Author Topic: Need to vent  (Read 7448 times)

yesslynn

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Need to vent
« on: November 15, 2013, 06:32:57 AM »
My family has always been very close to my mother's side of the family. We lived with my grandparents briefly, they helped out with childcare when my single mom went back to school to get her teaching degree. My other extended family, uncle and his family and aunt and her family all live on the same country lane in northwest Iowa and growing up all 9 of us grandchildren were fairly close, there's a one to three year difference between each of us, like stairsteps.

My uncle and his family have always been pretty irresponsible with money, I remember constantly being jealous of their four children because they always seemed to get everything. They spend money way too freely and to make matters worse, don't maintain anything, they've redone their home so many times I couldn't count. Recently, however, it's gotten to a level that I just cannot handle.

Years ago when my grandfather retired from farming and my grandmother retired from teaching they built a new, smaller one-level house and sold their farmhouse to my uncle. I moved away a few years ago so I'm not around very often but this spring I started hearing from everyone (my mother, grandmother, cousin) about all the work that was being done on the farmhouse. Marble countertops, a fireplace, they knocked out a wall, and bought new furniture. I finally saw it this past August when I was home for a wedding and it is beautiful and extravagant. After looking at the house we sat outside and my aunt and uncle then proceeded to complain about how completely broke they are and how ungenerous and tight-fisted my grandma was because she wouldn't give them money!!!!

My grandparents have been wonderful to all of us, not extravagant with gifts and money, but with childcare and meals and they have loaned money to family members when they were in times of extreme need. My grandma was/is constantly sewing clothing with holes or taking in pants that are too large or hemming things that are too long. My grandpa passed away several years ago but they were both very frugal and self-reliant, my grandpa was a farmer but he never accepted any farming subsidies and my grandma admitted not too long ago that she was fairly horrified that her younger brother who is also a farmer does, instead of saving up in good years to weather the bad.

The idea that my uncle and his family are entitled to the money that my grandparents worked hard for their entire life to accumulate is enough to make my head explode. The fact that they were so willing to completely bash her and call her stuck up and say she doesn't care about her family because she will not give them money that they will waste like they have always wasted completely disgusted me.  I have no idea how my uncle could be raised by my grandparents and still turn out this way, completely baffling.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 08:39:37 AM »
Gosh, what an ass. I can't stand ingrates.

Miamoo

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 11:56:20 AM »
The man who knows not says much. The man that knows says nothing.

I'm going to swipe this quote and try to improve on my own self.  Blessings!

yesslynn

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 05:25:31 PM »
Had a phone conversation with my mom tonight and the situation has become worse and more specific. My grandma called my mother in tears because my uncle and aunt went up to her home to tell her they needed her to take a loan out for $60,000 or else they were going to have to sell the farm. They told her they'd pay her $8,000 a year.

It's enough to almost make me glad my grandpa isn't around to have heard that. She told them no, as she should but it's still a terrible position to put her in and she feels awful about everything. The worst part is that there is no excuse for them to be in this position. No terrible event has happened to them, nobody got sick or lost their job without being able to find another one. They just made enough really stupid spending decisions that led them to this. It's really sad.

Zelda01

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 06:18:22 PM »
Did the uncle buy the farmhouse only, and not farmland?  Does your grandma still own the farmland? 

sunshine

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 07:09:24 PM »
That kind of stuff makes me so angry. What a terrible way to treat a kind woman. I think people like that should have a forehead tattoo proclaiming they are a leach. If one doesn't earn it one is not entitled to it.

yesslynn

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 07:21:04 PM »
Did the uncle buy the farmhouse only, and not farmland?  Does your grandma still own the farmland? 

That is a good question that I'm not entirely clear on. I know that Iowa farmland is currently ridiculously valuable and that my grandma has someone who farms on some land for her. My uncle isn't a farmer but I thought he'd had a decent chunk of the land and that he might have already sold some off. Regardless, my grandma feels just as awful about their situation and the fact that they're so behind on their payments (To the bank? I think? Not sure of the true financial tangles there) as she feels about losing the farm, because they're family and she cares about them. My uncle has a steady job so its not as though they're destitute, hopefully. It's hard to gauge without all the details but the fact that they're asking my 78-year-old grandma to take out a $60,000 loan and offering to pay her $8,000 a year doesn't bode well. Ugh, such a mess.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 07:28:34 PM »
Had a phone conversation with my mom tonight and the situation has become worse and more specific. My grandma called my mother in tears because my uncle and aunt went up to her home to tell her they needed her to take a loan out for $60,000 or else they were going to have to sell the farm. They told her they'd pay her $8,000 a year.

