Author Topic: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?  (Read 32752 times)

Aushin

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Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:55:25 AM »
Right now I'm contributing as much as my company matches, which is 400 dollars per month. 

Basically, I really feel I need that money right now and I'll try to explain the numbers and my unfortunate situation, which some older forum frequenters might already be familiar with from posts I made a long while back.

Situation:
    Earning $85k annually pre-tax (80k salary + 5k bonus in March)
    After taxes (several exemptions, explained below) and 401k deductions (400 per month even (6%)), I earn about 4500 dollars in a month
 
    Live in an apartment outside Philly 2 miles from work (during the week). 
               $975 rent
               $80 internet (comcast)
               $75 utilities
       Apartment Total: $1130/month

    Live in my childhood house on the weekends and pay all bills w/ some limited help from the people living there that I support (will explain all the reasons why below):
              $1350 mortgage (USDA Rural Development loan, not a bank)
              $214 internet+TV (comcast)
              $200 ATT phone plan (mom and sister are on my plan)
              $300 utilities (with electricity dominating in the summer and gas in the winter)
              $200 per quarter, $65 per month water bill (part of this is payments on some township-mandated city-water 'upgrade' from a few years ago)
              -$300-800 between all the people living there (explained below)
         Childhood Home Total: between $1529 and $2029

     Misc. Pay for my disabled and unemployed father's internet at a separate house, $40 a month, and student loan $265 a month, so about $300 here.

      Total monthly expenses before gas for my car (which runs about 100 a month if I had to guess): between 3000 and 3400

      Food for people back home is covered by food stamps, food for me is free at work so I eat here 5 days a week.

     The people living in my childhood home are:
              Grandmother: recently forced to retire when the casino she worked in until age 78 closed down (fare thee well Showboat Atlantic City)
                                     suffered a minor heart attack followed by breathing complications, was on life support for several weeks, recovered
                                     stayed a while in a nursing home on respirator, eventually was able to be discharged
                                     can now walk on her own but still requires an oxygen machine or a tank when she leaves the house
              Mother: unemployed since about 2011 or so
                            primarily takes care of grandma  and my infant nephew now
              Sister: recovering addict who just started working again a few weeks ago for about $10/hr at a hotel
                          job hours will only be consistent during summer tourist season
                          has significant trouble finding any work due to criminal charges from when she was trying to help her (now-ex) boyfriend peddle heroin
                          ongoing legal proceedings
              Nephew: infant, bout 3 months old
                             cries and poops a lot

              Also, until recently, my sister's boyfriend and the father of my nephew  (not the same as the one who was using my sis as a mule) was living with us and paying 800/month to me in rent.
              He tragically passed away a few weeks ago.   

              Soon to be living with me: my uncle (mom's brother, grandma's son).  Unemployed, but can consistently win money playing 1/2 NL hold'em.  Has a bad habit of losing his bankroll on the ponies, though.
             
In total, I am in the black for about 20% of my take-home each month. 

The problem is, right now, I have a fuckload of maintenance costs I need to start addressing before they get worse.  And it's hard for me to estimate what they will all cost. 
The major ones are:
      A fridge that leaks (childhood home) water on the floor beneath it that needs to be replaced and possibly repairs to the floor because of the leaking
      A car (2008 Saab with 115k miles) that probably has some kind of electrical issue (I've had to replace 3 headlights and a brakelight in less than a year of ownership and it has burned out three new throttle bodies (only had to pay for one because they've been on warranty)).  I've been putting this off for months because I'm worried I can't handle the cost
      Screen door and window replacements for my house (haven't had them in years and this ends up driving up our electricity costs on otherwise-bearable days where we use AC because if we open the windows it becomes Bug City (this will cost about $350 total for two doors and six or seven windows)


Additional info: Uncle currently lives in my grandma's low-income trailer.  She's trying to sell it right now for I think 45k+.  When she does, he moves into my house. 

Summary: I support a lot of relatives.  It's expensive.  I have urgent money needs.  Should I temporarily stop putting 400 into my 401k and take that minus taxes and use it to take care of current emergency spending. 

Also I'm prepared to answer any questions you guys might have and also to take a lot of MMM-forum-style loving-but-aggressive criticism about what my money is being spent on. 

tl;dr my life is a big sloppy mess
                     

     

curler

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 10:01:45 AM »
Short answer:  no.
Your 401k is your future.  The match on that money is FREE MONEY.  Every dollar you don't contribute costs you multiple dollars in losses (match + tax benefit).  Plus it is forced savings.
If you really need to cut back (and really, even if you didn't), you should cancel the cable at your childhood house, and switch people to cheaper phone plans.
And that 45K from selling the trailer should go into a fund to help support the people who are living with you.

dandarc

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 10:24:59 AM »
Boundaries man, boundaries.

Have witnessed 2 households that sound similar to this, except where the parents are the "providers" to the addicts and their children.  You can probably get by doing this - neither my parents nor my aunts / uncles have gone bankrupt living this way.  My uncle's house in particular just has a ton of people in it - Aunt, Uncle, adult son, his wife, 3 kids, sometimes the other kids & grandkids from my cousin's wife's previous marriage.  They seem to make it work.  But nobody is going to thrive in this environment.

So you've got one recovering addict in the house already, and a gambling addict on the way.  I hope your sister stays clean, but don't be surprised if a relapse happens.  Seems like the situation escalates much faster every time.  And given that your uncle makes his living playing poker, it seems pretty unlikely he's going to stop the other gambling any time soon.  So I'm assuming you're prepared to deal with this chaos for a long time.

Any way, as to your question - does $300 or less per month really help all that much any way?  Even if so, you can come up with that much money in other ways pretty easily.  Do they really need a $200 per month cable package?  $200 / month phone plan?  Could you take on a roommate at your apartment?  So I'd say, no don't do it.

And try and set some kind of expectation on rent.  With an infant and a senior in the house, there's got to be some kind of social security / welfare money coming in in addition to food stamps and your sister's income.  If you could get the $800 / month end of their contributions consistently, that makes things look a lot better.

Finally - what is going to happen to grandma's 45K from selling the house?  I'd hope you would see some of that if you're going to continue paying for all of this.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2015, 10:29:12 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  Endless bitching.  It's money I pay for silence to be honest.  Once grandma sells the house, she's pledging 400/month to me. 

