Author Topic: How should I help my dad?  (Read 8888 times)

mozar

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How should I help my dad?
« on: June 23, 2016, 07:11:31 PM »
After decades of terrible choices, my dad is on his last penny, and now he's in a really tough situation.

H
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:45:07 PM by mozar »

Lia-Aimee

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 07:41:31 PM »
If he's taken full custody, will your sister's mother be driving around much with your sister? I don't see why the car is necessary...

If I were you, I'd be most comfortable taking on bill payments and/or paying directly for things that would benefit your sister (childcare, extra-curriculars, etc.)

And help him write a budget. I'm estimating that 60k is 3500/month after taxes, so even after renting the $1600 apartment, your dad has $1900 left over.  Assuming your sister is in school and doesn't need full-time childcare year-round, that seems perfectly fine for two people (assuming his debt gets wiped clean with this bankruptcy.)

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 08:09:22 PM »
Her mother still watches her one night a week and weekends when my dad works.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:45:27 PM by mozar »

Choices

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2016, 12:01:23 AM »
It's a slippery slope. You give money to your dad, who is bankrupt and bad with money, and he gives it to your sister's mom. Are you willing to fund your sister's mom's lifestyle?

Everyone has to make his/her own choices, but I would give my time, love, babysitting, etc but not my money until they figure out how to be responsible with it. Help them make a budget. Enroll them in a Dave Ramsey FPU program. Help them cut costs (cable, groceries, dining out, cell phones).

Otherwise it will breed bitterness and judgment over how they spend their (previously your) money.

Kaikou

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2016, 05:57:06 AM »
I am not sure how old you are or your dad, but he has to deal with his choices. If you have money to give go ahead, no strings attached though. There's  no point about worrying about this and that because once you give that money he will do with it how he pleases.

If it were me I would evaluate how much I want to invest in this situation, if at all. Seems like you will have a hand raising your sister in the future.

How old is Papa?

plog

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2016, 06:59:39 AM »
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I'm not trying to change him

That's the problem with a lot of people coming out of bankruptcy--they view it as a clean slate wiping away bad luck and not a slap in the face because of things they chose to do. There's no reason to internalize, reflect on how they got there and make changes to themselves.

What's the first thing they tell you about a trouble on a plane?  Put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping children and others.  If you are in a position to help your father and sister, then you may, but if you are not, there's no point in considering it because then you will only make matters worse.  Be as dispassionate as you can, take a look at your situation without regard for family ties and honestly access your ability to help.  Feel no guilt for not helping fix a  situation you did not create and possibly can't actually fix no matter how much you help.

Also, have your dad file for child support.  If he's taking over sole custody, then he is entitled to it. 

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2016, 07:47:36 AM »
Yep, it is a slippery slope. I told him I would be willing to buy a car for myself to go watch my sister, and he heard "free cash." That's a good point about child support. I know the ex-girlfriend is even worse off so its unlikely.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 08:06:46 AM »
Hard to see money you send your dad going to good use as long as your sister is being kept in the basics. Can you watch your sister one night a week? The best thing for her might be a stable, caring adult in her life that is a good role model for having one's shit together. Five-year-olds are pretty easy to deal with once they get comfortable.

Is the concern that the school she goes to is scary, or the neighborhood is awful? It's hard to imagine that $1150 in rent gets you an awful neighborhood but maybe that's how DC works.

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2016, 08:39:05 AM »
Fortunately I was able to help my dad get her into a great school, one of the best in DC. The problem is that its about 2400 for a one bedroom near the school.
Not all of Anacostia is terrible but the actual part where he lives is terrible.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 08:53:11 AM by mozar »

SimplyMarvie

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2016, 02:23:45 PM »
Hard to see money you send your dad going to good use as long as your sister is being kept in the basics. Can you watch your sister one night a week? The best thing for her might be a stable, caring adult in her life that is a good role model for having one's shit together. Five-year-olds are pretty easy to deal with once they get comfortable.

Is the concern that the school she goes to is scary, or the neighborhood is awful? It's hard to imagine that $1150 in rent gets you an awful neighborhood but maybe that's how DC works.

No, $1150 a month in DC gets you a horrible neighborhood and a probably not very nice apartment, even. This is legit. I make twice what his dad does and have a hard time finding a place to live in DC that *I* can afford (and by afford I mean actually pay for without having more month than money, not just afford in the sense keeping a high savings rate or what I'm willing to pay), much less one with a school that is even decent. DC is CRAZYPANTS when it comes to housing costs.

