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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Aushin on May 26, 2015, 09:55:25 AM

Title: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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
                     

     
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: curler 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dandarc 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dycker1978 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.

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dandarc 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: curler 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: 4alpacas 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: hdatontodo 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.  :)
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: nereo 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: 4alpacas 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.  :)
(http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/hf.gif)
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: 4alpacas 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. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: 4alpacas 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/ (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/ (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. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dandarc 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: BMEPhDinCO 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dycker1978 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: curler 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: snuggler 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: starbuck 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 (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)
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Chrissy 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 (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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: asiljoy 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: kpd905 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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 (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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: MsPeacock 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: charis 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?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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).
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: former player 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: AlanStache 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Baron235 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. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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).
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Baron235 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. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: green daisy 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. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: former player 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: AlanStache 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?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Giro 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!
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: AlanStache 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: jzb11 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. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: former player 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.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Frankies Girl 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 (http://www.peopleskillsdecoded.com/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.


Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Chrissy on May 26, 2015, 02:44:20 PM
How much is left on the mortgage?  Is it possible that the mortgage deal is not super because the person who took the loan has less than perfect credit?  If you had the house in your name, would you qualify for a better loan? 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 26, 2015, 03:33:15 PM
IIRC, in the last episode of this soap opera, the mortgage was in your dad's name and the title was in both your dad's and your mom's name.  It sounds like your dad got off title by deeding his interest over to your mom.  My guess is that you are paying the mortgage that's in your dad's name.

If this is accurate, you have a big problem.  You are paying a mortgage on a house you do not own.  If something happened to your mom, the house would have to be sold to pay off her debts and the proceeds after the mortgage payoff would be split between you, your sister, and any other siblings.  You are at this point buying a house for these people, not for yourself.  In addition, your mom could decide at anytime to sell the house, and the net proceeds would be hers, not yours, no matter how much of the mortgage you paid.

I strongly suggest you take to heart the things that have been said here and on the original thread.  You are not helping these people and you are hurting yourself.  You have come so far from your first post here.  Figure out a way to get out from under this mess and move on with your life.

ETA:  What on earth motivated you to trade the Neon for a Saab?  That's out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Use some of the money you are pouring down the rat hole to get yourself a decent car.  You work hard for your money, you have a lot of obligations, and you need safe, reliable transportation.  And, because you are thinking of the future you, don't cut the 401(k).  Instead, unload the family obligations and with each one that disappears, INCREASE your contribution by the same amount.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 09:13:39 AM
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.

I don't think she's a narcissist or a user.  She honestly would work and did for a long time to raise me.  I had a really easy and pleasant childhood and adolescence.  Her problem, all of their problems really, are they fucking suck with money.  Two of them compulsively gamble it away (I cringe when I even start TRYING to imagine the amount of money my grandparents pissed away) and my mom just spends, spends, spends.  Gambling isn't her vice, but money leaks through her hands like water regardless. 

My uncle is also a grandma-related obligation.  When I thought she might pass away, I swore to her I'd make sure he had food and shelter (she has a probably-not-healthy relationship with him, where she has shielded him from all responsibility for all of his adult life.  When she thought she was nearing the end, his wellbeing became her primary worry).
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 09:23:55 AM
IIRC, in the last episode of this soap opera, the mortgage was in your dad's name and the title was in both your dad's and your mom's name.  It sounds like your dad got off title by deeding his interest over to your mom.  My guess is that you are paying the mortgage that's in your dad's name.

If this is accurate, you have a big problem.  You are paying a mortgage on a house you do not own.  If something happened to your mom, the house would have to be sold to pay off her debts and the proceeds after the mortgage payoff would be split between you, your sister, and any other siblings.  You are at this point buying a house for these people, not for yourself.  In addition, your mom could decide at anytime to sell the house, and the net proceeds would be hers, not yours, no matter how much of the mortgage you paid.

I strongly suggest you take to heart the things that have been said here and on the original thread.  You are not helping these people and you are hurting yourself.  You have come so far from your first post here.  Figure out a way to get out from under this mess and move on with your life.

ETA:  What on earth motivated you to trade the Neon for a Saab?  That's out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Use some of the money you are pouring down the rat hole to get yourself a decent car.  You work hard for your money, you have a lot of obligations, and you need safe, reliable transportation.  And, because you are thinking of the future you, don't cut the 401(k).  Instead, unload the family obligations and with each one that disappears, INCREASE your contribution by the same amount.

What's the matter with a Saab?  Similar MPGs.  I ended up leaving the Neon because it had nearly 300k miles on it and I didn't know how much longer it would be around.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 09:26:25 AM
...

With regards to this, I don't think I have a savior complex.  If I do, it's a family-specific savior complex. 

And I think it's weird that supporting one's immediate family is considered not just a bad thing, but to read what's been written here, something I should be ashamed of.  A weakness in me. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 09:27:02 AM
How much is left on the mortgage?  Is it possible that the mortgage deal is not super because the person who took the loan has less than perfect credit?  If you had the house in your name, would you qualify for a better loan?

Somewhere in the 90k's.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: nereo on May 27, 2015, 09:32:42 AM

And I think it's weird that supporting one's immediate family is considered not just a bad thing, but to read what's been written here, something I should be ashamed of.  A weakness in me.
Aushin - I certainly don't think poorly of you for wanting to help out your family.  I think your heart is in the right place here.
my main critique is that you should never give up the free money of an employer-matched 401(k), and looking at your budget I think it is a very bad idea to pay for luxuries for other people like cable television and cell phones at your own expense.
For the record I would cut my own budget down to bare-bones to keep a 401(k) match - otherwise you are pissing away $5k every year, and missing out on a huge benefit of tax-deferred growth.

reading a lot of the other responses, I think many people are just worried that this is an enabling situation.  We have only your posts to evaluate how true that may be.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 09:36:57 AM
Well I've been well-convinced to keep contributing to the 401k so on that count at least forum.MMM.com has won the day.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: charis on May 27, 2015, 09:54:04 AM
IIRC, in the last episode of this soap opera, the mortgage was in your dad's name and the title was in both your dad's and your mom's name.  It sounds like your dad got off title by deeding his interest over to your mom.  My guess is that you are paying the mortgage that's in your dad's name.

If this is accurate, you have a big problem.  You are paying a mortgage on a house you do not own.  If something happened to your mom, the house would have to be sold to pay off her debts and the proceeds after the mortgage payoff would be split between you, your sister, and any other siblings.  You are at this point buying a house for these people, not for yourself.  In addition, your mom could decide at anytime to sell the house, and the net proceeds would be hers, not yours, no matter how much of the mortgage you paid.

I strongly suggest you take to heart the things that have been said here and on the original thread.  You are not helping these people and you are hurting yourself.  You have come so far from your first post here.  Figure out a way to get out from under this mess and move on with your life.

ETA:  What on earth motivated you to trade the Neon for a Saab?  That's out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Use some of the money you are pouring down the rat hole to get yourself a decent car.  You work hard for your money, you have a lot of obligations, and you need safe, reliable transportation.  And, because you are thinking of the future you, don't cut the 401(k).  Instead, unload the family obligations and with each one that disappears, INCREASE your contribution by the same amount.

What's the matter with a Saab?  Similar MPGs.  I ended up leaving the Neon because it had nearly 300k miles on it and I didn't know how much longer it would be around.

The car thing is what you chose to pick out of this?  The house is a huge problem for you if it is not in your name and you are paying the mortgage.  Are you ok with never seeing any of the money again and not getting the house?  Because that is a very real possibility.

No one is faulting your for your instinct to help your family.  But your auto pilot perspective that this dynamic is healthy or ok is preventing you from seeing that maybe your "help," e.g. completely supporting them, is actually hurting them. 

If you actually want to help them, help them fill out applications for any and all public assistance (as has been suggested ad nauseam  above) that they maybe eligible for, help your mother buy a reliable used vehicle so she can go back to work, and give them six months to come to jesus before putting the house on the market.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Chrissy on May 27, 2015, 10:01:13 AM
How much is left on the mortgage?  Is it possible that the mortgage deal is not super because the person who took the loan has less than perfect credit?  If you had the house in your name, would you qualify for a better loan?