I have no idea if I'll see a dime of the trailer money.  I've requested that they let me hold it and handle it for them (because it's a bingo addict (mom) and two gambling addicts (uncle, grandma)), but I don't like my chances.

dycker1978

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2015, 10:32:55 AM »
The problem is, right now, I have a fuckload of maintenance costs I need to start addressing before they get worse.  And it's hard for me to estimate what they will all cost. 
The major ones are:

      A fridge that leaks (childhood home) water on the floor beneath it that needs to be replaced and possibly repairs to the floor because of the leaking
     
   

Fridges don't leak.  They don't have water run to them.  If this is an ice maker, shut the water off to it, you don't need it.  If there is not ice maker, the fridge will have a tray at the bottom on the back, to collect water from when it auto defrosts.  Remove the tray and empty it. This will fix this "leak" issue.


dandarc

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2015, 10:46:18 AM »
Good luck.  I have the benefit of about 1,000 miles between me and the chaos back home.  All the more reason to put as much as you can into the 401K - someone's gotta plan for the future.

I mean, the real answer here is to cut everyone off.  That would obviously suck a lot, for many different reasons, but they will manage to get along.  Odds are, you've got a minimum of an 18 year commitment (until baby is grown) to this or a similar setup if you stick with this route.  Which I guess if you are prepared to do that, more power to you. 

Basically, what I'm saying here is this sounds a lot like you're enabling these adults' addictions and general choices to not be responsible for themselves.  Which is your choice - but just remember it is your choice.  If these folks were not family, you wouldn't walk in here and say "Sure I'll pay all the bills, and maybe you can give me 30% of the total cost when it is convenient."

Any way, like I said, best of luck.  These situations are just so shitty for everyone.

curler

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2015, 10:49:31 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  Endless bitching.  It's money I pay for silence to be honest.  Once grandma sells the house, she's pledging 400/month to me. 
By the house, do you mean your childhood house?  If so, why are you paying the mortgage on a house you do not own?  You need to have your grandmother sell it to you now.  And if they want cable, they can find a way to pay for it.  You should be able to switch the phone's to a lower cost plan, not have to cancel them altogether, and save money anyway. 

I have no idea if I'll see a dime of the trailer money.  I've requested that they let me hold it and handle it for them (because it's a bingo addict (mom) and two gambling addicts (uncle, grandma)), but I don't like my chances.
So make it a condition of you continuing to support them.  You have a lot of power here, and may need to use it more often then you have before.

4alpacas

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2015, 10:55:52 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  Endless bitching.  It's money I pay for silence to be honest.  Once grandma sells the house, she's pledging 400/month to me. 
Could you mention that the cable bill is high?  Ask if they'll cover that bill.

Could you switch the phones to a lower cost provider?  For example, I switched my phone from a Sprint plan to Ting.  I save about $50/month, but I didn't have any changes in service. 

By cutting the cable and phone bills, you've made up the $400 pretax that you need for your 401k.

hdatontodo

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2015, 10:56:02 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  ...

If you cancel the phone, they can't call you.  :)

nereo

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2015, 10:57:29 AM »
consider what you are saying for a minute here... You are contemplating screwing yourself over so that you can continue to provide a lot of support to others, including given them such luxuries as phone plans, internet and tv.

I applaud you for trying to help your family out.  Your heart is in the right place.  But from everything you've described it sounds like your assistance is going above and beyond what is helpful to them. 

I would cut support (especially funding others cell-phones, internet, tv, etc) to bare bones before I would ever give up the free-match.  That's about $5k a year you are pissing down the drain.

4alpacas

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2015, 10:58:34 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  ...

If you cancel the phone, they can't call you.  :)

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2015, 10:59:30 AM »
The problem is, right now, I have a fuckload of maintenance costs I need to start addressing before they get worse.  And it's hard for me to estimate what they will all cost. 
The major ones are:

      A fridge that leaks (childhood home) water on the floor beneath it that needs to be replaced and possibly repairs to the floor because of the leaking
     
   

Fridges don't leak.  They don't have water run to them.  If this is an ice maker, shut the water off to it, you don't need it.  If there is not ice maker, the fridge will have a tray at the bottom on the back, to collect water from when it auto defrosts.  Remove the tray and empty it. This will fix this "leak" issue.

Thanks for this, I'll look into it when I'm back there this weekend. 

It has a thing that makes ice, is that broken or something?

4alpacas

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2015, 11:03:11 AM »
The problem is, right now, I have a fuckload of maintenance costs I need to start addressing before they get worse.  And it's hard for me to estimate what they will all cost. 
The major ones are:

      A fridge that leaks (childhood home) water on the floor beneath it that needs to be replaced and possibly repairs to the floor because of the leaking
     
   
Fridges don't leak.  They don't have water run to them.  If this is an ice maker, shut the water off to it, you don't need it.  If there is not ice maker, the fridge will have a tray at the bottom on the back, to collect water from when it auto defrosts.  Remove the tray and empty it. This will fix this "leak" issue.

Thanks for this, I'll look into it when I'm back there this weekend. 

It has a thing that makes ice, is that broken or something?
My guess would be there is a leak in the water line to the ice maker.  You would need to shut off the water to the line in order to stop the leak. 

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2015, 11:03:20 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  Endless bitching.  It's money I pay for silence to be honest.  Once grandma sells the house, she's pledging 400/month to me. 
Could you mention that the cable bill is high?  Ask if they'll cover that bill.

Could you switch the phones to a lower cost provider?  For example, I switched my phone from a Sprint plan to Ting.  I save about $50/month, but I didn't have any changes in service. 

By cutting the cable and phone bills, you've made up the $400 pretax that you need for your 401k.

I am planning to switch to Google Fi soon and not having them on my plan.  It does require a new phone (only supports some Nexus or other), but I've been on an iPhone 4 for like 5 years now and the thing can just barely be called functional at this point, so it's almost time anyway.  I could pretty safely switch my mom to something that uses 0 data because she almost doesn't use it.

My sister should have her own plan but her credit is so shot that it costs a lot of money to even start one for her.  I don't know, it's like they're all trapped in a society that won't let them have their own stuff without me attaching my name to it.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2015, 11:03:40 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  ...

If you cancel the phone, they can't call you.  :)

Lmao

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2015, 11:05:36 AM »
And yes, I know the new phone is an anti-mustachian purchase, but I hold on to my phones for so long that it almost re-mustaches them.

4alpacas

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2015, 11:09:02 AM »
If I cancel the TV or my mom/sister's phone there will be literal mutiny.  Dramatic phone calls.  Endless bitching.  It's money I pay for silence to be honest.  Once grandma sells the house, she's pledging 400/month to me. 
Could you mention that the cable bill is high?  Ask if they'll cover that bill.

