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Handle Parents lack of planning.

Home Estate Planning Handle Parents lack of planning.

  • Avatar willpmd 
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    unwanted good advice is still unwanted.

     

    I would let your in-laws live as they see fit and only intervene if asked.  Don’t enable and don’t judge and support them in any way that aligns with your values whether that be financial or spiritual.

     

    #54602 Reply
    Avatar High Income Parent 
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    If they’ve made it this far without your help they likely won’t take any advice. When explaining things to my own in laws it’s been helpful to aske them why they approach things the way they do, even if it’s wrong, and then show them how I do things. The get to feel like they are teaching me sa mething and then I poke holes in their strategies gently.
    I leave it at that because they won’t change if I force anything on them.

    Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. | | C. S. Lewis https://HighIncomeParents.com

    #54639 Reply
    Craigy Craigy 
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    My plan is that if/when the wheels come off at the first request for money I will give a firm “no” and make it clear that my answer isn’t going to change unless there is no food in the pantry.

     

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    You may need to step in at some point to help minimally (such as some food so they don’t starve), but as long as they are competent and unwilling to change, you are stuck.

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    Thing is, in our society, there’s really no way they should ever, ever go hungry.  First of all, every state participates in SNAP, plus some of the territories, which provides generous benefits for free.  Second, there are tons of charitable organizations which provide free food, groceries, as well as prepared meals.  Many churches have their own food banks and you usually don’t even have to be a believer to participate, and many don’t look at your finances.  Third, food is cheap.  Aside from ramen, eggs, and peanut butter jelly sandwiches, you could get your 2,000 cals from McDonalds everyday for about $5.00.  Fourth and finally, outside of college students, I don’t know any of these people who don’t have a cupboard, pantry, fridge and freezer full of food they don’t eat.

    It seems like all of the spendthrifts I know eat pretty well.  Some drink pretty well too.  They shop at whole foods, drink artisanal water and top shelf liquor. They enjoy dining out and they dine out frequently.  Most of them are wasteful and let food spoil.  Almost every one is overweight or obese.

    As the ed likes to point out all the time, money is fungible.  Giving the spendthrifts $250 or $500 a month for “groceries” while they spend the rest of their money on home shopping and credit card interest is just subsidizing their bad habits and further enabling.  Before you know it, they’ve adjusted their lifestyle and spending even further to count on every cent of the money you give, and are even further in the hole and now need even more cash for all of their “basic necessities” like their hair appointments, cell phone bills and their cable and internet packages.

    When the parents are very elderly and kicking them some extra cash will make their twilight years a little easier, sure, I can see wanting to do that, and probably will end up doing that myself, but personally, I would be extremely hesitant to open my wallet up to someone just starting their retirement, or god-forbid still young or middle-aged, etc., since I know it will be a life-long commitment which will only grow worse over time and cause anger and resentment among family and spouse.

    LEVEL 1 WCI FORUM MEMBER.

    #54650 Reply
    Liked by Hank
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Thing is, in our society, there’s really no way they should ever, ever go hungry.

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    oh yeah i know, was mostly using that for effect.

    in reality would be far more likely to step in to prevent an eviction or subsidize something medical. but even then would be grudging.

    obviously here we are on a forum that is basically devoted to deferred gratification, but it really is amazing to consider the lives of people who think differently than we do. winter is coming, it’s always coming, and so many people just can’t plan for it.

    being a relatively frugal and financially savvy person with a 99th percentile household income is a trippy way to live your life. There just literally are not enough people in the country making more than us to buy all these new Land Rovers and Raptors and live in these mansions and yet, they all get bought. i agonized over a $35k used vehicle.

    #54774 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
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    Really depends on family dynamics; especially as the son-in-law.

    If you’re really close to them, then it’s easier to have ‘that talk’, but it doesn’t quite sound like that.   Then it would be second line —  what’s your spouse’s relationship with her parents and physician sibling?

    I am family of three siblings and we communicate about parents all the time.  We differ on opinions of level of support and guidance, but in general terms all agree on actions with our parents and guidance on them accordingly.   the in-laws aren’t involved so much but play a role through us.

    On the flip side, my in-laws seek our opinion.  But they are very fiscally conservative (CD and bank accounts+pension) but have a very healthy balance sheet in their retirement.

    So really, lead by example and let the spouse to the heavy lifting with her sibling and discussion.  Your role is peripheral unless asked.

    #54775 Reply
    Craigy Craigy 
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    Click to expand…

    Thing is, in our society, there’s really no way they should ever, ever go hungry.

    Click to expand…

    oh yeah i know, was mostly using that for effect.

    in reality would be far more likely to step in to prevent an eviction or subsidize something medical. but even then would be grudging.

    obviously here we are on a forum that is basically devoted to deferred gratification, but it really is amazing to consider the lives of people who think differently than we do. winter is coming, it’s always coming, and so many people just can’t plan for it.

    being a relatively frugal and financially savvy person with a 99th percentile household income is a trippy way to live your life. There just literally are not enough people in the country making more than us to buy all these new Land Rovers and Raptors and live in these mansions and yet, they all get bought. i agonized over a $35k used vehicle.

