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Old 07-07-2014, 02:11 PM   #41
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You can't fix "stupid." It's obvious the OP's father knows what's happening and isn't stopping it. He's also contributing to it with what the OP describes as expensive vacations.

My biggest expense is also expensive vacations but I'm not supporting a child's lifestyle they can't afford. I also know that within normal bounds I have more than enough money for retirement.

When things go bad, the worst thing to do is to step in and maintain their prior lifestyle. That is enabling and nothing will change. Let them become bankrupt and lose it all. There's a chance they will reform. If they are out on the street, rent them a real cheap apartment and provide some food money if necessary. Never give them enough so their desire to do better is stifled. They won't be cold, wet or hungry but they may not like it. The sad part of this is many people will be happy to even have this covered and not care about improving themselves. So, any help should also not be open ended. An end date needs to be put there.
Marriage politics explains a lot of otherwise inexplicable actions and failures to act. A point I have made before (probably ad nauseum) is that a marriage partner who tries to enforce standards of wise behavior can get whacked quickly in several ways. Hostility from the foolish partner. Hostility from any third party who has been a beneficiary of the foolish behavior. And last but certainly not least, by the fact that a marriage partner with assets or income lives with his/her neck pre-placed in the divorce and property settlement noose.

I believe that the only effective remedy has to be done beforehand-don't get married, or 2nd best get some sort of preplanned escape clause that at least stands some chance of standing up in court.

People who interact with you, and who are bound to have at least some area of disagreement as to how life should unfold, and what rules or principles should be maintained in your joint dealings are more inclined to be reasonable if they realize that they do not own a piece of you.

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Old 07-07-2014, 04:08 PM   #42
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This is going to sound harsh, but it is none of your business how your parents choose to spend their money.

If you feel that you're being short-changed that's a fair discussion to have with them, but don't be surprised if it hurts your relationship. Money is a very touchy subject.

The second part of the conversation re: you're not going to have enough to live on if you keep it up isn't your business. They have decades more experience than you and have managed to save a tidy sum. And I haven't fully read all of these posts, but you may not really know what all they have or how they plan to fund their lives.

Have you considered that some people just like to complain and that sounds like what your dad is doing?

If you insist on "helping" the next time your dad complains about spending take advantage of the open door to casually mention that when he vents it makes you worry that they won't have enough for their old age... See where that goes but please don't be a bull in a china shop.
+1
I am sure I'm not the only forum member who discovered his dad's IQ increased about 20 points when I turned 25. I never did figure what caused him to get smarter.

You sound like a bit of a worry wart, they are still working and if your dad is a spreadsheet guy I would guess he has run the number. Financial decision making skillls peak in the late 50s.

Rather than offering advice perhaps ask for advice instead. Tell your dad you found this forum and your thinking/planning on retiring early.

Ask him if I ever thought about it and what his thoughts are on it. Honestly it sounds like your parents are having a pretty good life. This forum is filled with folks who place a high priority on delay gratification. While I personally think this a smart way to live, it is not without its opportunity costs. We don't hear from the folks who didn't take the fabulous trips, or put up with crappy apt. instead of their dream home, and died at age 40.. Getting another perspective never hurt.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:16 PM   #43
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Boy, do I feel lucky. All of my four sisters are very sensible with money and are doing well - some more well than others, but nobody living from paycheck to paycheck. Mom is doing very well thanks to Dad's planning that I took over after he died so she is all set and there will be a nice inheritance someday. Since we are all doing well we have encouraged her to spend it and enjoy, but the reality is actually the opposite - we have to prod her to spend on sensible things - especially home repairs and improvements - Mom's attitude is always that what is is fine.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #44
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"it is what it is!"

All of the above posts...Good advice, and a wise consensus. Should be mandatory reading for everyone... and we all know people in the same situation.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:11 PM   #45
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It always amazes me how some parents will spend tons of money on one child while ignoring the others. Why is it that one kid can make stupid, selfish decisions and consistently get rewarded with bailouts while other children who act responsibly get the shaft?

(Can you tell I have a sibling who gets subsidized by my parents?)
Parents are wired to not let their children suffer so they will help the one they perceive needs the most help. They're just being human.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:39 PM   #46
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OP, sorry you are put in this situation. Like most responses, however, I do feel the best thing is to stay out of it the best you can with few open ended questions to get them (your dad) thinking about what he would do if money were to run out.

I have been in your situation and am still in your situation. Ever since I was 18, I have worried about what my parents' retirement would be like. I always get "don't worry about it", "the government will take care of us", "we'll just eat less", etc, whenever I try to have discussions about their expenses. They have also supported my siblings through most of their twenties and are still supporting my brother, who has mental health issues. Trying to have discussions regarding their money has proven to be stressful for both parties and probably created resentment on both sides. I have tried to talk to my sister as well, but I think that it just drives us apart and makes her view me as another parent rather than sister/friend.