Could you switch the phones to a lower cost provider?  For example, I switched my phone from a Sprint plan to Ting.  I save about $50/month, but I didn't have any changes in service. 

By cutting the cable and phone bills, you've made up the $400 pretax that you need for your 401k.

I am planning to switch to Google Fi soon and not having them on my plan.  It does require a new phone (only supports some Nexus or other), but I've been on an iPhone 4 for like 5 years now and the thing can just barely be called functional at this point, so it's almost time anyway.  I could pretty safely switch my mom to something that uses 0 data because she almost doesn't use it.
http://www.techmeshugana.com/2015/04/google-fi-fee-fo-feh/
Quote
My sister should have her own plan but her credit is so shot that it costs a lot of money to even start one for her.  I don't know, it's like they're all trapped in a society that won't let them have their own stuff without me attaching my name to it.
Could you switch your mom and your sister to prepaid options? 

And of course, check out I.P. Daley's superguide http://www.techmeshugana.com/theguide/

I'm currently looking into my options when my iPhone 4 dies, and I.P. Daley is an amazing resource. 

dandarc

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 11:09:27 AM »
My sister should have her own plan but her credit is so shot that it costs a lot of money to even start one for her.  I don't know, it's like they're all trapped in a society that won't let them have their own stuff without me attaching my name to it.
Sounds like a pre-paid cell phone is in her future.  Even if you continue to pay for mom / sister's phones, I'd go that route simply because it is so much cheaper.

BMEPhDinCO

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2015, 11:10:50 AM »
I agree with nereo - you are giving them MORE than the basic support.  Basics are: food, housing, clothing (minimal). 

You are paying $454 in non-basics.  That doesn't include that $300-800 you didn't break out - what does that include?? Not food...

I'd suggest, if you really want to support them, you give the following:
$900 - mortgage
$400 - utilities

They come up with everything else (that is, you are asking them to cover $100 rent each, plus $50 for the kid along with $10 each for utilities (no kid additional) and they cover the "extras" of internet and phone and tv).  You also don't pay for the internet for your father.

That's it!  That opens up to $1330 for you to use.  You should then add $458 into a Roth IRA or regular IRA.  The reminder should go into your 401k and savings (I'd do a 50/50 split here).

Also, supporting that many people, I expect you are getting a huge tax refund - if not, then you need to adjust for that too.

While it is important to help your family, you come first, don't forget that.

dycker1978

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2015, 11:24:39 AM »
The problem is, right now, I have a fuckload of maintenance costs I need to start addressing before they get worse.  And it's hard for me to estimate what they will all cost. 
The major ones are:

      A fridge that leaks (childhood home) water on the floor beneath it that needs to be replaced and possibly repairs to the floor because of the leaking
     
   
Fridges don't leak.  They don't have water run to them.  If this is an ice maker, shut the water off to it, you don't need it.  If there is not ice maker, the fridge will have a tray at the bottom on the back, to collect water from when it auto defrosts.  Remove the tray and empty it. This will fix this "leak" issue.

Thanks for this, I'll look into it when I'm back there this weekend. 

It has a thing that makes ice, is that broken or something?
My guess would be there is a leak in the water line to the ice maker.  You would need to shut off the water to the line in order to stop the leak.
You are most likely correct.  It will also have a tray in the bottom for the auto defrost, but those are more efficient at evaporating the water.  Shut the water off, then see if it stops, if not, look for the tray.

curler

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2015, 11:29:55 AM »
Reading through the replies, I think you need to think through the bigger issues here, before (or at least at the same time as) you get caught up in the details, such as what phone plan to choose.
What's your long term plan here?  Do you plan to support your sister for the next 30+ years?  Do you need to try to put some sort of time limit on how long you will let them live in childhood home for?  Once nephew starts school, can Mom start supporting herself?  If you are going to support them, will it be basics/necessities, or do you feel obligated to fund a consumerist life style?  What sort of (financial) relationship do you want to have with your family 5-10 years from now?  Are you willing to risk your non-financial relationship with them in order to make that happen?
I think that it any suggestions we give here will be more band-aid and less useful until you figure out the answers to some of these questions.

snuggler

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2015, 11:32:02 AM »
BMEPhDinCO has some great advice.

Also, another thing I noticed is that your internet in Philly seems awfully expensive. Could you downgrade to a cheaper plan? Even in a very large city and with fancy-pants internet (since my SO works from home and needs it), I can keep that bill under $65/mo. And every little bit helps!

Also, doesn't your grandmother receive Social Security? If so, that should be added to the pot as well.

Your uncle should also be required to pay rent when he moves in.

You could teach your mom and sister about cheap alternative phone & tv plans (Netflix, Ting, etc.) when you cut them off. They should be easily able to afford these costs, particularly when everything else is being provided for them.

starbuck

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2015, 11:39:13 AM »
Summary: I support a lot of relatives.  It's expensive.  I have urgent money needs.  Should I temporarily stop putting 400 into my 401k and take that minus taxes and use it to take care of current emergency spending. 

DO NOT stop contributing to your 401k and give up that free money. Just don't. You don't have urgent money needs, you have family members that think some of their money needs are urgent. This is not the same thing! I would absolutely cut all funding for cable tv and cell phones. 100%. No subsidizing, nothing.

Don't let your sibling hide behind a shitty credit history preventing her from getting a cell phone. It's not. It's called a POS walmart pay as you go phone. Let her figure out how to pay for it. (If she wants a cell phone, she'll figure it out.) Even my sibling with a shitty credit history and terrible money making decisions has a cell phone.

I hope that you do take a step back and evaluate where your boundaries are in this really truly messy situation. To this stranger on the internet, it sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen, especially with the gambling uncle about to move in, and I feel as though you've gotten sucked in to this trying to 'save' everyone, and are REALLY being taken advantage of. I know you love your family and everyone's in a really shitty spot and it's admirable that you want to help them, but I'm not sure what you're doing is the best way to help. It is NOT selfish to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. It's the healthy thing to do.

It sounds like from what you shared that your grandmother understands the situation the family is in. So I think you have an ally there for changing the household dynamic. Powwow with her.

