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Old 01-31-2011, 03:59 PM   #61
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Here in Michigan we just freeze in a flock of geese and when they fly off they take the frozen lake with them. That is how Minnesota got so many of our lakes.
Canadian geese, of course.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:24 PM   #62
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Canadian geese, of course.
You keep'em, we want to get rid of noisy messy %#$$@%^'s
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:26 PM   #63
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I don't have many IRL friends and have cut off all contact with family' (to be fair, relatives have never asked me for money & sister did pay for when I watched her kids while she was on reserve duty & parents did pay me for when I watched Mother). I did borrow some money after college (mostly paid for by scholarships & loans). I recall sitting at the table in Gulf Shores AL in Feb '74, signing my name on traveler's checks until Mother said enough.

I give money to people, but have my own criteria.

Back in 1969 Father's Sister called & said Brother needs $800* ; Father's reply: "So do I"

*(to stay out of jail)
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:33 PM   #64
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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.
Don, thank you. I do want to remain friends with her since she is my only friend from childhood and she is a good person and excellent company. I feel that this friendship could become problematical but then again so are most relationships in one way or another. Don't we all know this by now?

I don't know whether it's reassuring or dismaying that so many of you have the same issues with friends and family.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:41 PM   #65
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Would you pay for the first friend to take a vacation with you? Would you pay for the home improvements of the second friend? If not then I'm not sure what their friendship has to offer.

You could try telling them that you worry about them, but I doubt they're worried enough on their own to change their ways.

The typical solution to this problem is a new set of friends. Unless you limit your involvement, they'll just make you more miserable as time goes on. At some point they may even limit their involvement with you...

I have several shipmates who show every sign of working until they die. As the years go by we have less and less to talk about, let alone in common. We trade e-mail and holiday letters but that's about it.

Nords... an interesting first question... I would not pay for someone's home improvement... but vacation

When I was single and made more money than a couple of friends... I offered to pay for the hotel and other costs that I would have to pay if I went alone... all they had to do was pay the variable costs.. first, I was planning to go there anyhow... so IMO I was not out any money.. and most of the time it is more enjoyable to be someplace with a friend.. one took advantage and the other did not... I do not feel slighted in the least... some people want things split 'evenly'... but I am OK with what I did...

Now that I have a family... I don't have any extra money floating around... so I don't even get to go on these trips anymore... just local ones... (sending a wife and two kids back to Europe and bringing a MIL over here once a year is kinda expensive)....
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:49 PM   #66
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Don, thank you. I do want to remain friends with her since she is my only friend from childhood and she is a good person and excellent company. I feel that this friendship could become problematical but then again so are most relationships in one way or another. Don't we all know this by now?

I don't know whether it's reassuring or dismaying that so many of you have the same issues with friends and family.
And I haven't even mentioned my wild older sister......sister dearest used to tap my mother for money. I was sending money to my Mom so she could treat herself to some nice things. The moment I found out , I switched over to sending gifts I bought myself, versus checks.

I look at it this way...if a person's money problems means their life will degrade to the choice of not eating or eating, I am there for almost anyone, BUT...only to provide food.
Any other self-inflicted money problems...go to the bank or a credit counselor.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:01 PM   #67
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My first line of defense against "needy" friends and relatives is to maintain an understated lifestyle. Ya know, you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.

When we do buy something nice like a new TV and get asked how we can afford it with me being "unemployed" and all, we simply reply that we bought it on credit. It's true. We paid the TV with a credit card. They don't have to know that we will pay it off at the end of the month and that we used the credit card for the extended warranty and the generous cash back rebate.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:22 PM   #68
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I have both friends and family members in this scenario: in their fifties or older, with $20 (not a typo, twenty dollars!) in their checking account, no savings, no investments in any taxable, or tax-deferred accounts (i.e., $0 in 401K), and no pension. They plan to live on SS when the time comes. I still value their friendship but avoid talking about finances, economy, or any fun projects where money is required. I invite them over for dinner, or I bring my dog to see them, we take walks---something fun that costs little or nothing. I am concerned about them but I do not feel responsible for them if they should become destitute because they have been spendthrifts all their lives while I have LBYM all along.
HEY... I got a post I can add my thoughts to... but they apply to a lot of posts on this thread...

