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Old 01-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #21
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My best friend since high school, is my age (53) and is a truck driver. He & his wife have a good bit of debt, because they've always lived above their means, meaning using credit to take nice vacations and buy things they couldn't really afford.

They have no savings, no pensions, and will be living on Social Security only when they get to that point. I've been trying to help him get a federal job, for the medical insurance, but that's not easy to do, and I'm not in any kind of position to really help him, other than spot possible jobs for him & help him with his resume.

I don't know what's going to happen to him, his health's becoming a concern and I'll be surprised if he is able to keep working more than a few more years, most likely will end up on some kind of disability.

We always talked about the things we'd do, trips we'd take when we got to be old retired buds. Our wives get along well & I figured we'd do stuff together, take some trips etc. But....the reality is we're preparing for retirement & they will never really retire...except for SS, and I don't see them going on too many cruises or big-time vacations on SS.

I expect I'll be picking up the check most of the time when we go out to dinner together.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #22
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This issue resonates with me, too. My difficult situations do not involve friends, as I have always chosen my friends for their character and, to me, solid character definitely includes financial responsibility. We don't choose family, however, other than spouse and, arguably, descendants. I have five siblings still alive (one died), four of whom are financially irresponsible. They learned this from their mother, who is an "enabler" par excellence and is, individually, the most irresponsible of all. It is sad but true that my personal net worth is at least treble the net worth of all five of them, taken together.

The consequence of their decisions to live irresponsible lives has been a very high degree of estrangement. The specific causes of the estrangement are two: (1) actual requests for money, which I have come to refuse due to bad experiences early on; and (2) anticipated requests for money, which I simply don't want to hear. I find that the second is more upsetting than the first, and this has caused me to cut off contact for the most part. I wish I could figure out how to manage this better, but I can't. Who wants to socialize with a Financial Pig Pen? Not I.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:42 PM   #23
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A footnote to my last post: When I say "requests for money," I'm not talking about "supper" money or "the rent," although those requests would upset me, too. I'm talking for the most part about outrageous requests, such as the one my oldest sister made last year: "Please pay $50,000 so my youngest son can attend boarding school for a year in order to try to qualify for admission to a better college," she "asked." I was aghast. I replied that I had enrolled my own children in public schools for the entirety of their elementary and secondary education, as she well knew, and that, if I had decided not to send my own children to boarding school, why would I do it for a child of hers? We haven't spoken since.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:50 PM   #24
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Having seen the very ugly side of having relatives turn to other relatives for financial support within my own family, I can sympathise but have to suggest that whatever you do, don't let your sympathy lead you to a position where you get dragged down with them - either financially or emotionally.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:53 PM   #25
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A footnote to my footnote: The same sister is married to a man who, a year earlier still, came to see me in my club (I payed for dinner, of course), and, over dinner, asked me for money to finance a company that he had started "because he couldn't stand wearing a tie any more." He said this to me while I was wearing a tie! His company had been a complete flop, and apparently he felt I was stupid enough to bail him out. Because of another failed venture ten years earlier, he and my sister had declared bankruptcy, but he didn't want to talk about that, of course.

So, at the time of my sister's request for $50K of "boarding school money" (see above), her husband was voluntarily unemployed -- the "tie" thing, you know. And yet these people actually had the gall to come to me for that money. By the way, the kid wound up going to a very mediocre but expensive college for which he has borrowed an amount of money that he will probably never be able to repay. Just like his brothers and sister. And like his bankrupt mother, in fact.

As you can tell, it gets me steamed just recalling these events. Sadly, there are many others like them. (These are simply the most recent ones.) I'VE FOUND THAT SOME PEOPLE NEVER LEARN. Even "Suze" can't help them. I have found that such people are best avoided.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:55 PM   #26
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A footnote to my last post: When I say "requests for money," I'm not talking about "supper" money or "the rent," although those requests would upset me, too. I'm talking for the most part about outrageous requests, such as the one my oldest sister made last year: "Please pay $50,000 so my youngest son can attend boarding school for a year in order to try to qualify for admission to a better college," she "asked." I was aghast. I replied that I had enrolled my own children in public schools for the entirety of their elementary and secondary education, as she well knew, and that, if I had decided not to send my own children to boarding school, why would I do it for a child of hers? We haven't spoken since.
That story takes the prize!
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #27
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A footnote to my last post: When I say "requests for money," I'm not talking about "supper" money or "the rent," although those requests would upset me, too. I'm talking for the most part about outrageous requests, such as the one my oldest sister made last year: "Please pay $50,000 so my youngest son can attend boarding school for a year in order to try to qualify for admission to a better college," she "asked." I was aghast. I replied that I had enrolled my own children in public schools for the entirety of their elementary and secondary education, as she well knew, and that, if I had decided not to send my own children to boarding school, why would I do it for a child of hers? We haven't spoken since.
And if you had said "yes", no doubt you would have received requests to fund the college education as well.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:58 PM   #28
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Having seen the very ugly side of having relatives turn to other relatives for financial support within my own family, I can sympathise but have to suggest that whatever you do, don't let your sympathy lead you to a position where you get dragged down with them - either financially or emotionally.
Thanks for understanding. I keep my distance for the sake of my financial and emotional health.