For the last few years, I have learned to let it go a little more. Well lo and behold, they need to retire soon since they can barely work due to health reasons. I just found out my dad owes almost as much in credit cards as he has in retirement! I almost keeled over! My parents are starting to realize they don't have enough money to live on. They are thinking about selling some properties that may bring in a small amount of money (properties that they wanted to pass down to us). They may have to move the a lower COL area (where we are) and sell/rent their home. They are thinking of ways to cover for expenses that they never considered before. So like others said, most people will figure out a way if push comes to shove.

With that said, I don't disagree with you that their choices now will likely become your problem later. Until then, you can't do much. I also grew up with mindset that I will need to help my parents out. So, my DH and I are planning on paying off some of their debts, but not without certain conditions since it is now our business. I am going to be making an appointment for a financial advisor to help them with budgeting and try to see where they can cut out some expenses. I have told my mom that I can't help them if they can't help themselves. My sister, on the other hand, will need to marry someone with money since I probably won't give her a dime.

My advice to you is it is ok to discuss your concerns with your dad, but not with I think you should do this or that attitude. In the meanwhile, it is not really your business until you are paying for their expenses. So, continue to do a great job at your work and save as much money as you can. When the time comes and they need help, you may be able to afford to do so without hurting your own financial security.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:12 PM   #47
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I'll try something like the bit about "so I'm planning on setting aside some money for you guys" next time I talk to my parents. But I'll probably have to phrase it very differently than that.
Try phrasing it VERY differently - as in the opposite - such as, "Well, if the money runs out you guys can always sell the house, go on a subsistence budget and go back to work at your old jobs, or get jobs at Walmart and sis can deliver pizza because I won't be making it my business to bail anyone out."
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:13 PM   #48
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You've been told it's none of your business, so that pretty much ends it. I'd somehow bring it up one more time, and say something to the effect of, "I know it's none of my business, but just know that when you are gone, I won't be helping her out. Likewise if you run out of money. That part is my business."

You may or may not choose to let them all go hungry later, but that's your best chance to make a point, I think. Maybe that will wake your dad up.
+1 I think it is extremely bad taste for DF to complain to OP about her mother's spending habits and then, when OP tries to say something constructive, he plays the "It's none of your business" card.

No, he made it her business when he decided to confide his marriage's financial troubles on his daughter.

My DM would do things like that to me for years until I realized to just shut my trap and tune out whenever she started ranting about my DF's or siblings failings. Because as soon as I opened my mouth to agree or disagree with her, she would jump down my throat!

No, for siblings and parents I am very careful about my level of involvement, either financial or emotional.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:21 PM   #49
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My parents didn't save much money throughout their working lives. They have always been generous with my sister and brother, and I am sure they would have been with me if I needed anything (i'm stubborn and driven, so I didn't).

My sister has always been horrible with her spending and my brother has always spent what he makes. I made it clear early on, that I do not like debt... I don't like borrowing money and I hate loaning money. I've explained that I love being their brother, but I am not going to be their bill collector.

I am generous with birthdays/dinners/bbqs/etc and have stepped in when I felt they really needed help (very rare) with something specific. However, I am not their atm/bank and I will never fund their lifestyle.

With your parents, I would suggest that you tell your dad about Firecalc (or your favorite retirement planning tool) and offer to help him get started. You could also take a passive aggressive stance and buy your family a copy of Quicken for Christmas and offer to help them set it up so they can balance their checkbooks, track their spend, create a budget and view all of their accounts/assets in one place. What they do from there is their choice. Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:06 AM   #50
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With your parents, I would suggest that you tell your dad about Firecalc...
+1.

Not sure how much you have run this tool. But I recommend you show your dad and you run it in front of him. Don't just send him the link first. Show him that you found this tool that you are now using and want to share with him. You can show him in 10 mins or less and even if he does spreadsheets it can be eye opening if he hasn't tried something similar.

Make sure you are able to answer his questions so practice using the different parameters, particularly the ones he would need to use.

Quicken is a good idea too but it takes a lot more work/time to keep up with and you may not have much time in this type of discussion with your dad.

Regardless of what he decides to do, you will both know that you have tried to help multiple times. That is really important if things get more serious.

Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:29 AM   #51
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Now that my father is gone, my brother is somehow getting by on his own. It's amazing how these things can work out.
What is the old saying? "When you subsidize behavior..."

Must have been frustrating for you but life is seldom fair.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:44 AM   #52
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I believe that the only effective remedy has to be done beforehand-don't get married, or 2nd best get some sort of preplanned escape clause that at least stands some chance of standing up in court.
No argument from me

I'm seeing more younger guys moving to Asia and what they all have in common is that they are single and only have to fend for them selves.

Yeah, some are neer do wells, but increasingly they are educated, career oriented young guys that do not set foot in the bars and are seeking an arbitrage, a better career here than what was available to them back home.

