Author Topic: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?  (Read 66525 times)

Bumbling Bee

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So the engineer will inevitably feel resentment against the teacher.  If Kid A is making more than Kid B then they worked harder to get there.  Between two siblings, this country very much is a meritocracy, so having the parents even it up will just serve to reward the person who didn't work as hard.

I know what you're saying but you haven't read exactly what I wrote. I said if they both worked hard to get where they are and continue to work hard at their jobs. If the engineer makes 80k a year and the teacher makes 40k a year and they both work hard. I would not necessarily feel resentment if I was the engineer and my sibling was given a bit extra.

This.

As kids, we were extremely resentful of any perceived inequity, from who got tennis/karate lessons (my brother and me, because our parents were trying to help rectify our extraordinary lack of coordination; we did not last) to who got ice cream without the others to who had more baby pictures in the photo album, because in our kid minds, there was a direct correlation between that and who was loved more. Now that we're adults, though, we've all accepted that our parents loved us the same (and made us approximately equally crazy >=P).

It doesn't bother me at all that my siblings now get more money and things than I do. Part of it is that they get paid significantly less to do work that requires more education (I am the only sibling without a doctorate) and arguably contributes a lot more to society than my job. A big part of it is probably that they're both really responsible with their finances, and never ask for or expect help from our parents; my parents just like giving them a bit of a buffer for their own peace of mind.


mtn

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Where does it stop? My older brother went to private high school and college. I went to public for both. My little brother was public for both, but out of state for college, and is on the 5 or six year plan. I played hockey, way more expensive than their swimming or football. I got an $8,000 car, and the residual $4,500 when we sold it 5 years later. My older brother a $10,000 truck and will get the money when it sells (expected about $7,000)--going on 6 years with that truck now.

But do you know what? We're all different. We all had different needs. My parents were happy for my little brother to get through Pre-calculus with a C. I was a math major, and they expected more of me in math than him. Is that right or wrong? No. Different people, different needs, different expectations.

Life is too short to be jealous. Go to the Bible for it, weather you're Christian or not--do not covet your neighbors things; honor thy father and mother. Good words to live by.


BBub

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So the engineer will inevitably feel resentment against the teacher.  If Kid A is making more than Kid B then they worked harder to get there.  Between two siblings, this country very much is a meritocracy, so having the parents even it up will just serve to reward the person who didn't work as hard.

I know what you're saying but you haven't read exactly what I wrote. I said if they both worked hard to get where they are and continue to work hard at their jobs. If the engineer makes 80k a year and the teacher makes 40k a year and they both work hard. I would not necessarily feel resentment if I was the engineer and my sibling was given a bit extra.

This.

As kids, we were extremely resentful of any perceived inequity, from who got tennis/karate lessons (my brother and me, because our parents were trying to help rectify our extraordinary lack of coordination; we did not last) to who got ice cream without the others to who had more baby pictures in the photo album, because in our kid minds, there was a direct correlation between that and who was loved more. Now that we're adults, though, we've all accepted that our parents loved us the same (and made us approximately equally crazy >=P).

It doesn't bother me at all that my siblings now get more money and things than I do. Part of it is that they get paid significantly less to do work that requires more education (I am the only sibling without a doctorate) and arguably contributes a lot more to society than my job. A big part of it is probably that they're both really responsible with their finances, and never ask for or expect help from our parents; my parents just like giving them a bit of a buffer for their own peace of mind.

+1.  One of my siblings is a highly educated therapist who served the mentally ill.  Her education was far more expensive than mine, and she makes less money.  She is now taking time off to raise her children.  I have more money simply because I'm a good salesman.  That doesn't make me a more valuable person, and it doesn't mean I worked a whole lot harder than she did.  We just chose different paths.  If she ever needed money I would not be resentful.

MissStache

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In many ways I've been the sibling who has gotten more.  My half sister is 13 years older than I am, and when she went to college my parents (and her mother) just didn't have enough money to pay for it and she ended up taking out student loans for the majority of her education.

By the time college rolled around for me, my parents were doing pretty good financially and they paid for 100% of my college. I was so thrilled and grateful to be able to graduate with no student loans.

I can't help but wonder if she's resentful of me for it?  We've never discussed it.  We aren't particularly close given the age difference and growing up separately, but I do think about it from time to time.

Since then they have made a real effort to make sure we are treated equally.  When my grandmother died they divided her bequest between us 50/50 (I don't think my grandmother explicitly asked them to do that).  They gave my sister 5K for her wedding and have told me they will do the same for me if I ever need it.  They've also told me that their will has us as 50/50 heirs. 

Gosh, now that I write it all out I wonder if I should feel slighted that I'm only getting 50% of my parent's estate, but she also gets the entirety of her mother's in addition?  I don't, not even a little bit, but I can see how that would be a thorn in some people's sides.

Personally I hope they go to their graves with only a few dollars left, because that means they have spent all their hard-earned money.  I suppose they (and we) are also lucky that they raised two financially stable and savvy daughters!  That's worth way more than an inheritance!

sunshine

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My spouse is the only one of his siblings that doesn't get large regular in fusions of cash from the folk. Not now. Not ever. He has no problem with it. He gets mad his folks make the weak weaker and bug us to help his siblings also. We won't. If your lazy that's your problem.  There is no hard feeling about his siblings getting more.

The hard feeling come when it comes to the grandkids. All our kids lives their cousins got things constantly bought for them by my husband's parents. They took the other grandkids on vacations and fun outings and left ours out. This hurt our kids and made us mad. We talked to his folks about it and their reasoning is our kids have good parents, get things  and get to go places. The others don't. I explained that they were hurting their grandkids. If fell on deaf ears.  Now that our kids are young adults you really see the effect on the relationship.

My mom on the other hand is fairly well off. I encourage her to spend every dime  on things that make her happy before she passes. I don't need nor expect her $. My husband's siblings are already worried about someone getting more stuff if they are not first their when their folks pass. Ugh



« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 02:27:12 PM by sunshine »

nobody123

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This has been a really interesting thread. It makes me appreciate how great my own mother is. Growing up she was always incredibly careful to make everything even between me and my sister, down to the exact same number of gifts at Christmas, every year.

Funny. My mom actually still does this (us "kids" are now 38 and 41). We'll be chatting about holiday preparations and she'll make comments like "I still need two more gifts for your brother" or "is there anything else you can think of that you need? I'm short one present for you"...

Ha, my mom does this too!  Sister and I are both in our late 30s.  My mom has also carried the tradition forward, so both of my kids have to get the same number of presents from her and my dad.

Capsu78

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This has been a really interesting thread. It makes me appreciate how great my own mother is. Growing up she was always incredibly careful to make everything even between me and my sister, down to the exact same number of gifts at Christmas, every year.