One of the problems with someone who does not plan ahead (like the $20 person)... is they do not have a clue of how much money you need in order to retire with enough income etc. to live... as an example... I think I will need in the neighborhood of $2 to $2.5 million...

Now, someone with $20 bucks (or even $1,000) in the bank thinks that someone with $100,000 is RICH.... heck, you don't need that $100,000 because you have shown that you can save and you can replace that $100,000 if you spent it on 'us'... or at least a part of it...

I have a lot of savings... but getting married with two kids have pushed back my retirement by 5 or so years... I do not want to push it back more by throwing money down the black hole that these type of people create... and the few that I know refuse (repeast REFUSE) to even take a look at where they spend all their money...
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #69
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Now, someone with $20 bucks (or even $1,000) in the bank thinks that someone with $100,000 is RICH.... heck, you don't need that $100,000 because you have shown that you can save and you can replace that $100,000 if you spent it on 'us'... or at least a part of it
usually these types have lots of debt to go along with no cash in the bank. If you try to help em' out and pay off their debts they'll be right back where they were in 2 years. they'll live well as long as someone will lend them money.

- Thanks for the help. Can you do it again !
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:32 PM   #70
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I've been fortunate that I haven't had this issue with family or friends, at least not yet.

I have had issues with co-workers though. It didn't take but a few bad experiences with co-workers to convince me I would not have those discussions with ANY co-worker again. Hearing 'I couldn't possibly spend less,' 'sure, it's easy for you [me] with all the money you make,' and watching them buy new cars, new TV's, fancy vacations, etc. every couple of years made it easy to refuse the discusssions.

I would love to help, but I can only be responsible for me...
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:36 PM   #71
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When we do buy something nice like a new TV and get asked how we can afford it with me being "unemployed" and all, we simply reply that we bought it on credit. It's true. We paid the TV with a credit card. They don't have to know that we will pay it off at the end of the month and that we used the credit card for the extended warranty and the generous cash back rebate.
Holy cow - maybe all the people I know who I think are living close to the edge are really FI, just covering it well, and shining me on?

If only......
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:36 PM   #72
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We also have friends and relatives that don't seem to plan at all. We also have many friends with trust funds (totally unfair, wah). I always think of ourselves as in the middle.
We have friends with great future pensions but current crummy jobs. We get up every day eager to open our business and assist others, but have no company pensions.
Have had some issues with the kids borrowing money and then being less than eager to pay it back.
The totally destitute seem to garner enough state and federal aid to manage, the truly wealthy seem not to worry and the "middle" small biz owners like us are really feeling the pressure.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:19 PM   #73
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I don't know how to deal with my friends. I have friends who didn't save for retirement who are one bad event away from destitution. One friend in particular barely keeps afloat with her employment but constantly needs cash infusions from relatives, has a stack of credit card bills, and always says she wants to go with me on this vacation or that trip even though she can't afford it. It's all wishful thinking. Boy, she wears me out just thinking about her.

Another friend has serious health problems but just cashed out a IRA to do house improvements, lives on credit cards, has no retirement savings, just a very small pension.

When I offer advice it is typically rejected for one reason or another, so I don't offer it anymore. I try to avoid any conversation that appears to lead in the direction of finances. But that causes some stress for me, as I have to monitor myself, avoid talking about certain things, etc.

