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Optimal Wealth & Investments, Inc.

5 Ways Young Adults Can Honor Their Parents

5 Ways Young Adults Can Honor Their Parents

Many of us in America assume our parents are going to pay, indefinitely.   As an advisor, I have noticed that many pre-retirees and retirees spend significant financial resources on others, particularly their direct family.   This often damages the integrity and viability of their retirement plan.

Young people can show honor and respect, a general spirit of gratitude, toward their parents in many ways.  By doing so, they will be afforded the opportunity to have a building relationship with their parents as everybody ages.   I hear this argument: “my parents can afford it, I’m just getting by”.  While this statement can be a true statement, it does not honor and respect the elder group.  Young people should want their parents there when they really need them.  A car wreck.  An eviction.  Fired from work.    Not taking the family out to dinner every Friday night. 

Pay your own car expenses

This covers everything.  Insurance, gas, repairs, air fresheners, and oil changes.  By showing you can be responsible to pay for car expenses, your parents will be relieved of a financial burden and additionally know that they raised a responsible adult. 

If the car insurance can be bundled and save a little, then directly pay your parents on auto-payment.  Do not put them in the position to request payment. 

Pay your own mobile connectivity

Mobile phones are the modern utility.  Nearly everybody has them.  Nearly everybody uses (maybe needs) them.  You use yours.  Pay for what you use.  Once again, if it is deemed to be significant to stay on the same family plan, setup auto-pay to your parents for your costs. 

Make time for family weekends or trips

Too often I hear younger people say they can’t afford a to visit their parents.  While some folks say that, their social media feed shows it might be choice.  The same weekend the parents suggested a visit, little Bobby claims he doesn’t have the funds.  On social media, little Bobby is out on a beach trip with his buddies.  

I live in Illinois.  It is not news to know that people are moving out of Illinois, meaning a significant distance between parent and child is becoming commonplace, and not just in Illinois.   You can honor and respect your parents for all they have done by budgeting in the time and resources to visit together.     

Pick up the tab unexpectantly

When you do visit schedule a visit with your family and go out to dinner, and pick of the tab.  Explain to your parents that they have done quite enough, and the least you can do is pick up the bill.   If the parents have been picking up the tab for some time, they might need a little convincing.  Just say, “you get the next one”. 

Buy your parents a gift, after observing

When you see your parents, be attentive.  Notice the empty flower basket.  Notice the rusted hammer (that YOU left outside 15 year ago, time over time).  Then go buy the replacement, unannounced, not for Mother’s Day.  It is the thought that counts.    See a need, fill a need.  Spend $5 on flowers, spend 10 minutes transplanting to the flower planter.   When you call, ask how the flowers are doing. 

This shows true care and love, displaying honor, respect, and gratitude to people who deserve it. 


By relieving your parents of some financial burden, it helps them in so many ways.  They might sleep better at night knowing that their financial plan is sounder.  They might sleep better at night knowing that their children are responsible and productive.   You will have a stronger relationship.

If money is left over, then the children generally stand to inherit the remaining estate.  No reason to deplete resources prior to passing, potentially financially supporting your parents at an older age.  I have not encountered one parent who wants to be a burden to their family as they age.    Younger people should think in the same manner.  Do not be a Burden, be a Blessing—show honor, respect, and gratitude!


Adam Chaney
Certified Financial Planner,
Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®)
Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM (APMA®)