It's enough to almost make me glad my grandpa isn't around to have heard that. She told them no, as she should but it's still a terrible position to put her in and she feels awful about everything. The worst part is that there is no excuse for them to be in this position. No terrible event has happened to them, nobody got sick or lost their job without being able to find another one. They just made enough really stupid spending decisions that led them to this. It's really sad.

Does the grandmother have the cash lying around? If so, then I'm sorry but that's just heartless. If I were in your grandmother's position, I'd tell them that I'd gladly help them out. I'd advise that they let the bank foreclose, then I could swoop in and get the property at a big discount. If they want to move back in after the bank evicted them, I'd charge $X in rent per month, payable to Acme Rental Agency (pick one that's known to not be tenant-friendly; if you can find one that does the maximum number of property inspections allowed per year and starts eviction proceedings whenever someone's a day late with rent, that's great).

I guarantee, they wouldn't bother asking me for an interest (and payment) free loan again. And if they ever told anyone I didn't offer to help, I'd politely correct them in front of those people.

yesslynn

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 08:07:35 PM »
Had a phone conversation with my mom tonight and the situation has become worse and more specific. My grandma called my mother in tears because my uncle and aunt went up to her home to tell her they needed her to take a loan out for $60,000 or else they were going to have to sell the farm. They told her they'd pay her $8,000 a year.

It's enough to almost make me glad my grandpa isn't around to have heard that. She told them no, as she should but it's still a terrible position to put her in and she feels awful about everything. The worst part is that there is no excuse for them to be in this position. No terrible event has happened to them, nobody got sick or lost their job without being able to find another one. They just made enough really stupid spending decisions that led them to this. It's really sad.

Does the grandmother have the cash lying around? If so, then I'm sorry but that's just heartless. If I were in your grandmother's position, I'd tell them that I'd gladly help them out. I'd advise that they let the bank foreclose, then I could swoop in and get the property at a big discount. If they want to move back in after the bank evicted them, I'd charge $X in rent per month, payable to Acme Rental Agency (pick one that's known to not be tenant-friendly; if you can find one that does the maximum number of property inspections allowed per year and starts eviction proceedings whenever someone's a day late with rent, that's great).

I guarantee, they wouldn't bother asking me for an interest (and payment) free loan again. And if they ever told anyone I didn't offer to help, I'd politely correct them in front of those people.

Cannot say for sure but I don't think she just has $60,000, hence them asking her to take out a loan. She was a teacher for a long time so she has IPERS which is, according to their website, "a defined benefit plan, which means at retirement you will receive a monthly amount guaranteed for life regardless of how the stock market performs." So she's okay financially but I don't think she has large amounts of money lying around.

Also, they've already borrowed so much money from her without repaying that I don't think you can call it heartless when they're in a situation of their own making that keeps happening. It's like Groundhog's Day, they spend too much money on something they don't need knowing that they don't actually have that money then they ask for money, then they don't take care of whatever they spent too much money on and then they *need* to replace it.

In terms of getting things at a big discount, he said he was going to sell it to somebody so I don't think it'd be a foreclosure situation.

LRS

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 08:54:08 PM »
It's infuriating and heartbreaking to watch these stupid, irresponsible children destroy in a few short years a homestead that took their wise parents a lifetime to build. That farm and that farmhouse are your grandparents' fortune, the embodiment of decades of hard work and self-reliance and borne hardships, and it drives me crazy to think about your spendthrift uncle and aunt pissing away all of that in the blink of an eye without a second thought. Their whining and crying about not being gifted even more free wealth than they've already received is maddeningly disrespectful.

I'm so sorry that your family is suffering through this nightmare. Best wishes to you and your grandma as you navigate this terrible situation. Hope you're able to contain the damage done by these toxic people and keep the farm in the family.

edit: typo
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 08:57:34 PM by LRS »

Zelda01

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 09:03:58 PM »
Did the uncle buy the farmhouse only, and not farmland?  Does your grandma still own the farmland? 

That is a good question that I'm not entirely clear on. I know that Iowa farmland is currently ridiculously valuable and that my grandma has someone who farms on some land for her. My uncle isn't a farmer but I thought he'd had a decent chunk of the land and that he might have already sold some off. Regardless, my grandma feels just as awful about their situation and the fact that they're so behind on their payments (To the bank? I think? Not sure of the true financial tangles there) as she feels about losing the farm, because they're family and she cares about them. My uncle has a steady job so its not as though they're destitute, hopefully. It's hard to gauge without all the details but the fact that they're asking my 78-year-old grandma to take out a $60,000 loan and offering to pay her $8,000 a year doesn't bode well. Ugh, such a mess.
It makes me wonder what they expect your grandma to use as collateral?  Her house, or her farmland?  If she got the loan for them, they would never pay it back. 