Mozar, does he have to live in the schools zone to attend? Is living further out and commuting an option? That's the whole existential problem with the DC area -- do you live close and pay through the nose v. spend hours of your day commuting. I don't know how that pencils out, since I doubt your sis can be left alone for long so there's probably child care issues. Would it be possible to pay some of the rent but pay it directly to the landlord? Otherwise, maybe paying for/assisting with childcare is the best way to go -- although I don't know where you live in relation to your dad and sis.

Cassie

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2016, 03:55:45 PM »
If he is not qualifying for housing because his income is too high could he quit his p.t. job and just work f.t. and qualify for help with housing?  This is a tough situation for all of you. I would not buy a car for his ex.

MsPeacock

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 05:08:33 PM »
He should reapply for benefits once your sister is with him, as he may qualify with an additional dependent. Agree w/ PP about child support, even if it is a small amount.

COL is nuts here. Maybe help your dad get accurate information about car tax and such and find programs he qualifies for, in addition to or rather than giving him money. Or pay for a specific thing, like after school childcare and pay directly to the company.

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2016, 07:50:25 PM »
Quote
That's the whole existential problem with the DC area -- do you live close and pay through the nose v. spend hours of your day commuting.

I know right!
Since my sister already got into her great school, she is welcome to stay there wherever my dad lives. I live about 20 minutes by highway from my dad now. I don't have a car but I would get one if i were to start baby sitting.

I think it would be best if he lives as close as possible to his job, where there are also great elementary schools, but its about 2k a month for a 2 bedroom. I think he should just suck it up. It's only 6 years until he can get his full pension, then he can live wherever. But he doesn't understand why he has to pay so much. He thinks its 1990 or something.

He's planning on listing his daughter, his sister, AND his ex-girlfriend as dependents to see if he can get low income housing.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2016, 03:26:23 PM »
To be quite frank, I don't understand why we should have to pay so much either, and whine about it a lot... but that's because I'm a midwestern girl who still kinda thinks $200,000 for a 3 bedroom house is highway robbery. I am ill-suited to East Coast living. :(

re: Low Income Housing, I believe that if he's found to be listing them as dependents fraudulently there can be some serious consequences with that. So beware... but still, reapply with the kiddo!

Cassie

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2016, 05:35:14 PM »
At one time i was a SW and it is a bad, bad idea to lie on an application for public housing. I think it is great that you are willing to help with childcare, etc.

ender

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2016, 05:48:55 PM »
Can he not move outside of DC?

His reasons seem outrageously dumb and it feels like... that's the root problem here.

Zamboni

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2016, 06:09:31 PM »
You are a good person to want to help how you can, but giving money for his baby momma to buy a car is a terrible idea.

I think it's fair for him to list both his child and sister as dependents for housing and taxes, since it sounds like they are and they will be living with him. Even if he does qualify, then that will take time.

It seems like housing is the big problem at the moment, and I understand that. Living close to either his work or her school is a good solution. I once paid moving expenses and 2 months rent for a loved one to get them into decent housing which they couldn't understand was affordable when really it was. Sometimes people just get warped ideas about things and in my case the person lost their previously crappy housing to a fire and was functionally homeless but wouldn't even look for a place to live. Plans were morphing into miserable couch surfing indefinitely. I had to do the looking and just say "I looked at about 10 places to pick the best fit and it looks like you should move here or here, one of these two-three specific places. Let's go look at them so you can pick. I will hire movers and pay the first two months rent, so no more excuses." It worked because it gave him some choice and feeling of control, but also took away his inertia and excuses.

Could you do something like that to get him, your aunt, and your sister moved to a better location? Can you help him by spending a day this weekend vetting new apartments, then offer to pay the first month or two of rent if he moves?

MayDay

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2016, 09:20:39 PM »
From the information given, it sounds like he should take the cheapest 2 bedroom he can find near work, for ~2k. He sleeps in the living room, daughter and sister each have a room. Suck it up on a super tight budget.

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2016, 09:31:48 PM »
My dad does have trouble with finding places to live and I have been helping him do research.

What do you all think about co-signing? I would rather not, but say he wanted to rent a place for 2k near his job that will be almost 60% of his income, and I don't know if an apartment building would go for that. He could find a private landlord but that's relatively rare near his work.
That's a good point about inertia. At 2k a month I'm not that crazy about paying rent either.