Somewhere in the 90k's.

Alright.  Let's assume the property is worth $250,000.  A $90k mortgage would probably run you $430/mo,  a savings of $345/mo.  Property taxes in Philly are 3.13%, which would be $652/mo ($7,825).  However, if you pay the taxes all at once, you get a 1% discount.  [Edit:  I'm not sure if this is 1% off of $7,825 ($78) or 1% off the 3.13% charged which would put the total at $5,325.]

Sources:  http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx)
http://www.centercityresidents.org/page-1599927 (http://www.centercityresidents.org/page-1599927)

I don't have any experience owning property, so I'm not sure how feasible it is for you to take over the $90k remaining on the mortgage and refinance it to a lower rate.  But, if it IS possible, you'd be paying significantly less than the current monthly amount.  That, plus the other changes to phones, etc. would lead up to a LOT more money in your pocket every month.

Also, I'm really glad we convinced you about the 401k.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: surfhb on May 27, 2015, 10:02:06 AM
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!

Bingo!    +1000

You have a serious issue and it's running you into the ground.   Screw all this budgeting advice and figure out a way to rid yourself of the need to support your family.   It's not your problem nor should you feel guilt by letting them hit rock bottom.   

Your own flesh and blood have no respect for you....period!   
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 10:04:32 AM
IIRC, in the last episode of this soap opera, the mortgage was in your dad's name and the title was in both your dad's and your mom's name.  It sounds like your dad got off title by deeding his interest over to your mom.  My guess is that you are paying the mortgage that's in your dad's name.

If this is accurate, you have a big problem.  You are paying a mortgage on a house you do not own.  If something happened to your mom, the house would have to be sold to pay off her debts and the proceeds after the mortgage payoff would be split between you, your sister, and any other siblings.  You are at this point buying a house for these people, not for yourself.  In addition, your mom could decide at anytime to sell the house, and the net proceeds would be hers, not yours, no matter how much of the mortgage you paid.

I strongly suggest you take to heart the things that have been said here and on the original thread.  You are not helping these people and you are hurting yourself.  You have come so far from your first post here.  Figure out a way to get out from under this mess and move on with your life.

ETA:  What on earth motivated you to trade the Neon for a Saab?  That's out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Use some of the money you are pouring down the rat hole to get yourself a decent car.  You work hard for your money, you have a lot of obligations, and you need safe, reliable transportation.  And, because you are thinking of the future you, don't cut the 401(k).  Instead, unload the family obligations and with each one that disappears, INCREASE your contribution by the same amount.

What's the matter with a Saab?  Similar MPGs.  I ended up leaving the Neon because it had nearly 300k miles on it and I didn't know how much longer it would be around.

The car thing is what you chose to pick out of this?  The house is a huge problem for you if it is not in your name and you are paying the mortgage.  Are you ok with never seeing any of the money again and not getting the house?  Because that is a very real possibility.

No one is faulting your for your instinct to help your family.  But your auto pilot perspective that this dynamic is healthy or ok is preventing you from seeing that maybe your "help," e.g. completely supporting them, is actually hurting them. 

If you actually want to help them, help them fill out applications for any and all public assistance (as has been suggested ad nauseam  above) that they maybe eligible for, help your mother buy a reliable used vehicle so she can go back to work, and give them six months to come to jesus before putting the house on the market.

I picked the Saab thing because it was the only thing I knew how to address.  I'm going to call the mortgage folks today to see how a transfer into my name would work and what the end result will be.  I recognize that all of his points are valid, I just don't have any information to offer with regards to them right now.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: charis on May 27, 2015, 10:27:54 AM
You can't just transfer a mortgage into your name, you would have to get your own mortgage and "buy" the house from your mom, as far as I know.   
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: 4alpacas on May 27, 2015, 10:31:03 AM
Well I've been well-convinced to keep contributing to the 401k so on that count at least forum.MMM.com has won the day.
(http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/257423i450CA8BFA1A9D844/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1)
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: former player on May 27, 2015, 10:58:37 AM
You can't just transfer a mortgage into your name, you would have to get your own mortgage and "buy" the house from your mom, as far as I know.   
Agree with this.  No mortgage company will lend you money on the house unless you have legal ownership of it.

It would be technically possible for you to own the house jointly with your mother and get a mortgage on that basis: she would own a share in the house equivalent to her current equity and you would own a share equivalent to the amount of the mortgage you took out (which would be used to pay off your mother's current mortgage).  You would need to think very carefully about doing this: you would probably end up paying all of the mortgage, plus the taxes and any maintenance, for an asset over which you would have no control (and possibly not even your own bedroom to sleep in) for the several decades of your mother's and uncle's lives, and possibly also for the half-century of your sister's life and the near century of your nephew's.

If your grandmother were prepared to put in the money from the sale of her mobile home, that would help the situation a lot.  You could own the house between the three of you: your mother's share would be her current equity, your grandmother's share would be her capital from the sale of her mobile home, and your share would be the residual amount borrowed by way of a new mortgage which was used (along with your grandmother's share) to pay off the old one.  Then there would be three of you owning the house.   That would reduce your costs considerably: you would have a newly financed mortgage of about $50k, hopefully at a more reasonable interest rate, and the house would be a secure home for your family without being an unreasonable burden on you.  Your grandmother could perhaps leave her share of the house to your uncle, which would ensure that he had the shelter that has been promised.  If you wanted to get a bit fancy about it, she could leave her share to him as a life interest (ie the right to live in the house for the rest of his life) after which it would come to you: that would prevent him from running up his gambling debts against his share of the house. 

Remember that there would be some legal costs involved in transferring the ownership of the house from its current state to a new joint ownership.  You could probably get enough mortgage to include those costs, though, given your current cash crisis.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: seattlecyclone on May 27, 2015, 11:02:16 AM
I don't think she's a narcissist or a user.  She honestly would work and did for a long time to raise me.  I had a really easy and pleasant childhood and adolescence.  Her problem, all of their problems really, are they fucking suck with money.  Two of them compulsively gamble it away (I cringe when I even start TRYING to imagine the amount of money my grandparents pissed away) and my mom just spends, spends, spends.  Gambling isn't her vice, but money leaks through her hands like water regardless. 

This part right here is a problem. You say your mom can and would work, but she doesn't because you're perfectly happy to pay her bills. Except...you don't seem to enjoy paying her bills, you just put up with it because you believe that if she got a job she would just waste her money and come asking you for more anyway. It's time to cut the cord. She is taking advantage of you, as is your sister. Supporting the family isn't your job alone. Those who are young and able-bodied enough to work need to do so. Period. Your mother's compulsive shopping is not an excuse. Your sister's child is not an excuse. She can find a night or weekend job and the rest of the family can help out with child care while she's working. You have enough family members that you should be able to work that out. They also need to apply for any government assistance programs for which they qualify. If, after they get jobs (or legitimately try to find them) and sign up for all the programs, they still can't quite make ends meet, then (and only then) should you consider helping out. And if you do help out, you need to stand up for yourself and say that if there are any unnecessary purchases or gambling going on, they will never see another cent from you again. Anything else is them taking advantage of you.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 27, 2015, 11:11:51 AM
How about a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic?  Reliable, efficient, and reasonably priced.  Unload the cell phones, the cable, and the internet that your family is costing you, and you can afford to buy one of these new.  If you want to be more frugal, get something off lease that's something similar.  Reliable, safe, and cost-efficient transportation will help you as you work through the rest of the situation.

Your grandmother is looking for a home for your uncle because she can't support him forever.  She expects you to do it, and she will "help" you (maybe) with the money from the sale of her trailer.  In your shoes, I would politely decline this offer of "help," and tell the uncle he can't move in.

Your dad is the one that will be hurt if the mortgage is not paid.  It's not fair to him to hold him hostage because of your mother's and sister's behavior.  Consider paying the mortgage, but slowly cutting off all other support.  Once these folks figure out the free ride is gone, they will have to look elsewhere for the handout.

In the meantime, the folks that recommended counseling for you make a lot of sense.  You need to learn how to set boundaries, and an impartial third party could be very helpful in accomplishing that.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: historienne on May 27, 2015, 11:20:59 AM
One practical piece of advice: getting rejected the first time you apply for disability is very common.  Your relative may still have a chance of getting benefits if you appeal the rejection.  I recommend that you consult with a lawyer or social worker who specializes in SSDI benefits about this issue.

