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Old 05-29-2015, 12:58 PM   #101
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My parents owned their own business which had its ups and downs. Prior to my entry into college it was mostly downs. As a result it was always clear to me that I was going to be "on my own". I am 55 and was FI at 40 but still work. I own my own business which was more successful than my parents. However, I cannot say I love what I am doing and probably will retire within 1 year as soon as I put a transition in place. Because of some degree of success my kids do not need to be "on their own" and can truly do what they enjoy. My wife and I felt the need to let our kids know that in pursuing a career choice they should do what they love because if you do that you never work a day in your life. One is currently a senior in college and the other is entering college in the fall. When they started looking at schools we let them know in broad terms "where things stood" and that they have some leeway in choosing a career.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:11 PM   #102
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Great story, JoeWras! Things went similarly with my parents. Soon we'll start the process with our kids.
Thanks!

I deleted my story because I started crying. It was theraputic for me to write it down.

Let my summarize. I agree completely with MichaelB. It does not have to be an all or nothing.

For my mom and dad, they spent 25 years filling us in, a little at a time. It started with simply telling us where the Will was. (Worst case scenario should they both die.)

Then, over the years, as they needed more help, and knew that us kids were not crazy, they revealed a little bit more.

In the end, dad asked that I have POA and I was taking care of his finances. But it wasn't until the last few years that I "knew all". I didn't need to until then.

This was a period of trust building, and a real gift from mom and dad to us siblings. When mom and dad finally passed, the gift was a painless estate transition process.

There, I did it this time without crying and without the quotes.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #103
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Wow, and they're only in their late 50's? I hope they are not having serious health problems at such a young age.
Both are diabetic. Mom has hypertension and back issues due to a car accident. Dad has some heart issues. Given the good health insurance they have though, I reckon they can live fairly long lives with maintenance medication. However, my mom's the planner so I guess she just wanted me prepared in case something happens.

I guess part of that trust is because I live with my parents and pay half of the household expenses. We immigrated to the US when my parents were already 50 so they got a late start particularly considering they had to take minimum wage jobs in the beginning. Despite my mom's saving habits, they don't really have a lot saved (at least not enough to fund retirement). Thankfully, my mom can expect a COLAd pension with joint continuance and medical benefits from her job when she retires. Interestingly enough, since I got an early start, I'll probably retire just around 10 years after my mom does.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:07 PM   #104
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Joe that was honestly just beautiful.
You are a good son!
I work with many clients as they get older, and it is very gratifying when we learn there is competent help for them when they need it. We worry when there isn't someone like you to look out for them.
Again thank you for sharing.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:59 AM   #105
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Joe that was honestly just beautiful.
You are a good son!
I work with many clients as they get older, and it is very gratifying when we learn there is competent help for them when they need it. We worry when there isn't someone like you to look out for them.
Again thank you for sharing.
What is kind of weird about going through this with dad in depth over the last 5 years is it made me acutely aware of my own mortality. It isn't just the finances, it is the emotional connection.

One of the last things my dad said to us was something like, "I don't know what I would have done without you." (I'm starting to cry again...)

After he passed, and the dust settled, DW and I again started wondering what we'll do. We don't have kids to spill the financial beans to. But it isn't just finances... it is having someone there in the final stages of life.

There have been threads on this board that discuss what we kidless people can do. But none of the discussions have been very gratifying. Since dad passed, DW and I have refreshed all our estate documents. We also discussed a long term plan with the lawyer and literally will see him in 10 years to take a different, more complicated route.

But that's just mechanics.

The other thing we work on is keeping our connections with friends and family strong. I don't know where this will go, but it will be an adventure.
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:33 AM   #106
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Joe you aren't alone in your preparations and concerns. We have and continue to do the same with estate planning (I remember our first wills were so simple, back when I was about 25!) but I can only hope that we will have someone like you among our friends and family when help is eventually needed.
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Old 05-30-2015, 07:59 AM   #107
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My DS dated a girl whose mom ALWAYS talked about money. In front of her children, in front of her neighbors, to strangers at the grocery store.

DS knew we watched our finances very closely and thought that was because we were poor. One day he came home wondering how we were going to be able to retire.

That's when we had the talk. We didn't feel we needed to give amounts, but we explained why we thought a 15 yr mtg was good for us. How we take full advantage of 401k at work. Always save half of our raises. He was ready to hear this. The other two showed no interest in money management until they started working (babysitting, mowing lawns).
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:02 AM   #108
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What is kind of weird about going through this with dad in depth over the last 5 years is it made me acutely aware of my own mortality. It isn't just the finances, it is the emotional connection.
One of the last things my dad said to us was something like, "I don't know what I would have done without you." (I'm starting to cry again...)
Such an amazing, and joyful bond with your parent is one result, isn't it? And I too have similar thoughts of my own mortality as a result of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
After he passed, and the dust settled, DW and I again started wondering what we'll do. We don't have kids to spill the financial beans to. But it isn't just finances... it is having someone there in the final stages of life.

There have been threads on this board that discuss what we kidless people can do. But none of the discussions have been very gratifying. Since dad passed, DW and I have refreshed all our estate documents. We also discussed a long term plan with the lawyer and literally will see him in 10 years to take a different, more complicated route.

But that's just mechanics.

The other thing we work on is keeping our connections with friends and family strong. I don't know where this will go, but it will be an adventure.
We do have children, and dealing with my mother has deeply affected how I view and involve them in our own planning. Still, one thing I've concluded from this and many other threads is just having children is not an answer. If there is a process or approach, I think it starts from within each of us, we each enable this, and it depends on us understanding the need to do this and then how to go about it. Joe, should the situation arise, I have the feeling you'll have all the help you'll need.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #109
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The kids know what we're worth, more or less. They can look the house value up on Zillow so no mystery there. They see the FAFSA and rental lease agreement we co-signed. They are going to school and have plans for self supporting careers and aren't sitting around waiting for an inheritance.

One is going into the same field so we talk about salaries and career options frequently - worker bee vs manager, contractor vs. employee, different sub-specialties. I don't see a point in keeping either of them in the dark. I try to get them interested in investing so if something happens to us they don't just turn the estate over to some smaller scale Morgan Stanley adviser like this:

‘Morgan Stanley adviser slept with my husband, milked account for fees’ | New York Post

"The broker, Ami Forte, had a long affair with the married Roy Speer, who died in August 2012, according to Speer’s widow.

Forte, along with at least one other member of her investment team, made 12,000 unauthorized trades and pocketed $40 million in fees during the last five years of Speer’s life, his widow claimed to an industry regulator.

For much of the last five years of the affair, Speer used a wheelchair and was in a “significant diminished mental capacity,” the widow’s lawyers assert."
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:48 PM   #110
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Our child (son) knows where our assets are & how to access those when necessary. We haven't shared what those are and what our post-life plans for those are. We intend do that when we reach 70 - not too far off. We are in good health. We think basically that our finances are ours, but at that point we ought to have a backup in place.


We've always LBOM IMO. He & his family lead a relatively frugal, LBTM lifestyle also which I like to think rubbed off from us. Why children need to know parents' finances at an earlier age of the parents unless they extremely wealthy or penniless or in ill health - none of those apply - escapes me. If some like to do so, OK, but not necessary or even desirable as we see it.
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