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Family and money

Interesting conversation with the parents last night, but I'll back up a bit because I have a feeling that this was spurred by an incident my brother has going on.

Last week, I heard through the parents that the SIL and kids were in their van on a rainy day and some jackass in a truck rear ended them and some other guy behind them. The parents and I talked about the fact that the brother is going to probably want to buy a new van even though he should get his spending under control and buy a used one. Or the kids should go to school and the SIL should get a job. I'd heard some time ago about how my idiot brother is screwing up his retirement by taking money from it to upgrade his house. They have been working on the house for YEARS and when I went there last year, it wasn't even close to done. The brother is a successful civil engineer but he's always looking over the neighbors' fences and bemoaning how he should be rich. He lives too far beyond his means, getting the kids professional cameras, fancy karate lessons, fancy music lessons and hell, even a freaking DRONE.

According to the parents, I heard a couple of days later that the brother is now "depressed" and saying he can't afford to get another van. I'd feel sorry for him but how could he let his credit get so far fucked up that he can't get a used vehicle on his good salary? If SIL can't drag her looney tune diva ass to get a full time job, SIL should at minimum get a seasonal retail job and earn some money to get them in better straits. Hell, the nephew is turning 16 in a few weeks, he can also start contributing to the family. However I don't see any of that happening, especially since the SIL is now saying that she and the niece need to start going to the chiropractor because they're sore. Well yeah you're sore, who wouldn't be? But from times in the past, she'll milk this for sympathy far beyond the reasonable time for her to be healed up. It's her usual shenanigans.

Anyway, the talk with the parents was interesting because they were mentioning about how in a couple of years, there will be no more of Dad's retirement money left and all they'll have to live on is a little savings and the SS (which with the current state of the government, who knows what'll happen there). They're already on a reverse mortgage so they've said they're going to have to budget better. But instead of being like the brother and bemoaning their plight, they're talking about how they're going to do the smart thing of NOT stocking the house with tons of groceries like they're getting ready for a nuclear winter (a habit they've had as long as I can remember) and that they're going to roll up all of their built up change and put it in the savings. They don't know how much longer that they'll be around, but clearly the bro isn't prepared to ever help them out financially. My sister has money but she and the BIL are also living far beyond their means with a huge house when it's only the two of them and their yorkies and new cars all the time and vacations and shit.

That all said, I do live beyond my means as well - it's an epidemic in the US - but not anywhere as badly the siblings. Since the parents are going to try to do what they can do to keep above water, then I will also do the same and shop smart and pay things off better. Perhaps if the parents and I are successful at it, if something happens to them, then at least *I* might be in an ok position to help them out which is what I'm supposed to do.


( 16 comments — Something to say? )
Oct. 17th, 2018 09:29 pm (UTC)
It is and we are coming up on the holiday season when even more emphasis is placed upon living beyond our means.
Oct. 17th, 2018 10:27 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I will send the parents a little something for Xmas but not anything huge
Oct. 18th, 2018 11:45 am (UTC)
My sister insisted that we stop exchanging gifts years ago. Her idea of Christmas is handing her kids and grandkids some money. We don't exchanged gifts any longer between us either. We save all the money we would normally would spend and put it in the vacation fund. It's just mostly our friends that we exchange gifts with anymore.
Oct. 18th, 2018 12:19 pm (UTC)
We keep trying to have that agreement, but the old farts keep breaking it. So I tell them the gifts have to be SMALL and preferably personal.

I finally put the halt to swapping gifts with the Brother/SIL/kids when I sent them an amazon gift cert and a few days later they sent me one back for the same amount. It was a waste of time and money.
Oct. 18th, 2018 01:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remember getting back something that I'd given my sister once. That was pretty much the end of it, then...
Oct. 17th, 2018 11:35 pm (UTC)
If you haven't already started planning for what happens when your parents can no longer live on their own, best start now.

