Author Topic: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?  (Read 20256 times)

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3705
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #50 on: May 04, 2014, 08:45:49 AM »
I do feel a strong obligation to my parents.  However, that obligation is not necessarily to give them money.  I can offer support in many ways.  Money is one, but not the only or even necessarily the best. Offering to help her with the job search or network your own connections, helping fond a real estate agent or apartment, sitting down and hammering out a budget, looking at their car situation and suggesting alternatives and helping them make those alternatives come to fruition, helping them price shop for cheaper insurance (and cable, and phone, and...), etc.

I don't think I am ever obligated to help someone continue to at in ways that are contrary to my value system.  Giving mom money so she can blow it at the casino when she can't pay her bills it not something I will do.  I will help my parents  improve their lives if they are committed to making that improvement.  But I won't want that improvement for them more than they do.  I won't throw good money after bad if they are making it clear that the root problem hasn't been addressed and won't be. 

And yeah, I'm not going to give dad money for the phone bill if he's driving a 2 yo Mercedes while I am in a 15 year old Toyota Echo.  He doesn't get to spend all of his own money and mine so that he can live larger than I do, and at the expense, literally, of my financial future.

(In reality, my parents are super financially stable and savvy and won't ever need my help in that way.  ILs, OTOH..)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 10:07:07 AM by Villanelle »

homeymomma

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2014, 08:55:47 AM »
because sometimes being fully human means you help others rather than stocking up for your next yard sale

Replace "stock up for your next yard sale" with "help your kids pay for a good education" and you've got a better comparison.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8446
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #52 on: May 04, 2014, 09:06:35 AM »
Quote
This is another part of the puzzle for us. I've asked her to help with my toddler multiple times while I am currently dealing with a difficult second pregnancy. She has declined and told us to pay someone, even though she is literally doing nothing right now so it wouldn't be hard for her to come. She also does not help with my child at all when she visits, so I know from experience "putting her up" means giving her room and board with nothing in return.
As an only child it's hard to think of the realities either way. But the fact that we will potentially have to pay for long term care for her is terrifying. I mean, giving someone an extra room is one thing, paying for nursing home care is a much bigger issue.

Yes, this is a cultural/ generational issue.  Our families just do not really work this way.  I mean, my mother did watch my nephew and my niece when they were younger for awhile.  Not full time, just now and then.  My MIL watched her grandchildren for a couple of days a week for awhile too.  So they *did* help for a bit but didn't want to do that for long because they wanted their own time to do their own fun things.  I totally understand that.  My husband and I - well, we live far from our families, both of my parents died before my second child was born, and we had our kids late - so his parents are in their 70's, and while fit, maybe watching an under-2 isn't their idea of fun.

So before my mother died, when she would come visit - she was a LOT of work.  I basically had another child to cook and clean for.

You do NOT have to put her up, and you will not have to pay for long term care.  My husband's grandmother is 95 and has been in a retirement home for many years.  Yes, it's kind of depressing - she doesn't have a lot of money, so it's a state-run home.  Then again, she doesn't have a good memory anymore so she doesn't really care, and it's familiar to her.  We've had other family members with more money who can afford nicer places. 

If you physically and mentally cannot have her in your home, then you can't.

phred

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #53 on: May 04, 2014, 10:34:30 AM »
Lots of excitable people here today.  At no time did I mention giving Mom money at this time.  And yes, I agree with some that whenever you see Mom you need to bring up how is she going to live when she "retires".  And, can she contribute a few bucks to the kids' college fund?

Isn't it funny that when you're born Mom takes care of you, feeds you, changes your diaper, reads to you, takes you places even if only for a walk?  Then, when the situations reverse - you are vital and Mom no longer is - that it's perfectly OK to tell Mom to go F herself because you can't be bothered. 

It is probably true that some Mothers, in the long run, would be much better off if they sold their children at birth.

As has been pointed out, state-run nursing homes can be very depressing places.  Cognitive function declines more rapidly than if they could remain in the real world.

bobmarley9993

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #54 on: May 04, 2014, 01:02:12 PM »
Phred,

The problem is the mom is asking the child to do something that she never did for her own mother.  The Op's grandma gave the mom an inheritance, she is not only not giving an inheritance (acceptable) but taking from her daughter.  If it is such a standard for the child to look after the elderly parent then why didn't the op's mom help her parent out financially?  It is just the hypocrisy that bugs me.  I have seen this up-close and it just isn't fair to do that to your kid.  Don't forget the op's mom is getting a huge inheritance and we are talking of the case where she blows it.   

