to inflation vs. cost of living raises.

Anonymous said...

Shortly after the wife and me got married her grandfather died (25 years ago). Her grandmother was well off and settled but she inherited some money after he died. She decided to split it evenly between all the grandkids, each getting 7k.
One of the wifes uncles had a screaming fit that it should of gone to him. He felt he deserved the money as he was broke... Again, and couldnt hold a job.

I see this person as like that uncle


E. C. said...

You know, my parents have a plan to leave at least a little to each child in the family - but it's not like I would be mad at them for spending some of that money on things they need or want or experiences they would enjoy, and I've told 'em as much. My dad worked his tail off in a dangerous industry for nigh on 50 years in order to have a tidy retirement, some properties, etc.; I don't see how that entitles any of us children to get mad over him spending money THAT HE EARNED on things he wants and complaining that he's draining our inheritance.
I've told my parents on several occasions that I'll be more than happy without said inheritance as long as it means they were able to enjoy their latter years and get the care they need.
That said, unless something changes drastically, I will never own a house or land. Decisions made through the decades by people of my parents' generation guarantee that I will be working off debt THEY accrued through reckless spending, so why shouldn't I be angry at the current situation? That doesn't mean I should direct that at my parents, I'm just saying that collectively our nation and, one could argue, the entire world is actively working against younger generations' ability to accrue anything close to what our parents did. The world is less free than ever and more impoverished because of it, and it stems partly from short-sighted decisions made by 'leaders' who think in 5- or 10-years increments, not generationally as our forefathers did, kicking the can down the road. Unfortunately, it seems that my generation (I'm situated just between millennial and Gen Z) are the ones who'll have to deal with the problems that arise from that shortsightedness.
And part of the problem I see with the OP is that it seems there's some real hatred on both sides - indeed, men's hearts have waxed cold.

Xoph said...

I'll just point out:
1) Our children are as we taught them to be-if he was taught to be entitled, who taught him.
2) Look at home ownership by the younger generations and look at housing prices via purchasing power (Look at real inflation). Home ownership is much farther away than it used to be for younger generations.
3) Two also implies less buying power for wages given. Meanwhile kids are expensive (based on our societal norms, think of all the things we are expected to provide. My dad's attitude was if you want your allowance, mow the yard. If you want more, go mow other people's yards. Today that is practically child abuse. Today many grown men landscape, used to be a kid's job)
4) We are caretakers of our families and their wealth. How do you care for aging parents if there is no inheritance, i.e. generational wealth. Today's elder care is set up to strip an estate of all assets. Dump your aging parents in a state run facility and walk away?
5) Through family, including in-laws I think I've seen all the behaviors here, including one sib in-law helping himself to his father's money while FIL was still alive. I.e. he was taking his inheritance early and trying not go get caught so he could take more than his share.
6) Both my wife's and my family helped when we were young, paid for good education and helped with a loan a couple of times. We paid the loan back (which I know is rare). The point-we are at a good stage in life because our parents helped us get there by teaching us well and helping us over the early rough spots. Both sets of parents planned to get old, planned for elder care AND to leave an inheritance. Both traveled after retirement, but their goal was not to spend it all.
7) We've done the same for our daughter but we've also seen it is a very different world than when we were young. We kept her clear of college debt but watching what her friends have had to go through, the changes in the job market, etc. THE SAME PRACTICES THAT GAVE SUCCESS 40 YEARS AGO DO NOT WORK TODAY. It is not the same world economically.
8) If you are going to be callous towards your children and grand-children don't be surprised at how you are treated in your old age.

Michael said...

Anonymous said...
Vox is an arrogant ass. You are wrong as well. You stink of socialism, cloaked in religious words. No one should be expected to give anything to anyone unless they choose to do so freely.

March 19, 2024 at 6:23 PM

CLASSY, Very Classy:
Peter the host chose to approve your comment for interesting compare and contrast I suspect.

If the children choose not to want, desire or heaven forbid NEED their Inheritance GOOD FOR THEM. Many posters spoke thusly, and I agree. My father had little to pass on to me when I left at 17 for adult life. I hold no ill will towards my father, He gave me a healthy mind and support for 17 years.

