Author Topic: Relatives who just don't get it  (Read 996937 times)

Kitsune

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1750 on: August 23, 2016, 01:22:22 PM »
Yeah, see, I'd rather work an extra year or two, or maintain a part-time job, to ensure that the people I love have a place to live that's clean, and that they have good food to eat.

Mind you, I'm not talking about maintaining their current spending - I'm not subsidizing shopping trips or new cars or whatever. But for the rest of it, I can't stand back and be like, well, my parents made shitty choices so I'm gonna hoard my money for early retirement and let my mother experience debilitating physical pain to maintain a sanitary standard of living. Can't do it. Won't do it. Some things are what money is for.

Yep. Agreed.

I do wish I had less unknowns about it though, so that I could brace myself for that extra year or two of work.

Yeah.the unknowns are why I worry.

zephyr911

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1751 on: August 23, 2016, 01:35:42 PM »
Yeah, see, I'd rather work an extra year or two, or maintain a part-time job, to ensure that the people I love have a place to live that's clean, and that they have good food to eat.

Mind you, I'm not talking about maintaining their current spending - I'm not subsidizing shopping trips or new cars or whatever. But for the rest of it, I can't stand back and be like, well, my parents made shitty choices so I'm gonna hoard my money for early retirement and let my mother experience debilitating physical pain to maintain a sanitary standard of living. Can't do it. Won't do it. Some things are what money is for.
Yeah, it's not like my mom is living high on the hog. She doesn't go out and buy extravagant things. What makes me nervous is not knowing my limit, in light of the unknowns you mentioned. They could be significant.
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K-ice

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1752 on: August 23, 2016, 04:00:51 PM »
Obviously, if SIL runs out of her inheritance money 20 or 30 years from now, we will step in to support her. We are not going to leave her homeless and starving. We are also prepared to fully fund SIL's kid's university education, though we are unwilling to pay for his latest gaming and electronics needs.

Wow you are more generous than me. My sibling and I may inherit a lot one day. Not Multi-millions but enough to FIRE.

By that time I hope to be FIRE on my own and I also hope my sibling is financially stable. However, so much money has run through their hands I am afraid that the inheritance will as well.

If they, or their kids, call I would have a really hard time being generous knowing I lived frugal while they didn't.


Making Cookies

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1753 on: August 23, 2016, 04:11:19 PM »
Yeah, see, I'd rather work an extra year or two, or maintain a part-time job, to ensure that the people I love have a place to live that's clean, and that they have good food to eat.

Mind you, I'm not talking about maintaining their current spending - I'm not subsidizing shopping trips or new cars or whatever. But for the rest of it, I can't stand back and be like, well, my parents made shitty choices so I'm gonna hoard my money for early retirement and let my mother experience debilitating physical pain to maintain a sanitary standard of living. Can't do it. Won't do it. Some things are what money is for.

Don't get me wrong - we'd provide a roof over any relative's heads however it sucks to watch family with a modest nest egg spend it on new cars (we don't drive new cars), vacations (we don't vacation often), and endlessly redecorate when their stuff is nicer than ours' - - all while worrying that the money will run out and they'll come to us b/c we are the most stable, the most settled, and quietly ask us for help. We're not retiring early but we are retiring some day due to careful spending/education/choices.

I suspect we'd end up paying the rent on some efficiency apartment somewhere for the relative that came knocking. We couldn't afford to pay for shopping just for shopping's sake.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1754 on: August 23, 2016, 05:03:29 PM »
It's the old fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper:  https://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?n=0&i=1

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1755 on: August 24, 2016, 07:30:41 AM »
One phrase I've practiced, and have actually had to use on a spendypants relative, is: "I'm not willing to support you in a standard of living that's nicer than what I can afford for myself."
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Making Cookies

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1756 on: August 24, 2016, 07:34:38 AM »
GS - perfect line. DW and I are not traveling down any new paths here. Its all been well covered here at MMM. Its just the realization that we might be facing some of the same conundrums already solved by MMM readers. The next ten years will be interesting.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1757 on: August 24, 2016, 10:35:06 AM »
One phrase I've practiced, and have actually had to use on a spendypants relative, is: "I'm not willing to support you in a standard of living that's nicer than what I can afford for myself."

I have a line very similar to that! "I don't even buy X for myself, why on earth would I buy it for someone else?"
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BFGirl

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1758 on: August 24, 2016, 10:56:47 AM »
It's the old fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper:  https://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?n=0&i=1

This fable always bothered me.  Most versions I've read have the ants taking the grasshopper in during the harsh winter.  I know it is supposed to show that you should plan for the future, but without a change of heart by the grasshopper, it just pisses me off.  The ants do all the work, the grasshopper has all the fun and the ants are kind in the end and save the grasshopper.

Fortunately, my family has the attitude that they need to be responsible for themselves.  If in the future they need help, I will do the best that I can, but I'm with GS in that I  am not going to sacrifice to provide someone else a better life than I can provide for myself, because they think they somehow deserve to live above their means.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1759 on: August 24, 2016, 12:17:06 PM »
It's the old fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper:  https://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?n=0&i=1

This fable always bothered me.  Most versions I've read have the ants taking the grasshopper in during the harsh winter.  I know it is supposed to show that you should plan for the future, but without a change of heart by the grasshopper, it just pisses me off.  The ants do all the work, the grasshopper has all the fun and the ants are kind in the end and save the grasshopper.

Fortunately, my family has the attitude that they need to be responsible for themselves.  If in the future they need help, I will do the best that I can, but I'm with GS in that I  am not going to sacrifice to provide someone else a better life than I can provide for myself, because they think they somehow deserve to live above their means.

I definitely heard the version where the grasshopper dies in the end, while watching forlornly through the ants window, just for that little extra dose of sticking it to the grasshopper.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1760 on: August 24, 2016, 12:54:04 PM »
It's the old fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper:  https://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?n=0&i=1

This fable always bothered me.  Most versions I've read have the ants taking the grasshopper in during the harsh winter.  I know it is supposed to show that you should plan for the future, but without a change of heart by the grasshopper, it just pisses me off.  The ants do all the work, the grasshopper has all the fun and the ants are kind in the end and save the grasshopper.

Fortunately, my family has the attitude that they need to be responsible for themselves.  If in the future they need help, I will do the best that I can, but I'm with GS in that I  am not going to sacrifice to provide someone else a better life than I can provide for myself, because they think they somehow deserve to live above their means.

I definitely heard the version where the grasshopper dies in the end, while watching forlornly through the ants window, just for that little extra dose of sticking it to the grasshopper.

Yep, that's the version I heard as a kid.

"Don't be a lazy fuck-up or you'll die in the cold" is a significantly better moral than "Screw around all you want, the hard working and rich will always be your safety net."

Making Cookies

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1761 on: August 24, 2016, 01:02:37 PM »
I think there are just alot of people who never do the math to understand how their income relates to their spending.

Retirement, fixed and reduced income, more time to shop, etc. I hope our extended family have done the math. I guess we need to be proactive and ask the direct questions sometime soon. We'll be facing college expenses soon and we won't be able to float college, mortgage paydown, investing for our own retirement, and bailing anyone out.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1762 on: August 24, 2016, 02:45:53 PM »
It's the old fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper:  https://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?n=0&i=1

This fable always bothered me.  Most versions I've read have the ants taking the grasshopper in during the harsh winter.  I know it is supposed to show that you should plan for the future, but without a change of heart by the grasshopper, it just pisses me off.  The ants do all the work, the grasshopper has all the fun and the ants are kind in the end and save the grasshopper.

Fortunately, my family has the attitude that they need to be responsible for themselves.  If in the future they need help, I will do the best that I can, but I'm with GS in that I  am not going to sacrifice to provide someone else a better life than I can provide for myself, because they think they somehow deserve to live above their means.

