As I write this, I am coming from experience with inappropriate parental boundaries. What I mean to say is that my parents put a lot of responsibility on me as a kid. I’ve talked to my mom about it as an adult, and she’s acknowledged and apologized. I truly appreciate her honesty, and it’s probably the reason we have a relationship today.
All that is to say… I have really strong feelings about a parent’s responsibility. Parents should be parents, no matter their age.
I’ve seen quite a few Internet topics surface about helping aging parents plan for their retirement years, retirement funds, retirement living, etc. Probably based on my specific circumstances, that leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. My parents aren’t in the “elderly” category just yet, and they haven’t retired. But when that time comes, I still think it is their responsibility to plan for their future.
One particular article I read describes a 27-year-old woman working toward her PhD as “worried” about her parents’ retirement plans. She calls her parents “careful spenders,” but:
“They hit some bad luck when the mortgage broker industry tanked and some medical issues came up suddenly and they have been recovering since. This is a major source of stress but it’s also a motivator. Part of my goal in going to grad school is to be able to get a job where I will have some financial wiggle room to help them out.”
I honestly don’t know how I would react to this since I haven’t been in the situation. I understand that people get down on their luck and may not have the income they need to cover daily necessities. But I still can’t discount the fact that, regardless of age, parents are parents, and children are children.
Maybe the parents in the story aren’t trying to lean on their children for retirement help. Maybe the daughter is taking on the burden of her own accord. I just know that if I was an aging parent with dwindling retirement funds, I would exhaust literally every other option before depending on my kids.