Also, the windows in my house don't have screens either, so we have some of these screen insert things. Boom - problem solved!

http://www.amazon.com/Frost-King-AWS1045-Adjustable-Window/dp/B00CLOM9I4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1432660637&sr=8-2&keywords=window+screen

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2015, 11:41:46 AM »
Reading through the replies, I think you need to think through the bigger issues here, before (or at least at the same time as) you get caught up in the details, such as what phone plan to choose.
What's your long term plan here?  Do you plan to support your sister for the next 30+ years?  Do you need to try to put some sort of time limit on how long you will let them live in childhood home for?  Once nephew starts school, can Mom start supporting herself?  If you are going to support them, will it be basics/necessities, or do you feel obligated to fund a consumerist life style?  What sort of (financial) relationship do you want to have with your family 5-10 years from now?  Are you willing to risk your non-financial relationship with them in order to make that happen?
I think that it any suggestions we give here will be more band-aid and less useful until you figure out the answers to some of these questions.

I sort of expect to be supporting my mom and uncle for the rest of their lives.  My sister and her baby I'm not sure.  Depends on if she can find money elsewhere. 

I'm also expecting to pay off and own that house (been putting it off because it's stressful to think about it actually being in my name.  adds a legal aspect to my obligations) and for my income to continue rising because I'm a good software developer and DBA. 

I've always expected the expenses of supporting them to remain fairly constant while my income began to outpace those expenses.  Might be bad assumptions, though. 

I would LOVE for them to support themselves, but I think for my uncle at least, it's never going to happen.  My mom once supported herself and might again if she ever gets a car. 

And my grandma has openly said she will help me out.  I don't know to what extent but she above all the rest appreciates what I'm doing and wants to ease the burden on me.  You might have gathered it from previous replies but she was, before the casino closed, the one person most capable of handling herself and the most selfless person in my family.

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2015, 11:46:38 AM »
Do not stop contributing to your 401k.  Do you want to end up like your family?  No?  Then, keep saving.  Just like on a plane, you've got to put on your own air mask before assisting others.  It would be best to cut them off and let them deal with the consequences of their actions.  However, if you can't bring yourself to do it...

Phones.  Get them free ones:  http://www.freegovernmentcellphones.net/states/pennsylvania-government-cell-phone-providers  If that doesn't work, change their phones Airvoice, the 250 minute plan or the $30/mo plan.  I was with AT&T at $67/mo, now I spend around $21/mo.  I don't know about Google FI, but this should come out to at least $110 savings.  Change your number, and do NOT give it to them.

Cut the cable, but not the internet.  The internet is helpful for searching/applying for jobs and government benefits.  At least $140 savings.

You're paying your father's student loan?  Why?  Did you co-sign for him?  If not, stop.  If he's unemployed, he should be in deferment anyway.  $265 savings.

Is everyone claiming all the available benefits, and are you seeing any of that money?

Is there anyone over age 62 that can claim Social Security?  A portion of that should come to you as rent.

Can anyone in your family make a claim with the Low Income Energy Assistance Program?  This would help cover those crazy bills.

Two or three of the people living under your care should be able to get housing assistance.  That money should go to you.  You might have to register your childhood home with HUD, though.  I'd talk to the agency and find out.  If the money has to go to the owner of the house (your grandmother?), then stop paying the mortgage.  (I really hope the uncle is going to your childhood home--The Aushin Home for Wayward Family--and not in your apartment.)

Your sister should be able to make a Social Security claim on her boyfriend's benefits on behalf of his child until that child is 17.  A portion of that money should come to you for rent.

Maintenance.  This is tough.  Stop driving the car.  Walk to work.  Don't go home on the weekend.  Cut off the water to the fridge.  However, the screens on the windows and door is a small expense, and probably worth it.

Ugh.  I'm really sorry you're in this situation.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2015, 11:57:07 AM »
There is definitely some taking advantage in here.  I have no illusions otherwise.  I'm not an utter doormat but I'm pretty close.

The other day they were seeing if I was cool basically giving up my bedroom (it was a plan where my sister would get my room, my uncle would get what is now the baby's room (baby would move in with sis), then when i came home on weekends I would take my uncle's room and he would stay in my grandma's room and my grandma would stay in my mom's bed those two nights (yeah there's not enough bedrooms)).  Sister said she wanted it because it's the biggest room in the house and she has to share with the baby.  To which I responded F U I pay $XXXX a month and you guys want my bedroom now?

It's kind of absurd.  But it's not hopeless and I WILL get a paid off house for my efforts.  When I'm like 48 or so, but whatever. 

I will take the advice offered here and keep my 401K contributions going.  And try to squeeze more money out of the people squeezing me.

asiljoy

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2015, 11:57:29 AM »
Have you looked into Nar-Anon or Gam-Anon? Or any support groups for relatives of addicts? You're doing a ton and I can't imagine that weight is easy to bear.

But to echo others, don't miss out on free money. Keep contributing to your 401k. Your future self will thank you.

kpd905

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2015, 11:58:00 AM »
Do your mother or grandmother have any money coming in at all? Social security?

And +1000 to getting rid of the expensive cable and cell phone plan. I'll be switching to Ting in a few weeks and I should be able to keep the bill around $50/month for two of us.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2015, 12:12:38 PM »
Do not stop contributing to your 401k.  Do you want to end up like your family?  No?  Then, keep saving.  Just like on a plane, you've got to put on your own air mask before assisting others.  It would be best to cut them off and let them deal with the consequences of their actions.  However, if you can't bring yourself to do it...

Phones.  Get them free ones:  http://www.freegovernmentcellphones.net/states/pennsylvania-government-cell-phone-providers  If that doesn't work, change their phones Airvoice, the 250 minute plan or the $30/mo plan.  I was with AT&T at $67/mo, now I spend around $21/mo.  I don't know about Google FI, but this should come out to at least $110 savings.  Change your number, and do NOT give it to them.

Cut the cable, but not the internet.  The internet is helpful for searching/applying for jobs and government benefits.  At least $140 savings.

You're paying your father's student loan?  Why?  Did you co-sign for him?  If not, stop.  If he's unemployed, he should be in deferment anyway.  $265 savings.

Is everyone claiming all the available benefits, and are you seeing any of that money?

Is there anyone over age 62 that can claim Social Security?  A portion of that should come to you as rent.

Can anyone in your family make a claim with the Low Income Energy Assistance Program?  This would help cover those crazy bills.

Two or three of the people living under your care should be able to get housing assistance.  That money should go to you.  You might have to register your childhood home with HUD, though.  I'd talk to the agency and find out.  If the money has to go to the owner of the house (your grandmother?), then stop paying the mortgage.  (I really hope the uncle is going to your childhood home--The Aushin Home for Wayward Family--and not in your apartment.)