Depending on the circumstances, a successful appeal may result in benefits being paid from the time of the original application.  It's a pretty common business model for lawyers to take clients for SSDI cases with no upfront costs; you would agree to pay them if the case is successful, from the backdated payments.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: BlueHouse on May 27, 2015, 11:35:15 AM
...

With regards to this, I don't think I have a savior complex.  If I do, it's a family-specific savior complex. 

And I think it's weird that supporting one's immediate family is considered not just a bad thing, but to read what's been written here, something I should be ashamed of.  A weakness in me.

I really hope you will consider that you may need some help and guidance from a professional or a support group.  It really does sound as if you are enabling a bunch of people's addictions.  It sounds as if you might be blind to how this situation affects you and your loved ones.  I commend you for wanting to help, but I have to agree that it is very likely that you're not really helping the situation, but rather delaying the inevitable - which may make it much worse in the end.  I know there are resources out there and you may even be able to take advantage of some tax changes to help your situation (is filing as head of household an option here?), but I would truly start out in a support group to help you find out if you really are part of the problem and then you can start changing your own behavior, which may help your family to see that it is possible. 

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: MandyM on May 27, 2015, 12:35:34 PM

              -$300-800 between all the people living there (explained below)

Am I correct in assuming that the above is what your family contributes? I'm curious on the details. Do they chip in here and there? Pay for specific things, but no reliability? It is kind of broad range.

I really think you should press grandma on the 45K. As the deal stands now, she gets cash and you get another dependent. At least half of that money needs to be dumped into equity when you put the house in your name. If pissing money away is their specialty, there is no way you should accept a promised monthly payment in lieu of the lump sum. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 12:53:35 PM
IIRC, in the last episode of this soap opera, the mortgage was in your dad's name and the title was in both your dad's and your mom's name.  It sounds like your dad got off title by deeding his interest over to your mom.  My guess is that you are paying the mortgage that's in your dad's name.

If this is accurate, you have a big problem.  You are paying a mortgage on a house you do not own.  If something happened to your mom, the house would have to be sold to pay off her debts and the proceeds after the mortgage payoff would be split between you, your sister, and any other siblings.  You are at this point buying a house for these people, not for yourself.  In addition, your mom could decide at anytime to sell the house, and the net proceeds would be hers, not yours, no matter how much of the mortgage you paid.

I strongly suggest you take to heart the things that have been said here and on the original thread.  You are not helping these people and you are hurting yourself.  You have come so far from your first post here.  Figure out a way to get out from under this mess and move on with your life.

ETA:  What on earth motivated you to trade the Neon for a Saab?  That's out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Use some of the money you are pouring down the rat hole to get yourself a decent car.  You work hard for your money, you have a lot of obligations, and you need safe, reliable transportation.  And, because you are thinking of the future you, don't cut the 401(k).  Instead, unload the family obligations and with each one that disappears, INCREASE your contribution by the same amount.

What's the matter with a Saab?  Similar MPGs.  I ended up leaving the Neon because it had nearly 300k miles on it and I didn't know how much longer it would be around.

The car thing is what you chose to pick out of this?  The house is a huge problem for you if it is not in your name and you are paying the mortgage.  Are you ok with never seeing any of the money again and not getting the house?  Because that is a very real possibility.

No one is faulting your for your instinct to help your family.  But your auto pilot perspective that this dynamic is healthy or ok is preventing you from seeing that maybe your "help," e.g. completely supporting them, is actually hurting them. 

If you actually want to help them, help them fill out applications for any and all public assistance (as has been suggested ad nauseam  above) that they maybe eligible for, help your mother buy a reliable used vehicle so she can go back to work, and give them six months to come to jesus before putting the house on the market.

I have filled out many applications for public assistance for them.  And I have a different family member who is a social worker helping my mom figure out what programs people in our household might qualify for her. 

And I've also actually been on the hunt for a car for her (she does work when she can get to work). 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 12:55:17 PM
How much is left on the mortgage?  Is it possible that the mortgage deal is not super because the person who took the loan has less than perfect credit?  If you had the house in your name, would you qualify for a better loan?

Somewhere in the 90k's.

Alright.  Let's assume the property is worth $250,000.  A $90k mortgage would probably run you $430/mo,  a savings of $345/mo.  Property taxes in Philly are 3.13%, which would be $652/mo ($7,825).  However, if you pay the taxes all at once, you get a 1% discount.  [Edit:  I'm not sure if this is 1% off of $7,825 ($78) or 1% off the 3.13% charged which would put the total at $5,325.]

Sources:  http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx)
http://www.centercityresidents.org/page-1599927 (http://www.centercityresidents.org/page-1599927)

I don't have any experience owning property, so I'm not sure how feasible it is for you to take over the $90k remaining on the mortgage and refinance it to a lower rate.  But, if it IS possible, you'd be paying significantly less than the current monthly amount.  That, plus the other changes to phones, etc. would lead up to a LOT more money in your pocket every month.

Also, I'm really glad we convinced you about the 401k.

Still gotta call the USDA about it.  Not sure how they handle refinancing or any of that.  Not sure if they do period, since they're not a bank.  Maybe I can get a bank involved?   

In any case, this is a cool potential option, thanks for the advice!
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 12:58:11 PM
You can't just transfer a mortgage into your name, you would have to get your own mortgage and "buy" the house from your mom, as far as I know.

This could get hairy as the mortgage was subsidized for a lot of years (the subsidy doesn't have to be paid back as long as she lives in the house and owns it)

If I buy it from her, that may put me on the hook for the subsidy.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 01:00:07 PM
I don't think she's a narcissist or a user.  She honestly would work and did for a long time to raise me.  I had a really easy and pleasant childhood and adolescence.  Her problem, all of their problems really, are they fucking suck with money.  Two of them compulsively gamble it away (I cringe when I even start TRYING to imagine the amount of money my grandparents pissed away) and my mom just spends, spends, spends.  Gambling isn't her vice, but money leaks through her hands like water regardless. 

This part right here is a problem. You say your mom can and would work, but she doesn't because you're perfectly happy to pay her bills. Except...you don't seem to enjoy paying her bills, you just put up with it because you believe that if she got a job she would just waste her money and come asking you for more anyway. It's time to cut the cord. She is taking advantage of you, as is your sister. Supporting the family isn't your job alone. Those who are young and able-bodied enough to work need to do so. Period. Your mother's compulsive shopping is not an excuse. Your sister's child is not an excuse. She can find a night or weekend job and the rest of the family can help out with child care while she's working. You have enough family members that you should be able to work that out. They also need to apply for any government assistance programs for which they qualify. If, after they get jobs (or legitimately try to find them) and sign up for all the programs, they still can't quite make ends meet, then (and only then) should you consider helping out. And if you do help out, you need to stand up for yourself and say that if there are any unnecessary purchases or gambling going on, they will never see another cent from you again. Anything else is them taking advantage of you.

My sister does have a job and my mom does watch the baby.  Trying to get them on government assistance programs.  Right now they get food stamps but no other forms of aid.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 01:03:47 PM

              -$300-800 between all the people living there (explained below)

Am I correct in assuming that the above is what your family contributes? I'm curious on the details. Do they chip in here and there? Pay for specific things, but no reliability? It is kind of broad range.

I really think you should press grandma on the 45K. As the deal stands now, she gets cash and you get another dependent. At least half of that money needs to be dumped into equity when you put the house in your name. If pissing money away is their specialty, there is no way you should accept a promised monthly payment in lieu of the lump sum.

It used to be 800 a month coming from my sister's boyfriend.  Three weeks ago he overdosed.  Now my grandmother has been giving me 200 dollars and my sister 100-200.  My uncle is supposed to pay 400/month from his poker bankroll, but he hasn't moved in yet.

And yes, after reading all of this, I'm going to have a long talk with my grandmother about that money.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 27, 2015, 01:10:31 PM
In your shoes, I would not allow your uncle to move in.  You are just adding another addict to the mix who will have an excuse not to pay you and will make it hard for your mother and sister to move forward.  You are paying for all this, so you can say no.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: MandyM on May 27, 2015, 01:34:19 PM
(I realize that the cable bill is small potatoes when many the other posters are suggesting you cut off most or all support.)

