I hope this doesn't come off as a vent, although it kind of is.
We FINALLY are putting the house on the market this weekend. EVERYTHING has been done to our listing agent's specifications.
BIL is down to $7000 in a retirement account, and $600 income from unemployment until his golf jobs kick in in the spring. He has drawn down that retirement account now for a couple of years, although he now realizes that was very stupid in terms of penalties he's had to pay.
So now, realizing it's stupid to withdraw retirement savings, he is expecting us to fill the slack in his budget. Not really expecting us to do that, but he certainly spends time fishing for it. Meanwhile we pay his property taxes and home insurance, and we feed him at least 3-4 nights a week. I absolutely refuse to do more than that.
Nevertheless he is totally freaking out. He is almost incoherent with his worry about finances. This morning I had a talk with him because he was practically shaking that the IRS is going walk up to his house and take it from him, because he owes $675 in back taxes. Gave him one of my copies of the IRS Bill Collection Process, and I assured him that EVEN IF his house was in jeopardy of a lien, he would first get a letter, then get 30 days to respond and work out a payment plan and then EVEN if it came to a lien, that only means that the IRS has first dibs on house when we sell it.
He then would ask me questions that I had already answered or he would say things that don't make sense. He also said that he's going to lose his car and his phone. I tried as calmly as I could to explain that he only has to get to March when his golf job starts, that we already did a budget, that we are covering the roof over his head, that his car is paid for and no one can take it from him, that he knows he has a job starting, that we've already promised him a bed here after we sell the house, blah blah blah. I even turned to the Bible and told him that Jesus said to let today's worries be sufficient unto today's.
I also told him, shoot, if the IRS hasn't thrown me in jail for owing the amount I do, he's totally safe. Also that I really don't have much more cash in the bank than he does, and I'm 11 years older. Also that I've been through a whole hell of a lot worse, and I'm still standing. But he is not processing.
He is really losing it. I did validate his feelings, and I told him that I know it's a big roller coaster of emotion right now, which is understandable. I'd love to suggest that he sees a psychologist or psychiatrist but he'll probably say he doesn't have the money, even though he does have Obamacare.
How do you help people deal with irrational fear?