Parents send unusual letter to son saying they can no longer help him financially

When Elizabeth’s son asked to borrow some money to settle his credit card debts, she found herself cornered. While she

When Elizabeth’s son asked to borrow some money to settle his credit card debts, she found herself cornered. While she had every intention to help her son, she also feared that what little savings she had left for her retirement would be lost forever. Eventually, Elizabeth decided to tell her son that not only was she going to decline his request for help, she’s also going to stop sending him money. After all, he is a grown man and the problems he is in were created by himself, but when it came to actually communicating her decision to her son, Elizabeth chickened and ended up to just stop responding to her son’s messages.

Elizabeth is just one of the many new and soon-to-be retirees who find it hard is to say “no” to adult children when it comes to  denying them money for a business idea, giving them cash to cover past due bills, or financing a big purchase. Because chances are they’re going to keep asking until you go broke or say “no.”

A 2012 study  found that 93 per cent of boomers have provided financial support to their adult children and 34 per cent who admit that helping their adult children has slowed down their retirement savings.

Worse, further evidence comes from the National Endowment For Financial Education (NEFE) who reported that in 2011 almost 60 per cent of parents provide some sort of financial support for adult children no longer in school. Financially speaking, 26 per cent of parents have taken on additional debt; 13 per cent have delayed a life event, such as buying a home or taking a vacation; and 7 per cent have delayed retirement.

To help baby boomers deliver the tough news, retirement activist Robert Laura wrote this awkward but clever letter to help your son or daughter see that your decision to ‘cut them off’, isn’t so bad after all. Robert also said that parents need to not only salvage their retirement savings but also teach their adult children an important lesson: to be grateful for what they have and to make the most with what they are given.

The letter reads:

Dear Son,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I know you need some money to cover the bills your roommates stuck you with, and to start that new business. Well, several things have happened since we last spoke.

A few weeks back a young man came to our house and ‘guaranteed’ we’d make a lot of money if we invested with him. We’d never heard of the company he was working for but it seemed reputable, and the ambitious salesman reminded Mum of you.

So, after a couple more meetings, we turned our savings over to him and, since he asked, even allowed him to stay in your old room for what we thought would just be a day or two. It turns out that his parents disowned him because his girlfriend is pregnant and they refuse to get married and go to church.

We were helping them pay for some of the tests and treatments for the unborn baby, but all that will have to stop now that your Mum and I are in therapy and facing our own challenges. Seems that Mum and Uncle Jerry have been in a relationship for several years and now she wants to move to Florida and live with him.

At the same time we’re getting our DNA tested and suggest you do the same. Your mother says she isn’t sure if you are actually my son. I guess there’s a possibility you might be someone else’s. As you might imagine, all this has been pretty overwhelming and, I hate to admit it, but I have turned to alcohol and pills to help. I’ve tried sobering up but I only feel better after I swallow a couple pills and knock back a few drinks.

Worse yet, I found out today that our new financial guy was not disowned by his parents, and there is no ‘baby on the way’. However, he did use our money to buy a new sports car, which he totaled, and is now going to jail for fraud.

Now that you’re up to date on everything I want to tell you we didn’t really turn our life savings over to a con artist, your mother never slept with Uncle Jerry, and there’s no need for a DNA test to prove you’re our son. But we’re not sending you any more money, either. We just wanted you to see this decision in the proper perspective and to encourage you to count your blessings instead of your concerns.


Dad and Mum

Would you ever write something like this to your kids? How do you feel about helping your children out financially?

  1. K  

    I find that letter bloody rediculous! Should not be any need for such rubbish … and what weirdo would would even think like that? Just be straight out and honest with your own family.

    • Bazza  

      Totally agree. We’ve just told both of ours (in their early 30’s) to suck it up after declining their requests for more support. They each got huge support financially to get them on the ladder so to speak and have basically wasted that opportunity so you aren’t getting another one I’m glad to say.

      • Gail  

        Surely, it’s tongue in cheek. It’s shades of “Hello Mudder, Hello Father”.

        It seems to me that if your children are asking for large amounts of money, there must be some expectation. YOU create that. It seems you have kept them dependent upon you for far too long. Pity. They know no better. “It ain’t easy being” a parent. I wish you all luck.

        I also wish I had enough to give my children a “huge support”. My son has just been diddled by a crook builder in another state – to the tune of $225,000 – but there has not been a peep in the way of requests for a hand-out. He has always found his on way and will continue to do so. My other two children are equally independent.

    • Jo  

      Get a sense of humour 😂 it’s funny!

  2. Gail  

    Who is at fault here – the kids or the parents for keeping them so dependent that they think it’s OK to ask for huge hand-outs all the time?

  3. DiannM  

    Not the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read but it’s definitely on the list. Not even funny. Just tell him you can no longer supply him with cash because it’s cutting into your retirement money. I would also ask him if he’s prepared to support you when you run out of money because he sucked up so much of your savings.

  4. Marija Fickling  

    Sounds like a frustrated parent. We have always told our children that money-loans/family/friends are always a bad mix, someone always loses. On 2 occasions we were asked for help, one to test us because she already had the finance, the other for money towards a holiday. Both got a “No’ in reply, guess which one took it well? Our kids are all over 40 yo now so that’s not a bad track record for them is it?

  5. Heather  

    We support our Grown kids and loan money when needed. Now hold on we” Loan” , they have to pay it back . We also write out the amount and when they pay back we it write down., til last payment… They also sign this has a Loan and amount that can be paid, before we give it over.All legal binding…It has worked and also has help them with getting on in their lives.Never had a problem….

  6. Lane_Smith  

    Heather, that is the most sensible response I have read, thank you.

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