My parents are far too generous. Their intentions were wonderful, but I really wish they hadn't given me this graduation gift. My dad said that he has always wanted to help me get a good start on saving for retirement so they gave me enough to fully fund a Roth for the first year. However, they both have made it abundantly clear that the money is mine to do with as I wish, whether it be investing, putting toward a replacement when my car dies, saving for a house, or going on a really great vacation. Never before has money made me this uncomfortable.
They insist that it's what they wanted to do with their money, and I know it isn't a strain on their budget. This is very clearly a one-time thing. It's a large sum of money, but it is probably a bit less significant to a fifty-something engineer than to a twenty one year old teacher. Still, I would have been much happier if they had kept their money.
Although I appreciate my parents' kindness and desire to improve my life, it still feels strange to benefit from the savings and hard work of others. My mother told me that they were able to give me this gift because they didn't have to pay anything for my college education, but it isn't as though I had to wait tables thirty hours a week to pay tuition. Dead rich people I've never met and the taxpayers of my state financed the past four years, and I wouldn't have been in a position to get the scholarships I did if it hadn't been for the myriad advantages my parents gave me by raising me in a house full of books, volunteering in my elementary school classrooms, and serving as wonderful role models.
It should be up to me to put those advantages to good use and make my way in the world. Working and saving on my own is, as I see it, a big part of adulthood. That's why I already set aside money of my own for funding a Roth. However, there doesn't seem to be any graceful and polite way to decline this gift; I've tried. It looks like I'll either have to find a way to use this money or stick it in savings and pretend it doesn't exist until the opportunity arises to repay my parents' generosity.