Your sister should be able to make a Social Security claim on her boyfriend's benefits on behalf of his child until that child is 17.  A portion of that money should come to you for rent.

Maintenance.  This is tough.  Stop driving the car.  Walk to work.  Don't go home on the weekend.  Cut off the water to the fridge.  However, the screens on the windows and door is a small expense, and probably worth it.

Ugh.  I'm really sorry you're in this situation.

Everything you've said is valid, but there's  a few points I should clarify:

House is in my mom's name.  Only reason it's not in mine is I've been hesitant to make the transfer official.  The loan is my student loan I just stuck it there with my dad's cable bill because in my mind it was "expense that isn't related to a place I live".  And my sister can't collect any Social Security because he did manual labor for cash.  He had a lot of money saved up but it's all going to go towards paying out tens of thousands of dollars of back-owed child support for his four (count em!) other children.

MsPeacock

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2015, 12:37:21 PM »
Reading through the replies, I think you need to think through the bigger issues here, before (or at least at the same time as) you get caught up in the details, such as what phone plan to choose.
What's your long term plan here?  Do you plan to support your sister for the next 30+ years?  Do you need to try to put some sort of time limit on how long you will let them live in childhood home for?  Once nephew starts school, can Mom start supporting herself?  If you are going to support them, will it be basics/necessities, or do you feel obligated to fund a consumerist life style?  What sort of (financial) relationship do you want to have with your family 5-10 years from now?  Are you willing to risk your non-financial relationship with them in order to make that happen?
I think that it any suggestions we give here will be more band-aid and less useful until you figure out the answers to some of these questions.

I sort of expect to be supporting my mom and uncle for the rest of their lives.  My sister and her baby I'm not sure.  Depends on if she can find money elsewhere. 

I'm also expecting to pay off and own that house (been putting it off because it's stressful to think about it actually being in my name.  adds a legal aspect to my obligations) and for my income to continue rising because I'm a good software developer and DBA. 

I've always expected the expenses of supporting them to remain fairly constant while my income began to outpace those expenses.  Might be bad assumptions, though. 

I would LOVE for them to support themselves, but I think for my uncle at least, it's never going to happen.  My mom once supported herself and might again if she ever gets a car. 

And my grandma has openly said she will help me out.  I don't know to what extent but she above all the rest appreciates what I'm doing and wants to ease the burden on me.  You might have gathered it from previous replies but she was, before the casino closed, the one person most capable of handling herself and the most selfless person in my family.

Why would you support these people for the rest of their lives? Since your grandmother is 78, I am assuming your mother is in her 50s and you are in your 20s. It is great and all to help family - but what you are doing is not helping, it is enabling. Enabling them to not be responsible for their own choices, finances, failures, etc. whatever. And what happens if you are unable to work, laid off, ill, hit financial problems of your own, or - gasp - want to retire at some point.

You have received a load of good advice here - about cutting cell phone plans, internet, the fridge, etc. - but all of this will do you absolutely no good unless you pull up your big boy pants, stop being a doormat, and say "No." - That is it. Just say "No" - stop looking for justification, saying they will complain, paying on a house that you don't own, supporting - 5? people who are not working/unable to work/hot messes - and get on with your adult life and let them figure out how to get on with theirs. Move out. Get your own place and pay your own bills. You will be amazed at the resourcefulness of people when push really comes to shove. Right now you are solving all their problems. So, stop it. Just stop. Let them work it out - let them move to a place they can afford, or whatever. Let them apply for food stamps and welfare and SSDI or whatever.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2015, 12:56:49 PM »
Reading through the replies, I think you need to think through the bigger issues here, before (or at least at the same time as) you get caught up in the details, such as what phone plan to choose.
What's your long term plan here?  Do you plan to support your sister for the next 30+ years?  Do you need to try to put some sort of time limit on how long you will let them live in childhood home for?  Once nephew starts school, can Mom start supporting herself?  If you are going to support them, will it be basics/necessities, or do you feel obligated to fund a consumerist life style?  What sort of (financial) relationship do you want to have with your family 5-10 years from now?  Are you willing to risk your non-financial relationship with them in order to make that happen?
I think that it any suggestions we give here will be more band-aid and less useful until you figure out the answers to some of these questions.

I sort of expect to be supporting my mom and uncle for the rest of their lives.  My sister and her baby I'm not sure.  Depends on if she can find money elsewhere. 

I'm also expecting to pay off and own that house (been putting it off because it's stressful to think about it actually being in my name.  adds a legal aspect to my obligations) and for my income to continue rising because I'm a good software developer and DBA. 

I've always expected the expenses of supporting them to remain fairly constant while my income began to outpace those expenses.  Might be bad assumptions, though. 

I would LOVE for them to support themselves, but I think for my uncle at least, it's never going to happen.  My mom once supported herself and might again if she ever gets a car. 

And my grandma has openly said she will help me out.  I don't know to what extent but she above all the rest appreciates what I'm doing and wants to ease the burden on me.  You might have gathered it from previous replies but she was, before the casino closed, the one person most capable of handling herself and the most selfless person in my family.

Why would you support these people for the rest of their lives? Since your grandmother is 78, I am assuming your mother is in her 50s and you are in your 20s. It is great and all to help family - but what you are doing is not helping, it is enabling. Enabling them to not be responsible for their own choices, finances, failures, etc. whatever. And what happens if you are unable to work, laid off, ill, hit financial problems of your own, or - gasp - want to retire at some point.

You have received a load of good advice here - about cutting cell phone plans, internet, the fridge, etc. - but all of this will do you absolutely no good unless you pull up your big boy pants, stop being a doormat, and say "No." - That is it. Just say "No" - stop looking for justification, saying they will complain, paying on a house that you don't own, supporting - 5? people who are not working/unable to work/hot messes - and get on with your adult life and let them figure out how to get on with theirs. Move out. Get your own place and pay your own bills. You will be amazed at the resourcefulness of people when push really comes to shove. Right now you are solving all their problems. So, stop it. Just stop. Let them work it out - let them move to a place they can afford, or whatever. Let them apply for food stamps and welfare and SSDI or whatever.

I know what you're saying comes from a good place, but with all due respect, you don't know my family like I do.  Car-less, my mom is helpless to find a job in our suburban everything-is-5-miles-away-or-more town.  My uncle hasn't worked in 35 years.  My grandma is on a respirator.  My sister has essentially no financial future of her own because of how we treat people convicted of drug possession in America.  The ship wouldn't magically find a way to right itself if I unplugged the hole. 

