Author Topic: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...  (Read 20103 times)

bebestache

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Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« on: January 03, 2014, 03:23:10 PM »
Assume you embrace mustachianism. You have an adult sibling who does not.  With all things being fairly equal (you both make roughly equivalent incomes, live in similar cost of living areas), you have a savings rate of 60% and sibling essentially lives paycheck to paycheck. Your salaries are generous, but sibling buys lots of “toys”, does not cook, has a maid, etc. Would you feel resentment and a general sense of unfairness if your parents offer financial support to sibling but not to you since you clearly have it together? For example suppose any one or all of these occurred to you:

-   You paid off substantial student loans but parents pay off sibling’s equivalent loan.

-   You save for your own house downpayment. After you buy a house, parents give sibling  an equivalent amount so sibling can also buy a house.

-   The parents see that you are much more financially responsible than sibling, so they alter their will from 50/50 to 80/20 (with 80 going to sibling).

And more importantly, how can you get over the resentment? Aren’t your parents essentially penalizing you for being more responsible?

ketchup

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 03:32:57 PM »
Aren’t your parents essentially penalizing you for being more responsible?
Talk to your parents.  They are the ones enabling the irresponsibility.

Michread

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 03:34:06 PM »
YES!  I would tell your parents how you feel.   

Eric

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 03:42:00 PM »
It's their money.  Why do you think that you should have a say in how they spend their money? 

My view is that anything you receive from them, anything at all, is a blessing and should be treated as such.

Spork

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 03:45:33 PM »

The short answer is: the feeling is normal.  Now the question is what to do about it.

What Eric says is also true: It's their money to spend as they see fit. 

If what your parents are doing is causing or supporting a problem (overspending, alcoholism, dependence, etc.) then you should at least try to tactfully speak your mind to your parents.  But you probably also just want to decide to not let it bother you.  How you feel about it is probably the only thing here that is directly under your control. 

iamlindoro

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 03:46:28 PM »
There might have been a time where I would have resented this kind of thing (And I've been in a very similar situation as you) but after reading "The Millionaire Next Door," I no longer feel that way.  Guess what one of the primary indicators of success is?  Being forced to sink or swim by your parents.  Guess what one of the primary indicators of failure to succeed it?  Yep, receiving parental subsidies into adulthood.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 04:00:16 PM »
It's their money.  Why do you think that you should have a say in how they spend their money? 

My view is that anything you receive from them, anything at all, is a blessing and should be treated as such.

Darn it, I was just about to post this exact thing!

I've told my mom this. She's worried about trying to keep things equal between my brother and me. If she gives him some money, she feels she needs to give me some money. I told her I don't care (or rather, try to not care) about the money side of it. That there's no way to make sure everything is 100% equal anyways (you'd have to reduce everything you do to a dollar amount). Finally I said that due to choices I've made, she's going to have to spend more of her money (we moved to Australia, costs her a bit to fly here and back from Tennessee). I think the last comment made her happy, she hasn't tried to give me extra money since then.

I'm sure I could sit here and feel resentful because my brother got X when I didn't. And I'm sure he could sit there and feel resentful because I got Y when he didn't. Being resentful isn't going to fix anything.

This is one of the upsides of becoming more financially fit. You wield control over your money, you tell it what you want to do and it'd better listen! Versus money controlling your life, deciding what you can and can't do.

It's your parents' money. It's theirs to do with as they please. If they want to give it all to one child, so be it. If they want to take a round-the-world cruise, fine. If they want to gamble it away, more power to them (well, as long as they don't come crying to you to bail them out).

I think a conversation with your parents may be in order, but not from the angle you're thinking. I wouldn't bring up "it's not fair to me!" or "I want more of your money!" Rather, are you concerned at all about your sibling, and how your sibling will survive once the money train is gone? I might say something like "I'm worried about my sibling, I think he/she might be relying on you to bail him/her out. Both of us grew up in similar circumstances, currently live in similar areas, and even our salaries are pretty equal, so I know it's not just a lack of money that's causing his/her financial woes. Do you have any ideas of how we can best approach this?" Have some suggestions ready to go, maybe a Dave Ramsey course or some-such.

