Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

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Cody
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by Cody » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:55 am

My guess is they are already taking SS? Right?
Cody

staythecourse
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by staythecourse » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:00 am

Sorry did not read the other replies so am probably repeating, but outside of offering to look over their finances the best thing you can do is have candid discussion with YOUR SPOUSE. They are their parents and not yours so he/ she will be most emotionally torn WHEN (mind you I didn't say if) the time comes when they run out of money. After talking with your spouse and coming to a conclusion have them talk to the in laws and lay out where you guys stand. As long as you are honest and DIRECT then the rest is up to them.

I have no tolerance for free rides. I would not give my own kids one when they become adults so sure as heck wouldn't to mature adults who seemingly already know they are in trouble but have not done anything to help themselves out.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 am

alpenglow wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:30 am
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:51 am
Independent George wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:20 pm
I can't believe how many people are saying to let them drown. Forget how this will impact your marriage - how can anyone do that in good conscience?
This exactly. What kind of greed is going on on this forum? :shock:

Did your parents not do everything they could to help you? Would they not do everything they could right now, if the roles were reversed? What kind of person would leave their parent/child/sibling to sleep on the street?
We still don't know enough about OPs situation. In my family, the greed has been entirely on the part of my in-laws. They are the ones constantly eating out, traveling to Europe, and spending every cent of credit they can get their hands on. Someone up-thread used the term planned dependence. That's exactly what is going on with my in-laws. They have stolen from my wife on a variety of occasions. For example, there were student loans in my in-laws' name that my wife paid (they put nothing towards her education, which is ok). Foolishly, my wife was writing checks to my in-laws to pay the loan each month instead of paying directly. When we got married and dug a little deeper in combining our finances, we found that they were often pocketing the check and not paying the loan, adding all sorts of late fees to the loan she agreed to pay. I also mentioned up-thread that my MIL opened a credit card in my wife's name and maxed it out. At least she was making payments so it didn't destroy our credit. Anyone who knows me knows in real life knows that I'd give the shirt off my back to help someone. It sounds like you were raised in a family like mine. My parents would and did do everything to help me, including paying for my college education. If anything, I'm in my Mom's debt, but, unlike my in-laws, my parents made sure they would never be a burden to anyone. I refuse to put my retirement at risk or to take away from my kids' experiences, college fund, or possible small inheritance to further enable my in-laws greedy behavior.

FWIW, there are actually some very nice trailer parks in my area. :D
Sure, if they've stolen from you or whatever, then all bets are off. But I'm operating under the assumption that everyone is trying their best to manage themselves and in the event that someone fails (as long as it's not intentionally) everyone else would be willing to help. A sibling can sleep on my couch without remotely "putting my retirement at risk or taking away from my kid's experience, college fund, or possible small inheritance." Of course, I'd be expecting that sibling to be looking for work every day.

NYnative
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by NYnative » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 am

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:24 am
NYnative wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:47 am
BTW, the only excuses for not knowing about your future in laws general financial situation is either getting married at a very early age or not having the guts to do some digging. This is the is the internet age. You can find a lot of information about most people with a few hours of research.
A counterpoint: A good reason for not knowing about one’s in-laws’ fianances is a willingness to respect boundaries between their nuclear family and yours. Over thirty years, I’ve had a few general conversation with my in-laws about theirs or ours finances. The reason why I haven’t “done some digging” is two-fold: (1) I don’t need to know more; (2) my in-laws and I respect each other’s privacy. If there ever comes a time when my wife and I need to know more, we will initiate an adult conversation with our in-laws (or they will initiate one with us). But it would be a violation of our relationship with them to snoop on them online.

If by “information about in-laws’ general financial situation” you mean just what one can observe from daily interactions, then one doesn’t need to snoop to gain that information. If there is a need to know more than that, having an open and honest discussion as part of a loving relationship is a good option. Snooping behind others’ backs to learn more about their private situation jeopardizes relationships.
You’re talking about finding publicly available information after marriage. I’m referring to due diligence prior to marriage. It’s called trust but verify. Once you are married, it’s too late. Again, I’m not referring to people who are really young and don’t have very much at that point in their lives. If you are older, have substantial financial assets, own property, etc., then yes, you should first have an in-depth conversation with your future spouse about debt, assets, etc., as it’s a pretty meaningless conversation after you are married. If your proposed spouse knows nothing of their parent’s assets or spending, then you should probably see what kind of obligations there might be at a later date. It’s your life. If you want to roll the dice, then feel free to do so. For a long period of history, pretty much until the 20th century, marriage was a financial arrangement between families. Ignoring those financial implications just isn’t realistic. You say that snooping into private (which we have already determined isn’t that private) finances jeopardizes relationships. I maintain that not know the financial situation of a future spouse and their family places more jeopardy on the marriage. Just look at the OP.

