Author Topic: Rant on family  (Read 26646 times)

WoodsRun

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Rant on family
« on: June 17, 2015, 11:58:39 AM »
This is a rant, a space where I can vent anonymously.

My parents still have a large mortgage on their house. I started my professional career almost four years ago so a few months ago I agreed that I would be able to help them out for some time. So I give them $700/month to help out with a couple bills. They live in an outer borough of NYC, so it is not Manhattan expensive, but it is definitely HCOL compared to the rest of the US. I live in central Connecticut, and I know that it is more expensive compared to a lot of other areas, but it is much cheaper than even the outer boroughs of NYC.

They have been pushing for me to get a job in NYC over the one I have now so that I can be closer to them, but I really like it here. I suppose it is a little odd for someone my age to prefer CT over a city like NYC, but I like the space and parks and the culture here. Their logic is such that I won't have to pay rent in CT and will be able to help them out more if I take a job in NYC and live with them. It is very sound logic but I really do not want to live with them. I love them but I need my own space.

A little about myself: 25 year old male, gross about 53k a year which includes bonus and OT, so I take home maybe 30k a year after taxes, deductions and 401k contributions. I am the oldest of four siblings; my sister recently got married to a cop and she herself is a nurse. Together they gross about 110k a year and live in the outskirts of Queens in a nice neighborhood so they are all set and I'm very happy for them. One of my brothers just got a job as a lab tech after graduating with his bachelors a month ago, and my youngest brother is still in undergrad. My younger brothers live with our parents.

What I find annoying though is that my dad has been paying my sister's student loans and car insurance, and I told my parents last week that should stop considering her and her husband make a good salary. (My dad should not have been doing that at all to begin with but anyway..) And of course, my dad goes and buys one of my brothers a car after he graduated. Something that he does not need considering he lives in Queens and he works in Manhattan.

My thoughts are a little convoluted, but I think I just need to grow some b**ls and sort out this whole money situation. $700 is not a whole lot but it is not chump change either considering how much I make.

I have been looking for something higher paying here in CT and plan to stay here for a very long time. After a lot of thought I have decided that I really do not want to go back to Queens or Long Island because the cost of living is much higher than what I think it is worth. Queens was always an affordable part of NYC but in the past ten years housing prices and rent have sky rocketed. And central CT is far away enough from Boston and NYC that the cost of living is lower, but still a short drive away from both cities.

My family is important to me and I wish only happiness for them but sometimes they drive me nuts. My rant is over for now, thanks for reading this far.

Friar

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 12:05:01 PM »
Are you living with your parents?

If not I find it odd that you're giving your parents money each month that they then turn around and spend on your siblings. You might as well give your sister the money for her students loans directly and be done with it.


mathlete

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 12:08:15 PM »
If all the adults in this situation behave like adults, everything will be solved.

It's silly for your parents to be paying your sister's student loans while they're also getting money from you.

Stop giving your parents money immediately. If they're smart they'll see your reasoning and stop paying your sister's loans and car insurance too.

If they don't though, that's their problem.

I know you care about your family but you gotta look out for A Number 1 because no one else in this situation is.

fiftyincher

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 12:09:24 PM »
I was going to say the same thing.

700/mo!? That's close to a third of your take home.

AlanStache

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 12:11:32 PM »
I could not give my parents money if they were supporting a sibling that seems to be doing ok.  I can see you folks wanting to help out a  newly married couple but if they need cash from you then they cant afford to be generous.  700$/mon is a huge on going chunk of cash.   

mathlete

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 12:13:32 PM »
Are you living with your parents?

If not I find it odd that you're giving your parents money each month that they then turn around and spend on your siblings. You might as well give your sister the money for her students loans directly and be done with it.

Frair is right.

Your dad is essentially facilitating a transfer of wealth from you, to your sister. Given that your sister's household grosses 2x what your household does, that is egregiously unfair.

You're 25. You should be spending your money on doing all the things you want to do as a young person. (and saving for retirement of course)

Eric

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 12:13:41 PM »
If you consider the fungible quality of money, it's you paying for your sister's student loans and your brother's car.  And $700/mo invested at 7% over 10 years is like $121K.  Hardly chump change!

weseh

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 12:15:51 PM »
I was going to say the same thing as PP - it's essentially like you are giving your sister $700 because it's all flowing through to her. If you're not ok with that, then stop immediately.

I know this is hard sometimes with parents. Just tell them something came up. Lie. Tell them you need it to pay a bill, even if you don't. You're paying yourself instead and that counts.

expectopatronum

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 12:17:06 PM »
Shoot, $700 a month is no chump change to us and we are fortunate to have relatively LCOL and good salaries. At $30K take home a year, $8.4K is DEFINITELY a big portion. 28% of your take home!!

This would definitely upset me too, since you're essentially subsidizing these other things. This is why I am so hesitant to give money to others: every little other expense I end up viewing as being paid with "my" money in the sense that apparently my money used towards essential items freed up more funds that can be used for non-essential expenses.

You don't need to tell them that they should stop giving away money to your siblings; you can only control what YOU will be giving them. Drop or reduce your contribution. How they choose to handle it from there is their choice. You can also gently explain that you're trying to get on your own feet, if they press you.