I am very literally presented with the choice of supporting them or letting them all be homeless.  The only part of any of this that I regret for a moment is that I pay for their cable bill and mom and sis's cell phone. 

Everything else I see as a sobering economic reality.  There really is no practical way for any of them to get on their feet without me.

I was fortunate and they are not and, for all their faults, all three of those adults have majorly shaped the way I grew up and did set me up for success for the first 80% of my life to date.

charis

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2015, 01:00:10 PM »
My uncle hasn't worked in 35 years.  My grandma is on a respirator ... The ship wouldn't magically find a way to right itself if I unplugged the hole. 

Fully disabled people receive disability benefits.  Older people collect SS.  Older disabled people collect both.  Where is this money?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 01:02:03 PM by jezebel »

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2015, 01:15:38 PM »
My uncle hasn't worked in 35 years.  My grandma is on a respirator ... The ship wouldn't magically find a way to right itself if I unplugged the hole. 

Fully disabled people receive disability benefits.  Older people collect SS.  Older disabled people collect both.  Where is this money?

My uncle isn't disabled in a physical sense.  I'm pretty sure he has mental problems preventing him from working, but they're not easy to prove (I guess?).  He applied and was denied.  My grandmother as I said in a previous post will be helping me once she no longer has to pay for the trailer (which she's in the process of trying to sell).

former player

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2015, 01:22:04 PM »
Congratulations on being a high-earning kick-ass programmer and DBA.

When you can, take some time to think about what you want in life for yourself: partner? children? early retirement? new hobbies?  promotion/pay rise/new job?  Think about timescales too: 6 months/one year/five years?  It's OK if you don't have any answers, but if you get in the habit of thinking about your own future and what you want from it that will serve you well in learning to deal with your family.

Also, think about not going home to your family every weekend but making a social life for yourself which is separate from them.

As to the money you are paying out, you've been given plenty of good advice.  I would just say about the phones: don't go for a limited plan that relies on someone else respecting the limits or reporting when they have been exceeded or the phone has been "lost", as you could end up owing thousands.  Pay as you go and a sub of $10 each per month would be the best option.  The cable needs to go completely

On the house, do you see yourself ever going back there to live, for instance if you have a partner or when you retire?  If yes, it needs to be in your name.   If not, don't buy it: if your mother can't afford it she needs to sell it and she and your grandmother need to move somewhere they can afford together.  With a young baby and no income your sister should be entitled to social housing.  I don't understand why your uncle can't fend for himself.  You could offer him the deposit on a modest rented flat if need be.

On the fridge: it either needs defrosting and a good cleaning or it has an icemaker that is hooked up to a water supply and has a leak somewhere.  Shut any water supply off, make sure that it is fully defrosted and the drains at the back of the compartment are running clear and any trays to collect water that you can get to are empty.  If the floor underneath is wet, the fridge needs to be pulled out of its current location and the floor allowed to dry out: it's possible that drying out is all it needs: you will be able to tell whether more work is needed once it is dry.

All the arguing about bedrooms has a good side: it gives you the opportunity to tell people that it has caused you to look at the overall situation and that things cannot continue as they are.

Best of luck.

AlanStache

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2015, 01:26:25 PM »
Sucks (wo)man, am sorry.  I am too partly supporting an older family member with few options, they are digging out and becoming selfufficent but takes time under the best of situations. 

I think you need to come up with what you want your life to look like in 5 years.  Do you want your own house near your job, what do you want to be doing for your family long term?  How will these affect each other-assume no income inceases just to make thigns more interesting.

Re mother, is there some local tranpostarion service that could take her to/from work?  Could someone in the house driver her, car share, friend, neighbour, church.... ?  Lots of places are built on everyone having a car.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2015, 01:34:15 PM »
In five years I want to be making somewhere in the vicinity of 150k so that I can pay off the house they live in quickly and largely free myself from most of what I pay for for them.

That's always been my plan: make more money and pay off the house and I won't even notice I'm their money-hose.

Baron235

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2015, 01:35:34 PM »
Right now I'm contributing as much as my company matches, which is 400 dollars per month. 

Basically, I really feel I need that money right now and I'll try to explain the numbers and my unfortunate situation, which some older forum frequenters might already be familiar with from posts I made a long while back.

Situation:
    Earning $85k annually pre-tax (80k salary + 5k bonus in March)
    After taxes (several exemptions, explained below) and 401k deductions (400 per month even (6%)), I earn about 4500 dollars in a month
 
    Live in an apartment outside Philly 2 miles from work (during the week). 
               $975 rent
               $80 internet (comcast)
               $75 utilities
       Apartment Total: $1130/month

    Live in my childhood house on the weekends and pay all bills w/ some limited help from the people living there that I support (will explain all the reasons why below):
              $1350 mortgage (USDA Rural Development loan, not a bank)
              $214 internet+TV (comcast)
              $200 ATT phone plan (mom and sister are on my plan)
              $300 utilities (with electricity dominating in the summer and gas in the winter)
              $200 per quarter, $65 per month water bill (part of this is payments on some township-mandated city-water 'upgrade' from a few years ago)
              -$300-800 between all the people living there (explained below)
         Childhood Home Total: between $1529 and $2029

     Misc. Pay for my disabled and unemployed father's internet at a separate house, $40 a month, and student loan $265 a month, so about $300 here.

      Total monthly expenses before gas for my car (which runs about 100 a month if I had to guess): between 3000 and 3400

      Food for people back home is covered by food stamps, food for me is free at work so I eat here 5 days a week.

     The people living in my childhood home are:
              Grandmother: recently forced to retire when the casino she worked in until age 78 closed down (fare thee well Showboat Atlantic City)
                                     suffered a minor heart attack followed by breathing complications, was on life support for several weeks, recovered
                                     stayed a while in a nursing home on respirator, eventually was able to be discharged
                                     can now walk on her own but still requires an oxygen machine or a tank when she leaves the house
              Mother: unemployed since about 2011 or so
                            primarily takes care of grandma  and my infant nephew now
              Sister: recovering addict who just started working again a few weeks ago for about $10/hr at a hotel
                          job hours will only be consistent during summer tourist season
                          has significant trouble finding any work due to criminal charges from when she was trying to help her (now-ex) boyfriend peddle heroin
                          ongoing legal proceedings
              Nephew: infant, bout 3 months old
                             cries and poops a lot

              Also, until recently, my sister's boyfriend and the father of my nephew  (not the same as the one who was using my sis as a mule) was living with us and paying 800/month to me in rent.
              He tragically passed away a few weeks ago.   