I hope she concentrates on keeping the farmland she already has.  It's very good for elderly people to have the rent from that as additional income. 

I am a believer of keeping family farms in the family.  However, the uncle's property seems already to be a lost cause.  A lot of times, generations of families have sweated and toiled to buy farmland, and to farm it.  His behavior is a slap in the face to the people before him.

Zamboni

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 10:08:05 PM »
By all means keep supporting your grandma in this decision not to take out a loan for your uncle and his wife.  Support, support, support her wise choice here.

This whole situation makes me ill.  Adults asking a widow in her 70's to take out a large loan and them give them the money?  Crazy talk.

I hate to say it, but if I were her at this point I would just cut him out of my will so that he doesn't squander even more of the family farmland.  Then he can call me mean and nasty names after I'm dead, and I won't care because . . . well . . . I'd be dead.  Probably she's too kind-hearted to do that, and what he doesn't bilk from her while she's still alive will be split evening between her children.  That's probably why he's trying to needle more out of her while she's still alive. 

I had an uncle do exactly the same thing:  my grandma, who was terminally ill, gave him much of what would have been inheritance as an "advance" at his request because he claimed he needed the money right after grandpa died (Grandpa would never, ever have given it to him and in fact locked some of the money away so that grandma couldn't give away everything all willy nilly in what turned out to be less than a year between his death and her death.)  She told us all that she did this and that she considered it to be "his share" so that he would not get more money after she died, but of course she didn't alter her will and he argued for his "fair share" of what was left again 6 months later right after her funeral.  Just like your uncle, no catastrophic job loss or medical problems, just good old fashioned irresponsibility that has gone on for decades and everyone knows about it.

Sorry, not trying to derail your thread.  Please stay strong and supportive of your grandma.  If your uncle or his wife say anything about this or about her being unkind within your earshot, call him out on it publicly!

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 10:58:33 PM »
In terms of getting things at a big discount, he said he was going to sell it to somebody so I don't think it'd be a foreclosure situation.

FYI, I was being sarcastic at the beginning of my post. The rest was just me turning the situation around.

"Of course, I'll help you out. You say you want me to give you a $60k loan else you'll sell the family farm? Well, how much you selling it for? ... Whoa there, that's a bit much...you're hurting for cash, right? I'll offer you (30% less than fair market value). Once the house is in my name, I'll rent to you for (30% more than fair market value). I don't want any hard feelings, so I'll let (ruthless rental agency) handle everything for me. Deal? Hello? Hello??!! Darn it, got cut off again."

So she's offering actual help for someone desperately in need. Heck, she can even charge a fair rent. I doubt they're looking for actual help; they just want a big $60k payday. Just asking for the loan won't work, but threatening to sell the farm just might....

Under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever should she loan them $60k. I can guarantee right now what'd happen. One token loan payment may be made to her. The house won't be safe, I'd expect to see it sold in the next few years. She'll end up being out $52-$60k, and more hurt feelings than she started with.

Mrs.FamilyFinances

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 11:31:41 PM »
Did the uncle buy the farmhouse only, and not farmland?  Does your grandma still own the farmland? 

That is a good question that I'm not entirely clear on. I know that Iowa farmland is currently ridiculously valuable and that my grandma has someone who farms on some land for her. My uncle isn't a farmer but I thought he'd had a decent chunk of the land and that he might have already sold some off. Regardless, my grandma feels just as awful about their situation and the fact that they're so behind on their payments (To the bank? I think? Not sure of the true financial tangles there) as she feels about losing the farm, because they're family and she cares about them. My uncle has a steady job so its not as though they're destitute, hopefully. It's hard to gauge without all the details but the fact that they're asking my 78-year-old grandma to take out a $60,000 loan and offering to pay her $8,000 a year doesn't bode well. Ugh, such a mess.

Can I ask where in Iowa? I'm curious because my grandmother owns farmland in Iowa, that my uncle lives on. She's 78 too! Funny to see such a similar dynamic in such a random place!

yesslynn

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2013, 05:10:21 AM »
Did the uncle buy the farmhouse only, and not farmland?  Does your grandma still own the farmland? 