Another poster spoke intelligently about the scriptures of providing for your family.

Another spoke of the more modern version that RICH Families STRONGLY Believe in FAMILY MONEY AND they Build even MORE Family Money in investments and even EDUCATION for their Children (as other intelligent posters spoke about) and that old saw the POOR People make POOR Decisions stands, proudly.

The word “economy” comes from the Greek word “oikonomia,” which means “the management of a household or the administration of resources.” The term was first used in ancient Greece to describe the management of household resources, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Over time, the meaning of the word evolved to encompass the broader concept of economic activity, including the production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of goods and services.

The word “oikonomia” is derived from two smaller Greek words: “oikos,” meaning “house,” and “nemein,” meaning “to manage.” This reflects the original meaning of the word, which referred to the management of household resources. The ancient Greeks believed that the management of household resources was a crucial aspect of a person’s life, as it provided the foundation for a stable and secure household.

In expansion it CAN be said that Dissipation of Wealth in frivolous expenditures is a sigh of a dissolute society. Romes Bread and Circuses, the Roaring 20's wild alcohol, drug and wild flappers just before the Great Depression and others available to history research.

Many a Newly RICH of the Roaring 20's found themselves SELLING their pretty cars for a fraction of their cost and some even committed suicide (the famous leaping from tall buildings stuff).

The OLD Rich who believed in FAMILY WEALTH GAINED more Money during the Great Depression as they HAD CASH to buy Distressed Properties, railroads and such for pennies on the dollar.

Fast forward to TODAY: Folks that hold REAL Wealth as in deep pantry, paid for home and cars, NO DEBTS and a REAL JOB that is needed when Times get UGLY will like the Old Rich have the chance to support their Family and even acquire assets at distressed fire sales. ASSUMING our Society doesn't burst into the FLAMES of the "Let them eat cake" French Revolution.

To enjoy your wealth is nice. I too go on vacations. But I've paid for useful education for my children and now working on Grands education. My Will is up to date as to avoid probate, so my remaining bills paid, and wealth spread to my kids.

Family Wealth can be started Today. Just a thought.

Chris Nelson said...

I think Xoph has the best take on the situation.

Vox and the other commentators did mention the biblical mandates of make sure your lineage lasts. It's a mandate, not a suggestion. Who cares about your material success if you are spiritually and biologically lost in the long run?

What the parents in the article are doing is what is called in farming: "Eating your seed corn." Biologically it seems they have aborted their grandchildren by denying a modicum of resources to their children. That the children seem to be clueless is also their problem due to bad parenting. Or the parents are partying before the world burns to ashes.

I'm fascinated with successfully families, since I came from a broken home destroyed by that greedy actions of my biological parents.

It's been my observations that most of my peers that are doing well and have children and grandchildren had parents that guided them and invested a bit in their education and establishing a household. They didn't spoil their kids, but gave them enough advantages that payed long term dividends for the entire extended family.

And let's look at the facts. The parents in the article grew up and lived in the most easy prosperous time in history for the middle class. Good fertilizer for the dark evil that is following.

Anonymous said...

I think this jerk's parents didn't get the message of life through to him during adolescence: the world is indifferent.
I was lucky to have an excellent education and traveled widely, all thanks to my mom and dad. They didn't owe me that. It was a loving parents gift. I didn't get anything from them after the age of eighteen. Dad passed at 91 without ever asking for anything. Mom is 93 and I look after her house and honda. I don't have much, but I have experienced very much. And I don't need much now. If there was a wife and children in the picture it would be different. This guy is a jerk, but his parents fell down on the job and let him go with a flawed understanding of how the world works.

Anonymous said...

I find it rich that a blogger who feels that Boomers deserve to get the Pillow of Death must feel obligated to give their money to the people who share that attitude.