Unfortunately, these are long time friends that I would have difficulty saying goodbye to. So, I guess I am just going to have to limit my involvement with them. It's sad. Does anyone else have this problem? And how do you deal with it? I can imagine that this sort of thing would be even more difficult with family members.
Yes, I have friends like this--unfortunately I think we all know someone who lived beyond their means without a thought to retirement. I sometimes feel almost guilty because my life seems so carefree by comparison. None of my friends have asked me for any type of assistance, but I know a couple of them will have to work until they die.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:43 AM   #74
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Some of my co-workers fall into the paycheck-to-paycheck category while spending on nice vacations, dining out several times a week, blowing a hundred bucks on hair care, getting manicures, pedicures, expensive clothes. These things are all fine if you can afford them, but in most cases, they really can't as they are not contributing toward their retirement beyond our mandatory pension contributions (9% with a match, and they complain how this pinches them). My friends, however, are more saving....have paid off homes (usually their "starter" home), drive what they can afford, shop at thrift stores, cook at home, garden, get a second job if they want some frills, contribute to an IRA. Some of them are in "bad" investments (as I am, too, to some extent but digging myself out) and in one case I have been talking to a friend about how she can do better with what she has and also supplied her with books to read.
I'm off the hook with the relatives, I believe, as I am probably the least well off financially. My LH's siblings are all physicians or tenured professors or business executives, and my only sister has long been married to a successful attorney (managing partner in a large firm) who is also a retired Navy captain. My son is similarly well-fixed.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:38 AM   #75
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All of us have friends and acquaintances who tell us we're so lucky. Maybe we were. We were lucky enough to save for the proverbial rainy day instead of buying a new car every other year. We were lucky enough to consistently fund our retirement nest egg instead of going on monthly shopping sprees. We were lucky enough to know if we didn't have the cash we didn't need the consumable. We were lucky enough to manage our daily finances to live within our means instead of spending just to spend.

Yes, we were, and still are, lucky. All of us have friends and family who bemoan the fact they're not able to retire as early as us or in comfort. We are the sum of our choices. The vast majority of the people on this board are savers and, in all probability, lived below their means in order to retire in comfort. We have earned this.

With rare exception, friends and family who ask for money are referred to the local banking institution. The rare exception is clearly defined up front as a gift or a loan. If a loan, all terms are agreed on prior to funds changing hands. If the terms are not met, cutoff is swift.

The flip side is we are generous when it comes to supporting the food bank programs in the area. We do it anonymously because there should never be any strings attached to feeding the people, primarily the elderly and children, who need the most help.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:55 AM   #76
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I can totally relate to most of the remarks on this thread. The one that ticks me off the most is the friends who are having trouble making payments on <whatever> but have the coolest electronic gadgets as soon as they come out. One of those friends with the coolest gadgets took out a 401K loan to fix the roof because they had no money to do it. I have a hard time feeling bad for them.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:05 AM   #77
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In a few words...

The Ant vs. Grasshopper Scenario.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:20 AM   #78
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As frequent world traverlers, many of you no doubt know that the US is an outlier in how little resposibility is assumed for other that one's own minor children. Elsewhere, especially in non-western cultures, family and community have much stronger moral claim on more successful members.

Ha
Yeah, that ER plan better include line items for sick buffaloes and a lot of tengo ques and necessitos if you want to be involved with a hottie from the developing world. First hand experience. Still, cheaper than a divorce in the US.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:38 AM   #79
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The Ant vs. Grasshopper Scenario.
Increasingly it feels like the trick to beat the system is to be an ant, but look like a grasshopper.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:59 AM   #80
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All of us have friends and acquaintances who tell us we're so lucky. Maybe we were. We were lucky enough to save for the proverbial rainy day instead of buying a new car every other year. We were lucky enough to consistently fund our retirement nest egg instead of going on monthly shopping sprees. We were lucky enough to know if we didn't have the cash we didn't need the consumable. We were lucky enough to manage our daily finances to live within our means instead of spending just to spend.
I often hear successful (and happy) people talk about their success, and mentioning how lucky they are. In reality, when folk talk about being lucky, they are talking about being aware enough to take advantage of some of the many opportunities that present themselves to us every day. Life is full of opportunities - all you have to do is be aware of them, reach out, and grab them as they pass you by.

You're right East Texas - you are lucky - lucky enough to have had the presence of mind to have acted on the opportunities that presented themselves to you, and now you are feeling the benefit from those decisions.
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