Ugh, just want to chime with a rant about my family. Didn't want to start a whole new thread and this seems just as good a place as any.
I'll start with my Dad and his wife. They are both in their early 70s. They bought a modest house 15 years ago but now have a mortgage that is over $30K more than they originally paid for the house (bought for ~$190K, owe ~$220K now). Both took social security the instant they were eligible rather than waiting and so their combined social security income is only a few hundred a month more than their mortgage payment. Although they have each been reasonably high income earners, they have always been self employed and I believe they have under-reported income for years to avoid taxes which is now resulting in less social security. They have no other savings at all, so they both continue to work part time although they complain about it. They have inherited a couple of windfalls in the past decade but those got spent and are gone.
When I was in my 20's and 30's, Dad was earning a lot of money but still racking up huge credit card debt, although none of it was spent on me, thankfully. His wife seems to be just as bad with money, having declared bankruptcy a few years before they got married. Hopefully they have paid off some of the massive credit card debt they once told me they had; I don't even ask.
I love my Dad, but he has made many, many bad financial and personal choices in his life. A few years ago he seemed to realize that he will have to work until he dies, which is a sad thought and his health is steadily failing now. While I don't want to see him suffer, his choices are his choices and not within my circle of control, so therefore his problems are not my problems. But, his wife has started to share their sad financial situation, which is why I know about the huge mortgage, low social security earned, and complete lack of savings over the course of their lives. It became clear from some of what she said that neither of them even keeps the check book properly balanced, so they flounder around from month to month. She insinuated the last time we saw them that I need to be helping them out financially. Um, no, that's just not going to happen. It would just be throwing good money after bad. Frankly their lifetime of total irresponsibility pisses me off a little bit.
My brother and his wife also are not saving money. They give and give to others, which is noble, but when it comes to money they have nothing left over for themselves. Now they are in their 40's, both self employed, and still not saving for retirement. Brother is a great provider but works in a physically demanding trade, which is becoming another concern as he ages. He seems aware of this and is trying to figure out how one of his sons can take over the business. I really hope that works out for him. They have a large family and one child is disabled and might not ever be able to live independently (I hope I'm wrong about that, but that seems to be the case.) Thankfully they stay out of debt. Other than their lack of savings for themselves, they seem to be pretty wise about money. When they do ask for money, it is always for a very noble cause, so I sometimes make a small contribution, but I honestly wish they would start considering their own financial futures just a little more.
On the bright side, my Mom is extremely frugal and debt-averse. Unfortunately, although she has saved up some money, she doesn't trust banks and considers any investment as "gambling," so she loses money to inflation every year. Also, in a fit of paranoia over social security running out, she started drawing social security at 62 despite the fact that all of her female relatives lived well into their 90's. She is now in her mid 70's and perfectly healthy. Thankfully, her big purchase decisions are very few and far between and her burn rate is remarkably low, so I suspect she will be fine. She's pretty much a poster child for how voluntarily curbing all expenses makes retirement possible.
If I won a huge lottery jackpot, sure I would help all of my family out. But, newsflash, I don't play the lottery, so that's never going to happen either.