Author Topic: parents and their finances?  (Read 7434 times)

LAL

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parents and their finances?
« on: May 24, 2016, 04:06:54 PM »
Do you know how your parents are financially? Do you have a financial plan in place?  If so how did it happen?  What age and what prompted your awareness?  Do you help your parents either financially or non financially?  Are they competent?

wenchsenior

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 05:16:12 PM »
My parents are divorced, and I know both their financial situations in detail. No official financial plan in place for my mother, but I manage the small investment nest egg. I had to take my mother's bad situation into account since I was in college, including occasionally paying emergency bills for her. By the time I was approaching 40, I began planning on how to partly support her, and we have for the past 6 years and expect to have to do so indefinitely, possibly for the rest of her life.

My father was supposedly in the clear, with a remarriage and a net worth of about 2M. However, that has all gone to shit the past few years, and he's now down to about 700K net worth and falling, so my sister (and to some extent me) are intimately involved in monitoring his finances as well.

If you mean mentally competent, my mother definitely is. My father is intermittently incompetent due to illness, which is why my sister now has power of attorney to monitor and pay his bills, etc. My father does have a will and some semblance of a financial plan in place.

My husband's parents he's not in much contact with. They are also divorced, with his father remarried. We don't know the father's situation at all and are trying to avoid finding out. His mother is always in serious financial straits (which is how my husband was raised) and we send emergency money (a few grand) a couple times per year when she calls and pleads for help.

It's tiring, but of the options of dealing with the situation, this is the one that currently causes us the least stress.

prognastat

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 05:50:00 PM »
My parents live in the Netherlands, they have a mortgage on their own house and will probably have it paid off by the time they retire at which point they will get the Dutch equivalent to social security at which point with a paid off house which should keep them comfortable. In laws live in the US, I suspect they don't have enough in their retirement accounts to retire with their SS unless they change their lifestyle either before retirement to pay a bunch of loans off or after retirement by cutting back/downscaling significantly. Most likely though is they will keep working well past 65 unfortunately.

Cwadda

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 06:28:51 PM »
I know my parent's financial situation completely. One, because I will be the executive when they pass away. Two, because I manage their money so it doesn't get eaten away with all these ridiculous fees.

SKL-HOU

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 07:58:34 AM »
I know most of their financials. They are doing fine. I don't have/need a plan for them. I have always known their financial situation from a young age. I don't help them, they don't need it. But if something were to happen and they needed help, I would help in a heartbeat.

Gin1984

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 08:24:26 AM »
I run my mom's investments and top up her pension with it (figuring out the optimal amount since she is till on an ACA plan) because she'd spend it all if she "saw" she had half a mill.  She's competent but has this save and be frugal only when "needed" and spend when you have extra mentality. 

KisKis

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 10:47:36 AM »
I had no idea about my parents' finances as a child or teenager.  I just had the general knowledge that they were thrifty and saved a lot (immigrants).  Once I was a married adult, my mom, who is a CPA and extremely organized, gave me the general overview and the location of emergency information for all her accounts in case anything happens. 

DH's parents are much more open about their finances.  We know everything about them and they know everything about us, pretty much.  His siblings are the same way, too.  It works out well since everyone is fiscally responsible.  If we had a loose cannon, I'm sure we'd behave differently.

Edit: I just grew some stubble!  Sweet.

Eurotexan

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 10:59:04 AM »
My parents have always been frugal and have lucked out with real estate. They have two paid off homes, a large amount of money in the market and generous monthly pensions.

It's only been over the last couple of years that I realized that they are so comfortable because they were frugal and always looked at the long term. Being in the UK they don't need to worry about healthcare but they do worry about long term care.

My mother grew up in upper middle class family but my father came from nothing, he's been such a role model to me.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2016, 11:25:40 AM »
I know most of their financials. They are doing fine. I don't have/need a plan for them. I have always known their financial situation from a young age. I don't help them, they don't need it. But if something were to happen and they needed help, I would help in a heartbeat.