Just a thought.

mulescent

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2014, 04:05:12 PM »
You're thinking of this all wrong!  You're in an amazing place - with a 60% savings rate you are at most a little over a decade away from FI.  Your sib, OTOH, will never get there.  Life is long, and you will enjoy the feelings of satisfaction, independence and self-discipline your accomplishments engender for the rest of it.  Your sibling will always have to live with being the one who needed help.  Between the two, I'd rather be you.  I'd focus on that and just forget about resentment - it likely won't be productive anyway.  Maybe the only conversation worth having is with your parents about what else they could give your sib (e.g. some good direction, limits and tools for coping) that would be truly helpful...

Sydneystache

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 04:10:36 PM »
Nope, because clearly my sibling is incapable of looking after his/her finances. Reminds me of that bible story about the prodigal son.

Anyway, where I would feel resentful if parents asked me financially to look after the sibling when they're gone. F*** that for a game of soldiers. So I would have a good talk to them about estate planning. Don't want my sibling interrupting my family life and finances because they can't get their act together.

clutchy

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 04:33:46 PM »
my mother in law and brother in law are awful with money. 

I live in close proximity to them and so we are somewhat intertwined.  She is constantly giving him money and every time we pay for something I feel like I'm paying him to do some stupid shit. 

I've done what I can to minimize the crossover but there isn't much else I can do besides cut contact which is not an acceptable alternative. 


I know this isn't much help but I actually feel bad for both of them.  my BiL is predatory and my MiL gets into trouble because she gives him things she shouldn't.  He's over 30... and doesn't have $1000 to his name.  He is highly educated and has a well paying job.


it's actually embarrassing for me.

T-Rex

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 08:46:43 PM »
Your sibling has been floundering through life, so they give money. You do not need the extra money because you reliably accomplish things on your own, so much that your parents recognize that. I'm sure they are glad and proud that you are responsible. I would be satisfied with that lot.

the fixer

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 08:52:37 PM »
I'd be super-annoyed if this was happening in my family. But as others have said, in the end it won't matter for you, since you genuinely don't need their help. And your sibling will one day get what's coming.

I would make sure your parents are okay financially, so your sibling isn't bleeding them dry and eventually dragging you in to support all of them.

oldladystache

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 09:17:17 PM »
I sure would be resentful. But it's their money. They earned it, I didn't. I have no claim to it.

Fortunately for me my parents went out of their way to be fair with us. If one of us needed help they gave it to both of us.

steveo

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 09:22:44 PM »
Its rude but it happens all the time. My SIL a while back told me that earning 80 grand really wasn't a lot of money and yet she doesn't have a job. My BIL was earning something like 300k per year and borrowing (without paying it back) another 10 grand per month off his parents.

I have a tonne of stories like this. For instance my BIL bought a car on credit and couldn't pay the loan off so his dad paid it off. He then sold the car and kept the money.

sol

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 09:50:33 PM »
My first reaction was to be horrified at this situation, thinking I would be not only resentful but angry about it.

But my family's finance's aren't too different, and in truth and it has never bothered me that my needy relatives are going to get much more than I am.  I've successfully internalized the narrative not as "they're getting more than me that's so unfair" but rather "I am the only successful person in my family who doesn't need their handouts, and I'm proud of that."

ender

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 09:56:21 PM »
I somewhat cynically assume my brothers will not save anything for the next 20 years, meaning when we're in our 40s and this question is more "real" it will make sense for my parents to do something like 0 - 50 - 50 for any giving/etc.

I've fairly strongly believed this for quite some time now which means if I get anything from my parents at all I will be considering it as a positive surprise. Probably not the best attitude but meh.

Zamboni

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 10:20:14 PM »
Nope, because clearly my sibling is incapable of looking after his/her finances. Reminds me of that bible story about the prodigal son.

Anyway, where I would feel resentful if parents asked me financially to look after the sibling when they're gone. F*** that for a game of soldiers. So I would have a good talk to them about estate planning. Don't want my sibling interrupting my family life and finances because they can't get their act together.

This was my thought as well.  The only thing that would piss me off about what you describe is the issue with the will.  That being said, I don't expect either of my parents to leave me any sort of estate at all, so it's sort of a moot point.

My parents did give, and might still give, my brother much more financial assistance than they gave me.  I didn't and don't begrudge it because I realize that I was really lucky to get a good scholarship to college, and that led to a solid job.  He had to struggle more to pay for college, then eventually dropped out due to lack of funds and started his own business which they supported financially at first (he's now doing well but I don't think he ever really paid back the money, although he did do his best to provide them with sweat equity and services), and now he has a bigger family than he can probably realistically manage including some children with medical problems that have led to huge bills.  So he really has just needed the money more than I ever did, and clearly my Dad especially was grateful that he never had to bail me out.  He actually told me this directly, that he always felt like I had it together in terms of money and he was grateful about that.  He was probably feeling some guilt about the lopsided money-gifting, and I told him it was all fine by me.

