Sorry about the return to yesterday's topic. I am still thinking about the issue. And I noticed that Duchesse, one of the most astute and thoughtful bloggers I've read, returned to comment once more on yesterday's post. So below in that post you can read Duchesse's two interesting comments, from the perspective of both a receiver and a potential giver. And there is also a thoughtful post from FB, a recently out of college person, whose writings show a tremendous sense of energy, ambition, and responsibility.
Let me just divulge where I got the idea of giving my children the unused money in their 529 (education) accounts. A while ago, probably before I discovered blogs as a source of information and entertainment, I saw this question. Perhaps this was on the CNN money site? Anyway, this fellow in his 20s raised this issue: (I am paraphrasing from memory, so the accuracy is subject to question)
I decided to get a PhD in psychology. My parents have always paid my educational expenses. The PhD would probably cost around $150,000.00. I mentioned this to my father and he said that he would pay for the PhD OR give me the money to start a business. What should I do?
The answer (also paraphrased from memory) went something like this:
Wise father. He was testing whether you really wanted that degree or if you made the decision based on the fact that he would pay for it. You have been given a great opportunity. Use it well. Think carefully about what it is you want.
This made a great impression on me. I spoke to Mr. FS about it. We liked that the adult child had a stake in the decision, that his decision had consequences.
So Readers, any more thoughts on the issue?
By the way, Duchesse suggested that one should perhaps help the medical student more than the less-ambitious child. Interestingly, according to the Millionaire Next Door, this is the OPPOSITE of what parents do. Most parents "strengthen the strong," by forcing the more ambitious children into self-reliance and independence (i.e. they give them less or nothing), and "weaken the weak," by giving the less ambitious or accomplished more, thereby encouraging dependence.
Food for thought, once again.
And again, Readers, where do you stand on this vexing issue?