Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
When Adult Kids Have To Deal With Parents Bad Choices
Old 10-14-2018, 08:58 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Golden sunsets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,068
When Adult Kids Have To Deal With Parents Bad Choices

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/10/...s-bad-choices/

I thought this was an interesting story. The article chronicles a couple's ethical dilemma after inadvertently finding out that parents who they have helped financially, are squandering some of their limited resources. I think the need to stage some sort of intervention outweighs the ethics of having obtained the information inadvertently. Thoughts?
__________________

__________________
"Luck favors the prepared mind"
Pasteur
Golden sunsets is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-14-2018, 10:58 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 810
Interesting dilemma, thanks for posting!

The best answer I could come up with (and I'd hate to have to do it!) would be to ask the parents to review their finances with you when they ask for money. Presumably that would lead to the question of "where did this $xxx go?"

Somehow I doubt it would be that simple.
__________________

CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 11:10 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fedup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 4,032
Maybe it’s a form of entertainment for them. It says hundred of dollars, $200, $500, $900, how much really. It’s it’s $200 than it’s not so bad, but more than that. Who knows.
Fedup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 200
I'm in a very similar boat now.
83yr old Dad (widower) shovels $1400/month (that I know of, I'm joint on his checking but not on his credit cards or how he spends cash) to various "charities".
The word "charities" are in quotes because when I research them they are usually a lot more hype than charity. One of the "charities" published in their annual report that they loaned the founder over a $1M so he could buy rental property and the "charity" is holding over $3M in physical gold... When I gave dad the background on a "charity", he calls them and asks them if they are a scam... they of course say "no" and he takes them at their word ("Christians don't lie").



Dad has income. Its his money. He can spend it how he wants. He's my dad and I'd be happy to help him save a buck. Except.
  • He won't spend $50 on a house keeper come in and clean his trailer once in awhile... instead he expects me to do it for free.
  • He wants to drop his LTC insurance because "it's too expensive" (1/3 of his "charities").
  • He forgets to close his freezer door, the food inside has obviously gone bad (gray ham anybody?), but he won't throw it out because its too expensive (its not even that many pounds of food).
  • He expects me to make various repairs for free.
  • and a long list of similar examples.
In the last year I've helped him save over 20K in big ticket expenses by stepping in to get additional estimates (new HVAC, etc). But it seems such a waste of my time to help him save $10 so he can burn $1400 a month.
Spock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 11:42 AM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Treasure Coast
Posts: 460
We are in kind of a similar situation, without the inadvertent discovery and before needing to help financially. My wife's parents have a history of wasteful spending (hanging onto and actually buying more real estate even though not needed, paying for storage for junk that should be trashed, spending on clubs they do not use, etc.). I told her a number of years ago that we would not help them financially if they run out of money. Now only the MIL is alive and has about three years of funds left (24/7 in-home care is running through the money pretty quickly). She is in poor health, so probably won't last that long, but if she runs out I'm sticking to my guns.
45th Birthday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:07 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 1,856
+1, 45th
My mom needed 24 hr care, and was paying out of her savings. She had some stock that was promised to my nieces, who are both well off.
I told my sis that I would help financially after the stocks are sold. I would not subsidize my nieces.
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 50/45/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:23 PM   #7
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9,748
My best friend is in this situation - she has been supplementing her parents living expenses for years because they a) cashed out pensions a long time ago and spent the money, b) blew through any savings they once had, c) make craptastic spending choices. (The last one might be due to early stages of dementia.) They have very limited income and no savings. After more than 2 years of supplementing them with over $1k/month (which cut her discretionary spending to zero), she insisted on restructuring their life.... Moved them to a cheaper place, made them sell their car and replaced it with a low cost senior transport service, and took away all but one credit card. But her mom still impulse buys... It's a very frustrating situation for her. But at least with the restructuring she's not hemorrhaging as much money....

I feel lucky (?) that my parents died when they were still of sound mind and financially ok. My MIL has dementia - but is still financially ok. My best friend's parents aren't financially ok, nor of sound mind.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:24 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,928
I found out that money we had been giving to elderly relatives to help pay for groceries and utilities was instead being passed along to a spendthrift adult child of theirs for optional home improvements. I have a few more stories but with the same outcomes. It is not easy to help relatives who are bad with money because even paying bills like utilities directly just frees up money else where for poor spending choices.
__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:27 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,344
Rodi, your friend should put them on a waiting list for low income senior housing. Then they will only pay 30% of their income for rent.
Teacher Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:33 PM   #10
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 9,748
Teacher Terry - thanks. They are sort of getting low income housing of a homemade kind. My BFF's husband bought a small house and charges them low rent. He's getting the mortgage covered and real estate appreciation over time, she gets out of spending so much money. When the parents no longer need the house, he'll rent it to college students, since they live in a college town. win-win-win.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:06 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,257
I have been helping my mom with her housing costs for a few years (her HOA fees had gone through the roof and she claimed that she could not afford them anymore, so I stepped in). But I later found out (through my sister, who lives nearby) that she was still squandering a lot of money on online shopping sprees. Mom recently approached me for a "raise" because she will soon discontinue her part-time activity due to age. But I declined. Now she will have to make difficult decisions (like moving to a more affordable place). It makes me sad, but I am not a pension fund. And she has to take responsibility for her mistakes (she always knew that she would have to stop working one day but she never planned for it).
__________________
44 years old. Exited the job market in 2010 (age 36). Have lived solely off my investments since 2015 (age 41).
Current AA: real estate 30% / cash 70%
Current WR: ~1.5%
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:08 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fedup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 4,032
This is one of the many reasons why I want to delay SS till 70. If I’m not of sound mind, somebody is going to rip me off somehow, at least I have my SS to live on.
Fedup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:14 PM   #13
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,870
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
c) make craptastic spending choices. (The last one might be due to early stages of dementia.)
I think this is an important point. The behavior of squandering needs to be examined as it may have another cause. Either dementia, or depression, or loneliness, anything. Especially if it looks like compulsive type of spending, or it's something out of character.