I definitely heard the version where the grasshopper dies in the end, while watching forlornly through the ants window, just for that little extra dose of sticking it to the grasshopper.

All the really old fairy tales started out a lot grimmer than they are now, and got watered down over time. Look at The Little Mermaid... it pissed me off when they came out with that basically happy-ever-after version after I had my heart broken by the real story as a kid. Goldurn Malernials! Git oof muh lawn!! *shakes cane*
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1763 on: August 24, 2016, 03:08:50 PM »
It's the old fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper:  https://www.umass.edu/aesop/content.php?n=0&i=1

This fable always bothered me.  Most versions I've read have the ants taking the grasshopper in during the harsh winter.  I know it is supposed to show that you should plan for the future, but without a change of heart by the grasshopper, it just pisses me off.  The ants do all the work, the grasshopper has all the fun and the ants are kind in the end and save the grasshopper.

Fortunately, my family has the attitude that they need to be responsible for themselves.  If in the future they need help, I will do the best that I can, but I'm with GS in that I  am not going to sacrifice to provide someone else a better life than I can provide for myself, because they think they somehow deserve to live above their means.

I definitely heard the version where the grasshopper dies in the end, while watching forlornly through the ants window, just for that little extra dose of sticking it to the grasshopper.

All the really old fairy tales started out a lot grimmer than they are now, and got watered down over time. Look at The Little Mermaid... it pissed me off when they came out with that basically happy-ever-after version after I had my heart broken by the real story as a kid. Goldurn Malernials! Git oof muh lawn!! *shakes cane*

The original stories had a bit of a moral to it. When the mermaid abandons her home, family, and support system, giving up what allowed her to earn a living (her voice), in order to chase some land-walking himbo, she died.
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Rubic

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1764 on: August 24, 2016, 03:42:48 PM »
All the really old fairy tales started out a lot grimmer than they are now, and got watered down over time.

I own an old family copy of Grimms'.  When compared against a modern
edition, I was surprised by how much non-PC stuff (e.g. explicitly
anti-semitic references) have been expurgated from the original.
 

JrDoctor

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1765 on: August 25, 2016, 12:12:12 AM »
One phrase I've practiced, and have actually had to use on a spendypants relative, is: "I'm not willing to support you in a standard of living that's nicer than what I can afford for myself."
Thats a good phrase.  I try and point out to my mother that the level of wealth she has (not from working but marrying my father (which wealth he inherited) and the 6-7 figures worth she's lost in the last decade is more than I as a doctor will earn pre tax in my life time.  I point out to her when she complains about her £300,000 house that it is something after tax I would not have been able to afford with 10 years worth of wages.  Sadly as someone who has not worked for 30 odd years since her early twenties, she does not really grasp a normal persons troubles.  She owns around a dozen houses and bits of land with no debts, yet cannot spend within her means and make a profit.  Her three adult children dont own a property between them and everyone apart from me is <£50,000 wealth wise.

Drifterrider

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1766 on: August 25, 2016, 09:44:05 AM »
For those with parents and siblings:

Why is it one mother can take care of 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of one mother?

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1767 on: August 25, 2016, 09:47:43 AM »
I am impressed by how much some of you are willing to help with parents and siblings, but are you in fact enabling their bad behaviour, because at least some of the time you help with $? 

Well, there's also a point where it's your parents and you love them, and, while they SHOULD have planned better, they didn't, so you're stuck dealing with the situation at hand.

For example, my parents pay for a housecleaner because my mother is already at the physio every 2 weeks to maintain the mobility-through-pain she has, and my dad took on extra hours as a pharmacist to stash away SOME money (and he makes 90$/HR and pays the housekeeper 18$/HR, so good call). Ok. But then what happens when they can't pay the housecleaner, or if my dads health takes a crash? Mom can't do it without impacting the rest of her mobility. So, as their kids, while we can agree that a pharmacist should have saved more than 100 k total on years of 250k salaries, well... They didn't. So we can let our elderly parents live in squalor, we can do the cleaning ourselves on top of our own houses/kids/spouses/jobs/lives, or we can pay. Objectively, once you reach that point, what are your options?

Well, now your parents are looking at their options and your Dad is trying to remedy things.  My Dad spent a lot of his retirement savings on educating his DDs (we paid as much as we could and he picked up the rest) and ended up working part-time after 65.  But he ended up saving for a decent retirement, because he and my Mom were children of the Depression and managed their money well.  Of course he was lucky in that his health was good.  And aren't we both lucky that we are in Canada, given the health-care posts we see on here from Americans.

Given what I have seen my friends' parents do, if/when they retire they can move to something smaller and easier to maintain, or when your Dad retires he can do the housework.  I've seen it happen before.  I know someone who's mother had Parkinson's, no way she could clean, and her husband did it all.  He started doing most of the cooking too, and the kids did it at family get-togethers.  If your Dad's health deteriorated they would need to live in someplace that offered more care, wouldn't they?  My in-laws went through the typical progression of house to apartment to senior's residence to assisted living as their health gradually deteriorated.

It isn't that you shouldn't help them, it is what if the parents (any parents, not yours specifically) assume their kids will help so they don't do much to help themselves.  If the kids are not prepared to do this (i.e. discussed ahead of time) then the kids end up sandwiched between their own financial needs and their parents' financial needs.  And since the parents are counting on the childrens' support they may make choices that reflect an unrealistic income.
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Inaya

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1768 on: August 25, 2016, 01:06:07 PM »
For those with parents and siblings:

Why is it one mother can take care of 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of one mother?
This touches on a concern I have. My dad and his 5 siblings (and their spouses) always talk about how it took all of them to take care of my grandmother in her final years. The four locals (plus spouses) had kept a very strict visitation schedule to make sure that grandma was visited at the nursing home by a child or grandchild for as many hours as possible almost every day. My dad and nonlocal aunt visited as often as they could to relieve the locals for a few days. It was a labor of love and was really great to see them all come together. They unanimously have decided that it was that effort that kept grandma alive several years after grandpa passed.

This story terrifies me because I am an only child. I don't have 5 siblings and their spouses to take care of my ailing parents (one of whom is not in the best financial shape after catastrophic medical bills). And I have TWO parents. I have 1/24th the elder-caring potential (per parent). The idea alone of them getting old leaves me terrified--then thinking that it took 12 people to take care of grandma?

I've already decided that when I FIRE, I'll move back to my parents' city no matter how much I love living here. It's a LCOL area anyway, so it's a good financial decision. Beyond that? I have no idea what I'll do. I can barely take care of myself, let alone an aging parent!
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zolotiyeruki

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1769 on: August 25, 2016, 04:01:35 PM »
Why is it one mother can take care of 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of one mother?
Well, a SAHP has one scope of responsibility, generally speaking: the home and the kids.  The working spouse has a major responsibility (work), plus responsibilities at home.  But if you have an aging parent, you have all your normal responsibilities, *plus* the responsibility for the parent.

I think it's also a very foreign situation to a lot of people, and caring for their parent(s) is something they have to learn how to do.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1770 on: August 25, 2016, 04:19:17 PM »
. . . I've already decided that when I FIRE, I'll move back to my parents' city no matter how much I love living here. It's a LCOL area anyway, so it's a good financial decision. Beyond that? I have no idea what I'll do. I can barely take care of myself, let alone an aging parent!

To take it another step, imagine your parents have divorced, are still separately single, and they live 1,000 miles away from each other, neither having relatives living near them.  So now what do you do???

