My parents announce TARP for siblings

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Sclass
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblingsl

Post by Sclass »

Wow what an old thread.

I’m not too sure how to answer. Stanley suggested that being an economic outpatient child is ruining. Too spoiled to work so to speak.

The money changed them differently.

I also have a different vision of success than that book.

Did the money help them get their houses in order? Yeah I think so for my full siblings. They’re typical upper middle class professionals. An injection of a few dollars into their battered financed is a big help. They won’t eat dog food in retirement.

My half siblings are still pretty young. One is just out of prison for murder and narcotics trafficking. The other is still in grad school. I’m not sure what they’ll do with their cash.

What I didn’t realize when I started this thread is that my parents just wanted to control their kids with money. At this point they’d grown frustrated with me. At the end of the day I just wanted my mom and dad to welcome me back and tell me I was good and they were wrong about me. Kind of childish but it sucked me into their web. I was a much juicier morsel for them to use as their world spun out of control. I wish I’d just left them to my brothers and sisters.

Just another example of a bunch of people not understanding what each other want nor how to get it.

It’s almost over. But I still never got my parents’ approval. The money is just a number to an ERE person.

ertyu
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by ertyu »

Thank you for sharing this Sclass. Like many others, I see many parallels, down to wishing my parents would somehow like me or be proud of me and my success -- but we clearly can't have that, because respecting me and what I have achieved would mean letting go of control. How nice, instead, to keep showing ertyu his place so he doesn't get too big for his britches. My parents cannot control me with money because, like you, I have my house in order. But they do give money to my younger sister and seem to enjoy keeping her dependent. Maybe it's just an enjoyment of being needed and trying to escape the irrelevance of age, but it hurts me and i can't find it in me to respect it. My sister, in turn, is way too glad to act how she knows she's supposed to as long as it gets her my parents' continued financial assistance. I can't respect that either. I am too independent and respect autonomy and self-reliance.

I guess the tl;dr: here is, I understand how these issues can dredge up anger and hurt on a scale few other things in life can. It's the same for me.

Maybe I'm projecting, but I'm glad your parents are dead. I'm glad you got to continue on without them and their shit and to begin healing as you acquire distance from them and their machinations.

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

Agree in saying thanks, Sclass, for being willing to share some of the harder facets of life. I'm seeing something similar play out but from the opposite perspective with my aunt. She's not hugely wealthy in an absolute sense but is the wealthiest in the family. Never had kids so with our mom gone my siblings and I are her sort of default family heirs. She's asked me to be executor which is how I know all this. Half she's leaving to charities and the other half is split between my siblings and myself.

But not equally--she's doing it somewhat merit-based as she rates it. And it works out to be nearly inverse to what a need-based bequeathal would be. Unfortunately that means somewhat more will pass to me than my siblings, mostly based on her degree of disapproval with how we use money. An example is that one of my sisters gets decremented because she's the mother of the family ne'er-do-well and she wants to minimize the amount that might make it to him and his bad habits. My brother gets dinged for his relative prioritization of top-shelf booze and expensive dining, etc.

Being the only other family accumulator I'm judged to handle money wisely so more is earmarked for me. The rationale is more that I'll be the family's last line of defense when it comes to money for what she considers legitimate needs, as well as confidence I'll behave more prudently with it overall, rather than her liking me better--she's closer to my sisters than to me. Worse perhaps is that she's trying to do the unequal weighting stealthily so feelings aren't hurt. The difference isn't huge compared to an ere stash, but all my siblings are operating around ereWL 1.25 so it's a lot to them. If she sticks to her guns, but the truth does come out, I'm likely to be the target of some angst for the sin of being "the favorite" and the whole situation being "unfair". Or worse if they convince themselves I somehow acted corruptly as executor.

I guess the point of all that is that the dynamics of the situation are often messy. I really don't even like thinking about the situation with my aunt much less talking about it. I worry about it with my own estate plans and it's a big driver in my simpleminded Stash(iDave)/N, N=2 so far, per stirpes, approach.

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Sclass
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Sclass »

ertyu wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:48 am
-- but we clearly can't have that, because respecting me and what I have achieved would mean letting go of control.
@ertyu - wow. This really cleared it up for me. I couldn’t quite see it till I read this. Wisdom like this helps me grow up.

@ID your aunt actually sounds pretty sensible. Being the last line of defense may prove out to be a thankless job though. I guess you’ve already figured that out.

Andy Dufresne
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Andy Dufresne »

Just sent you a PM, SClass, but THANK YOU!