And no, it's not ridiculous that as a grown person you don't want to live with your parents, esp with their rationale of "you wouldn't have to pay rent so you could help us out more". I mean....makes no difference if you "pay rent" of $1000, or "help out" with $1000 per month other than taxes (since one I think would be rental income).

GizmoTX

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 12:27:10 PM »
Your dad is essentially facilitating a transfer of wealth from you, to your sister. Given that your sister's household grosses 2x what your household does, that is egregiously unfair.

You're 25. You should be spending your money on doing all the things you want to do as a young person. (and saving for retirement of course)

Stop paying your parents anything immediately. It's the only way they will get the message. You should not be part of their finances any longer.

You should continue to live on your own & where you want to. If they really want to be closer, they could move -- it works both ways.

lizzzi

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 12:36:31 PM »
Just tell them that you love CT and plan to make your home there…that you are saving for a house down payment…and that as much as you care about them, appreciate all they've done for you…etc. etc. ..that you can no longer give them the $700 per month. I don't really see why you would be giving it to them anyway. And you don't really need to explain yourself or concoct a reason…but "house downpayment" is hard to argue with. (Whether you really want to buy a house or not, lol.)  If there is some reason you have been giving them the money that you have not told us…then that would be different. If you borrowed money from them and are paying them back, then of course you should continue to do so. (But that isn't what you posted, so I'm assuming that's not the case.) Are there any cultural issues in play? Are you all from a culture where the adult children are expected to subsidize the parents? Just asking.

WoodsRun

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2015, 12:47:27 PM »
Are you living with your parents?

If not I find it odd that you're giving your parents money each month that they then turn around and spend on your siblings. You might as well give your sister the money for her students loans directly and be done with it.



No I do not live with my parents, I live in CT. My two younger brothers live with my parents in NYC, and my sister lives in a different neighborhood in NYC along with her husband.

I was going to say the same thing.

700/mo!? That's close to a third of your take home.
If you consider the fungible quality of money, it's you paying for your sister's student loans and your brother's car.  And $700/mo invested at 7% over 10 years is like $121K.  Hardly chump change!

Yes it is a large percentage. This has been going on since only January so I have not yet given a lot in absolute terms, but if the money is only going to support siblings then I do not want this to go on. My parents did not help me out when I graduated and moved, they should not help out my siblings either considering they graduated and have jobs.



And no, it's not ridiculous that as a grown person you don't want to live with your parents, esp with their rationale of "you wouldn't have to pay rent so you could help us out more". I mean....makes no difference if you "pay rent" of $1000, or "help out" with $1000 per month other than taxes (since one I think would be rental income).

Thanks for confirming this lol, I suppose it is easy to feel bad since they are my parents.

Just tell them that you love CT and plan to make your home there…that you are saving for a house down payment…and that as much as you care about them, appreciate all they've done for you…etc. etc. ..that you can no longer give them the $700 per month. I don't really see why you would be giving it to them anyway. And you don't really need to explain yourself or concoct a reason…but "house downpayment" is hard to argue with. (Whether you really want to buy a house or not, lol.)  If there is some reason you have been giving them the money that you have not told us…then that would be different. If you borrowed money from them and are paying them back, then of course you should continue to do so. (But that isn't what you posted, so I'm assuming that's not the case.) Are there any cultural issues in play? Are you all from a culture where the adult children are expected to subsidize the parents? Just asking.

Spot on. My parents are immigrants, they moved to the US in the 1980s, I was born here in the US along with all my siblings. The culture is very much stay close to the family and help out your parents when you can. So there is definitely a culture clash involved here as well.

And no I never borrowed from them, they did not pay for my undergrad (went to a public school on scholarship, thank goodness), never bought me a car, etc etc. I lived with them while I was an undergrad and commuted to school and they did not charge me rent for that time, so I suppose you can say that helped me not get into debt. But otherwise I did not borrow from them.

I suppose I just need to make them understand that I do not plan to move back in the forseeable (sp?) future. And that I do want to save money for a condo (which is true).

GizmoTX

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 01:14:58 PM »
You don't need to make them understand that you no longer want to live with them or in NYC -- you just continue to do what you want to do while telling them you love them.

Given the possible culture, your parents may see you, the eldest, as a resource extension for them, but this thinking does not make it appropriate. You should not feel guilty or obligated in any way.

When DH & I married at 21 (1969) in the Chicago area, our parents were horrified that we immediately moved to Texas for our careers & life. It was the best move we ever made for independence, quality of life, happiness, & financial well being. My parents divorced several years later & I was so glad not to be part of or privy to any of that drama. We have stayed close to extended family members & visit back & forth.

I hope this is your call to be truly independent. You must not be a part of enabling your parents & siblings to not face their own responsibilities & growth.


MLKnits

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 01:33:01 PM »
OP, I'd suggest continuing to pull $700/m from your spending, and put it in a separate account/separate investments. Think of it as the "if my parents were in desperate need" fund--but also as the "if they aren't, this is for my future" fund.

That way you aren't subsidizing your sister, but you'll know that if your parents every truly needed your help, you would be able to. Win/win.

Spork

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2015, 01:52:38 PM »
If you consider the fungible quality of money, it's you paying for your sister's student loans and your brother's car.  And $700/mo invested at 7% over 10 years is like $121K.  Hardly chump change!

Exactly what I was going to say.

I'd bow out.  I'd tell everyone involved "Mom, Dad, Sis: Love ya, but you guys have to sort this out amongst yourselves."

