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Old 06-02-2013, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
128 posts, read 138,018 times
Reputation: 347

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I am a single, 50 something female. My sister passed two years ago. Her husband had passed away several years before. She left behind two girls, 19 and 25 at that time, my nieces. Right now I help them out by paying for their phone and auto insurance monthly.

I was helping the younger one while she was in college. All she had to do was work about 16 hours per week at my small office. Lots of time something came up (i.e. need to meet with teacher, special assignment, etc.) and it usually turned out to be about 4 hours per week with the same pay. The last semester I found out she had stopped even going to classes. Of course she didn't tell me until after I asked to see the grades several times. I finally got the nerve and stopped the paychecks. She is now working, but I still have to help out monthly, because it is low paying.

The older one now works with me, again about 16 hours since she is taking courses. She also has a 2 year old. The courses she is taking will not, in my opinion, help her in getting a job that pays enough to have a good life for her and the child.

I don't want to make this just about the money, but some months bigger outlay of money is needed such as car repairs ($900), new tires and wheel ($400), etc. My goal is for them to be self sufficient and need to get them on the right track.

I know I probably need to be tougher and just say no, you figure out a way to deal with your situtation, but I want to find a way to guide them even though they are adults. I read all the time about parents needing to help their adult children get on their feet. They don't have the option of living at home and until they get financially stable as most do.

Since I have no experience in guiding anyone, I need suggestions. Websites, career testing, words of wisdom, anything will be a help.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,004 posts, read 37,656,456 times
Reputation: 73578
You know the answer.

The best motivation would be to stop paying those two very important bills for the 25-year-old and tell the 19-year-old that hers stops in a year (or whatever time frame is realistic).

At least stop the phone bill.

You could tie the payments to something they have to follow through on, like a contract you draw up with specific goals (showing up to work, high grades).
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:07 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,224,033 times
Reputation: 7792
If they need the car to get to work and would not be able to work without the car, then that is a good thing to help them with.

I would help them so long as they are trying to help themselves and attempting to manage their money well.

But if they do stupid things like buying a new TV or spending needed money on things which are not necessary... THEN ask you for money to pay for a car repair, I would say NO!
(Lack of planning on your part does not justify an emergency on my part!)
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:09 AM
 
6,455 posts, read 9,501,570 times
Reputation: 10764
Does the 25-yr old qualify for any public assistance?

Perhaps she needs to move closer to school/work to cut down the dependence on the car.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:33 AM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,782,209 times
Reputation: 33905
If I'm reading the OP correctly, the nieces are now 21 and 27, and have had two years to figure things out. I would suggest the older girl look into getting child support payments from the father of her 2 yr old, and give the younger adult 3 months to get her act together.

What impetus do they have to improve their finances when Auntie is bailing them out?
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,466 posts, read 15,905,878 times
Reputation: 38730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
If I'm reading the OP correctly, the nieces are now 21 and 27, and have had two years to figure things out. I would suggest the older girl look into getting child support payments from the father of her 2 yr old, and give the younger adult 3 months to get her act together.

What impetus do they have to improve their finances when Auntie is bailing them out?
Did your nieces receive any type of insurance payments or settlements when their parents died? If yes, did they handle them appropriately? I know that as the aunt you want to be helpful but it was your sister's and her husband's responsibility to provide for the future of her children.

They seem to be taking advantage of your good nature and do not seem to be growing and maturing in their financial responsibility. At 50 you should be planning ahead to your retirement. As Mattie said, I would give them deadlines. Of course, before things get desperate (nieces hungry and homeless) step in to help.

Good luck to you.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:03 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,690,207 times
Reputation: 22158
Stop enabling them.

No "adult" needs a cell phone if someone else has to pay for it. If you really think they need a phone for emergencies, prepaid phones like tracfone cost about $8 for a monthly plan.

It's okay to help the younger one with car insurance for a while until she gets on her feet but by age 25, there is no excuse for anyone not to be supporting themselves.

And yes, I read once that having enough money for retirement years has nothing to do with how many kids someone has, the whole thing is to get all the kids to grow up and be on their own by the proper age. Keeping even one child helpless and dependent can wipe out all chance of a good retirement.
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