Funny. My mom actually still does this (us "kids" are now 38 and 41). We'll be chatting about holiday preparations and she'll make comments like "I still need two more gifts for your brother" or "is there anything else you can think of that you need? I'm short one present for you"...

Ha, my mom does this too!  Sister and I are both in our late 30s.  My mom has also carried the tradition forward, so both of my kids have to get the same number of presents from her and my dad.

I can beat that! My wife still hosts an Easter egg hunt... for our adult kids and spouses.  At least now we make sure the grandkids get the most eggs! It was quite competitive until the grandkids came along.

frugalecon

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Life is too short to be jealous. Go to the Bible for it, weather you're Christian or not--do not covet your neighbors things; honor thy father and mother. Good words to live by.

I think that this is a little unfair. I don't covet what my sisters receive. But I am concerned that my parents have harmed them by not expecting them to behave functionally, but rather have bailed them out of many stupid situations. And that is going to lead to disaster eventually.

As far as the dynamic when we were children, I grew up with low self-esteem, and that was not helped by my sisters receiving bags of gifts when we went to visit relatives, and me receiving nothing. The deal was that they were the only girls in the family, so the grandmothers and aunts absolutely loved having little girls to buy things for. So I now recognize that they loved me fine, but in a different way. At the time, though, I didn't understand that. I just felt very awkward, like it was my fault that there was something about me that made people not care about me. And since I realized early on that I am gay, I guessed that they had figured that out, or could sense it in some way, and that explained everything.

But the important part is that I grew up believing that I would need to be self-reliant, and they grew up believing that others would take care of their needs.

Which set of beliefs is compatible with FIRE??

K-ice

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This is such an emotional thread for many.

My sibling has probably made twice as much as me (older so more earning years & less school) but spent 4x more than me. So they have been helped many more times.

However, I am grateful that although my sibling has received much more financial help, I have NEVER equated it with love or lack of it.


infogoon

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Bookmarking. This is a very interesting thread.

Cookie78

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However, I am grateful that although my sibling has received much more financial help, I have NEVER equated it with love or lack of it.

Me too. So grateful.
Very well said.

kite

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Life is too short to be jealous. Go to the Bible for it, weather you're Christian or not--do not covet your neighbors things; honor thy father and mother. Good words to live by.

I think that this is a little unfair. I don't covet what my sisters receive. But I am concerned that my parents have harmed them by not expecting them to behave functionally, but rather have bailed them out of many stupid situations. And that is going to lead to disaster eventually.

As far as the dynamic when we were children, I grew up with low self-esteem, and that was not helped by my sisters receiving bags of gifts when we went to visit relatives, and me receiving nothing. The deal was that they were the only girls in the family, so the grandmothers and aunts absolutely loved having little girls to buy things for. So I now recognize that they loved me fine, but in a different way. At the time, though, I didn't understand that. I just felt very awkward, like it was my fault that there was something about me that made people not care about me. And since I realized early on that I am gay, I guessed that they had figured that out, or could sense it in some way, and that explained everything.

But the important part is that I grew up believing that I would need to be self-reliant, and they grew up believing that others would take care of their needs.

Which set of beliefs is compatible with FIRE??

Bible reference is apt.  It goes beyond coveting.  The prodigal son's brother was peeved.  Even if you dismiss religious beliefs as nonsense, the description of sibling rivalry and parental favoritism is ancient.  It's part of the human condition.  Parents want to help their kids.  They get enjoyment out of being needed and of bailing the kids out of jams.   The flip side is that children take pleasure in score keeping and feeling slighted when someone else gets more. 

frugalecon

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Life is too short to be jealous. Go to the Bible for it, weather you're Christian or not--do not covet your neighbors things; honor thy father and mother. Good words to live by.

I think that this is a little unfair. I don't covet what my sisters receive. But I am concerned that my parents have harmed them by not expecting them to behave functionally, but rather have bailed them out of many stupid situations. And that is going to lead to disaster eventually.

As far as the dynamic when we were children, I grew up with low self-esteem, and that was not helped by my sisters receiving bags of gifts when we went to visit relatives, and me receiving nothing. The deal was that they were the only girls in the family, so the grandmothers and aunts absolutely loved having little girls to buy things for. So I now recognize that they loved me fine, but in a different way. At the time, though, I didn't understand that. I just felt very awkward, like it was my fault that there was something about me that made people not care about me. And since I realized early on that I am gay, I guessed that they had figured that out, or could sense it in some way, and that explained everything.

But the important part is that I grew up believing that I would need to be self-reliant, and they grew up believing that others would take care of their needs.

Which set of beliefs is compatible with FIRE??

Bible reference is apt.  It goes beyond coveting.  The prodigal son's brother was peeved.  Even if you dismiss religious beliefs as nonsense, the description of sibling rivalry and parental favoritism is ancient.  It's part of the human condition.  Parents want to help their kids.  They get enjoyment out of being needed and of bailing the kids out of jams.   The flip side is that children take pleasure in score keeping and feeling slighted when someone else gets more.

Well...I disagree that small children "take pleasure" in keeping score. I already described my experience, but I have seen similar dynamics play out in families where parents clearly have a preferred child. Some of my in-laws were that way. One child received the sailing lessons, and the riding lessons, a fancy drum, and a multitude of other opportunities, and the other just didn't. It was pretty clear that there were problems for her when she was quite young. It is unreasonable to expect a child of 7 or 8 years to be able to process what to everyone else was clearly favoritism. Parents have a responsibility to maintain an emotionally safe environment for their children. Obviously a lot will fall short, and the kid will later need to learn how to process issues from his or her childhood. But that doesn't mean that a simplistic admonition not to covet is "apt." Children are not simply miniature adults! There is a limit to their ability to understand what is happening to them.

Ursa

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For parents who do this, I certainly don't agree with them but it's their money to do as they wish.

I just hope those parents save enough money for their own retirement and end of life care so they don't end up shafting their more responsible children by leaving them with the bill because they spent all their own money helping their irresponsible children. I've seen way too many instances where the siblings who got all the financial help refuse to help with the parents once they get older and the (nice) and responsible sibling has to foot the bill.

Also, don't be surprised if you end up ruining your children's relationship with each other because that's what will happen.

Blonde Lawyer

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For parents who do this, I certainly don't agree with them but it's their money to do as they wish.

I just hope those parents save enough money for their own retirement and end of life care so they don't end up shafting their more responsible children by leaving them with the bill because they spent all their own money helping their irresponsible children. I've seen way too many instances where the siblings who got all the financial help refuse to help with the parents once they get older and the (nice) and responsible sibling has to foot the bill.

Also, don't be surprised if you end up ruining your children's relationship with each other because that's what will happen.