This for me as well. I'm their executor, but they have enough to live out their lives AND increase their standard of living three-fold ++ if they wanted to (they don't - they're very happy). If, for some reason, they, or my sister, needed help, I would be there. And vice versa.

brute

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 11:27:52 AM »
My parents are doing pretty well for themselves. They've been FI for about 15 years, but keep working because why not. It took a lot of hard work, we never spent much when I was growing up, and even when the house way paid off they didn't increase spending, just saved more.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 11:47:29 AM »
My mom FIRE'd at 51 thanks to an inheritance and a renewed fear of her own mortality when my dad passed away that year from a surprise heart attack. Her financials are solid -- she owns her home free and clear, and her investments are making enough money that she travels extensively every year with her BFF and occasionally gifts some out to my sis and me for tax purposes. She has an established will, health care power of attorney and plans to age in place in her community, and fund her healthcare needs.

I would have absolutely zero problems growing up to be my mother, basically. :)

My In-Laws... YIKES.

Father in law was a federal employee/contractor (it's a little unclear) for years. When he basically worked himself out of a job in 2004, he cashed out his entire TSP to buy the house they bought in New Mexico, where he went for his next job. I hope/presume that he has some kind of pension, but he's a contractor now with limited retirement savings, and pushing 65, and grumbling about never retiring, ever. Mother in law has never had a career and works the occasional odd job. She also has a terrible, horrible, deeply chronic spending problem, and isn't exactly in fantastic health.

My husband's only brother is a 35 year old bachelor with a cat who makes pot brownies professionally at a bakery in Colorado. He does not, I should stress, actually eat the pot brownies, which makes him a model bakery employee, but there's not a lot of upward mobility there. He's very happy with his life and roommates and lifestyle, and more power to him for that... but if anything happens to Ma and Pa and they need long-term care or financial assistance it's gonna be on hubby and me to make that happen, most likely from another continent and on next to no notice. I fret about this constantly.

Suze456

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 11:59:33 AM »
My parents could write the book :) Father FIRE'd at 55, very much worked to live before that (like a few busy spells and lots of free time) Mother almost always a SAHM. Don’t know the specifics but they are comfortable and independent and have their plans in place.

In laws give me bad dreams, especially as dh works in the family business and has already co-signed on huge loans while having no say in decision making :( Only good thing is FIL is well insured (life)! (So is dh) MIL wouldn't mind retiring early but too many bills (lots of spending and waste).

Frugal D

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2016, 12:14:49 PM »
Very jealous of so many of you with Mustachian parents. Mine don't have any established plans and will likely never retire.

I've already written my "no" speech when they inevitably come to me for help. It will be a tough day for everyone involved, but I've made the decision not to subsidize/reimburse their lifetime of poor financial decisions.

Suze456

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2016, 01:07:36 PM »
My parents supported me for 19 years...Don’t know if I could say "No" to them if they needed help until I'd at least paid them back for what they did for me!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 01:13:32 PM by Suze456 »

I'm a red panda

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2016, 01:37:58 PM »
My parents are rich. They don't need my help. (They've also made it clear their money will all be spent, donated, or go to the grandkids- I have no inheritance, and I'm good with that.)

My husband's parents are not doing well financially, but we will not help them with money. They make the same mistakes over and over again.  Our house is always open to them, but they would never take advantage of it. It's too cold here, and that won't work for them.  I also don't have cable and they need 600 channels and all the sports packages.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 07:21:50 PM by iowajes »

Rural

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2016, 03:46:45 PM »
My parents started from nothing and are happily retired as the millionaires next door. They can't spend it as fast as the investments grow.


In laws: his mother's husband will keep her in decent shape with multiple pensions even if he dies first. Otherwise it would be on us as she's terrible with planning and not good with money.


We've  planned out how to convert the room that was to have been our library into a bedroom for his father in a hurry when/ if the crisis hits, likely when the stepmother dies. Longer term, we'd like to get him into his own place, probably, one we'd buy or rent for him in the nearby town, as long as his health holds reasonably well (we'd turn the house into a rental afterwards if we bought).

rocklebock

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2016, 04:33:15 PM »
My parents: Dad was with his company for 30+ years, and during a downsizing was offered a buyout that gave him access to his old-fashioned pension fund right away, so he FIREd, sort of. Mom worked PT on and off to supplement his income. They sold their house a few years ago, then paid cash for a small condo. They invested the difference in what I suspect are high-fee managed funds, but they're terrified of the stock market so I haven't bugged them about it. They are doing well on what I believe is a very fixed income, spend reasonably, and have expenses they could cut if needed. If there are long-term care needs, I think the condo would need to be sold. I'm their executor so I should probably know more of the details. My mom isn't very independent, so I do worry a little about her basic coping skills if my dad goes first.

