I don’t have kids, but if I did, I would want to help them at least get started. It is so darn competitive out there these days (at least here) that there would be no way for them to otherwise get ahead of the curve. Sure, they must have some skin in the game so they have to work pretty hard and save as much as possible. There are no free lunches. For our family, we are all so grateful for our parents’ sacrifices that we do return the favor by caring for them in their senior years. Sadly, not all kids even do that.
The Asian model is one based on “pay forward”. Parents pay now but expect kids to pay back in the future. Call me biased, but I think that’s a good optimization strategy, if you can look at things in a generational time scale.
On college: what’s up with working 2 part time jobs in colleges? That model no longer works? If my kids veered off the STEM path they are on their own. Don’t expect the old man to pay for artsy fartsy “Art History” degrees…
Agree fully, Manch. I have always worked summer jobs or part time since a mere lad. Even during those brutal Lowell years when school was pretty hard. Our family is your classic Chinese story. Our grandparents came over and worked on the docks peeling shrimp for pennies. They literally saved every penny to one day earn enough to buy our family home that we still own today in Chinatown. That kind of sacrifice I don’t take lightly. So, when I see any of my nephews/nieces “skating by” I shake my head. And I tell them, you gotta work hard these days because the competition is so fierce. Some get it. Some don’t. Oh well not my problem. Let’s be honest, I have no kids. If I saw anyone of them with potential, I probably would help him/her out but they got to show me something to earn it. Otherwise, UCLA is getting a nice check.
Channeling Mr Money Mustache here… Lower your costs, including your college tuition by going to a state or local college, work summers, graduate without loans, then get a good job and work your butt off being as frugal as possible while living with parents to save up a down payment.
Cost to parents: one bedroom and some food
Cost to kids: Not being in debt even to parents. Oh wait, that’s a benefit.
edited versionHaving had all kids move out closely in time I’ve found that the utilities have dropped dramatically. How did the electric bill go down more than 60%? I pick up more take out/convenience foods and we are spending less than half of what we were spending.
Each child has an Amex card with a limit to cover medical/dental/medicines and gas. One gets rent paid plus tuition. Two made the choice by not doing what they agreed to and they are learning its much harder than expected. The one doing what was agreed upon (go to college, get good grades, work/volunteer part time and help out on occasion) has it easier. But its still a challenge. It’s tough watching them go through the learning process. One of their older cousins told them that no one has died from using inferior/cheap hair/body products and to get over it.
All in all it’s turning out cheaper to have live them
away from home. I still don’t know what they did to have such a high electricity bill. I wouldn’t have believed it. The oldest will graduate with about $2k in student loans which are subsidized and by the time graduation occurs access the money left in trust by grandpa will be available.
Kudos to you for having the guts to give them the boot.
I sometimes mull over that situation. My brother is still living at home (off and on) by my father’s choice (and not my mom’s) and it has been very stressful for her. At this point though, where they are getting older, it might be for the better, but I do still hope he can figure out how to get married and get out if that’s what he wants.
I actually would love to have my oldest stay home with me after graduation as he is clean, helpful, polite, fun to talk to, mature, and we love to play games and take bike rides together. Of course he’ll probably be super busy most of the time which would be a bummer. #2 though, would be that kid that feels entitled to be home and make a mess, not do chores, etc. I am working on him, as he needs to get over that asap if I have to go back to work. Have a suspicion #3 won’t come home because she’ll just get a job and live with her friends (more fun than us for sure!).
I think I understand now why Asians become Tiger parents. Whereas, American parents figure that success means freedom from parental pressures, Asian parents see their kids success as directly affecting their retirement. Doctor, Lawyer, CEO – means spacious inlaw quarters and a nanny to help. Grocery store cashier means you’re sleeping in the living room while taking care of the grandkids.
Nano, the utilities issue is probably TV/videogame playing plus they probably booted you up a tier. It kind of depends on the computers they had, but my parents have entirely desktops and they don’t heat their house anymore. They have a lot of desktops mind you, but their electric bill is pretty astounding. Definite candidates for solar power if I ever saw one.
We went with mostly laptops on the theory that they’re designed for lower power consumption.