Inaya

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1771 on: August 25, 2016, 04:24:00 PM »
. . . I've already decided that when I FIRE, I'll move back to my parents' city no matter how much I love living here. It's a LCOL area anyway, so it's a good financial decision. Beyond that? I have no idea what I'll do. I can barely take care of myself, let alone an aging parent!

To take it another step, imagine your parents have divorced, are still separately single, and they live 1,000 miles away from each other, neither having relatives living near them.  So now what do you do???
Pick a favorite!

No, I have no idea. I'm struggling enough with them both being in the same place and one being pretty set financially. Thankful they are in the same place. Thanks for the dose of perspective LeRainDrop.
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1772 on: August 25, 2016, 04:47:06 PM »
I mentioned this thread and others like it to my lovely bride this evening over dinner.   We both agreed that we were very lucky not to have parents who had failed to take care of themselves financially. 

I mentioned that taking care of a parent who had done their best was one thing, but then asked her about how she would handle it if her spoiled rotten 50+ year old spendthrift sister were going to be homeless without our help.

"Oh, that's a tough one!" she replied.

She thought about it for a moment, then said, "I think it might do her some good to be homeless for awhile."

She thought a bit more and then added, "But I would give her a cardboard sign to hold up to beg for money with.  It would say 'God helps those who help themselves.'"   

I love my wife.   

She and her sister had a very elderly aunt who was reported to have lots of money socked away.  It's not our money, and the aunt wasn't pleasant to be around, so we concerned ourselves with neither the aunt or her money.

When the aunt's health started to really decline, my wife's sister crossed the country to spend time with the aunt.  Not because she wanted to be with her aunt, but because she wanted to wheedle money out of her.   She was making real progress until, sensing success, she really overplayed her hand.   She told her aunt, "God told me to tell you to give this valuable thing to me."

The aunt was not impressed and changed her mind about what she was giving to my wife's sister.  Dropped the amount big time.

That one snippet of behavior might help explain why my wife isn't all that motivated to help her sister.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1773 on: August 25, 2016, 07:03:21 PM »
Okay, this is slightly off topic as it was a friend who showed me this rather than a relative, but I didn't know where to put it and didn't feel it was enough for its own topic.. But oh my gosh... Have you ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule?! This is nuts!  A friend of mine just showed me this link thinking it was a good way to budget to save for a house down payment.  More details in the link, but essentially splitting your take home pay into three sections: spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% to paying off debts or into savings. I mean, I guess it's "good" that they recommend saving 20%, but holy sh*t. 

https://www.brightpeakfinancial.com/advice/debt/50-30-20-formula/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=ad&utm_content=503020&utm_campaign=ge_infographics


Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1774 on: August 25, 2016, 08:19:48 PM »
Okay, this is slightly off topic as it was a friend who showed me this rather than a relative, but I didn't know where to put it and didn't feel it was enough for its own topic.. But oh my gosh... Have you ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule?! This is nuts!  A friend of mine just showed me this link thinking it was a good way to budget to save for a house down payment.  More details in the link, but essentially splitting your take home pay into three sections: spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% to paying off debts or into savings. I mean, I guess it's "good" that they recommend saving 20%, but holy sh*t.

This ratio is VERY commonly recommended in personal finance circles.  It's called the Balanced Money Formula and was detailed by Elizabeth Warren (now a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts) and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi in their 2005 book All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Planhttp://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2007/12/03/book-review-all-your-worth/
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 08:22:39 PM by LeRainDrop »

ender

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1775 on: August 25, 2016, 08:32:57 PM »
Okay, this is slightly off topic as it was a friend who showed me this rather than a relative, but I didn't know where to put it and didn't feel it was enough for its own topic.. But oh my gosh... Have you ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule?! This is nuts!  A friend of mine just showed me this link thinking it was a good way to budget to save for a house down payment.  More details in the link, but essentially splitting your take home pay into three sections: spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% to paying off debts or into savings. I mean, I guess it's "good" that they recommend saving 20%, but holy sh*t. 

https://www.brightpeakfinancial.com/advice/debt/50-30-20-formula/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=ad&utm_content=503020&utm_campaign=ge_infographics


Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.

What percentage of your relatives would immediately be better off following this advice verbatim?


LeRainDrop

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1776 on: August 25, 2016, 08:36:29 PM »
Okay, this is slightly off topic as it was a friend who showed me this rather than a relative, but I didn't know where to put it and didn't feel it was enough for its own topic.. But oh my gosh... Have you ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule?! This is nuts!  A friend of mine just showed me this link thinking it was a good way to budget to save for a house down payment.  More details in the link, but essentially splitting your take home pay into three sections: spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% to paying off debts or into savings. I mean, I guess it's "good" that they recommend saving 20%, but holy sh*t. 

https://www.brightpeakfinancial.com/advice/debt/50-30-20-formula/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=ad&utm_content=503020&utm_campaign=ge_infographics


Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.

What percentage of your relatives would immediately be better off following this advice verbatim?

Exactly.  It would be a big step in the right direction for many (most?) people.  Sometimes the MMM slashing style can be overwhelming for newbies and it can be more effective to present a plan that seems more psychologically palatable to them.  Once they get there, hey, maybe they realize they can do even better!

canuck_24

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1777 on: August 26, 2016, 07:59:36 AM »
All three of you are absolutely correct, of course saving something is better than saving nothing; I’m not disagreeing with that.  Of course, the family members I have complained about in this same thread would do better to save even 5% than to save nothing.  When I read the article it seemed like this was a common recommendation, I am just surprised that this is what the professionals are recommending!  “If you are spending 80% of your money, you’ll be winning at fiscal life!”  This just made my jaw drop. 

My husband and I went to bed last night discussing what in the world people are spending their money on to reach that 80%.  “Maybe if we bought a new car and had car payments?” He mused.  So we did a bit of quick mental math, “No, given what our car payments were when we bought the mazda (it was the last new car we bought a few years ago), that would put us at around 49% spending.”  “Well, what about if we were living in a more expensive city, like Toronto, and our rent doubled?” More mental math, “No, still we’d be around 60% or 62%”.

Now, granted, we are DINKs, working professional jobs.  We aren’t earning minimum wage or anything close to it, but we aren’t making 6 figures (or anything close to it) either.  Earning/spending ratios are going to differ depending on the earning side of that ratio too.  So, when I am drawing these parallels I am thinking about people who are in similar situations as us, not the family of six with a stay at home mom.

Still it absolutely blows my mind that people can happily spend 80% of their take home pay and sit back at the end of the day and think, “Man, I did really well today.  I only spent 30% of my money on unnecessary stuff!”  And the people who write these articles are encouraging it.

Given your responses, I am wondering if perhaps this is so shocking to me because I was never a “newbie” to the mustachian way of thinking, it is natural for me.  Even as a child, I was a saver.  I opened my first low-risk investment account when I was 12 or 13 with my babysitting money, locking it in for five years so that I knew it would be available to me for university tuition.  This behaviour was not taught by my parents (see comments above), it was something I took upon myself (perhaps a survival mechanism of growing up in house without financial security? Idk)  Of course, there are many things I continue to learn from this community, but I wonder if maybe my lack of understanding of spendypants behaviour is because I never really had to “kick the habit” myself.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1778 on: August 26, 2016, 08:30:30 AM »
Gee, I *wish* had enough income to spend 30% on wants.

Where do taxes fit into those numbers?

canuck_24

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1779 on: August 26, 2016, 08:41:33 AM »
Gee, I *wish* had enough income to spend 30% on wants.

Where do taxes fit into those numbers?