Husband's parents are, we think, stealth millionaires. Only concern there is siblings and their SOs squabbling over things later. Fortunately the executor is the most financially savvy, practical-minded, and bossy sibling.

Retire-Canada

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2016, 05:15:58 PM »
Do you know how your parents are financially?

They pay their own bills and own their own homes. Beyond that no. They are adults and I leave them to it.

They have about the same information level about me.

little_brown_dog

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2016, 07:10:25 PM »
Do you know how your parents are financially?

They pay their own bills and own their own homes. Beyond that no. They are adults and I leave them to it.

They have about the same information level about me.

Same here....except I do worry that as they age my lack of knowledge about their finances might come back to bite me in the butt. I have tried seeking more information in a casual, no-pressure way, but they don't really offer any info. I'm wondering at what point I should really ask for a sit down meeting to discuss their plans and wishes for retirement in a concrete way. They're almost 70, and I don't want to be stuck in a position of having to make choices on the fly should one or both of them deteriorate rapidly. Hell, I don't even know the geographic location they want to be in within the next 5-10 years, let alone if they want a home, a condo, a 55+ community, assisted living, etc.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 07:12:36 PM by little_brown_dog »

Fishindude

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2016, 05:51:47 AM »
My mom had $400 in the bank when she died.   She basically went broke after retirement due to overspending.   When her health started deteriorating her money problems surfaced and myself and siblings had to get involved to bail her out on a few things and take over her finances for the last ten or so years of her life.    It's not a bad idea to get involved if you are close to them, so you don't get hit by big surprises like this.

Mrs. S

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2016, 06:50:10 AM »
My parents are a single income household and are currently supporting my youngest sister through her medical college. I don't keep tabs on how exactly they are managing their money but from what I have been seeing I might get involved by the end of the year.
They have had not had a very rich life but now the money is flowing in much higher numbers and my dad seems to believe that savings are overrated. They own the house and have rental as well as my dad's pension so i don't believe they will be broke but i don't think the finances can support long illnesses.
I don't expect it to be a happy discussion, and nobody except me can get it into their heads.

aperture

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2016, 07:27:48 AM »
My father was a high end corporate type that relied on a generous pension at retirement.  He has passed away and my mother is in a memory unit of a nursing home.  She was a SAHM until age 45 then got a real estate license and made a killing.  This allowed them to stash a bunch of $s, but I am not familiar with their financials.  My sister has POA and is executer of wills.  When I asked her, it is clear that mom can stay on the memory unit at current burn rate and with existing conservative investments for 10+ years.  She is 85 and with Alzheimer's unlike to survive 10 years.
I know less about my in-laws financials and am more concerned. Her father has been a sucker for the quick buck all his life with repeated insane investments in pyramid-type BS that led the family to multiple bankruptcies.  When my DW was a child her mom started working and by great skill, winning personality and hard work ascended to high corporate office.  She retired at 65 - probably with a pension and definitely with some lucrative stock options. She put the hammer down on the FIL's crazy 'investments' when he blew a large amount of money in the same year that she retired.  Now, they live pretty frugal lives and I am pretty sure they are within their means.  The one concern I have is if my MIL passes away and leaves my FIL in charge of a large stash.  If history is any lesson, he could easily (will likely) blow it all on some ridiculous gambit, and then will need our support/rescue to avoid losing everything.  I pray nothing like this ever happens.   
Thanks for the topic - Ap.

lhamo

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2016, 08:13:34 AM »
My mom has a paid off house and is living off of the money she invested after getting a life insurance payout when my dad died at age 52 (34 years ago) -- it is all in a single REIT (O), which scares me a bit due to the lack of diversificaton, but it has done very well for her, covering her living costs and still growing to around $500k.  She tries to bank her SS check, and currently has cash savings of over 100k.  She is in ailing health with congestive heart failure, and does not have long term care insurance, so if she needs to move into assisted living or a nursing home she might blow through it pretty quickly.  But her house is worth a substantial amount (waterfront property in commuting distance to Seattle), so that could be tapped if needed, and my siblings and I are all doing well financially and can help out as needed.  She does have a little bit of a compulsive spending issue -- regularly buys stuff from shopping channels that she mostly then gives away, but it is usually only a couple of times a month and not a huge amount of money.  If it started increasing we would talk to her about it and it would probably stop (just telling her to ask us first before she buys anything for us or our kids would probably be enough).

