Is it okay for parents to use the leftover money in their kids’ college accounts for their own use? An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for using my kids’ college accounts for my retirement?”.

Here’s the full story for you to decide.


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The Original Poster (OP) has a college account for each kid, they all have like around 50k at the moment. Now OP’s oldest went to a trade school and they used his account to pay for that, it was relatively cheap.

OP’s Daughter Went To A Small College

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OP’s daughter went to a small, cheap community college before she dropped out. She’s now married and a stay-at-home mom.

What’s The Current Scenario?

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So both of the accounts still have a ton of money in them and the two kids are well established at this point. The oldest makes 6 figures at this point and OP’s daughter married well off and if they did divorce, she would get a lot.

So OP emptied the accounts to use for his retirement.

What Happened At Dinner?

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OP mentioned it at dinner and they were annoyed, saying they still deserve the money even though it was for college only and they never put a cent in. They both called OP a jerk.

What Next?

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They asked why OP could retire early, OP told them the reason.

“I wasn’t going to hide it, they knew money was in the account. It would have come up eventually, if not for them but asking if they could use the extra for their kids.”, says OP.

Now OP wants to know if he is a jerk?

Why Would You Even Tell Them?

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“Not the jerk. Because you used the money for its intended purpose.

But why on earth would you tell them there was money left over and you were going to take it?”

They’re Being Silly

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“Not the jerk. It turns out that you over-saved for what they actually spent. It’s silly, particularly for the college dropout, to sincerely believe that they should get the leftover money.”

It’s Your Money

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“Not the jerk. That’s your money. You saw them through their education, they are done with that, clearly, are all grown up and financially stable. You can spend that money on bonbons and ribbons, it’s none of their business because it’s not theirs.”

It Was A Potential Study Gift

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“Not the jerk. It was nice enough that you wanted to chip into their studies cause you want a good future for them but they never used it and they have a good future now. They are not entitled to the money, it was a potential study gift.”

Telling Them Was A Terrible Idea

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“This was never their money. They didn’t contribute to it, so it’s not theirs. It was money you set aside for their education, which neither of them need anymore.

That said, telling them was a terrible idea. This conflict was completely avoidable by just telling them that you were in a position to retire now without telling them why.”

If Anything, They Should Be Thankful

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“Honestly… as someone whose parents couldn’t/didn’t have an account full of money to give them for college, they should feel thankful you were able to assist them with the paths they chose. You’ve done your part, now it’s time for you to relax. They didn’t put any money in, they aren’t entitled to anything.

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