In order to master your resentment you need to separate the money issue from love.  They love you both; the money they are giving your sib does not equate to greater love for them.

tariskat

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 10:23:00 PM »
There might have been a time where I would have resented this kind of thing (And I've been in a very similar situation as you) but after reading "The Millionaire Next Door," I no longer feel that way.  Guess what one of the primary indicators of success is?  Being forced to sink or swim by your parents.  Guess what one of the primary indicators of failure to succeed it?  Yep, receiving parental subsidies into adulthood.

Yep.  Be as jealous about their money handouts as you would be of your parents slapping your sibling in the face, because the money is roughly that helpful.   As long as it's not making your folks destitute, they unfortunately are free to throw money into the fire and watch it burn.

CDP45

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2014, 01:58:29 AM »
The Parable of the Lost Son Luke 15:11-32

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

killingxspree

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 05:02:29 AM »
The way I got over it was I'm not the same person as my parents/inlaws. They feel compelled to help. I see it as enabling a person to be infantile.

Zamboni

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 05:36:45 AM »
Another thing to think about is that perhaps your sibling is asking for these things while you are not asking?  In other words, you just save your own money for your house, pay off your loans, etc. because you are an adult and feel obligated to do this.  You do not ask your parents for money at all. 

Meanwhile, your sibling always asks for things.  Your parents have trouble saying "no," so your sibling gets more than you because he or she asks for more than you.  In their minds, your parents might even think it's fair because it seems so obvious that one child is more in need.  After all, why else would they ask for more if they didn't need it? 

The exact thing happens in employment:  employees who ask for more typically get more (this is called negotiation, and it doesn't stop the day people are hired.)  That doesn't mean that they are necessarily a better employee or even that the boss thinks more of their efforts.  It's just that people are more responsive to providing something that has been asked for than just coming up with pleasant surprises.  It might seem unfair, but if you never ask and don't know whether or not your sib asks (I bet he or she does), then you should either start asking because you want to be sure to get "your share" or just be proud that you are an adult who doesn't mooch.

Here is a story my mom used to tell us:
When she was a child, her parents would sometimes buy her and her younger siblings ice cream cones as a treat.  She would eat hers as fast as she could, then ask he sister for a taste of hers.  Her sister would always reply indignantly "but you did not give me a taste of yours!" to which my mom would say in an innocent tone "I would have, but you didn't ask me for a taste, and now mine is gone."  And so the younger child would give her a taste, and then forget what had happened until the next ice cream cone months later, at which time the cycle would repeat itself.  My mom always told this story triumphantly, and I always thought it made her seem manipulative and mean, but many people operate this way.  You can hate people for it or you can just accept it as reality and live your life without dwelling on it.

_JT

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 10:59:09 AM »
This is tricky, because we've been trained from a young age that things should be fair, especially between siblings. People are built with a highly sophisticated fairness detector. Your parents are showing favoritism towards your sib, and despite the fact that it's enabling and doing much more harm than good, it's also just not cool. Bad parenting form, for sure.

On the flip side, life's not fair, and you are not either your sibling or your parents. Your actions are yours, and their's are theirs. Don't waste any of your energy getting upset about what they're doing. If you're saving 60% of your income, you do not and will not ever need money from them.

impaire

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 11:59:49 AM »
Tough one, although I agree with everyone saying that ultimately, it is your (hypothetical) parents' money to do with as they please. Emotional reality is not always as clear cut as that, though.

When we were younger, my parents used to give a LOT more money to my sister #1, because she asked for more. I always made do with what they gave me... and yes, when I discovered the discrepancy, I was resentful, because my sister and I were living in exactly the same conditions, she just had less reluctance than me to ask for extra money to upgrade her life. My parents didn't give her a lot more money, mind you, but it still bugged me that I was dressed in ratty old sweaters and unable to go out with friends while her clothes were closer to average and she went out a few times a month. I still didn't ask. It didn't spoil her, the amounts were not insane, and she is now a completely responsible adult.

Frankly? Looking back on that one, the onus is on me. If I was bitter about my standards of living, and unable to get a job, I should either have mentioned it to my parents, or I should have accepted my pride in not taking handouts as its own reward. Wanting not to have to ask and yet for people to somehow feel compelled to hand me undeserved money was quite immature.

