From Education Funds to Early Retirement – The Saga of Shared Finances and Family Expectations

Cheerful senior man placing finger on lips to say hush while putting money in a safe

In a world where financial matters intertwine with family dynamics, a narrative emerges that navigates the delicate balance between fulfilling obligations and the concept of entitlement. The story begins with a seemingly straightforward situation.

Well Laid Plans Go Awry

The original poster (OP) had the foresight to set up college accounts for each of his kids. These accounts had amassed a substantial sum, roughly around $50k each. The intention behind these accounts was noble – to provide OP’s children with financial support for their education.

The plan was that these funds would be utilized to create a stepping stone toward a brighter future. Yet, the path of life is often unpredictable, and it took unexpected turns for OP’s children.

The oldest, OP’s son, pursued trade school, utilizing the account to fund his education, but not needing anywhere near the amount available. The daughter, on the other hand, attended a small community college, before eventually dropping out. She eventually settled into a marriage, becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Fast forward to the present, and the college accounts are still brimming with funds. Both children have carved their paths, with the son now earning a comfortable six-figure income and the daughter having married into a well-off family.

A Selfish Decision Or Well Earned Retirement?

It’s at this juncture that the plot thickens. OP makes a decision that reverberates through their family dynamic. He chooses to empty the accounts and redirect the funds towards his retirement.

The revelation of this decision at a family dinner unleashes a storm of emotions. The children, now well-established and financially secure, express their discontent. They believe that they still have a rightful claim to the funds, even though they never contributed a cent to the accounts.

Harsh words are exchanged, with the children illustrating their dissatisfaction and resentment towards their father’s course of action. The discussion erupts into a fiery debate, with the children questioning OP’s rationale for retiring early.

A move that might have seemed prudent from a financial standpoint is now met with accusations of selfishness and insensitivity.

Left with a difficult decision to make, OP reaches out to social media for help.

Online Opinions

KronkLaSworda delivers a straightforward perspective, highlighting that the funds were initially intended to support education, and any surplus is well within OP’s discretion. The act of oversharing, as commented by this user, has potentially led OP to this predicament.

BookOfGoodIdeas provides an insightful perspective by pointing out that the children’s actual expenses were lesser than the funds set aside. Therefore, expecting the surplus money seems unreasonable, particularly for a child who dropped out of college.

Putt3rJi offers an empathetic insight, suggesting that if they were in the children’s shoes, they would be overjoyed for their parent’s early retirement. The sentiment of gratitude and understanding seems to be missing from the equation.

Zurochi’s comment resonates with a hint of exasperation, underscoring the perceived lack of appreciation.

“The level of entitlement and lack of appreciation [from] your kids is pretty shocking.”

Ma-Hu emphasizes the privacy and autonomy of OP’s finances.

The funds were initially meant as an educational gift, and the notion of entitlement post-education appears misplaced.

HADES2001nl encapsulates the sentiment of the gift – a noble intention with a set purpose and an understanding that it’s not an endowment for other uses.

The Verdict

The verdict resonates in harmony with the sentiment of the commenters. OP’s decision to utilize the surplus funds from their children’s college accounts for their retirement is justified.

The initial intention was to support education, and any surplus remains at the discretion of the account holder. The children’s perceived entitlement lacks merit, especially considering their current financial stability.

The chorus of perspectives aligns in asserting that OP’s choice is well within reason, underscoring the importance of setting boundaries and cultivating an appreciation for the intention behind financial decisions.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi /

This article was originally published on Ash & Pri.

Like our content? Be sure to follow us.

DISCLOSURE: The post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. This site is not intending to provide financial advice. This is for entertainment only.

Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.