That is a good question that I'm not entirely clear on. I know that Iowa farmland is currently ridiculously valuable and that my grandma has someone who farms on some land for her. My uncle isn't a farmer but I thought he'd had a decent chunk of the land and that he might have already sold some off. Regardless, my grandma feels just as awful about their situation and the fact that they're so behind on their payments (To the bank? I think? Not sure of the true financial tangles there) as she feels about losing the farm, because they're family and she cares about them. My uncle has a steady job so its not as though they're destitute, hopefully. It's hard to gauge without all the details but the fact that they're asking my 78-year-old grandma to take out a $60,000 loan and offering to pay her $8,000 a year doesn't bode well. Ugh, such a mess.

Can I ask where in Iowa? I'm curious because my grandmother owns farmland in Iowa, that my uncle lives on. She's 78 too! Funny to see such a similar dynamic in such a random place!

Plymouth County, near Akron and Westfield, fairly close to the South Dakota border.

paddedhat

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2013, 06:20:14 AM »
Obviously, somebody needs to get involved with this mess before your POS uncle ends up loosing everything, including your Grandma's place.  You might want to see about having somebody who is trustworthy, get involved to the point that they have limited guardianship, and a clear path to protect her if she ends up with unexpected financial or health issues. Probably wouldn't hurt to have a local, highly regarded, lawyer step in and determine exactly how badly the uncle has damaged all parties involved, and what to expect as he slides down the rabbit hole into bankruptcy.
One point to consider here. There are often serious misconceptions about exactly what a teacher's pension is worth in our society. I'm not speaking for every state and situation, but some of the pension systems suck to the point that folks are pretty shocked when they hear the truth. Here in PA. there has been exactly one COLA in the last few decades, and the demented far right legislators take great pride in preventing any possibility of having others. This means that many very elderly retired teachers are now down to a few hundred a month in payments, which was a great help decades ago. Now, it pays the taxes and not much else. Bottom line is that you may be blown away to discover exactly how small your grandma's monthly income really is.  Good luck.

BTW,Don't forget, there is one in every family. My mom died four years ago. Left a million dollar estate for me to distribute to three of us. I then discover that my little brother, 38YO, is destitute. Defaulting on his house, $140K in CC debt, no job etc.  Had a six figure income selling software, lost it when the depression hit, kept living like the king of stupid, but switched to CCs to keep the game going.  Four years and $325K later, still no job, no savings, no clue............

garg33

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2013, 11:03:51 AM »
Can your grandma structure the $60k loan as a mortgage on the farmhouse? Then when they fail to pay her back, she can foreclose on the house and get it back. :)

Zelda01

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2013, 12:57:00 PM »
...

I hate to say it, but if I were her at this point I would just cut him out of my will so that he doesn't squander even more of the family farmland.  Then he can call me mean and nasty names after I'm dead, and I won't care because . . . well . . . I'd be dead.  Probably she's too kind-hearted to do that, and what he doesn't bilk from her while she's still alive will be split evening between her children.  That's probably why he's trying to needle more out of her while she's still alive. 
...
Piggybacking on Zamboni's idea... There are a lot of articles out there on "keeping farmland in the family."  He is one for example -->  http://www.tlcplanning.com/FamilyFarms/KeepingFarmlandintheFamily.aspx

I like this idea:

"Letís say keeping land in the family is your objective.  All land could be divided among the children (by any method mentioned) but subject to this condition: if any child wants to sell their land, they must offer it first to their siblings on the same terms proposed for any outside buyer.  That doesnít tie the heirsí hands, but makes sure family has opportunity to keep it.  For a stronger incentive to keep land, you might direct that before any child can sell, they have to offer it to the siblings at a discount.  While an outsider buyer might be offering $4,000/acre, perhaps (for example) it must be offered to siblings at 60% of the third party offer.  The child considering selling has a choice: he can keep the land or cash outóbut the cash out will probably be for less money.  It provides an incentive to keep the land."

slow n steady

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2013, 05:27:12 PM »
The man who knows not says much. The man that knows says nothing.

LDoon

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2013, 06:25:26 PM »
One thing to emphasize is to support your g'ma.  Your venting here is good and it's clear your uncle is being a leach.  I'd suggest talking with your g'ma to reinforce that she is doing the right thing by saying no.  If the only people speaking up are the ones asking for money, then your g'ma might fear she is wrong.  The more support she gets, the more confident she can be.