              Soon to be living with me: my uncle (mom's brother, grandma's son).  Unemployed, but can consistently win money playing 1/2 NL hold'em.  Has a bad habit of losing his bankroll on the ponies, though.
             
In total, I am in the black for about 20% of my take-home each month. 

The problem is, right now, I have a fuckload of maintenance costs I need to start addressing before they get worse.  And it's hard for me to estimate what they will all cost. 
The major ones are:
      A fridge that leaks (childhood home) water on the floor beneath it that needs to be replaced and possibly repairs to the floor because of the leaking
      A car (2008 Saab with 115k miles) that probably has some kind of electrical issue (I've had to replace 3 headlights and a brakelight in less than a year of ownership and it has burned out three new throttle bodies (only had to pay for one because they've been on warranty)).  I've been putting this off for months because I'm worried I can't handle the cost
      Screen door and window replacements for my house (haven't had them in years and this ends up driving up our electricity costs on otherwise-bearable days where we use AC because if we open the windows it becomes Bug City (this will cost about $350 total for two doors and six or seven windows)


Additional info: Uncle currently lives in my grandma's low-income trailer.  She's trying to sell it right now for I think 45k+.  When she does, he moves into my house. 

Summary: I support a lot of relatives.  It's expensive.  I have urgent money needs.  Should I temporarily stop putting 400 into my 401k and take that minus taxes and use it to take care of current emergency spending. 

Also I'm prepared to answer any questions you guys might have and also to take a lot of MMM-forum-style loving-but-aggressive criticism about what my money is being spent on. 

tl;dr my life is a big sloppy mess
                     

   

First thing you need to figure out is how to get your family members in subsidized government housing.  You are not in financial spot where you should be paying for two homes.    You need to unload that home while at the same time helping in your siblings / mom and grandma get into a subsidized home. 

Also, tell your grandma that she can use the $45,000 to pay for TV and internet.  You are done paying for it now. 

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2015, 01:37:46 PM »
Hey, Baron.  That home is technically government-subsidized through the USDA Rural development program.

The monthly payment is 775 and the escrow is like 675 (which to me has always seemed insanely high and I keep trying to have them look into it but they always come back and say it's an accurate number, so wtf do I know).

Baron235

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2015, 01:42:47 PM »
Hey, Baron.  That home is technically government-subsidized through the USDA Rural development program.

The monthly payment is 775 and the escrow is like 675 (which to me has always seemed insanely high and I keep trying to have them look into it but they always come back and say it's an accurate number, so wtf do I know).

Okay.  I am not sure how that works.  But I mean subsidized housing for each individual like Section 8 housing.  You should not be on the hook for any of it.    Your Grandma and Mom can definitely qualify for it. 

green daisy

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2015, 01:50:11 PM »
Oh boy.  Well, let me first say that I admire your good and kind heart.  Your intentions are great, however, you're not actually helping these people.  Enabling them not to have jobs is only going to make them less employable in the future.  The only person in this whole mess who has a legitimate excuse for not having a job is Grandma.  Everyone else needs to be working, even if it's a crappy minimum wage job.  Your sister will qualify for daycare assistance, so no need for your mother to not work in order to provide child care.  Your sister or uncle (although it's a terrible idea to allow uncle to move in) can take care of Grandma while mom is working...maybe mom can work nights/weekends at the grocery store.  All forms of social services that these people can qualify for should be applied for.  Maybe you should take a day off of work and take the whole bunch of them into a welfare office and find out what everyone qualifies for and how to apply. 

I'm not a sociologist, however, a few years ago I read about something called a crab pot mentality with regards to why it is so difficult to escape from poverty.  Basically, when a person begins to climb out of the pot, the others grab onto him (and his resources) and pull him back in. 

Regarding cell phones.  How about getting a house phone with VOIP?  Then everyone will have access to phone service for free, or for a very low fee of $5/month depending on how you set it up.  If they want a cell phone, they can take care of that on their own via a pre-paid provider.  I have a $20 LG Optimus Fuel Smartphone on BYO wireless.  I pay $15/month for service which is more than adequate for me.  There are other plans that are even cheaper.  Credit doesn't matter because it's pre-paid.   

Figure out some boundaries that you can stick to, clearly tell everyone that this is what they can expect from you going forward, and then stick to them, 100%.   Take some time to think about what those boundaries should be.  Obviously, cable and cell phones need to go. 

former player

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2015, 01:51:35 PM »
I'm afraid you are kidding yourself if you think a paid-off house will resolve this situation.  After all, it seems as though there are three adults in the house and none of them are capable of dealing with a leaking fridge.  If they can't manage that basic bit of maintenance, there will always be problems with the house and its condition will steadily deteriorate until it is uninhabitable.  What's your plan for that?  They would be better off in a rented place that a landlord had to maintain.

If the escrow really is that high, I suspect that there is little or no equity in the house over and above what is owed, in which case the whole family should just walk away from it and go live somewhere which doesn't need maintenance and doesn't need car ownership.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2015, 01:53:50 PM »
I don't know how escrow works, I guess.  I was told it was directly related to property taxes.

The equity should be well over 100k.

AlanStache

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2015, 01:54:01 PM »
In five years I want to be making somewhere in the vicinity of 150k so that I can pay off the house they live in quickly and largely free myself from most of what I pay for for them.

That's always been my plan: make more money and pay off the house and I won't even notice I'm their money-hose.

Would be worth looking at the costs side of the balance sheet too; savings = income - costs.  Do you think your family costs will remain fixed at todays levels or will they grow as your income grows?

I loose about 45% of my top line to the govt, health insurance, 401k, etc.
150 - 45% = 82k
what are your annual expenses 30k?
82k - 30k = 52k
current house expenses: ~24k
52k - 24k = 28k
+ Student loans?

And that could get sucked up real fast (HVAC, roof, flood, home health aid, etc).  Looks like even with your hypothetical 150k income you wont be in a great spot.

"largely free myself from most of what I pay for for them."  Do you really see this happening?  Sorry honest question. 

Never mind how much investment compounding are you giving up in the mean time?

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2015, 01:55:30 PM »
And to be fair, until you just told me, I had no idea how to handle a leaking fridge except to replace the fridge, which wasn't even the correct move.