We are definitely talking about spending big dollars here, read the OP's posts.  It is about the potential cost of a long term care home.  That can be $6-7k per month.   She could be in one for 10+ years.  So that is a potential $800k expense to throw at your kid.   Basically no house for you, no retirement, kids aren't going to college, etc.  It's ridiculous to expect someone to take that on.

Excuse the rant, I'm mostly just venting.   Like I said I have seen this up close.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6683
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #55 on: May 04, 2014, 01:18:10 PM »
I agree with you bobmarley 100%.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1157
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #56 on: May 04, 2014, 01:40:38 PM »
I don't mind taking care of my mother, no father though, and regardless of her leaving me anything, I'll still do what I can. She is lucky and will have a pension $~1500/month plus social security in 5 years when she retires. I plan to retire in my 40s (about 15 years from now) but along with my estimated retirement needs, I'm also setting aside money for her too, I give her $500/month now and I don't really think anything of it. I don't feel bitter about it or regret it either. She doesn't have savings because she raised me and my sister as a single mother and while she will have a pension so she'll be covered financially, I still plan on giving her $500 (or more if I can afford it) because she'll leave it for us when she dies. If she needs it for long term care, then I won't mind her spending it all either. I'm not planning on needing an inheritance to retire since I was never planning on one anyways.

I don't see why children would feel slighted for making sure their parents are happy. Would you spend money to keep your children happy, or give them rags and scrap to eat while you put money away for yourself? I don't see it any differently, parents or wife/children they are all family to me. Sure I don't have kids right now but when/if I get them, I'll adjust plan accordingly.

I'm not sure how I feel about the saying "wouldn't subsidize behavior". Just because the parent doesn't want to work? Does that mean you are no longer able to help them out still? Sure if they are alcoholic/drugs then I'd provide living essentials like food. But a lifestyle choice of not saving money? It isn't my life and I have no need to try to control it. If money can't be given because parent can't spend it "according to your wishes", then let them know that you can provide them a roof/food if they need it but while living with you, they will help around the house/etc.

edit: I realise that I'm not as tight on money as other people are either. I'm only "paycheck to paycheck" because I save the rest of it. But my mother knows that and she doesn't expect me to give her money either. She saves what I give her and puts it into her savings and doesn't spend it. Though she's had to for my sister but even that I don't care about since it's no longer my money and it was to help pay her tuition.

edit again: Saw the comment about helping save for kid's college. This is more personal and all, but why should she? College kids are adults, young/immature (at 18) but still adults. Parents shouldn't have to save for their kid's college. It's nice yes, but something that they should? No more than the children saving for their parent's retirement... which is about the same price. Fund a child's college or fund own retirement? Parent's may choose college for the child but the child may not recognize that by doing so, the parents maybe giving up their own retirement. Because college tuition is the same as a retirement fund if invested by the parents over XXX years to retirement... and then the children feels like they don't have to take care of their parents because they don't have enough to retire on? Sure they would, if they didn't have the child those decades ago. This is why I give my mother money and will continue doing so. She funded my life at the expense of her's, I see no reason not to return the act now that I'm making money.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 02:08:28 PM by eyem »

thepokercab

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #57 on: May 04, 2014, 03:15:40 PM »
OP, in my opinion, your first obligation is to your immediate family; i.e. wife and child.  And the best thing you can do for your child, in my mind, is let them grow up in a financially secure household. So however you need to accomplish that (and I think saving for your own retirement is a big part of it) you need to make that goal #1.   

Once you feel as though you've met your obligation there, then you'll need to get with your wife, figure out what kind of assistance you can provide, and set it at that.  Then, make this known to your mother.   

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3893
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2014, 03:53:12 PM »
.... But the fact that we will potentially have to pay for long term care for her is terrifying. I mean, giving someone an extra room is one thing, paying for nursing home care is a much bigger issue.
You don't have to pay for it, that's what Medicaid is for, it pays for care for the indigent.