My inlaws live in an apartment we purchased for them about 13 years ago.  Until recently they were probably saving a fair amount of their pensions, but MIL is now requiring full-time, live-in support and apparently that is now eating up most of those funds.  We would be happy to cover this (it is only a few hundred dollars a month), and will if it becomes necessary.  I don't know how much they have in savings.  The apartment is in my DH's name, and will revert to him after they die, but it is highly likely we will either gift it to one of his sisters who is struggling financially, or else sell it and split the proceeds between all the sisters.

StarBright

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2016, 08:18:21 AM »
I know everything about my parents finances. My dad is a nerd like me so we are each other's financial cheerleaders. He also tends to talk through major financial decisions with me including very touchy subjects like supporting family. He won't ditch his money manager and that drives me nuts but he likes the guy, they are on the church finance committee together and I will concede that the manager has steered him towards a few financial products that really seem to be working out in the long run.  My dad is an accountant and my mom is a teacher and they might retire in the next few years (they are in their early 60s) but they both really like their jobs. I suspect my dad will go down to 2-3 days a week when he is 65.

I don't know the exact details of my in-laws but I suspect they are okay. They are native southern californians who inherited property north of San Diego in the 70s and they also own several rental properties in the same area. If they ever got in a bad financial situation they could sell a property at a time and probably make a mint. They are 67 and 65 and both also still work. FIL is an architect who takes on a project or two a year for fun and manages their rental properties and MIL has a "retirement job" as a flight attendant. She's a little tired of the work and hours but the travel perks are so good she is going to try to keep going for another couple of years. 

My DH and I were both lucky to grow up with great financial role models.

boarder42

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2016, 08:48:12 AM »
My parents are retired with piles of money IMO.
They taught me how to save from an early age and were always savers.
They are selling the house i grew up in and downsizing.
They waited till normal retirement ages basically Mom a teacher at the rule of 80 around 50 or 51 - dad at 65.
They are expediting my fire plans by transferring wealth to us in installments each Xmas.  Goes str8 to savings.

My dad always says he wished he knew what i know at my age but they live a very cushy 60% travel lifestyle thats pretty awesome.  So much so that my wife wants to wait til we have as much as they do which is only an extra couple years so we may do that.

I started actively trading stocks at 10 - 17 years later i found this site and just use index funds.
My parents matched whatever i put into my Roth for me when i started working at 15.

I was planning to need 5MM and retire "early" at 50-55 - after finding this site i more than doubled our retirement contributions and turned that age into 37-38 (it was 35-36 but we upgraded to a nicer home that added 2 years) 

by financial help if my dad needs some money b/c he doesnt wanna sell some stock and i have it i loan it to him for a month or so and vice versa. its a pretty sweet setup.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2016, 09:47:06 AM »
My parents are sorted, they work because they want to; I know they've loaned my siblings money in the past but no further details, and I know where The Folder is if something awful happens.

My in-laws are a disaster, I know the interest rate of each of their crazy and extortionate loans/cards/mortgages. I calculated how much interest they paid EVERYDAY, which prompted a week of sensible money decisions followed by the ripping out and replacing of a perfectly usable (five years old ish) bathroom.

I found out about this when they called us in tears asking us to drive six hours to pay off a loan shark who was threatening arson. We couldn't transfer the money to their bank because it was frozen after they blasted through their overdraft.

We support them with advice, and pay for an online grocery shop twice a month. We tried paying off the higher interest loans - got a call from the catalogue company to ask if we were also paying for the new shopping that they did the day after we paid them off. Got the company to freeze the account, in-laws got upset with us, couldn't see why we'd done it. We were upset with them, couldn't see why they'd gone shopping just after they'd been crying over the interest they were paying on the bill. That was an awkward dinner.

