Author Topic: Saving/investing to take care of aging parents.  (Read 1107 times)

telemachus

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Saving/investing to take care of aging parents.
« on: December 28, 2012, 09:35:20 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

I just discovered the community and I'm very happy I did. I've searched the forum to make sure that this isn't a duplicate question, but please excuse me if it is.

I'm in my mid-20s with no debt (education or consumer), no car (by choice), and a decent retirement setup with room to grow. Though I'm between jobs, I expect to get back on my feet soon and continue with that growth.

However, the big cloud on my financial freedom horizon is my family: both my parents and my older brother. My parents moved us across the world to the US, so that their kids could benefit from America's stability relative to where we came from - they busted their asses, and although not all of their decisions were the wisest/most Mustachian, I am extremely grateful to them and feel the filial/immigrant obligation to support them. My brother is ill and by and large unable to work.

While my own investments in financial freedom are pretty clear, I'm at a loss when it comes to planning for my family. My questions to you are these:
  • What investment strategies or vehicles would you use to plan for taking care of your family (on a 3,5,10yr timeline) without derailing your own financial freedom roadmap?
  • What portion of your income would you park there?
  • Is it possible to predict or calculate these expenses with reasonable accuracy?
Thanks for your help - I look forward to being a part of the community.

Karl

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Re: Saving/investing to take care of aging parents.
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 04:41:40 AM »
Telemachus,

I would make two suggestions.  First, save as much as you can in all saving vehicles available to you.  Second, remember that if you wish to support four adults on your salary, you must focus on cost cutting for everyone as a single family unit (please, make certain that you have all family members agreeing on this before you even start to work toward this).  Cost cutting by your family and yourself (e.g., one inexpensive house for all of you, avoiding cars for everyone, avoiding debt for everyone, etc.)  will have a much larger impact over the time horizon you identified (max. 10 years) than any investments that you could make.

Toward the cost-cutting end, I recommend that you take a careful look at Early Retirement Extreme (earlyretirementextreme.com/).  Jacob's ideas about minimizing costs could prove quite helpful to you.

I wish you and your family the best possible outcome,

Karl

telemachus

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Re: Saving/investing to take care of aging parents.
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 11:06:45 AM »
Hi Karl,

Thanks for your reply! That's a good point - one of my goals in the coming weeks is to start consolidating family finances and centralizing the budget. I'm worried that it can be a sensitive topic and undermine people's sense of autonomy, but I've already made some inroads around key expenses (switching us gradually over to Republic Wireless, etc.).

I think we're running pretty lean in many areas, but I suspect there's definitely room for improvement, and I've not delved into my parents' debts. I'll spend some time with them over the next few weeks and report back with any insights that might be worth sharing with the community.

Happy new year,

T

Phoebe

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Re: Saving/investing to take care of aging parents.
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 12:49:09 PM »
Hi Tele,

I can really relate to your feeling of obligation, which I have also but for different reasons.  I am interested to see what other people post because I haven't completely figured this out myself, and the main difference that I have is a family that doesn't want/need support right now.  But I do feel that I need to be prepared in case they do.  I appreciate the suggestion above regarding getting everyone on the same page.  I think if I ever did step in to help that I would need to take this (rather difficult) step as well.

For now I am going to prioritize my immediate family first (my husband and future kiddos) but I may delay my early retirement to have more in savings to be afford to help.

I just wanted to let you know that I can relate and offer my support!

Good luck and keep us posted!

Phoebe