This is a very excellent point. 

FatCat

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I know someone who was told by her mother she is out of the will because she got married. Since she has a husband to provide for her, she doesn't need any inheritance. Her twin sister gets 100% of the inheritance now because she isn't married. This has really damaged her relationship to both her mother and her twin.

I know someone who's leaving 100% of a $300k-500k inheritance to their irresponsible kid because the responsible kid has had a job for 20 years while the irresponsible kid stayed home playing video games full time into his late 30s.

You can do what you want to with your money, but it's likely going to damage relationships. It seems like most of the people I know who have died recently had wills giving 100% to their least successful child, even if it was relatively large sums. I think this must be the norm.

Bumbling Bee

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I know someone who was told by her mother she is out of the will because she got married. Since she has a husband to provide for her, she doesn't need any inheritance. Her twin sister gets 100% of the inheritance now because she isn't married. This has really damaged her relationship to both her mother and her twin.

Just... Wow.

Quote
I know someone who's leaving 100% of a $300k-500k inheritance to their irresponsible kid because the responsible kid has had a job for 20 years while the irresponsible kid stayed home playing video games full time into his late 30s.

I know a family like this too. Two of the siblings are pretty successful; the third moved home after college and has never held a job or lived on his own, and the older he gets, the less likely it will happen. I mean, how do you explain to prospective employers that you're in your thirties, but have absolutely no work history? He's actually a really sweet person, and the one I feel saddest for. Being completely dependent on his parents all this time seems to have completely eroded his confidence and sense of self-worth.


MrsPete

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I think it might be fair to divide this topic in to two categories: 

Young adulthood:  When the kids are still young and making their way in the world, it seems right to give to siblings equally.  We've told ours what we'll pay for college, and we've told them that anything they earn in terms of scholarships will be funneled into a "first car account".  Our oldest is now a college senior, and she's "driving her scholarships".  Our youngest is only a freshman, so she's only made one "scholarship deposit", but we're offering them the same amount of financial support. 

Estate planning:  If we were to die right now, our estate would be split equally between our two kids; but it's likely that we'll live another 40-50 year, and at that point, we may not divide things equally.  I have a strong relationship with both my kids, and I wouldn't leave them money differently meaning "I love your sister more", but if one of them moves across country, while the other is right there with me in my elderly years, bringing me food and driving me to the doctor, I may reward that child who's helped me at the end with a larger portion of the estate.  But that's not something that I can say right now while I'm sitting here in a healthy 40-something body, and I'm still taking care of the kids! 

And then other circumstances can pop up:

I have a cousin who is the only child of a wealthy father.  The problem:  This cousin has an almost three-decade history of drug abuse and run-ins with the law.  His father bought him a house and pays all his bills; he works for grocery and gas money.  Literally, this is what he's capable of doing; we don't say "mentally retarded" any more, but I think he is mildly mentally retarded -- he's not "developmentally delayed" 'cause at 40 years old, he's not going to get any better.  His father doesn't believe this because he LOOKS normal and can SPEAK normally.  Regardless, add drugs to an already limited intellect, and you have a mess.  This is not the individual who should receive everything his father worked for all his life in one big check.  So I am already named executor of his money; he knows this and is okay with it because he realizes that I can manage the money and keep him from being homeless.


LeRainDrop

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For parents who do this, I certainly don't agree with them but it's their money to do as they wish.

I just hope those parents save enough money for their own retirement and end of life care so they don't end up shafting their more responsible children by leaving them with the bill because they spent all their own money helping their irresponsible children. I've seen way too many instances where the siblings who got all the financial help refuse to help with the parents once they get older and the (nice) and responsible sibling has to foot the bill.

Also, don't be surprised if you end up ruining your children's relationship with each other because that's what will happen.

This is a very excellent point.

 Yup, this is spot on.

Astatine

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Posting to follow (have more to say but will need to wait til I'm on my laptop)

iamlittlehedgehog

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This thread touched a cord with me. It is only me and my sister who is 3 years older than me.

When we were younger I received a lot of financial help and support because I was the perpetual f-up who couldn't get her life together. My sister was the angel who graduated top in her class and went straight into nursing school and stepped into a very well paying job - she in turn also helped support me while I moved back home and dealt with my addiction issues.

Fast forward some years and I'm married, sober and doing very well. She has had multiple health issues and bouts of un and under employment in the recent years (her husband works and provides what he can). In turn my husband and I have paid for our niece's dance classes, clothes, and various other expenses so she doesn't feel the pressure.

TL;DR - sometimes families gotta hang in there for each other, even when it doesn't seem fair. No one can predict the future, you may resent them for the help now but you might need it later.

But I do hope this doesn't cause a long term financial issues for your parents OP.

Pigeon

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I'm in the everyone should be treated equally camp, unless there is a physical or mental disability.

My parents paid for college for each of their 6 kids, but the sky wasn't the limit, and the tuitions were in the same ballpark.  I got into some places they couldn't afford and if I'd wanted to go, I would have had to take out loans for the difference.  Same thing for my siblings.

We will pay for 4 years of room, board and tuition for our two kids, or the equivalent.  If they were to get scholarships that brought the costs lower than that, they could use the difference for graduate school.

My inlaws also paid for college for their five kids.  The big difference is that they paid for medical school for two of them and a masters for the third.  We didn't ask them to pay for dh's masters because we thought that was silly.  Dh was a grown-ass adult and could pay for his own.

I think both my dad and my MIL have wills that divide everything equally, which is as it should be.  We and one other brother do the lion's share in caring for MIL, but I would not want her leaving more to us because I do think it just creates hard feelings.

Noahjoe

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Lots of opinions here, some interesting and some smacking of entitlement. I have similar circumstances to many here. My parents limited estate will probably go to my oldest sister who has a GED, at 35 got her first job that lasted more than a month, and hasn't paid a bill ever. I'll likely be the one to ensure she doesn't end up homeless and distribute 100% of my parent's estate to her over time. Aside from the obvious pain in the ass of it all and the fact that my parents enable her terrible life skills, here are my thoughts on their money:

It's theirs. Why do I deserve any of it? Why do any of you deserve your parent's money?

It might be easier for me to not care because I don't talk to or get along with this sister. It might be easy because I know I don't need money from anyone. It might be easy because I've assumed this would happen 17 years ago when my sister dropped out of school. I've worked hard to get where I'm at and I'm set. I made peace with not providing her a safety net (beyond helping my parents distribute their money to her in some way) a long time ago. Why should I spoil the time I have left with my parents (and the sibling I do care about) over money? Why would you? They love me, I know it, and that should honestly be enough. Life's too short to be that twisted up about someone else's possessions. If you're on this forum you're probably in a better financial situation than most and will likely not need to work yourselves into an early grave. Celebrate that. Celebrate that your parents were alive long enough to amass some kind of wealth and that you got to enjoy their company into adulthood. There are a good many who haven't had that privilege that would almost certainly give up any inheritance for more time with mom and dad.

