Good morning Dinks. Do you remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about my Dad’s girlfriend being in debt at 65? In case you missed that post let me break it down for you very quickly. My Dad used to spend his winters in Florida. Last year he wasn’t able to go because his wife couldn’t afford it.
Actually to say she couldn’t afford it is a very polite. It turns out my Dad’s girlfriend has been living on credit cards ever since she retired over 5 years ago. She finally decided enough is enough and sought out financial advice to fix her situation. I asked my Dad how she could be in debt because she has been living on a fixed income for several years. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you live on a fixed income you also need to have fixed expenses. It’s really a no brainer.
I personally don’t think that retirees should have credit cards at all. Maybe this is because I was financially irresponsible in the past, but if you can’t afford to make debt payments each month due to your limited income then you shouldn’t have credit products. Again, maybe that’s just me.
Should adults ask their parents for money?
It turns out my Dad’s girlfriend has been helping her two children pay off their debt and pay their monthly expenses for years. This absolutely blows my mind because her two daughters are older than me and I’m 33 years old. I come from a family where you do what it takes to live. If you don’t have enough money to live you get a second job. If you don’t have money to buy food you cut your monthly expenses. I completely don’t understand adults who rely on their parents financially.
My Dad’s girlfriend’s kids use their mother as their emergency savings fund. They are in their late 30s and early 40s and have absolutely no savings. One of them works part time and the other one doesn’t work at all. I hate people who take advantage of other people. I also hate people who don’t take responsibility for their own lives. If you knew your parents would always bail you out would you flake out on your backup plans?
It’s up to a parent to say no
When my Dad’s girlfriend retired she vowed to cut off her children financially. She would stop making their credit card payments, she would stop paying their rent and she would stop giving them money for groceries.
If someone is going through financial difficulties it’s OK to ask your family and friends for help. But I don’t think it’s OK for adults in their 30s and 40s to live off their parents and think it’s normal.
One could argue that these two women are financially dependent on their mother because she enables them. If my Dad’s girlfriend always bails out her kids when they need money with no questions asked then she is only sending the message that their behaviour is OK.
As a parent there is a fine line between wanting to help your kids and teaching them how to be an adult. This is why more parents need to teach their kids about money management from a very young age.
Photo by tahnyakristina