Author Topic: Fun Globe & Mail new article: $125k/yr couple faces "looming cash crunch"  (Read 15955 times)

RunHappy

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What a lot of posters seem to be missing on this forum is the couple's heritage and the plan to bring the husband's parents to Canada. As a member of an immigrant community, I can state that the American attitude of letting one's parents fend for themselves (frequently addressed here in the context of anti-Mustachian parents) just does not fly for an immigrant kid. In certain cultures, there is tremendous pressure to support one's parents and to have them move in with you once you are established. Places like Brampton, Ontario (right next door to Mississauga where the profiled couple lives) is full of monster homes owned by East Indian immigrants that have (or will soon have) their parents or in-laws live with them. The size of the couple's house likely has very little to do with planned kids and everything to do with making space for the immigration of the parents.

While I support and admire frugality, the one thing that continues to amaze me on this forum is how easily posters that are not immigrants can make their own choices in life. Even MMM himself simply packed up and moved to another country and a city he liked more. I don't think you non-hyphenated Americans and Canadians understand how much hell there is to pay when one of us immigrants makes a choice like this. Hell hath no fury than the parent of an immigrant. From that perspective, I am not so sure that the outsized home was truly their independent "choice".

And trust me, living in one of the coldest cities on the planet, I have been tempted to just pack up more than once. I have, in fact, come close to the edge once and experienced the forces of hell unleashed. :)

Very good points.  And, on a positive note, this would take care of the daycare issue... :-)

They are good points.  I know many multi-generational families who live under one roof, my SO and I bought a house that could accommodate our parents but that need doesn't require spending way more on a house than they can afford.

nanu

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Those are good points, but if your parents expectations lead you to spend money you don't have (or buy a house you can't afford), it's still your fault.
And even more so when after getting it you start planning to put in a pool and landscaping...

Travis

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Those are good points, but if your parents expectations lead you to spend money you don't have (or buy a house you can't afford), it's still your fault.
And even more so when after getting it you start planning to put in a pool and landscaping...

+1.  There's a big difference between buying a house big enough for you and your parents, and buying a house you can't possibly afford.  Even before the pregnancy they were on a razor-thin budget and thought they could afford upgrades as well.  They have plans for the parents to contribute when they show up. I got the impression that wasn't a near-term thing.

Kris

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Those are good points, but if your parents expectations lead you to spend money you don't have (or buy a house you can't afford), it's still your fault.
And even more so when after getting it you start planning to put in a pool and landscaping...

+1.  There's a big difference between buying a house big enough for you and your parents, and buying a house you can't possibly afford.  Even before the pregnancy they were on a razor-thin budget and thought they could afford upgrades as well.  They have plans for the parents to contribute when they show up. I got the impression that wasn't a near-term thing.

Agreed. I didn't mean they were good points in the sense that they made the couple's decisions more sound. I meant more that they were good points in terms of illustrating a different set of cultural norms that lead people to make poor financial decisions.  Especially when coupled with the cultural norms of their adopted country.

commodore perry

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What a lot of posters seem to be missing on this forum is the couple's heritage and the plan to bring the husband's parents to Canada. As a member of an immigrant community, I can state that the American attitude of letting one's parents fend for themselves (frequently addressed here in the context of anti-Mustachian parents) just does not fly for an immigrant kid. In certain cultures, there is tremendous pressure to support one's parents and to have them move in with you once you are established. Places like Brampton, Ontario (right next door to Mississauga where the profiled couple lives) is full of monster homes owned by East Indian immigrants that have (or will soon have) their parents or in-laws live with them. The size of the couple's house likely has very little to do with planned kids and everything to do with making space for the immigration of the parents.

While I support and admire frugality, the one thing that continues to amaze me on this forum is how easily posters that are not immigrants can make their own choices in life. Even MMM himself simply packed up and moved to another country and a city he liked more. I don't think you non-hyphenated Americans and Canadians understand how much hell there is to pay when one of us immigrants makes a choice like this. Hell hath no fury than the parent of an immigrant. From that perspective, I am not so sure that the outsized home was truly their independent "choice".