When my parents are gone, know what I'm going to miss? Them. Know what I'd rather not have? Their money. If you need your parent's money for X, Y, or Z  you should think about whether or not that thing is important. If it is, find a way to get it that doesn't cause you this much angst. Your parents don't owe you taking a year, or two, or ten, off of your early retirement date. You owe yourself that privilege. So wax your money mustache, put on  your Dickey's, and get back to work.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 01:30:56 PM by Noahjoe »

kite

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This thread touched a cord with me. It is only me and my sister who is 3 years older than me.

When we were younger I received a lot of financial help and support because I was the perpetual f-up who couldn't get her life together. My sister was the angel who graduated top in her class and went straight into nursing school and stepped into a very well paying job - she in turn also helped support me while I moved back home and dealt with my addiction issues.

Fast forward some years and I'm married, sober and doing very well. She has had multiple health issues and bouts of un and under employment in the recent years (her husband works and provides what he can). In turn my husband and I have paid for our niece's dance classes, clothes, and various other expenses so she doesn't feel the pressure.

TL;DR - sometimes families gotta hang in there for each other, even when it doesn't seem fair. No one can predict the future, you may resent them for the help now but you might need it later.

But I do hope this doesn't cause a long term financial issues for your parents OP.

This!!!!!!!

music lover

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It's theirs. Why do I deserve any of it? Why do any of you deserve your parent's money?

Actually, almost no one here thinks they "deserve" their parent's money. But, the greedy/lazy/useless child doesn't deserve it either, do they? When people are not treated FAIRLY by parents who are supposed to love all their children equally, it causes hurt feelings.

But, you can't overlook the money....what happens when the parents need end of life care and the one child who sucked up all of their money is nowhere to be seen and the health care bills start piling up?? Brother Joe is too busy snorting coke off a hookers ass to care and your nice safe 2.5% WD rate has become 8% to pay for ma and pa's meds and retirement home.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 06:41:40 PM by music lover »

Noahjoe

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Given the financial literacy of the average person in 'merica I'd venture to say that fair treatment financially is going to be the exception to the rule. Parents typically are going to do whatever they can to make their kid's lives better. That probably means helping the ones that don't help themselves as well as their responsible siblings. Instead of being jealous or hurt, I'd be happy that I didn't absorb all their bad habits and am on a successful path. The glass is half empty for too many people here, and life's too short for that.

For those that are using the excuse of, "Well, what happens when your parents need a bajillion dollar a month nursing home to spend their final days?" - make it your parent's decision. Are YOU planning ahead for end of life care? Why can't they? If things get really bad, they'd probably move to a nursing home, liquidate their estate, and use that money to pay for end of life care. If that falls short, there are government programs for such things. If that falls short, they may end up somewhere depressing, but that is ultimately influenced by their decisions (they could also live with one of their kids - a pretty common scenario). If you think they're going to end up in the direst of straits, as the financially responsible child you should probably have that conversation with them instead of sweeping it under the rug and complaining about how you will need to work longer to support your invalid parents.

Life's full of choices. These types of circumstances are no different. When people say that they don't feel entitled to the money, but they're mad that their sibling is going to get more than them, I call BS. Making a choice to let money you don't need govern your happiness in any situation, fair or otherwise, is a poor choice. And it's a choice. Reframe the thought in your head and see if you can draw a different conclusion.

Lyssa

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Given the financial literacy of the average person in 'merica I'd venture to say that fair treatment financially is going to be the exception to the rule. Parents typically are going to do whatever they can to make their kid's lives better. That probably means helping the ones that don't help themselves as well as their responsible siblings. Instead of being jealous or hurt, I'd be happy that I didn't absorb all their bad habits and am on a successful path. The glass is half empty for too many people here, and life's too short for that.

For those that are using the excuse of, "Well, what happens when your parents need a bajillion dollar a month nursing home to spend their final days?" - make it your parent's decision. Are YOU planning ahead for end of life care? Why can't they? If things get really bad, they'd probably move to a nursing home, liquidate their estate, and use that money to pay for end of life care. If that falls short, there are government programs for such things. If that falls short, they may end up somewhere depressing, but that is ultimately influenced by their decisions (they could also live with one of their kids - a pretty common scenario). If you think they're going to end up in the direst of straits, as the financially responsible child you should probably have that conversation with them instead of sweeping it under the rug and complaining about how you will need to work longer to support your invalid parents.

Life's full of choices. These types of circumstances are no different. When people say that they don't feel entitled to the money, but they're mad that their sibling is going to get more than them, I call BS. Making a choice to let money you don't need govern your happiness in any situation, fair or otherwise, is a poor choice. And it's a choice. Reframe the thought in your head and see if you can draw a different conclusion.

There's a world of difference between being mad 24/7 and thinking 'this is sort of unfair and I sure hope I won't be stuck with nursing home bills...' every few months.

Just like there is a world of difference between thinking your parents got and let themselves be sucked try by an irresponible child and leave them wasting away in a crappy nursing home because 'they had a choice'.

The latter seems to require a much higher level of anger and bitterness than complaining on the net how your brother is mooching of your parents.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 02:23:42 PM by Lyssa »

FrugalWad

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I remember feeling really nervous just asking for a small loan from my parents for a ticket to go see some friends. I didn't have a credit card at the time, was short on cash, and paid them back immediately come the next paycheck. We didn't grow up with the money for the parents to play favorite. My grandparents tried, but they didn't have any money either. I got a bag of change once and my sibling didn't.

When we grew older, my parents had a mentality of first come, first serve. Whoever could drive first was given the option of buying the old beater. Whoever was going to move out first was given the option of the old cookware set. I was older, so had the option first. But I wound up joining the military. The beater got traded in so my parents could buy a more reliable car, and I told my sibling to take whatever he could when he moved because I wouldn't need anything. I had a full ride through college. I was just fine with my brother getting a subsidized ride through college from my parents, because he was a hard worker and several times before, I had shown him how life is so much better when being able to save money and live below your means.

I've been through times where I couldn't afford to put gas in my car, but I'd rather have so much figured out how much earlier I needed to head out to start walking rather than ask for economic outpatient care.

greytbigdog

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This thread is really interesting and actually got me out of just being a lurker on the overheard at work thread.

It was very obvious with my in-laws that their daughter was the favourite as the kids were growing up, less financial and more just preferred treatment. But financially, SIL is only four years younger and had all of her university paid for, and DH had to pay for 50% of his - similar tuition costs.

