I read this article yesterday, http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/89334215/baby-boomers-spend-their-kids-inheritance-on-travelling-the-world, about baby boomers spending their kids inheritance and it really annoyed me. Not for the reasons the writer of the article expected it to annoy people but for the exact opposite, how dear the next generation think that their parents hard earned money is for them. If there is any left after they have passed on, then sure, but don’t stop them enjoying life whilst they can. Personally, I think the older generation have paid their dues and they should enjoy their money, they worked hard for it and if they choose to help out their children then good on them, but it is a choice, not something children should expect. People need to make their own way in the world.
When I graduated university my mum encouraged me to go travel, see the world whilst I was young and could still enjoy it. So now that I’m in my 30s I have seen more of the world than a lot of people, more of the world than my parents, and everyone can have that opportunity to travel, make a decision and go for it. When I travelled I worked in the UK on the two year work permit, we stopped off in America on the way for a few days and their dollar was worth double the NZ dollar, in the UK the pound was worth over four times what our money was worth, so traveling would have been extremely expensive without working and earning the currency of the country I was spending in. However, now the New Zealand currency is so much stronger meaning traveling is a lot cheaper and it is also cheaper due to the increased number of airline carriers competing in the New Zealand market. My trip to the UK was $1,999 return trip with a stop over in the US on the way over and Singapore on the way home. This was a real bargin at the time, going to the UK for under $2,000 was a very rare thing to find. I just did a quick Google search and the first price that came up was $1,299 but I have seen it even cheaper. Not many things come down in price, but traveling has. Mum always talked about traveling when us kids grew up and left home, unfortunately, she didn’t live long enough to live out her dream, but my dad goes on a trip a year, and I’m really glad he does.
Things are a lot different for my in-laws. They have a son still living at home and he is in his 30s. I don’t think there is anything wrong with living at home, I actually think it is a good thing if you are saving to buy your own house, as long as you are paying your way and not eating your parents out of house and home, but that is not the case for them. Sadly my brother-in-law seems to think it is his right to live off his parents and for whatever reason, they let him. They talk about their hopes and dreams of travel but holding them back is their need to protect their dependent son. It breaks my heart that he is holding them back from living the life they want to live. He doesn’t need to be dependent, there is nothing wrong with him, he can work, he has skills, but he often chooses not to work and when he does work he spends all this money. He has never saved for a rainy day, and now that house prices have gone crazy he is unlikely to ever get his own house, he had to get a loan to get his car. He even has a son who comes and stays with them at the weekend. He has no future planning and his parents are so concerned about his lack of future planning that they have their plans on hold to provide for him. I don’t agree with this. Parents need to do their best for their kids for the first 18 years of their life, but then they need to make their own way in the world. Living at home is a good thing but not at cost of your parent’s dreams. I will let my kids stay at home as long as they want to, but I’ll be encouraging them to save for their own house. They won’t stop me traveling. To stop your parents traveling and expecting them to provide for you indefinitely is selfish. The next generation needs to be respectful that their parents raised them and now it is their job to go out in the world and provide for themselves whilst their parents take a break from their hard work with their job well done.
So old people, I say have no guilt. You worked hard, you saved hard, you raised your family. Now is your time to enjoy your life. Your kids will love hearing the stories of your adventures and they too will be inspired to work hard so one day they can live out their dreams too. The kids could even go travel now if they wanted to. It’s their choice. They can live as they please, and so can you, enjoy your life. Life is too short. Live it to the fullist.