My mom spent 5+ years in a nursing home and she was about 1 year away from running out of assets. When they went, Nanny G would take over.

phred

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2014, 04:00:05 PM »
Phred,

The Op's grandma gave the mom an inheritance, she is not only not giving an inheritance (acceptable) but taking from her daughter.  If it is such a standard for the child to look after the elderly parent then why didn't the op's mom help her parent out financially?  It is just the hypocrisy that bugs me.  I have seen this up-close and it just isn't fair to do that to your kid.  Don't forget the op's mom is getting a huge inheritance and we are talking of the case where she blows it.   

We are definitely talking about spending big dollars here, read the OP's posts.  It is about the potential cost of a long term care home.  That can be $6-7k per month.   She could be in one for 10+ years.  So that is a potential $800k expense to throw at your kid.   Basically no house for you, no retirement, kids aren't going to college, etc.  It's ridiculous to expect someone to take that on.

Excuse the rant, I'm mostly just venting.   Like I said I have seen this up close.
First, Grandma hasn't yet passed away, but may soon as she is 95.  She may not have needed help from Honey's spendthrift Mom as she has real-estate plus a chunk of coin (which Honey may receive some of).  Also, Honey is not at this time giving her Mother any money
I am not saying Honey should pay for her Mother's long-term care; Medicaid still exists for that - at least a while longer.  I was not picturing this.
What I did picture was that when Honey's Mom is feeble and destitute, but can still feed herself and do her own toilet, she needs to move in with Honey rather than be moved into some distant apartment where she will be all alone - the existence of any social activities center not withstanding.
This happened with my own Grandmother, although she never had an inheritance to blow through.  The social security was not enough to keep up her rented house and independent lifestyle.  While I was still a little kid, Grandma lived with us in the summer, and her other sister in the winter (Florida).  Since our house was small, she shared a bedroom with my little sister.  Mom was glad she was there as she could babysit from the time school let out until my Mom got home from work.  She could also watch the house if both parents had to be away for business reasons. She could also do little things around the house (dust, help cook). Mom was glad she was there because Grandma was her Mom.  The extra costs (for food?) weren't so great for the emotional benefits provided.  Were there occasional arguments between Mom and Grandma; of course!
 When younger I've worked in nursing homes.  They are places of despair.  Many of the clients stay in bed all day staring at the wall.  No wonder their minds go more quickly
Venting is necessary; it relieves internal pressures.  Take care

phred

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 506
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2014, 04:03:08 PM »
By sheer coincidence, the Guardian newspaper published this book review today:

"If you've been planning a shopping trip with the kids for bank holiday Monday, you might not want to read any further, because teaching your children consumerism is helping to turn them into selfish, immoral creatures without a streak of empathy, according to a new study. You may be making them just like stressed-out adults, whose potential as human beings is killed off as genuine altruism is suffocated by their greed and anxiety.

In a new book which suggests that social changes and the shift towards an ever more unequal society are making us cold-hearted and mean, psychotherapist Graham Music says we're more likely to be born big-hearted and kind but then pushed towards being selfish and cold than the other way around.

"We're losing empathy and compassion in dealing with other people in our society," said Music, a consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman clinics in London. "There is a lot of evidence that the speed of life and the resultant anxiety have an enormous impact on how we deal with other people."

kite

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
Re: Theoretical question: obligation to parents?
« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2014, 05:28:49 AM »
I understand money is tight.  How much would it cost to purchase long-term care insurance on her behalf?

LTC doesn't seem appropriate in this case.  It is really more accurately termed "Asset Protection Insurance" and it doesn't seem like the mom  has assets that need protecting.  It makes sense for me, because I have a spouse,  home and assets.  If one of us were to need long term care and we were self insured,  it could drain the assets that the other will require to retire on in the future.   

If the OP's Mom does inherit, as expected,  and then spends thru all she has, eventually,  she may need to get by on only her SS.  This isn't an end-of-the-world scenario.   My mother gets by quite well on her SS at age 84.  The OP's Mom is aging along with a huge population that is unprepared to be financially independent in later life.  Whether they'll need to live in group homes or team up with roommates or live with their adult children remains to be seen.  When this future day of reckoning comes is in the future,  when, unless you are a Duggar,  diapers and difficult pregnancies are a thing of the past.   The kids may be in or done with college by then.  Or they may be old enough that she can more easily relate to her grandchildren.   

No point worrying today yourself about what some other adult will do in her future.