Familial assistance

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
2Birds1Stone
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Interesting topic.

Growing up I didn't have the greatest relationship with my parents. They probably shouldn't have brought kids into this world together, but it happened, and here I am. They housed and fed me through high school, though I worked from the day I turned 13 for any "fun money", first car, travel, etc. They paid my tuition in college, and I was on the hook for housing and the rest. They pushed me really hard toward a career I didn't want, and ultimately dropped out of college after my second year and have been entirely on my own ever since. Now at 33 years old our relationship is still rocky, and I feel no familial responsibility. They should be fine financially, have assets in the $2M+ range, will both get SS (65/64 years old already), as well as the option of relocating to their home country, which has very inexpensive elder care and COL. I don't expect any help from them financially in the future, and don't count on any inheritance. My brother has been a bit of a mooch over the years and they supported him through several years of un/under-employment, and recently manipulated them into an interest free "loan" to purchase a vacation home. I'm not close with him either.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a closer family, especially when being around friends who do. My wife's family is much closer, and even make me feel like more a part of a family than my own blood. One thing I'm not sure about is how to handle the in-laws care, MIL has made terrible financial decisions and could definitely end up a strain both financially and emotionally for DW. She's a manipulator and we can see her playing the "I brought you into this world, you owe me" card at some point......but hopefully that's still a decade or two away.

Wow, I must sound pretty callous to most of y'all.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Sclass:

The role you had to play with your Mom is almost exactly what I had to do for my affluent friend. I ended up being gifted with the equivalent of about $10,000/month for taking it on. Seems about right. I mean, how much does a nursing home administrator who gets nights and weekends off make?

I was more fond of my affluent friend than I am of my mother, so she is going to nursing home if it comes down to me. Luckily, I have several siblings, so it won’t. She has a very generous pension thanks to my fathers government employment, but almost no assets, so spend-down won’t be an issue.

I hope to leave my descendants some northern property to which they can skedaddle as the shits hit the fan of the future. It is my intention to off myself before I become a burden, but I haven’t done enough to consolidate this plan yet. Some rough mix of morphine and risk-taking is what I imagine. Like it’s a shame if you die from bungee jumping at 28 or eating all the pastries you want at 62, but at 85 why the hell not?

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Sclass
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by Sclass »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:42 pm
The role you had to play with your Mom is almost exactly what I had to do for my affluent friend. I ended up being gifted with the equivalent of about $10,000/month for taking it on. Seems about right. I mean, how much does a nursing home administrator who gets nights and weekends off make?
So I actually looked into this. I spoke to a care high end agency and told them I was going nuts and not only needed the muscle, I needed a brain to run the whole thing. The title “Senior care manager” came up and they said that costs $100,000+ a year in addition to the $30/hr muscle. I’m not sure if that counted overhead like insurance, benefits etc. I declined and DIYed.

Yeah so that’s why I figure one needs a trusted person to handle at least the financial part. Somebody has to cut the checks.

suomalainen
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by suomalainen »

My dad pressured me to get into a certain school where he was a professor so that I'd get free tuition. I ended up going there, but then transferring. So he "paid" for 3 semesters of tuition for me and he paid 50/50 room and board for me. But when I left, I was on my own. But he did give me a $5,000 loan to get me started and forgave the balance (about $2500) a year later. And then in law school, he gave me a $1,000 to tide me over my first summer. But that's peanuts compared to room and board and whatnot over 18 years.

One of the best gifts he's given me is the planning for his own demise. There is zero expectation for either my sister or I to care for them. He has even told me that he looked into long-term care (the average duration of which is only a few years) and knows that he has sufficient assets to pay for both of them to utilize that for end of life care if needed.

So, I plan to pass that onto my children - help them out a little bit (I'll give each $30,000 for college) to start and then go off and die when it's my time to die (or pay someone else to wipe my ass so it isn't asked of them).

ETA: if he goes first, my mom should have plenty of assets left to care for herself, but she will likely want to be closer to me and my sister (they live in CO, we live in New England), so it's possible there will be some management of care later. But, I am not like @sclass or @hristo - I don't have it in me to provide elder care, even to my own mom.

Campitor
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by Campitor »

Old forum thread on filial responsibility laws: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5429
And here's another thread regarding bailing out parents: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=10342

It seems this is a frequent topic of worry. I don't plan to be a financial or physical burden to my children. I also expect to take care of my mother in some regard but with the constraint that money and time is finite. I will try to make her as comfortable as possible with the caveat that she won't get everything she wants. She took care of me as a child but that care came with limits and boundaries: I couldn't do whatever I want or get everything I desired. This philosophy applies in all stages of life including retirement and old age. Parent expectations should be set so there's no surprises. Open and honest communication in this regards is extremely important.