Could you make a deal with them on trying 3-4 months with internet only + Hulu or netflix? Perhaps you can buy silence for a smaller price.

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dunhamjr on May 27, 2015, 01:50:12 PM
What's the matter with a Saab?  Similar MPGs.  I ended up leaving the Neon because it had nearly 300k miles on it and I didn't know how much longer it would be around.

other than the specific issues you mentioned having with YOUR car, nothing.
people just like to rag on somethings.

saabs are fine cars.  i bought mine with 128k miles and 3 yrs later is still running just fine with very little needed in the way of actual repairs (2 oxygen sensors, 1 crank sensor), not including regular 'every car needs this crap done' maintenance.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Giro on May 27, 2015, 01:55:11 PM
I read this post and all of the negative things I've ever thought about my family disappear. 

good luck with this.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dunhamjr on May 27, 2015, 01:56:57 PM
With regards to this, I don't think I have a savior complex.  If I do, it's a family-specific savior complex. 

And I think it's weird that supporting one's immediate family is considered not just a bad thing, but to read what's been written here, something I should be ashamed of.  A weakness in me.

you have the complex regardless of what you name it ;)

immediate family is a bit of a stretch when you are pushing it out to grandma, an uncle, etc.
immediate family to me is mom, dad, sister, brother.  done.

i have helped out my brother once.  lent money to save his house.  got it paid back over time.  but he is in no better of a financial situation then before i lent him the money.

i do 'help' my mom out as well if you want to get technical.  i pay her to be our nanny for 8-12hrs a day to our two boys.  yeah its a lot of money, BUT not if you compare that to infant and toddler daycare costs.  not if you think about the time used in transporting kids to day care, picking them up, time off work when they are sick... etc. 

if you take it all into account with paying my mom what we do... the time and $$ cost is still a huge discount to what we would be paying going ANY another way.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 02:04:18 PM
What's the matter with a Saab?  Similar MPGs.  I ended up leaving the Neon because it had nearly 300k miles on it and I didn't know how much longer it would be around.

other than the specific issues you mentioned having with YOUR car, nothing.
people just like to rag on somethings.

saabs are fine cars.  i bought mine with 128k miles and 3 yrs later is still running just fine with very little needed in the way of actual repairs (2 oxygen sensors, 1 crank sensor), not including regular 'every car needs this crap done' maintenance.

Dreading finding out how much it costs to fix whatever is at the root of the issue tbh. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dunhamjr on May 27, 2015, 02:05:58 PM
good that we have you convinced on the 401k thing.

sounds like you are making progress on some of the assistance programs.

i do agree getting the uncle moved in as well is just another headache added on.

definitely start talking to everyone you can find about the house subsidy etc.  i do think you will need to get this house and mortgage into your name, really to protect yourself/your contributions to the mortgage.  but i can understand there may be some hurdles to jump along the way.  i am not sure how the next buyer (you) would be in any way on the hook to pay back any subsidy that your mother had received.

i also definitely agree with everyone talking about how much you contribute beyond the essentials... house, electric, water...  cellphones and cable tv are luxuries.  they need to be at least cut back significantly, if not cut off completely, so that they can fend for themselves on those items.

i also sway HIGHLY towards making the proceeds of the trailer sale yours/under your control and a contingent item to the continued support that you provide.

considering you are highly likely to continue this path of support, you need to be the one in control of making sure that this situation doesnt drag your future down the hole with the rest of the family.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 02:06:26 PM
With regards to this, I don't think I have a savior complex.  If I do, it's a family-specific savior complex. 

And I think it's weird that supporting one's immediate family is considered not just a bad thing, but to read what's been written here, something I should be ashamed of.  A weakness in me.

you have the complex regardless of what you name it ;)

immediate family is a bit of a stretch when you are pushing it out to grandma, an uncle, etc.
immediate family to me is mom, dad, sister, brother.  done.

i have helped out my brother once.  lent money to save his house.  got it paid back over time.  but he is in no better of a financial situation then before i lent him the money.

i do 'help' my mom out as well if you want to get technical.  i pay her to be our nanny for 8-12hrs a day to our two boys.  yeah its a lot of money, BUT not if you compare that to infant and toddler daycare costs.  not if you think about the time used in transporting kids to day care, picking them up, time off work when they are sick... etc. 

if you take it all into account with paying my mom what we do... the time and $$ cost is still a huge discount to what we would be paying going ANY another way.

I lived in one house with all the people mentioned (except my sister who wasn't born yet) until I was 5.  I'm probably a lot closer to my uncle and grandmother than most people are.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 02:07:49 PM
When I say "house" I mean "trailer". 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 27, 2015, 02:16:36 PM
And that's exactly why the Saab needs to go.  Dreading car repair expenses should not be part of a young, successful software engineer's life.  You need a car that is safe, reliable, and fuel efficient.  By telling your family members they must pay for all their luxury services, you can easily afford such a vehicle.

The mortgage is going to be a problem.  From what you said, it's a USDA direct loan and not just a USDA guaranteed loan.  Your mother does not qualify to refinance and your dad no longer occupies the house and is no longer married to your mom.  You might ask if it is possible to refinance into a conventional mortgage without having to repay the subsidies. 

If your sister has a job, why isn't she paying more in rent?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: seattlecyclone on May 27, 2015, 02:21:16 PM
              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.

I missed this part on my first read. Have you applied for social security survivor's benefits? Your sister and nephew could each be eligible for a sizable monthly payment until the kid turns 16 (for your sister) or 18 (for your nephew).
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 27, 2015, 02:27:44 PM
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.

I don't know the rules, but it sounds like they can't get this benefit.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 27, 2015, 02:30:11 PM
And that's exactly why the Saab needs to go.  Dreading car repair expenses should not be part of a young, successful software engineer's life.  You need a car that is safe, reliable, and fuel efficient.  By telling your family members they must pay for all their luxury services, you can easily afford such a vehicle.

The mortgage is going to be a problem.  From what you said, it's a USDA direct loan and not just a USDA guaranteed loan.  Your mother does not qualify to refinance and your dad no longer occupies the house and is no longer married to your mom.  You might ask if it is possible to refinance into a conventional mortgage without having to repay the subsidies. 

If your sister has a job, why isn't she paying more in rent?

She started the job two weeks ago.  I'm waiting to see what her paychecks look like before I peg her to a payment plan.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: seattlecyclone on May 27, 2015, 02:41:25 PM
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.

I don't know the rules, but it sounds like they can't get this benefit.

I suppose "for cash" is code for "not reported on anyone's tax return." This is one of many examples of how tax fraud can be a bad idea.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: MsPeacock on May 27, 2015, 04:26:53 PM
Here is the link for information on social security survivor benefits

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10085.pdf

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Mrs. Pomodoro on May 27, 2015, 07:02:17 PM
My uncle is also a grandma-related obligation.  When I thought she might pass away, I swore to her I'd make sure he had food and shelter (she has a probably-not-healthy relationship with him, where she has shielded him from all responsibility for all of his adult life.  When she thought she was nearing the end, his wellbeing became her primary worry).

After my grandmother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she had my mom swear to her that my mom will take care of my aunt after she passes away. So far my aunt is capable of taking care of herself physically and financially but she is emotionally immature and even abusive sometimes. Oftentimes when my mom doesn't do what my aunt requested she would say to my mom, "Didn't you promise our mother you will take care of me?" "Taking care of me" includes things like getting groceries for her when she doesn't feel like going out and asking my dad to drive her to places when there are convenient taxi/public transportation options available.

Now my mom's in her 70's, she starts making the same request to my brother and I, to take care of my aunt if my mom passes away before my aunt. Both my brother and I told her not to guilt us into it like our grandmother did to her. We're sensible adults and will do whatever's necessary, but not more.

From my brother's and my perspective, it's really my grandmother's and my aunt's responsibility. My aunt is "alone" because of how she was raised and her own doing. Why should my mom be the one who takes the burden?

