In a family drama that challenges the boundaries of financial responsibility and entitlement, the Original Poster (OP) decides to use the remaining funds from his children’s college accounts for his early retirement. The revelation, dropped like a bombshell during a family dinner, incites immediate backlash from the kids, who feel they are still entitled to the money. As accusations fly and tempers flare, the question looms: Who truly deserves the untouched funds?
The College Funds
OP has college accounts set up for each of his kids. The funds are substantial, hovering around $50,000 each. The oldest son used his to attend a trade school, while the daughter briefly attended community college.
Trade School Journey
The cost of OP’s oldest son’s education at a trade school to become a mechanic was relatively cheap at $17,000. This left a considerable amount of money remaining in his college account untouched.
The Community College Stint
OP’s daughter started at a small, affordable community college in state. She didn’t finish her studies and dropped out after only a year. Like her brother, her account still had a significant balance left, almost the full amount.
The Next Chapter for the Daughter
After leaving college, OP’s daughter got married. She is now a stay-at-home mom of two little children and is financially secure, having married into a well-off family. Her husband is an orthodontist.
Adult Lives Established
Both of OP’s children have settled into their adult lives. The oldest is doing well financially, earning six figures as an entrepreneur and small business owner. The daughter is also in a stable financial situation due to her marriage.
The Retirement Decision
Given that both children are financially secure, OP decides to use the remaining money in their college accounts for his retirement. The funds still hold a lot of money, which OP sees as useful for this new chapter in his life.
The Dinner Announcement
OP chooses a family dinner to disclose his decision to his children. He tells them he has emptied the college accounts to fund his early retirement. Both children are visibly upset upon hearing the news.
OP’s adult children feel they are still entitled to the money in those accounts, even though they never contributed to them. The children both label OP as inconsiderate and express their disappointment and frustration.
OP emphasizes that he wasn’t trying to hide his actions. He believes that the college funds would have eventually come up, whether in conversations about their retirements or potential education for their children.
Tension at the Table
The atmosphere at the dinner table becomes tense and charged. Accusations and emotions swirl as each member tries to process OP’s revelation. The dinner, planned to be a celebration, now became a battleground.
The Unused Funds
OP notes that neither child finished using their college funds for the intended purpose. Despite not completing their education, the accounts remained substantial, which made OP feel justified in using them.
Despite their outrage, both children are doing well financially. OP’s son has a high-paying job, and his daughter would be well taken care of in case of a divorce due to her spouse’s assets. The children feel they have been wronged, while OP believes his actions are justified.
The Purpose of the Money
OP reiterates that the money in the accounts was explicitly earmarked for college expenses. Since neither child needed the funds for that purpose anymore, he saw no issue in reallocating them for his retirement.
No Contribution, No Say
OP emphasizes that his children never contributed financially to these accounts. This makes him feel that his decision to use the money for his retirement is justifiable. The dinner ends on an unsettling note, leaving the family dynamics shaky.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and perspective. He wonders if he was wrong and should hand over the balance to his children, postponing his retirement. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Stop telling people stuff. Put people on information diets. Oversharing put you in this position.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “It turns out that you oversaved for what they spent. It’s silly, particularly for the college dropout, to sincerely believe they should get the leftover money.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “But why on earth would you tell them there was money left over and you were going to take it?”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “If my parents told me they’d saved money in case I needed it, but now that I’m well established and didn’t know that money would help them to retire early, I’d be nothing short of overjoyed for them.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.