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  • #31
    Originally posted by Panscan View Post

    But why is it your parents responsibility to enable aggressive retirement contributions for you in your 20s? I just don't understand the argument of " well if I had a trust fund I would be better off financially" like obviously. You've basically said you are going to end up with more money than you know what to do with, so I'm not really seeing the problem here. Like yes if my parents invested 1 million dollars for me upon my birth my life would be easier than it is now. That is pretty obvious to me. That doesn't mean it would be in my overall interest.

    My point is there are a lot of people worse off in the world than the kids of someone who is wealthy enough to start a 20s fund for their kids. Where does it stop? Why not a 30s fund? When is it on the kid to make their own life? If you will pay for your kids "enrichment" or for them to travel around europe or whatever when they're 28, why not when they are 32?

    It's too black and white for sure but it's a generalization of the trends we are seeing in our society. Parents are increasingly involved in supporting their children later in life. There are definitely societal factors that contribute to this, stagnant wages, increased costs relative to inflation and etc, but I'm not sure infantilizing children for their whole lives which is the inevitable progression of this trend is the answer.

    It's a missing the forest for the trees error, just like the people who pay their 6 year old 5k a year to manage their books or whatever other crackpot schemes are being pushed to start roth IRAs for their children. There are millions of people in legitimately horrible situations throughout the world and we're focused on how can I ensure my 25 year old kid who is a doctors kid and has been pampered their whole life relatively, not have to do some work.
    I think it's reasonable to question blanket giving and whether this can corrupt the drive to work hard and attain wealth. Though as JBME noted, this isn't black and white and not applicable to all parties. Broadly speaking, I believe there is a VERY solid argument to help out your kids if they were disproportionately affected with student debt because of your own personal financial situation. Also, the amount of debt this country is taking out for current entitlements and other spending disproportionately benefits the adults/elderly and not the youth. The youth will have to shoulder the tax burden. So I don't think it's a problem to give the younger generation money to make up for this burden they will invariably face. That's my personal take.

    Also, very idiosyncratic issues occur within individual families. Take my situation, for example. I went to a great/expensive school on a ROTC scholarship. My parents couldn't afford that school at that point in their lives but later they were able to pay for my brother to go to a similarly expensive school. My military commitment also defrayed medical school costs, which I'm sure they would have been willing to and able to help out with at that time but never had to. They helped my brother with law school. So my parents have had little hesitation in offering me support at various points more than they have my brother when I was younger - giving random gifts (like a new computer) or with other things that just make wealth accumulation easier. I don't expect any of these gifts now and have had to decline some in the past because they were just too much/ridiculous/generous. Neither my brother or I needs or needed the help - we are both independently successful and more shrewd with investing than our parents ever were - but money is fungible. Less money spent by me on X means more money for the kids 529 or for my own retirement. But these gifts were few and far between and never affected my approach to personal finance. I live a frugal existence, drive a 2003 Honda Accord, and save heavily. Other young adults may have behaved differently. I think you just have to play these things by ear based on the maturity of the child and your general philosophy re: above wealth transfers. This is why I have no problem with superfunding a 529 - if money is left over then it saves my child from having to use their own money to build their own child's 529. I will also surely be having open and honest conversations with my children so they can plan for tax efficient wealth accumulation.

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    • #32
      What would you do in the following hypothetical situations. Baseline assumption—your parents will have 5 million in total assets at death
      1. You’re an only child. Parents gave you an excellent upbringing and paid for most of all of your education. You bring up this topic. They say “well, we were thinking about talking to you about this. We are so proud of all your hard work and it’s clear you don’t need anything from us. We’ve gotten really involved with x charity and are impressed with the work they’re doing so we’ve decided to leave our estate to that charity with instructions on use to further their mission”
      2. You have 2 siblings, one who has a disability that has prevented economic success, one who followed a less lucrative career and has been hardworking but not financially “successful”. You bring it up and your parents say they’ve decided to give the bulk to your siblings because they believe in a needs based approach to estate planning. They are so proud of your success and hope you’ll understand
      3. You have a sibling who has had 5 children and you have had none or one. Your sibling and you have been equally financially successful but your parents feel it is more fair to distribute based on number of grandchildren. That’s just what they’ve decided. They hope you’ll understand.