Elderwood17

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2015, 01:59:46 PM »
Oftentimes parents need to say "no - you need to make it on your own" to their kids, but in this case you need to tell the parents  "no - we all need to make it on our own".  That includes you, your parents and your sibling.  Sounds like some enabling is going on.  I think everyone will benefit when it stops.
 
Definitely don't feel bad about living on your own.  Also, you do not need to be helping your parents who in turn are helping a sibling who should be able to manage on their own.  I also would set that 700/ month aside for your self, and only tap into it if they have a true one time emergency. 

Best thing we ever did when we first got married and graduated was to move 1,100 miles from all parents.  Made us grow up and it set good boundaries for everyone. If you like where you live, enjoy it!

AZDude

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2015, 02:00:07 PM »
I was going to say the same thing as PP - it's essentially like you are giving your sister $700 because it's all flowing through to her. If you're not ok with that, then stop immediately.

I know this is hard sometimes with parents. Just tell them something came up. Lie. Tell them you need it to pay a bill, even if you don't. You're paying yourself instead and that counts.

No, don't do this. No offense to the quoted Mustachian intended at all; it was sincere advice. However, that will only prolong the problem. The real issue is the ability to say "no". It is something you learn with age and experience. I was in a similar position and forked over cash to fuel my Dad's wasteful habits for years before getting super pissed off one day and cutting my parents off. That is not the best route either. The relationship is repaired but things could have been handled more smoothly(just to be clear, I was 100% right in what I did, just maybe not in how it happened).

Go over to their house one day and explain the situation to them and how you do not think it is fair. Be prepared for arguments, anger, and possibly even tears from your mother, but stand your ground. Then give them a little time to cool off before continuing on the otherwise good familial relationship.

Argyle

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2015, 02:06:50 PM »
If the ethos is "Help out your parents," why isn't your sister doing it?  It seems that in this situation, "Helpout your parents" is only for patsies (as viewed by your parents).  And they don't even need the money — since they're giving it away every month.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2015, 02:14:24 PM »
I would not put it in terms of fairness--"you didn't help me, so it's not fair to help my siblings." Parents have the right to do what they want with their own money. The issue is that they are using your money to help your siblings, which is not what you agreed to.

Another caution--don't try to make your parents understand. They are getting a nice benefit in this situation (at your expense), and it's unlikely they will suddenly see reason and see your side of things. There are no magic words that will make them do so. Just tell them what you're going to do and why. Don't get into an argument, don't offer justifications, don't defend yourself.  You need to do what's right for you. They will have to accept it. Whether they like it or not is unfortunately not under your control.

Easier said than done, I know.

partgypsy

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2015, 02:26:08 PM »
Ah, I feel for you. My mother asks me for money, while living in an expensive house she can't afford, and supporting my brother who doesn't work, which I really don't approve of. I have given her giftcards to buy clothes since she complains she has nothing to wear (which is true) but then she will use the card to buy him an expensive pair of boots. It's at the point I only give small token amounts, but nothing to subsidize her.

It sounds like your parents now feel rich because you are giving them 700 a month (Wow that is a lot on your income!!!) That's not fair. Maybe have an honest heart to heart, and some guilt of your own, that you are just starting out and need to save for your own future and not to be a burden on them, and isn't that what all parents want for their children? You can even embellish a little, saying someday may want to have a house and family and want to save for those things.
And that you are willing to sit down with them to review their finances, to see if any cuts, or whether they can downsize.
Whew.  No one likes these kind of talks.

GizmoTX

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2015, 02:35:25 PM »
One of the toughest transitions can be the one from parent-child to adult-adult. The parent is used to being in control & the child is used to doing what the parent says and/or enjoying being taken care of. When the child reaches adult age, one of them has to take the initiative to change the dynamics of their relationship. The other may not be happy about it, but this must not change or distort reality.

You have to unlearn living your life to please your parents. You have to learn to say no.

Mr. Green

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2015, 02:51:06 PM »
$700/month is huge dude! That's $8,400 a year after tax, probably 10-11k before tax. I'm guessing if you saved that instead of gave it your your parents it would double your savings rate. HUGE!

expectopatronum

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2015, 02:59:17 PM »
One of the toughest transitions can be the one from parent-child to adult-adult. The parent is used to being in control & the child is used to doing what the parent says and/or enjoying being taken care of. When the child reaches adult age, one of them has to take the initiative to change the dynamics of their relationship. The other may not be happy about it, but this must not change or distort reality.

You have to unlearn living your life to please your parents. You have to learn to say no.

This. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.

The cultural expectations you are dealing with are tough. I really do feel for you.

But something this massively unfair would definitely threaten to destroy my relationships with my family. And that is why I'd stop handing over "help" with the mortgage. I also think you set the stage for future adult parent/adult child interactions. It sounds like they're having a pretty hard time with the concept of you leaving the nest/being an independent adult.

I would not put it in terms of fairness--"you didn't help me, so it's not fair to help my siblings." Parents have the right to do what they want with their own money. The issue is that they are using your money to help your siblings, which is not what you agreed to.

Another caution--don't try to make your parents understand. They are getting a nice benefit in this situation (at your expense), and it's unlikely they will suddenly see reason and see your side of things. There are no magic words that will make them do so. Just tell them what you're going to do and why. Don't get into an argument, don't offer justifications, don't defend yourself.  You need to do what's right for you. They will have to accept it. Whether they like it or not is unfortunately not under your control.

