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October 17th, 2018

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.