      How do you react to this knowledge. Would you be able to totally understand, it is their money and their decision? If you find out the decision before or after their death, will that change things for you?

      Comment


      • #33
        Interesting discussion. I sometimes think about or come across strategies that would optimize financial outcomes if the right family came along. These usually require parents with money who enjoy financial planning, and sometimes require similarly inclined children who are responsible and can be trusted. Then nontypical strategies can be used. This type of family doesn't come along all that often, but that's life and that's okay.
        Last edited by Gavin West; 04-27-2021, 10:16 AM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Anne View Post
          What would you do in the following hypothetical situations. Baseline assumption—your parents will have 5 million in total assets at death
          1. You’re an only child. Parents gave you an excellent upbringing and paid for most of all of your education. You bring up this topic. They say “well, we were thinking about talking to you about this. We are so proud of all your hard work and it’s clear you don’t need anything from us. We’ve gotten really involved with x charity and are impressed with the work they’re doing so we’ve decided to leave our estate to that charity with instructions on use to further their mission”
          2. You have 2 siblings, one who has a disability that has prevented economic success, one who followed a less lucrative career and has been hardworking but not financially “successful”. You bring it up and your parents say they’ve decided to give the bulk to your siblings because they believe in a needs based approach to estate planning. They are so proud of your success and hope you’ll understand
          3. You have a sibling who has had 5 children and you have had none or one. Your sibling and you have been equally financially successful but your parents feel it is more fair to distribute based on number of grandchildren. That’s just what they’ve decided. They hope you’ll understand.

          How do you react to this knowledge. Would you be able to totally understand, it is their money and their decision? If you find out the decision before or after their death, will that change things for you?
          Interesting thought experiment. Ultimately if they're not asking for my advice I'm not giving it. It's their money. I may have a private conversation with my wife that X, Y, or Z isn't what I would have done, but I wouldn't let any of the above scenarios affect my relationship with the other sibling(s) or my parents (if finding out when they are alive). Or at least that's what I'd like to believe.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Anne View Post
            What would you do in the following hypothetical situations. Baseline assumption—your parents will have 5 million in total assets at death
            1. You’re an only child. Parents gave you an excellent upbringing and paid for most of all of your education. You bring up this topic. They say “well, we were thinking about talking to you about this. We are so proud of all your hard work and it’s clear you don’t need anything from us. We’ve gotten really involved with x charity and are impressed with the work they’re doing so we’ve decided to leave our estate to that charity with instructions on use to further their mission”
            2. You have 2 siblings, one who has a disability that has prevented economic success, one who followed a less lucrative career and has been hardworking but not financially “successful”. You bring it up and your parents say they’ve decided to give the bulk to your siblings because they believe in a needs based approach to estate planning. They are so proud of your success and hope you’ll understand
            3. You have a sibling who has had 5 children and you have had none or one. Your sibling and you have been equally financially successful but your parents feel it is more fair to distribute based on number of grandchildren. That’s just what they’ve decided. They hope you’ll understand.

            How do you react to this knowledge. Would you be able to totally understand, it is their money and their decision? If you find out the decision before or after their death, will that change things for you?
            I personally feel that the amount of grandchildren should be the deciding factor :P


            These are great thought experiments. It is all how the parent in question defines "fair"

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Anne View Post
              What would you do in the following hypothetical situations. Baseline assumption—your parents will have 5 million in total assets at death
              1. You’re an only child. Parents gave you an excellent upbringing and paid for most of all of your education. You bring up this topic. They say “well, we were thinking about talking to you about this. We are so proud of all your hard work and it’s clear you don’t need anything from us. We’ve gotten really involved with x charity and are impressed with the work they’re doing so we’ve decided to leave our estate to that charity with instructions on use to further their mission”
              2. You have 2 siblings, one who has a disability that has prevented economic success, one who followed a less lucrative career and has been hardworking but not financially “successful”. You bring it up and your parents say they’ve decided to give the bulk to your siblings because they believe in a needs based approach to estate planning. They are so proud of your success and hope you’ll understand
              3. You have a sibling who has had 5 children and you have had none or one. Your sibling and you have been equally financially successful but your parents feel it is more fair to distribute based on number of grandchildren. That’s just what they’ve decided. They hope you’ll understand.

