Do you believe the adult child of a senior citizen, who is physically and mentally healthy but has neglected to plan for retirement, should be burdened with providing financial assistance to that parent?
Based on the wording in your question, I can only believe you don’t think the adult child should be “burdened” to provide this assistance. My guess is you’re talking about one of your own parents. I understand that you might be aggravated with a parent who has been irresponsible with their money. But in my mind, there’s a bigger question. How big is the burden?
I talked to a guy recently who was making $1.5 million a year. He was questioning whether he should help his dad -- an older man in poor health, who didn’t handle his money well -- by giving him $1,000 a month. There’s no question you give that guy money. You’re making millions, but you don’t want to help your sick dad? Come on! But if you bring home $2,000 a month, and your family is barely getting by, you’re not morally required to financially take care of a parent who was irresponsible with their money.
It’s all relative. Do you have the money? Can you provide this help without placing an undue burden on yourself and your family? If the answer is yes, you may be asking more about your own aggravation than any sort of moral obligation.
But no, you’re not morally obligated to destroy your own life, or your family, to take care of a relative who didn’t take care of themselves financially.
Dave Ramsey has authored seven best-selling books, including “The Total Money Makeover.” The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms.
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