Today, it is to sister #2 that my parents are giving a LOT more money, and I don't mind at all; in fact, I am happy they can help her, simply because she has just not been as lucky in her financial life as I have. If part of her bad luck was the bad luck of being stupid with money (not the case), it wouldn't change a thing. I would expect my parents to try and do the best for her--teach and protect her as is necessary.

The only case I can see being resentful, then, would be if my parents for no other discernible reason than preferring her would give way more money to one sister. It would still be their choice to make, but emotionally it'd be painful, because I haven't gotten to the level of wisdom where it wouldn't hurt to feel the "least loved" of my parents' children. If they were clumsily pouring money trying to help my sibling live "on par" with me, on the other hand, I'd think they were mistaken in their belief that bailouts would solve anything, but I would not feel hurt.

As for the "lost" money, you can't lose money you never had, so whatever.

Jamesqf

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 12:06:19 PM »
And more importantly, how can you get over the resentment?

Honestly, I don't think I would really 'get over' it.  People are what they are, and there is no law of nature that requires one's parents to be good people.  So you deal with them on that basis.

lcg377

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 02:53:24 PM »
Maybe look at the converse: how would you feel if they started giving you equal amounts of money?

When I got married, my parents didn't have much.  My husband and I planned a small ceremony that we could save up and pay for on our own.  Even though they were broke, they gave my younger sister money for anything when she ran short: groceries, vet care for her cats, you name it.  Today, their finances are in better shape, they are still bailing out my adult sister, BUT they gave me the money today that they wished they could have given me for the wedding.  It made me feel like shit.  I tried to tell them I didn't care about the money, and we would have planned our wedding the same way no matter what they could have offered, but they didn't back down. So I tried to look at it as a gift and put it in our savings for our first house, but still . . .

Abe

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2014, 04:18:32 PM »
I feel that my parents don't owe me anything, and receiving any more money from them (than has already been given for my house) would be embarrassing at this point.  My sister is older than me, but remains entirely financially dependent on them. I feel bad that they are having to support her, but don't begrudge their decisions as parents in terms of how it affects me.
As long as your parents are not being exploited and have enough to live comfortably in retirement, don't become concerned about financial transactions between other members of your family.

mm1970

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2014, 06:17:36 PM »
Generally I look at it like this:  usually money comes with strings.

You don't have strings.

It's their money.

My mom started a college savings plan for my three nieces and nephews.  Did not for my first child because "you don't need the money".  So, yeah.  That bothered my sister.  Didn't bother me at all.

Exflyboy

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2014, 07:10:22 PM »
I have the same.. My folks told me that as my Sister was poor they were going to leave their house to her.

I pointed out that..

a) it is their money I don't care what they do with it.. I hope they spend it all before they die.
b) If however you are trying to convince me that because my Sister was bone idle therefore does not have an education and therefore no money, that giving her everything and me nothing is somehow fair, then think again. Her poorness is a direct result of her own choices. My wealth is a direct result of the thousands of hours of hard work and study. The only fair way to split the proceeds is 50:50.
c) See (a) above!


I have been told they have now changed their will to 50:50 as its the only fair way...:)

Frank

little_owl

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2014, 05:53:30 AM »
I would feel resentment, and I would do two things.

I would speak to my parents very candidly so they understood how I felt.  Not with the goal of stopping them, but so they understood that their actions have negative consequences for me.  I would also summarize the teachings of The Millionaire Next Door for them, as they think they are helping the sibling out, but in fact they are making him/her dependent.

It would be a difficult conversation to have, but I think that the only way I could get over it would be to ensure my feelings are known.  Then, after that, I would just create a mantra for myself every time I got annoyed about the sibling....like, "I will be FIRE soon, and thank god for that!". Something that was about my financial goals and my financial strength.

I would be curious to know what you end up doing, if anything!

MrsPete

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2014, 04:08:26 PM »
If you were a child and your parents were treating you differently, I'd say it's unfair.  But you're not a child, so they don't owe you anything in terms of finances.  It's their choice to spend as they please.  However, I'd be a bit miffed too -- it's human nature.  If it's eating away at you, ask them about it, but be prepared for some hard feelings. 

The one piece of advice I'd give is, Be sure you're seeing the big picture.  Is there any agreement between them and the sibling, for example, about inheritance or future obligations on their part? 