NYnative
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by NYnative » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:04 am

Read the other responses in this thread; the majority of people consider delving into the in-laws financial situation [i wrote:after marriage[/i], unless they ask for it, to be very odd and intrusive. You can keep saying it, but it doesn't make using the internet or even a private investigator to get financial information about prospective in-laws without their knowledge pre-marriage any less bizarre. Again, I'd love to hear a single story about anyone doing anything like that.
And yet, despite all the inlaw disasters you are reading about here, and we read about it all the time online, you prefer to put your head in the sand and play the odds. I practiced due diligence years ago for my son’s future wife and her parents and all went well. Discovered nothing of any note, they got married and have lived happily (more or less, but nothing to do with in
laws) since. Nothing was ever said about my research as there was nothing to say. I did the same for my daughter and found that her fiancé had lied about his parents, and himself. Turns out he had a federal drug conviction and his father had a fraud conviction. Very easy to find out as all this kind of info is publicly available. After my daughter confronted her fiancé with that information, the engagement was over, as he tried to lie his way out of the truth. You do what you feel is right, as will I.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:13 am

munemaker wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:55 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:39 pm
It doesn't matter where you live. It matters where your parents live. Filial support follows the parents' state of residence.
So one state can impose its filial laws on residents of another state? I am surprised at that. Fortunately I am not in a situation where any of this matters.
Just because you live in one state, you are not immune from your legal obligations in another state. For example, you can't move to another state to escape a court order. And filial support laws can be backed by court orders, such as an order to pay parental support or an order to pay a nursing home bill. PA has some of the more extreme filial support laws and their laws have been backed by PA court decisions, even when the child lived out of PA state. Here is a Barron's article talking about filial support in general and a couple of court cases from PA in particular: https://www.barrons.com/articles/family ... 1493041145

My parents live in CA, which has more reasonable filial support laws. In CA, the parental support order must come from a court order in family court and is essentially the parental equivalent of a child support order. And in CA, only the parent or the county agency providing services to the parent can file the petition for support. You don't have to worry about a medical care provider, nursing home, or other relatives filing the petition as you do in more extreme states like PA.

JoeRetire
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:15 am

Thesaints wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:21 pm
A more poignant question would be "what can they do ?"
They aren't asking a question here.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:25 am

NYnative wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:04 am
And yet, despite all the inlaw disasters you are reading about here, and we read about it all the time online, you prefer to put your head in the sand and play the odds. I practiced due diligence years ago for my son’s future wife and her parents and all went well. Discovered nothing of any note, they got married and have lived happily (more or less, but nothing to do with in
laws) since. Nothing was ever said about my research as there was nothing to say. I did the same for my daughter and found that her fiancé had lied about his parents, and himself. Turns out he had a federal drug conviction and his father had a fraud conviction. Very easy to find out as all this kind of info is publicly available. After my daughter confronted her fiancé with that information, the engagement was over, as he tried to lie his way out of the truth. You do what you feel is right, as will I.
Agreed, everyone can and does do as they wish. You can walk out in the street and hopefully make it to the other side or you can stop and look both ways and observe before doing so. One works some of the time, the other works nearly all the time. Piece of mind is big for some and not a big deal to others, to each his own. I am legally required to insure my vehicle which has nothing except monetary value, for me, it makes no sense to not ensure my entire livelihood and those around me with minimal observations readily available, hardly "snooping."

stoptothink
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:58 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:25 am
NYnative wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:04 am
And yet, despite all the inlaw disasters you are reading about here, and we read about it all the time online, you prefer to put your head in the sand and play the odds. I practiced due diligence years ago for my son’s future wife and her parents and all went well. Discovered nothing of any note, they got married and have lived happily (more or less, but nothing to do with in
laws) since. Nothing was ever said about my research as there was nothing to say. I did the same for my daughter and found that her fiancé had lied about his parents, and himself. Turns out he had a federal drug conviction and his father had a fraud conviction. Very easy to find out as all this kind of info is publicly available. After my daughter confronted her fiancé with that information, the engagement was over, as he tried to lie his way out of the truth. You do what you feel is right, as will I.
Agreed, everyone can and does do as they wish. You can walk out in the street and hopefully make it to the other side or you can stop and look both ways and observe before doing so. One works some of the time, the other works nearly all the time. Piece of mind is big for some and not a big deal to others, to each his own. I am legally required to insure my vehicle which has nothing except monetary value, for me, it makes no sense to not ensure my entire livelihood and those around me with minimal observations readily available, hardly "snooping."
So, before you got married, you went behind everybody's back and investigated the financial situation of your prospective parents in-law? I'm waiting for a single person to say that thought ever even crossed their mind, let alone actually searching the internet or even going to a private investigator to dig up that information. Doing a basic background check on who your son/daughter is dating is completely different, and not at all uncommon (or intrusive).