I think my mom's situation isn't even as bad as yours, but it still affects our life as a family and I see my mom stressed out about it over the past 20 years. It must be difficult when someone close and ill made you promise something like this, but you need to think for your (future) self, too. Please keep in mind that you're making a promise to take care of a gambler for the rest of your and his life, and re-evaluate if this is what you really want for yourself. No one, including your grandmother, should ask you to sacrifice your life so that others don't have to suffer for themselves. If you cannot or unwilling to "undo" your promise, make it very clear what it means to support your uncle and do your future partner a favor and let him/her know about this situation before committing to a long term relationship. My dad really shouldn't be part of this "contract" but he cannot get out of it. It hurts to see my aunt bossing my dad around.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: BrickByBrick on May 27, 2015, 07:59:37 PM
Reading through all this, I will simply reaffirm what many others have said and then some:

1.  That house needs to be in your name or you need to stop paying on it.  Perhaps Grandma's trailer money can go toward this (must go to this) if you can't get the mortgage in your name.  If that won't work, that trailer money needs to go towards the home's living expenses, to give you a break.

2.  If it truly is too late to stop your addict uncle from moving in, put up a boundary now that he needs to support himself other than shelter.  You said he is not physically disabled...good news! He can at least dig a ditch.

3.  You keep saying your mom would work if only she had a car...then buy a cheap beater car (2-3K) and give it to her.  This honestly sounds to me like an excuse, the car situation cannot be this hard to address.  If she hesitates about driving a beater car, then you will know her issue is with working...not the car.

If you're going to continue to support them all, all of their finances need to be an open book to you.  Seriously, their financial decisions need to be run by you first.  You are giving a drunk a drink by paying for anything of theirs when they are turning around and gambling it away (or compulsively spending - your mom).  You live in a house full of addicts, they cannot be trusted with their own money.  You need to start weening them off your support.

If you start cutting them off from certain luxuries due to bad behavior, they will riot, and accuse you of all sorts of nasty things, because they are children (and you are forced to treat them like children).  If they full on rebel, you have to leave.  You have a life and future ahead of you, and it sounds like it's all on you to break this cycle.  Change your family tree.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 28, 2015, 08:28:15 AM
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.

I don't know the rules, but it sounds like they can't get this benefit.

I suppose "for cash" is code for "not reported on anyone's tax return." This is one of many examples of how tax fraud can be a bad idea.

This post feels really judgmental.  I'm not speaking in code.  It isn't some cryptic password.  When you work for cash you aren't listed on anyone's accounting records.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 28, 2015, 08:34:53 AM
The responses that are judgemental refer to some very bad behavior by your family members.  Other than that, everyone here is encouraging you to make changes that will benefit you now and in the long run your dependent family members.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Gone Fishing on May 28, 2015, 08:35:55 AM
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.

I don't know the rules, but it sounds like they can't get this benefit.

I suppose "for cash" is code for "not reported on anyone's tax return." This is one of many examples of how tax fraud can be a bad idea.

This post feels really judgmental.  I'm not speaking in code.  It isn't some cryptic password.  When you work for cash you aren't listed on anyone's accounting records.

And that comes with consequences like not being able to collect SS benefits.  Nothing judgemental about it, just reality.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 28, 2015, 09:06:57 AM
Reading through all this, I will simply reaffirm what many others have said and then some:

1.  That house needs to be in your name or you need to stop paying on it.  Perhaps Grandma's trailer money can go toward this (must go to this) if you can't get the mortgage in your name.  If that won't work, that trailer money needs to go towards the home's living expenses, to give you a break.

2.  If it truly is too late to stop your addict uncle from moving in, put up a boundary now that he needs to support himself other than shelter.  You said he is not physically disabled...good news! He can at least dig a ditch.

3.  You keep saying your mom would work if only she had a car...then buy a cheap beater car (2-3K) and give it to her.  This honestly sounds to me like an excuse, the car situation cannot be this hard to address.  If she hesitates about driving a beater car, then you will know her issue is with working...not the car.

If you're going to continue to support them all, all of their finances need to be an open book to you.  Seriously, their financial decisions need to be run by you first.  You are giving a drunk a drink by paying for anything of theirs when they are turning around and gambling it away (or compulsively spending - your mom).  You live in a house full of addicts, they cannot be trusted with their own money.  You need to start weening them off your support.

If you start cutting them off from certain luxuries due to bad behavior, they will riot, and accuse you of all sorts of nasty things, because they are children (and you are forced to treat them like children).  If they full on rebel, you have to leave.  You have a life and future ahead of you, and it sounds like it's all on you to break this cycle.  Change your family tree.

1. Got off the phone with the USDA about the process and how it works.  I pretty much have to talk to a real estate lawyer, because there are a LOT of variables, including:
     A. Recapture of subsidy amount when the property changes hands (she's been subsidized for about $56,000 dollars so far)
     B. Renegotiation of the interest rate (was set at 6.75% in 1998, could possibly be lowered if I refinance, which in turn can heavily impact the above Recapture amount)
     C. The possibility of just having the deed signed over to my name and leaving the mortgage agreement as is (didn't even realize this was a thing that could happen)
     D. How grandma's trailer sale money could impact any or all of the above

2. I've told my uncle I want 400 dollars per month from him in rent. 

3. A friend of mine offered me his 150k mile '97 Cadillac Seville to give to her for free (technically $1000 but on a "pay me whenever you can" basis).  But she says the car is too large (she is 4'9") and that she tried to drive similar cars back in the day and can't do so safely.  I don't know if that is her being difficult or just a physical reality of being so tiny.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 28, 2015, 09:10:20 AM
Unrelated: yay 100 posts I'm a Handlebar.  Which reminds me I should really invest in a bike for getting to and from work.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: tweezers on May 28, 2015, 09:12:51 AM
Reading through all this, I will simply reaffirm what many others have said and then some:

1.  That house needs to be in your name or you need to stop paying on it.  Perhaps Grandma's trailer money can go toward this (must go to this) if you can't get the mortgage in your name.  If that won't work, that trailer money needs to go towards the home's living expenses, to give you a break.

2.  If it truly is too late to stop your addict uncle from moving in, put up a boundary now that he needs to support himself other than shelter.  You said he is not physically disabled...good news! He can at least dig a ditch.

3.  You keep saying your mom would work if only she had a car...then buy a cheap beater car (2-3K) and give it to her.  This honestly sounds to me like an excuse, the car situation cannot be this hard to address.  If she hesitates about driving a beater car, then you will know her issue is with working...not the car.

If you're going to continue to support them all, all of their finances need to be an open book to you.  Seriously, their financial decisions need to be run by you first.  You are giving a drunk a drink by paying for anything of theirs when they are turning around and gambling it away (or compulsively spending - your mom).  You live in a house full of addicts, they cannot be trusted with their own money.  You need to start weening them off your support.

If you start cutting them off from certain luxuries due to bad behavior, they will riot, and accuse you of all sorts of nasty things, because they are children (and you are forced to treat them like children).  If they full on rebel, you have to leave.  You have a life and future ahead of you, and it sounds like it's all on you to break this cycle.  Change your family tree.

1. Got off the phone with the USDA about the process and how it works.  I pretty much have to talk to a real estate lawyer, because there are a LOT of variables, including:
     A. Recapture of subsidy amount when the property changes hands (she's been subsidized for about $56,000 dollars so far)
     B. Renegotiation of the interest rate (was set at 6.75% in 1998, could possibly be lowered if I refinance, which in turn can heavily impact the above Recapture amount)
     C. The possibility of just having the deed signed over to my name and leaving the mortgage agreement as is (didn't even realize this was a thing that could happen)
     D. How grandma's trailer sale money could impact any or all of the above

2. I've told my uncle I want 400 dollars per month from him in rent. 

3. A friend of mine offered me his 150k mile '97 Cadillac Seville to give to her for free (technically $1000 but on a "pay me whenever you can" basis).  But she says the car is too large (she is 4'9") and that she tried to drive similar cars back in the day and can't do so safely.  I don't know if that is her being difficult or just a physical reality of being so tiny.