Easier said than done, I know.

I think this is spot on, too. There is such a thing as overexplaining....and that actually can weaken the boundary, too...because it's like saying, I guess I need to provide you an "acceptable" explanation for making [whatever decision you totally have the right to make on your own]. There's a difference between trying to make them see your point of view, and explaining, "I'm going to save for a condo here, so I won't be able to help out anymore"...and leaving it at that. Kinda like breaking up with someone (weird comparison?) - there's such a thing as trying too hard.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2015, 03:15:55 PM »
I'm with everyone else... $700/mo is a lot of money.  If you are looking for people to back you up so you can work up the courage to tell your parents you will no longer help support them while they are just funneling the money to your sibs... I think you've found it here. 

Detachment from parents here is key.  My mom would have me living at home if she could.  Of course our relationship has a somewhat co-dependent dynamic that I won't go into here (she is co-dependent on me emotionally, not me on her) but I've found that it has been absolutely vital to my own sanity and well-being to cut her out as much I can.  Sucks, but you have to be your own person, wish the other well, and live your life.  Just do you. 

But yeah.. as another posted mentioned.. I'd keep sending that $700 out since you're used to it as an outflow now, but toward an investment account rather than parent's (of course assuming you're already maxing your pre-tax accounts).  You won't notice it and since you're young, you have the opportunity to compound that money over time.

kaizen soze

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2015, 03:19:55 PM »
Sounds like you should move in with your sister and borrow your brother's car.

WoodsRun

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2015, 04:04:01 PM »
You don't need to make them understand that you no longer want to live with them or in NYC -- you just continue to do what you want to do while telling them you love them.

When DH & I married at 21 (1969) in the Chicago area, our parents were horrified that we immediately moved to Texas for our careers & life.


You had a lot of courage to do that at 21, props to you. I do not yet have that to stand up to my parents, not yet lol.

OP, I'd suggest continuing to pull $700/m from your spending, and put it in a separate account/separate investments. Think of it as the "if my parents were in desperate need" fund--but also as the "if they aren't, this is for my future" fund.

That way you aren't subsidizing your sister, but you'll know that if your parents every truly needed your help, you would be able to. Win/win.

I do plan to save as much as I can, so I am prepared for whatever the future brings.

If the ethos is "Help out your parents," why isn't your sister doing it?  It seems that in this situation, "Helpout your parents" is only for patsies (as viewed by your parents).  And they don't even need the money — since they're giving it away every month.

I had to look up what 'patsies' means, that seems to describe me in this situation lol

OP - Your situation sounds very much like the norm in my Asian (Vietnamese) neighborhood (I'm Caucasian) where the oldest son is expected to help the parents and family (including sibs) financially and the oldest daughter is expected to care for the parents in their old age, and everyone is expected to live together in the family home even after marriage and children (grandparents watch the kids while parents work). ...

That is a pretty good explanation of my parents culture. I do not have a Vietnamese background but my parents are from an obscure country in Asia (but I don't check off 'Asian' in surveys because we are not 'Asian' if that makes sense). Anyway, it is a bad culture clash. I wish I didn't have to distance myself though, and they just understood that I just want to live my own life, and that it does not mean I want to cut contact with them.

Ah, I feel for you. My mother asks me for money, while living in an expensive house she can't afford, and supporting my brother who doesn't work, which I really don't approve of. I have given her giftcards to buy clothes since she complains she has nothing to wear (which is true) but then she will use the card to buy him an expensive pair of boots. It's at the point I only give small token amounts, but nothing to subsidize her.

It sounds like your parents now feel rich because you are giving them 700 a month (Wow that is a lot on your income!!!) That's not fair. Maybe have an honest heart to heart, and some guilt of your own, that you are just starting out and need to save for your own future and not to be a burden on them, and isn't that what all parents want for their children? You can even embellish a little, saying someday may want to have a house and family and want to save for those things.
And that you are willing to sit down with them to review their finances, to see if any cuts, or whether they can downsize.
Whew.  No one likes these kind of talks.


This must suck. My parents are also in an expensive house in an expensive city. I wish they would downsize and move to a cheaper area. It is not like they have a lot of kids living with them anymore, my youngest brother is already 20, it should not be long before my two brothers move out as well.

I'm with everyone else... $700/mo is a lot of money.  If you are looking for people to back you up so you can work up the courage to tell your parents you will no longer help support them while they are just funneling the money to your sibs... I think you've found it here. 

Detachment from parents here is key.  My mom would have me living at home if she could.  Of course our relationship has a somewhat co-dependent dynamic that I won't go into here (she is co-dependent on me emotionally, not me on her) but I've found that it has been absolutely vital to my own sanity and well-being to cut her out as much I can.  Sucks, but you have to be your own person, wish the other well, and live your life.  Just do you. 

But yeah.. as another posted mentioned.. I'd keep sending that $700 out since you're used to it as an outflow now, but toward an investment account rather than parent's (of course assuming you're already maxing your pre-tax accounts).  You won't notice it and since you're young, you have the opportunity to compound that money over time.

That explains my mother as well unfortunately, but that is a whole other issue which I do not want to get into right now either.
And yea I think I just needed some support and I found it really quickly here!

Sounds like you should move in with your sister and borrow your brother's car.

