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Old 08-16-2016, 10:24 AM   #101
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Wow Lars, so sorry about these family circumstances. This young man has all the cards stacked against him. I hope he can have a good life.

I don't think a soul here would counsel tough love or not your problem in this case.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:29 AM   #102
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Love the passion of the thread despite the fact I am knee deep in it. As mentioned earlier, this is unfortunately not my first rodeo in one of these family crisis involving financial assistance. It's real easy to say what should be done when you are not in it, but when real relationships are involved, it's never black& white. I am absolutely against enabling and know what I want the mission to be of any $$ I contribute to the kiddy. There is a human side to all of this that involves compassion for our fellow man. Again, right there with everyone on enabling, but I would suggest compassion is part of the equation. Sometimes we provide charity in good faith that someone will see the light and change their ways, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I think what most of us take for granted on this site is most of us are wired naturally to be financially responsible, but it's clear there is a whole large population out there that is not and it doesn't make them bad, regardless how frustrated we get with them. I think there is definitely a place for tough love, but then there is also a place for compassionate charity and faith that people may see the light. i am sure we can all think of times we were given a second chance or someone bailed us out and we got our $hit together.
Yes and what one man sees as compassion, another might look at as enabling or just kicking the can down the road.There is no right answer. Any help financial or otherwise given out of love is always wonderful,but to some people long term thinking and big changes are beyond their scope. I hope you have a plan in place to protect yourself financially if they don't make the needed changes.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:36 AM   #103
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Wow Lars, so sorry about these family circumstances. This young man has all the cards stacked against him. I hope he can have a good life.

I don't think a soul here would counsel tough love or not your problem in this case.

Hoping the old adage "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" will apply.

Still, the kid has a tough road no matter help he gets, but the first good thing in his short life has happened to him (notwithstanding he doesn't yet, if ever, understand this) with his father finally gone. This was a man who purposely isolated son from rest of family in waning years (which to the day I die I will never understand).

My own father was orphaned. At 18, joined the paratroopers during WW II, got out, used GI bill to get an engineering degree and the rest is history. So it can be done...


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Old 08-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #104
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Lars: I hope you are able to help your nephew turn around his life. He has had a tough time of it.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:38 AM   #105
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You do what you want and you can. I promised my wife on her death bed that I would help her sister (the smack junkie) as needed and I did. Haven't heard from her in a while. Dunno.

Would I have helped a stranger that ruined their life with drugs? No. But she was my sister in law and I loved and promised my wife.

There ya go -
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:56 AM   #106
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I am with skipro33. BTW what is the 33 for?
It's actually Ski Pro 33. I was a ski instructor. They called us ski pros back then, just like a golf instructor is called a Golf Pro. 33 was my locker #.

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I am so sick of hearing "that is what families do". Of course, parents raise children, but just because someone is related to me does not imply a higher duty to them as adults than any other adult who may be in bad shape.
I was watching Last Man Standing, a TV show starring Tim Allen. In this scene, the adult daughter living with them while in college asks Dad for some money. He tells her to get it the same as anyone else. She replies, "wait! are we BROKE??!!" to which Dad replies, "No, me and your mother are doing quite well actually." You, however, need to get a job."

I LOVE this show! Best one-liners and no dirty talk either.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:33 PM   #107
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I LOVE this show! Best one-liners and no dirty talk either.
Last Man Standing is one of DW (and my) favorite shows now!
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:44 PM   #108
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The truly amazing thing about this thread is how many of us (nearly all) have had to confront similar family issues. ...
Yep, I thought I was alone...

Have a Sister barely was making it on some disability pensions, so I'd help out about $100/mo. Then she gets $50K inheritance, so I help her put it in a CD ladder to earn her interest at good rates back then.

Well in 4 yrs she spent it all and then got a credit card to max out, all without telling me.
When I asked her why she spent it all she said "because it was so easy".

For some people holding money is like holding water in their hands.

I have told her, my retirement savings plan didn't include her, and I don't get any pension.

Emotionally it's very difficult, but sometimes I think she is manipulative enough to know this and uses the "poor me", "It's an emergency", "what can I do" to simply get money.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:52 PM   #109
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My Father taught/told me a long time ago that:

"You can't help people that won't help themselves."