I have an older brother who has that sense of entitlement. The evidence is that he drained a lot of Mom's limited assets before she passed away, and he's been known to try to get money from people who have inherited some, including my wife and Mom's sister's kids. He's tried some other things (tried to get our older, sweet dog to bite him so he could sue) that have made him persona non grata on our place. We're several days journey from where he lives (by any means of transport), and have made it clear we're not paying his way to visit/sponge from us.

Haven't heard from him in 5 months. Oldest brother won't speak to him, either. Not much "fun" in dysfunctional.

Anonymous said...

This actually cuts both ways. Yes, the writer has a very poor attitude but his parents are also being very irresponsible.

What happens when the parents run out of money, quit traveling, and wind up needing elder care? Do you think that child is going to step up and say I’ll take care of you? Doubtful. He’ll ship them off to a nursing home where the taxpayers get to foot the bill. He’ll likely also never visit them in that nursing home. I’ve worked in them and seen it happen too many times.

When my mom reached that point (dad died in car accident 24 years earlier) my brother stepped up and took care of her just as they had done for their parents. He was the only one still local but any of us would have done this if the situation was reversed.

Because my parents stepped up and took care of their parents, we, as teenagers saw this and learned a life lesson. That lesson has been passed to the next generation.

Neither my parents or my wife’s parents took extravagant vacations because they just didn’t want to. They’d rather spend time with the grandchildren. They ended up with a low 5 figure inheritance from their parents.

Because my parents planned and were frugal we kids ended up with a low 6 figure inheritance.

Our kids are well aware of our wishes to never be put in a nursing home and if they follow through they will wind up with a low 7 figure inheritance. This is how generational wealth is built.

Anonymous said...

I want to leave this world like I entered it, broke and naked

Javahead said...

Following on to my previous comment:

Have we helped our kids, and will we continue to do so? Of course.

We made sure both our kids finished their bachelor's degrees with no debt, and provided them living expenses through graduate school as well (both were able to pay off the student loans they took on for grad school tuition in less than five years).

We set up an education fund for our first grandchild, and will do the same for any that follow.

We handle the fixed expenses if we invite the kids on family vacations - they generally insist on paying meals, etc, but that's their choice.

And though yes, we intend to enjoy life while we can, we're budgeting our planned spending to make as certain as we can that we're not a financial burden to our families.

Which means, in practice, our kids will likely be inheriting significant sums ... someday. It's even a secondary goal - barring unexpected problems, they likely will inherit useful sums. But the *primary* goal is to have enough to live comfortably as long as we *do* live, and enjoy life while we have it without burdening others.

It's the attitude of entitlement that bothers me - "my parents shouldn't spend money to enjoy themselves because I'll inherit less!"

Perhaps if we had generational wealth and had inherited substantial estates from our parents that we're expected to pass on to our own heirs I'd feel differently. But every dollar we have is one we earned, either directly or by investing our savings. We've done our best to teach our children the same ethos - work hard, live below your means, and invest rather than indulge in immediate gratification. So my sympathy - our sympathy - for those who consistently make self-indulgently poor decisions is limited.

All too often "bad luck" translates to "I make bad financial decisions because I prefer to live for the moment." Not always - some things literally can't be prepared for, and some start far enough behind that it's far harder to stuggle even. But I've seen too many, even in my own extended family, whose "bad luck" and tight finances are entirely problems of their own making.

And in cases like that, why *should* I feel an obligation to limit myself so that they, someday, can inherit (and spend) more?

Anonymous said...

Boomers seem, as a generation, to be incredibly selfish, narcissistic and uncaring. Family is about obligation, my silent generation parents took care of me and when the time came i took care of them. I am gen X, I mowed their lawn, shovelled their snow, took them to appointments, fixed anything that went wrong and gave them grand kids. The boomers l know tend to be horrible. As grand parents they ignore their grand kids to travel and socialize and as children they dump their folks in institutions and rarely visit, most of them are me me me types. Payback will suck, many of my younger friends have written off their boomer parents and will treat them with the same callousness that they received.

Aesop said...

Anyone still counting on latching onto the parental teat at age 34 ought to be legally disinherited, and sent a copy by registered mail.

The duty, at his age in life, goes the other way; he should be the one working to support himself and his own, and thinking about taking care of his elderly parents if and when it becomes necessary.