Aushin

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2015, 01:58:28 PM »
In five years I want to be making somewhere in the vicinity of 150k so that I can pay off the house they live in quickly and largely free myself from most of what I pay for for them.

That's always been my plan: make more money and pay off the house and I won't even notice I'm their money-hose.

Would be worth looking at the costs side of the balance sheet too; savings = income - costs.  Do you think your family costs will remain fixed at todays levels or will they grow as your income grows?

I loose about 45% of my top line to the govt, health insurance, 401k, etc.
150 - 45% = 82k
what are your annual expenses 30k?
82k - 30k = 52k
current house expenses: ~24k
52k - 24k = 28k
+ Student loans?

And that could get sucked up real fast (HVAC, roof, flood, home health aid, etc).  Looks like even with your hypothetical 150k income you wont be in a great spot.

"largely free myself from most of what I pay for for them."  Do you really see this happening?  Sorry honest question. 

Never mind how much investment compounding are you giving up in the mean time?

Right now that post tax amount is about my pre-tax amount.  My total expenses for me and my family including the student loans hover around 40k.   

I'd be saving nearly 4k a month at that salary, which while it's a lot less ideal than the 6k+ i would without my family's burdens, is still crazy in my mind.

Giro

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #45 on: May 26, 2015, 02:05:27 PM »
Seek counseling.  You are allowing your family to destroy your life and your future.  You are enabling them and NOT helping them.  They need to be weened off of your teet. 

I would also say that you need a spouse to kick your ass for you but maybe a close friend or anonymous posters on a money forum will work do the job.  ;)

good luck!

AlanStache

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #46 on: May 26, 2015, 02:09:35 PM »
...

Right now that post tax amount is about my pre-tax amount.  My total expenses for me and my family including the student loans hover around 40k.   

I'd be saving nearly 4k a month at that salary, which while it's a lot less ideal than the 6k+ i would without my family's burdens, is still crazy in my mind.

If you just want help with fixing the fridge and screens, great-thats done, problems solved.  But it seems most all posters here are pointing at larger problems that cant go away with 50$ at Lowes.

Edit:
"... without my family's burdens, is still crazy in my mind."  Get out of the broke student mindset.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 02:12:00 PM by AlanStache »

jzb11

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #47 on: May 26, 2015, 02:20:20 PM »
Don't stop contributing.

Also, Read this:

http://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mr-Nice-Guy/dp/0762415339/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432671464&sr=8-1&keywords=no+more+mr+nice+guy

It sounds like you're having challenges setting good boundaries. You should not be supporting anyone. I get the familial obligation to the mom and grandma so I can understand/cut you some slack. However, that assumes your mom is in a healthy place and isn't a narcissist/and or emotionally manipulating you into supporting her. 

former player

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #48 on: May 26, 2015, 02:40:32 PM »
And to be fair, until you just told me, I had no idea how to handle a leaking fridge except to replace the fridge, which wasn't even the correct move.
True, but 1) you have taken the initiative to do something about it, even though you are not on the spot, and 2) the three apparently sentient adult human beings actually living in the house full time were between them apparently unable to do anything about it other than call to you for help.

Which is not a long-term sustainable situation either for you or for them, regardless of the money situation.

Also, with your mother's $100,000 in equity and your grandmother's $45,000, I strongly suspect that they could buy a place to live in together without any mortgage at all.  In which case, give them a deadline (6 months max?) beyond which you will not pay the current mortgage, and let them find a place they can afford to live in.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 03:07:02 PM by former player »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
« Reply #49 on: May 26, 2015, 02:42:46 PM »

I've always expected the expenses of supporting them to remain fairly constant while my income began to outpace those expenses.  Might be bad assumptions, though.

~~~

I know what you're saying comes from a good place, but with all due respect, you don't know my family like I do.  Car-less, my mom is helpless to find a job in our suburban everything-is-5-miles-away-or-more town.  My uncle hasn't worked in 35 years.  My grandma is on a respirator.  My sister has essentially no financial future of her own because of how we treat people convicted of drug possession in America.  The ship wouldn't magically find a way to right itself if I unplugged the hole. 

I am very literally presented with the choice of supporting them or letting them all be homeless.  The only part of any of this that I regret for a moment is that I pay for their cable bill and mom and sis's cell phone. 

Everything else I see as a sobering economic reality.  There really is no practical way for any of them to get on their feet without me.




This is all wrong. You have a savior complex. Your family should absolutely not be depending on you alone to support them, and that is really fucked up that you think you are the only person in the universe that can save them.

There are programs available for every single instance you name (drug conviction/single mom, sick grandmother, caregiver/unemployed mother, mentally incompetent uncle) to help them with food, housing, utilities, medical care and job training.

Regarding your uncle, I have two aunts on full disability for mental health (and they could still technically be working!). They ALWAYS deny coverage for that and will do so several times over; there are sites dedicated to the steps to getting mental disability covered.

Your mother or sister should be doing the research with their fancy internet (completely paid for by you) for all of the government benefits they should be getting and then make the necessary arrangements for everyone to get that assistance. Food stamps, gov't subsidy for housing and transportation, WIC/CHIP, medicaid/care, job training, phones and plans, utility payment subsidies... they are all out there just waiting for them to apply for them. Why aren't they doing that? Because you're swooping in and "saving" them... and actually preventing them from taking charge of their own lives and/or cleaning up the messes they made.  Why on earth should they do anything that requires effort if you are helping out constantly?

Do you understand the concept of "learned helplessness?" That's what they are stuck in, and that is thanks to you. Your help and overwhelming need to be their savior and sacrifice yourself for their wants and needs has crippled them. And it has also crippled you.

You're using your family's fucked up condition to hold yourself back as well. You can't go out and have a real life (going home to that mess every weekend? WTF man?!) since you devote most of your time and money to support this situation... so you don't really have to think about having a rich social life, hobbies, adventures... why do you do that to yourself?

Repeat this until you believe it: You are not responsible for them. I get that you love them and want to help, but seriously, this is WRONG and you need to take a giant step back and think seriously about this situation and why you feel the way you do.

Stop making excuses for all of this. Temporary helping out family in need is cool - but what you're describing is a lifetime's worth of sacrificing your own future on the altar of "family."

It's not right, and it doesn't have to be this way.

PLEASE do stop and think about this. I'm not trying to be mean, but sometimes plain speaking/bluntness can read pretty harsh.


« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 03:42:17 PM by Frankies Girl »