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Old 06-15-2011, 01:41 PM   #21
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Hey, I forgot about that! You can pay me back on your next visit! Just call it Southern hospitality for now!


I treat ya to a bowl of fresh chowder at one of those local restaurants......
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:55 PM   #22
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Fuego, I love the description you used of managing expectations. The very first time my brother asked for money, I told him we were fully invested and couldn't liquidate anything. That was mercifully the only time.
We found that politely but consistently saying "no" with a plausible cover story ("sorry, fully invested") is the best way to brush off money requests but to do so in a way that doesn't adversely impact family relations. It also makes them understand that if they did actually ever get any money from us for a real emergency, that it will really screwing up our finances.

This "sorry, fully invested" line is also incredibly easy for DW to use and subsequently defend, since she says it and then says "I don't keep track of the finances, FUEGO does that, and he says it will cost a lot to get access to that money."
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:18 PM   #23
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We found that politely but consistently saying "no" with a plausible cover story ("sorry, fully invested") is the best way to brush off money requests but to do so in a way that doesn't adversely impact family relations. It also makes them understand that if they did actually ever get any money from us for a real emergency, that it will really screwing up our finances.

This "sorry, fully invested" line is also incredibly easy for DW to use and subsequently defend, since she says it and then says "I don't keep track of the finances, FUEGO does that, and he says it will cost a lot to get access to that money."
Wow, DW calls you FUEGO too, that's cool!
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #24
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Let's just hope she says Happy Birthday Fuego today.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:59 PM   #25
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"sorry, all our money is tied up in investments. We would lose a lot of money and owe even more tax if we touched any of that money today".
I heard this from my Mom over 30 years ago when I tried to borrow money from her so I can add a basement to the house that we were having built. At that time, she said "I will be penalized for early withdrawal on my CDs". I could have have countered that I will also pay for the penalty but DW and I decided that we will make do with what we have and forego the basement.

What would your answer be if your in-laws countered with something similar like making up for the taxes and such?
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:02 PM   #26
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I haven't had any relatives ask for $ yet and glad of it. As far as my relatives know, I'm not worth much at all
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #27
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Lots of great advice here. We don't have moocher relatives, but do have some moocher "friends". Here's the past history:

- visted us often over the years – usually 3 times a year or so. We always bought all the food, beer and wine. They'd bring an occasional token gift like a t-shirt or bottle of wine, but they never offered to buy supplies or treat for dinner out.
- developed an expectation that we make sure to stock the things they liked but they knew we didn't usually have on hand like dinner rolls, real butter, etc.
- "borrowed" many things. Prime example: two suitcases because they ran out of room with all the stuff they bought during the trip. Joked about how we could get replacements cheap at a thrift store. I mentioned I wouldn't want used luggage because who knew if dirty laundry or drugs had been packed in them - they laughed and still didn't offer to return or pay for them.

Incidents that (finally) made us realize we were being taken advantage of:

- asked us to pick up an elderly family member at a train station, put him up overnight, then drive him to the airport for a 3am flight to their home city. We did this. Felt sorry for this gentle, 86 year old man.
- asked us if they could store an extra car at our place so when they came into town, they wouldn't have to rent a car. We said NO.
- asked us if we could take care of bill payments on some rental properties for them. According to them, since the properties were in an IRA type account, a third party had to do it. They wanted to avoid a $5 per check charge from the property management service. We said NO.

The final straw:

Shortly before my husband retired after nearly 34 years on the job, they visited us. They did nothing to recognize this big event in his life, even though they've known him for over 30 years. Not a card, handshake, hug, nothing. As usual, we bought all the food and supplies for this visit. Later, they sent us some e-mails with links to articles about how people like my husband don't deserve pensions because it will bankrupt our country and take money from future generations. You know, the typical pension hating kinda stuff.

Our new policy:

If they ask to visit, we may or may not be available.
If we are available, they can chip in for food and buy any special stuff they want.
No more free handouts.

Bummer about this situation is we thought they had been our best friends for many years. We practically had to be hit in the heads with 2 x 4s to realize how they were taking advantage of our generosity. It really hurt us to realize this. Especially my husband who is such a sweet guy - you know - the kind of guy to helps strangers in snowstorms. Glad I'm married to him and not our "friend".

Lessons learned:

Moochers don't appreciate anything you do for them, so who bother?

We were partly to blame for allowing the relationship to develop to this point over the years - long ago we should have asked them to chip in for stuff or just say NO.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #28
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The only situation I've had to deal with is DW's brother. Fortunately, he lives far away, but he used to regularly ask for money to pay his overdue property tax bill before the sheriff forced him out on the street. After a while, we tried the "fully invested" routine (which was in fact true), but he wasn't fazed. He had no concept of ever paying any bill on time, so waiting a few weeks for the money wasn't a problem.

Another problem was that he always asked for twice as much as he needed, planning to pay the minimum on the bill and use the rest as spending money.

He did pay the loans back from time to time, whenever he made significant sales in his one-man business, but eventually the repayments stopped happening.

DW still felt kind of sorry for him, so she started responding to his requests by getting him to send us a copy of the delinquent tax notice or overdue utility bill, or whatever. Then she would pay the bill directly, bypassing the dear boy, although she still made him sign a (worthless) note to acknowledge the loan. That practice kind of turned him against us, since he thought getting those loans was his right. He kept asking for more on a semi-regular basis.

Eventually, even DW's patience wore out. She told him he would have to give us some degree of control over his finances, including his business, so we could straighten out his financial life for him, and we haven't heard from him since. He still owes us many tens of thousands of $$, but we know we'll never see a nickel.