The last 10 years since they have graduated and moved away from home, DH's relationship with his sister has gotten MUCH better.  Also DH finally spoke to his parents about the favouritism and now they go out of their way to make things more equal. 
When we got married, MIL gave us a little bit money to help with the wedding.  Five years later she completely paid for SIL's wedding, and we were given $5000.  Thanks SIL for having an expensive wedding!

Making Cookies

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I just hope those parents save enough money for their own retirement and end of life care so they don't end up shafting their more responsible children by leaving them with the bill because they spent all their own money helping their irresponsible children.

Good point - but how much financial liability is there for the surviving children of a elder that passes away?

Does it just get paid out of the estate? If there isn't an estate (elder was renting apt and has $120 worth of garage sale grade possession and no money) - who can get stuck with the bill?

if the elder has $250K worth of debt - can the grown children be compelled to pay anything?

Making Cookies

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On a very, very good note, my parents came to town to take my wife and I to lunch at a place of our choice. Nice affordable food. Nice shaded outside seating. Nice breeze. We got an hour's worth of their time (we had to get back to work) and all in all - perfection.

It wasn't about money. It was just about getting a bit of their time and them not being in a rush to go home and they didn't spend the hour talking about someone else.

I think that's all most of us "kids" really want - just some time and attention. Even us middle aged "kids". That's probably all the parents/grandparents want - time and attention. Money thrown into the equation just makes everything messy and complicated.

Its hard to feel like we are giving (going and doing to meet the rest of the family's schedules and plans) and not getting much in return but their impatience and gossip.

Hmmm, maybe now that my sibling is many hundreds of miles away - the parents aren't as distracted and consumed by the sibling's "adventures".

The running joke my wife and I share now is that my parents will buy a home here and they'll be like velcro to us now that the sibling has moved away. Might be nice, might be a bother. Not going to worry about it right now either way.  ;)

kite

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I just hope those parents save enough money for their own retirement and end of life care so they don't end up shafting their more responsible children by leaving them with the bill because they spent all their own money helping their irresponsible children.

Good point - but how much financial liability is there for the surviving children of a elder that passes away?

Does it just get paid out of the estate? If there isn't an estate (elder was renting apt and has $120 worth of garage sale grade possession and no money) - who can get stuck with the bill?

if the elder has $250K worth of debt - can the grown children be compelled to pay anything?
Generally no.  Only a cosigner is obligated to pay.
But the Medicaid asset recovery laws enable states to recoup expenses after death if the decedent is over age 55.  In the pre-ACA  days when most who qualified for Medicaid had almost no assets, this was rare. But now with around 11 million who qualify based on income alone, this leaves their homes & bank accounts subject to seizure.  The "family home" may not remain in the family and heirs could be stuck paying to keep the house.  It is a rude awakening for adult children living with their parents and for cohabiting, but unmarried, couples. 

DeepEllumStache

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It wasn't about money. It was just about getting a bit of their time and them not being in a rush to go home and they didn't spend the hour talking about someone else.

This

In the end, it really isn't about the money, it's about the unequal relationships created and how hard it is to balance them.

Parents spend more time and effort on the sibling that has the problems. That child eventually becomes the special child and acts as the main character in the family drama. The parents enjoy being needed. Everyone else gets accidentally shifted into the scenery. Unintentionally, many conversations begin and end with a recap of the ongoing drama. Typically it ends up being repeats of the same story but there is no time or relationship outside of that reserved for the special child. The money just becomes another expression of this.

It can even continue years after that child turns their life around, since the parents and child may have trouble changing how they interact. In my family, the child that pulled off the amazing 180 is still treated as fragile despite not being that way anymore. There is some resentment from that child since another child is currently being enabled with much quieter financial help but is treated like an adult.

My parents have tried very hard to be fair and it's probably a work in progress. Considering how different the circumstances for each child has ended up as, they really have done a great job. The money was never really the driver. In the end, it's their interpersonal relationships with us that tend to be a key factor in how happy everyone is with the family dynamic (versus resentment).

WGH

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+1 to the parents wanted to feel needed

I was booted out the door at 18 and made to fend for myself which worked out fine and I have the typical American dream of mortgage, good job, and 2.5 kids. My brothers are 9 and 13 years younger and still mooch off my parents. For instance middle bro just got married and my parents paid for the whole wedding. When I got married we just went to the courthouse as we were broke as a joke living in an efficiency apartment with only sleeping bags for furniture. I don't personally care but my wife brings this up from time to time....

My wife's siblings OTOH are a damn mess of enablement. They bicker constantly about who gets more money, attention, etc. and unfortunately MIL eats this up. Nothing is funnier than listening to one moocher complain that another moocher is taking to much of MIL's money. They hypocrisy is completely lost on them. My wife complains when the treatment is unfair but I remind her that she's 34 and not a child any longer and we have money and they don't. Doesn't matter those hurts started as children and they never go away. 

DW does tell one story that I still haven't made up my mind on about how I feel about this whole topic of fairness....

Backstory: she has two sisters and two brothers.

One day her dad bought her a special edition barbie doll just for her no one else got anything. DW cherished this toy and to this day recollects what that gesture meant to her. Being singled out and made to feel special rather than everyone has to get the same amount of M&Ms boosted her self esteem and happiness and improved her relationship with her dad. Now she's the middle child and suffers badly from that syndrome and that's part of this. But it got me wondering about how do you balance in a large family acknowledging each child independently but at the same time fairly and equitably?

There was quite a bit of resentment in her family that stemmed from Mom bought me a doll when we went to the store, sis complained so we had to go back to the store and buy her one. The resentment is not from not being treated fairly but rather from not being singled out and made to feel special.

okonumiyaki

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My parents were fair, to the point of obsession.  For example, eldest sibling got bought a used car when she left college, as needed it for her job.  When my other sibling & I graduated, we didn't need a car, but got the same amount of money.  inflation adjusted  If one of us went on a school trip costing X, the other two would also get X.  Any subsequent help on downpayments etc. has also been scrupulously matched, whether or not we need it.  We all got exactly the same help for college (a living allowance, but pay for your own tuition)  The will will be even, and has rules on how to divide up the possessions...  (we will draw lots to see who gets first pick, and then will go A B C, C B A etc)

My parents in law are a bit different.  When my wife was 17, she was offered a house or college overseas as her inheritance up front, as she was a girl & wouldn't get anything else (this was actually very liberal of my FIL, as they are indonesian muslims)  She chose college abroad.  Fast forward 25 years, and my BIL and one SIL have screwed up in various different ways, and now FIL has decided to leave his company 50/50 to my wife and a SIL, with my wife getting the family home as well (on the basis that he can trust that she won't need the money, so won't sell it, and it has sentimental value to him that it remains in the family)

I've kept completely out of it, as his right to do what he wants.  I did query if the 3 left out siblings would challenge the will in court, as not in line with muslim rules on inheritance, but apparantly the lawyers have assured him it is watertight (because he will give stuff away while he is still alive, not on death, so all counts as gifts, not inheritance)

But, yeah, it will make for some awkward reunions in the future.  Our recent trip back, only one of the left out siblings was happy to see us.   

ender

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Part of it might be your expectation, as the child, of your parents remaining obligation.