You have two siblings with higher incomes than yours and it sounds like each couple has a healthy non-employed spouse who isn't tied down with care of young children. Therefore according to all the families I have observed, YOU will be sole caregiver for your parents. Well, your siblings will provide large quantities of criticism, but the rest will be left to you.
Oct. 18th, 2018 12:23 pm (UTC)
They're in their 80s and not in the greatest of health so I should have tried to plan before but yeah, it's only me on an income that it's taken me years to get to a level to get it high enough where I'm able to pay off past debts (much less get any real savings going)

Sis's husband has a decent job so they both could technically afford to be the caregivers but they're selfish. I was ticked when I found out that the stupidly expensive house they bought didn't have a full bath on the first floor so Mom can't live there comfortably.

Relationships being how they are, if Mom goes first, Dad would likely be accepted into either the brother or the sister's house. If Dad goes first it's going to be a mess since Mom would want to live with me so I'd have to move into a larger apartment on a ground floor and try to get her here to NJ from OH. But if that's what I have to do, I'll try to manage. And then TBH, the siblings can try to criticize all they want but I've become mouthy in my late middle age and will tell them to suck it. lol
Oct. 18th, 2018 11:03 pm (UTC)
It is hard to plan for this kind of thing. You might want to spend your next vacation with your parents and drag them to an elder law specialist to set up an Advance Directive (Living Will) and a durable Power of Attorney for each of them. Sadly, the day will come when you will need them.

The good thing about middle age is that you do become more comfortable expressing your opinions. ; )
Oct. 18th, 2018 04:07 pm (UTC)

sorry to hear it

Oct. 18th, 2018 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks. But it's the kick in the pants I need to get my $ better under control so it'll be good in the long term.
Oct. 18th, 2018 04:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs* So much unhappiness comes from people wanting more than they have or really need. It's a shame that out of all your siblings, you're the only one that's responsible. But it sounds like you're doing ok. Just keep going.

People sometimes ask me if I plan to sell my house (it's sort of in the hood). LOL My answer? No. Absolutely not. When I bought my ex out of his part of this house a couple of years ago, I got a 15 year mortgage, so as long as I still have a decent job, I'll have it paid off when I'm in my mid-50s, which I don't think is bad. It might not be a mansion, but it's been fixed up rather nicely, we don't need anything bigger, and it has a decent-sized yard. We've never had a problem with any of the neighbors. It's the simple life for me. Hopefully, one day when I'm gone, my kids will have a paid-off house.
Oct. 18th, 2018 05:07 pm (UTC)
You've got a good long term plan!

I'd love to buy a home or condo but I don't know if it'll be in the cards. I'll be 50 in a year and a half and have a modest amount of debt to pay down. That and it's SO expensive to buy a house here in NJ. I'm thinking that if I do think about buying, maybe by the time I've saved enough for a down payment, it'll be someplace in a senior living community lol
Oct. 18th, 2018 05:51 pm (UTC)
I do my best. I know I don't have nearly enough in savings, and I have a bit of other debt to pay off too. I just keep hacking away at it and slowly trying to get ahead.

Yeah, I guess home ownership depends on where you live. In my neck of the woods, it's a lot cheaper for me to be buying than to pay rent somewhere. I mean like a few hundred dollars cheaper. But again, it's not a big, fancy house.
Oct. 18th, 2018 05:56 pm (UTC)
If I had some cash saved, I just peeked and another condo in the place down the street is for sale. It's an amazing price for my neighborhood but still too rich for my blood
Oct. 18th, 2018 08:44 pm (UTC)
It looks nice, but a bit steep, I agree.
Oct. 20th, 2018 12:13 am (UTC)
Bless, honey....I swear, family and money. The brightest spots in life and yet the bane of existence! I do hope your parents can keep themselves afloat and I wish your brother well. Hell, I wish I was rich, too, but honestly, I've been living so tight for so long, I'd have no idea what to do with money, lol!

Sending them all the best wishes. Hope your brother and his family get better and can find a way to get a vehicle without hassle. Used never hurts anything. Hopefully he will learn that.

( 16 comments — Something to say? )