I'm a very compassionate, caring person. But in no way will I be taken advantage of. If someone is struggling and is busting it and doing everything possible to make their situation better, I'll jump right in next to them and help however I can.

Your BIL has not helped himself by making common sense decisions. They couldn't afford private school before the accident, sure as hell can't now.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:13 PM   #110
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Late to the thread but you have my sympathies... it is a very fine line between compassion and enabling... especially hard when it comes to families.

One thought is that the $$ should be attached to some credit counseling and other services by an independent third party to help your sister and BIL get their financial act together. The reality is that the family is going to need to make changes because of Dad's unfortunate accident and lack of disability insurance and that may mean sister working two jobs, kid going back to public schools, etc. I would find it very hard to agree to fund anything that I would not spend money on myself (like private school) other than to provide for a smooth transition.

I have recently done some volunteer work at a charity that caters to low income clientele. I have always found it disgusting the way many low income people do not save but at the same time waste money on things that we refuse to buy even though we can afford them (like premium cable TV packages, etc). I was chatting with the Executive Director and she explained that the culture of the poor inhibits them from saving... the culture is the what is yours is also family and friends and if you spend and don't save then you don't have to feel guilty when they ask you for money... you can tell them that you don't have anything to give.... and in order to not have anything you just spend foolishly.

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To get people to save, however, Brobeck first needed to know why they didn’t. So the C.F.A. enlisted John Caskey, a professor of economics at Swarthmore College, who arranged for anthropologists to conduct in-depth interviews in two low-income communities, one in urban San Jose, Calif., and one in rural Mississippi. “I had expected people would talk about the cost of not having a bank account or having a bad credit history,” Caskey said. “I thought they’d talk about financial inconvenience, but they instead talked about the stress.” In many cases, people didn’t save not because they actually couldn’t, Caskey discovered, but because they believed they couldn’t.

Part of that psychological barrier, Caskey found, was social pressure to not save; the minute people got a little surplus, friends and family would start asking for loans. ....
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/ma...ab.t.html?_r=0
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:24 AM   #111
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Hmm. That sounds rather sly, almost like having a plan, doesn't it?

Having been through some low-income times, myself, I would have thought the "driver" was more like "I want this source of pleasure; I have the money for it right now; the future is uncertain, and I'll never have much anyway, so why not have fun right now."

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L she explained that the culture of the poor inhibits them from saving... the culture is the what is yours is also family and friends and if you spend and don't save then you don't have to feel guilty when they ask you for money... you can tell them that you don't have anything to give.... and in order to not have anything you just spend foolishly.

l]
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:58 AM   #112
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Hmm. That sounds rather sly, almost like having a plan, doesn't it?



Having been through some low-income times, myself, I would have thought the "driver" was more like "I want this source of pleasure; I have the money for it right now; the future is uncertain, and I'll never have much anyway, so why not have fun right now."

I would've thought this as well: what's the point of saving if you can't ever get ahead...


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Old 08-17-2016, 09:04 AM   #113
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I would've thought this as well: what's the point of saving if you can't ever get ahead...
Catch 22 - you can't get ahead if you don't save.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:34 PM   #114
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....... I have always found it disgusting the way many low income people do not save but at the same time waste money on things that we refuse to buy even though we can afford them (like premium cable TV packages, etc). I was chatting with the Executive Director and she explained that the culture of the poor inhibits them from saving... the culture is the what is yours is also family and friends and if you spend and don't save then you don't have to feel guilty when they ask you for money... you can tell them that you don't have anything to give.... and in order to not have anything you just spend foolishly.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/ma...ab.t.html?_r=0
I can see that, and am glad I never fell in with those type of friends.

It's harder to see in a family where there is only 1 poor person , as none of the rest of the family would borrow from them, then this explanation starts to struggle.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:34 PM   #115
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Agree.
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:07 PM   #116
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What makes it worse is there are non adult kids (my nieces and nephews) involved that have been kept in the dark, been indulged most of their lives (never had a part time job) that are about to see their lives completely change (hopefully make them stronger in the long term). Also, while we as family provide a bridge for the next 12 - 18 months of up to $100K, its so clear how the movie ends here. We are providing a band aid to only see it get ripped off! The Family (at least we say this now) have said the financial aid will stop once recuperating period has ended. At that point, its their baby. We will see...