According to the article, it's a ratio based on take-home pay.  If you're referring to income taxes, they've been taken off before the ratio is applied.

runningthroughFIRE

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1780 on: August 26, 2016, 08:48:20 AM »
I'm not sure why any of you here are freaking out and crying spendypants on people who follow the 50/30/20 rule.  Looking at the Shockingly Simple Math, saving 20% means you have a working career of 36.7 years (rounded to 37 in Pete's article) before you hit FI just like the rest of us.  That means you can fuck around all you want and not save anything at all until age 28, and still retire at the standard age of 65.

Pete's article even uses a 5% rate, which is more conservative than the historical long term average of 7%.  Use 7% in the calculation and you only have a 30.7 year working career, which means you have 6 more years of fuckery and you'll still be fine at age 65.  Not everyone knows retiring early is an option, and many of those that do know don't actually want to pull the RE trigger after they hit FI.  I get that this is the Wall of Shame and Comedy, but you don't need to FIRE in your 30s to be financially responsible.

[...]
Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.
There was an old poll on this a while back if you want to resurrect that thread (or make a new one).  It'd be interesting to see how some people have changed over time.  I personally budget for about 55% savings rate, but in practice I'm closer to 70%.

wenchsenior

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1781 on: August 26, 2016, 08:51:51 AM »
. . . I've already decided that when I FIRE, I'll move back to my parents' city no matter how much I love living here. It's a LCOL area anyway, so it's a good financial decision. Beyond that? I have no idea what I'll do. I can barely take care of myself, let alone an aging parent!

To take it another step, imagine your parents have divorced, are still separately single, and they live 1,000 miles away from each other, neither having relatives living near them.  So now what do you do???
Pick a favorite!

No, I have no idea. I'm struggling enough with them both being in the same place and one being pretty set financially. Thankful they are in the same place. Thanks for the dose of perspective LeRainDrop.

Heh. Now take it one step further. Parent 1 is mentally ill, addicted, and destructive, but has a fair amount of money/income (though considerably less than 5 years ago, given the above issues) that needs to be managed lest fraud occur, or worse, lack of payment leading to insurance lapses. Parent 1's spouse finally left, so P1 is now living alone, in a remote country house outside a very small town that has limited services. P1 has alienated the few family members left in the area.

Parent 2, after a lifetime of trouble dealing with long term planning and working no-benefit jobs or under-the-table, has no assets at all and income of 1200/mo SS (~950 after Medicare B deduction) to live on. P2 had siblings living in proximity, but they had no interest in helping financially or with living arrangements.

So, how do 3 kids of these parents, 2 of whom lived >1000 miles from the parents' state of resident (keep in mind the parents are living in towns 4 hours apart themselves) deal with this? Kid 1 does nothing at all, just ignores the situation. Kid 2 lives within 4 hours of Parent 1, so finally got power of attorney and manages the money and bills on top of a full time job, and visits P1 every few months. We expect P1 will die in a horrific way at some point in the next few years, or end up in massively expensive long term care (for which they do not have insurance).

Parent 2 was more cooperative. DH and I (Kid 3) have the only stable, upper middle income of the bunch...Kid 1 and Kid 2 are just getting by financially). So now DH and I are providing about 7-10K/yr of support for P2. We moved P2 to our state, and provide a utilities-and-mortgage paid house, and a used car. As to what happens when P2 can no longer live alone, well, I guess we cross that bridge when we come to it. But whatever the bridge is, it will be up to me alone to deal with it.

My husband's family situation is far worse and more dysfunctional than mine. He deals with it by mostly staying out of contact with them, except for occasional multi-thousand dollar infusions of emergency cash. Like when his 70+ year old mother was reduced to living in a tent. Mostly, he ignores it.

And I have no doubt there are FAR worse situations on this board! Family is so FUN, LOL.

mtn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1782 on: August 26, 2016, 08:52:29 AM »
I'm trying to figure it out--right now, I save only 15% to my 401k. It has been as high as 30% this year, and as low as 8%, and I'll randomly throw a few hundred to a few thousand at my IRA. My wife is either 10 or 15%, but she also is putting away about 5-10% on student loans.

Now we're buying a house--can we proportion some of that between savings and needs? It is a debt, but we do need a place to live. What about my guitars? For me they are a "need", but to most people they'd be a "want". But at the same time I've never lost money on one (still have about 7 out of 30 that I've bought/sold)

I'd have to sit down with my wife to get it exactly figured out between wants, needs, and savings, but I'm sure that depending on how you want to play it out we could get it to about 40% savings/debt, or as low as 20%. And I don't think we're doing bad at all.

(note: ours is skewed by HCOL)

wenchsenior

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1783 on: August 26, 2016, 09:00:00 AM »
Okay, this is slightly off topic as it was a friend who showed me this rather than a relative, but I didn't know where to put it and didn't feel it was enough for its own topic.. But oh my gosh... Have you ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule?! This is nuts!  A friend of mine just showed me this link thinking it was a good way to budget to save for a house down payment.  More details in the link, but essentially splitting your take home pay into three sections: spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% to paying off debts or into savings. I mean, I guess it's "good" that they recommend saving 20%, but holy sh*t. 

https://www.brightpeakfinancial.com/advice/debt/50-30-20-formula/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=ad&utm_content=503020&utm_campaign=ge_infographics


Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.

What percentage of your relatives would immediately be better off following this advice verbatim?

Yeah, I actually think it is a reasonable framework for most people, because it gets people focused on savings as a percent of income, rather than a $ amount. It's higher than the 10% savings rule that is the most commonly cited in the mainstream press as the desired goal. Most people aren't Mustachian and never will be. But if this plan were followed diligently from when people were first employed, most could at least retire safely at regular retirement age. Currently,  most people in the U.S. can't even do that.

You have to remember that it isn't just lack of financial education or high income that trips people up. A lot of people just don't have personality traits that make saving huge amounts manageable. I suspect Mustachians don't make the most optimal decisions in all areas of their lives, either, depending on the vagaries of their personalities.

canuck_24

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1784 on: August 26, 2016, 09:48:48 AM »
I'm not sure why any of you here are freaking out and crying spendypants on people who follow the 50/30/20 rule.  Looking at the Shockingly Simple Math, saving 20% means you have a working career of 36.7 years (rounded to 37 in Pete's article) before you hit FI just like the rest of us.  That means you can fuck around all you want and not save anything at all until age 28, and still retire at the standard age of 65.

Pete's article even uses a 5% rate, which is more conservative than the historical long term average of 7%.  Use 7% in the calculation and you only have a 30.7 year working career, which means you have 6 more years of fuckery and you'll still be fine at age 65.  Not everyone knows retiring early is an option, and many of those that do know don't actually want to pull the RE trigger after they hit FI.  I get that this is the Wall of Shame and Comedy, but you don't need to FIRE in your 30s to be financially responsible.

Okay, lesson learned… make a new topic!  This seems to be getting somewhat taken out of context.  I’m not “freaking out and crying spendypants on people who follow the 50/30/20 rule.”  If you are referring to my comment about “my lack of understanding of spendypants behaviour” – that line was a summary of my feeling towards people’s spending habits in general, and somewhat of a contemplation as to why I can’t understand it.   It was not specifically aimed at those following the 50/30/20 rule.  Although, I still find that a surprising ratio.
I was (am) surprised when I read the numbers.  I hadn’t ever seen that before, and am surprised that people think that’s reasonable.  It doesn’t feel reasonable to me. Personally.  In my brain and in my wallet.  I’m not throwing down judgment on people who save 20%.  Good for them!  It just feels like a very high spending rate to me and I am not even close to an “extreme” example of frugality!  I feel that my husband and I live a very comfortable life, and we often feel we are very spendy… 

We travel all over the world, at a relatively frequent pace.  This past year alone has included 3 international trips, and 3 domestic trips.  Example #2: We are two people living in a 3 bedroom house, we could just as easily live in a 2 bedroom, or even a 1 bedroom, but instead are wasting money on this 3 bedroom place because we have the furniture to fill it.