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    One of my friends, who’s also a doctor’s wife like me, were having this same discussion.  Our household incomes are big, we’re leading fairly frugal lives and doing our backdoor roths and whatnot, struggle to justify spending money on this and that, but we don’t feel particularly rich, some days it feels like we’re just eeking by.  Meanwhile, the rest of the public seems to be living much larger despite having a fraction of the income.

    To people like us, the spendthrift mindset is alien, foreign, completely different than our own.  Just imagining what it must be like gives me stress.  Actually watching close family members live like this makes me incredibly angry, so I just have to put it out of my mind.  If I think of it as a psychosis and not some voluntary behavior, then I can trade that anger for pity, but for someone like a parent who is smart enough to know better, the frustration can be consuming.

    LEVEL 1 WCI FORUM MEMBER.

    #54778 Reply
    Miss Bonnie MD Miss Bonnie MD 
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    Posted today: Financially Ill-Prepared Parents

    "Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time."

    Miss Bonnie MD --> Wealthy Mom MD @ http://wealthymommd.com

    #56606 Reply
    Avatar DMAL 
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    This is where I am at with my own parents. Its been tough, very heartbreaking, and mindboggling at the same time. My mother tried, but my dad on the other hand, his level of carelessness that landed them in this position is mindnumbing. It would be easier, I think, if they had a little something left. But they have no home, no retirement, no money, no nothing. I struggle everyday with not letting resentment and anger take over my decision to take over everything for them. My younger siblings on the other hand are severely affected by it, especially since they’re surrounded by friends all of whom have parents sending in money monthly to help with rent, car, pay some bills, pay for college etc.

    #58475 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    MPMD MPMD 
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    This is where I am at with my own parents. Its been tough, very heartbreaking, and mindboggling at the same time. My mother tried, but my dad on the other hand, his level of carelessness that landed them in this position is mindnumbing. It would be easier, I think, if they had a little something left. But they have no home, no retirement, no money, no nothing. I struggle everyday with not letting resentment and anger take over my decision to take over everything for them. My younger siblings on the other hand are severely affected by it, especially since they’re surrounded by friends all of whom have parents sending in money monthly to help with rent, car, pay some bills, pay for college etc.

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    It’s doubly hard for us WCI readers as this sort of lifestyle just isn’t really possible for most of us. The ability to spend everything you have and just either think it will work out or not even think about it is literally unimaginable to me.

    I wouldn’t worry about your anger and resentment, those are totally valid feelings. Expect this arrangement to seriously compromise your relationship with your parents if not destroy it. That outcome is far more likely (and frankly far more rational) than finding some sort of balance.

    #58557 Reply
    Liked by DMAL
    Miss Bonnie MD Miss Bonnie MD 
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    Splash Refinancing Bonus

    This is where I am at with my own parents. Its been tough, very heartbreaking, and mindboggling at the same time. My mother tried, but my dad on the other hand, his level of carelessness that landed them in this position is mindnumbing. It would be easier, I think, if they had a little something left. But they have no home, no retirement, no money, no nothing. I struggle everyday with not letting resentment and anger take over my decision to take over everything for them. My younger siblings on the other hand are severely affected by it, especially since they’re surrounded by friends all of whom have parents sending in money monthly to help with rent, car, pay some bills, pay for college etc.

    Click to expand…

    So sorry to hear. I have some friends in this position. Obviously the emotional ties makes it that much harder.

    "Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time."

    Miss Bonnie MD --> Wealthy Mom MD @ http://wealthymommd.com

    #58558 Reply
    Liked by DMAL
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    Here’s a nightmare scenario:

    I have a doc friend (GI) who is concurrently supporting his in laws (who had $1M+ nest egg from inheritance, but blew it in 6 months casino gambling), his own parents who are broke and in declining health, a son, newly married, with low paying job and wife in grad school, and just had a baby (!).

    There are three different financial clusterf’s that this is guy is toting on his back, all of which were completely or mostly avoidable, in addition to the a second son away at college and wife out of work.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #58568 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    Hank Hank 
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    Cut bait on the parents and the in-laws.  Make sure you truly are supporting your children, not enabling bad behavior and providing economic outpatient care that makes them worse off.

    I’m particularly inclined to cut off support for the in-laws who burnt through a seven figure inheritance at casinos in less than a half year.  If someone is that terrible at math or that addicted to destructive behavior, then you’re sending good money after bad if you support them financially.

    #58572 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    Donnie Donnie 
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    If your parents / in laws aren’t asking for your help and aren’t taking the bait when you bring up issues like how they are going to support themselves in retirement, I would just leave it alone.  As some other posters have said, they have made it this far presumably without your assistance managing their finances.  If they aren’t concerned, they aren’t likely to react to well to you lecturing them on it.  Perhaps bring up your own retirement planning periodically to see how they react and see if you can start a larger discussion.  If you make the conversation about you rather than them, it can be less confrontational.

    #58576 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    Avatar nwdpath 
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    Good thread. Also interesting to consider, even if your folks did plan ahead and save, that doesn’t mean they are out of harm’s way.  My folks saved quite well but their fortunes are mismanaged by their financial advisor actively trading stocks all the time. In and out, all cash, then all in stocks, then this, then that.  They know its absurd and ask me for help, but never seem to take my advice.  Hopefully even with that they will have enough to stay afloat but just goes to show that there’s more than enough bad judgement to go around I suppose.

    #58601 Reply
    Liked by Craigy

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