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What is a reasonable financial sacrifice?

An article by Ross Riskin in the Journal of Accountancy states that retirement should take priority over paying for children's university. That's interesting - it is a good example of a conflict a lot of parents feel: what is a reasonable financial sacrifice to make for one's children?

On balance, most parents make a lot of sacrifices: everything from the vast direct expenses of raising children, through to more indirect expenses - like more expensive housing, lost sleep, and the impact on careers.There is also some strong evidence to suggest that parents that give 'too much' to their children may impair their child's pathway to independence. But most parents still like the idea that they should have sufficient resources (from a spare bed to a large investment account) available for decades to provide a back-stop to children in trouble, no matter what the age of the child. As a child who has received help from a parent after I turned 18 I can hardly disagree.

Retirement specialists point out the efforts that even elderly parents will take to preserve assets to provide an inheritance for children that are probably already wealthier than they are, or to grandchildren that almost certainly will be. It seems to be built in, a long-term love that few would want to break.

Joining them are some financial planners. They can provide a valuable critique of the urge to keep shoveling resources towards a child who may not make best use of them. Where financial advice intersects life choices is the territory that engaged and empathetic human advisers will continue to occupy for decades to come, as such, it is one of the most fascinating areas to consider -  Click here to read more. 


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