He lives hand to mouth, but he's a slick talker and always seems to manage somehow.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #29
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My response would have been along the lines of "I have this TERRIBLE case of poison ivy and my doctor has me quarantined for [insert duration of visit] weeks."

Seriously, though..uninvited visiting relatives are the worst plague on the planet. I self-orphaned myself 10 years ago, so I no longer have that problem.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:07 PM   #30
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On a lighter note, I'm also reminded of a great line I heard from my first commanding officer, many years ago. At his retirement party, he and his wife talked about the great resort community in Florida they were moving to, and about how they would really miss us all.

"You are all just like our family, and we would hate to lose touch with you. Now that you know where we'll be living, we hope you'll all come and visit when you're in the area. Just leave a message on our phone as soon as you've checked into a motel."
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:15 PM   #31
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We found that politely but consistently saying "no" with a plausible cover story ("sorry, fully invested") is the best way to brush off money requests but to do so in a way that doesn't adversely impact family relations. It also makes them understand that if they did actually ever get any money from us for a real emergency, that it will really screwing up our finances.

This "sorry, fully invested" line is also incredibly easy for DW to use and subsequently defend, since she says it and then says "I don't keep track of the finances, FUEGO does that, and he says it will cost a lot to get access to that money."

Fortunately for me I do not have to worry about family moochers.....


BUT, I would not use this cover story as I would assume that they might have listed to me to have a 6 month cushion of cash in case of emergency.... and they could say that cash should be available if you tell me what you mean.... and this is an emergency....

True, not a REAL emergency, but one in their mind...
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:34 PM   #32
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"... Just leave a message on our phone as soon as you've checked into a motel."
As they used to say in the old Navy aviation community, "Green light!!"
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:01 PM   #33
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What would your answer be if your in-laws countered with something similar like making up for the taxes and such?
I would express surprise that they were prepared to pay 10% extra to cover my fees, but not 5% to borrow the money from the bank for the period that they were assuring me was all they needed to pay it back. (Insert appropriate figures for plausibility.)
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:22 PM   #34
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"You are all just like our family, and we would hate to lose touch with you. Now that you know where we'll be living, we hope you'll all come and visit when you're in the area. Just leave a message on our phone as soon as you've checked into a motel."
Reminds me of one my favorite quotes from the movie "The Big Chill". Toward the end of the movie when they're saying their goodbyes, Michael (the Jeff Goldblum character) says something like:

"You're all welcome to come visit me in New York. Not my apartment, but the city".

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Old 06-15-2011, 06:24 PM   #35
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One of my SO's sons was famous for stopping here to raid the refrigerator . He never has people to his house he finagles so it is always at somebody else's house . Once I was coming home from a trip and he had planned a party in our back yard . I was livid . I would usually worry about that and go get food & beer but this time I did absolutely nothing . He brought some food but there was not enough and no beer and very little soda . It was in June but we had to use Christmas napkins.I was very open about the fact that I knew nothing about it . People were embarrassed and that ended that problem forever .
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:33 PM   #36
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What would your answer be if your in-laws countered with something similar like making up for the taxes and such?
I'm in a hedge fund and it's locked up.

Ha
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:58 PM   #37
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We haven't had the problem because we live in West Virginia, which is like, you know, Appalachia, where all the people live in 30-year-old single-wides on the side of mountains and have to lug their water up from the creek in their rusted-out 4x4's.

We haven't let them know that we do, in fact, have indoor plumbing, 'lectricity, and broadband Internet.

The one time we were approached for money by a distant relative with a long history of doing so we just said we weren't in a position to do that.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #38
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Fortunately for me I do not have to worry about family moochers.....


BUT, I would not use this cover story as I would assume that they might have listed to me to have a 6 month cushion of cash in case of emergency.... and they could say that cash should be available if you tell me what you mean.... and this is an emergency....

True, not a REAL emergency, but one in their mind...
That's easy, I don't have more than a month or two of emergency funds at any given time. I don't buy into the traditional 6 months of emergency funds. We have 2 incomes, only need 1. Unemployment for both of us would pay more than our living expenses. For 99 weeks or whatever it is these days. Backup plan is to sell some investments, or take a margin loan or home equity line of credit draw down.

But yes, they would undoubtedly see any need of theirs as an emergency. That is when I explain it is their emergency, not mine. And none of them have 6 months emergency funds, nor have I advised them to do such. They have a hard enough time getting 6 days of emergency funds.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:03 PM   #39
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I heard this from my Mom over 30 years ago when I tried to borrow money from her so I can add a basement to the house that we were having built. At that time, she said "I will be penalized for early withdrawal on my CDs". I could have have countered that I will also pay for the penalty but DW and I decided that we will make do with what we have and forego the basement.

What would your answer be if your in-laws countered with something similar like making up for the taxes and such?
Go to a bank if they are willing to pay me that much money. And since they don't really understand mutual fund investments, they don't know enough to call my bluff. I could easily get tens of thousands of dollars overnight and pay piddling taxes on cap gains and virtually no sales fees/commissions, but they don't need to know this! And they could be on the hook for unlimited upside. After all, many of my investments more than doubled in the last 2.5 year period. Not sure if they could pay me those returns.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:09 PM   #40
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I had a family member ask me for some money once....I can't even remember what it was for now, but it was something stupid; nothing like food or rent. When he asked if he could borrow some money, I told him..."well shoot, I was going to ask if I could borrow money from YOU!". First and last time.
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