I have an expectation that I am "entitled" to exactly $0 of money/etc from parents, grandparents, etc. It bothered me enough to take money from my parents for college expenses, I can't imagine how much the imaginary strings would feel like if I got more money from them with any semblance of strings.

I also have pretty much always expected to be in a better financial position than my siblings and have. They aren't exactly Mustachian, that's for sure.

But really, what bothers me, is that my parents seem to "one up" me whenever I have something. For example if I have to drive 7 hours to come visit, rather than any level of "wow that's a big commitment from you, thanks" it's seemingly turned into "yeah your brother is driving 12" or stuff like that. It's very subtle, and not super common, but when that trend is combined with a lack of specific praise (lots of "we're so proud of you!" without any specifics) it's quite difficult on our relationship. No amount of fairness/unfairness in money related questions will ever be more impactful than this.

golden1

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Very interesting thread.  I am an only child and as such I never experienced any sibling financial tension.  The closest I can recall was when my mom was married to my stepfather who had a son who was 4 years older than me.  He always had trouble in school so my parents incentivized him by giving him money for every grade higher than a C.  I always received straight As and Bs and worked hard for them and got no offer of money and that used to bother me for sure.

So my perspective on this subjects is as a parent.  I have two children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum.  His difficulties are mild and chances are he will be able to function with minimal support as an adult, and the goal is for him to be fully independant, but it is tough to know at this point.  I worry about how this impacts my daughter.  I have no worries about her ability to become a mature, fully functional adult.  She is bright, well adjusted, and well on her way to have a good life hopefully.   I can tell at times that she resents some of the attention he gets.  I really struggle with trying to be fair with also understanding that my children are different people with wildly varying capabilities.  My son may just need more support as an adult and I only have so much to give.  I really hope that I raised her with enough empathy and understanding that she won't be resentful if I end up supporting him more than her.  My point is that it can be more complicated and not always about just preferring a particular child more than the other. 

As far as college goes, they both have generous equal college funds that they can draw from, and when it's gone, it's gone and they will have to tap into loans.  My dd, who is 13, has already started asking about college, and she knows she has enough for tuition for 4 years at a public college or about 1.5 years private, so it is up to her what she wants to do. 

MayDay

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In the end, it really isn't about the money, it's about the unequal relationships created and how hard it is to balance them.

Parents spend more time and effort on the sibling that has the problems. That child eventually becomes the special child and acts as the main character in the family drama. The parents enjoy being needed. Everyone else gets accidentally shifted into the scenery. Unintentionally, many conversations begin and end with a recap of the ongoing drama. Typically it ends up being repeats of the same story but there is no time or relationship outside of that reserved for the special child. The money just becomes another expression of this.

It can even continue years after that child turns their life around, since the parents and child may have trouble changing how they interact. In my family, the child that pulled off the amazing 180 is still treated as fragile despite not being that way anymore. There is some resentment from that child since another child is currently being enabled with much quieter financial help but is treated like an adult.


This hits the nail on the head in H's family.

MIL wants to vent to H about SIL's latest antics.  ALL THE TIME.  Phone conversations begin and end with her complaining about H's sister.  It hurts, subtly, over time, and she doesn't even realize she is doing it. 

Like others said, it isn't about the money, its about "on top of most/all your focus being on the problem child my whole life, now you are giving her all the money on top of all the love/attention".    (Note:  MIL isn't actually giving SIL all her money).

My parents treat us fairly, and if they divided their estate unevenly, it would just be odd.  I wouldn't think they don't love me, I would think they were mentally ill or_____??.  So I wouldn't be as hurt about it.  And if they left it all to me under those circumstances, I'd share it with my siblings, because it really isn't about wanting all the $$$$$$. 

FireLane

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I know this feeling. My wife's parents have been financially supporting my brother-in-law (dropped out of school, has never had a real job and isn't looking for one) for years. They give him free room and board, pay for his health insurance and give him occasional spending money. They don't ask anything of him in return, and he hasn't offered. They've never offered this level of support to my wife and me, nor have we ever needed it.

I'm not jealous, really. More baffled as to why they're letting him sponge off them without even trying to get him to stand on his own two feet. But as far as I'm concerned, they can spend their own money as they choose. It'd be nice to get an inheritance eventually (they own some real estate that I'd welcome the opportunity to own and manage in a Mustachian fashion), but I'm not counting on it. However, I'm more concerned by the possibility that they may need expensive medical care late in life that will deplete their assets... and when BIL's free ride ends, I have no doubt, he's going to show up on my doorstep looking for more handouts.

Lski'stash

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I think there are two different kinds of arguments going on with kids. The first one here speaks to two people who work equally hard but make different incomes.
So the engineer will inevitably feel resentment against the teacher.  If Kid A is making more than Kid B then they worked harder to get there.  Between two siblings, this country very much is a meritocracy, so having the parents even it up will just serve to reward the person who didn't work as hard.

I know what you're saying but you haven't read exactly what I wrote. I said if they both worked hard to get where they are and continue to work hard at their jobs. If the engineer makes 80k a year and the teacher makes 40k a year and they both work hard. I would not necessarily feel resentment if I was the engineer and my sibling was given a bit extra.

This.

As kids, we were extremely resentful of any perceived inequity, from who got tennis/karate lessons (my brother and me, because our parents were trying to help rectify our extraordinary lack of coordination; we did not last) to who got ice cream without the others to who had more baby pictures in the photo album, because in our kid minds, there was a direct correlation between that and who was loved more. Now that we're adults, though, we've all accepted that our parents loved us the same (and made us approximately equally crazy >=P).

It doesn't bother me at all that my siblings now get more money and things than I do. Part of it is that they get paid significantly less to do work that requires more education (I am the only sibling without a doctorate) and arguably contributes a lot more to society than my job. A big part of it is probably that they're both really responsible with their finances, and never ask for or expect help from our parents; my parents just like giving them a bit of a buffer for their own peace of mind.

Being from the side of the person who chose the career that makes less money, I feel the need to point out that they chose that career path. I always knew I wasn't going to 'make bank' as a teacher and have planned my life accordingly. I don't feel any need for extra handouts for that reason, and I don't expect them.

