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Old 04-13-2018, 08:51 AM   #61
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OP here, good idea for us to work on a our own plan if SIL does not find a job and refuses to cut expenses, becomes homeless, etc. DH (SIL's brother and only living relative) and I need to have a talk. I know what my plan would be but I am not sure it is the same plan as DH"s. I would not let SIL starve but I am sure not making lease payments on an expensive new car when we ourselves drive a 2006 car with 200,000 miles and live in a house not nearly as nice as the apartment SIL is renting.....
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:52 AM   #62
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There are so many dog lovers! The right roommate (advertise/interview, rinse/repeat) will adore the dog and probably want to help care for it, in addition to helping defray the costs of dog-friendly apartment.

But seriously, OP...are you working on your strategy/plan if she rejects every sensible suggestion because "I don't like it/too hard," and turns to you for help? That is probably where you need to be directing your mental energy.
+1 She knows she isn't in good financial shape, because she asked for your advice. But knowing and being willing to do the hard work is another thing. At some point you need to be willing to step back if she is just using you to vent or hoping you will feel sorry for her and help her out.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:56 AM   #63
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OP here, good idea for us to work on a our own plan if SIL does not find a job and refuses to cut expenses, becomes homeless, etc. DH (SIL's brother and only living relative) and I need to have a talk. I know what my plan would be but I am not sure it is the same plan as DH"s. I would not let SIL starve but I am sure not making lease payments on an expensive new car when we ourselves drive a 2006 car with 200,000 miles and live in a house not nearly as nice as the apartment SIL is renting.....
Remember everything you mention above is a willful choice by your SIL. We're not talking huge medical problem, house burning down, being unable to work.

Will she literally starve no, but if it comes to that it's because she blew thru a 100 grand and didn't get a job. Frankly I wouldn't give her anything once you open that door, it's really difficult to close it.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:12 AM   #64
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OP here... if SIL does not find a job and refuses to cut expenses, becomes homeless, etc. DH (SIL's brother and only living relative) and I need to have a talk.
I sense a recurring theme of reluctance on the part of DSIL to act on the advice she solicited. (If I'm misinterpreting this, then ignore the rest of my post.)

OP has suggested several options, but since the options involve making hard decisions, SIL isn't exactly chomping at the bit to adopt them.

I wonder if the difficulty might NOT be that the options are unpleasant, but rather that the suggestor of said options is too close to the situation.

How many times in our families and our careers have we seen solid ideas shot down because they were proposed by someone within the group? And then later on, the exact same idea coming from a hired outside consultant is welcomed warmly. (Grrr!)

Perhaps, when OP's patience is exhausted, she should consider engaging some third party to deliver the message:
  • The family attorney;
  • the branch manager from a local bank;
  • SIL's landlord;
  • a member of the clergy; or
  • your golfing buddy who happens to be a stockbroker.
Any of these folks might seem more "objective" and therefore more persuasive.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit. Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:18 AM   #65
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OP here, good idea for us to work on a our own plan if SIL does not find a job and refuses to cut expenses, becomes homeless, etc. DH (SIL's brother and only living relative) and I need to have a talk. I know what my plan would be but I am not sure it is the same plan as DH"s. I would not let SIL starve but I am sure not making lease payments on an expensive new car when we ourselves drive a 2006 car with 200,000 miles and live in a house not nearly as nice as the apartment SIL is renting.....

Sounds to me like she is dry begging right now.... hoping to get help from you when she hits the end... I have seen it before with one of my friends sisters.... she actually had jobs that paid well, but made very bad choices in men and spending.... was evicted many times, had cars repoed many times, but would never change her life... OH, also had two dogs that cost her a bunch of money and would not get rid of them...


Note to self.... if you are losing everything try not to spend the little you have on pets
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:26 AM   #66
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The bottom line is that some people never really learn some of the basic life lessons-financial and otherwise. Nor are they really open to change. More likely looking for a quick solution.

There will be no magic bullet for a challenge like this. The writing is on the wall. There are only two questions.

What are the chances that person will truly change their life long habits? Is the situation really past the point of no return given age, skills, and predisposition?

My SIL and BIL are in challenging financial situation in retirement. My spouse would probably like me to help them financially. I see no point because it would not result in a change to their spending habits or lifestyle-which is the crux of the problem. It would only delay the inevitable.

Besides, I am a strong believer our resources flowing directly down to our children and our grandchildren.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:51 AM   #67
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Sorry I haven't read all the responses..

Is it possible for SIL to collect off her ex-husband's SS, instead of her own? Or is that an option at some point in the future?
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:29 AM   #68
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OP here.....I would not let SIL starve but I am sure not making lease payments on an expensive new car when we ourselves drive a 2006 car with 200,000 miles and live in a house not nearly as nice as the apartment SIL is renting.....
Here's a somewhat out of the box possibility that would help SIL - for the short term - and help you and DH avoid any guilt feelings about not providing any additional help. Would you be interested in taking over the car lease? Depending on the terms, and of course your fit for that car, she'd be relieved of the payments and you'd get a replacement for your older car. Again, depending on the lease terms, you could then buy the car at end of the lease.
If this is viable, of course the agreement would come with the stipulation that you would not be giving any further financial assistance.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:34 AM   #69
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Sorry I haven't read all the responses..