I was just going to chime in about C.  It doesn't matter whose name the mortgage is in....its the title that important (I'm the sole mortgage holder in my family, but my husband and I are both on the title).  I was able to add to my husband to the title of my house when we got married.  I just had to pay the filing fee with the county.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: TimmyTightWad on May 28, 2015, 09:19:41 AM
Just curious which employer in the Philly area provides free food....feel free to inbox for privacy reasons.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 28, 2015, 09:34:13 AM
PM'd you.  Although I think in other threads I've made in the past I basically gave away where I work.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: charis on May 28, 2015, 10:08:16 AM
I think the OP's name could be added to the title as co-owner, but the house wouldn't be his outright.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on May 28, 2015, 10:15:05 AM
I think the OP's name could be added to the title as co-owner, but the house wouldn't be his outright.

In Pennsylvania this can be done without transfer tax. We took my sister-in-law off the deed after we paid her back after selling the house we were moving from.

OP, you are an enabler. This isn't good for you or for them. My father-in-law tried to do this for his cousin. He ended up evicting them out of a house that was worthless (he at least had the title) because they had destroyed it.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: seattlecyclone on May 28, 2015, 10:30:29 AM
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.

I don't know the rules, but it sounds like they can't get this benefit.

I suppose "for cash" is code for "not reported on anyone's tax return." This is one of many examples of how tax fraud can be a bad idea.

This post feels really judgmental.  I'm not speaking in code.  It isn't some cryptic password.  When you work for cash you aren't listed on anyone's accounting records.

There's nothing wrong with doing odd jobs for cash. But when you do so, you're supposed to report that as self-employment income on your tax return. That creates accounting records with the IRS and Social Security Administration so that you not only pay your fair share of taxes, but you also get credit for that work you did so that you can eventually get social security benefits. While there are costs to playing by the rules and paying your taxes, there are clearly costs to not doing so. Would it be possible for the executor of your nephew's father's estate to file some back tax returns and then apply for benefits?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 28, 2015, 10:33:45 AM
First:  House in question is not in PA.  My apartment and job are.  The house is in South Jersey.

Secomd: Good lord, they're bad with money but they're not going to destroy the household.  Please stop making my family out to be animals because I've told you that they waste money in casinos and suck at holding jobs.  They're financially irresponsible they're not subhuman.

My mom is a neat freak who takes care of her property and frets over any kind of minor damage she sees.  My sister and uncle if they lived on their own would probably end up living in awful messy houses but my grandma and mom keep a clean, tidy home.  The yardwork on the other hand doesn't get done unless I find time to do it, but the place isn't falling apart and probably doesn't remotely resemble what you must be picturing.

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 28, 2015, 10:37:57 AM
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.

I don't know the rules, but it sounds like they can't get this benefit.

I suppose "for cash" is code for "not reported on anyone's tax return." This is one of many examples of how tax fraud can be a bad idea.

This post feels really judgmental.  I'm not speaking in code.  It isn't some cryptic password.  When you work for cash you aren't listed on anyone's accounting records.

There's nothing wrong with doing odd jobs for cash. But when you do so, you're supposed to report that as self-employment income on your tax return. That creates accounting records with the IRS and Social Security Administration so that you not only pay your fair share of taxes, but you also get credit for that work you did so that you can eventually get social security benefits. While there are costs to playing by the rules and paying your taxes, there are clearly costs to not doing so. Would it be possible for the executor of your nephew's father's estate to file some back tax returns and then apply for benefits?

If he'd tried to report his income on any tax returns, his boss would have fired him pretty fast. 

The executor of my nephew's father's estate is his mother.  She utterly hates my sister and my family (posts some really ugly things on Facebook about us) and would never ever lift a finger to help us.  She is an awful woman.  I don't even want to think about her.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: seattlecyclone on May 28, 2015, 03:43:34 PM
There's nothing wrong with doing odd jobs for cash. But when you do so, you're supposed to report that as self-employment income on your tax return. That creates accounting records with the IRS and Social Security Administration so that you not only pay your fair share of taxes, but you also get credit for that work you did so that you can eventually get social security benefits. While there are costs to playing by the rules and paying your taxes, there are clearly costs to not doing so. Would it be possible for the executor of your nephew's father's estate to file some back tax returns and then apply for benefits?

If he'd tried to report his income on any tax returns, his boss would have fired him pretty fast. 

How do you figure? My employer has no way of knowing what I write on my tax return.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: dandarc on May 28, 2015, 04:04:39 PM
There's nothing wrong with doing odd jobs for cash. But when you do so, you're supposed to report that as self-employment income on your tax return. That creates accounting records with the IRS and Social Security Administration so that you not only pay your fair share of taxes, but you also get credit for that work you did so that you can eventually get social security benefits. While there are costs to playing by the rules and paying your taxes, there are clearly costs to not doing so. Would it be possible for the executor of your nephew's father's estate to file some back tax returns and then apply for benefits?

If he'd tried to report his income on any tax returns, his boss would have fired him pretty fast. 

How do you figure? My employer has no way of knowing what I write on my tax return.
Exactly.  Schedule C doesn't identify where your income came from in any way in this scenario.  All you'd have to report is something like "Income from Odd Jobs = $9K" or similar.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Sailor Sam on May 28, 2015, 04:14:45 PM
You've made it clear that you are unwilling to reduce your level of family aid, so maybe you could approach the maintenance issues from a different direction. I'd suggest get quotes for the car and, and price out some window and door screens. Once you have the numbers, sit down with your mom, sister, and possibly your grandma. Work with them to find out where the money will come from. Including them will give them some power in the situation, which could lead to voluntary reduction in spending without any histrionics directed at you. 

Once you have the maintenance stuff conquered, you could use the same tactic for getting your mom a car.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 29, 2015, 07:03:02 AM
There's nothing wrong with doing odd jobs for cash. But when you do so, you're supposed to report that as self-employment income on your tax return. That creates accounting records with the IRS and Social Security Administration so that you not only pay your fair share of taxes, but you also get credit for that work you did so that you can eventually get social security benefits. While there are costs to playing by the rules and paying your taxes, there are clearly costs to not doing so. Would it be possible for the executor of your nephew's father's estate to file some back tax returns and then apply for benefits?

If he'd tried to report his income on any tax returns, his boss would have fired him pretty fast. 

How do you figure? My employer has no way of knowing what I write on my tax return.
Exactly.  Schedule C doesn't identify where your income came from in any way in this scenario.  All you'd have to report is something like "Income from Odd Jobs = $9K" or similar.

Didn't know this.  Made the incorrect assumption that the IRS also wants to know where the money came from.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: theadvicist on May 29, 2015, 08:00:34 AM
Aushin, you seem like a really nice person. And I love that throughout this thread you have been open and willing to say, "oh yeah, didn't know that, thanks". Much respect.

But (you knew the but was coming, right?). This situation isn't tenable.

For one thing, you are effectively training all these people to rely on you for everything. Not just housing, phones, but also to solve their problems like the leaking fridge. Having set that situation up... what will happen if you get hit by a bus tomorrow? Seriously? You seem think you are the only one who can help them... and if you really think that is the case then you must see how risky that is.

Don't just go and fix the fridge. Show them how to fix the fridge. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life" needs to become your new motto.

There were a few things that really stood out to me in what you've said:


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. 

But if you keep giving her everything she needs, why would she bother to look elsewhere? She won't find money elsewhere as long as it is coming from somewhere. Do her a favour and get her out there and working now. You're making her life easier now, but setting her up to be 45 who has been unemployed for 15 years, which is a hell of a lot harder than a 30 year old who's been unemployed a short while. (Ages made up for illustrative purposes).

I don't know much about your laws (in the UK here, where she would be protected by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act), but is she really unemployable because of drugs offenses? I am led to believe that the US rates of incarceration are very high, so wouldn't that leave an awful lot of people permanently unemployable? What are they expected to do (I mean by the government. Because there must be something, even if the answer is to let them die homeless. Seriously, what do the government expect ex-cons to do?)


And a later quote from you, regarding your grandmother and uncle: "she has a probably-not-healthy relationship with him, where she has shielded him from all responsibility for all of his adult life."

Who does this sound like? You recognise where your gma went wrong, and yet you are doing exactly the same thing for/to your mom and sister.

You also say " I don't think I have a savior complex." and yet "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. " So you do think you are singularly responsible for them...

