Author Topic: Supporting your parents?  (Read 3454 times)

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Twik

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 05:21:57 PM »
I suppose it would depend a lot on what social services were available. No way would a parent of mine be rendered homeless, but I can see why people would not want to jeopardize their own savings for the future to keep parents in the "style to which they were accustomed".
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sparksals

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 05:27:27 PM »
Honestly, I would first ensure our own financial house is in order.  From your past posts,  it sounds like your family on both sides have a pattern of poor financial management.   Do you want your DD to feel she must support you in her adult years?   You can't support parents if you don't have your own finances in check.

camlan

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2013, 05:28:04 PM »
There are two of you, and one child and another child on the way, correct? And a total of three parents--two of his, one of yours?

One thing that both of you might find helpful is to sit down and do some math. What you need to save for  your own retirements. Your kids' college, if you plan to save any money for that. Will you continue to live where you are or do you have plans to buy a larger house at some point? In short, how much money you will need to earn to finance the lifestyle you would like to have.

Then work out approximately how many years the parents will continue to work, and estimate how much money it will take to support each of them once they stop working. Then work out how much money you will need to earn to accomplish all the goals you have for your own family, plus supporting three aging adults. How much would it cost today to buy a house that would fit you, your DH, two children and three parents? How much would the food cost? Medical bills?

Then go price nursing homes and assisted living facilities in your area.

The two of you, at some point, are going to have to make decisions about how much money you are willing to spend supporting aging parents, remembering that every dollar you spend on them is a dollar not being invested in your own retirement, not going to your children's college funds.

Are you both only children? I think it is somewhat unrealistic to expect two people to support three parents if all the parents have absolutely no retirement pensions/savings at all. Assist them, yes. Completely support them? That's another story.

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*inviteseller

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2013, 05:41:14 PM »
If my parents found themselves in dire financial straits due to medical issues or something out of their control, my checkbook and front door would be open right away.  If my parents were in dire financial straits because they bought a 52" flat screen tv instead of paying their electric bill, or they cashed in their 401K for a new car or vacation and now they can't pay their mortagage..nope.  I would work with them to make a plan to get back on their feet but why should you have to take your hard earned money away from your own family to support their foolish choices.  I was raised to be careful with my money and make sure you have a back up plan.  My family will help each other out when emergencies arise, but a certain member of my family makes foolish purchases then cries poor for his bills and now wonders why our wallets are closed.  I am not heartless...my parents do have health issues and my sister and I take turns doing the little things that have gotten tough for them and I will take care of them round the clock if necessary because we love them and want to help them, but they don't have the mind set that because they raised us, we have to do this for them (altho miss a phone call and dad can be a bit pa  ::))

SamiHami

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2013, 05:50:22 PM »
Sadly, my ILs were the poster children for poor financial planning. FIL fell for every get rich quick scheme/pyramid scheme that was ever invented. It sickens me to think of how many thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars he flushed away through the years. When they got older their idea of financial planning was to take out another mortgage on their house and use that money to live on. When that money was close to running out they were living in near poverty but refused to sell their high dollar home. All attempts at discussing financial matters were rebuffed; they were indignant that we "children" would dare try to tell our elders how to manage money.

Honestly, I don't know what would have happened if my FIL were still alive. At the time he died they were on the verge of financial ruin. MIL started declining soon afterwards and is in a Medicaid funded nursing home. My DH and I simply had no money to help out; I went through a long period of unemployment and we were barely getting by ourselves and his brothers were in similar financial straits. It's not that no one wanted to help; it was that no one had the money to help.

As it turned out their very expensive house, that they refused to give up, was taken. The Medicare people were after it. The mortgage company (that they were upside down with) wanted it and the county wanted it (because they had stopped paying their taxes on it a couple of years prior). I'm honestly not sure what the end result was.

