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Old 03-28-2014, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
1,653 posts, read 1,226,002 times
Reputation: 6066

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
You've just seen how family can drag you down. Get out while you can. Write your parents off in that respect - they aren't going to change now. If they don't like that you're leaving, they can suck it. They'll be happy for your choices when you can take them in once they've burned through their options.

I'm not saying your parents are bad people, but they've chosen their course. Do not entangle yourself in their misery. Make a new life for yourself. I have seen more than a few of my peers (who were actually raised in relative privilege) sacrifice their wellbeing and futures for parents who have made bad choices. Don't be one of those people.
Pretty harsh words. Let's hope your kids don't write you off like you suggest the OP should his. What suggestions do you have for them if they were to leave their home? You think it's hard getting a job for a 20-30 year old, try getting anything you could live on in your mid 50's. They're stuck and have no good options left. Telling the OP to wash his hands to the people who raised him is pretty low.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,697 posts, read 4,783,831 times
Reputation: 19092
Your parents are educated adults and able to make their own decisions. They have a reasonable income and a home. Their choices may not be your choices, but they are THEIR choices to make. You're young, go and do what you want to do and make your way in the world. Why would you even think about writing them off or never visiting again? They have done nothing to hurt you. Just because you are depressed by their circumstances doesn't require them to make changes. You can offer them advice, of course, IF they ask for it, or are complaining to you. But otherwise it can be very irritating when someone with much less life experience tries to tell an older person how to live their life. Do your thing. Visit once a year, it won't hurt you.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,305,744 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
1. At their ages finding new jobs anywhere would not be easy, especially if their skill set is just average. Very very few people in that age bracket would be excited about the prospect of having to look for employment. Read all the threads in the work forum about age discrimination.

2. Family matters a lot more to some people than you realize. You don't seem to have strong family ties but your parent(s) may not share your mindset and may feel very close to their own parents or siblings. If there are any grandkids that can also be a very strong pull for some people. Perhaps read some of the threads in the retirement forum about people who struggle with the thought of leaving family behind, perhaps it will give you a better idea how upsetting it can be for some older people.

3. If they have been in the same house for twenty years their house payments are probably quite low. Maybe the thought of having to take on a larger house payment is just too much for them. If there are bill collectors calling daily maybe they aren't even in a position to buy another house and the thought of renting is loathsome to them.

4. Moving to a new and unfamiliar place is much easier when you are younger, so maybe you don't quite realize just how difficult such a thing might be for your parents. Everything from having to find new healthcare providers to learning the layout of a new city can be daunting. Frankly it's one of the reasons I decided to move pre-retirement, so that by the time I'm older and even more set in my ways I'll be comfortable with my surroundings and not have the added stress and worry of having to deal with unfamiliar places or people.
When you're in your twenties or thirties that may not seem like a big deal (it never was for me and I moved a LOT) but when you're retirement starts staring you in the face that attitude can change drastically.

You may not agree with your parents decision but it would be nice if you would at least make an attempt to understand it, instead of just writing them off as being foolish or hard headed.
Well said!

OP, it seems me that your parents' income is more than adequate for them to live on and save for their retirement but that they don't manage their money very well. The median household income in the US is only around 50K and the median family income is about 60K so more than half of all American households and half of American families get by on a lot less than they have. They live in a low COL area where their money should go further but they're barely getting by which raises red flags about their money management, which is NOT going to change if they relocate.

IMO, rather than keep harping on them moving elsewhere which they don't seem likely to do, you might try to help them their finances straightened away. There are consumer credit counseling services in most areas of the country that assist people with credit problems get their financial lives under control. These services are usually non-profit and often are affiliated with the United Way and other community organizations. They don't use "bill consolidation loans" but rather arrange reasonable repayment plans with the participants and their lenders.

I'd find out the information about one these organizations in the SE area and talk to your parents about getting their bills in order. If you don't think your parents would accept advise from you, you might just have the organization send them a packet of literature. I think that your parents would benefit more from getting their bills cleared than from moving. JMO.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:40 AM
 
13,675 posts, read 13,528,021 times
Reputation: 39802
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1986pacecar View Post
Pretty harsh words. Let's hope your kids don't write you off like you suggest the OP should his. What suggestions do you have for them if they were to leave their home? You think it's hard getting a job for a 20-30 year old, try getting anything you could live on in your mid 50's. They're stuck and have no good options left. Telling the OP to wash his hands to the people who raised him is pretty low.
Thank you for completely misreading my post. You must have scored very high in reading comprehension in school.

I did not suggest that the OP sever ties with her parents or treat them cruelly. I said she should go and make her own choices and write them off in ONE ASPECT of her life - as in, don't follow their advice or wishes or exhaust herself trying to get them to do what's best for themselves. If you actually read what I wrote, I told her to do what was best for herself and that they would be grateful for those choices when she was TAKING CARE OF THEM later. I'm hardly suggesting she sever ties - quite the opposite.

You should get that knee looked at. It's jerking quite a bit.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:55 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 60,532,892 times
Reputation: 22277
Your parents are adults. They aren't elderly where you might have to think about stepping in.

Sometimes you just have to accept family members' decisions that you wouldn't make for yourself -- parents also go through this with kids. Accept that they aren't as motivated as you. I wouldn't patronize them, you can still visit them.

There comes a point where you should just love your family for what they are as long as they aren't evil people. They obviously allowed you to become what you want to be, they didn't harm you with their ways.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
1,653 posts, read 1,226,002 times
Reputation: 6066
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
Thank you for completely misreading my post. You must have scored very high in reading comprehension in school.