…and we are STILL saving over 50%!  I just can’t get my head around a scenario where we spending nearly double what we currently spend; where in the world would that money go?!  And again, to allude to my earlier comment, I acknowledge that we are in the primetime for saving, and I’m not comparing myself to others who are at a different place in life.

I wasn't intending to be judgmental of someone saving at any rate.  I was simply shocked when I read those numbers and wanted to share my response with a likeminded community.  I clearly shouldn't have posted it in the "relatives" post, because perhaps it appeared as though I was scornful of my friend for showing me this article, or being derisive to those applying this rule in their own lives, which wasn't the case.  I would be stoked if either of my siblings followed this rule!  Or my parents!  I just started doing the math for my own life and was blown away by the "normal" numbers.  Considering this is a group made up of people who don't follow financial norms, I thought others would be equally surprised.


[...]
Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.
There was an old poll on this a while back if you want to resurrect that thread (or make a new one).  It'd be interesting to see how some people have changed over time.  I personally budget for about 55% savings rate, but in practice I'm closer to 70%.


Cool, thanks!  That was an interesting read also.

mm1970

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1785 on: August 26, 2016, 11:48:49 AM »
For those with parents and siblings:

Why is it one mother can take care of 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of one mother?

I think a few things come into play:

culture

sandwiches

For "culture", American culture, unlike others, values "independence".  While it changes over time, when my siblings and I graduated HS (from 1970 through 1991), you were supposed to "go forth and make your own way".  And be independent relatively quickly.  (Though I will admit one sibling got a lot of economic outpatient care).  And likewise, parents were supposed to be independent and not burden their children.  I used to listen to Dr. Laura on the radio (back when she was on the radio) on my commute from my FT job to pick up my kid from daycare (chew on that a bit).  I found her opinions rather ... fascinating.  And she often said things like "don't remarry if you divorce with kids. Move in with your parents."  And "parents should not be a burden to their children in old age."  So I think that while when you have kids, you know you will be caring for them for 18 years (or more), many people don't think towards their own retirements, much less taking care of their parents.  (My Asian & Mexican friends have much different philosophies.)

Sandwiches...the sandwich generation. Many elderly people have children, but...their children are in the middle.  They delayed having children.  Example: my parents were  born in 1926 and 1944.  My kids were born in 2006 and 2012.  If my parents were living (they aren't), they would be 90 and 72.  How hard would it be for me to care for them when I have a 10 year old and a 4 year old?  Nevermind that I have a full time job and live 2500 miles away from home.  (Plus, they were divorced, and my mother remarried.)  So now, I have a stepfather who is getting older, has recently had surgery, lives alone and ...2500 miles away.  I cannot physically care for him.  (I did swing by while on the East Coast and take care of him post-surgery for about 4 days).  My sister, her husband, and my nephew live through the woods and they are there daily to help out.  (He does not need help financially.)

The physical and emotional exhaustion that comes with working and having children, and THEN to add aging parents?  So my in-laws are in their early 70s (and healthy, thank goodness) but they are also divorced and each live with new SO's.  If they  needed money, how does that work?  While we both work full time, pay for child care, save up for college and retirement AND send money to 3, maybe 4, sets of parents?

When my grandmother died, my mother and I spent a lot of time helping out my grandfather.  Because my mother was a SAHM.  During the summer, I helped too.  During the school year, I'd go over with her on Saturdays.  But they were local.

Kitsune

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1786 on: August 26, 2016, 12:18:28 PM »
For those with parents and siblings:

Why is it one mother can take care of 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of one mother?

Well, baseline: taking care of my kid: having a bed in the house (ideally a room, but necessary is a bed), adding a bit of extra food on the table, some clothes, daycare (subsidized here), and they're living under household rules as a non-adult in the family. Excluding daycare (after subsidies, it's 160$/month for us, Americans may find it different) and including diapers, my toddler costs us a bit of extra space in our house and an average of slightly less than 150$/month according to our YNAB (including furniture as she grows, car seats, clothing, winter outdoor clothing and boots, toys, Christmas presents, etc). Including daycare, my kid costs us about 300$/month, and there's subsidies of almost 200$/month that come from the federal/provincial government to offset that. She's mobile, comes with us when we go places, etc.

My mother and my father, if we were to take care of them:
- Either move them into our house (and then that's moving another adult with their own ways of living AND a habit of telling you how they think you should live your life, yay family dynamics), or rent an apartment. And they need an actual room, not a bed/shared room. Either option involves a SIGNIFICANT disruption of either your family life or your financial life, if they can'T afford it.
- Elder care, if needed. 160$/month? Hahahahahaha.
- Food: more than my toddler, and also pickier.
- Diapers are 40$/month for disposables for my toddler. I'm not intimately familiar with the cost of adult diapers, but I'm willing to bet it's more than that...
- They want to go places, need to be driven (car maintenance/time driving). They have more healthcare appointments, issues, and need more help for medical stuff (at least usually, by the time they need care). More time off work, more appointments, more time in general, more issues, more work.
- Clothing: hopefully they have enough, but clothing for picky adults can be more expensive than buying a 4$ t-shirt with butterflies for a 'picky' toddler.
And the list goes on...

So, yeah. 10 kids in the house don't require a huge amount that's not the same (a pot of soup is a pot of soup, clothes get handed down, rooms can be shared, etc), they get pretty self-sufficient (once they're past the diaper stage and at the 'playing alone for hours' stage, anyway), and they have to obey household rules. Elderly parents who are used to things going THEIR way, resent their body for falling apart, and generally need a lot of help and aren'T willing to change how they live to suit another adult's rules? Different set of issues.

Based on my grandmother, anyway. I'm hoping my parents handle it better.





MrsDinero

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1787 on: August 26, 2016, 12:43:34 PM »
Elderly parents who are used to things going THEIR way, resent their body for falling apart, and generally need a lot of help and aren'T willing to change how they live to suit another adult's rules? Different set of issues.

There is also the psychological issue of the parents, who once were the caretakers, now needing the care.

This is one problem I am running into with my father.  He can be very secretive about a lot of things.

It is clear his health is declining, however if you ask him he will tell you that all his doctors say he is 100% healthy.  Well we know this is not true, because he had an organ transplant 10 years ago, is a chain smoker, skin cancer, and is starting to have balance problems. My mother has no idea who his doctors are.  When he has an appointment, he just disappears and MIGHT tell you about the appt a few days later.  The same goes with finances.

I've been trying to discuss financial matters, long term care issues, etc with him.  My mother is pretty much in the dark about all investments, retirement accounts, and anything money related.  Since retiring he set up an automatic transfer to the joint checking so my mom can pay the monthly bills.  She, however, has zero knowledge of where this money is coming from. 

Every time I broach the subject, my dad just waves off the questions with "you kids don't need to know that information."

I have a feeling that untangling everything when he passes is going to be a nightmare.  Last I heard I was the named executor but that was 10 years ago.

Kitsune

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1788 on: August 26, 2016, 12:55:09 PM »
Elderly parents who are used to things going THEIR way, resent their body for falling apart, and generally need a lot of help and aren'T willing to change how they live to suit another adult's rules? Different set of issues.

There is also the psychological issue of the parents, who once were the caretakers, now needing the care.

This is one problem I am running into with my father.  He can be very secretive about a lot of things.

It is clear his health is declining, however if you ask him he will tell you that all his doctors say he is 100% healthy.  Well we know this is not true, because he had an organ transplant 10 years ago, is a chain smoker, skin cancer, and is starting to have balance problems. My mother has no idea who his doctors are.  When he has an appointment, he just disappears and MIGHT tell you about the appt a few days later.  The same goes with finances.