We tried giving them a set amount of money each month to help them make their payments, got a call from a furniture shop asking us to write a letter saying we would guarantee the income stream so they could use it for a a loan on a dresser (which was going to be a present to us to say thanks for the money). We don't do this any more.

mozar

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2016, 10:34:46 AM »
If my parents stay stable they'll be OK.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:40:05 PM by mozar »

robartsd

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2016, 11:01:39 AM »
My parents divorced. Finances were a big part of the strain on the relationship. For dad "Can I afford it?" basically equated to "Do I have the spending power?"; for mom "Can I afford it?" is more like "Do I still have enough to pay next months bills if I buy this?". Needless to say, I don't expect to inherit anything but a mess from Dad - in addition to the occational bill collector contacting me if the're having trouble contacting him. I don't know how his net income changed when he was forced into retirement by his declining health. I do know that Mom's portion of his pension turned out to be slightly more than her alimony had been (she had worried about which way it would go for years - and the longer Dad worked, the smaller her percentage would be), but Dad's net income could also have increased if the net from the pension was greater than the net from his salary (at the highest levels it works out this way because the gross reduction in pay is less than the retirement deduction). Because Dad didn't work with the pension office in advance of his retirement and had never provided the pension office with the final signed court documents for how the pension was to be divided (they did have a copy that was not signed by all parties), pension payments were delayed which caused quite a financial emergency for him (and a slight financial emergency for Mom). In addition to a portion of Dad's pension, Mom will have a small pension of her own (she was a stay at home wife most of their married life) and has some additional savings. I doubt she will stop working before she pays off her house and car. Her stated retirement plan is that she hopes her children liker her (all seem to), but as long as she's physically able to take care of herself, I don't think she'll need much from any of us.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2016, 11:13:34 AM »
My parents retired a year ago at 66 and are set for retirement (assuming they continue to live within their means, which I'm sure they will) due to my mother's diligent saving and money management. This is despite the fact that they filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy ten years ago to get a handle on my father's massive (and for a long time, secret) credit card/small business debt.

My husband's parents are kind of a mess. They had massive debt for years, and only managed to pay it off when their parents died and they inherited a some money. They also were making good money (220K) over the last five to seven years, but they spent just about all of it on supplements, private pilates lessons, life coaching, amish-made furniture, over-priced food from the co-op down the street, expensive organic pet food, homeopathic vet care, etc. About 6 moths ago their income was cut back by about 50%, and as you might imagine it is not going well. We tried to get them to use YNAB because it worked so well for us. We asked how it was going and they stopped using it a month ago. Why? Because YNAB was telling them they couldn't afford their current spending level.

Our approach to money is in many ways an attempt to avoid the problems our parents ran in to. My parents never shared finances, so they were on completely different pages for years and my mom had no idea my dad had let his credit card debt spiral by only paying the minimum. My inlaws discuss everything because they are basically a single income household, but have a hard time telling themselves no when they want something, and are perpetually unhappy despite their attempts to throw material goods into the void in their lives. We just don't want to turn out like either set.

teen persuasion

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2016, 11:16:36 AM »
Do you know how your parents are financially?

They pay their own bills and own their own homes. Beyond that no. They are adults and I leave them to it.

They have about the same information level about me.

Same here....except I do worry that as they age my lack of knowledge about their finances might come back to bite me in the butt. I have tried seeking more information in a casual, no-pressure way, but they don't really offer any info. I'm wondering at what point I should really ask for a sit down meeting to discuss their plans and wishes for retirement in a concrete way. They're almost 70, and I don't want to be stuck in a position of having to make choices on the fly should one or both of them deteriorate rapidly. Hell, I don't even know the geographic location they want to be in within the next 5-10 years, let alone if they want a home, a condo, a 55+ community, assisted living, etc.

I also had next to 0 info on my parents financials until recently.  Dad has always been very private with his info, but I knew generally that he was investing while I lived at home decades ago, so they seemed to be fine.  In the last year or two dad has begun dropping little bits of info that I can extrapolate out to conclude that they are probably stealth millionaires.  I learned a bit more last month when he had me look over his past and current taxes - my sister had learned he'd been paying taxes on capital gains and dividends that were tax free.  We convinced him that rules had changed, and we could amend his taxes to fix it.  I learned that they are living comfortably on SS, small annuities, small RMDs, and dividends, without touching any other taxable accounts.  I'd like to delve a bit deeper into how things are arranged, but things seem fine as is for now; it might make sense to explore scenarios for the survivor when one of them passes away.   I will let dad draw me in as he's comfortable.