Andy Dufresne
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Andy Dufresne »

@ertyu - appreciate it as much as SClass!

@ID - SClass is spot on, it's thankless, but at least there's someone sensible in your family!

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

Sclass wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:10 am
@ertyu - wow. This really cleared it up for me. I couldn’t quite see it till I read this. Wisdom like this helps me grow up.

@ID your aunt actually sounds pretty sensible. Being the last line of defense may prove out to be a thankless job though. I guess you’ve already figured that out.
Yep could be a very thankless job. Fortunately I won't be officially designated as such, so perhaps I'll have some years of peace before a constant stream of petitions every time something comes up that should have been anticipated and covered via an old school emergency fund.

What you quoted of ertyu didn't jump out at me originally. I agree it's a pretty astute insight that as a parent I'll keep in mind going forward.

Frita
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Frita »

@Sclass and @ertyu
:?: Can we control our parents liking, admiring, and/or respecting us anymore than they can control us with money?

Observing my spouse, I know he carried this into his adulthood, until his late-30s, but just for his dad. I didn’t notice it with other relationships to this degree. Perhaps it’s a carryover from childhood. Once the old guy died, it seemed letting go of that was easier. Plus getting older and having more experience give some perspective. ( :roll: Yeah, I have my own issues but parental approval isn’t one of them.)

@IlliniDave
As an executor if your aunt’s will, 5% to 2% (based on the estate size and state refs) is customary. Your greater share may also account for this?

ertyu
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by ertyu »

Frita wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:41 am
@Sclass and @ertyu
:?: Can we control our parents liking, admiring, and/or respecting us anymore than they can control us with money?
I assume this to be a rhetorical question :lol:

And the answer is no, you cannot, because respecting you was never about you. It was about them and their need to, in my case, feel powerful and influential by continually finding and pointing out flaws that they can "direct" me out of. They stay the competent, powerful parent, I stay the inept, blundering child in need of direction. And rationally I know this.

Rationally, I also know that I am not doing badly: I have a MA degree from the US, I am debt-free, I am (lery)LeanFIRE [in local terms] at 40 -- which is not as good as some, but it does mean I take care of myself and I am not a burden to anyone. I am well-traveled and I have seen the world. I am thoughtful, introspective, and insightful, and while I'm not a genius, I'm not dumb. No jail, no drug or alcohol addictions, etcetera. Rationally, I also know the things that are my personality flaws. But the bottom line is, I am far from my mother's favorite marthyr tale for in front of her friends and my other relatives, which basically comes down to what a long-suffering, patient saint she is in the face of all the problems I create for her (?)

I guess she is right: she has a template of how she'd like me to be, and I continually insist on having a personhood of my own and not conforming to that narrative.

So yes, I know it's not about me, it's about their issues, their ego, and their small-mindedness. It's about their willingness to listen, introspect, and say sorry. What if they did listen, and it turns out I am right, and they did fail and hurt me? What would this mean for how they see themselves? How will they deal if it turns out they're "bad"?

That said, even though I do understand all this, I do feel a very deep grief about, essentially, not having parents. About not having a dad. Someone I could discuss things with and receive wise perspective from, and who would care to build me up and take pride. Not having a mom, not so much - as opposed to most other moms who latch onto their sons, I think my own mom never really bonded with me because she never really bonded with my father but couldn't express that to him as he is abusive and also her (partial) meal ticket. Besides, divorced! What would people say! They would discuss her with the same pity and condescension she has for her own divorced friends. She couldn't reject him, so she rejected me in his stead.

I am also falling in the trap where I keep thinking, OK, I've matured, I've introspected a lot and learned about myself and my own feelings, I've made great progress in learning how to communicate, maybe this time I will finally be able to show them, to explain it, to use my words to ask to be treated how I need, and so on, and so forth -- and maybe finally, if I try hard enough, I will have parents. I will have a dad.

It's a great grief for me - I may or may not be tearing up as I write this. I hope I grieve it out one day. In the meantime, I flounder like everyone else, vacillating between anger, bargaining, denial, and back. I don't yet know how to make it out the other end. Does anyone, fully, ever?
Last edited by ertyu on Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I had a situation where I was looking for parental approval I wasn’t getting. Ends up it was sort of a situational problem. DH and I had made some big changes and were expecting support and got jealousy and negative judgments. My mom was trying to run my life and I suspect she thought I was trying to run hers. Turns out we were both grieving and looking for control as a result.