I've been trying to discuss financial matters, long term care issues, etc with him.  My mother is pretty much in the dark about all investments, retirement accounts, and anything money related.  Since retiring he set up an automatic transfer to the joint checking so my mom can pay the monthly bills.  She, however, has zero knowledge of where this money is coming from. 

Every time I broach the subject, my dad just waves off the questions with "you kids don't need to know that information."

I have a feeling that untangling everything when he passes is going to be a nightmare.  Last I heard I was the named executor but that was 10 years ago.

Oh god I'm so sorry.

... if he won't give you the information, would a "dad, if something happens to you, we're gonna need to know. You don't have to give us the information, but can you please insure that your lawyer has it, just in case" have any effect?

And yeah, the 'I've been doing things this way for 70 years, ain't no one gonna tell me how to live my life or manage my money' in the face of a situation where they can barely walk, lose balance and fall, can't do their own shopping, and don't have money for care... that's an emotionally taxing as hell situation.

Frankly, taking care of my toddler is WAY easier. Among other things, she's not likely to break a hip if she falls, I can pick her back up, and if she won't get in the car to go see the doctor's for a health issue I can pick her up and put her in it. ;)

MrsDinero

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1789 on: August 26, 2016, 01:02:56 PM »
Elderly parents who are used to things going THEIR way, resent their body for falling apart, and generally need a lot of help and aren'T willing to change how they live to suit another adult's rules? Different set of issues.

There is also the psychological issue of the parents, who once were the caretakers, now needing the care.

This is one problem I am running into with my father.  He can be very secretive about a lot of things.

It is clear his health is declining, however if you ask him he will tell you that all his doctors say he is 100% healthy.  Well we know this is not true, because he had an organ transplant 10 years ago, is a chain smoker, skin cancer, and is starting to have balance problems. My mother has no idea who his doctors are.  When he has an appointment, he just disappears and MIGHT tell you about the appt a few days later.  The same goes with finances.

I've been trying to discuss financial matters, long term care issues, etc with him.  My mother is pretty much in the dark about all investments, retirement accounts, and anything money related.  Since retiring he set up an automatic transfer to the joint checking so my mom can pay the monthly bills.  She, however, has zero knowledge of where this money is coming from. 

Every time I broach the subject, my dad just waves off the questions with "you kids don't need to know that information."

I have a feeling that untangling everything when he passes is going to be a nightmare.  Last I heard I was the named executor but that was 10 years ago.

Oh god I'm so sorry.

... if he won't give you the information, would a "dad, if something happens to you, we're gonna need to know. You don't have to give us the information, but can you please insure that your lawyer has it, just in case" have any effect?

And yeah, the 'I've been doing things this way for 70 years, ain't no one gonna tell me how to live my life or manage my money' in the face of a situation where they can barely walk, lose balance and fall, can't do their own shopping, and don't have money for care... that's an emotionally taxing as hell situation.

Frankly, taking care of my toddler is WAY easier. Among other things, she's not likely to break a hip if she falls, I can pick her back up, and if she won't get in the car to go see the doctor's for a health issue I can pick her up and put her in it. ;)

Yes I've done that.  I pretty much just said to make sure everything is documented somewhere and not in a lockbox that only he knows about.  he just smiles and says something like "have you kids ever needed to worry about anything?  no, so don't start now." I'm sure he means well but it is not comforting in the least.  He pretty much tells my mom the same thing if she asks. 

mtn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1790 on: August 26, 2016, 01:07:02 PM »
Jeez, that is bad... is it at least written down somewhere?


Definitely agree, kids are easier than elderly. What do you tell an 87 year old nurse with a Masters degree in Public Health when she says that the doctor didn't know what he was talking about when he ordered her to get a walker? Do you remind said 87 year old that they fell down because of their poor balance (hint: That pisses them off)?

runningthroughFIRE

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1791 on: August 26, 2016, 01:31:14 PM »
I'm not sure why any of you here are freaking out and crying spendypants on people who follow the 50/30/20 rule.  Looking at the Shockingly Simple Math, saving 20% means you have a working career of 36.7 years (rounded to 37 in Pete's article) before you hit FI just like the rest of us.  That means you can fuck around all you want and not save anything at all until age 28, and still retire at the standard age of 65.

Pete's article even uses a 5% rate, which is more conservative than the historical long term average of 7%.  Use 7% in the calculation and you only have a 30.7 year working career, which means you have 6 more years of fuckery and you'll still be fine at age 65.  Not everyone knows retiring early is an option, and many of those that do know don't actually want to pull the RE trigger after they hit FI.  I get that this is the Wall of Shame and Comedy, but you don't need to FIRE in your 30s to be financially responsible.

Okay, lesson learned… make a new topic!  This seems to be getting somewhat taken out of context.  I’m not “freaking out and crying spendypants on people who follow the 50/30/20 rule.”  If you are referring to my comment about “my lack of understanding of spendypants behaviour” – that line was a summary of my feeling towards people’s spending habits in general, and somewhat of a contemplation as to why I can’t understand it.   It was not specifically aimed at those following the 50/30/20 rule.  Although, I still find that a surprising ratio.
I was (am) surprised when I read the numbers.  I hadn’t ever seen that before, and am surprised that people think that’s reasonable.  It doesn’t feel reasonable to me. Personally.  In my brain and in my wallet.  I’m not throwing down judgment on people who save 20%.  Good for them!  It just feels like a very high spending rate to me and I am not even close to an “extreme” example of frugality!  I feel that my husband and I live a very comfortable life, and we often feel we are very spendy… 

We travel all over the world, at a relatively frequent pace.  This past year alone has included 3 international trips, and 3 domestic trips.  Example #2: We are two people living in a 3 bedroom house, we could just as easily live in a 2 bedroom, or even a 1 bedroom, but instead are wasting money on this 3 bedroom place because we have the furniture to fill it.

…and we are STILL saving over 50%!  I just can’t get my head around a scenario where we spending nearly double what we currently spend; where in the world would that money go?!  And again, to allude to my earlier comment, I acknowledge that we are in the primetime for saving, and I’m not comparing myself to others who are at a different place in life.

I wasn't intending to be judgmental of someone saving at any rate.  I was simply shocked when I read those numbers and wanted to share my response with a likeminded community.  I clearly shouldn't have posted it in the "relatives" post, because perhaps it appeared as though I was scornful of my friend for showing me this article, or being derisive to those applying this rule in their own lives, which wasn't the case.  I would be stoked if either of my siblings followed this rule!  Or my parents!  I just started doing the math for my own life and was blown away by the "normal" numbers.  Considering this is a group made up of people who don't follow financial norms, I thought others would be equally surprised.

Perhaps I was a bit overzealous.  For me personally, spending 80% of my income seems ridiculous too, but when I think of it in terms of general advice given to people, I think it's really good.  It's easy to understand, gets them to a solid place financially, and gives people plenty of room to "treat yo self".  Maybe you have a rosier view of the typical household than I do.

The median American household makes ~$53.6K per year, while the median American individual makes ~$24K per year.  When you look at the median person in the US (and remember that fully half of them earn less than this), it becomes pretty difficult to rack up the high savings numbers you see thrown about this board of highly educated, high-earning people.

wenchsenior

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1792 on: August 26, 2016, 01:32:44 PM »
For those with parents and siblings:

Why is it one mother can take care of 10 children but 10 children cannot take care of one mother?