This literally made me laugh out loud

Chesterfield

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2015, 04:09:34 PM »
So, despite all the good advice, I recommend something different. I think you should sit your parents down, thank them for helping you by letting you live there for free for 4 years in college and tell them that you would like to pay them back for the rent, but after that you need to save for a condo, married life, etc.  then you should figure out a decent amount probably $350 a month and pay them for 48 months of rent. If you give them $700 a month, you will be done in 2 years total,  you have told them in advance what you are doing, you have paid off a debt that was obviously unnamed, but was nevertheless a debt. You get to be honorable, they helped you graduate debt free.

After you have told them this, you can mention that it seems odd that you are giving money to them and they are giving money to your sister, but it is their money and they can do whatever they want with it. It is a lot of freaking money but you are paying off a debt. Tell them along the way, how much you have given and how many months you have left. Encourage them to save it for themselves. Make it clear that it ends 24 months after you started in January. You need to start your life, they should see that. So pay them back.

 I know this may not be popular advice, but these are his parents, and obviously the "you can live here for free in college" was a lie. He is making decent money, he can afford to pay his parents back. Everyone wins. He tells them what to expect from him, they get some time to make their own decisions. He can even tell his siblings that this is what he is doing. It sucks that parents don't treat all their children the same, but life isn't fair, so pay your debt and be done.

Ftao93

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2015, 04:16:54 PM »
I moved out at 17, and though I got a little help here and there, I've been on my own over 20 years now.

Most of those were expensive, wasteful years.

for the OP, I would tell your parents "I can do that for one more month, and then you'll need to figure it out.  Sis makes plenty of money now, and everyone is happy.  I don't have a desire to move back home, I like where I am."

if needed you can bring up that the money went from you to the siblings, and just let everyone know you've got your own savings goals.

Might not be an easy conversation to have,  but you need to be fair to yourself.  You make a few thousand more than me, at 14 years younger.  Learn from my mistakes, save that $$

Chrissy

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2015, 04:40:26 PM »
A common story I hear about immigrant parents is that they want the adult kids at home with them.  Does no one ever point out to these folks that they moved away from their own parents?  TO A DIFFERENT COUNTRY???

Bets360

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2015, 04:54:43 PM »
Do your siblings know that your parents are in need of financial help and they are receiving $700/mo from you?  If they don't the first conversations should be with them. Perhaps they would not be accepting money from your parents if they knew their financial truth. I don't think you necessarily need to cut off your parents completely if they really need the help, but you should not be subsidizing your siblings indirectly. I do give money to my elderly mother who felt horrible having to ask me for it.  What I have done is taken over a particular expense that I pay directly. I also help out a sibling occasionally but always in the form of a loan.

WoodsRun

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2015, 09:03:07 AM »
So, despite all the good advice, I recommend something different. I think you should sit your parents down, thank them for helping you by letting you live there for free for 4 years in college and tell them that you would like to pay them back for the rent, but after that you need to save for a condo, married life, etc.  then you should figure out a decent amount probably $350 a month and pay them for 48 months of rent. If you give them $700 a month, you will be done in 2 years total,  you have told them in advance what you are doing, you have paid off a debt that was obviously unnamed, but was nevertheless a debt. You get to be honorable, they helped you graduate debt free.

After you have told them this, you can mention that it seems odd that you are giving money to them and they are giving money to your sister, but it is their money and they can do whatever they want with it. It is a lot of freaking money but you are paying off a debt. Tell them along the way, how much you have given and how many months you have left. Encourage them to save it for themselves. Make it clear that it ends 24 months after you started in January. You need to start your life, they should see that. So pay them back.

 I know this may not be popular advice, but these are his parents, and obviously the "you can live here for free in college" was a lie. He is making decent money, he can afford to pay his parents back. Everyone wins. He tells them what to expect from him, they get some time to make their own decisions. He can even tell his siblings that this is what he is doing. It sucks that parents don't treat all their children the same, but life isn't fair, so pay your debt and be done.

This is good advice, something I can afford and something that will make them happy. I don't know if they would be happy about the timelime I give them though, but I think after two years at least my siblings will be on better ground financially speaking.

Do your siblings know that your parents are in need of financial help and they are receiving $700/mo from you?  If they don't the first conversations should be with them. Perhaps they would not be accepting money from your parents if they knew their financial truth. I don't think you necessarily need to cut off your parents completely if they really need the help, but you should not be subsidizing your siblings indirectly. I do give money to my elderly mother who felt horrible having to ask me for it.  What I have done is taken over a particular expense that I pay directly. I also help out a sibling occasionally but always in the form of a loan.

Yes my siblings do know. My youngest brother (who is also one of the more rational members of my family) agrees that it does not make sense for me to give my parents money. I just wish my parents would be a little  more responsible with their money. Or if they really do need help be more open about their finances. I am more than willing to help them out, but if it just enabling irresponsible then the extra cash is not really helping them.

Villanelle

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2015, 09:14:31 AM »
I'd stop ASAP.  "It's clear you guys are okay financially since you have plenty of cash for non-necessities like help out Timmy and Susie.  So I'm sending the $700 check this month, but I want you to know it will be the last one."