The other is what to parents do when one adult kid is being supported in spite and because of their  Fuckups and it continues to happen. Where does it stop? When the parents get sick of it and let them suffer the consequences, in my experience. There's a different line for everyone. I definitely agree that some parents find themselves wanting to be 'needed' and end up enabling because of it. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is there anything that you can do about it? No.

So let it go. Feel sorry for them, and happy for you for not being sucked up into it.

Mountainbug

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However, I am grateful that although my sibling has received much more financial help, I have NEVER equated it with love or lack of it.

+1

Seriously... Money does not equal love, parents aren't perfect, the world isn't fair. (Not to say anyone who posted doesn't have legitimate reasons to feel the way they do)

Melody

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My parents have always stressed to treat is equally. As a result I was given my wedding gift a number of years ago, once I passed the age my sibling was when she married and wasn't in a relationship... So there's an extra $10k in the house deposit account for me :-) I am very happy with this arrangement as I don't think I am the sort of person to have a big wedding anyway and as I am still single much further away from marriage than from home ownership. Ones a realistic current goal, even if I met Mr right tommorrow marriage would likely be 2+ yrs away. Short of a disability I think parents should spend equally on gifts for adult children, though the gifts don't need to be the same. (For example college tuition for one child and a car to get to and from a workplace traineeship for the other).

AllieVaulter

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I know this feeling. My wife's parents have been financially supporting my brother-in-law (dropped out of school, has never had a real job and isn't looking for one) for years. They give him free room and board, pay for his health insurance and give him occasional spending money. They don't ask anything of him in return, and he hasn't offered. They've never offered this level of support to my wife and me, nor have we ever needed it.

... and when BIL's free ride ends, I have no doubt, he's going to show up on my doorstep looking for more handouts.

This is basically the situation with my in-laws.  My BIL is healthy, bright, and incredibly unmotivated.  They tried tough love and he just stopped all communications with them.  MIL couldn't handle the emotional blackmail, so now he's back living with them.  Thankfully, I don't think they're doing anything horrible to their finances for him, but it's definitely an unhealthy relationship.  Hopefully, it will be many years before the inlaws pass on, but when that happens BIL isn't living with us.  DH has made that very clear.  I think my FIL has been working on a plan to get BIL self-sufficient.  FIL still hasn't given up the hope of an empty nest. 

mustachepungoeshere

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My husband and I both face this odd assumption from relatives on both sides that we are 'rich' because we went to uni, work full-time and live in a capital city (COL disparity, anyone?)

As a result, everyone else in my family gets birthday and Christmas presents from my paternal grandmother, except me. I expect her Will to be allocated the same way.

My maternal grandparents still send all their grandkids and great-grandkids a cheque each birthday and Christmas, god love 'em. But my mum thinks it's time this stopped and thinks the older grandkids (some in their 30s) should know better. So I save mine. They're not out the money, and I have a few mementoes of their generosity (and handwriting, which I treasure).

My husband's brother and my sister both get handouts from respective parents. (My parents have help my sister out with cars and cash. My in-laws have helped my brother-in-law out with cash, paid services - health insurance, car insurance, phone bill, free board, groceries, meals out, etc etc etc.)

Some of that is proximity (we live away from them all), some of it squeaky wheel (even when we probably needed it, when we were first married and broke, we never asked), and a lot of it is that they are both financial no-hopers.

My in-laws complain about my BiL's spending habits and money management, but he learnt from them. Now he refuses to speak to them about money. But he will talk to me. :)

I admit to feeling envious at times, because it appears as though our siblings' financial mismanagement is being rewarded. But I channel that energy into focusing on our situation and just trying to run our own race.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #144 on: September 02, 2015, 01:55:47 AM »
A thousand times over, it's not about the money in the end. It's not about deserving money.

My own parents always stressed how important it was that they treat their children fairly, but both showed favoritism to my one younger sibling throughout our lives. It's been unmistakable from childhood dessert sizes to their final decisions about inheritance. It took until I departed to college to have a healthy sibling relationship, because our parents would pit us against each other in their need for a scapegoat for anything wrong, and it's hard for a younger, impressionable, approval-seeking child not to do as encouraged even if it seems 'off'.

I was a type A perfectionist and my sibling was a type B partygoer, probably not least because of this treatment. We have a mostly positive relationship now that we can have it absent our parents, but for me - as the child who couldn't bear to ask for anything, and who was generally exemplary out of a desperate need to be noticed, it's very hard to let go of the feeling of never having had even a chance to be good enough. We were only a couple of years apart and were both intentional children, so it's not as if there were significant differences in conditions; they just always preferred my sibling. Always wondering "why" about that leaves a mark on all your kids. As the slighted child, I've spent a huge amount of time trying to recover from crippling fear of rejection and replacement, and it's had a terrible impact on my ability to feel secure in partner relationships.

And this is within the softened context of two children who were either near-letter-perfect or only a very mild, run-of-the-mill sort of rebellious; I cannot imagine how much worse it would feel to have been that striving child if this had all happened within the context of having a 'problem sibling', because it never had to become a question of who and whether anyone deserved anything.

While I'd agree parents' money is absolutely theirs to divide at will after their children grow up, and adult children don't 'deserve' resources the parents acquired for themselves, that doesn't make favoritism any less harmful; moreover, anyone who can pontificate that an adult is not affected by their upbringing is kidding themselves.

What children do deserve to receive equally is the goodwill and best efforts of their parents.  Raising adjusted kids is really about raising healthy adults, and the notion that you don't owe your kids anything once they can survive on their own suggests you probably do at least owe it to them not to impede their getting to that point. Barring extenuating circumstances outside the realm of choice (mental/ physical health needs), resource investment among your kids ought to be as equal as possible; parental investment correlates strongly with offspring wellbeing. And being within your rights to show favoritism to your children, even as adults, doesn't make it right to do.

coin

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #145 on: September 02, 2015, 10:22:29 AM »
I have absolutely no problems with my parents doing what they want with their money.  I have a feeling most of it will go to my youngest brother, which I have no problem with since he's significantly younger and needs it way more than the rest of us.

If they ever offer me money when I marry or buy a house, I'm going to be inclined to refuse it simply because I dislike the possibility of family drama.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #146 on: September 02, 2015, 12:55:39 PM »
I'm finding this thread fascinating and very much applicable to myself. I'll be the first to say that I've had a balls-out-ridiculous-privilaged-life. My parents sent both my sister and I to the best possible schools, and paid for both of our undergrads. While my sister went to a US private college (with the costs that come with it), I instead chose a university back in my father's native Canada. However, since my parents paid for the tuition, room, and board for my sister, they paid for the equivalent of mine (tuition, rent on an apartment that they chose with me - dorms past the first year didn't exist, and a 300$ a month stipend to feed myself). Any entertainment money was made on our own (we both started working at 14 and continued part-time during uni to cover costs of «extras». While the costs for me were significantly lower than for my sister, their promise was that we would come out debt-free, not a set amount of money. I never had any issues with this.