I wonder sometimes whether self-inflicted hard-up types realize how they have made themselves persona non grata. I don't think they do, for the most part. I think they tend to socialize with other people who make the same stupid decisions and behave the same way. They think the rest of us are strange. Sad, isn't it, how Financial Pig Pens drive away the kind they most need around them.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:04 PM   #29
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Thanks for understanding. I keep my distance for the sake of my financial and emotional health.

I wonder sometimes whether self-inflicted hard-up types realize how they have made themselves persona non grata. I don't think they do, for the most part. I think they tend to socialize with other people who make the same stupid decisions and behave the same way. They think the rest of us are strange. Sad, isn't it, how Financial Pig Pens drive away the kind they most need around them.
Quite possibly, but I'm reluctant to generalise - each of us is an individual and sometimes people do change for the better.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:15 PM   #30
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Quite possibly, but I'm reluctant to generalise - each of us is an individual and sometimes people do change for the better.
When I "see" "change for the better," I will reconsider my decision to keep my distance for my own financial and emotional health. Sadly, I don't expect to see it. Irresponsibile people who choose to surround themselves with other irresponsible people do not, in my experience, leave the ghettos that they have constructed for themselves.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #31
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.... Since we became FI, occasions arise where our well-off-edness becomes suddenly apparent. FAFSA is a land-mine that comes to mind.
How so, FAFSA?
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:29 PM   #32
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...snip ...
My brother and his wife have no savings and they are in their fifties, and my sister in law has never worked, so no social security for her. They were never big spenders. Actually quite frugal. My brother just never made a lot of money, so not much left to save. How scary is that?
But if your brother has met the minimum requirements for SS, then his wife would be entitled to close to half again as much as he is entitled to, if she claims against his record. So in effect, together they get 1.5 times his individual record. And if he dies first, she can then claim 100% of his record instead of the approx. half. That all assumes that they have been married long enough to meet the SS years requirement for married couples.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:33 PM   #33
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How so, FAFSA?
IIRC, you have to list your taxable assets above a certain amount. Large taxable assets = large expected "Family Contribution" $. Roughly speaking, the larger the expected "Family Contribution", the less likely any financial aid $ will come the way of your student.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:19 AM   #34
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I wonder sometimes whether self-inflicted hard-up types realize how they have made themselves persona non grata. I don't think they do, for the most part.
There is some estrangement in my family at my parents generation, between the siblings of that age. All the factions are more or less open to being friendly to the following generation, so my siblings and I have a front row seat to the rifts and points of view of both sides. For the most part the planners and savers think the others are irresponsible and have caused the distance by their poor decisions and occasional requests for unrealistic assistance. For the most part the nonsavers think they have had difficulties in life that were not their fault and blame the savers for the rifts because of their unwillingness to share the good fortune or even acknowledge the lucky advantages they benefited from. I suspect this is a common attitude in that each side believes they are in the right and the problems are the fault of the other. We haven't seen any obvious way to make peace after all the years and experiences that piled up.

We have started to see some of this developing in our generation, but with the glaring examples from our parents generation so obviously in front of us, we have been able to keep peace between the more well off and the less well off. Mostly. At least we've been able to keep our problems due to personalities and not economics, so far.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:54 AM   #35
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This issue resonates with me, too. My difficult situations do not involve friends, as I have always chosen my friends for their character and, to me, solid character definitely includes financial responsibility. We don't choose family, however, other than spouse and, arguably, descendants. I have five siblings still alive (one died), four of whom are financially irresponsible. They learned this from their mother, who is an "enabler" par excellence and is, individually, the most irresponsible of all. It is sad but true that my personal net worth is at least treble the net worth of all five of them, taken together.