wrongfunds
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 pm

So, you are saying that older generation doing the basic background checking on the younger generation is completely different than younger generation doing to the older generation. I am not sure if you are getting the irony of it.

H-Town
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by H-Town » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:38 pm

Either you help or you don't. You have your conscience to live with. Just be thankful that you have more savings than average American does. At least you don't have to worry about yourself and your own family.

Some colleague of mine give their church one fourth of their gross income.
The other one have half of their net pay on mortgage payment of the house that is too big for him.
Some interns have Louis Vutton (?) bag and other expensive tech.
Who am I to judge?

Do what you want to do with your money.

NYnative
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by NYnative » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:00 pm

So, before you got married, you went behind everybody's back and investigated the financial situation of your prospective parents in-law? I'm waiting for a single person to say that thought ever even crossed their mind, let alone actually searching the internet or even going to a private investigator to dig up that information. Doing a basic background check on who your son/daughter is dating is completely different, and not at all uncommon (or intrusive).
[/quote]

Before I got married? No, I didn't - and I said that already. I, and my bride, were very young when we got married, came from blue collar families who rented apartments in NYC, and had no houses, cars, or other real assets except tiny bank accounts and clothes we owned. In fact, both my parents and her parents took care of their parents, who lived with them before they passed. It was expected that your parents would live with children as they aged and needed help. We were both very naive about pretty much everything at that age and the last thing we would think of was to check each other's nearly invisible finances, let alone each other's parents. Times have changed as well as the ages people get married. The average age of marriage has risen over 10 years in the last quarter century. I'm one of those saying we have a responsibility to take care of our parents (both hers and mine). So someone better check them out in advance to make sure just when and how that responsibility will fall due. Or you could just throw them to the curb when that day comes.

Once again, you ask if anyone else thinks this is wrong when there have already been posts stating that it's not a bad idea. As stated by another poster, I don't understand why you think it's OK to check on your kid's dates, which would include their respective spouses, unless they are getting a mail order bride or groom. Please explain your logic. It's like saying you are against capital punishment, unless it's carried out by hanging, and then it's OK. It's either OK to vet all or it's wrong to vet all. In your earlier posts, you were against vetting the younger folks and their parents. Now it's OK to check up on the kids. How is there any difference? Using a private investigator is kind of a stretch for in laws. It would really have to be something out of the ordinary for me to do that. And normally an internet search for free is more than enough. FYI, if you provide your name and address, I can tell you a LOT of things about you and your family that are publicly available on the net. Do you mean to tell me that you NEVER looked up the value of someone's home because you are curious (for any reason). Or that you never googled someone's name to find out more about them. How about FB - it's a treasure trove of personal info. LinkedIn is also a great place to find info on professionals. Did you ever check out a doctor or dentist before you went to see them? Clearly you are not a Luddite as you are posting here. So what's with this aversion to looking at anything that's at all personal about anyone since everyone else is? Don't say it's because these are future in laws. They are no different from anyone else and you just might, maybe, if you're lucky, find out information about them that will worry you. If you don't find anything, then make the wedding plans.
Last edited by NYnative on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

renue74
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by renue74 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:11 pm

Somehow this thread has jumped the rails. Where are the moderators on this!??!?

Anyways, my insight:

#1: You asked how can you get them to open up about finances. If they aren't telling you now, you can't change them. They are secretive for a reason...whether being ashamed or what.

#2: "Mitigating" your financial exposure. Well, you don't have any legal responsibility for your in-laws debt.

End of story...right?

Are you forgetting your wife was raised by these people, cared for by them all her life? Do you not feel some sort of responsibility for caring for family?

My mom is in this type of situation. Basically, she was a textile worker for all her life...probably made no more than $35K per year at her "peak." Has no retirement and has about $20K in cash. She pulls in about $1000/month from SS. Divorced 2x and age 67.

What will eventually happen? She'll live with us or I'll put her in one of my rental properties and we'll care for her until we can't.

