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BIL is 60 with nothing. I mean zero. Now what?
Old 01-04-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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BIL is 60 with nothing. I mean zero. Now what?

BILs always seem to be cause for friction in families. Well, can't say I'm any different.

Anyway, this guy is 60 and has nothing. Lives in a shack in the woods, apparently hasn't paid any kind of tax for 30 years or so, probably doesn't have but less than 10 social security credits, and now he is crying poor and wants help.

What the heck? He won't take a job unless it is cash. Won't go to the food bank, etc.

I say we give him tough love. But he has a way of getting the family to feel sorry for him and they drop him a few benjamins. Come on, people!

I'm mostly just venting. But I do have a question. He doesn't want to be on any radar, apparently. But what if he did ask for govt. assistance? Would the IRS come after him? Would creditors suddenly show up? I say no. Seems like so many people are ready to help people like BIL, he should just swallow that pride and get some help.

Frankly though, not sure what he'll do without SS or Medicare...
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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You say he apparently hasn't paid any kind of tax for 30 years or so. Do you know if he actually owes any? Is there a reason to believe that his "reappearance" would cause Uncle Sam to come after him?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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I knew a guy kind of like this. He had not worked for a few decades (lost business in 1980's) and subsisting on handouts, free food, etc. He got hit by a airport go cart when traveling to visit family on a free airline ticket. Ended up with a knee replacement and some disability. Lawsuit followed and he ended up with ~$40K after the attorney sucked out $100K of the settlement. He put his share in the bank and started to spend it when one day the IRS had seized it for back taxes and penalties owed on a non-payment of tax in the 1980's.

The IRS will hunt you down if you owe them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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Reminds me of a month ago at the car rental counter at the San Jose airport. A foreign visitor had damaged one of their cars. She was trying to convince them to let her buy the collision damage wavier now, after the accident, and have it cover the accident. She tried to approach that same idea from about 10 different directions, but the rental car rep wasn't going for it.

BIL has created the life he wanted. Let him live it. Maybe Uncle Sam is not all that bad after all.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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There's very little tough love or teaching moments you can apply to a 60 year old. It is what it is. While his life might not measure up to societal norms, he's lived his entire adult life this way, and is obviously adept at survival.

Short of him committing a criminal act, there's very little any entity is going to do to him. Creditors, IRS or otherwise, aren't interested in an unemployed 60 year old with a shack in the woods.

As for SS, there is a base amount that the government can't take. I think it's around $700 a month. I'm aware of this because I know a guy who ran up a big federal student loan debt, during an ill fated career change effort in his 50's. Now, it's coming out of his SS check, but they have to leave him with about $700. I think the IRS would would work the same way. If your BIL only has 10 years SS credits, his check would be in the $700 neighborhood anyway.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:14 AM   #6
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If he is not insured for social security and has limited assets, he will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income at age 65 and Medicaid. If he is totally disabled now, he would be eligible for it now. You can find out about it at The United States Social Security Administration.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:11 AM   #7
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I would not feel obligated to help him. He chose his path. Pretty sure if you give him money there will never be an end to it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:00 AM   #8
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BILs always seem to be cause for friction in families. Well, can't say I'm any different.

Anyway, this guy is 60 and has nothing. Lives in a shack in the woods, apparently hasn't paid any kind of tax for 30 years or so, probably doesn't have but less than 10 social security credits, and now he is crying poor and wants help.

What the heck? He won't take a job unless it is cash. Won't go to the food bank, etc.

I say we give him tough love. But he has a way of getting the family to feel sorry for him and they drop him a few benjamins. Come on, people!

I'm mostly just venting. But I do have a question. He doesn't want to be on any radar, apparently. But what if he did ask for govt. assistance? Would the IRS come after him? Would creditors suddenly show up? I say no. Seems like so many people are ready to help people like BIL, he should just swallow that pride and get some help.

Frankly though, not sure what he'll do without SS or Medicare...
I had a family member like that. No social security record or bank account, everything cash. It wasn't until he passed that everyone found out about this, and his wife was still working at age 70 as a result.

Your BIL is eligible for Medicaid, so he will have some health care. Perhaps food stamps. SSI is not likely if he didn't pay into SS. Not much else. Tough love doesn't work well for someone who made a choice and doesn't care for the consequences.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:17 AM   #9
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If he is not insured for social security and has limited assets, he will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income at age 65 and Medicaid. If he is totally disabled now, he would be eligible for it now. You can find out about it at The United States Social Security Administration.
I wasn't sure that was the case but it is a relief to me if it is. There are a fair number of people who never can work and generate SS credits - mentally ill or otherwise disabled come to mind. I assume it even applies to someone incarcerated from age 20 to age 65. I like the idea that we have a spartan safety net for them in their old age. So to the OP, if your spouse starts worrying or your BIL comes pestering, tell them all he has to do is hang in a few years and the largess of Uncle Sam will give him enough Benjamins to remain in his shack.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:28 AM   #10
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If he is not insured for social security and has limited assets, he will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income at age 65 and Medicaid. If he is totally disabled now, he would be eligible for it now. You can find out about it at The United States Social Security Administration.
Dreamer: THANK YOU. I need to show the DW (and her siblings) this so they can sleep at night. This is what I was looking for. I did some reading and it sounds like he'd qualify for this at 65.