The consequence of their decisions to live irresponsible lives has been a very high degree of estrangement. The specific causes of the estrangement are two: (1) actual requests for money, which I have come to refuse due to bad experiences early on; and (2) anticipated requests for money, which I simply don't want to hear. I find that the second is more upsetting than the first, and this has caused me to cut off contact for the most part. I wish I could figure out how to manage this better, but I can't. Who wants to socialize with a Financial Pig Pen? Not I.
Boy I'm glad you posted this. We are going through this with my recently divorced Daughter-in-law. She is 36 years old a former stay at home mom. GED only, no real skills. Marriage broke up in 2008 and this has to be one of the worse time for some one like that to try to find a job. The pattern has been hired to layoff in a matter of weeks. No savings and to proud to take government assistance. I think she is foolish to not avail herself of services she qualifies for. She would much rather depend on friends and family.

We have reached our limits of support and will be cutting her off since we will not put our situation at risk. This is killing hubby since his relationship with DD is strained and he would like it better. Even so he is Dad and would fall on his sword for his kids whether they appreciate or not. (They usually don't BTW.)

His brain knows what he should do but his heart wants to pull him in another direction and it is not easy watching this play out. Its that flesh and bone thing I guess. DD will be back with another tear jerking story and we are going to have to say no. We have already warned her that this will be our stand. You know how it is, they hear but then they don't hear. I know in the end he will protect us and not let his kid blow our life up. I love him and just wish I could make this easier for him. I have no children so can't feel this like he does. It sucks.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:11 AM   #36
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We all have 'em.... Friends and family that are spendthrifts or did not prepare (but earned enough to prepare).

I have not intention of bailing them out.... can't afford to do it.

I have gifted some family members money in the middle of a specific crisis. When I did it, I took the opportunity to make it clear... tactfully (not going to happen again).

But those gifts have been in the few thousand range. I would not do a major bailout of anyone....

IMO - the best approach is to stay off the money subject and if it comes up... change the subject or play dumb and advise then to see a financial/credit counselor.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:24 AM   #37
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It is a very difficult subject to broach with friends and relatives. Normally if they ask "what are you reading now, or what's new with you" I will throw in something about Otar or Joe D and offer books/videos. Maybe it's a cop out but I don't want to come off "preachy".

Right now I have neighbors, my age 50+, who have cars (primary transportation) sitting broken with no money to repair and AC not working (gets 100+ here in the summer) and again no $$$ for repairs.

Common thread - their "retirement plans" are almost 100% dependent on receiving an inheritance.

Scary and sad.

can't believe I forgot this: we do send money monthly to DMIL, since she can't pay her own living expenses
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:19 AM   #38
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I am surrounded by friends and acquaintances who live for the moment. It just boggles my mind that they buy all these toys on credit and do not save much, if any, of their paychecks.

As far as a bail out for friends, I learned my lesson several years ago. I only got stuck for $400, TG, but the Bank of Freebird is forever closed.

If I encountered a situation where someone got laid off unexpectedly and had trouble buying groceries, I would purchase a small size grocery store specific credit card and give it to them with no expectation of repayment.

If my situation comes up, and the word "lucky" pops up, I gently remind people that half of the reason I was able to FIRE is because I have a survivor pension. The other half was because of my own lifetime savings. That discussion quickly disappears.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:32 AM   #39
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Oldbabe, it sounds like your close friend may not become a significant financial or emotional drain on you since she is handling things OK and makes no demands. Maybe SS and a constrained lifestyle will enable her to survive. This is someone you really care for so why not try to let go of your concerns and just remain a friend. If things go downhill you can make clear early on that you are not a financial backstop. My SIL has a very close friend who is in bad shape like you describe (worse since she worked off the books and earned no SS). SIL has remained close to the friend but has also made clear that she can't afford to support her.

No question that this is a tough situation.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:55 AM   #40
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.......... For the most part the planners and savers think the others are irresponsible and have caused the distance by their poor decisions and occasional requests for unrealistic assistance. For the most part the nonsavers think they have had difficulties in life that were not their fault and blame the savers for the rifts because of their unwillingness to share the good fortune or even acknowledge the lucky advantages they benefited from......... .
+1 I have relatives whose idea of thrift is growing their own marijuana
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