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I feel like crying...

So, I just had a long conversation with my mom. She filled me in on all the money problems they're having (they owe several thousand in back-taxes from last year, which they're taking out of an account my dad's company has for him, depleting all their savings, as well as needing to hold out x percent for taxes for this year, since my dad kept his job when they moved, but as a contract employee, etc). They also have several thousand in credit card debt she claims is from them moving to FL in 2006 and moving back to NC in 2010, along with spending money frivolously and needlessly. I know some of you may find me flameful for judging what they do with their money, but you'll see why it affects me in a minute.

She also filled me in on all the health problems she and my dad have. They're concerned my dad has cancer, as he's been smoking since he was 17 and is starting to have breathing problems. She has diabetes (was diagnosed in 2000), the same heart condition her mom died of, and was recently diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Her doctor told her all of those conditions are a direct result of her weight.

As if all this wasn't bad enough for me to hear, she said, "Well, it's a good thing you're not going to have kids because you'll have your hands full enough with taking care of me and your father and all our debts."

I don't want kids, true. But if I did, the idea of having them now would terrify me even more! I could just scream. Everyone in our family knows that my sister won't have any hand in helping or caring for my parents once they can no longer do for themselves - she's even said so herself. She's 19 and living off them - no job, not going to school, not contributing to the house, etc. We keep hoping she'll grow up, but there's not even a speck of light at the end of that tunnel. I'm mad at her because she's refusing to be an adult, and that my parents are enabling her. I'm mad at my parents for not taking care of of their finances and I know they have nothing they could retire on. I'm mad because I know all that will fall to me in who knows how long because they're making bad health choices. 

Words of encouragement would be helpful. But if I'm totally off base in feeling the way I do, feel free to let me know. 

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Re: I feel like crying...

  • I don't think there's any reason to flame you for anything you've said.  I'm really sorry :(  I really hope you can help them make sure they are making the best financial and health decisions.

    ETA: also, it would be stupid if someone said they wanted to flame you for judging how your parents spent their money - unless you were a heartless person, if parents don't take care of their finances it falls on their kids to figure it out.  I think it's almost always important for adult children to be aware of this type of thing with aging parents.  The sooner you can help them turn some of this around the better.  Again, really sorry about all this :(

  • i'm sorry that you have to deal with all this.... one thing is that life insurance will cover some of their expenses when they pass, but not all of them....i know that's no consolation.. but at least it's something...? my parents, too, have bad spending habits, and i have a sibling who can't grow up....but my parents always say "i can't just kick him out on the street....my son will always be my son, you'll see". etc etc..... i hope everything works out for you soon.
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  • I don't know what to say, except sorry that you're dealing with this.  Hopefully your parents and sister will grow up and help themselves.

    ETA: My parents both take care of themselves and won't be a burden to us and my brother and step-sister would help (step-brother won't be able to).  However, my parents are both the responsible siblings and have taken the brunt of caring for/paying for/supporting their parents if/when they needed it.  It's not fair.

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  • You are fully justified for feeling the way you are. It's unfair for your parents to not take responsibility for their actions and act like, "oh well, you'll take care of it!"

    Go ahead and cry and get out your feelings of frustration, etc (provided you're at home where you can do that)

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  • image jennlin:
    i'm sorry that you have to deal with all this.... one thing is that life insurance will cover some of their expenses when they pass, but not all of them....i know that's no consolation.. but at least it's something...? my parents, too, have bad spending habits, and i have a sibling who can't grow up....but my parents always say "i can't just kick him out on the street....my son will always be my son, you'll see". etc etc..... i hope everything works out for you soon.

    They don't have life insurance. They never thought about it. 

    And I hear them say that all the time too. Tough love never hurt anyone. They were super tough/strict with me. Made me who I am now. 

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  • image amandasw:

    I don't think there's any reason to flame you for anything you've said.  I'm really sorry :(  I really hope you can help them make sure they are making the best financial and health decisions.