I knew there were safety nets, but our families have never had anyone who didn't at least have SS income. This is the answer. I forgot about medicaid, but didn't even know about SSI.

Now, to get DW and siblings-in-laws to put some tough-love down on BIL. It may not even be too late for him to get enough SS credits.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:48 AM   #11
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You say he apparently hasn't paid any kind of tax for 30 years or so. Do you know if he actually owes any? Is there a reason to believe that his "reappearance" would cause Uncle Sam to come after him?
He's been working, but mostly cash-basis. We have no idea how many jobs reported taxes and how many didn't. We know for sure there was a lot of cash-only jobs through the years.

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I knew a guy kind of like this. He had not worked for a few decades (lost business in 1980's) and subsisting on handouts, free food, etc. ... He put his share in the bank and started to spend it when one day the IRS had seized it for back taxes and penalties owed on a non-payment of tax in the 1980's.

The IRS will hunt you down if you owe them.
This is BIL. Always lived in someone's room, had cash jobs, etc. We've gotten some mysterious calls that we suspect were collectors looking for BIL. I can only image that the IRS is also on the list. Right now, BIL has nothing. But if he ever gets any? Well...

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There's very little tough love or teaching moments you can apply to a 60 year old. It is what it is.
Right. Been tried before. We just don't want BIL continually begging to us until he is 90.

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I would not feel obligated to help him. He chose his path. Pretty sure if you give him money there will never be an end to it.
Already there.

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I wasn't sure that was the case but it is a relief to me if it is. So to the OP, if your spouse starts worrying or your BIL comes pestering, tell them all he has to do is hang in a few years and the largess of Uncle Sam will give him enough Benjamins to remain in his shack.
Yep. I keep hearing about "safety nets" and "entitlements" that we are paying for, but frankly never had to learn about them.

BIL's going to have to suck in his pride and start signing up for these programs. He's past worrying about the IRS or collectors. He has ZERO now, so he has nothing to lose.

Finally, he has no criminal warrants or anything like that against him. So, no problems there. Although in my mind (he is not my family), some of his actions are "criminal", just not in the legal sense, I guess.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:55 AM   #12
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He's been working, but mostly cash-basis. We have no idea how many jobs reported taxes and how many didn't. We know for sure there was a lot of cash-only jobs through the years.
It's easy enough to request a statement from the SSA. You can see exactly how much hey have recorded over his working life. my Social Security? Sign In Or Create an Account
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:04 AM   #13
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It's easy enough to request a statement from the SSA. You can see exactly how much hey have recorded over his working life. my Social Security? Sign In Or Create an Account
I'm sure HE knows. WE just don't know.

Part of the problem here is that my darling-in-laws are not having a TOUGH, STRAIGHT talk with their brother. They need to sit down and ask him what's what and offer suggestions, instead of buying his begging white lies and constant crises.

From context, we've figured out he's been dealing with cash-only for uncounted years.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:47 AM   #14
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If any of his cash only employers filed 1099 MISC forms, the IRS will indeed have a record of what he owes in self employment tax as well as income tax.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #15
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Alas, I have a similar experience. BIL has always refused any help except for frequent requests for "loans" from relatives that he has only rarely made any payments on (none in the last ten years or so). He actually operates a very small, mostly cash, business, which is mortgaged way over his head, and receives a small SS stipend. He essentially lives hand to mouth, at the very ragged edge.

We finally sat him down a few years ago and laid out the law to him. We would provide generous help if he would agree to a few conditions that would get him in the black and provide a somewhat decent lifestyle for him.

He flatly refused any conditions at all, because he knew far more about his business than anyone else, and he had no interest in surrendering even the tiniest bit of control over his life.

We sadly walked away, leaving him with the promise that if he ever changed his mind, we would be available. Haven't heard any more from him since that time, although we discreetly check on him from time to time to make sure he is still surviving.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:32 AM   #16
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. But I do have a question. He doesn't want to be on any radar, apparently. But what if he did ask for govt. assistance? Would the IRS come after him?.
Maybe he is hiding from the law.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:36 AM   #17
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Maybe he is hiding from the law.
oops sorry didn't see you addressed that already.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #18
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Yep. I keep hearing about "safety nets" and "entitlements" that we are paying for, but frankly never had to learn about them.
And don't forget that "we" includes "you". You've probably been paying taxes for many years to support these programs. You might not have liked the idea and you surely didn't have any input into their screening criteria for applicants, but you've been paying. So it's entirely proper for you (and your spouse) to expect your BIL to take advantage of what you've already paid for prior to giving him more money.

Regarding SS credits: BIL might see paying into SS as wasting money, but at his (official) income level and age any credits he earns and money he puts in now will be returned to him in very short order via SS payments. I, as a taxpayer and future SS recipient, am virtually certain he'll be (illegally) milking the system and taking advantage of me and everyone else by avoiding his earlier SS payments and now paying in a limited amount at this very late stage in order to get the big payoff, but that's what will happen.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:12 PM   #19
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My input would be to get all, and I mean ALL, relatives to agree to stop delivering Benjamins and give him a nice size bag of groceries instead. Create a family food bank.
That way nobody feels guilty and you know he is able to eat.
Plus, the money borrowing train will come to a screeching halt if there is a unified front as far as not giving out money goes.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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BIL's going to have to suck in his pride
What pride?
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