Author Topic: Parents with financial problems  (Read 2787 times)

Kapiira

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Parents with financial problems
« on: August 09, 2016, 01:40:40 PM »
My husband and I are about to have a talk with my in-laws regarding their finances and I am looking for some encouragement.  My 70 year old MIL currently works full-time at a job where she's on her feet for many hours, and there's going to come a point where she's going to have to retire.  However, she and my FIL spend through her salary as well as both of their social security and annuity payouts every month and do not have significant additional savings.  When my MIL stops working they are going to be in trouble.  I feel like we have to make an effort to help them get their spending under control while there is still a salary to work with.  We've tried gentle 'you should try a budget' kind of conversations in the past and haven't gotten very far.  Does anyone have a similar story with a happy(ish) ending?  Can anyone offer any advice?

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 02:58:33 PM »
Unfortunately the only advice I can offer is 'don't bother'.  If they don't want to hear it, they're not going to listen.  I have a parent in the same position and trying to point out how they are still digging holes when they should have retired 5 years ago is just met with justifications and excuses.  You can't make someone see the light.  If they ask for help that's one thing, but if they're not asking it's just beating a dead horse.

therethere

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 03:13:48 PM »
I just cringe reading this. My in-laws are not in financial trouble  but are always complaining about not being able to retire. Although they are much younger than 70, I know my MIL's health is affected by the stress at work and it will only continue to get worse. My dear husband has offered multiple times to have me look at their finances to come up with a money plan and a way to retire. Um.... NO. I love your parents! I do not want to meddle in their affairs. I am so glad they haven't taken up on this help.

I think its one thing to get involved if they are incompetent somehow. But if its just a fact of they can't retire because they spend their money elsewhere then the cause of not being able to retire is their priorities. I think you will have a difficult time convincing them to change their habits. I don't think an outsider can change someone else's priorities. And really, who says their priorities are "wrong"? Maybe they like having the spending money and some aspects of work. Its just different from your view.  By getting involved any further I think you will just increase your frustration level of them and internally criticize their every move. Give them encouragement towards less spendy things or buying stuff or whatever. But as for helping in a more detailed sense like making a budget or telling them how much to save? I'd vote for don't bother and just enjoy them as family.

Josiecat

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 05:17:41 PM »
What are they spending their money on?  Living expenses or junk they don't need? 

Kapiira

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 09:55:39 AM »
What are they spending their money on?  Living expenses or junk they don't need? 
They're spending money on junk they don't need, eating out, and house renovations.  They have no mortgage and no major on-going health costs.  They are interested in cutting their spending, but I think the discussions about where to cut spending are difficult and then they give up.

And really, who says their priorities are "wrong"? Maybe they like having the spending money and some aspects of work. Its just different from your view.
They were spending money like this 10 years ago, and in that case, I agree with you.  That was a matter of different priorities.  However, at this point it is a certainty that 5 years from now my MIL will not be able to continue in her job.  When that happens they will be able to make ends meet if they sell their house and stop doing everything they enjoy.  I'm not frustrated with the situation so much as sad about it.  They are going to have a very difficult time if something doesn't change soon.

mozar

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2016, 10:10:44 AM »
What will probably happen is that your MIL will stop working for one reason or another, and then they'll cut back because they have to. This would be a good scenario. A bad scenario would be that they make it up with credit cards, but you still wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

Kroaler

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2016, 03:52:38 PM »
I agree with the "dont bother" statement. 

You can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink kinda deal.

You would be wasting your most valuable asset (your time) trying to intervene. 

Cassie

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2016, 04:23:36 PM »
Trying to give advice is only going to lead to hard feelings. They are adults who can make their own decisions.

kitkat

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Re: Parents with financial problems
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 05:19:06 PM »
I'm curious, what are you thinking will happen when she does retire? Do you think they are expecting some kind of support from you? In that case, I could see it being useful to have a conversation clarifying that that is not going to be an option (if that is the case).

If you are thinking they will just have to downsize their house+lifestyle, well then, I agree with the others that that is something they surely realize and will have to handle on their own.