To give an example, my parents gave my brother a house.  Yes, A HOUSE!  The rest of us got nothing similar; however, I'm not a bit upset about that because I know that as a part of that deal, my brother made a promise to my parents that he and his wife would never allow our financially-irresponsible sister to be homeless.  No, the same deal wasn't offered to me, and that's fine.  I'm relieved that our sister has some protection, and my brother is compensated for a promise he will probably have to keep at some point in the future.


willn

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 05:32:49 PM »
The bailouts and downpayments are unfair but the change in the will is what sticks out at me, it seems almost aggressively unfair, like an insult.  I think this would affect my relationship depending on their response when the unfairness is pointed out.


AllChoptUp

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2014, 08:17:13 AM »
Agree with previous poster, willn.  The will is a real sticking point.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2014, 08:44:36 AM »
I'd be very bothered by the situation, and I don't see anything wrong with telling your parents what you want/need from them to avoid resentment. "Our relationship is important, and when you do this, I feel ____. Obviously, I can't tell you not to give her money that she clearly doesn't need, but if you do, I don't want to know about it because it makes me feel bad. Don't think it's not affecting me, because it is."

I'd feel differently if it were a sibling who had greater needs for whatever reason (that's my situation - one of three of us makes little, isn't terribly astute with things, and I don't resent help she's given, although I do resent seeing what she DOES spend what little money she has on). But in your case, your sister is quite capable of being independent and chooses not to.

Peter

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2014, 10:10:34 AM »
Splitting things equally isn't always the answer either.

My dad's been looking after my half disabled grandparents for the past 15 years. First 10 years with visits needed once a week, recently it's been almost daily... My aunt lives 1000km away and visits twice a year. Everything is and will be split 50/50. Is that fair?
To complicate things, my aunt's health is deteriorating, she has not a cent to her name due to lots of trips and restaurants over the past 30 years and an unstable personal consulting business. She'll probably need my grandparents house once they pass and once she becomes jobless, both which will likely happen in less than 10 years.

What's fair now? 50/50 and leave the aunt in near poverty? All to aunt to keep her off the streets? Beats me what the answer is...

CommonCents

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2014, 10:30:30 AM »
I'd be very bothered by the situation, and I don't see anything wrong with telling your parents what you want/need from them to avoid resentment. "Our relationship is important, and when you do this, I feel ____. Obviously, I can't tell you not to give her money that she clearly doesn't need, but if you do, I don't want to know about it because it makes me feel bad. Don't think it's not affecting me, because it is."

I'd feel differently if it were a sibling who had greater needs for whatever reason (that's my situation - one of three of us makes little, isn't terribly astute with things, and I don't resent help she's given, although I do resent seeing what she DOES spend what little money she has on). But in your case, your sister is quite capable of being independent and chooses not to.

I think this is a good point. 

It's hard not to feel resentful over someone who can help themselves (e.g. is lazy not disabled).  You probably can't change the gifts so all you can do is change your attitude.  I would find that hard, so avoiding knowledge of it would be best if it were me.

Tell your parents that it's their money to do with what they want, but it does make you feel bad to know about it and it feels an unfair way to reward your hard work/their lack of work, and therefore you would prefer that not to know anything further about it so you do not become more resentful, when it's their money to spend as they like.

sol

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2014, 10:30:45 AM »
There's a lesson here, but I'm struggling to articulate it clearly.

Part of me believes in social justice, from each according to ability and to each according to need.  One way to look at these family giving situations is to be thankful that you do not require the charity that the destitute relative does.  You are a successful person and the relative with the poor financial habits is not, akin to a drug addict who needs understanding and assistance, not judgement and poverty.

And just as importantly, how much do you really need?  MMM repeatedly mentions that your happiness is not tied to your spending level, so what piece of some hypothetical inheritance do you think will meaningfully improve your life?  Learn to find happiness by being grateful for your abilities and talents which have allowed you to live freely without handouts, and if you must feel something at unequal distributions of wealth, feel pity instead of wrath.

Are we equally horrified or resentful when a single mother visits a community soup kitchen?  When a church congregation takes up a collection for a congregant with cancer?  When an injured worker collects disability?  What's the difference between these situations and the family inheritance going to the most needy?