Setting boundaries is hard, especially with family.  But the longer you delay, the harder it gets, and it is only putting off the inevitable.  Helping your parents if there is a true need is one thing.  Supplementing your sibling's incomes, with your parents as the middle man, is another. 

mm1970

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2015, 09:46:25 AM »
If you consider the fungible quality of money, it's you paying for your sister's student loans and your brother's car.  And $700/mo invested at 7% over 10 years is like $121K.  Hardly chump change!

Exactly what I was going to say.

I'd bow out.  I'd tell everyone involved "Mom, Dad, Sis: Love ya, but you guys have to sort this out amongst yourselves."

Pretty much this.

Mom, Dad, I need to save more for my future and for emergencies.  If you can afford to pay my sister's loans and to buy my brother a car, you don't need my money anymore.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2015, 11:38:13 AM »
I'll echo the cultural expectation being difficult, but you NEED to set boundaries. I'm a white male marrying into a very ethnically Chinese family, my fiancee is the youngest of 5, all the siblings including us do pretty well financially.

Her parents are expecting an allowance, and also expecting our house to be open to them as they travel around for long term stays. I am very much not on board with this and my fiancee thankfully is very understanding and we're going to work to find a middle ground. They don't own a place of their own and are essentially live in babysitters for her two older sisters who still have kids that need watching (the brothers' kids are teenagers and no longer require help).

That was just to give context, this isn't about me but I somewhat know where you're coming from.

Why are they helping your sister but not you? I'm not saying you should ask for help financially from them since that will likely come back to haunt you in an argument down the road, but at the very least they should understand you make approximately half of what your sister's family makes yet they're subsidizing her poor decisions (re: student loans and new car?)

Do they not see you as 'needing help' because you're so independent? Just trying to get a feel for the logic, either way you're fully justified in saying 'Look, if you need help from me I'm there for you, but I can't afford to subsidize sister when I make less than half of her family and need to support myself.'

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2015, 11:46:18 AM »
Your parents are assholes.

They should be ashamed of themselves for taking your money. Especially $700/mo. That's crazy.

WoodsRun

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2015, 12:32:06 PM »
My guess is that it is because my sister just got married recently, so my father might feel that he has an obligation to help his newly-wed daughter out. She was married in March of this year so it has only been a few short months since her wedding. (I am not married by the way). I do not yet want to bring this up with my sister, at least not until the newly-wed euphoria dies down a little more, maybe after the summer.

Also, I am the oldest son which is really important considering where my parents are from. So they probably feel that I should be able to support myself financially as well as any help that my family needs.

However, I do feel privelaged that I am even able to afford to help them out. That is a bright side to all of this. From one point of view, it is great that I am seen as responsible enough to help out.

And the support on this forum is pretty great lol, I think I just needed confirmation that I was not being unreasonable.

Sofa King

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2015, 11:56:14 AM »

mm1970

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2015, 03:02:22 PM »
My guess is that it is because my sister just got married recently, so my father might feel that he has an obligation to help his newly-wed daughter out. She was married in March of this year so it has only been a few short months since her wedding. (I am not married by the way). I do not yet want to bring this up with my sister, at least not until the newly-wed euphoria dies down a little more, maybe after the summer.

Also, I am the oldest son which is really important considering where my parents are from. So they probably feel that I should be able to support myself financially as well as any help that my family needs.

However, I do feel privelaged that I am even able to afford to help them out. That is a bright side to all of this. From one point of view, it is great that I am seen as responsible enough to help out.

And the support on this forum is pretty great lol, I think I just needed confirmation that I was not being unreasonable.
The cultural aspect is difficult, and there is always going to be one generation that has to make the cut, really.

My very good friend is from China, her husband from Malaysia.  She and her sister both send her parents money, and have since they got jobs (though it was $200/ month.  OF course that was over a decade ago, maybe it's higher now.)

When they travel to Malaysia, they are expected to pay for EVERYTHING, including a vacation all-expenses for 20 people in the extended family.

"That's how it's done" is a tough one to get over.  It's NOT the American way, and I suspect that you won't expect your children to give you money.  So how do you be "that guy" to break the mold.  I guess go slowly?  There are good things about extended families and other cultures, but you get the good and the bad.

Even in the US - My MIL has a big house.  It's great for visiting - we visit her, and other family members from Europe visit her (she originally from Scandinavia).  Extended visits would be a month at most (not us, we don't have that kind of vacation). 

However our house is super tiny (2BR, 1BA, 1100sf), nobody wants to stay with us longer than 4 days.  Actually, up to a week when it's a single person, and then only my MIL.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2015, 05:08:54 PM »
Support used to be a tradition here as well, my Dad and Uncle both sent money to the aunt who raised them for her whole life (and my uncle's widow kept doing it when he died).  But she had very little income of her own, she never married, her young adult life was spent raising her dead sister's children.

Given the cultural dynamics, and the fact that OP did live at home rent-free for university, I think the backpay of rent (350/month for 4 years = $700 for 2 years) should satisfy the family dynamics and get OP off the hook reasonably soon.  Of course stopping it now is financially better, and given the support going to others it does make more sense.  But what will that do to the family relationships?


MidWestLove

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2015, 07:12:16 PM »
Funny how different cultures are - in ours it is next to impossible for me to actually pay for anything when I am visiting family abroad. even in places that take dollars. treated as personal insult, family goes to great length not to not even present such situations. 'You are our guest, that is the end of it!' .

to the OP - cut parents off, the transfer payments are bad deal for everyone involved

Hummer

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2015, 09:30:04 PM »
Cut them off from the gravy train you are giving them. If everything you said is true, they aren't adults. I don't deal with crap like this no matter who it is or what relationships could be damaged. Tell them how it is. You will not give them anything when they are doing ridiculous things like paying your sister.

