Age & Income

Discussion in 'Chatter' started by Mopar Dude, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I have a son in his late twenties. He and I are polar opposites and I had a run in with him this week that has left me troubled. I have worked harder than most my entire working life and my efforts have earned me a small successful business. I am not wealthy by any stretch, however I am comfortable.

    My son bounces from job to job. Usually working under the table. His most recent enterprise is doing tattoos. He has never paid a dime into the government and never filed taxes. Thus the crux of our run in. He was livid that he wasn't compensated when the fed sent out the $1200.00 stimulus checks. The fed doesn't know he is alive and I attempted to explain that to him. His counter to me was a personal attack. Here I am all comfortable with money in the bank, nice new cars, nice house and yet he struggles just to eat. As a result, I am now a terrible father and person for allowing him to suffer while I lounge in luxury in his eyes. He didn't stop to think I still pay his phone, car insurance and routinely hand him cash when he asks.

    I was flabbergasted. The first 45 years of my life I absolutely lived paycheck to paycheck and still I provided everything that young man needed. Further, I thought I had set an example by my actions. I been hurt all week and can't seem to shake it.

    The more this has been running around in my head, I have reached what seems a reasonable conclusion to me.... If I had the kind of income at 30 years of age that I have now at 60 years of age, would I have been responsible with it? And in all honesty I know that I would not have been. So perhaps it is the way of the world that as we grow in mind and maturity, the correct decisions come to light in our lives and we are somehow rewarded financially for those mature choices... I don't know and I am rambling here. I just feel I have an opportunity to make a difference in this young mans life and get him pointed the right direction.... Sorry for the ramble.
  2. SmalltownMN

    SmalltownMN Active Member

    You and I have discussed these things and it is a hard subject. The boy has a sense of entitlement and, I'm going to be dead honest with you here, you're still part of the problem.

    Any parent who is paying for their child's phone, car insurance, etc. in their late twenties is enabling them to remain exactly the way that they are.

    My wife was doing the same with her adult child until I finally put my foot down and brought her to the light as it were.
    Mopar Dude likes this.
  3. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I know you are correct. I still haven't been forgiven by my wife for kicking him off of my sofa last year. It is a damn hard line. But yes, you are correct.
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  4. SmalltownMN

    SmalltownMN Active Member

    I agree, it is a very had line, and it put a strain on Catherine and I's marriage as well. She now knows that it was for the best and that, most likely, we wouldn't have stayed together had things not changed. I also had to kick the boy off the sofa, too. Then she was paying his rent, buying groceries, phone, etc. When it came to a head for us was when I proved to her that he was taking the meager earnings he was getting from the part time job he had to party with his buds. Pot, booze, the whole nine yards....................then couldn't afford to buy groceries, pay rent, phone, etc. "Can you help me out, mom?" Just a big vicious circle.
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  5. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    I can totally relate.
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  6. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    My parents raised me to be an achiever. They pushed me to do well in high school and supported me when I finally got into the right major in undergraduate school. Yes, they paid for my undergraduate education, which was not prohibitively expensive in the late 1960s and early ‘70s because I went to the state school. They helped me out when I took nine months off to go back to MBA school. In return I took 22 to 24 credits a semester to finish as quickly as possible.

    Beyond that I made my own way, and I saved money like crazy in IRAs, 401ks and yes, coins. I married a woman with the same attitudes, and together we put together quite a bit of money. I was in charge of my mother’s affairs at the end of her life, and I was able to push up the value of her assets even more when she was in the nursing care facility. Money was never a problem for her even when she was helpless for almost two years. I inherited her estate, and I’m in very good financial shape today.

    Was l lucky to be born with a good brain, but there are lots of people out there who are more talented than I am. I’ve run into them many times. It’s just a matter of doing as much as you can with what you have. If I had to make my living with my hands, I’d be destitute. I have my brain that’s about it, and it’s served me well.
    SmalltownMN likes this.
  7. toughcoins

    toughcoins Well-Known Member

    I'll lay bare my feelings on the subject with my own personal motto . . . Never ask others to do for you what you can do for yourself.
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  8. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    MD, that is a lot to swallow. However, it isn't all that uncommon of a story. My guess is that this son was from a first marriage? You don't have to say but a similar situation I am aware of was the result of a broken home. That adds a complicating factor.

    My own parents were pretty financially irresponsible and couldn't have cared less about teaching me anything about personal fiscal responsibility or any of my 8 siblings. I was in grade school when I learned what check kiting meant, my parents lost one of our homes to foreclosure, and my fathers midlife crisis entailed spending his entire paycheck on himself and fighting with my mom about her nightly bingo habit thanks to the Catholic Church. Not the most responsible couple you ever met. But they never divorced.

    My dad worked all the time. My mom worked when she wasn't raising kids, they still spent money like water on everything from food for 9 kids to cigarettes, booze, and of course gambling. They brought in a lot of money but spent it even more quickly. Saving money was never their thing.

    I've talked about my kids before. All in the 20's and all doing just fine financially. The thread that seems to weave through my grandparents, my dad, myself, and finally my sons, is that we all have a very strong work ethic. A strong work ethic is probably all I learned from my dad. But a work ethic alone isn't enough to succeed. You have to know what to do with the money you earn also. There have been stories of people that washed dishes for 50 years and when they died, they left like a million dollars to some charity. Point being, earning money is step one, saving money is the next critical step to fiscal responsibility. If someone hands you money, you certainly don't learn step one and nobody hands you money to put in savings so step two is also not learned.

    Given that your son is in his late 20's, there is a good chance that neither lesson is ever going to be learned. Sometimes, the die is cast and we need to recognize that the time to teach these lessons has expired and that we are simply at the point of enabling the bad behavior. The parent in you wants to help and the child in him wants that help, to a point. You both have to recognize that you are no longer a parent/child relationship. You are two adults that exist apart from one another and yet have familial ties.

    One way to accomplish this is to lay one last chance at his feet. That doesn't mean handing him money or a job or anything other than an opportunity to prove himself. He will have to succeed or fail on his own but either way, the bank of MD is closed. Good luck.
    SmalltownMN likes this.
  9. SmalltownMN

    SmalltownMN Active Member

    I believe I read somewhere that the age is 30, if they don't have it figured out by then chances are they never will.

    I stopped even giving advice to my 27 year old stepson. I told him that I was wasting my breath even giving it to him if he was never going to try to apply any of it. Even his mom knows well enough now that he was only acting the part and giving it lip service to try to get what he wanted in the moment.
    JoeNation likes this.

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