Parents expecting you to bankrupt yourself so they can fulfill their selfish and unrealistic desires is immoral. The love someone has for you is in direct proportion to how much they're willing to sacrifice to ensure you have a better future. To quote Nelson Henderson, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

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Sclass
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by Sclass »

Campitor wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:21 pm
Parents expecting you to bankrupt yourself so they can fulfill their selfish and unrealistic desires is immoral.
That’s pretty clear. The problem is for a lot of people basic support for survival puts financial stress on a modest income. We are all about efficiency here and strapping on extra weight to anyone works against the ERE path. I met a lot of nice people who said things like “my mom/dad is a good person in a bad place and I didn’t ask for this but they need my help and my wife and I are helping.” Their care system was not extravagant but it still financially hobbled their future plans. It was clearly a financial burden.

I think I should count my blessings that I came out on the other side financially ahead. My situation was wildly different.

Unrealistic demanding people become so when they are losing their grip on reality.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by ZAFCorrection »

What counts as basic support for survival can also get a bit blurry. My mom apparently needs some kind of inhalent medication ($400 per month without insurance) to counteract the effects of mold or whatever at her current place in iowa. Her and my dad have a mortgaged house in montana from which they recently moved for the job in iowa. Now that she has lost this job, you would think she would cancel the sale of the montana house and save the money on the medication by moving back.

But no, she likes the church in iowa, so she will get a small profit on the house, keep renting a more expensive place in iowa and pay the $400.

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jennypenny
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by jennypenny »

I think expectations are also different whether there is a sudden event that necessitates care and/or a new living arrangement, or whether one just slips into the role little by little. In the former, there will be 'meetings' and discussions where you can state your limits and preferences. In the latter, you might find yourself permanently in a role you only expected to fill temporarily. Even if you can afford it and have the time, it will make you much more fragile in ERE terms since you'll have bills and constraints you can't easily shed.


And while I know most forumites would jump in front of a bus at the first sign of waning independence, you might have children that feel differently, so be prepared to have that super-fun discussion. (I have a family member who removed a DNR bracelet every time she visited her mom in the hospital because she didn't agree with her mom's decision.) I'd also make sure there's a family member who agrees with you and is willing to produce your DNR/living will in case your children 'forget' to when the time comes.

Campitor
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by Campitor »

Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:15 am
That’s pretty clear. The problem is for a lot of people basic support for survival puts financial stress on a modest income. We are all about efficiency here and strapping on extra weight to anyone works against the ERE path...
My statement was in regard to unretired parents, who have options to live comfortably in old age but choose to put little or no money aside, expecting their children to fill in the gaps regardless of the financial ruin it may cause. Or parents in retirement that deliberately choose to squander money living lavishing with the expectation their children will fill the gaps when the money is gone. This is the immorality that I'm talking about.

If my mother suddenly experienced an event outside of her control (complete collapse of the economy, pension collapse, etc.), I would have no qualms providing for her even if it impacted me severely - we'd be poor together and I'd be all the happier for it.

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Sclass
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by Sclass »

jennypenny wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:58 pm
(I have a family member who removed a DNR bracelet every time she visited her mom in the hospital because she didn't agree with her mom's decision.) I'd also make sure there's a family member who agrees with you and is willing to produce your DNR/living will in case your children 'forget' to when the time comes.
:o

I got something called a POLST that didn’t require mom’s signature. I got a lot of pushback from the family over this. I was told I didn’t have the legal authority to do a DNR. Apparently a POLST can be done by the primary caregiver but they didn’t know that since it was a relatively new document.

Then I started mom on hospice. Somehow that inflamed everyone. Nobody wanted a role in taking care of my mom but they all threw in their two cents about how it should be done. Again I was told by family I had no legal right to do that.

They implied subtly that I hadn’t looked into every possible treatment. Really? For late stage Alzheimer’s? Get real.

Everyone had their ideas but nobody really helped out. Hospice and POLST were the smartest things I ever did. Removed a lot of responsibility for “saving” mom .

enigmaT120
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by enigmaT120 »

Sclass, you can find more family. And it sounds like you should. They won't be related to you physically but they will be your true family. I'm sorry for what happened to you.

GreenGentleman
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by GreenGentleman »

My experience regarding familial assistance is opposite to the prevailing situation here it seems.

My parents helped me and my 2 brothers equally when we needed, both financially and in assisting with moving and such. My younger brother lived with them until he was 28. They are very caring and I rely on them as a support network. When we have kids I expect them to help out more (no pressure).

In terms of old age healthcare costs and taking care of them, it won't be needed. They have solid finances, almost paid of homes, generous pensions and a healthcare system that will take care of the costs. My in-laws might be different, they lived abroad for a significant portion of their lives and as such their pensions aren't as well funded. I know my MIL has seriously considered the issue and saved up enough money so she's not dependent on her children. My FIL also has a stash that will likely tide him over any financial troubles, he also lives on a tiny budget so any amount of money will tide him over a rough time.

