Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Friends who didn't save . . .
Old 01-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Friends who didn't save . . .

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.
__________________

__________________
Zoocat 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 01-30-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
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.

I do have this problem and I have dealt with it by avoiding the subject . A close friend has gone bankrupt and her retirement plan is an inheritance from her parents who are alive and well and in their eighties. She still receives an allowance from her Dad. Another friend is constantly redecorating and only has minimal saved for retirement . I enjoy these people. When we are together we discuss everything but avoid financial discussions . It works !
__________________

__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:33 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Moemg, do you ever worry about what will happen to them? I mean serious destitution? Would you help them financially? Maybe I am too much of a worrier but I am very concerned about these friends of mine. I can envision a very impoverished future for them.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 942
There are many people in this situation, but having some savings and spending it on remodeling is more than foolish.

My mother only has social security and she is 91 now. I have provided for her for the last almost 30 years. What she would have done without my help I do not know. My sister has no savings and lives with her son and girlfriend with only social security.

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?

I often wonder what the percentages are of people who enter retirement age with little to no savings.

I often fear, I don't have enough, but I can't imagine not having anything.
__________________
modhatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
Moemg, do you ever worry about what will happen to them?

No , I think they are survivors and will do okay . They may end up living on a much smaller scale but I think they will not be destitute .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: a suburb somewhere
Posts: 54
We are starting to have a similar problem with family members. They are not spendthrifts like your friends but as we age we are diverging into different financial strata. Since we became FI, occasions arise where our well-off-edness becomes suddenly apparent. FAFSA is a land-mine that comes to mind.
__________________
flotsamandjetsam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by flotsamandjetsam View Post
Since we became FI, occasions arise where our well-off-edness becomes suddenly apparent. FAFSA is a land-mine that comes to mind.
What is FAFSA?

Also, I wonder if those of us who are financially ok in retirement (just ok not wealthy) will begin to feel isolated. Sometimes even now, because i only work part time, I get some flak , ie. jealous comments, not necessarily from friends, but even from strangers if the conversation happens to touch upon the fact that I work part time. Sometimes it's so annoying.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

People, like horses, will only do what they have a mind to do.
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: a suburb somewhere
Posts: 54
Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A more or less important aspect of sending a kid to college.
__________________
flotsamandjetsam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:53 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
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.
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
Moemg, do you ever worry about what will happen to them? I mean serious destitution? Would you help them financially? Maybe I am too much of a worrier but I am very concerned about these friends of mine. I can envision a very impoverished future for them.
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.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 05:59 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
Best reason for keeping Social Security around. Force people to "save" for retirement and make sure they have some type of minimal income when they can't work. Seems like many don't do it on their own.

Kind of like health insurance. We have plenty of guys begging for liver transplants now that the state has cut them out of the budget. Would have been nice to have them all insured before they needed it.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 06:04 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
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, that is why it is so sad, to lose touch with old friends because of this financial situation. Of course I would not take them on vacation or pay for home repairs. The thing is with friends that sometimes they are not perfect, or even close. My friends are not imposing on me. I am just concerned about them. Next time they bring up finances I will say I am concerned but leave it at that. Thanks for the input.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 06:16 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Major Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 3,129
You cannot change other people. They will only change if they want to change, but although money (or lack of ) can be a deciding factor in how much time you spend with your friends, consider the qualities their friendship brings to the table.

Most of my friends haven't saved in the way that I did, but I love what they bring into my life when I'm around them. One of my best friends spends money as fast as he makes it, but he is a very open and loving person. He acknowledges his lack of ability to manage money but has told me that he doesn't care. The great thing about him, and my other friends who are also like this, is that he would never blame me for not helping him out if he fell on hard times due to his own lack of planning. However, I have a feeling he will somehow do fine, as long as he can make it to SS-eligible age. He's a very social person who will be able to find someone to share expense with as he ages.

I don't have too much time for folks who fail to plan for themselves and expect others to help them when they fall, but I have plenty of time for anyone who takes responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
__________________
Major Tom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 06:28 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
I could not have said it better. Thank you Major Tom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
I don't have too much time for folks who fail to plan for themselves and expect others to help them when they fall, but I have plenty of time for anyone who tales responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I do have this problem and I have dealt with it by avoiding the subject .
Ditto!
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 06:34 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
Unfortunately, these are long time friends that I would have difficulty saying goodbye to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I do have this problem and I have dealt with it by avoiding the subject ... I enjoy these people. When we are together we discuss everything but avoid financial discussions . It works !
I have a long-time friend like that. I just do not talk about savings and retirement with him. However, he will do OK though, as he is good as what he does and makes good money. He will work until he croaks, and his employer is happy to keep him as long as they can.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 06:45 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
Quote:
Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
I could not have said it better. Thank you Major Tom.
+1

I have some friends and acquaintances who are like yours, Oldbabe. One of them spends money like water but earns a lot, too. I actually felt so uncomfortable socializing with her that we drifted apart. I could never match up.

Another has a modest income plus alimony and on one occasion ran into trouble when her ex did not pay his part of the child allowance on time. I helped her out with a loan. Later, when everything had settled down and the loan had been repaid, I saw her spending more than I believe she can afford. If she asks for help again, I will be referring her to her local financial institution.

So I guess these are not really strong friendships, at least to me.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 07:33 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 131
Hard as it is to live by this: some just like complaining and fixing their problems isn't as high a priority for them as it is to have the opportunity to complain about them. In particular, they put a lower priority on fixing their problem than you do on fixing their problem. It's not hard to see how this could be the case for money-related matters for anyone on this forum as e-r people place a high priority on monies and budgets.

It's the same situation for people who always crash their computers with viruses vs software geeks; dentists vs people who don't floss; and so on.

The best thing is just to avoid subjects where the conflict of interest is too great; if you got the social skills (I don't) just empathize with them but don't put too much energy into finding a solution as they don't care anyway.
__________________
FI@30, ERE@33.
jacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
mickeyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
Posts: 5,881
We have a family friend who is nearing retirement age, but advised us recently that she doubts that she can live on the "measly" pension that the school district has for her and she has never "gotten around to" cranking up a 403(b) or IRA. Sad situation. She then mentioned that the 10 trips that she took to Europe over the last 25 years were fun, but she wished she had the money back.

I mentioned something about delayed gratification and planning for the future rather than the present and she just sighed...
__________________
Part-Owner of Texas

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
mickeyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 08:10 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,182
I think the best you can do is express your concern, and be there if they want help putting together a plan, and don't be an enabler--e.g., don't go with them on vacations they can't afford.
__________________

__________________
RunningBum 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
how many friends do you have? Enuff2Eat FIRE and Money 33 05-14-2009 12:44 PM
Old Friends friar1610 Life after FIRE 17 08-19-2008 09:16 PM
FRIENDS LIPhotoMan Life after FIRE 23 03-20-2006 07:02 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:43 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.