So sorry to hear about this family crisis.

I have a cousin who, as a single mom of four, was in a tragic accident 13 years ago. It was followed by a stroke, a traumatic brain injury, and she is now a paraplegic in a wheelchair.

The aftermath: my aunt and uncle (her mom and dad) were in their late 60's/early 70's at the time. Their daughter had been finishing an M.A. (in archeology), running up student debt, and was raising the kids on child support only. Her parents took her in for a year, took care of her, and finished raising her kids while she went to therapies (and eventually was placed in government housing for people with TBI). Fortunately, this is in NY State where the state provides many subsidies for such patients. She is on Medicaid and SSDI, has state-paid aides several hours a day, and receives therapy in a state-run program four days a week.

But it cost my aunt and uncle many good years of retirement to dig and find these services, let alone raise three teenagers and get them through high school. It was exhausting and affected their health....and my cousin's kids have (at best) fragmented relationships with her.

The situation created boundaries that only looked like a mirage. Fortunately, your extended family is able to help; but the best thing you could do is help the patient and his wife learn ways to pay their bills in the years ahead. My aunt and uncle could have been bankrupted; but fortunately the NY taxpayers stepped in to help. Still, it is hard for all of us to see my cousin in a small Section 8-type one bedroom apt. with aides who don't want to learn to cook. Her kids have had to make their way the best they could. None could go to college.

I was there visiting last weekend. My cousin's sister thinks they will soon have to find a nursing home. Thankfully, this sister tries to do as much footwork like this as possible, because her parents are now 81 and 85. And they will be on a very limited budget in their declining years.

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Old 08-17-2016, 04:16 PM   #117
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L

I have recently done some volunteer work at a charity that caters to low income clientele. I have always found it disgusting the way many low income people do not save but at the same time waste money on things that we refuse to buy even though we can afford them (like premium cable TV packages, etc). I was chatting with the Executive Director and she explained that the culture of the poor inhibits them from saving... the culture is the what is yours is also family and friends and if you spend and don't save then you don't have to feel guilty when they ask you for money... you can tell them that you don't have anything to give.... and in order to not have anything you just spend foolishly.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/ma...ab.t.html?_r=0
My family actually has a "lighter" side to this.

We have a cousin name "Nate", he is a world class "mooch" for the lack of a better word. To tell you how bad he is, we have a phone tree for dude. He only calls when he needs money, so who ever gets hit with the first call, then calls another cousin and so on and so on, to spread the word that "Nathan" is broke and on the prowl.

Anyhoo, my cousin Priscilla has come up with a solution that you mention, when Nate gets around to calling her she simply "out-brokes" him. She will pull out every sad story to one up him and tell him she's way too broke to help him.
Nathan: hey cous, could you help me out with a few hundred, my car just broke down
Priscilla: Darn it N, I would love to but my engine literally just fell out of my car, then the cops towed it because it broke down in a no park zone and I need 400 bucks to get it out of the pound.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:39 PM   #118
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my cousin Priscilla has come up with a solution that you mention, when Nate gets around to calling her she simply "out-brokes" him.
Is your family originally from Yorkshire, by any chance?
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Old 08-17-2016, 06:43 PM   #119
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Anyhoo, my cousin Priscilla has come up with a solution that you mention, when Nate gets around to calling her she simply "out-brokes" him. She will pull out every sad story to one up him and tell him she's way too broke to help him.
Nathan: hey cous, could you help me out with a few hundred, my car just broke down
Priscilla: Darn it N, I would love to but my engine literally just fell out of my car, then the cops towed it because it broke down in a no park zone and I need 400 bucks to get it out of the pound.

Sounds like this method has worked for your family. The only improvement I can think of would be for Priscilla to call Nate first, asking for a loan (Nate not being aware of the "tree" and that Priscilla had been tipped off.)

Nothing satisfies like turning the tables on a chronic mooch and watching him dodge calls for awhile.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:03 PM   #120
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Reading this thread makes me grateful I'm an only child with a thrifty mother. Now, as far as our three grown kids go, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. So far so good. One doing great, one on a fast track career, and the oldest a boomerang back at home. However he pays a reasonable rent and takes care of the place while DW and I are gone. For now it works.
Anyway my point is to make the best deal you can with the hand you're dealt.
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