I have a hard time with this question because my ILs created their own situation-to the point that they didn't even bother to get small life insurance policies to cover their final expenses. They knowingly left a huge mess that DH and his brother had to deal with. And I am certain it was knowingly. My MIL founded the senior citizen's center in my community many years ago and spend her entire career working with agencies and advising the elderly on how to best manage their affairs so that they would be able to enjoy their later years and not be a burden on anyone else. But instead of applying any of her own advice to her own life, her and FIL's attitude was always "eh, the boys will take care of things" rather than being responsible.

Wow. I didn't realize I still was carrying so much anger about that.

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SiotehCat

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2013, 05:55:40 PM »
When my parents get older, I will take care of them. That is just the way that it is in my family.

Lynn2000

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2013, 05:57:41 PM »
I think camlan has a good practical strategy. Sometimes people don't realize exactly what sort of numbers and responsibilities they're thinking of taking on, and it becomes more "real" when they see it in black and white. If this discussion has become more than theoretical for you, that might be a good way to support your point. We need $X for our own expenses, we need $Y for our future expenses, we have $Z coming in. The parents currently have $A expenses with $B income... That sort of thing. And you never know, it's possible that the numbers will show you can afford to take care of the parents, or at least some of them, especially if you start planning/saving/etc. right away.
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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2013, 06:06:09 PM »
When my parents get older, I will take care of them. That is just the way that it is in my family.

I will help take of mine, too.  They will not need financial help, as they are in a good place money-wise, and have, in fact, helped all of us kids from time to time, and have set up college funds for all the grands.  However, I don't want either of them ever to go into a nursing home, so next home I buy, once my child is off to college and I move back down south, will have an in-law suite.  Practical help is what they will eventually need, and I plan to do all I can for them, as they have always been there for us.  I have informed them of my intentions and they are pretty jazzed about it.  (They currently show no signs of slowing down, but who knows what can happen.)

I think a lot depends on the culture of the particular family, as Sioteh alluded, and also the relationship one has with his or her parents.  I am extraordinarily close to mine, and we have a marvelous relationship.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2013, 06:11:04 PM »
My whole life both my parents (not married to each other for 20+ years at this point) have stressed retirement planning. Heck I had an anxiety attack at 23 because I didn't have a retirement account yet and I was terrified of all the compound interest I was loosing by the very second! So I'm pretty confident my parents won't need my help. And if they do it will be because of some sort of totally unplannable disaster - in that case, I would help them, to the extent I could, but I would still be planning for and funding my own retirement fund!

I do however absolutely plan to physically support my parents. I long ago accepted that role in my family and I will live up to that obligation. things like taking them grocery shopping (not buy their food, but physically drive them), take them to Dr.s appointments, check in regularly to monitor their health and well being, etc. And helping them hire help if it comes to that.

Hillia

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2013, 06:12:05 PM »
I am watching a longtime friend of my DH have his life ruined by his DF's family.  Mary is the youngest daughter of a large family; her parents divorced years ago.  Her mother now has diabetes and is on dialysis 3 times a week.  Although there are other siblings living in the same city, no one will do the slightest thing for their mother, so either Mary or DH's friend do everything for her: drive to doctor's appts, drive to dialysis, fill prescriptions, go to appointments with Medicare/Medicaid to work out benefits, make sure she takes her medications and eats right.  And mom won't do the slightest thing to take care of herself or to relieve any of the burden on them.  Have her dialysis at a center that's only a 30 minute drive away instead of 90minutes?  Nope.  Take the medical transport bus to a few appointments rather than have Mary drive her? No way.  If Mary tries to stand up to her, mom cries and wails and calls the other siblings, who then call Mary and abuse her on the phone.  The best part is that DH's friend does his best to be supportive and does some amount of driving mom himself, even though it means he misses work.  And because he's a different ethnicity from Mary and her family, they treat him like dirt, insult him to his face, etc.  They desperately want to move out of that city but Mary is worried that no one will do anything for her mother and she'll die, and of course it will be Mary's fault.