Single people don't usually end up in family court but I do remember Lee Marvin
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:43 AM   #53
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This is so common with highly frugal people that there's a book on it. It's called "the millionaire next door" and it describes parts of my family perfectly. Typically, the oldest sibling launches well, especially if male and a good number of years older than the next. The youngest siblings are typically more parasitic on the parents and the parents enable them. This is just what the book authors found in research.

My family is very similar to what many are writing here. My youngest sister has been bleeding dry my parents small retirement funds for years. They think if they just "get her started" she'll fend for herself, but they just keep digging the hole deeper. She's pathetically lazy now. No ambition at all to change. I was always fiercely independent, so I don't understand it still.

Buy them each a (used) copy of the book and never give any of them another cent or you'll just be the sibling's fool too. Any money to the parents will just flow to the sibling.
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A question about my sister
Old 07-08-2014, 07:48 AM   #54
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A question about my sister

Having had many twenty-something tenants over the years, I have frequently seen this. Some parents have even written the rent checks. One of them lived in a million dollar home but a couple of checks bounced. Later on they defended the bad and unethical behavior of "the kids" and threatened to take me to court if I dinged their credit. Another example is a father who paid rent a year in advance and told me he was giving his son that year to get himself together. Well he didn't and then I got six more months in advance. The tenant eventually started calling me in the middle of the night to complain using horrible and hateful language. Finally I got him out of there.

Sad to see these people going into their thirties dependent on their parents - but as my father told me, there are many who make a "career" of getting by from sponging off others.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:16 AM   #55
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Sad to see these people going into their thirties dependent on their parents - but as my father told me, there are many who make a "career" of getting by from sponging off others.
There is a certain amount of income that will cause most people to stop trying to "work for pay." It varies by individual. I am including the members of this forum specifically since most of us are striving for or have achieved the assets needed to reach a SWR we're comfortable with so we can retire (ie. not work for pay). This applies to children just as well as welfare and unemployment recipients. The best example I have seen is the dole in the UK where it has been in effect since WWII. Multiple generations have lived on it and beget the next generation that will also live on it. It many cases it has become the "family business." There's a fine line between a helping hand and enabling dependence.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:21 AM   #56
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There is a certain amount of income that will cause most people to stop trying to "work for pay." It varies by individual. I am including the members of this forum specifically since most of us are striving for or have achieved the assets needed to reach a SWR we're comfortable with so we can retire (ie. not work for pay).
+10^3

Most people do not want to work! We ER's are not any different.

Heck, why is it that people spend a lot of time and effort, and money too, to go to the gym or to run a marathon, but will not dig a trench or lay bricks for pay?

Quote:
... There's a fine line between a helping hand and enabling dependence.
+10^6
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:19 PM   #57
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Getting B's and C's in college is not "not doing well", it's actually doing slightly better than average compared to all the other students in her class. You can have a 2.0 average when you graduate and can be far more successful by careers end than the 3.7 student that graduated with you based on many other variables. A smart manager these days looks at the whole package, not just a transcript. And most importantly, time will tell based on a multitude of skill sets on how successful she becomes, none of which directly correlate to grade point.

Regarding the car and the condo, are you sure these weren't a loan which agreement details you might not be privy to?



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Old 07-08-2014, 05:20 PM   #58
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My parents were very conservative, ditto one brother. My sister is a wastrel, but her separately living but very responsible husband has a pension and keeps her on an allowance. I doubt she has lifetime earnings herself of > $150,000.

I have one cousin who worked hard since childhood, got a pretty good inheritance, but tried to support her alcoholic brother and lately she has been unable to get work in her field. My sister told me her next likely event is bankruptcy and being on the street. She is far from SS.
She is also a spendarina, even though she has always been single. A soon as her useless brother figured out that she might not be able to continue supporting him in the manner to which he ahs become accustomed, he took off, I guess to see if he can still attract a lover to support him.

Since in America we have no control over our relatives, we have to realize that they may well get themselves into really bad trouble, but that is not our fault or our responsibility to remedy. These people will rarely do anything sensible or valuable to anyone else.

Also to OP, it isn't very cool to come asking for suggestions, then reject them. If you don't like them, don't apply them. You are definitely not our responsibility. I am often amazed at how much information and experienced help members are willing to give to strangers who have never given them anything, and are not now offering anything of value in return for the advice they are requesting. Advice from experienced, self made millionaires, many with some age on them, is very valuable
.
Ha
Great post Ha.I couldn't agree more.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:31 PM   #59
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I am often amazed at how much information and experienced help members are willing to give to strangers who have never given them anything, and are not now offering anything of value in return for the advice they are requesting. Advice from experienced, self made millionaires, many with some age on them, is very valuable.
"Very valuable"? What changed over the past 10 days?
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The money advice here is sometimes good, sometimes not. But the personal advice is often less than wise.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:06 PM   #60
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"Very valuable"? What changed over the past 10 days?
Must be the arrival of summer and sunny days.
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