Quote
From the information given, it sounds like he should take the cheapest 2 bedroom he can find near work, for ~2k. He sleeps in the living room, daughter and sister each have a room. Suck it up on a super tight budget.

He lives in a one bedroom now and his sister sleeps on the floor. I wonder if another 1 bedroom place would allow him to have that many people but I doubt it.

Zamboni

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2016, 09:52:16 PM »
I also had to cosign. It is a risk to be sure. Can your aunt co-sign? The disability check counts for something.

If a one bedroom is what he can afford, then get another one bedroom and make it work. Two adults per bedroom is the lower limit of reasonable occupancy, but it is a general rule of thumb and not a law. There are also general guidelines about number of square feet per person, but those are really low thresholds (like 150 sq ft per person or even less.) Unless your Dad already has full custody of your sister prior to signing the lease, it is reasonable to list your just those two on the lease in my opinion.

Good luck with everything.

LAL

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2016, 09:25:41 AM »
Is it a possibility to have them move in with you?  Would you want them to?  Previously we've let DH brother live with us rent/utility free for 6 months and then other

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2016, 02:13:32 PM »
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Is it a possibility to have them move in with you?

All three of them? I offered to take my sister. If my dad and my aunt were to live with me, that would be enabling him to continue to make crappy choices.

Catbert

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2016, 04:31:00 PM »
Please don't co-sign.  Pay a month or two rent and/or deposit is you can afford it.  At least you know what it'll cost you.  But co-signing is bit like signing a blank check - you never know what it will cost you.

esq

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2016, 05:57:22 PM »
You're a good son and even better big brother. Your family is lucky to have you.

Sounds like keeping your sister in her good school is top priority.  Can your dad work full time, or pick up a part time gig while your sister's in school? I like the idea of moving them to a better neighborhood with your aunt contributing as much as she can to the extra rent.  Can she do something from home?  My friend just picked up a gig scheduling comcast installations working from home. 

Baby mama needs to take care of herself; you've got enough on your plate.

Josiecat

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2016, 06:12:43 PM »
He needs to move as close to his job as possible.  Come on.... he doesn't have to live in Fairfax.  Check Sterling, Ashburn, Herndon, Reston. 

I just pulled up a two bedroom in Sterling for $1137. I just went to www.apartmentguide.com a it came right up.  I think your dad is lazy and doesn't want to put the work into finding something closer.

Don't give him any money and don't co-sign.  Help out in other ways.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 06:21:18 PM by Josiecat »

pbkmaine

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2016, 07:18:06 PM »
Do NOT cosign!

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2016, 08:53:08 PM »
Quote
I think your dad is lazy and doesn't want to put the work into finding something closer.

I don't think he's lazy, some people are just incapable of dealing with modern society. I have to somehow disabuse him of the notion that he can have good schools, near his work, with cheap rent. If he didn't have my sister I wouldn't care where he lived.

My dad has a full time job and a part time job. My aunt can't work and is not really a functioning person. She's needs to be in a home but that a whole 'nother can of worms.

jrhampt

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2016, 06:42:00 AM »
I had to cosign on an apartment lease for my parents.  We needed to move them to another state in a hurry, and they didn't have the income to qualify, but I knew the rent was low enough that they could afford it with a part-time job, and if for some reason something happened, worst-case scenario if I ended up responsible for all the rent for the entire year, it would be $8k.  I knew I could afford that.  They did get work within the first week of moving, and it has been enough for them to pay the rent. 

Josiecat

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2016, 06:11:49 PM »
Well NOVA is a lot better than Anacostia.  He should put in the work to make that move happen.  Being close to work would be wonderful.

LAL

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2016, 09:18:52 PM »
have you looked at areas people suggested?

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2016, 09:24:14 AM »
Yes ive looked at them, I am very familiar with northern Virginia as I lived there for 6 years, and have worked there off and on.

LeRainDrop

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2016, 09:54:09 AM »
My dad told me that it would cost $5000 to pay car tax in Va, which is a wild exaggeration.

Also, the car tax is based on the value of your car.  If you are lower income and drive a reasonable used car, it's a few hundred bucks.  $5000?  not even close.