As with other posters, I'm not trying to be mean, I'm trying to be realistic.

The way I see it is either:
1) You are not the be and and end all to their survival the way you think, and they would get along without your help

or:
2) you are the only thing between them and destitution in which case you really do need to do something about it because it is very precarious to have 5 (?) people depending on one persons health and job security.

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 29, 2015, 08:28:42 AM
In your shoes, I would take a break from all the drama and do something for myself.  Ask a young lady out on a date and go someplace fun.  Play with one of your hobbies or interests.  Take a road trip for the weekend somewhere.  Just don't go back to the mess in South Jersey.  You need to get in touch with what you want in life.  And these folks need to get by without you for a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 29, 2015, 10:14:29 AM
Aushin, you seem like a really nice person. And I love that throughout this thread you have been open and willing to say, "oh yeah, didn't know that, thanks". Much respect.

But (you knew the but was coming, right?). This situation isn't tenable.

For one thing, you are effectively training all these people to rely on you for everything. Not just housing, phones, but also to solve their problems like the leaking fridge. Having set that situation up... what will happen if you get hit by a bus tomorrow? Seriously? You seem think you are the only one who can help them... and if you really think that is the case then you must see how risky that is.

Don't just go and fix the fridge. Show them how to fix the fridge. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life" needs to become your new motto.

There were a few things that really stood out to me in what you've said:


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. 

But if you keep giving her everything she needs, why would she bother to look elsewhere? She won't find money elsewhere as long as it is coming from somewhere. Do her a favour and get her out there and working now. You're making her life easier now, but setting her up to be 45 who has been unemployed for 15 years, which is a hell of a lot harder than a 30 year old who's been unemployed a short while. (Ages made up for illustrative purposes).

I don't know much about your laws (in the UK here, where she would be protected by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act), but is she really unemployable because of drugs offenses? I am led to believe that the US rates of incarceration are very high, so wouldn't that leave an awful lot of people permanently unemployable? What are they expected to do (I mean by the government. Because there must be something, even if the answer is to let them die homeless. Seriously, what do the government expect ex-cons to do?)


And a later quote from you, regarding your grandmother and uncle: "she has a probably-not-healthy relationship with him, where she has shielded him from all responsibility for all of his adult life."

Who does this sound like? You recognise where your gma went wrong, and yet you are doing exactly the same thing for/to your mom and sister.

You also say " I don't think I have a savior complex." and yet "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. " So you do think you are singularly responsible for them...

As with other posters, I'm not trying to be mean, I'm trying to be realistic.

The way I see it is either:
1) You are not the be and and end all to their survival the way you think, and they would get along without your help

or:
2) you are the only thing between them and destitution in which case you really do need to do something about it because it is very precarious to have 5 (?) people depending on one persons health and job security.

Couple things.  First my sister is working, I've had to clarify that a few times now.  Second the difference between me and my family and my grandma and my uncle is actually disturbingly vast.  She babies and babied him on a level I can never ever approach.  He never did chores or had to lift a finger for anything ever.  I am asking for an actual rent (400 is modest but she used to pretend that 30 dollars a month toward the phone bill was actually a reasonable rent to take from him).

I really don't have any delusions about my situation.  I am actively taking actions to improve it, some of which were advised in this thread several days ago.  I'm trying to get them on their feet (car-hunting for mom, putting out craigslist ads for her old cleaning business (i know you'll argue I shouldn't be involved in doing that, but she's really REALLY bad with computers and it's not because she leans on me to do computer things.  She does, but I've tried endlessly to help her learn stuff.  She's just not good at it and doesn't have enough interest to be). 

I'm demanding rent from my uncle and my grandma has already offered it. 

I would cease doing this immediately if I felt this would irreversibly hurt my life somehow.  I think the good outweighs the bad.  I have no interest in being their permanent lifeline.  People are armchair psycho-analyzing the shit out of me.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on May 29, 2015, 10:21:26 AM
THAT SAID, I do expect that I will have to help them in some way or another for a while.  Maybe I shouldn't have said "the rest of my life" earlier. 

We often speak from a place of privilege.  We earn lots of money.  Life is pretty easy for us financially. 

For people outside of this forum, livable salaries are not easy to come by.  The cost of rent, sustenance, and utilities steadily rise for everyone.  Wages don't for most.

Expecting my grandmother to live elsewhere is impossible for physical reasons.

Expecting my uncle to find his way out is insanely improbable for financial and developmental ones (someone has to take care of him, he's literally that helpless)

Expecting my mom to pay for herself...not TOTALLY insane if she can get back to the level of income she used to have cleaning beach houses.

Expecting my sister to support herself...probably going to have to find a husband.  Drug convictions, high school education.  Maybe she can hop into cleaning with mom. 

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: charis on May 29, 2015, 11:58:17 AM
THAT SAID, I do expect that I will have to help them in some way or another for a while.  Maybe I shouldn't have said "the rest of my life" earlier. 

We often speak from a place of privilege.  We earn lots of money.  Life is pretty easy for us financially. 

For people outside of this forum, livable salaries are not easy to come by.  The cost of rent, sustenance, and utilities steadily rise for everyone.  Wages don't for most.

Expecting my grandmother to live elsewhere is impossible for physical reasons.

Expecting my uncle to find his way out is insanely improbable for financial and developmental ones (someone has to take care of him, he's literally that helpless)

Expecting my mom to pay for herself...not TOTALLY insane if she can get back to the level of income she used to have cleaning beach houses.

Expecting my sister to support herself...probably going to have to find a husband.  Drug convictions, high school education.  Maybe she can hop into cleaning with mom. 

You are right.  They expect you to be responsible for them, so they don't need to expect anything of themselves.  You are directly contributing to their learned helplessness.  (And I am obviously not talking about helping your mom use the computer).

Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: mozar on May 30, 2015, 12:33:30 PM
There are free programs for teaching how to use computer.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Another Reader on May 30, 2015, 12:36:28 PM
There are free programs for teaching how to use computer. Why would she learn if you keep doing it for her? It is entirely not true that your sister cannot support herself. If she is able bodied there are options. There are jobs for people with high school degrees. And your sister is getting free childcare!! You are over generalizing when you say that it's "too hard these days." What the media is talking about is that people are not getting raises in line with inflation, not that no one is able to get work at all ever.

For now everyone you are supporting should be handing over their entire paychecks. Assuming your sister works 20hrs a month she should be able to give you about 800 a month. Your grandmother should be giving you her entire social security check. Your uncle if he moves in should be handing you his entire earnings. You are paying absolutely all of their bills so they should giving you everything they have. You should also be able to claim your grandmother, mother, sister, and nephew on your tax return, which will get you thousands of dollars back.

You say that you are paying to keep them quiet. This is called a codependent relationship. It's going to take a long time to work through this. I also used to have a codependent relationship with my parents. I once worked for free for an entire summer for my dad because he promised to help me with my college tuition, which he never did. When I asked him about it he told me it was my fault I decided to go to college.

My journey began when I read the book "codependent no more." I slowly started to establish boundaries with my parents. They absolutely freaked out,  and started throwing tantrums. It took about 5 years of me saying no and hanging the phone up on them before they started to get it. I thought that I might never have a healthy relationship with my parents. But I told them that they had to read codependent no more to stay in my life. Which led my dad to be willing to go to therapy with me, and my mom read "feeling good, a new mood therapy." I also had a relatively easy childhood, my parents even paid for private school. But I don't owe them the rest of my life and my mental health because they chose to have me.

It's hard but the first step will be realizing you have a problem.

+1000. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: MMMaybe on May 30, 2015, 06:09:28 PM

Quote

If your grandmother were prepared to put in the money from the sale of her mobile home, that would help the situation a lot.  You could own the house between the three of you: your mother's share would be her current equity, your grandmother's share would be her capital from the sale of her mobile home, and your share would be the residual amount borrowed by way of a new mortgage which was used (along with your grandmother's share) to pay off the old one.  Then there would be three of you owning the house.   That would reduce your costs considerably: you would have a newly financed mortgage of about $50k, hopefully at a more reasonable interest rate, and the house would be a secure home for your family without being an unreasonable burden on you.  Your grandmother could perhaps leave her share of the house to your uncle, which would ensure that he had the shelter that has been promised.  If you wanted to get a bit fancy about it, she could leave her share to him as a life interest (ie the right to live in the house for the rest of his life) after which it would come to you: that would prevent him from running up his gambling debts against his share of the house. 