The difference, I think, has more to do with our judgement of the wretchedness of the recipient, not the potential loss of income that might have come to us instead.  That's why we bristle at the financially irresponsible relative but not the sick or injured.  Everyone here who hates this situation has a problem with the crappy relative getting the handout, not with the parent doing the giving, but we've misplaced our ire.  You don't need to speak to the parent (or church or soup kichen), but to the sibling or relative that is fucking up their lives.  Isn't that the source of your emotional reaction?

zinnie

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2014, 10:33:02 AM »
You're thinking of this all wrong!  You're in an amazing place - with a 60% savings rate you are at most a little over a decade away from FI.  Your sib, OTOH, will never get there.  Life is long, and you will enjoy the feelings of satisfaction, independence and self-discipline your accomplishments engender for the rest of it.  Your sibling will always have to live with being the one who needed help.  Between the two, I'd rather be you.  I'd focus on that and just forget about resentment - it likely won't be productive anyway.  Maybe the only conversation worth having is with your parents about what else they could give your sib (e.g. some good direction, limits and tools for coping) that would be truly helpful...

Though I can imagine it is not easy--this is how I would try to look at it. I have parents who essentially enable a dependent 26-year-old and it is hard to watch since I have always supported myself. I have no doubt that he has gotten tens of thousands of dollars from them. But I get the satisfaction of knowing that I am the one who is going to be out of this game before my sibling even learns how to start it...

On the other hand, the 80/20 inheritance thing would sting a lot. I would talk to your parents about it and tell them how it makes you feel, as other posters have suggested.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 10:36:35 AM by zinnie »

Jags4186

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2014, 10:38:28 AM »
What's worse is if you think your sibling gets more financial help and also is a no show. I am always the one who is there if something breaks, someone needs help shoveling, need help with computer, someone is sick, etc. etc.

I have a very good relationship with my mother and haven't taken a penny from her since I graduated from college. I always half seriously/half jokingly say to her "just remember who did x when you croak".

It's impossible not to feel resentful but in the end the only one who cares is yourself so it's best to put it out of your mind.

Spork

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2014, 11:03:49 AM »
I've told this story in another thread, but it may bear repeating here.

I've been in this situation.  It is a bit of a no-win for all involved.

My dad enabled my sister from the time she was about 18 until ... well she's 56 now.  I've added up the amounts I know of (and I know there is more than that) and come up with a figure in excess of $1M.  I would be careful of the "which sibling needs more" justifications.  There are extreme situations where folks may need help, but those are the rare cases.  What seems to be more common is someone that doesn't need the help... gets help and over time learns to be dependent.

My sister was not mentally or physically challenged in any way... and over time learned to be such a total dependent that I doubt she could live on her own without spending 150% of what she makes.  She is now an alcoholic and has pretty much cut her ties with everyone in the family, including her own children.

I can't say if the dependence created the alcoholism or if the alcoholism created the dependence... but they've been tied together for more than 30 years now and my dad financially supported it.

I had a lot of resentment for a long time... but... it doesn't help.   Dad has wanted to "make it right" financially... but again: that doesn't help either.  (Giving me the money he gave her in the past doesn't help either me, him or her.)

You just have to tell them how you feel and decide to move on.

jrhampt

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2014, 11:52:54 AM »
My spouse has an older sibling (over 40) who lives a few hours away and is constantly getting the kind of support from his parents which you describe: they paid off their student loans recently for them and bought them a brand new car when they crashed the old one, paid for a tank of heating oil when they couldn't pay their utilities (despite having money for cable and iphones), etc....  We live about 10 minutes away from the in-laws and see them a lot more frequently, but have never received any financial gifts from them.  The sibling is always conveniently absent when it comes to having to deal with any family issues, using the excuse that they have kids and are busy (we don't have kids).  The father in law is constantly complaining to us about the help not being appreciated, but feels obligated to help anyway.  I find the whole situation annoying and have told him that if he's unhappy with his role, they are adults and should be responsible for dealing with life on their own -- it's not necessarily his job to help them out in perpetuity.  My spouse, on the other hand, doesn't seem to mind the financial part, but is annoyed that he is the sibling who is always responsible for dealing with family crises.

Er, so, yes, I would feel resentful, but on the other hand, someone else mentioned that financial help often comes with strings.  It is nice not to have to deal with the strings, at least.