Flash forward a few years: after graduate school (not covered by my parents), my sister moved back in with my parents and lived there rent free for a year. I was never jealous because while I absolutely adore my parents, I wouldn't want to live with them again, simply because as an adult it puts unecessary strain on the relationship in my opinion.

Flash forward a few more years to today: my sister decided to start a farmstead to make cheese. She works damn hard, longer hours than me, and way harder (office life is easy lets be honest). However, instead of having the added stress of a 350,000$ mortgage and 150,00$ business loan for the construction of the cheesemaking facility, my parents bought her the entire farm and paid for the construction. They didn't want her to have the financial stress. And in their words «we can either give it to her now or when we die, and we'd rather give it when she needs it.» None of this makes me jealous for the simple reason that I know that if I were to start my own business, they would help me out as well. I can honestly say that two things with this situation bother me: the fact that my sister was never forced to go through the brutal but important «develop and get a business plan approved by some investment/banking power», and also, I fear that my parents are far too generous for the amount of living they have left. On the first point, my parents are well aware of my feelings, and they are both business saavy people and have assured me that they never would have done this had they not gone over her business plan and believed in it. On the second point: my parents could out-mustache MMM any day of the week, and while they are both scientists never making multi-millions per year, we lived FAR below our means and they have assured me that they will be dead with several million in the bank because they don't know how to spend it.

Whenever my parents come visit me, my mother always wants to go shopping with me, because they help my sister with necessary things. However, I always refuse, because I don't need anything. We actually got into an argument the last time they were here, because I said that whenever they want to buy me something, be it groceries or clothes, I just want to put the money in the bank to fund my early retirement. I know that they love to see how responsible I am for my age, and my father completely understands, but my mother is like many adoring mothers - she loves to give gifts because it makes her feel good. My father told me, point blank «I understand what you mean, because I'm the same way, but it makes your mother so happy to give you a gift, she spends so much time picking out christmas gifts, imagining your face when you see it. Please indulge her once in a while, it won't hurt.»

I realize how fortunate both my sister and I are to have our parents. How wise they have been to both raise us in a way that we don't NEED money to survive, while also being able to help us to make our lives easier if they want. That being said, while my parents' division of the 20,000$ inherited when my grand-father died funded my first 10,000$ for retirement, the fact that I have never accepted any other money from them since graduating undergrad has caused my father to tell his friends and my mother how proud he is of me. Hearing my mother tell me that my dad was proud of who I was is more valuable than any money they could bestow upon me.

Nickyd£g

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #147 on: September 03, 2015, 06:29:18 AM »
Wow, this thread struck a chord with me!  My older brother and I grew up in a low-middle class home with a spendthrift mum and extremely frugal dad (= a lot of arguments!).  My brother had some...issues... as a teenager and my mum's answer was to throw money at him, without my dad's knowledge for the most part.  Age 12, I was told I would get pocket money for taking over most of the household chores.  My brother got money, did no chores.  Age 15, I got a part time job, as well as school.  My brother was, by that time, unemployed or in prison - it was always one of the two.  I went to university - my tuition was paid for by my parents, I was given a grant and I continued to waitress part time to cover expenses, plus lived at home to save on costs.  I got a job, moved out, bought an apartment.  By this time, my brother was living at home with my then retired parents, stealing items, constantly begging for money for drugs.

My parents died quite suddenly, with no will, and man, did it get ugly!  My brother accused me of "stealing all the money" from the estate, of putting him on the street when we sold the house (a large, 3 bedroom on an acre which he would never manage) etc.  I helped him buy a small, lovely apartment, with a lot of my parents' furniture, and left him to it.  He sold it all, spent all the cash and now lives in a council flat in a bad area.  While he is now clean he is unemployable and regularly asks me for money.  I do not give him any.  Last year he asked me to pawn my mothers jewellery so he could buy Christmas presents.  Uuuh..no.

Growing up, I was very resentful of the money, time and attention my mum gave my brother.  Now, I'm glad my father insisted on my learning the value of money, and feel very sorry for my brother.

Making Cookies

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #148 on: September 03, 2015, 11:56:32 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori

Could this explain some of the siblings out there who can't (won't) make it on their own?

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #149 on: September 03, 2015, 02:33:46 PM »
I borrowed some money from my parents for a down payment on a condo, but repaid it within five years plus the agreed-upon 5% interest. Over the years we've also made each other several gifts, some of which were expensive. Such luxuries as I've received have been exactly that: luxuries that I otherwise wouldn't buy, because I get along just as well without them and they don't make a meaningful difference to me.

One of the reasons I choose to live in another country is because both my parents are extremely controlling when they want to be, and money is one of the tools they use to manipulate and control people. My brother didn't make it out. My parents routinely support him, he often lives with them although he's in his late 30s, and in general they're actively enabling his addictive behavior. For example, when he wrecked one vehicle they bought for him by driving drunk and crashing it into a median during one of his temper tantrums, they bought him another as soon as his injuries healed enough for him to be physically capable of driving. I call that a danger to public safety. They also paid his utilities and rent for years, and frequently let him live with them, often at little or no cost. This is so that he can spend more money on alcohol, and also continue working at an unusually low rate of pay for his industry due to his lack of credentials and his propensity for not showing up to work because he's on a bender.

The longer my brother lives, the more infantile he becomes. All his needs are provided for, and he enjoys a far higher standard of living than his skills or credentials would otherwise provide him. So, he's never uncomfortable enough to go to night school in a different discipline, or to leave town for an apprenticeship program elsewhere. As long as he lacks the skills to stand on his own two feet, he'll keep sucking at the proverbial tit, simply because it's available. He'll also keep pissing away whatever he receives, which guarantees he'll be broke in a year or two no matter how much he inherits. That he will inherit most, or all, of my parents' assets is almost certain. Why? Because he neeeeeeds it.

My parents have spun themselves a glorious self-image in which they are noble, angelic beings who continue to rescue their poor, helpless son. They fail to acknowledge their own role in the codependent merry-go-round their lives have become. Instead, they've basically added him to their marriage and are now some kind of trio for all social purposes. They add his name to the "from" line of holiday cards and gifts, and wherever they go, they take him along like one of Paris Hilton's purse puppies. For reasons unexplained, he tolerates this.

I don't dispute the fact that my parents' money is theirs to do with as they please, and if it was something simple like spending it, I'd shrug or even high-five them. The problem is that they've chosen to use their money to financially castrate their own son. That's just not cool.

It just seems to me that a person's right to swing their financial fist ought to end where someone else's nutsack begins. This enabling bullshit has done some serious damage.