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Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 04:57 PM   #1
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Help for my sister

My sister and brother -in-law have not prepared in any way, form, or fashion for retirement - much less early retirement. She is 55 and he is 61. They have a home (with a mortgage equal to its value) and two cars (with debts equal or more than their value). They have not saved anything and arent't planning to start. They both work, but she is a physical therapist tech and the physical part is starting to be too much for her.

I would like to try and help them with some kind of new plan or possible a book that would modify thier behavior.

Any advice or is it too late?
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: Help for my sister

What kind of work does he do? Pensions?
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:07 PM   #3
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Re: Help for my sister

He works (part time) as a chimical salesman and (part time) as a satelite tv installer.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Help for my sister

They have a plan...

and that plan is to call you up for money when they feel like they should stop working.

After all you have so much !

- good luck with this one.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:09 PM   #5
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Re: Help for my sister

Wow - My mind is boggled.

Have you ever asked them what they plan to live on? Or do they just plan on working until they die?

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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:14 PM   #6
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Re: Help for my sister

scubamonkey,

- What is their atttitude toward retirement/quitting work? (Do they love their present jobs and want to work as long as possible, or do they frequently talk about quittting work as soon as possible?)
- What is their present earning/spending situation? Do they earn just enough to get by, or do they spend a lot on what you (or they) consider luxuries?

If they aren't interested in looking ahead to a life without full-time work, then there may not be much you can (or should) do to "help" them. And, if you've managed to squirrel away some funds for your own retirement, you'll want to think carefully before discussing that fact with them.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:19 PM   #7
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Re: Help for my sister

Sheryl, I think you nailed it. They plan to work until they die or when they get a small inheritance and their government check.

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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: Help for my sister

There is no shortage of books to teach people how to live below their means or invest or . . . Do a search on the board and you will get lots of reccomendations and even book reviews.

But at this point, do you really think a book is likely to change their habits of several decades?

Good luck.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:37 PM   #9
 
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Re: Help for my sister

Have they asked you for help?

If not, I would not go there - they will only hate you for it!

If they have asked you for help, the first thing I would do is ask them if they are ready to do some serious downsizing to their lifestyle. If they're not, you're done.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 05:49 PM   #10
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Re: Help for my sister

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamonkey
Any advice or is it too late?
I think it's too late.* About the only thing they can do now is to begin living frugally to lessen the shock of a much smaller income that comes with the SS checks.

Zero networth at 55/61 is a little extreme.* May be they are not telling you everything.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 06:40 PM   #11
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Re: Help for my sister

Lots of Americans retire on Social Security alone--they'll have plenty of company. But they should both call every past employer to see if they might have left behind any 401k accounts or profit-sharing, or if they qualify for any pension. Sounds like they would not have paid attention to such things.

It seems a little late to develop resourcefulness, but people do make a few hundred extra per month from things like selling on eBay and part-time jobs. It's too bad they sacrificed their future to keep a couple of unaffordable cars in an unaffordable garage.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 08:36 PM   #12
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Re: Help for my sister

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamonkey
I would like to try and help them with some kind of new plan or possible a book that would modify thier behavior.
Any advice or is it too late?
They don't care what you'd like.

What do they want to do? It would seem that they've been doing it...

About the only solace one can take from this situation is the hope that they'll ask for help when they're ready to change (and only when they're ready to change).

In the meantime they're doing their best to make Social Security more stable for the rest of us.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 08:43 PM   #13
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Re: Help for my sister

Quote:
But they should both call every past employer to see if they might have left behind any 401k accounts or profit-sharing, or if they qualify for any pension.
If they find anything....I bet they will just spend it....
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 10:54 PM   #14
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Re: Help for my sister

I wrestled with this decision in 2004, and discussed it on this forum.* Here is an update:

Sister 1: Age 60, zero savings.* I got her into automatic investments with VG.* About 2 months later, she emailed me that she was going to stop the automatic investments and invest less.* I explained her situation with a little less sugar and showed her how she was wasting a lot of money.* At that point, and she got quite mad at me and didn't speak to me for months.*

But relations have normalized, she has continued to save, and plans to read YMOYL and Straight Talk on Investing.*

Bottom Line: It helped, and she has somewhat gotten the message.

Sister 2: Unknown savings, but all with high cost financial advisor and high load funds.* Bought her Brennan's Straight Talk on Investing and sent a few links showing the advantages of low cost investing.

Bottom Line: She says she read the book, but I don't think she made any changes.*

Sister 3: Has 89K of savings with a high-fee financial advisor.* Had a big talk with graphs and circles and arrows, and recommended Straight Talk.

Bottom Line: I think she got the message, but I don't think she's going to make any changes.

------------------

It's a risky thing to give this advice if it isn't asked for.* But if you're like me, you can't stand by and not try to expose them to something that may help them immensely.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-28-2006, 11:01 PM   #15
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Re: Help for my sister

These people are the majority. When they realize the problem, they'll go to the polls and vote for a "raise."
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-29-2006, 12:13 AM   #16
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Re: Help for my sister

Trombone...

I have a sister that also is in a too high plan at work... AIG is taking 1.25% on ALL accounts no matter what they are invested... I have tried a couple of times for her to move the money...

Her response was... well, I would have zero if it wasn't for the guy who came around and pestered me into starting to put money in the system... so, I know it is high fee, but I would have nothing for him... she does plan on moving the money, but has been slow in doing so...

Most people who are not savers and investors do not want to be reminded by YOU that they are not doing what they need to do to be able to retire... so, shut up unless asked by them...
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-29-2006, 08:09 AM   #17
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Re: Help for my sister

Thanks for your help. I believe you are all right, there is nothing I can do without them wanting me to help. They would be insulted if I suggested anything.

They have always teased me about being frugal and saving money like it was a negative thing to do. I suppose they will just have to keep on working.

Thanks again.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-29-2006, 09:41 AM   #18
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Re: Help for my sister

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamonkey
They have always teased me about being frugal and saving money like it was a negative thing to do. I suppose they will just have to keep on working.
I have to agree advice is almost never well received. And rarely if ever acted upon. So why do it ?

When I get the line - Why don't you spend more/Buy an expensive car like mine nonsense, I just ask what they think is actually gonna' happen to them. I then suggest that they either haven't thought their lifeplan through or that their plan is flawed. I then usually have to listen to a bunch of nonsense about why they had to spend all that money.

If they give me enough grief I suggest that they'll end up in a teardrop trailer out in the desert. That visual usually stops the banter.
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-29-2006, 10:37 AM   #19
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Re: Help for my sister

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
...Brennan's Straight Talk on Investing...
I had a relative that doesn't want any advice just yet, but is interested in getting some info via books.* She's working her way through Investing for Dummies.* Do you (or anyone else) have recommendations for book in addition to Straight Talk?

Samantha
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Re: Help for my sister
Old 08-29-2006, 10:42 AM   #20
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Re: Help for my sister

Quote:
I have to agree advice is almost never well received. And rarely if ever acted upon. So why do it ?
OTOH, sometimes people do see the light. *Many of us here may have changed because someone at some point talked about investing or LBYM. *Someone may not ask for advice simply because they are totally clueless.

Concerning people who don't move their money even when they realize they are paying high and unnecessary fees to a financial planner: I think that often they have formed a personal relationship with the planner, and although they don't admit it, they are too embarassed to move their money. *Instead they rationalize their choice.
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