Remember that there would be some legal costs involved in transferring the ownership of the house from its current state to a new joint ownership.  You could probably get enough mortgage to include those costs, though, given your current cash crisis.

This is a sensible suggestion. I think its realistic, given that you know that you will not be able to (or want to) cut your family off entirely. I applaud you for caring so much about your family, despite the very difficult circumstances.

I also agree with the other posters who say that your family should contribute more and its good to see that you are requiring this from them. I don't think that expecting a contribution from them is at all heartless. You cannot carry this burden entirely alone and if they can work, they should. Please do protect your interests though :)

Good luck to you. I hope you will keep updating us.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on June 08, 2015, 09:09:24 AM
Trying to get a car for mom for 3k.  Grandma is pitching in 1k, I'm pitching in 1k, my aunt was supposed to pitch in 1k but has just recently backed out and said she can't (she went on a cruise two weeks ago).
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: theadvicist on June 08, 2015, 09:11:20 AM
Trying to get a car for mom for 3k.  Grandma is pitching in 1k, I'm pitching in 1k, my aunt was supposed to pitch in 1k but has just recently backed out and said she can't (she went on a cruise two weeks ago).

Then spend 2k. You can still get something decent enough. Don't use this as a reason to 1) let Mom go without a job or 2) pitch in 2k yourself to make it up to 3k.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on June 08, 2015, 09:19:06 AM
Yes that is probably what will end up happening. 
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: formerlydivorcedmom on June 08, 2015, 10:01:47 AM
I'm going to assume, since your sister has a job, that she has a car.  Why can't she share with mom?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on June 08, 2015, 01:01:52 PM
Even if there existed a way for them to always make sure they didn't have work scheduled at the same time I don't could convince them to do it.  I am a MMM student but even I can't really comprehend how a person lives in the suburbs and has any kind of social life without their own car (unless they're still in school and mom/dad drive them places).
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on June 08, 2015, 01:02:33 PM
You might argue that a social life is a luxury and I wouldn't really know how to respond to that.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: ambimammular on June 08, 2015, 01:09:00 PM
Her problem, all of their problems really, are they fucking suck with money.  Two of them compulsively gamble it away (I cringe when I even start TRYING to imagine the amount of money my grandparents pissed away) and my mom just spends, spends, spends.  Gambling isn't her vice, but money leaks through her hands like water regardless. 

Hate to break it to you, but your relatives aren't the only ones letting money leak from their hands like water. You're letting your hard earnings slip right through your fingers, too.

If you keep throwing your money at them, you will end up just like them. And I can't see any of your family members rescuing your behind.

Stick up for yourself!! You deserve better!!
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Chrissy on June 08, 2015, 02:39:40 PM
Even if there existed a way for them to always make sure they didn't have work scheduled at the same time I don't could convince them to do it. 

Actually, having identical work schedules is what you'd hope for if you want to carpool.  The idea being your sister would drop your mother off on the way to work, and pick your mother up on the way home.  See?
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: cripzychiken on June 08, 2015, 02:47:01 PM
Even if there existed a way for them to always make sure they didn't have work scheduled at the same time I don't could convince them to do it.  I am a MMM student but even I can't really comprehend how a person lives in the suburbs and has any kind of social life without their own car (unless they're still in school and mom/dad drive them places).

If your family can't afford their own bills - especially luxuries like cable and fancy (non-pay as you go) cell phones, why are they entitled to a social life outside of the house?  What do they do since they don't have money to spend - go for a walk in the park, visit the library?  If it's stuff like go to bars with friends, go to casinos and gamble, go to the movies - I'd be pissed that they get to have more of a social life than you do.  That said - I know that isn't a realistic thought to expect them to give up their social life so you can start supporting them less. 

Something that worked for me when I was in a much smaller version of this was lying about a major change in my income.  Basically let people know that your job is raising costs for health insurance and it's affected your take-home by $200/month (or some other amount).  Blame whoever you want (the CEO, obamacare, republicans take your pick), but say that you can't afford to pay for cable anymore (if you don't want to be the bad guy and straight up drop it). Also, use work to be the reason you are forced to stay in Philly 2 weekends a month (stupid required OT, darn boss!).  A weekend or 2 without the stress being right there really helped me.

Some help that I haven't seen covered here yet - look at reducing some bills.  $214 for cable and internet is a ton.  Get rid of DVR, get rid of bonus channels (like HBO, sport packages, etc) and drop it down to only 1 or 2 boxes (use the OTA HD antennas for bedroom TVs).  Make sure you aren't renting a $45 modem for $8/month from them (most people are).  I had Comcast in the past and it was closer to $125/month, so I'd look at what all is going into the house and see if you can drop the cost without completely getting rid of cable (think of it as a compromise).

Last bit - you're doing more than a lot of people would do, so give yourself a pat on the back for being the great son/brother/grandson/nephew that you are.  But understand that if you don't start trying to lookout for yourself, you might be the next person being a burden on another family member down the line.  Keep your future in mind and make sure that the stress you are going through isn't just going to be passed on in a few years.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: brooklynmoney on June 08, 2015, 10:41:20 PM
You haven't talked at all in this whole lomg thread about yourself except as it relates to your family besides asking if you could give up even more from yourself to give to them ie stop 401k contribution. It sounds to me like you think your needs don't count and that is really sad.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: Aushin on June 09, 2015, 06:50:53 AM
To try to address most of the previous posts: my life really doesn't suck.  I do have a social life.  When I'm back home on weekends I go to the beach frequently and have seen friends almost every weekend day for the past few weeks.  I'm going to be in a local summer production of Legally Blonde (the musical). 

I have a social life.  I just also have a difficult to manage home life. 

The choice really isn't "do I have a life or not" it's closer to "do I have an amazing 'where is all this money coming from holy crap' life or do I have a very strictly budgeted life"

If my life sucks, it's only because it sucks in comparison to the dream life I would have without the financial obligations I've got going on.  Objectively, my life is pretty rewarding, I think.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: partgypsy on June 09, 2015, 01:56:40 PM
following. 

I'm not going to be totally critical, because I think you are coming from a caring place. But you need to draw boundaries and stick with them. Think about what you want and need to accomplish, including retirement goals, that you may have a relationship and a family in the future and you will want to save money for those things. Those come first. If you have money left over and it is something you want to spend money on, then help your family. But have it as a line item in your budget and don't go over that. Don't think of the house as an investment. You really wouldn't be buying this house if it wasn't for the fact it is a family house and you are helping family members by buying it. And buy it only if it fits in your overall budget.
Title: Re: Should I stop contributing to my 401k temporarily?
Post by: LeRainDrop on June 09, 2015, 11:17:28 PM
There is definitely some taking advantage in here.  I have no illusions otherwise.  I'm not an utter doormat but I'm pretty close.

I've got to echo the others who recommend that you seek some counseling on your family dynamic and how to create better boundaries.  I've been in a similar position with a few immediate family members asking for a lot of financial help, then more help, etc.  Like you, my parents had given me a great childhood and set me up for my own success.  I love them and felt like I had no choice but to help by giving substantial loans in light of the circumstances that came to a head pretty quickly.  This all put a lot of pressure on me, and combined with my work pressures, I ended up trying counseling at the suggestion of my general practitioner.  I was very glad that I did it because it gave me a fresh perspective -- an outsider telling me that I was not responsible for the finances or well-being of my parents and brother, all of whom are able-bodied individuals.  Our sessions gave me tools to address my behaviors to create healthier relationships.  Part of that was telling the folks that I would not loan/give them any more money.  I don't mean to imply that all our issues have been resolved by any means, but guess what?  My brother turned a corner, started being frugal, and is actually paying me back.  My parents also worked to put themselves in better positions and are also paying me back.  Anyhow, I guess I'm trying to say that I can really relate to what you're going through and your mindset, and I think you would benefit from talking to someone.  Hopefully, your family can grow to be less dependent on you, and to find their own strength to self-support.