This is 99% Mary's issue, but she's afraid to call her family's bluff and refuse their demands because the stakes are so high, and it's ruining her life and that of her DF.

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SamiHami

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2013, 06:18:15 PM »
Poor Mary! You should send her here to ehell. I suspect the folks here would be able to help her stiffen that spine pretty quickly and get her life back.

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2013, 06:22:12 PM »
I think it is good that you and your DH are discussing this now and not when he's planning to write a check in a few years. A sister and her husband had a difference in opinion about how much financial support should go to his parents and it created a huge strain on their marriage. My own mother had a huge amount of resentment about how much of my dad's income went to support his parents. Primarily because he paid 90% of their expenses even though he was number 7 of 9 kids. When he was fresh out of college he started "helping out" and continued on and the other's never offered to ever pitch in to pay for anything except bringing over an occasional gift of food. If they were asked to help out, they'd tell him they didn't have the money. One of mom's SIL called mom one night and told her she and Dad were terrible for asking her husband to help his parents out. Didn't mom know they were trying to save for their kid's college funds and now her husband feels guilty about not helping his parents out? When mom asked her how she expected the 4 of us to attend college she said that wasn't her concern. (Gosh it's been 30 years and I still get angry about this on behalf of my parents.)

I would ask your DH what he envisions as supporting them in later years. Is he talking about paying their monthly/mortgage rent, giving them a few hundred dollars for groceries per month, or helping out on major unexpected expenses like needing to repair the air conditioner? 

If you guys can agree on these terms, then you can sit down and see if it is reasonable to start budgeting a savings account for these future expenses. Will it require him to work overtime, take costs away from family vacations, reduce your retirement savings? What sacrifices is your family willing to make and what sacrifices is his willing to make right now?

IMHO, I don't think you can say "no money goes to them at all" because it's his money too.  But I think agreeing to the terms will help out a lot.

*inviteseller

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2013, 06:41:46 PM »
My sister and I do take care of my parents physically (I promised my dad when he became very ill a few years ago that I would never put him into a nursing home, his biggest fear).  We take care of chores around the house they cannot do, my sister takes care of driving to Dr.s appointments (they do still drive but we prefer them not to) and I take them their favorite foods and help my dad with his computer issues (he tries, but is just not into the whole technology thing) and just hang out to chit chat.  We make sure their meds are filled and that my dad isn't hiding any medical problems (he hates dr's but has numerous medical conditions he will hide until it becomes a hospital stay :P.  But thankfully because my dad was born during the depression and has not yet believed it is over (a running joke) and my step mother is a simple woman who does not need 'stuff', they are comfortable.  But if they were out, spending like there was no tomorrow frivolously and not paying the bills, I would take them to agencies to help them fix that but would not pay the bills because that doesn't solve the problem.  And that goes with anyone else in my family.  I have my kids to take care of and I should not go into debt helping people out of their own holes and send that issue on to my DD's.  My former MIL never saved, used credit cards till they were maxed then just got a new one and is now screwed as my FIL is gone and my former husband, who did support her as best he could, passed away in February.  My former SIL said she make sure she has food and meds, but will not pay off her debt. 

Moray

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2013, 06:51:21 PM »
Whether or not (or how much) you contribute to the maintenence of your In-Laws is something you will both have to decide together. In any case, make sure your own finances can support whatever you decide.

It's kind of like how in airline safety presentations where they emphasise you MUST get your own oxygen mask on before helping those around you. You must make sure your own financial house is in order before giving a second thought to taking on additional dependants of any age.
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Winterlight

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Re: Supporting your parents?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2013, 07:11:05 PM »
I'm with those who say that you two need to sort out your own financial situation before even considering taking on supporting others.

Also, what does he mean by "support?" Chip in $100 for incidentals? Have them move in with you? There's a lot of ground between those extremes.
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