If you don't stand up now and draw a line in the sand, they will think they can run roughshod over you your entire life. It won't end. They need to know where you stand on this issue. And you don't stand for this BS. Be strong. Eventually they might even come around and realize you are the better person and they could respect you for standing up for your beliefs.

Zamboni

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2015, 10:00:43 PM »
They should be ashamed of themselves for taking your money. Especially $700/mo. That's crazy.

This was my thought as well, but I was raised in a completely different cultural context from the one you describe. I expect that they are actually proud, not ashamed, that you are giving them that large amount of money.

Here is my fear with the "I'll repay you for rent while I was in college over the next two years plan": they will really come to expect that money from you and it will be EVEN HARDER to say "no more" 18 months from now. While it might lessen your guilt right now, is it really a workable plan?

I have some questions for you:
1) How did the amount of $700 per month even start? Why $700 and not $500 or $1000?
2) Are you MAXING your pre-tax 401K contributions? By maxing, I mean your contributions add up to the current IRS maximum of $18000 per year, so you are contributing $1500 per month pre-tax. I don't mean are you giving some piddly amount of a few percent to get your company match.

If the answer to #2 is "no", then I vote for you to stop the contributions as soon as possible. Like next month is the last month as suggested above. You must save that money pre-tax if you can. It's just common sense to make the most of your money, and it will provide a cushion of much much more $$$ to really help your parents later if they end up really needing it at some point. Clearly they do not need it now.

To put it in context, I understand that it is hard to cut someone you love off. I was helping someone out with over $1000 per month for a period of a few months last year (it initially was only supposed to be one-two month as a gift but that turned into 3-4 months). The first two months it was badly needed, but the next couple of months not so much. I finally just had to say "this is the last month I am sending this money." It might have gone on much longer and become part of our "normal" if I had not taken that simple action. Yes, there was some guilty feelings inside my head that happened right when I did it, but those feelings passed very quickly. You can do it!

TheFrugalFox

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2015, 12:55:20 AM »
I am surprised you agreed to it in the first place - basically you are paying for your sisters studies and insurance, even though they doing fine - maybe better than you. And your dad is getting the credit.

That's just weird.

If you haven't bought a house, saving for the deposit could be a big out.

singh02

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2015, 09:17:43 AM »
Coming from a south Asian background with similar expectations, I do sympathize with the situation.

To the OP, have you considered talking to your brother and sister who are the recipient of your cash generosity?  They may not be aware that your parents need help financially and are essentially taking the money you provide for them.  Maybe a discussion with them on this topic may be helpful as your siblings are born in America and more likely to see your point of view.

Also, I know this started as a rant but you should feel proud of all the help you are giving.  Maybe the circumstances need to change a bit but your previous post indicating your graditude for the situation you are in to help your parents and siblings (the latter a bit unintentionally) is a great place to be in life.  You are indeed lucky.  Great job!

Exhale

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2015, 09:44:33 AM »
for the OP, I would tell your parents "I can do that for one more month, and then you'll need to figure it out.  Sis makes plenty of money now, and everyone is happy.  I don't have a desire to move back home, I like where I am."
I would say exactly that. Direct and to the point. When I said above that my Vietnamese friends distance themselves from their families, I didn't mean they cut them off at all. They just chose to say something like the...above yet stay involved with their families/parents. They visit, share holidays, help with chores, home, etc... they just don't give them money or get involved with the day to day financial or cultural expectations of their parents - unless the parents are truly in a bad way financially.

I come from a similar experience as you. I encourage you to figure out what being a good son means to you. It sounds like it may be similar to what spartana says (bolded above). Once you know what that is, you have a strong foundation from which to act (versus reacting). In this way you can be involved with your family, but in ways that are healthy and sustainable for you.

Quick notes:
- If you choose to have a conversation I suggest not trying to change their mind/have them agree, but instead to share how much you love them/are proud to be their son, are happy you were able to help them and now need to use the money to save for a home.
- I've found that if you're single people (not just family) often think you don't have a life and can take on extra hours at work, give money to others, offer free babysitting, etc. This may not be true in your situation, but I thought I'd mention it just in case it's relevant.

Dicey

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2015, 10:03:09 AM »
Are you living with your parents?

If not I find it odd that you're giving your parents money each month that they then turn around and spend on your siblings. You might as well give your sister the money for her students loans directly and be done with it.

Frair is right.

Your dad is essentially facilitating a transfer of wealth from you, to your sister. Given that your sister's household grosses 2x what your household does, that is egregiously unfair.

You're 25. You should be spending your money on doing all the things you want to do as a young person. (and saving for retirement of course)
Since there's ranting happening here, I'll rant that people who ask questions that show they didn'tread/understand the OP and then give bad advice based on their incorrect assumptions are worthy of their very own rant thread. Same for those who second bad advice. (I'm criticizing the behavior, of course, not the person(s).)