              How do you react to this knowledge. Would you be able to totally understand, it is their money and their decision? If you find out the decision before or after their death, will that change things for you?
              1 - Fine, it’s their money
              2 - I’d probably feel disinherited. If I decided I didn’t need the inheritance, I could always disclaim all or part of it and let the siblings have it.
              3 - This wouldn’t really sit well with me either. If they wanted to make the grandchildren the heirs or put the inheritance in trusts earmarked for the grandchildren, that would be different. But the fact is, the inheritances don’t go to the grandchildren; they go to the siblings, who can spend it on boats and convertibles.

              Mind you, while this is how I think I would feel, most likely I would keep it all to myself.
              I sometimes have trouble reading private messages on the forum. I can also be contacted at [email protected]

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Anne View Post
                What would you do in the following hypothetical situations. Baseline assumption—your parents will have 5 million in total assets at death
                1. You’re an only child. Parents gave you an excellent upbringing and paid for most of all of your education. You bring up this topic. They say “well, we were thinking about talking to you about this. We are so proud of all your hard work and it’s clear you don’t need anything from us. We’ve gotten really involved with x charity and are impressed with the work they’re doing so we’ve decided to leave our estate to that charity with instructions on use to further their mission”
                2. You have 2 siblings, one who has a disability that has prevented economic success, one who followed a less lucrative career and has been hardworking but not financially “successful”. You bring it up and your parents say they’ve decided to give the bulk to your siblings because they believe in a needs based approach to estate planning. They are so proud of your success and hope you’ll understand
                3. You have a sibling who has had 5 children and you have had none or one. Your sibling and you have been equally financially successful but your parents feel it is more fair to distribute based on number of grandchildren. That’s just what they’ve decided. They hope you’ll understand.

                How do you react to this knowledge. Would you be able to totally understand, it is their money and their decision? If you find out the decision before or after their death, will that change things for you?
                hard to know exactly how I'd react but in all of these scenarios I'd want to know these decisions before their death. That gives them the time to explain their reasoning and allow for questions. It would be totally wrong to approach it from the defensive and ask them to justify their choices. The choices don't need justification. But allowing for a discussion I think probably makes it more likely for one to continue to get along with extended family (siblings/grandchildren) once the matriarch/patriarch dies. If they die and just leave it all in the will, one will always wonder what their intent was. Even if they leave a letter explaining what they want and why, while that is better, it doesn't allow for an understanding discourse. I would think most parents want their children to get along, always. I think having these discussions are more likely to enable that prior to death

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by ENT Doc View Post

                  Interesting thought experiment. Ultimately if they're not asking for my advice I'm not giving it. It's their money. I may have a private conversation with my wife that X, Y, or Z isn't what I would have done, but I wouldn't let any of the above scenarios affect my relationship with the other sibling(s) or my parents (if finding out when they are alive). Or at least that's what I'd like to believe.
                  It will impact your feelings of your relationship with your parents once they have departed. It probably won't change your life.
                  Anecdotally, I was left $10 by a parent. Fortunately the estate actually went 100% to the second wife (and it will then go to her one son that promptly sold the house and cleaned out the accounts and pocketed most of his mother's inheritance). He had not been involved with their life for 10 years. One two week trip and cooperation of an attorney. His 5 biological children got zero, so the $10 actually offended my four siblings more than me.He is gone, but it brought negative comments and solidified previously unspoken feelings. Not one of us had any expectations. Did "Dad" cut you out and why? Need or did he have a reason? My siblings were lined up to give me an equal share. That made me feel good when they were asking advice about contesting the will. The son had ghosted his biological kids. If you have a desire not to split equally, consider revealing your thoughts if you have good intentions. They don't have to agree, but at least you can eliminate a potential problem between your heirs.
                  You only are disappointed is expectations aren't met. You can have impacts on relationships and memories.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post