What a greedy and lazy douche.

technogypsy said...

I don't usually comment, but these BSC quoting scripture out of context and without apparently understanding it are so fucking special.

And of course, it's anonymously. So fools, liars, and ballless.

The Wraith said...

Do enlighten us, O Greatest of Theologians; how are they not understanding Scripture?

8notch said...

You don't have to wait. If parents are prepared in their late-life financial picture (with long-term care insurance and prudent preparations for various health care contingencies), they can start trickling out inheritances to their loved ones. Up to roughly $16k can be given as a legal gift per giver, per recipient, per year. There is a lifetime limit, but not likely one that anyone reading this will hit. This can allow an inheritance to be transferred over years while the remainder still draws interest in the meantime and allows flexibility as opposed to a lump sum. It is also a good way to get a factual indication of the recipient's approach to finances. In our family, it has resulted in members' houses being paid off and college funds prepared. The key is this being the cap on a lifetime of prudent parenting. Obviously it wouldn't have been given to someone they thought would blow it. My parents said they would rather help their children and grandchildren NOW rather than later, and when they could see the flowering results. They also wanted the funds to be "joyful and not tinged with the sadness of loss".

As for the article author? Her parents, upon reading the boldly written truth of what they likely already know about her, should mail her an exotic post card with a check for $14.00 and wish her luck.

Anonymous said...

How about this scripture as a counterpoint, Proverbs 24:33. With state governments legalizing marijuana and cell phone apps making door to door delivery of MJ a snap, I see a future of increasingly slumbering people on the horizon, as many of us are aware of the ability of MJ to stifle initiative (yes I realize that is generalizing). Funny during COVID how state governments kept MJ dispensaries and liquor stores open, and closed houses of worship. I recall too reading many blogs showing Twitter/X entries from college students spending their COVID windfall on trips/vacations during that time frame, instead of using the funds from the public treasury for essentials. I believe Christ admonished his discipiles/apostles for slumbering when they were with him, instead of praying, Etc. Would be interesting to know where this 34 year old stands in relation to this.

Mikey said...

I told my parents without rancor or resentment or avarice to take me out of their will. They helped me through college and sent me into the world ready to be successful and that's all I wanted. I myself have a will that just goes to my wife and then if she predeceases me is just divided among my 2 sons evenly. I told them if I'm gone I don't care what happens to my stuff but that I expect them to act like brothers when it comes to dividing things up.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, I understand the revulsion you feel at the thought of the adult child still at home, playing games and eating chips in the basement just waiting for their parents to die so they can inherit. Yeah, they ungrateful and are not honoring their parents or even trying to live a useful life, so the "screw 'em" attitude is not without cause.

On the other hand, the Boomers inherited a high-trust culture in a function and largely homogenous society with a strong economy and a lot of jobs that would support a family, where a person with average skill and a decent work ethic could could do well. But Boomers collectively are leaving their kids a broken and broke nation, with rapidly falling trust levels, ruinous tax and debt levels, a gutted economy with few family-wage jobs, a massive influx of foreigners (both legal and illegal) as competitors, a vastly more corrupt and compromised political system that favors everyone but straight white males and families, where "doing the right thing" will get you screwed over and broke. So Boomers not only eating their own harvest but also eating the seed corn while telling their struggling kids and grandkids "just bootstrap harder, grit-less!" is rather cruel and short-sighted if they don't want to end their line out of spite and selfishness.

There is a middle ground, and a lot of nuance gets lost as different families are in very different financial and relationship positions and it's human nature to project personal experience and horror stories into situations they only hear a sound-bite of. I expect that when my last (Silent) parent dies, he'll be leaving my (boomer) siblings and my (GenX) self and one (also GenX) brother some, but it's not enough to fight over. Dad's living comfortably, not trying to burn it up, nor trying to live in poverty to give us more. The inheritance will be a welcome "consolation prize" to compensate for his passing, but not one I'm looking forward to collecting. I hope to leave my own kids and grandkids a lot more than a debt-free start and a book collection.