ShavinItForLater

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2014, 11:57:49 AM »
I'm with the Millionaire Next Door crowd.  To get over it, I would focus on being grateful that you are so much better off than your sibling.  My family has been similar in some ways--my parents have helped all three of my siblings in various ways.  I took a military scholarship to pay 75% of my college tuition, and my siblings I believe were paid 100% by my parents.  They helped one start a business, threw the same one a lavish wedding reception in their backyard, let another one live at their home for years as an adult, got that one a job at the company my father worked, etc. etc.

I have received no assistance, financial or otherwise, of any sort like that.  My DW has commented several times on this inequity and the unfairness of it all.  However, I also haven't needed any assistance, and done just fine on my own thank you very much.  I think I'm the luckiest one, and I certainly wouldn't trade my life for theirs.  Would you?

If it helps, you could also try to put yourself in your parents shoes.  Imagine you had three kids, one was thriving, the second was really struggling, and the third was special needs and could never live independently.  How would you allocate your funds?  Equally?  I think not.  Let's assume that the thriving sibling was completely shafted in parental financial support relative to the other two.  Once again, which sibling would you prefer to be?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 12:04:57 PM by ShavinItForLater »

CommonCents

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2014, 01:04:16 PM »
If it helps, you could also try to put yourself in your parents shoes.  Imagine you had three kids, one was thriving, the second was really struggling, and the third was special needs and could never live independently.  How would you allocate your funds?  Equally?  I think not.  Let's assume that the thriving sibling was completely shafted in parental financial support relative to the other two.  Once again, which sibling would you prefer to be?

I hear you, but...  There's a chicken and egg question.  Does the help for the struggling one lift them over a tough spot?  Or does it enable a lifetime of reliance behavior and teach them not to work hard?

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2014, 01:49:03 PM »
I think I'd be okay with everything except the will.  The problem is that even at 50/50, you're getting a lot less than you would have, because your sibling has been taking from the principal for years.

infogoon

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2014, 02:55:45 PM »
I know someone like this. To add insult to injury, the child who receives endless amounts of parental aid is also a rabid Tea Party loon who complains about how everyone else gets handouts.

Zamboni

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2014, 05:59:20 PM »
^Oh, the irony.

Another thing OP might want to consider is whether or not there have been other differences in the past that perhaps he or she is not considering.  For example, did the parents pay significantly more for OP's schooling or sports or other hobbies/activities?  Maybe, just maybe, the parents are trying to "even things out" by giving OP's sibling more now for other things?  I ask this because sometimes people get really hung up on specific events without looking at the big picture that includes the distant past, and there is 2 sides to every story.  I have a friend who still gripes that his parents gave his brother money to buy a car, but he seems to conveniently forget how much more they spent on his college than his brother's college.

I agree with Sunshine:  express you feelings.  You might also want to ask them if there is a reason they have dealt with the money this way.  Perhaps they have some reasoning you haven't even considered in your equation of "what is unfair."

choppingwood

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2014, 12:50:54 PM »
My father did this. My sister had lived with my parents and helped care for my mother. However, it started because my sister got fired by being consistently bad-tempered and then ran out of money and needed a place to live.

My dad told me he was going to leave her a bigger portion of the estate, and I told him what I thought -- which is that it was his money, and he should do what he thought best with it.

I was upset, but I did think that it was up to him. He is gone now, and the estate was eventually settled with a few more hurdles along the same lines.

In the end, though things have worked out well for me financially. What I did inherit helped me out, and I have been lucky enough to earn much more money since then that I would ever have dreamed, because of who I am and the experience I have acquired over the years. And my dad was able to make his decision and feel he wasn't letting anyone down.

Your parents love both of you. Let it go and keep focusing on taking care of yourself.

ShavinItForLater

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2014, 01:35:58 PM »
If it helps, you could also try to put yourself in your parents shoes.  Imagine you had three kids, one was thriving, the second was really struggling, and the third was special needs and could never live independently.  How would you allocate your funds?  Equally?  I think not.  Let's assume that the thriving sibling was completely shafted in parental financial support relative to the other two.  Once again, which sibling would you prefer to be?

I hear you, but...  There's a chicken and egg question.  Does the help for the struggling one lift them over a tough spot?  Or does it enable a lifetime of reliance behavior and teach them not to work hard?

As a parent of two boys, I don't think of supporting my kids in quite the same way I would think of investing in equities, or giving to charity--it's not all about the rate of return.  Sure, I'd hope it would lift the struggling one over the tough spot, and of course I wouldn't want to deliberately enable irresponsible behavior.  But I'd also want all of my children to be successful.  I wouldn't want to coldly sit by and watch one of them fail, even through their own bad choices.

