Dave Ramsey says: If burden is too big to financially help parents, don’t take it on

Feb 28, 2023, 1:15 PM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Dear Dave,

My parents are both in their 70s. They have been healthy and active all their lives, but in spite of them both having good jobs, they neglected to plan and save for retirement.

Is it my responsibility now to provide them with financial help in their old age?


Dear Reagan,

It sounds like you might be a little irritated that your parents haven’t been responsible with their money. The way you described the circumstances, it’s understandable – to a point.

But in my mind, there’s a bigger question when it comes to helping your folks. How big is the burden?

Let me ask you a few things. Do you have the money to help? Now, can you provide this help without your own family suffering or going without? If both answers are yes, I think your question may be a little more about your own aggravation with your folks than any ethical or moral obligation.

A few years ago I spoke with a guy who was in really good shape financially. He made over $1 million a year, and he had plenty set aside in savings and retirement accounts. His father was in poor health and had never handled his money wisely. The son asked me if he should help out his dad by giving him some money every month.

In my mind, there’s no question the right answer was yes. And that’s what I told him. If you’re making millions, but don’t want to help out your sick dad, there’s something wrong with you. There’s something missing inside you that money just won’t fix.

However, if you and your family are barely getting by, let’s say you bring home $3,000 a month, you’re not morally required to help a parent who was irresponsible with money their entire life.

I’m not sure what your situation is, Reagan, but I hope you’ll look at things with a little grace and reason.

It’s a tough situation to be in, because it sounds like your heart is being pulled in different directions. My advice, above all else, is to pray about it. And, if you have a spouse, talk to them about everything, and make sure the two of you are in agreement on what should be done before moving forward.

God bless you, friend.

— Dave


Dave Ramsey

Woman seeks financial support from father...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Work together, and increase expectations gradually

There are ways we can support our children financially without completely pulling the rug out from under them. Here are tips from Dave Ramsey.

2 days ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: If you’re not going all in, stay out

Think twice before diving into that new business venture! Success requires a hefty 40-50 hours a week commitment.

6 days ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Seeking mediation with a neutral third-party advisor”

If someone close to you is having financial problems with their spouse, it might be best to refer them to a marriage counselor rather than insert your own advice.

9 days ago

In this week's article, Dave Ramsey talks about when to buckle down and climb out of that financial...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Getting out of a big mess doesn’t always feel good, but it’s necessary

Getting yourself out of a financial big mess doesn't always feel good, but sometimes, it's necessary to get back on track.

13 days ago

People sitting at a table, looking upset about bills....

George Kamel

The normalization of debt: How it happened and why it’s keeping you broke

The financial systems we trust benefit from our struggles. Break free from the cycle and rethink your financial game plan.

16 days ago

Person taps to pay or purchase....

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: A lesson he’ll remember for the rest of his life

As much as coming in to save the day would feel good, teaching lifelong financial lessons could feel even better in the long-run.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Dave Ramsey says: If burden is too big to financially help parents, don’t take it on