I did not suggest that the OP sever ties with her parents or treat them cruelly. I said she should go and make her own choices and write them off in ONE ASPECT of her life - as in, don't follow their advice or wishes or exhaust herself trying to get them to do what's best for themselves. If you actually read what I wrote, I told her to do what was best for herself and that they would be grateful for those choices when she was TAKING CARE OF THEM later. I'm hardly suggesting she sever ties - quite the opposite.

You should get that knee looked at. It's jerking quite a bit.
You have short term memory loss apparently. Do the words "they can suck it" sound familiar? How about "write them off"? Pretty disrespectful words of advice. Why not just let Mom and Dad live their lives? I'm sure they realize their situation is tenuous but what they need is their child's support not a lecture.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:23 PM
 
13,675 posts, read 13,528,021 times
Reputation: 39802
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1986pacecar View Post
You have short term memory loss apparently. Do the words "they can suck it" sound familiar? How about "write them off"? Pretty disrespectful words of advice. Why not just let Mom and Dad live their lives? I'm sure they realize their situation is tenuous but what they need is their child's support not a lecture.
They're not my parents - I don't owe them anything. They're making unwise choices, and I'm calling it like I see it. "They can suck it" is a figure of speech meaning it's their problem if they don't like how the OP is advancing her life. I apologize profusely if it offended your delicate eyes to read such filth.

I told the OP almost exactly what YOU are suggesting - let them live their lives. I didn't tell her to lecture them, as a matter of fact - my advice was to extract herself from the situation. But no, they don't need her support right now. They don't need an enabler, and the OP has expressed her opinion. The best thing she can do is walk away and keep in mind that one day they will depend on her.

Yeesh.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,419 posts, read 17,427,675 times
Reputation: 27365
FWIW, I'm a guy.

I've been out of town training for a new job for the last month and came back home for a few days to get the rest of my things.

They have greatly neatened up the house. Dad has sold some large exercise equipment that we used years ago, but hadn't been touched lately. This has freed up a lot of space and he's also cleaned out probably half the storage totes. The excess furniture I'm taking with me has been tidied up. It's not all done, but he's done a good amount of the stuff that he can do with no money. He's also going to focus on tearing out some old carpet that has gotten wet over the years and just go backt to the concrete.

Mother has also cut down on her possessions, though not to the extent he has. She had an extra bedroom where stuff (old clothing, bedding, etc) had accumulated fairly significantly. The bed can now be used as a bed and the rest of the stuff has been organized much more efficiently.

It does appear that they are at least taking some steps toward downsizing. Mother has also been complaining about the stairs and that she needs something one level.

Honestly, a lot of the problems seem to be due to poor money management, but I've tried figuring out where it is going in the past with no luck other than eating out. They really have no clue on their spending habits. They LOVE eating out and I'm betting they drop $100/week doing so and sometimes throw out the food they intended to cook. He works 10 hours shifts on nights with two hours commuting, so he's too tired, and she feels too bad. Their Facebook friends always comment on the restaurant going. As soon as I walked in the door, they wanted to go right out to eat and it would have easily been $25-$30 for the two of them. We ended up grilling burgers at home. They probably do this three times a week. My rough guess is they are spending $300-$400/month eating out. He only drinks maybe a beer per day when I'm not there, she doesn't drink, neither smokes, and he's usually always home if he's not working or at the gym, same with her. They don't have expensive tastes or costly vices, other than the eating out. I think if they would sit down with someone competent in budgeting they could get this monkey off their backs quickly.

The mortgage is only $725/month and they have one car payment at about $250/month. They make decent money for the area, but honestly, $70k for two people, with two cars, with one commuting 400 miles a week isn't a lot. I don't see why they are having this kind of trouble, but it's still going to be fairly no-frills.

Saving for a good retirement isn't going to happen at this point - that ship has sailed. The thing they need to focus on is minimizing expenses and making do with less, which they are not going to do based on them not lowering their lifestyle after the job loss and income decline several years. My real worry is that they are going to be financially dependent on someone else before they lose their physical independence.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:47 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,406 posts, read 14,253,901 times
Reputation: 22953
If they can't make it on 70k in this area I really think they need some financial advice. I support three people here, and occasionally help out another, on half that, but it does require budgeting and not a lot of 'extras'. It might be tough but if they can work another 10 years or more they can still put up a little bit of an additional retirement fund too.
Working at a bank your mom should have some sort of nice pension or 401K set aside, what about your dad? How much longer do they have on the mortgage? Possible that the mortgage ends before retirement and they feel like their retirement savings will be enough to cover their other needs? Are they hoping for an inheritance from your grands to cover them later in life?

Not to be morbid but don't begrudge them enjoying things too much now. My dad scrimped and saved and planned well for a long retirement, a retirement he enjoyed for less than 2 years before he passed. I wish he had taken more time to enjoy his life, and worried less about the future he didn't get to have.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,697 posts, read 4,783,831 times
Reputation: 19092
Living in Tennessee, as they do, is saving them a lot of money. They don't pay state income tax, as they would in most other states. Their property taxes are much lower than many other states. Utilities are very cheap in my area of east Tennessee. They really are saving by staying where they are. By the way, I live in east Tennessee on pretty much the same income and we have a great life and nice home here. It does sound like maybe they need help with budgeting, but eating out a few times a week is probably not what the problem is. It does sound like they are cleaning up the place now.
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