I have to guess that dad has realised I'm interested in FI, and that's why he's begun including me in discussions.  A few years ago we had a week long family vacation: my sister's family, my family, our parents, sister's in-laws.  My sister and I had several discussions on FIRE and MMM, and dad was listening, wondering how I'd learned everything.  Dad is 85 and still sharp, but they do not have or want a computer, so his info base is stuck in the past (hence not knowing about 0 tax rate on div and CGs).  He was frustrated when newspapers stopped publishing stock quotes; sister has his stock list in an app and updates him on his quotes every week now.

UnleashHell

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2016, 11:32:41 AM »


We support them with advice, and pay for an online grocery shop twice a month. We tried paying off the higher interest loans - got a call from the catalogue company to ask if we were also paying for the new shopping that they did the day after we paid them off. Got the company to freeze the account, in-laws got upset with us, couldn't see why we'd done it. We were upset with them, couldn't see why they'd gone shopping just after they'd been crying over the interest they were paying on the bill. That was an awkward dinner.

We tried giving them a set amount of money each month to help them make their payments, got a call from a furniture shop asking us to write a letter saying we would guarantee the income stream so they could use it for a a loan on a dresser (which was going to be a present to us to say thanks for the money). We don't do this any more.

I can't help but laugh! Sorry. At least they are a rich vein of interesting stories for you.
My In laws aren't great with money but at least they'd rather deny themselves and complain than spend money. Of course they could actually invest sensibly and get rid of the big house but that would mean less reason to complain so that probably won't happen...


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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2016, 12:02:26 PM »


We support them with advice, and pay for an online grocery shop twice a month. We tried paying off the higher interest loans - got a call from the catalogue company to ask if we were also paying for the new shopping that they did the day after we paid them off. Got the company to freeze the account, in-laws got upset with us, couldn't see why we'd done it. We were upset with them, couldn't see why they'd gone shopping just after they'd been crying over the interest they were paying on the bill. That was an awkward dinner.

We tried giving them a set amount of money each month to help them make their payments, got a call from a furniture shop asking us to write a letter saying we would guarantee the income stream so they could use it for a a loan on a dresser (which was going to be a present to us to say thanks for the money). We don't do this any more.

I can't help but laugh! Sorry. At least they are a rich vein of interesting stories for you.
My In laws aren't great with money but at least they'd rather deny themselves and complain than spend money. Of course they could actually invest sensibly and get rid of the big house but that would mean less reason to complain so that probably won't happen...

Yes, they do give me plenty of stories (with luck it was clear that the stories are there to be enjoyed by all - it doesn't hurt them and gives you a laugh). TBH, it's really useful for me to see the extreme version of my bad financial habits.

I'm noticing a trend of sensible parents / anti-mmm in-laws. I'm guessing there is some selection bias with the sensible parents; but are we as a population drawn to financial damaged partners? Or are we blind to our parents mistakes unless they are major failings? Or do we just enjoy sitting around the camp fire and telling our version of ghost stories?

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2016, 12:10:01 PM »
I'm noticing a trend of sensible parents / anti-mmm in-laws.

I don't think sensible and "mmm" are the same thing. My parents are phenomenally anti-mmm.  They get new Cadillacs, Lexuses, Audis frequently (generally pay cash, sometimes take out an interest free loans)- recently my Dad's car had $45k worth of hail damage...and it wasn't totaled by the insurance company; they own a tricked out golf cart to drive to their country club whose membership fee is higher than my mortgage.  They have every cable channel known to man. The house they "downsized" to when they became empty nesters is twice as big as the house we grew up in.  It's an absurd level of spending.  But they made a lot of money and invested it wisely. So they aren't doing poorly financially.  They think I'm absolutely insane to be frugal when I have a decent (but not at all ridiculously high) income. No cable? Buying a Hyundai instead of a BMW? Not going out to eat more than once a month; buying used clothes- just crazy.