I think a few things come into play:

culture

sandwiches

For "culture", American culture, unlike others, values "independence".  While it changes over time, when my siblings and I graduated HS (from 1970 through 1991), you were supposed to "go forth and make your own way".  And be independent relatively quickly.  (Though I will admit one sibling got a lot of economic outpatient care).  And likewise, parents were supposed to be independent and not burden their children.  I used to listen to Dr. Laura on the radio (back when she was on the radio) on my commute from my FT job to pick up my kid from daycare (chew on that a bit).  I found her opinions rather ... fascinating.  And she often said things like "don't remarry if you divorce with kids. Move in with your parents."  And "parents should not be a burden to their children in old age."  So I think that while when you have kids, you know you will be caring for them for 18 years (or more), many people don't think towards their own retirements, much less taking care of their parents.  (My Asian & Mexican friends have much different philosophies.)

Sandwiches...the sandwich generation. Many elderly people have children, but...their children are in the middle.  They delayed having children.  Example: my parents were  born in 1926 and 1944.  My kids were born in 2006 and 2012.  If my parents were living (they aren't), they would be 90 and 72.  How hard would it be for me to care for them when I have a 10 year old and a 4 year old?  Nevermind that I have a full time job and live 2500 miles away from home.  (Plus, they were divorced, and my mother remarried.)  So now, I have a stepfather who is getting older, has recently had surgery, lives alone and ...2500 miles away.  I cannot physically care for him.  (I did swing by while on the East Coast and take care of him post-surgery for about 4 days).  My sister, her husband, and my nephew live through the woods and they are there daily to help out.  (He does not need help financially.)

The physical and emotional exhaustion that comes with working and having children, and THEN to add aging parents?  So my in-laws are in their early 70s (and healthy, thank goodness) but they are also divorced and each live with new SO's.  If they  needed money, how does that work?  While we both work full time, pay for child care, save up for college and retirement AND send money to 3, maybe 4, sets of parents?

When my grandmother died, my mother and I spent a lot of time helping out my grandfather.  Because my mother was a SAHM.  During the summer, I helped too.  During the school year, I'd go over with her on Saturdays.  But they were local.

Good post. I think the demographic changes in American society are a huge factor in creating a very challenging situation starting with the Gen Xers, and going forward.  In my grandparents' time,

the average American had more kids, which meant the likelihood of at least a few of the kids remaining in the vicinity was a bit higher;

they had their kids younger, which meant by the time they were dealing with their own aging parents, more of their own kids were independent or close to it, and could take up the slack caring for younger siblings still at home;

marriage rates were higher, so there were fewer divorced parents to deal with, and more of the caregivers had a partner for support;

there was more often 1 SAHP because it wasn't the norm for both parents to work fulltime, and the SAHP was then available to take on responsibilities for parents;

and finally, life expenctancy wasn't as high, so more people died younger and the caretaker burden didn't last as long. 

All different now: later marriages, fewer marriages; fewer kids having to care for more parents; possibly also a higher incidence of kids moving away from their home region (though I haven't ever seen data bearing this out...just have seen anecdotally); later childbearing increasing the 'sandwiching' of taking care of young kids and aging parents simultaneously; less financial leeway for one person to be a full time SAHP; longer time spent in old age, resulting in need for longer and more expensive care

I think this is going to be one of the primary sociological challenges of the next few decades.

Kitsune

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1793 on: August 26, 2016, 01:54:04 PM »
and finally, life expenctancy wasn't as high, so more people died younger and the caretaker burden didn't last as long. 

... And, quite frankly, didn't live to the point where they needed round-the-clock care for years. Medical advances are great at a lot of things, but they have stretched out post-illness lifespans. Which is mostly really great... like, if my great-great-grandfather had a heart attack, ok, that was it. My grandfather had a heart attack: 3 weeks of hospital care, a few months of rehab issues, lifestyle changes that required accomodations around him for things he could no longer do, drugs, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I think those medical advances are a GREAT thing, and I'm very thankful for the extra 10 years I got with my grandpa. But those types of scenarios are far from uncommon, and do require much more care than for the previous generations, and we haven't yet figured out a way to accomodate that.

Making Cookies

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1794 on: August 26, 2016, 02:01:22 PM »

My husband's family situation is far worse and more dysfunctional than mine. He deals with it by mostly staying out of contact with them, except for occasional multi-thousand dollar infusions of emergency cash. Like when his 70+ year old mother was reduced to living in a tent. Mostly, he ignores it.

And I have no doubt there are FAR worse situations on this board! Family is so FUN, LOL.

I suspect they will all face indigent care provided by the state at some point. The state (my state anyhow) will provide a bed in an elder care situation but it will be a bed and a closet and three square meals. Basic services in a room shared with someone else in similar circumstances. Any SS benefits will be collected aside from a tiny amount to be spent on clothing and basic bathroom needs in order to pay for a portion of the care.

The state will attempt to seize any other assets the senior has as well were they to have any in order to pay for the care.

My grandparents handled caring for their elders by pooling their monies together and building a mother-in-law apartment on the end of the house. Smaller space, all the necessary stuff like kitchen ,bathroom, den, etc.

I think if we find ourselves in the care of our parents (mine or DW's) I'll be looking to buy a duplex nearby (or building one) and let one side help pay for the other side. If I had divorced parents to care for - perhaps having two in the same town but not near each other (unless they got along well). Sell the parents' house off to pay for the duplex.

Our first home would have been a good retirement home - it was a little 1940s cottage. Plenty of room for two people and even a second bedroom for a guest. Even our second home would have been good. Single level, one nice bedrooms, two modest other bedrooms, carport. Quite affordable here. Not going to impress anyone who seeks to be impressed but clean, comfortable, and quiet.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 02:11:33 PM by Joe Lucky »

wenchsenior

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1795 on: August 26, 2016, 02:58:32 PM »


My grandparents handled caring for their elders by pooling their monies together and building a mother-in-law apartment on the end of the house. Smaller space, all the necessary stuff like kitchen ,bathroom, den, etc.

I think if we find ourselves in the care of our parents (mine or DW's) I'll be looking to buy a duplex nearby (or building one) and let one side help pay for the other side. If I had divorced parents to care for - perhaps having two in the same town but not near each other (unless they got along well). Sell the parents' house off to pay for the duplex.



These are good ideas, but they require that there be money available. In my family one side had PLENTY of money and a ratio of 6 (potentially 9 but 3 didn't really contribute) caregivers:1 person needing care. The drama was STILL unbelievable, and several of them barely speak to each other now. On the other side of my family it was worse. A ratio of 4 caregivers:1 person, but no money available at all. They supplemented with some visits and care from the state (they were fortunate to live in one that had good programs for the poor elderly).

Also, neither of my aging grandmothers would agree to to leave their houses...they insisted someone live with or visit daily to care for them, regardless of whether this was practical. The one with money for a live-in caregiver and the 6:1 ratio of regularly attending relatives managed this until close to her death. The one without money and a 4:1 ratio created a HUGE problem. Eventually, the caregivers (all of whom had full time jobs) just had to leave her on her own for 2 weeks with visits of only one half hour per day, in order for her to realize she had to go into a nursing home. God, it was so miserable. Years later, and neither family is really over it.

mtn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1796 on: August 26, 2016, 03:01:43 PM »


My grandparents handled caring for their elders by pooling their monies together and building a mother-in-law apartment on the end of the house. Smaller space, all the necessary stuff like kitchen ,bathroom, den, etc.

I think if we find ourselves in the care of our parents (mine or DW's) I'll be looking to buy a duplex nearby (or building one) and let one side help pay for the other side. If I had divorced parents to care for - perhaps having two in the same town but not near each other (unless they got along well). Sell the parents' house off to pay for the duplex.