My parents planned well, and if anything, my sister and I try to talk them into blowing a bit more dough.
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:18 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fedup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 4,032
My cousin’s husband who is 84, spent a lot of money he didn’t have on gambling. Probably borrowing or something. It’s how he coped with the loss of his wife, the love of his life. We only heard about it because his son and my nephew are best buddies from their college years.

He was never a gambler before her death. That’s why it’s a surprise.
Fedup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:24 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10,761
Similar situation here, but to a lesser extent. Siblings contribute to MIL who insists on giving to charities and political causes (that some of us don't support) as well as giving to ne'er do well daughter. It is tolerable, but I resent it. MIL is now in early stages of dementia, so not sure if she is actually writing the checks.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:25 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,315
Social safety nets (SSI / SNAP / Sec 8. housing / Medicaid Nursing LTC) exist for these situations when seniors exhaust their resources. We don't typically turn them into beggars on the street in this country.

It just may be a rude awaking for the "spend free" parents when they encounter their new normal.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. You can't live your parents life for them.

-gauss
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:27 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden sunsets View Post
https://www.pressherald.com/2018/10/...s-bad-choices/

I thought this was an interesting story. The article chronicles a couple's ethical dilemma after inadvertently finding out that parents who they have helped financially, are squandering some of their limited resources. I think the need to stage some sort of intervention outweighs the ethics of having obtained the information inadvertently. Thoughts?
Golden, It wasn't "inadvertent", the son in law used the passwords they copied to log into the in-laws checking account so it wasn't "accidental".
The article says that they've been giving the wife's parents money over the years for emergencies. Maybe once or twice is okay to give money but if it's been on going I would think they should have talked to the parents about their finances.
splitwdw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:39 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Golden sunsets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitwdw View Post
Golden, It wasn't "inadvertent", the son in law used the passwords they copied to log into the in-laws checking account so it wasn't "accidental".
The article says that they've been giving the wife's parents money over the years for emergencies. Maybe once or twice is okay to give money but if it's been on going I would think they should have talked to the parents about their finances.
I guess you're right. Snapping pics of the scraps of paper makes sense, but something "made them look". I guess they must have suspected. At any rate, Michelle Singletary seemed to want to bend over backwards to address the ethical point. I would not have been too troubled to look, although I would have preferred that it was the Daughter who looked, rather than the SIL.

My Mom began exhibiting signs of dementia a couple of years ago and I am an only child. I swooped in and took over everything. Her issue though was not gambling. She had become a target of a phony lottery winning scam. I detailed that situation on this forum at the time. She was getting multiple calls daily and I could not convince her to screen her calls, or just hang up. She would talk to the guy every time. There was this teeny tiny hope in her mind I'm sure that she had actually won these ever growing large sums of money. This went on for months. Fast forward 2 years later and my Mom now 93 and a half has full blown dementia, virtually no short term memory and is in an Assisted Living Facility. I was lucky in that she never followed the caller's instructions, which probably involved buying cash cards or some other scam to get her money.

In any event, the article that I posted reminded me of what happens when our parents age. Cat's cradle - the child becomes the parent.
__________________
"Luck favors the prepared mind"
Pasteur
Golden sunsets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:42 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fedup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 4,032
This is why I told my husband to never answer any phone call or door bells, once the habit is ingrained, he will not likely to do that when he gets older.
Fedup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:42 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 19,838
We had an experience with DHs stepdad who married DHs mom after . After DH’s mom dies, DHs stepdad pretty much blew through his not inconsiderable inheritance, quite a bit of it on crazy investment schemes. DH was furious because we’d continued to send him a monthly amount we had set up shortly after retiring, while DH’s mom was still alive, and before he received an inheritance from his Dad. DH felt like we’d just been enabling this poor money management. He never liked his stepdad, so that was part of it.
__________________

__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adult Child is Hoarder in Parents' House LauAnn Other topics 31 11-24-2012 09:35 PM
7 bad financial choices from 'Breaking Bad' mickeyd Other topics 3 07-30-2012 09:29 AM
how to be good parents to adult kids bright eyed Other topics 22 02-20-2007 12:21 PM
Fair warning for parents, or parents to be... cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 4 02-20-2006 08:46 PM
Best of bad choices laurence FIRE and Money 17 05-17-2005 10:16 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:07 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.