All in all, its not a worry and I actually had to look up how elderly homes and such are financed here...

DutchGirl
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by DutchGirl »

Same here, GreenGentleman.

My parents have raised us well and have spent money on that. I finished my schooling with only roughly $10k of debt, which I paid off quickly due to getting a good job because of the schooling.

They are currently in their early seventies and healthy; and they are the go-to babysitters for my sister's family and my brother's family. (Luckily the families are complete and the youngest kid is now 5, so that the babysitting is becoming less physically demanding).

So we'd owe them a lot. But they've got enough money, the Dutch health care system is cheaper than the US one, and they've already seniorproofed their house five years ago. I also know that they are not expecting 24/7 care from us if ever needed.

My in-laws were/are a bit different, but again, the Dutch health care system saved our ass on that one. My FIL died at age 82 a year ago, and he had heart problems for the last seven years. The bill for that was 7 years times x 385 euros per year for the maximum personal contribution. My MIL might become a small problem as she is unwilling to prepare for any possible decline in health. Right now she is struggling with walking due to a combination of joint problems and brain detoriaration. Slowly, very slowly, she is coming around to the idea that she won't be able to stay in the family home that she raised her family in, due to it having stairs. Hopefully she will realize it soon enough to allow for a smooth transition. If not, it will be a rough couple of weeks (for her, mostly). But again, maximum cost for all the physical therapy and meds is 385 euros/year. State pension and work pension are more than enough for her to take care of her other needs.
We're also very lucky in that my sister-in-law is a stay at home mother, and that she handled a lot of the doctor's appointments for FIL by taking him to them. We've contributed as well and are doing so now with MIL.

davtheram12
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by davtheram12 »

I was never given direct financial assistance from my parents. Money was always tight since there were 7 mouths to feed (2 parents and 5 siblings) so it was frowned upon to ask for any money on perceived wants. I took that to heart very early on and became a bit of a miser. But with that came the desire to make my own money and pave my own path. Anything I needed, I worked and paid for myself (AP tests, undergraduate and graduate college tuition, room & board, clothing, vehicles, tools, etc). If I didn't have enough money, I'd get another job or create new revenue streams.

There were years I managed multiple jobs (3-5 at a time) and managed many classes (15-20 units) while running on very little sleep. I think life would have been a little easier had my parents helped me more. I'm not sure how I would have turned out since a lot of things they did were conditional. So what will I do when my parents need any type of assistance? All I have to say is that I'm glad I have four siblings. If my parents need help, they can ask my brothers or sister. The experiences I had growing up left me in a great financial position but boy am I bitter about it :(

DutchGirl
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by DutchGirl »

FIVE kids??!! In my opinion, that was a not so smart decision by your parents.

Can I ask how your siblings feel about their youth/your shared upbringing? Have you talked to them? If they feel similar, then perhaps together you can come up with a plan on how to handle your parents when they're aging (for example: what kind of and how much of assistence you will provide for them, together (financial and otherwise). Who will contribute what if necessary (can be equal amounts, can be unequal if that is still considered fair by everyone). And where you, collectively, will draw the line).

I'm glad you came out of that and are doing well now.

davtheram12
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Re: Familial assistance

Post by davtheram12 »

@DutchGirl

You think 5 kids is bad? My dad came from a family of 13 and my mom came from a family of 6. Mexican immigrants from small towns where each child was an extra helping hand and the ticket to a 'full life'. They brought a bit of that mentality with them when they came to California. My younger siblings ended up being twins. Not planned but not a surprise since twins run in both my parents family. Nonetheless, things as a family were financially tight but not unmanageable.

My brothers and sister all had different perspectives growing up. Oldest to youngest was a 12.5 year age gap so naturally the oldest siblings acted as babysitters/caregivers to the younger ones. It definitely changed the childhood years for each one of us a little differently.

My older brother has a large family himself so I doubt he will be able to provide much assistance. My older sister is a single divorced mother who has her own sets of responsibilities so she may not be able to help. Im next living a childless life with my DW. Her parents are much older and we already take care of them. I can't imagine taking care of both sets of parents as they get older. And my younger twin brothers, forget about it. They still act like children so unless they step up to the plate, I have my doubts they will help much. It doesn't help that I've also alienated myself from them these past few years. Pink elephants in the room make gatherings very awkward so I tend to avoid them.

But I think in the end, I'll have to set aside my apprehension and be the primary caregiver/advocate. A family meeting will have to happen sooner than later to discuss the plan.

Thanks! Im mostly unscathed :lol:

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