In the end everyone that was initially supportive stayed that way. My mom came around and my naysaying sibling still thinks that we became FI through some sort of sorcery. :twisted:

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

Frita wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:41 am
@IlliniDave
As an executor if your aunt’s will, 5% to 2% (based on the estate size and state refs) is customary. Your greater share may also account for this?
Hmm. That would seem to offset some of the imbalance. It isn't something we've discussed explicitly though.

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

Andy Dufresne wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:18 am
@ID - SClass is spot on, it's thankless, but at least there's someone sensible in your family!
Yes, and she's pragmatic almost to the point of it being an oddity, and just as frugal. Pretty sure I've mentioned this elsewhere but she was diagnosed with an irreversible terminal condition a little over a year ago. There are drugs that could potentially more than triple her life expectancy (from typically three years or less untreated to 10 or so if she's among those for whom it is effective).

She found out the drugs cost something around $120K/yr. She decided she would not take any. Even though she easily could afford it, she couldn't see spending so much on herself for something like staying alive since she was already 76. :shock:

At her doctors urging she filed it with her insurance. Result: $30K/yr. Still too expensive. :shock: :shock:

Insurance called back a week later, they'd forgotten there is a $7K annual OOP max they should have applied to what they told her. She decided she was willing to pay that. :)

After a year on the drug all the indications associated with the disease showed no measurable progression (some markers have even improved as she has lost weight and added some moderate-intensity exercise).

Things surrounding money are pretty black/white for her.

Apologies for straying off topic.

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Alphaville »

IlliniDave wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:48 pm
Yes, and she's pragmatic almost to the point of it being an oddity, and just as frugal. Pretty sure I've mentioned this elsewhere but she was diagnosed with an irreversible terminal condition a little over a year ago. There are drugs that could potentially more than triple her life expectancy (from typically three years or less untreated to 10 or so if she's among those for whom it is effective).

She found out the drugs cost something around $120K/yr. She decided she would not take any. Even though she easily could afford it, she couldn't see spending so much on herself for something like staying alive since she was already 76. :shock:

At her doctors urging she filed it with her insurance. Result: $30K/yr. Still too expensive. :shock: :shock:

Insurance called back a week later, they'd forgotten there is a $7K annual OOP max they should have applied to what they told her. She decided she was willing to pay that. :)

After a year on the drug all the indications associated with the disease showed no measurable progression (some markers have even improved as she has lost weight and added some moderate-intensity exercise).

Things surrounding money are pretty black/white for her.

Apologies for straying off topic.
apologies? that's a hell of a story!

thanks for telling it.

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Andy Dufresne »

IlliniDave wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:48 pm
Yes, and she's pragmatic almost to the point of it being an oddity, and just as frugal. Pretty sure I've mentioned this elsewhere but she was diagnosed with an irreversible terminal condition a little over a year ago. There are drugs that could potentially more than triple her life expectancy (from typically three years or less untreated to 10 or so if she's among those for whom it is effective).

She found out the drugs cost something around $120K/yr. She decided she would not take any. Even though she easily could afford it, she couldn't see spending so much on herself for something like staying alive since she was already 76. :shock:

At her doctors urging she filed it with her insurance. Result: $30K/yr. Still too expensive. :shock: :shock:

Insurance called back a week later, they'd forgotten there is a $7K annual OOP max they should have applied to what they told her. She decided she was willing to pay that. :)

After a year on the drug all the indications associated with the disease showed no measurable progression (some markers have even improved as she has lost weight and added some moderate-intensity exercise).

Things surrounding money are pretty black/white for her.

Apologies for straying off topic.
It's when things get tough that a person discovers their priorities. She is an amazing woman for sure, and I agree that this is not off topic in any way, but rather it IS the topic. Living means choosing what to do with our resources - time, money, social capital - as well as how to face our mortality when the time comes. We should all celebrate her rationality!!!!

Andy

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by rube »

@IlliniDave, within all the serious details and strong emotions discussed here, that story gave me a good laugh! Thank you.

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

Andy Dufresne wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:29 pm
It's when things get tough that a person discovers their priorities. She is an amazing woman for sure, and I agree that this is not off topic in any way, but rather it IS the topic. Living means choosing what to do with our resources - time, money, social capital - as well as how to face our mortality when the time comes. We should all celebrate her rationality!!!!

Andy
The decision was a little more complex than I portrayed it. Another family member of a prior generation died of the same condition many years ago, so she was also weighing quality of life and what she would actually "get for her money". I haven't asked her this yet, but it would be interesting to know whether, if she knew ahead of time that the drug had the efficacy it seems to have, whether she'd have flinched sooner negotiating with herself.