                    Agree with this sentiment. My perspective on parenting changed quite a bit when I became a parent and as my children aged (they are now 19 and 22). I believe that happens to everyone.
                    Yea. I remember that I used to be the world’s best parent before I had kids.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Anne View Post
                      What would you do in the following hypothetical situations. Baseline assumption—your parents will have 5 million in total assets at death
                      1. You’re an only child. Parents gave you an excellent upbringing and paid for most of all of your education. You bring up this topic. They say “well, we were thinking about talking to you about this. We are so proud of all your hard work and it’s clear you don’t need anything from us. We’ve gotten really involved with x charity and are impressed with the work they’re doing so we’ve decided to leave our estate to that charity with instructions on use to further their mission”
                      2. You have 2 siblings, one who has a disability that has prevented economic success, one who followed a less lucrative career and has been hardworking but not financially “successful”. You bring it up and your parents say they’ve decided to give the bulk to your siblings because they believe in a needs based approach to estate planning. They are so proud of your success and hope you’ll understand
                      3. You have a sibling who has had 5 children and you have had none or one. Your sibling and you have been equally financially successful but your parents feel it is more fair to distribute based on number of grandchildren. That’s just what they’ve decided. They hope you’ll understand.

                      How do you react to this knowledge. Would you be able to totally understand, it is their money and their decision? If you find out the decision before or after their death, will that change things for you?
                      It's their money, their choice. In my case, a version of scenario 2, my sister had less financial success than I have (and some emotional hardship), and my father has decided upon a 60:40 split.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        My grandfather compromised. He had a modest (<$500,000) estate and split it as follows:

                        20% to each adult child 10% to each grandchild

                        This meant each family unit got different amounts, because each adult child had different numbers of children.

                        I thought this was wise. To my knowledge no one complained it was unfair.

                        I am not in favor of all or nothing decisions. In Anne's hypothetical, I'd not be overjoyed. I'd think there was a more balanced way to achieve fairness that didn't involve completely disinheriting one child.

                        Although gift to charity? I wouldn't see that as unfair. I would want to ensure no untoward manipulation had occurred.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          My father's will was interesting. He wrote his will before my mother died. She died when I was 24. He never changed it because they had agreed on it. I inherited the house because I was a girl and unmarried. The money was to be split 3 ways. His parents had done something similar. I know people who constantly change their wills. MY Dad never did.

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                          • #43
                            "When I was ....................................
                            4 years old: My daddy can do anything.
                            5 years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
                            6 years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
                            8 years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
                            10 years old: In the olden days when my dad grew up,
                            things were sure different.
                            12 years old: Oh, well, naturally Father doesn't know anything about that.
                            He is too old to remember his childhood.
                            14 years old: Don't pay any attention to my father. He is too old-fashioned!
                            21 years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out-of-date.
                            25 years old: Dad knows a little bit about it, but then he should because
                            he has been around so long.
                            30 years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he's had
                            a lot of experience.
                            35 years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
                            40 years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise
                            and had a world of experience.
                            50 years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this
                            over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate how smart he was.
                            I could have learned a a lot from him.


                            Dedicated to Lordosis.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Tim View Post
                              "When I was ....................................
                              4 years old: My daddy can do anything.
                              5 years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
                              6 years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
                              8 years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
                              10 years old: In the olden days when my dad grew up,
                              things were sure different.
                              12 years old: Oh, well, naturally Father doesn't know anything about that.
                              He is too old to remember his childhood.
                              14 years old: Don't pay any attention to my father. He is too old-fashioned!
                              21 years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out-of-date.
                              25 years old: Dad knows a little bit about it, but then he should because
                              he has been around so long.
                              30 years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he's had
                              a lot of experience.
                              35 years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
                              40 years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise
                              and had a world of experience.
                              50 years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this
                              over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate how smart he was.
                              I could have learned a a lot from him.


                              Dedicated to Lordosis.
                              Thanks! A patient did not show so I used the free moment to call my dad.

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