Why You Are Better Off Asking Your Dad for Money

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Father and DaughterCheck out another great post from our friends at MainStreet:

Be especially nice to your Dad.

You’d likely do it anyway, but there’s a bonus–it may pave the way for a cash infusion from dear old dad down the road.

How so? It turns out fathers are more likely to respond to a request for cash from a son or daughter by dipping into his wallet right away.

Mom is more likely to open up a conversation about money and responsibility before snapping her checkbook open–and there’s no guarantee that will happen.

The data supporting this comes from Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial, who rolled out a study Tuesday on moms, dads and family money matters.

In it, Ameriprise researchers say both parents want to help their adult children experiencing cash flow problems, but they take dissimilar paths.

The survey says that, by 54% to 46%, boomer moms are more likely than dads to need to talk it over before cutting a check to an adult child. That’s also true of the adult daughters surveyed–they say they follow their mother’s lead more than their brothers do when handling family financial issues.

“Women and men may be predisposed to help family members in different ways–which can cause disagreements and add to family tension if plans aren’t discussed upfront,” explains Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise. “Couples may not always agree on the best way to support an adult child, but they can often reach a compromise if they simply take time to talk and consider each other’s perspective.”

The study targets baby boomer parents and their adult children (and in some cases, their elderly parents, as well).

Ameriprise notes that a whopping 93% of boomers have given money to their adult children, and the gender differences come into play almost immediately. That’s especially true of big-ticket purchases such as a car or a request from a son or daughter with help on paying off a fat credit card bill.

From the study:

  • By 58% to 48%, dads are more likely than moms to help out with a car purchase
  • By 42% to 32%, dads are more likely to co-sign a lease or a loan
  • By 51% to 43%, fathers are more likely than mothers to have their child’s car insurance
  • By 37% to 29%, dads were more likely than moms to have made a car payment for their kids

Why are mothers slower on the draw? Ameriprise says moms want to have a conversation about money, and generally won’t come across with the dough until that discussion happens.

The survey says that, by 54% to 46%, boomer moms are more likely than dads to need to talk it over before cutting a check to an adult child. That’s also true of the adult daughters surveyed–they say they follow their mother’s lead more than their brothers do when handling family financial issues.

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  • Sjdemo

    bank of dad opened in jr high and didn’t close until his death (or after if you count inheritance) four years ago. he paid for apartments, cars, a 2nd bachelor’s degree, and countless other things that could likely be titled ‘unwise purchases.’ i think he paid more than mom because i usually asked him first, and he made more than she did.
    if i could do it over i’d rather have him back and that he never gave me the money. it caused a lot of tension over years in addition to my not learning any fiscal responsibility until my mid-30s, and i am still struggling to dig myself out of a hole. at least i’m digging out instead of further down now.

  • Adelaide

    Man, not in my family. My dad is soo stingy with money – I always have to ask my mom when he’s not around.

  • guest

    This article demonstrates is a great way to cause trouble in your parents marriage.  Most divorces are the result of money arguments.  My dad made the mistake of allowing my sister, her husband and kids to move in without consulting my mother.  The years my parents should have had a peaceful together time after raising a large family.. turned into 10 years of a house filled with fighting boys and a fighting couple who eventually divorced.
    Couples should make financial decisions together and encouraging anyone to do different is rediculous.