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Are you Financially Enabling Family Members?

Are you Financially Enabling Family Members?

| February 12, 2019

Do your children or relatives often ask you for financial support?  Is this the third or fourth time getting them out of a financial jam?    I'm no psychology major, actually Finance, but I know that enabling others can sometimes do more damage in the long run, especially if the person isn't stepping up as an adult or taking responsibility for the situation.  Before you commit to helping out, ask yourself a few questions:

1-Is this a frequent occurrence?  Face it, life happens and sometimes the unexpected job loss, accident, or major crisis takes place.  It's one thing to help out someone going through a one-time hardship.  Just be aware if they are constantly asking you for money and assistance.

2-How can you assist your child or relative with a takeaway from this learning experience?   Maybe the best way to help is to set them up with a budget tracker or a financial advisor who can teach them the basic fundamentals of saving/tracking money.  Whether you provide them with money or not, you still want them to have a better understanding of financial planning---especially if this is becoming an occurrence.

3-Is the individual displaying adult responsible behavior?  If they bounce jobs, overspend, & live beyond their means coming to their rescue will only allow the pattern to continue. As iterated in question #1, maybe introducing them to a budget plan or an advisor is a better option for all parties involved.

4-Can you afford to come to their aid?  If this is going to affect your monthly budget, savings or emergency funds, or even your retirement income then it's probably not feasible to help them out. 

I hope this blog post gives you something to think about the next time someone asks you for monetary assistance.  There is nothing wrong with helping someone out,  just make sure you aren't being taken advantage of.

*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.  All investing involves risk including loss of principal.  No strategy assures success or protects against loss.