Is it possible for SIL to collect off her ex-husband's SS, instead of her own? Or is that an option at some point in the future?


Ex is federal pension so no SS, but I wonder if the pension is subject to some type of spousal benefit which should have been settled with the divorce.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:09 PM   #70
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I sense a recurring theme of reluctance on the part of DSIL to act on the advice she solicited. (If I'm misinterpreting this, then ignore the rest of my post.)

OP has suggested several options, but since the options involve making hard decisions, SIL isn't exactly chomping at the bit to adopt them.

I wonder if the difficulty might NOT be that the options are unpleasant, but rather that the suggestor of said options is too close to the situation.

How many times in our families and our careers have we seen solid ideas shot down because they were proposed by someone within the group? And then later on, the exact same idea coming from a hired outside consultant is welcomed warmly. (Grrr!)

Perhaps, when OP's patience is exhausted, she should consider engaging some third party to deliver the message:
  • The family attorney;
  • the branch manager from a local bank;
  • SIL's landlord;
  • a member of the clergy; or
  • your golfing buddy who happens to be a stockbroker.
Any of these folks might seem more "objective" and therefore more persuasive.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit. Good luck!
OP here. These are good ideas. There is a person in the family (widow of DH's brother) who is still friendly with SIL who might be able to objectively talk to SIL
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:13 PM   #71
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Here's a somewhat out of the box possibility that would help SIL - for the short term - and help you and DH avoid any guilt feelings about not providing any additional help. Would you be interested in taking over the car lease? Depending on the terms, and of course your fir for that car, she'd be relieved of the payments and you'd get a replacement for your older car. Again, depending on the lease terms, you could then buy the car at end of the lease.
If this is viable, of course the agreement would come with the stipulation that you would not be giving any further financial assistance.
The car is a fancy BMW with a large lease payment. We are not interested. Our 2006 Lexus 330 is chugging along just fine (just put on new tires and brakes). Our mechanic says our Lexus should easily last to 300,000 miles and costs us very little.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:15 PM   #72
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Ex is federal pension so no SS, but I wonder if the pension is subject to some type of spousal benefit which should have been settled with the divorce.
OP here. I understand SIL gave up her rights to ex husband's pension as a part of the divorce settlement. SIL got all the proceeds from the sale of the house in exchange for giving up the pension. I don't know if that was a good deal or not , we weren't involved but SIL was represented by a lawyer.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:36 PM   #73
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OP here. I understand SIL gave up her rights to ex husband's pension as a part of the divorce settlement. SIL got all the proceeds from the sale of the house in exchange for giving up the pension. I don't know if that was a good deal or not , we weren't involved but SIL was represented by a lawyer.
This is the part that I've been struggling with while reading the posts. He is a federal employee with a pension. I can't imagine that the present value of that pension was in the same ballpark as the $100,000 of proceeds from the house. Something seems odd there...or that lawyer who represented her did her no favors.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:42 PM   #74
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OP here, I think SIL actually got around $200,000 from the sale of the house and only $100,000 is left after paying for "bills" and buying a bunch of stuff she really didn't need. I guess the divorce settlement is water under the bridge at this point. SIL thinks she got a good deal on the divorce settlement but who knows.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:43 PM   #75
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OP here. I understand SIL gave up her rights to ex husband's pension as a part of the divorce settlement. SIL got all the proceeds from the sale of the house in exchange for giving up the pension. I don't know if that was a good deal or not , we weren't involved but SIL was represented by a lawyer.
More than likely a horrible deal.... a gvmt pension is worth a LOT of money... and if she were married to him for a good number of years that adds up...
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:08 PM   #76
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More than likely a horrible deal.... a gvmt pension is worth a LOT of money... and if she were married to him for a good number of years that adds up...
+1
I'd take another look at that divorce agreement, it's very possible she does not accurately remember all 55 pages of the agreement in precise detail. Instead she focused on the $200K spending money.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:10 PM   #77
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Sounds to me like she is dry begging right now.... hoping to get help from you when she hits the end... I have seen it before with one of my friends sisters.... she actually had jobs that paid well, but made very bad choices in men and spending.... was evicted many times, had cars repoed many times, but would never change her life... OH, also had two dogs that cost her a bunch of money and would not get rid of them...


Note to self.... if you are losing everything try not to spend the little you have on pets
+1
from relatives actions..... And don't get more pets because you "need" something...
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:14 PM   #78
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She spends way over her means--expensive apartment, expensive leased car, expensive dog.
...
She is a sweet, nice person, she just doesn't seem to have a lot of common sense when it comes to finances.
So not likely to respond well to suggestions for getting back on track. I don't see this ending well at all.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:29 PM   #79
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Here is another possibility that I really didn't seem mentioned. Have the SIL move to a cheaper part of the country and purchase a small retirement home in cash with the $100K. She then will have her $1,300 SS income for everyday living.

Obviously this is a very tight budget but is feasible for a single person and she will not go hungry. If she wants some luxuries she will need to add a minimum wage Walmart job to the equation.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:31 PM   #80
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So not likely to respond well to suggestions for getting back on track. I don't see this ending well at all.
Agree, it will be hard giving up a fancy BMW. I'm surprised she qualified for the lease. Plus, once you are stuck with one of those, it's not easy to pass the lease back to the dealer without coughing up a lot of bucks.
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