Quote
I'm guessing there is some selection bias with the sensible parents; but are we as a population drawn to financial damaged partners?
My partner is great with money; I don't think I'd be able to have a lasting relationship with someone who didn't approach this similarly to me.  His parents are the ones who are horrible with it.

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2016, 12:20:41 PM »


Yes, they do give me plenty of stories (with luck it was clear that the stories are there to be enjoyed by all - it doesn't hurt them and gives you a laugh). TBH, it's really useful for me to see the extreme version of my bad financial habits.

I'm noticing a trend of sensible parents / anti-mmm in-laws. I'm guessing there is some selection bias with the sensible parents; but are we as a population drawn to financial damaged partners? Or are we blind to our parents mistakes unless they are major failings? Or do we just enjoy sitting around the camp fire and telling our version of ghost stories?

I'm hoping its a camp fire issue..

mine are bad but only in the way that they can't spend because they are so badly organised. their life could be so much better but there is an ignorance , stubbornness and an unwillingness to discuss that turns a decent situation into a poor one.
About 10 years ago I'd estimate that my inlaws and my parents had about the same net worth. My parents converted a house into apartments and bought rental property. they moved into a small bungalow , sold some rentals to pay for the conversion and are now in a suitable house with money in the bank and income from pensions and rentals.
My in-laws kept their house that is way too big and have no other income stream.
My parents travel a lot.
My in-laws don't have the cash flow

My parents are called lucky - by my inlaws....
my in-laws are waiting for magic to change their situation because they won't do anything about it themselves..

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2016, 12:49:11 PM »
I'm noticing a trend of sensible parents / anti-mmm in-laws.

I don't think sensible and "mmm" are the same thing. My parents are phenomenally anti-mmm.  They get new Cadillacs, Lexuses, Audis frequently (generally pay cash, sometimes take out an interest free loans)- recently my Dad's car had $45k worth of hail damage...and it wasn't totaled by the insurance company; they own a tricked out golf cart to drive to their country club whose membership fee is higher than my mortgage.  They have every cable channel known to man. The house they "downsized" to when they became empty nesters is twice as big as the house we grew up in.  It's an absurd level of spending.  But they made a lot of money and invested it wisely. So they aren't doing poorly financially.  They think I'm absolutely insane to be frugal when I have a decent (but not at all ridiculously high) income. No cable? Buying a Hyundai instead of a BMW? Not going out to eat more than once a month; buying used clothes- just crazy.

Quote
I'm guessing there is some selection bias with the sensible parents; but are we as a population drawn to financial damaged partners?
My partner is great with money; I don't think I'd be able to have a lasting relationship with someone who didn't approach this similarly to me.  His parents are the ones who are horrible with it.

Hey iowajes, I've been a bit imprecise with my words. The distinction I was trying to make is that owning a tricked out golf cart [more details please, top speed?] that you can afford is a lifestyle choice; owning a tricked out golf cart when you can't afford food is horrifying. I would say that mmm is one way to be sensible, and there are plenty of other ways to be sensible (part of financial sensibleness is spending less than your income) ; and that being anti-mmm to the point that you are spending much more than your income isn't sensible.

 I would call your parents non-mmm, rather than anti-mmm; but I don't own the definitions.

My SO has learnt financial literacy and self control; but is damaged (in my opinion) by his childhood. I may be extrapolating way too far from one data point and did not mean to offend your or others' SO. I was looking for a less clumsy phrase for 'offspring of financial camp fire story'.

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2016, 12:52:17 PM »

 I would call your parents non-mmm, rather than anti-mmm; but I don't own the definitions.


LOL. Works for me :)

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2016, 12:56:21 PM »
I know my parents financial state and they know mine very well. They are debt free and my dad is 2 years from retirement. They have been a one income family for awhile, my dad makes good money and has built up a decent retirement savings(with his social security, he wouldn't even need to touch the investments). My dad has always been quite frugal, my mom not so much. Neither are big spenders though. I don't agree with all their financial decisions and I have learned from some of them. I took a lot of their financial guidance early in life(pay cash, save, don't incur debt, ect) but I think I got a lot of influence from financial blogs also that has really gotten me to the point where I value time over money and using money to gain freedom.