And trust me, living in one of the coldest cities on the planet, I have been tempted to just pack up more than once. I have, in fact, come close to the edge once and experienced the forces of hell unleashed. :)

So...if I moved to a new country it's a good idea to buy a house that's 6x my gross income? What does being an immigrant have to do with financial irresponsibility?

nereo

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What a lot of posters seem to be missing on this forum is the couple's heritage and the plan to bring the husband's parents to Canada.

... From that perspective [of being an immigrant], I am not so sure that the outsized home was truly their independent "choice".
I understand there are different cultural values at play, but this couple simply purchased a home that they could not afford at their current salary, in addition to having other debt.  They borrowed the maximum amount they could, and then borrowed even more from family.  I'm not doubting they could have good, family oriented intentions.  They simply can not afford it.

Quote
I don't think you non-hyphenated Americans and Canadians understand how much hell there is to pay when one of us immigrants makes a choice like this. Hell hath no fury than the parent of an immigrant.
I'm not sure what a non-hyphenated American is.  Everyone can be hyphenated.  As the son of immigrants who then moved to another country I can empathize with the pressures from family, but ultimately a person makes their own choices, and they made some financial whoppers.  Free will and responsibility and all that.

MgoSam

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Quote
I don't think you non-hyphenated Americans and Canadians understand how much hell there is to pay when one of us immigrants makes a choice like this. Hell hath no fury than the parent of an immigrant.
I'm not sure what a non-hyphenated American is.  Everyone can be hyphenated.  As the son of immigrants who then moved to another country I can empathize with the pressures from family, but ultimately a person makes their own choices, and they made some financial whoppers.  Free will and responsibility and all that.

non-hyphenated=white, western European heritage. My guess is that Kashmani's point was that many people posting here can't fully understand the mentality of an immigrant's family. I somewhat understand being a first-generation American (parents from India), but am lucky in that my parents have largely become Americanized. That said, we can do whatever we want in life, but there will be consequences. I converted from the religion of my ancestors and though my parents were ok with it, it caused several sorts of fires within my family and community. My cousins, who are around my age and are also born and raised in the US, are still baffled that I converted.

vivophoenix

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i fail to see how being a non hyphenated American comes into play here.

esp since generation of immigrants have come to America and lived in one room shanties in ghettos. oh did, we forget that most of north America is non - native peoples?  the US and Canada is built on people coming over broke, scraping an existence together by being frugal and being family and community oriented.

 this is not a case of selfish  white people ( i think that's what the "non hyphenated American" dig is about. ) just not getting someone elses rich culture.

this is the case of people being idiots. they could have staying in that townhouse until family members actually showed up. they also didnt have to get the most house the bank WOULDNT let them buy.

zephyr911

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Those are good points, but if your parents expectations lead you to spend money you don't have (or buy a house you can't afford), it's still your fault.
And even more so when after getting it you start planning to put in a pool and landscaping...
I have yet to encounter a culture whose expectations justify failures of basic mathematics by financial professionals.
We've been planning for my mother needing our help and possibly moving in with us for years now, and none of our preparations involved bankrupting ourselves on a McMansion and throwing away all hope of saving money. When family needs help, nothing helps like cash. We have stayed at a slightly larger home size than we would need otherwise - 1100 whole square feet, three bedrooms and two bathrooms!

Goldielocks

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I am non-hyphenated, and we choose our current home with the expressed view that we can move our parents in and create a suite for them as soon as the kids are out of highschool. That will be when they are 70-78 y.o.

The difference in culture is the pressure to do so earlier for immigrant families.. Many sons (east indian and chinese) here, are forbidden to move out until married, then expected to take up the mantle of supporting other family in the home by the time they start having kids.

I would understand this more if the father with the supporting pension was the one intending to move in.

I also don't see many people putting their hand up for a finance article... The theme should be about parental pressure being unreasonable for finances, not "woe is me... We can't make it"....