It's what family does. It's what you should do.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:18 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:58 pm
So, before you got married, you went behind everybody's back and investigated the financial situation of your prospective parents in-law? I'm waiting for a single person to say that thought ever even crossed their mind, let alone actually searching the internet or even going to a private investigator to dig up that information. Doing a basic background check on who your son/daughter is dating is completely different, and not at all uncommon (or intrusive).
I mean we could dive deeper into this but I don't want to further get off topic. Each situation is different, that's for sure. If some of the heavy hitters on here (and some are surprisingly young) who have 7 figure net worths/that size inheritance/mid six figure incomes want to take any and all legal measures to ensure their financial vitality, I'm all for it. Most people under 40 "snoop" on facebook for hours on end anyway, of course that's for vanity though! I guess for these scenarios to make much sense you have to have seen someone you know go through it and get burned to know how simple and avoidable it all was (if not avoidable, then mostly mitigated). if one had a high net worth and their kid was about to get married you could essentially just keep everything (house/cars/etc) in your own name if the stuff ever were to hit the fan. I've seen this frequently. But the poster above who mentioned his in laws did some serious re-con before the nuptials, I mean I really can't blame the FIL if his daughter was set to inherit millions. Is it that far fetched? I don't think so.

One of the more interesting things I see in this topic is people going to extra efforts to not alert friends and family they have a net worth that would draw interest from a third party. This to me inherently implies your spouse is on board with nixing any potential economic outpatient care. I really feel badly for people (Example, I wouldn't be driving a 12 year old Honda with a $3M net worth for the purposes of laying low, it would be because I actually prefer it, hopefully in 150 years I'll get to test that theory out!) that feel they have to do so, I'd rather just get firmly behind the repetitious usage of the word "No" but I understand that's easier for some than others and this thread is a perfect example.

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FIREchief
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by FIREchief » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:47 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:51 am
Independent George wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:20 pm
I can't believe how many people are saying to let them drown. Forget how this will impact your marriage - how can anyone do that in good conscience?
This exactly. What kind of greed is going on on this forum? :shock:

Did your parents not do everything they could to help you? Would they not do everything they could right now, if the roles were reversed? What kind of person would leave their parent/child/sibling to sleep on the street?
How many parents do you know? :confused There is a wide range between doing everything a person can to "help," and stepping in when a family member is literally on the street.

If a parent chooses to spend all their money for decades on new cars, trips, houses, etc; while their adult children struggle to work very long hours to feed their family and keep a roof over their head; is it so wrong that these adult children save for their own retirement and "allow" the parents to work a few more years, cut way back on spending and delay SS?

Don't get me wrong. If you were one of the fortunate ones who had parents who delayed their own gratifications to help their adult children and their families however they could; then you should count your blessings and certainly aim for balance if your parents do need your help. This doesn't sound like the situation most have experienced.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

rob65
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by rob65 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:49 pm

Wow. Four pages on a question from someone that posted once and hasn't replied since then - although perhaps we scared him off?

Maybe time to lock unless the OP returns with more information?

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:54 pm

rob65 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:49 pm
Wow. Four pages on a question from someone that posted once and hasn't replied since then - although perhaps we scared him off?

Maybe time to lock unless the OP returns with more information?
It was his first post. He probably forgot what forum he posted his question on :oops:

stoptothink
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:07 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:12 pm
So, you are saying that older generation doing the basic background checking on the younger generation is completely different than younger generation doing to the older generation. I am not sure if you are getting the irony of it.
:oops: I feel like I'm speaking Greek. There is nothing ironic about it, they are two vastly different things; a basic background check isn't going behind someone's back in attempt to gather knowledge about very personal financial information. If someone my daughter was dating asked me how much I had saved for retirement, I'd kindly tell them it was none of their business and think they were a bit odd and rude, and carry on. If I found out they were taking active measures to go behind my back and snoop into my finances, I'd promptly investigate my legal rights and do what I could to insure that my daughter stopped dating them. There is huge moral outrage and a current class action lawsuit against Facebook for collecting information about where you may travel, but someone actively digging behind your back into personal financial information is OK? Maybe we just live by totally different moral standards. Sorry, for continuing on that tangent.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:13 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (derailed, topic exhausted). See: Locked Topics
Moderators or site admins may lock a topic (set it so no more replies may be added) when a violation of posting policy has occurred. Occasionally, even if there are no overt violations of posting policy, a topic (or thread) will reach a point where the information content of the discussion has been essentially exhausted and further replies are much more likely to cause distress to the community than add anything of value.
renue74 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:11 pm
Somehow this thread has jumped the rails. Where are the moderators on this!??!?
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