Yeah, in Fairfax County, the vehicle tax rate is $4.57 per $100 of assessed value.  For example, the annual property tax on a $5,000 car would be $228.50.  (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/cartax_faq.htm)  The motor vehicle sales tax (paid only at the time of purchase, not annually) is 4.10% of the gross sales price.  (https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/vehicles/#sut.asp)

jamesbond007

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2016, 10:25:38 AM »
If I may chime in, I recommend you think about what your top priority is. Is it helping your dad or making sure the little one is safe and healthy? I recommend taking a very hard look at where you stand. if it is helping the little one stay safe and healthy, if I were you, I would offer to take care of the child. It's all about priorities.

tonysemail

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2016, 10:58:53 AM »
yeah, definitely do not co-sign.
The fiscally responsible thing is to get yourself FI.
You will have much more time and ability to help once that happens.

also, what are the chances that he has to declare bankruptcy again?
I'd weigh that pretty heavily when deciding how much to support his finances.

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2016, 12:01:56 PM »

If I can keep him from buying new property the odds of him declaring bankruptcy are low.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 02:32:10 PM by mozar »

LAL

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2016, 09:12:23 AM »
I'm unfamiliar with the area but where does he work? Why are areas suggested not workable?

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2016, 09:34:22 AM »
Reston, Sterling etc, are pretty far from where he works. Reston is getting more expensive due to the metro coming, and I don't know if he thinks it will be worth it to take silver line to east falls church then back out to dunn loring. If he just wanted cheap, but not close to work I would advise Centreville or something. But I don't think that would improve his life enough to consider moving.In order to convince him to move I have to come with something compelling.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2016, 09:53:56 AM »
It's a slippery slope. You give money to your dad, who is bankrupt and bad with money, and he gives it to your sister's mom. Are you willing to fund your sister's mom's lifestyle?

Everyone has to make his/her own choices, but I would give my time, love, babysitting, etc but not my money until they figure out how to be responsible with it. Help them make a budget. Enroll them in a Dave Ramsey FPU program. Help them cut costs (cable, groceries, dining out, cell phones).

Otherwise it will breed bitterness and judgment over how they spend their (previously your) money.

I second this...

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2016, 09:55:38 AM »
Oh, if your not familiar with the area, your thinking that it is easy to drive from point A to point B. That's not the case around here. There is terrible traffic at all times, even weekends.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:46:45 PM by mozar »

Zamboni

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2016, 08:14:33 AM »
Your thoughts on that seem sound. I have no idea if this is true, but I once read that every mile you move closer to work is $15900 more you can reasonable spend on purchasing a home.
http://lifehacker.com/5855550/the-true-cost-of-commuting-you-could-buy-a-house-priced-15900-more-for-each-mile-you-move-closer-to-work

Obviously it also means you can pay higher rent to reduce the stress and expense of commuting. MMM has a nice post on living close to work in Toronto and how much money a hypothetical family can really afford to spend on rent if only they chose to be walking/biking distance to work. That is absolutely the strategy I would use in the area where you live. Good luck!

LeRainDrop

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2016, 05:00:45 PM »
After decades of terrible choices, my dad is on his last penny, and now he's in a really tough situation. . . . He just finished going through bankruptcy proceedings so he should have some extra money each month starting soon. . . . He gave me 3000 a few months ago that I invested in Vanguard. I would prefer to not give it back to him. . . . Thoughts?

How does it work that he was just going through bankruptcy to get out of paying back his actual creditors but simultaneously gifted you $3,000?  Did the trustee not care about that?  Anyhow, if he just gratuitously gave you $3k and is now in dire straights, I'd give that money back to him pronto and let him know that's that.  And then it's up to dad if he wants to put himself and his daughter in a better position or if he wants to squander it.

mozar

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2016, 07:16:29 PM »
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gifted you $3,000

Oh, no, its not a gift. He gave it to me for safekeeping, so he wouldn't spend it. I'll give it back whenever he wants it. His assets were protected during bankruptcy. I just don't want to give it back because I want him to make some returns on it.

LeRainDrop

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Re: How should I help my dad?
« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2016, 07:31:23 PM »
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gifted you $3,000

Oh, no, its not a gift. He gave it to me for safekeeping, so he wouldn't spend it. I'll give it back whenever he wants it. His assets were protected during bankruptcy. I just don't want to give it back because I want him to make some returns on it.

Ohhhhh, that makes a big difference.  In that case, continue with the safe-keeping!  I hope you and your dad are able to find a workable solution here.  I agree with the others saying not to buy a car for your dad's ex nor to co-sign on your dad's lease.  The practical help you are offering to benefit your sister is best, in my opinion.