By Mark Teale on 1 February 2019
I have become a grandfather for the third time in the last week. My beautiful daughter gave birth to a very healthy 3kg boy, Edward Kyle. Very English I know - her wonderful partner is English.
My granddaughters, twins, Penelope and Adeline, are approaching two years of age - creating a feeling of joyful mayhem in my son’s household. This joyful mayhem was of course not helped by the purchase of an 8-week-old blue heeler, shah pea cross puppy called Tilley. The household can get extremely noisy, as you can imagine, but it is, of course, a lot of fun for me because I can visit, participate in the mayhem and then leave like any good grandparent.
On a more serious note, I do worry about my children, their partners and now my grandchildren.
My daughter and her partner live in Sydney and my son and his partner live in Wollongong. They all have well-paying jobs and have never been without work. Their biggest problem is they do not own their own homes they are renting. The chances of them buying a home in the areas where they live are remote.
It is a concern for me, and I often ask myself;
- Should I be providing assistance to ensure that they may be able to purchase their own properties in the future?
- Do I defer my own retirement and continue to work to ensure I am able to provide financial assistance?
- Do I provide my home as security to enable them to secure a loan and purchase a home?
- Am I being selfish and inconsiderate but not providing any assistance?
I am sure I am not alone in thinking this when the purchase of a home can be out of reach for so many of our children.
I should point out that my children have never asked me for any assistance, it is only a feeling of parental responsibility which makes me question my actions or rather in-action.
My reasons - good or bad - for my lack of action are:
- I never received any help from my parents and managed to survive, have two children and purchase a home – of course, people will say today is more difficult.
- I have seen many situations where parents have helped than children and through no person’s fault, just unfortunate circumstances everyone has lost out financially and family relations have been strained to breaking point
- Finally, I believe my children are smart enough and resilient enough to stand on their own two feet and will succeed in their endeavours without my help. Which, in the end, they will find far more rewarding.
I should point out that I have invested money into education bonds for the two granddaughters and I will, of course, do the same for my grandson. And of course, finally, when I do pass away in 30 odd years, my children will receive my estate which should hopefully be enough to pay off the mortgage.
Am I being selfish – people will make up their own minds. I would be interested in your thoughts?