Adult Son Worried About Having To Support His Boomer Mom Who Won't Get A Job — ‘Didn’t Work When I Was Young & Not About To Start Now’

His mother is unwilling to help herself.

adult son stressed about money Geber86 / Shutterstock

Posting to the subreddit "r/BoomersBeingFools," a man opened up about feeling stressed that he will have to support his mother on top of his own expenses because she has no money saved up and is unwilling to work.

He's worried about supporting his boomer mother who refuses to get a job and has no savings.

In his Reddit post, he explained that he recently had an epiphany that he will one day be his mother's retirement plan. He admitted that one of his friends from work recently put his mother in long-term care because of some health complications. His friend shared that he was grateful that he could sell her house to pay for it since he wouldn't have been able to afford it on his own.


"That got me thinking about my mom. When her current boyfriend dies, she won't have any money to sustain herself and doesn't have any savings or property," he wrote. "She worked only four years in her life so no pension contribution."



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His mother has spent years living with various boyfriends who support her and take care of the house. Her current boyfriend had enough money for the pair to purchase a home, but they decided to travel instead. Unfortunately, after suffering from some health complications, her boyfriend can no longer work and they now live on his disability income.

The man tried to convince his mother to get a retail job somewhere that wouldn't require a lot of effort, like Walmart or a local thrift store, so she could start earning a bit of money. She, however, was unwilling and argued that she never had any desire to work when she was younger and wouldn't start now. 

Adult Son Worried About Having To Support His Boomer Mom Who Won't Get A JobPhoto: fizkes / Shutterstock


"I don't think I can afford [to take] care of my mom for the rest of her life, and I really don't want to," he candidly shared. "Plus I feel that she will put stress on me and my wife's relationship. My wife and I went to school, got careers, and bought a house without any help from our parents."

"We didn't sign up to take care of her because she decided to never work," he continued. "When my wife and I decide to have kids, I would never expect my kids to financially support my retirement."

Millions of older Americans won't be able to afford to retire.

Fewer than half of working-age Americans have any retirement savings, according to Census data for 2020. Savings rates rise with age, but not that much. In the 55- to 64-year-old boomer age group, 58% of Americans own retirement accounts.  

Without a retirement account, most retirees are counting on their Social Security. The average monthly Social Security check to a retired worker is around $1,800, while the average household run by an American older than 65 spends more than $4,000 a month. 




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"With Social Security, you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst," Dave Goodsell, executive director at the Natixis Center for Investor Insight told CBS News. "What people need to do, the bottom line, is take a minute to step back and say, 'What do I need to retire, what will my income be,' and then start saving."

However, in terms of this son and his mother, she made her choice long before she had him that she didn't want to work to provide financial stability and would prefer to have romantic partners support her. It's unrealistic for her to expect her son to support her in her retirement, especially in the economy that we're living in with the cost of most things steadily increasing. It's not sustainable for him to support his mother while also attempting to keep his family afloat.


While it's natural to feel a sense of obligation to support family members in need, there are valid reasons why this son shouldn't be expected to financially support his mother, particularly given her lack of effort to secure her own financial stability.



In the comments section, people offered suggestions on what he could do to help his mother without depleting his money. One Reddit user encouraged him to look into the possibility of getting a case manager for her, writing, "You might encourage your mom to get on some waiting lists for low-income senior housing, depending where you live the wait can be 3-5 years so the sooner she applies the better."

"Otherwise, you have to let her live the life she chooses for herself," the commenter continued. "It’s not your responsibility to rescue her. Her generation had every advantage, if she wasn’t able to parlay that into some kind of retirement plan for herself, at least there’s public assistance."


At the end of the day, this man must prioritize his own family's needs and financial stability. If he doesn't have the income to offer financial support to his mother, then he shouldn't be forced to simply because she won't help herself.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.