These are good ideas, but they require that there be money available. In my family one side had PLENTY of money and a ratio of 6 (potentially 9 but 3 didn't really contribute) caregivers:1 person needing care. The drama was STILL unbelievable, and several of them barely speak to each other now. On the other side of my family it was worse. A ratio of 4 caregivers:1 person, but no money available at all. They supplemented with some visits and care from the state (they were fortunate to live in one that had good programs for the poor elderly).

Also, neither of my aging grandmothers would agree to to leave their houses...they insisted someone live with or visit daily to care for them, regardless of whether this was practical. The one with money for a live-in caregiver and the 6:1 ratio of regularly attending relatives managed this until close to her death. The one without money and a 4:1 ratio created a HUGE problem. Eventually, the caregivers (all of whom had full time jobs) just had to leave her on her own for 2 weeks with visits of only one half hour per day, in order for her to realize she had to go into a nursing home. God, it was so miserable. Years later, and neither family is really over it.

My mother and her sisters have all written letters to themselves, and given them to us (me, my cousins). The letters all say "You're acting like Aunt E. Stop it"

Of course, if said person really is acting like Aunt E, they will just ignore the letter and tell us we're wrong.

wenchsenior

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1797 on: August 26, 2016, 03:41:32 PM »


My grandparents handled caring for their elders by pooling their monies together and building a mother-in-law apartment on the end of the house. Smaller space, all the necessary stuff like kitchen ,bathroom, den, etc.

I think if we find ourselves in the care of our parents (mine or DW's) I'll be looking to buy a duplex nearby (or building one) and let one side help pay for the other side. If I had divorced parents to care for - perhaps having two in the same town but not near each other (unless they got along well). Sell the parents' house off to pay for the duplex.



These are good ideas, but they require that there be money available. In my family one side had PLENTY of money and a ratio of 6 (potentially 9 but 3 didn't really contribute) caregivers:1 person needing care. The drama was STILL unbelievable, and several of them barely speak to each other now. On the other side of my family it was worse. A ratio of 4 caregivers:1 person, but no money available at all. They supplemented with some visits and care from the state (they were fortunate to live in one that had good programs for the poor elderly).

Also, neither of my aging grandmothers would agree to to leave their houses...they insisted someone live with or visit daily to care for them, regardless of whether this was practical. The one with money for a live-in caregiver and the 6:1 ratio of regularly attending relatives managed this until close to her death. The one without money and a 4:1 ratio created a HUGE problem. Eventually, the caregivers (all of whom had full time jobs) just had to leave her on her own for 2 weeks with visits of only one half hour per day, in order for her to realize she had to go into a nursing home. God, it was so miserable. Years later, and neither family is really over it.

My mother and her sisters have all written letters to themselves, and given them to us (me, my cousins). The letters all say "You're acting like Aunt E. Stop it"

Of course, if said person really is acting like Aunt E, they will just ignore the letter and tell us we're wrong.

I know, right?

Incidentally, for shits and giggles, I just ran the ratios on my generation for caregivers to potential households (not even individuals) needing care as we age.

I noted my grandparents had ratios of 9 potential, 6 actual caregivers: 1 household needing care; and a ratio of 4 caregivers:1 household needing care.

In this generation, there are currently 10 households plus an extra divorced one...and only 5 or 6 kids so far, all produced in 4 of the 10 households.

Four members of my generation might yet reproduce or reproduce more, so I presume more kids will eventually be added to this scenario.

But it is still sobering: The realistic ratios of caregivers to households in this generation currently is 0 caregivers:1 household in 3 cases, with other households ranging from 1:1 to best case of 3:2,

So, the absolute best potential scenario for maybe half of these households is if there 1) no divorces in the aging households; 2) those with potential to reproduce or reproduce more ending up with at least 2 kids; and 3) all of the next generation kids 4) marrying (doubling potential caregivers) and 5) staying local or able to provide care....is a possible 4:1 ratio in about half the households (outside shot of 6:1 in a couple of them if they get all crazy and have 3 kids).

This does not, of course, take into account any caregiving responsibilities the kids take on for their spouses' aging parents in either generation. Yikes.

SwordGuy

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1798 on: August 26, 2016, 03:48:22 PM »
Okay, this is slightly off topic as it was a friend who showed me this rather than a relative, but I didn't know where to put it and didn't feel it was enough for its own topic.. But oh my gosh... Have you ever heard of the 50/30/20 rule?! This is nuts!  A friend of mine just showed me this link thinking it was a good way to budget to save for a house down payment.  More details in the link, but essentially splitting your take home pay into three sections: spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% to paying off debts or into savings. I mean, I guess it's "good" that they recommend saving 20%, but holy sh*t. 

https://www.brightpeakfinancial.com/advice/debt/50-30-20-formula/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=ad&utm_content=503020&utm_campaign=ge_infographics


Out of curiosity, for those still working, what are your spending/saving ratios?  In my opinion I am still on the high side, spending about 45% of take home pay and saving 55%.

What percentage of your relatives would immediately be better off following this advice verbatim?

A HUGE percentage of people I know would GREATLY benefit by following this advice.   

And a lot of them think that the 50-30-20 budget is impossibly hard to make happen, more's the pity.

It has several really important virtues:

1) It is VERY simple to understand (except for lazy-brained personal finance writers, who quite often get the definition of savings or needs wrong).  The average person understands what they should be aiming for within a few minutes.

2) The mechanics of doing it for people who have a steady income are very simple.  Calculate the % amounts once to start off, then whenever one's income or "needs" expenses change (either by paying off a pre-existing need, BEFORE committing to a new recurring need payment, or when the prices for a need change).   Put the savings on autopilot and declare victory after some years.   No counting pennies all the damn time with a budget!

3) Unlike extreme early retirement, it's "within the norm of understanding" for most people in the middle class in my country.  It may seem really hard compared to spending 120% of one's paychecks, but it's really easy compared to getting to a 50% or 75% savings rate.

4) After someone has converted to the 50-30-20 rule and gotten their spending to fit within it, they can easily switch to an early FI strategy once they are exposed to it.  It's no longer outside the real of possibility because they could easily jump to a 40% to 50% savings rate.


mm1970

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #1799 on: August 26, 2016, 04:52:53 PM »
Elderly parents who are used to things going THEIR way, resent their body for falling apart, and generally need a lot of help and aren'T willing to change how they live to suit another adult's rules? Different set of issues.

There is also the psychological issue of the parents, who once were the caretakers, now needing the care.

This is one problem I am running into with my father.  He can be very secretive about a lot of things.

It is clear his health is declining, however if you ask him he will tell you that all his doctors say he is 100% healthy.  Well we know this is not true, because he had an organ transplant 10 years ago, is a chain smoker, skin cancer, and is starting to have balance problems. My mother has no idea who his doctors are.  When he has an appointment, he just disappears and MIGHT tell you about the appt a few days later.  The same goes with finances.

I've been trying to discuss financial matters, long term care issues, etc with him.  My mother is pretty much in the dark about all investments, retirement accounts, and anything money related.  Since retiring he set up an automatic transfer to the joint checking so my mom can pay the monthly bills.  She, however, has zero knowledge of where this money is coming from. 

Every time I broach the subject, my dad just waves off the questions with "you kids don't need to know that information."

I have a feeling that untangling everything when he passes is going to be a nightmare.  Last I heard I was the named executor but that was 10 years ago.
Yes, I have seen both of these.  The decline AND the "I want to do things my own way" with my husband's grandparents.  They wanted help but SPECIFIC help - like "mow my lawn" and "do my laundry", but "stay out of my bills".

My mother would tell me on the phone that her doctor said "everything is great!"  I somehow doubted that, being that she was 100 pounds overweight and an alcoholic.  It eventually killed her.  Ended up in the hospital for the third time in a year and her organs started failing and that's that.