Also, you mentioned that prior "loans" have never been repaid.  Perhaps a promissory note is needed to remind your uncle of the unpaid balance, and give him pause of asking for more.  I also like the idea of getting an in-town lawyer to "assess" the situation and maybe some kind of POA on such matters.  That puts a stop to the asking and let's the lawyer be the one saying no.  Your g'm is 78 years old.  Let someone else deal with the stress of family discord. 

yesslynn

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2013, 07:47:02 PM »
One thing to emphasize is to support your g'ma.  Your venting here is good and it's clear your uncle is being a leach.  I'd suggest talking with your g'ma to reinforce that she is doing the right thing by saying no.  If the only people speaking up are the ones asking for money, then your g'ma might fear she is wrong.  The more support she gets, the more confident she can be.
Obviously, somebody needs to get involved with this mess before your POS uncle ends up loosing everything, including your Grandma's place.  You might want to see about having somebody who is trustworthy, get involved to the point that they have limited guardianship, and a clear path to protect her if she ends up with unexpected financial or health issues. Probably wouldn't hurt to have a local, highly regarded, lawyer step in and determine exactly how badly the uncle has damaged all parties involved, and what to expect as he slides down the rabbit hole into bankruptcy.
One point to consider here. There are often serious misconceptions about exactly what a teacher's pension is worth in our society. I'm not speaking for every state and situation, but some of the pension systems suck to the point that folks are pretty shocked when they hear the truth. Here in PA. there has been exactly one COLA in the last few decades, and the demented far right legislators take great pride in preventing any possibility of having others. This means that many very elderly retired teachers are now down to a few hundred a month in payments, which was a great help decades ago. Now, it pays the taxes and not much else. Bottom line is that you may be blown away to discover exactly how small your grandma's monthly income really is.  Good luck.

This forum is so great, you're all very helpful. It's more of a venting situation because luckily my aunt, who also lives on that same country road, is extremely sensible and assertive. Not to make generalizations but it's not surprising that she's the oldest and my uncle is the youngest. My mom said my aunt was going to go and see if she and my uncle could maybe buy it if my uncle needs to sell. They're not rolling in money or anything but they've both had steady professional careers and are pretty much the exact opposite of my uncle and his family in terms of money sense.

There was small kerfluffle about a year ago when one of my grandma's CDs (so she does have at least some other income/investment besides IPERS) reached maturity and my uncle talked her into promising to give out money from it ("to the grandkids" of course, he has 4 kids with unfortunately similar habits) before my aunt advised her to just reinvest it. She did, he threw a fit, my aunt continues to be the "bad guy" but my grandma has reliable advice from someone she trusts who has no interest in taking any money from her. My mom is also supportive but my family hasn't always been great with money or employment luck, my mom has just always gotten another job (cleaning houses, retail, etc.) instead of asking someone else for cash. My grandma is approaching 80 but she isn't old or feeble. My great-grandma and great-grandpa, her parents, both lived to late 90s and I'm expecting her to do the same, thus the need for her to keep all of her own money for at least the next 20 years. She's mentioned that she keeps track of all the money she's given out but I can't say for sure whether she's made adjustments in an official way. Personally, I'm not concerned and while we talk often, it's never about money, I only hear things from my mom or other relatives.

This is getting super wordy but my mom told me a few weeks ago that my cousin (uncle's daughter) had come back for a wedding and was crying to my grandma that she'd made a mistake going straight into more schooling because all of her friends had new cars, blah blah blah. My grandma apparently told her that cars don't matter and pointed out that my boyfriend and I live in a one bedroom apartment and share an '02 Dodge Neon that we bought from my parents for $500 and are perfectly happy. I have no desire to be *that* person that gets held up as an example (plenty of financial mistakes in my 25 years) but it made me feel good that my grandma sees and appreciates that I'm not materialistic. She can be sure when I'm calling it's just to talk with her or to ask for a recipe.

Zelda01

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2013, 04:02:39 PM »
One thing to emphasize is to support your g'ma.  Your venting here is good and it's clear your uncle is being a leach.  I'd suggest talking with your g'ma to reinforce that she is doing the right thing by saying no.  If the only people speaking up are the ones asking for money, then your g'ma might fear she is wrong.  The more support she gets, the more confident she can be.
+1

huadpe

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2013, 08:46:51 PM »
She can be sure when I'm calling it's just to talk with her or to ask for a recipe.

Whoa whoa whoa.  Grandma's recipes are VALUABLE.  You don't just call up and get the secret sauce handed to you like that.

odput

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Re: Need to vent
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2013, 06:37:53 AM »
^LOL

[sarcasm] Looks like the uncle isn't the only one feeling entitled!  You're going to make BANK on those recipes and piss it all away! [/sarcasm]