I know someone who has an adult child who is chronically mentally ill.  This child has had all sorts of problems throughout the years, and recently the parents hadn't even heard from him in years.  They got a call that he had fallen asleep in a dumpster, which was then emptied by a truck, which broke both of his legs.  Now you tell me, if you were that parent, would financial fairness towards your other children even enter your mind when you thought about how much to help your child?  I think not.  Would you say well he's a lost cause, I'm not paying for his treatment or to get him back on his feet, because he would not likely ever be fully mentally healthy?

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2014, 01:48:17 PM »
I know someone who has an adult child who is chronically mentally ill.  This child has had all sorts of problems throughout the years, and recently the parents hadn't even heard from him in years.  They got a call that he had fallen asleep in a dumpster, which was then emptied by a truck, which broke both of his legs.  Now you tell me, if you were that parent, would financial fairness towards your other children even enter your mind when you thought about how much to help your child?  I think not.  Would you say well he's a lost cause, I'm not paying for his treatment or to get him back on his feet, because he would not likely ever be fully mentally healthy?

But that's a different situation.  Your friend's child has something that he probably can't overcome, and DOES require more support.  His handicap probably prevents him from earning enough money to stay afloat at some times, but it sounds like the sibling in question is just financially irresponsible.  In the case you mentioned, yes, more help is needed to the lack of stable income prospects and the cost of therapy/treatment.

The problem with your assumption, I think, is that giving the OP's sibling more money wouldn't actually help: it's probably only making it worse by indirectly creating more "bail-out" situations later down the line through the constant enabling. 

ShavinItForLater

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2014, 02:12:35 PM »
But that's a different situation.  Your friend's child has something that he probably can't overcome, and DOES require more support.  His handicap probably prevents him from earning enough money to stay afloat at some times, but it sounds like the sibling in question is just financially irresponsible.  In the case you mentioned, yes, more help is needed to the lack of stable income prospects and the cost of therapy/treatment.

The problem with your assumption, I think, is that giving the OP's sibling more money wouldn't actually help: it's probably only making it worse by indirectly creating more "bail-out" situations later down the line through the constant enabling.

As a parent, I would feel similarly if my child

a) flunked out of school
b) got involved with drugs or alcohol
c) committed a crime and was sent to prison
d) went bankrupt through horrible decision making
e) etc. etc. etc.

No matter the reason, I would still want to help my child get back on track.  I'm not arguing that there are circumstances where you are throwing good money after bad, or circumstances where you are enabling continued bad behavior.  Would I give my child money if they were likely to use it to buy drugs or alcohol?  Of course not.  But I'd still want to find some way to help my child, and if there was an expensive but effective rehab program that I could afford, I'd probably do that.  If my first attempt didn't work or made things worse, I'd likely want to try something else, not give up on them.  And my thought process would not involve that other successful child at all.

I'm also not saying I'd act exactly as these parents (or my parents) acted.  Assuming we left any money to our kids at all, I might write my will in exactly the opposite fashion, giving more to the child I had helped less--I don't know.  But I do understand I think where those parents may be coming from in their thought process. 

My point is that there is another side to this, and from a parent's perspective, unlike a sibling's perspective, treating the children all equally is not the only consideration, or even a big factor in the decision.  And my even bigger point is still that I'd rather be that successful sibling with no help, than the one with all the problems getting all the assistance with them.  And as one of those more successful siblings, I hold absolutely zero resentment towards my parents or siblings for "getting more".

Spork

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Re: Would YOU feel resentful? And how to get over it...
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2014, 02:18:48 PM »

No matter the reason, I would still want to help my child get back on track.  I'm not arguing that there are circumstances where you are throwing good money after bad, or circumstances where you are enabling continued bad behavior.  Would I give my child money if they were likely to use it to buy drugs or alcohol?  Of course not.  But I'd still want to find some way to help my child, and if there was an expensive but effective rehab program that I could afford, I'd probably do that.  If my first attempt didn't work or made things worse, I'd likely want to try something else, not give up on them.  And my thought process would not involve that other successful child at all.


Honestly, I think that's how all parents feel.  And as someone that's watched that go down for 30+ years, my limited experience says there's not much you can do to help.  Keeping a promise for "I'll pay for rehab if you will go" is about the best you can do....  Unfortunately it seems like actually hitting the bottom is part of the process and doing anything to hinder that seems to make things worse.  YMMV...