As to the OP, this is one of those put-your-mask-on-first situations. You're not making enough to be shelling out this much cash, particularly since your parents are not using it well. You wouldn't waste it, so you shouldn't have to watch them do so. If you're not comfortable with cutting them off completely, find more constructive ways to spend your money on your parents. Send them on a trip, pay one or more of their regular bills, or save up and pay for repairs to their home. Save for your own retirement, because your parents will one day be gone and your siblings aren't going to take care of you. Plus, if you don't break this cycle, your siblings will expect the same from you after your parents are gone. There will never be an easier time to solve this than now.

WoodsRun

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2015, 11:35:42 AM »
When I first started giving them money I didn't mind so much really. I figured they will need help eventually (I really have no idea how their mortgage will be paid, so it is either I help them now or later). It is the fact that I found that they are irresponsible with their money. In a way I was pretty naive to think that they will only use the money for their mortgage/bills. They are not frugal, and I can write a book explaining how they are spendthrifts.

I am not currently maxing my 401k. When I first started it over a year ago, I put in the max company match; I put in 4%, my company puts in 1%. At first I thought I should not put in a lot in case I need the money now, and I thought I can't take it out until retirement, all the common misconceptions. But after reading more about personal finance I realize now that I should definitely put in the maximum allowable amount.

I do need to talk to my brother and sister saying that they need to start paying for their own stuff. I think someone mentioned that if my parents want to help my siblings then I can't say much and that life isn't fair, but if they keep helping my siblings they will only end up financially unprepared in their old age and who will be responsible for them? Now that my brother and sister both have jobs they should take on some of the responsibility of helping my parents out if they need it.

And yeah there has to be one generation that has to do most of the transitioning from the old culture to American culture. Since my siblings and I are the first generation to be born Americans, it will fall on us. I don't see children in my future but if I do have children of course I would not expect any financial help from them as adults.

The $700 started as follows: my parents thought a round figure like $1000 would be appropriate but I said that I cannot afford it, and it is much more than I used to pay in rent ($675 for a studio when I first moved to CT but moved to a house where I am renting one bedroom for $625 with utilities included. Now I am moving in July to share a two bedroom apartment with one other person so my rent will go down to $515 plus utilities). So I brought it down to $700. The last check I gave them my mother despaired that I "always gave $700" which is when I said to both my parents they would not need more money if they didn't give money to my brother and sister. And that is when I got mad and started this rant lolol

Also, I am really glad I found this community. I started reaching Jacob's ERE over a year ago and got hooked and found a few other blogs, including MMM.

Zamboni

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2015, 01:45:00 PM »
The last check I gave them my mother despaired that I "always gave $700"

Ouch! No good deed goes unpunished, I guess, huh?

Obviously you are a good son who wants to honor them. Most people feel good when they are able to help parents. At least we are supposed to feel good about it, but I suppose that is more difficult when there is criticism about the amount provided! I wonder if your Mom has a friend who says her son provides more? Is there some "keep up with the neighbors" competition going on here? Despite their mortgage, it sounds like they don't actually need the money right now at all. I think it's more of a point of pride and cultural expectation for them.

Be very careful: this system of expectations developed at a time when average lifespans were much, much shorter, families were larger, and extended families all lived in one dwelling/one household. Clearly your Mom wants to keep things that way with her pressure to live with her. With today's longevity, smaller families, and the desire of adult children to move to new areas and have an independent household (adding a large expense not present in the past), this system of children paying the way for parents can lead to a cycle of poverty, one that is often now observed and perpetuated in SE Asia.

It is going to be very difficult for you to transition from this cultural system unless you do it yourself, now. If you continue to give them such huge amounts money rather than saving now while you have time on your side for compound interest, then you might be in very, very bad financial straights as you approach old age. And if you do decide not to have children, or if you decide you don't want to be a burden to your own children financially, then you'll be in big trouble if you keep up the current percentage you are shelling out to your folks.

You didn't ask for financial advice, but a Roth IRA could be a good option for you as well.  You can access your own contributions to a Roth at any time without penalty, so that gets rid of the "what if I need money now?" question. Several people on the MMM forum use the Roth as their "long-term emergency" fund. Also consider that you need to up your 401k contribution. Try a percent or two increase every three months and see what effect it has on your paycheck. Trust me, 15 years from now you'll be very glad you did that!

ender

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2015, 02:18:13 PM »
Would your parents be at all interested in having a monthly conversation about budgeting/money with you?

Maybe you could frame it from that perspective - "I'm willing to help, but I want to help - not hurt you - and giving you money every month is hurting you. I want to be supportive though and if you are interested, would love to sit down on a monthly basis and work through your finances with you."

It's pretty unlikely to be a good idea but depends greatly on your dynamic with your parents.

lizzzi

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Re: Rant on family
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2015, 02:26:06 PM »
Even allowing for the cultural component…and I have total respect for the OP honoring his heritage and his parents…it is sounding more and more like his parents are just using him. I think that the fact that they are taking advantage of him is more of an issue here than anything else. I hesitate to sound bossy or like a buttinsky, but I think the OP needs to stop enabling the parental money grab, and just tell them no. I don't even think he needs to pay back rent for the college years, but perhaps that is already a done deal. The OP needs to take care of himself. That is not selfish, it is just everyday common sense. Nobody else is going to do it for him, and he certainly can still maintain a respectful, pleasant family relationship without him ending up in his own old age with no house and no retirement fund. It's nice to be nice…and hey--I'm very family-oriented, too--but in the OP's case: Enough is enough!