My dad believes mainly that only rich people retire early, that you should work your 65 years and FIRE isn't something he ever considered or believed was possible for him. They know our feelings about it, and they're happy for us but I don't think they fully support it. He is always saying, "well just imagine how much money you would have working all those years ect". We value our time and freedom more then money, though money is of course important to survive we just feel FIRE and the concept of financial freedom is more important then working your entire life.. It's hard for him to understand that really, he is set in his ways. Otherwise, we both quite agree on financial issues.

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2016, 02:34:04 PM »

I'm noticing a trend of sensible parents / anti-mmm in-laws. I'm guessing there is some selection bias with the sensible parents; but are we as a population drawn to financial damaged partners? Or are we blind to our parents mistakes unless they are major failings? Or do we just enjoy sitting around the camp fire and telling our version of ghost stories?


In our case, my husband was raised by his extremely MMM grandparents, so his parents' financial decisions have had virtually no effect on his habits. Maybe reinforced good habits though bad example a bit.

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2016, 02:46:12 PM »
i converted my wife from bad learned habits.

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2016, 03:41:26 PM »
Do you know how your parents are financially?   Yes, when my father died I knew all of the financial details.  I helped my mother through all the paperwork.  Ever since then I've been involved.

Do you have a financial plan in place?  If so how did it happen?  Yes, we review it every year or so.  Now that she has cancer it's become a more regular discussion.  I honestly wish that she would spend more traveling while she still feels healthy!

What age and what prompted your awareness?  In my teens due to the death of a parent.

Do you help your parents either financially or non financially?  Yes, I serve as a sounding board for ideas and offer advice. I sit in on conversations with any and all advisors.

Are they competent?  Yes, but the stress from illness is taking its toll.  I'm finding myself involved more and more.


As for inlaws, they're younger.  I worry about their spending at times.  But one of them is still working and the other has a pension, which helps offset the regular trips to Europe...

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2016, 04:35:54 PM »
I know what my Mom has, and she'll be fine.  My Dad handled most of the investments, and when he died, my sister took over doing Mom's tax return, and I help her with the investments, so we both know her figures.  My parents were very frugal - I credit their example for my own frugality. 

MIL is OK, but whines she isn't.  FIL was horrible with money, but divorced MIL in time for her to rebuild her finances.  FiL died penniless a few years ago.   Mr. SP set up his Mom's investments, so he knows exactly what she has.  As long as she doesn't go crazy, she will be able to live very comfortably.

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2016, 07:03:06 PM »
I have general idea of what my parents have and it's more than enough.  However, most of it is probably sitting in cash or in some investments that may not be optimal.  But ours is not a relationship that I feel it's my place to intervene.  I think they'll be fine though. 

BlueHouse

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Re: parents and their finances?
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2016, 07:45:50 PM »
I know that my mom has enough and when she needs or wants something extra, I give to her what I can.
About 15 yrs ago, she got into serious cc debt (20k) and my sister and I paid it off for her to give her a fresh start. 5 years later, she had built that same debt up again. I found out because she had a forced retirement and panicked and needed help. She got a reprieve on her job for one year, and during that time, I made a plan for her to pay off her own debt. I refused to pay it off again but took over her bills and her bank accounts and set everything up for auto pay and consolidated cc into 0 interest balance transfers while we focused on her payment plans. I made charts and graphs to show how she could pay it all off in one year. After a few months of progress, she got  excited and proud and told me she could cut back on spending even more and she could pay down the debt faster.

She paid it all off in 6 or 7 months and that changed her forever. Now she pays all bills in full, on time and she watches what she spends. There are still things that I shake my head about, but she is an adult and she can make her own decisions.

I help her here and there with some big purchases (car, dental work, computer, iPad, iphone) and some monthly bills (cell phone, cleaning lady - yes, she needs it). I would give her more, but then she gives so much to my lazy brothers and I don't feel like supporting them and their fancy lifestyles.

Bottom line:  I consider my mom a financial success story. She can live comfortably but frugally on her small pension + SS, but I like her to have a few additional luxuries. There are still times when she doesn't care enough to get reimbursed for a $200 mis charge on her phone bill( MY bill!). And that irks me big time, but all in all she is the kindest person I've ever known so I feel I can afford to let her have her foibles.