When it comes to finances, using money "wisely" is an overarching priority to her, and that includes thinking beyond herself. She wasn't worried about preserving her nieces' and nephews' inheritances, but I think endangering her intended charitable bequests was a consideration.

In contrast I'd describe my approach as being aimed more towards being prudent. I know "prudent" and "wise" can be synonymous. What I mean is I tend to also be forwardly focused but narrower in scope and primarily manage for myself. The impact is that if I want to spend money on something that would arguably fall in the luxury category, like maybe an expensive musical instrument built with exceptional artisanship/craftsmanship, I give myself a green light when I can convince myself it's overall impact on my financial situation is trivial. I should note that I only act on 20-30% of my green lights.

She would never spend a nickel more than the on-sale price of a perfectly functional, but plain, equivalent. And she'd only spend that if she couldn't find one even cheaper at a garage sale. Frugal is part of that, but so is a belief that every dollar should be spent the best way possible in what you could call a "Christian charity" framework. It's a sad reflection on my moral character that I am my own favorite charity. I wouldn't consider it a total loss if grow beyond that a little someday.

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

One minor kind of opposite difficulty I experience is worrying that maybe I am too “hands off” with my adult children. For instance, I have no rule of thumb for how often I should call a son in his thirties. I actually mentioned this concern to my son when I saw him in person for the first time after Covid. We agreed that we are generally the sort of family that remains close at a distance. Like, I will pick up one of my kids or younger sisters at the airport and we will hug, then immediately pick up thread of last conversation, then talk about what books we’ve read since last conversation. So, whether it’s been a couple days or a couple years doesn’t really change the interaction.

Anyways, after reading this thread I tried to think about how I could complete an awkward for me “I am proud of you because...” statement to my adult children. I think I would say something like “I am proud of you for being kind and capable of intelligent conversation.” , but this , of course, is very reflective of what I would personally consider to be the opposite nightmare worst-case scenario outcome of parenting experience; ending up with mean-spirited, dull-witted adult children.

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by Ego »

Back in the early 1990s we had something of an epiphany during the lead up to our wedding. It was a very hard time but eventually played a part in us becoming impervious to financial manipulation. Something good from something bad. Perhaps we were fortunate that the manipulation back then involved money because it highlighted the economics of manipulation.

One person withholds something of value from another and uses it as a means to control. The thing being withheld can be money or love or respect or kind words or security or a hundred other things. It may be multiple things. It may also involve giving the person things they don't need or don't want.

There are some games where the goal is to win and other games where the goal is to not lose. Trying to win over the person with the power to withhold rarely works and usually results in loss because the thing they withhold is their asset in the relationship.

The "not lose" strategy involves making oneself impervious to the manipulation. Making oneself not need the asset from the withholder and not accepting what is unwanted.

It may help to find others who give them freely. It may also help to reframe the asset being withheld as something not as valuable as originally thought and viewing the costs involved in desiring it with the harsh reality of an accountant.

Telling someone to shut off their desire for something they yearn for is easily said. Harder to do. Sometimes knowing what worked for others is helpful.

Seeing the face of the withholder when they realize that their assets have devalued to zero. Priceless.

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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Ego:

Very true, but on a very good, very high functioning day you can also maybe get to feeling compassion for somebody who must resort to such manipulation. Also, if/when you are still engaged in relationship, it is rarely one-sided, in most general terms the growth you must do to let go of your end of the rope likely reflects what you have been withholding from relationship. For instance, it might just be that you are withholding the bravery or honesty necessary to directly confront the issue.

IlliniDave
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Re: My parents announce TARP for siblings

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:59 am
One minor kind of opposite difficulty I experience ...
Yes, there's another side to this--that of parents of adult children. Maybe Mr Spock could look at his kid on her/his 18th birthday and permanently disable his parenting circuits. I can't. Part of that (parenting) is being a teacher/guide. When I'm asked for help, it will come with a discussion. When I give an unsolicited gift, it won't. Is that manipulative? I dunno. Doesn't seem like it but I was a kid/young adult that didn't receive a whole lot of overt praise/affirmation from my parents (no overboard criticism either) and never thought much about it.

The world of social media is interesting because it gives me an insight into some of my kids' struggles as they relate them primarily to their peers. Very hard sometimes not to butt in.

Fortunate for me, probably, is that both girls made it clear very early on that they were not going to let their vision for their own lives be derailed because of what I think. :lol:

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