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Thread: Family and money

  1. #31
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I think that is nice that you save those checks as your touchstone about family generosity.

    In my immediate family we do not have a younger generation, so I’m not moved to give blood nieces and nephews anything because I don’t have them. They don’t exist. But certainly I can see your mother-in-law‘s choices as perfectly valid because she’s helping the kids, those who need help. The values of my family are you help young ones.

    It always creeps me out to see on Mr. Money Mustache all of these ancient folks who are expecting their children to help them. But I fully realize that is a family value, and that in many non-western societies it is reasonable and expected for the oldest generation to be supported by younger ones. I can understand intellectually why those societies feel shame if they are not able to care for their elders.

    But I remember that my dad contributed monthly to my grandmothers rent, so there’s that. Several of his siblings paid her rent said she didn’t have much income beyond Social Security payments.

    But in my family and in DH’s family, it is shameful to not take care of yourself. We all recognize there’s a great deal of luck in having 1) good health and 2) good options, but it’s also expected that you choose wisely among your options.

    I’m not saying that I am “right “here. I’m merely talking about this value and how I see it.

    I think we in our modern society have a hard time accepting that values matter. There are different values out there and that is a big part of why we clash.
    I agree.. yes, our values, usually instilled in us by our families, matter.

    I remember a sermon by a minister we used to really enjoy when we lived in upstate New York. He was Dutch Reformed, and he had Dutch ancestry, and I imagine that a lot of the Dutch are like the Germans/Anglos in how they view their independence and self-reliance.

    He was talking about when he was a teen, he went to a Hispanic friend's house, and he was shocked when one of the brothers just picked up his friend's shirt and put it on and walked out of the house. The pastor said that that would NEVER happen in his family. His family was "what's mine is mine and what's yours is yours." His friend's family was "what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine." His point was exactly what you're saying, IL--there's nothing wrong with either way.. just a different way of seeing things.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #32
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    Interesting discussion.

    Iím clearly in the Dutch-German camp. We give to our 3 kids/families periodically (paid for a week long cruise for all 9 of us a year ago), but not to other relatives. Except graduations, weddings, new babies, and birthday cash, which we are careful to keep fair between all situations.

    But none of our relatives ask for money. Itís unheard of. If I would need to ask my kids for help we would talk about a loan. At an interest rate slightly higher than what they can earn at the bank. It would be a business deal.

    We are German on both sides and I guess it shows.

  3. #33
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    It is an interesting discussion.

    I agree that how one defines family and one's relationship with money plays a big part in how someone deals with the whole "family and money" stuff. The "family" in my heart and mind goes beyond biology and beyond my immediate household. The way I look at it, I would readily die for my children, so helping them financially if they need it, is definitely easy. Having said that, I will say that my family members are all pretty independent and pretty fiscally responsible. But, it's nice to know there is help should the need ever arise - both the getting and the giving.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  4. #34
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    I learned over time that when you get married, you are marrying your spouse's family too. Nobody ever explained that to me since I grew up in a disjointed family and always felt emotionally removed from my parents and sibs. It has been a struggle for me to go with the expected "rules" of DH's family all my life even though they were very generous, loving people. I just read in Suze Orman's latest book that helping family financially has been the undoing of many a close to retirement age couple/individual. So I guess one's participation should hinge on self-preservation unless you can afford to help financially and actually WANT to help.

  5. #35
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    Yes - we need to fund our retirements first although it is not natural to do so after years of caring for our kids.

    I was donating to several causes monthly, and last month I cancelled the donations. Iím not back to work yet and could be facing long term disability. Thereís no way to predict it. So while I have plenty of money right now, in a few years I may not. Iím not in a position financially to retire until 2026. But covid19 interfered ... So I may need to find an alternate way to fund the next 5 years. So Iím extra frugal right now until I see how this all plays out.

    I read that about 1/3 of retirements are not by choice. Health problems or layoffs cause 1/3 of retirements, prior to the time that the person had planned for it.

  6. #36
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Very sorry to read that you are still facing challenges with your health, Tammy.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  7. #37
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I have always been a saver and although I know my parents would have helped me out if I asked, I never did. When I was single and pregnant I really went to the mattresses financially. I pared everything down and then sold and pawned a bunch of my stuff to pad my savings. I was afraid if something went awry I would need it and not be in the position to scramble. I didn't end up needing it but it was the beginning of me living much more simply. Years later my dad and I were talking about it and when he heard what I had done he was very angry at me for selling my things and not asking for help. It was OK with me to sell my things and I never did need the help. Things were very important to my parents.
    With DS I have always told him that I would never let him suffer but I would allow him to be uncomfortable if the situation was of his own doing/mismanagement. He asked me who got to decide the difference between suffering and being uncomfortable. I told him it was the person with the wallet.
    My sister and brother always knew my parents would be their safety net. They borrowed and most often never paid back. They aren't nearly as set now that my folks are gone. I want my son to know how to figure things out and so far brainstorming options has been the kind of help we give most often. He has never asked for money and is another strong saver and pays himself first. He really wants to build an ADU in our backyard to be here to help us so we don't need to downsize.
    We had a cousin that lost the family farm. It was a place that the extended family gathered at often and spent childhood summers at and was considered the heart of our family. When it happened we were all gut punched. He was not the money manager that his dad had been. Had we known one or all of us would have stepped in to do something about it. It is still a huge source of loss and hurt. It was sold to out of state owners who immediately made heartbreaking changes. Last I drove by there was high fences and razor wire. They have switched from orchards to growing marijuana. My cousin and his wife moved into town and he started truck driving. Within two years he passed from bad health which I'm sure was made much worse by the guilt of the losses.

  8. #38
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    Yes - we need to fund our retirements first although it is not natural to do so after years of caring for our kids.

    I was donating to several causes monthly, and last month I cancelled the donations. I’m not back to work yet and could be facing long term disability. There’s no way to predict it. So while I have plenty of money right now, in a few years I may not. I’m not in a position financially to retire until 2026. But covid19 interfered ... So I may need to find an alternate way to fund the next 5 years. So I’m extra frugal right now until I see how this all plays out.

    I read that about 1/3 of retirements are not by choice. Health problems or layoffs cause 1/3 of retirements, prior to the time that the person had planned for it.
    yes, so sorry to hear this is an ongoing impairment for you.

  9. #39
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    This is another reminder of how the 35 year old nephew might want to look for a job job, with benefits. Then he can start planning for retirement, and presumably get disability insurance. Because people do get sick, and sometimes we can't work anymore. That is an inevitable reality of life, unfortunately, and we have to plan for those realities.

  10. #40
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    I have had much good fortune during the first 70 or so years of my life. My sons and daughters and grandchildren know that I gladly give them money when they need it.

    But...

    My goals for accumulating capital to support my wife and myself must be attained before I give any amount of money to relatives or worthy causes.

    The decision to give or not to give is fairly straight-forward. If I have cash in excess of what I need to invest to finance my own gol-dern years, I can (and will) give it away. However, if I have not achieved my goals for this year, I will not cut a check.

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