    ETA: also, it would be stupid if someone said they wanted to flame you for judging how your parents spent their money - unless you were a heartless person, if parents don't take care of their finances it falls on their kids to figure it out.  I think it's almost always important for adult children to be aware of this type of thing with aging parents.  The sooner you can help them turn some of this around the better. Again, really sorry about all this :(

    During the conversation, I started to ask questions and give suggestions and I was met with a wall of excuses as to why they couldn't take care of this or that, or didn't have time/money, etc. I know them. They're honestly too lazy to do anything about it. I feel like since they didn't set things up when they were younger, they won't do anything now. They're also fairly young... not even 50 yet. BUT people in my family don't usually live past 60 because of poor health choices. 

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • image amandasw:

    ETA: also, it would be stupid if someone said they wanted to flame you for judging how your parents spent their money - unless you were a heartless person, if parents don't take care of their finances it falls on their kids to figure it out.  I think it's almost always important for adult children to be aware of this type of thing with aging parents.  The sooner you can help them turn some of this around the better.  Again, really sorry about all this :(

    this. 

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    image
    who says you can only wear your wedding dress once?

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    jumped ship to the new and improved nest. back to TB for baby boards.
  • image QuirkyIntellect:
    image amandasw:

    I don't think there's any reason to flame you for anything you've said.  I'm really sorry :(  I really hope you can help them make sure they are making the best financial and health decisions.

    ETA: also, it would be stupid if someone said they wanted to flame you for judging how your parents spent their money - unless you were a heartless person, if parents don't take care of their finances it falls on their kids to figure it out.  I think it's almost always important for adult children to be aware of this type of thing with aging parents.  The sooner you can help them turn some of this around the better. Again, really sorry about all this :(

    During the conversation, I started to ask questions and give suggestions and I was met with a wall of excuses as to why they couldn't take care of this or that, or didn't have time/money, etc. I know them. They're honestly too lazy to do anything about it. I feel like since they didn't set things up when they were younger, they won't do anything now. They're also fairly young... not even 50 yet. BUT people in my family don't usually live past 60 because of poor health choices. 

    maybe some tough love the other way around?  "mom, I love you both and will do everything I can to help, but only if you make an effort. seriously, do not expect me to just 'take care of everything' when you can't any more".  I wish I could offer advice from my own experience, but I don't really know much about this.  I'm sure there are good resources for you out there and hopefully there are people who know how to deal with this and can offer better advice.

  • image amandasw:

    maybe some tough love the other way around?  "mom, I love you both and will do everything I can to help, but only if you make an effort. seriously, do not expect me to just 'take care of everything' when you can't any more".  I wish I could offer advice from my own experience, but I don't really know much about this.  I'm sure there are good resources for you out there and hopefully there are people who know how to deal with this and can offer better advice.

    This.  I would negatively judge your mom and dad before I would think to judge you.

    My parents and I have an "eh" relationship and they are in a financial hardship right now, but I am thankful that they are taking care of it themselves and not bothering me with their troubles.

    I hope they (and your sister) can figure out how to be self-sufficient ASAP.

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  • I'm sorry you are going through this.  I don't think there is much you can do to help them, unless they decide to change their health and spending habits.  In that case, you can offer to help them find resources for debt management, a nutritionist, or if you had room in your budget something like a gym membership/trainer.

    While it could be cancer, it could also be something less catastrophic like COPD (the severity of which can be lessened to some extent by quitting smoking).

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  • I don't have very many words, other than that I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this and I don't judge you one bit. Good luck with everything. I'll be thinking about you!
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  • image amandasw:

    I don't think there's any reason to flame you for anything you've said.  I'm really sorry :(  I really hope you can help them make sure they are making the best financial and health decisions.

    ETA: also, it would be stupid if someone said they wanted to flame you for judging how your parents spent their money - unless you were a heartless person, if parents don't take care of their finances it falls on their kids to figure it out.  I think it's almost always important for adult children to be aware of this type of thing with aging parents.  The sooner you can help them turn some of this around the better.  Again, really sorry about all this :(

    Exactly that. I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with all of this.

    Do you think this will be a wake up call to your sister to start helping out or contributing at all? 

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