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Don't Know The Financial Situation With Parents

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by Angela123, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Everyone,

    My dad and mom retired from govt service and have been living in India with their pension (may be 35000 rs / month may be) and we have land and some revenue from it. Parents dont have a luxurious life style but I believe they have some money to give away (like buy gold for grand children, they always gift gold for the relatives' wedding etc and whenever I send some money my dad tells there is no need to send it). This is not all the time, but more like whenever needed basis. So the scenario is my mom and dad never shared their financial situation to me or my sister. Also, I don't know if my parents have any money in bank. I know my mom has gold.
    I have been living in the US for almost 10 years now. My sister has been living with my parents all the time even after married (we all support that, because it will be good when they need each other). My sister doesn't have a job. Her husband is sort of well off (has a reasonably good job, has land and couple shop spaces that are rented out. But they (sis, BIL and kid) have been living with my parents (living expenses on my parents, and they dont contribute and no one has issues so far). So parents are getting older now and they need more medical care. The question here is, is it a good idea to send money to take the medical expenses of the parents? haven't asked me any money yet. I know I could do it from a moral stand point, but our financial situation is not great, but it is not bad either. 10 years down the road, if I need money for college admission of the kid, or anything else, I will not have much support from home or from my husband's home. This is my husband's take on it - since my sister and husband lives with them and the house and the land around the house is for her anyway, we shouldn't send any money. If needed they can sell the other land (this is of lesser value, but it is still a lot of money. if not sold this probably will be mine) and meet the expenses, but not send any money from here. I felt sad, but he do have a point. they might not have to sell it all to meet the expenses. But we know these medical bills can be huge. We are not there yet, and it will all be fine, but it is just killing me not knowing what is going on. if I ask my mom or dad, they don't give out a lot of information or they just change the subject.

    I don't want to send a lot of money if they dont need it, as I need money for mortgage and such and I started working only 1 year ago. Being in grad school for years, DH also started working 3 years ago. We are in our 30s and we still have to build up our savings yet. What would you guys advice?
     
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  2. EverydayBloom

    EverydayBloom Silver IL'ite

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    Dear OP,

    Great that you are thinking about your parents and their health, as they are not sharing any ups and downs especially about their financial situation, I would suggest instead of sending them on Monthly basis Voluntarily (Bold because you might get earful later down the years saying we never asked you to send us?!!), you can open a high yeilding savings account in the place where you are living and save a bit on monthly basis. And when there is major need arises in future, you could help them on your own or being asked!!!

    Hope this makes sense
     
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  3. YoGirl

    YoGirl Gold IL'ite

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    I am interested to see what folks have done who have been through this situation.

    I mean, no one has money/ cash for huge expenses.. so, how are medical expenses being taken care of?

    These days most ppl in India have health insurance. My parents pay good premium for insurance just to be on safe side.

    Or what are some of the way where we can liquidate assets quickly when in need. Property selling is not quick.
    Stocks would still take 2-5 days to be settled. Gold loans would also take a week. What are the other options?
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Good that you are thinking ahead.
    This is how the eventual heartbreak starts. You send money because it makes you feel good to do so and you feel a moral obligation to do so. You send it in small amounts which still impacted your own savings that are not substantial yet. The parents and sibling do not appreciate the gesture as it is money coming unasked for, and more importantly, spread out in small chunks. And, after all you are "living in America."

    Your parents lack of willingness to discuss details about their future care is so common and so the cause of future strife and avoidable heartache and straining of relations between you and your sister. I am not painting a picture of gloom, but, this is pretty much what happens in 90% of such households.

    Your husband is right. What you can do is, stop sending the money now and then. The first time your parents or sister ask for help with medical bills, give a smaller amount than they ask for, and tactfully suggest that your parents' future care be discussed by all, and hint at selling the land you think will come to you.

    Harden your heart. Be practical while still being there for them. Given that you guys are starting to build your own financial foundation a bit late, focus on that. If parents or sibling won't discuss finances, then, have some solid reasons ready as excuses for not giving money. Either do this or be prepared for helping them big time with medical bills and also losing out on all the land, property. If you were well settled, you could have happily considered that option. You are not, so be practical and do what is right for your kid(s).
     
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  5. Emarald

    Emarald Silver IL'ite

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    I think u should not send money to parents unless needed. You should save for your kids future and your retirement. Your sister and her husband living free with your parents that’s not good. But it’s between them and your parents.
     
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  6. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

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    OP,

    If they have not asked for your help, don't send any money. No one is going to appreciate that. They have enough money to survive to now. What you can do is open a NRE account in your name. If there is an emergency, you can send them a check. I think your husband is right.

    You can definitely ask your parents if they need any financial help. If they are not ready to talk about it, don't spend time worrying about it. Have your own savings. You can send money in case of emergency, if any. Don't worry about your sister or other family dynamics.
     
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  7. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

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    Whenever there is no need, there cannot be a whenever needed basis.
    You meant to write "living off my parents" -- no?

    Your now-and-then small sums of unneeded money to your parents could be viewed by your sister, and her husband as gestures to annoy them. Your parents may also view what you do as trying to cause a rift between them and their stay-home care takers. Even though your father had been telling you not to do that, you do not hear or heed.
     
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  8. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Your situation is somewhat similar to what I am going through - not related to my parents, but related to my brother.
    He is well off. But his child is sick and down with Leukemia - which needs a lot of money for the treatment.
    My SIL's parents are very rich and are giving a lot of support to the child.
    Nevertheless, I feel like I have a moral obligation to share at least a part of their medical bills. It doesn't mean I am supper rich or I have extra money to do this. But I genuinely feel it is needed, though it means compromising a lot from my side.
    I offered to help my brother, but he rejected this idea and said he is fine. I checked with SIL, and she too said they have enough for now, so I don't have to take the burden now.
    I can't force the money on them. Though I know their bank account no (I could collect it somehow), I don't feel like dumping my money to their bank without their fullest concern.
    Therefore, I have opened a savings account separately, and started saving a fixed amount each month for my niece. In the past 6 months, the account shows a decent balance. I will grow in the coming months too.
    I've decided to keep that money away for her medical expenses, or anything for that family. If not today, at least one day I believe this money would be useful for them. And I am sure, they would appreciate when this money is given at the time of their need.

    I would suggest the same for you too.

    Please open a separate account on your name, and start saving up little by little for your parents.
    There will be times when your parents may need a big chunk of money for their medical or pilgrimage trips or whatever. That time, you may generously assist them with a lumpsum, and they will appreciate it wholeheartedly.
    If at all, they don't need any help from you... it is also good. You may use that savings for your own future needs.
     
  9. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Thanks everyone for the reply.

    @Rihana - you are absolutely right. For now, I am not sending any money, but will try to use the resources available in India for the parents whenever they need. For now I am planning to send money when they are exhausted of their resources, which i dont think they will be.

    @Emarald - Yes, whatever between my sis and the parents, I wouldn't interfere. They are going to live under the same roof so let them deal with themselves.

    @DDream - Thanks! I agree and probably will go by this.

    @Amulet - everyone has a different point of view, I appreciate yours. Living off my parents is the correct term if my parents have no benefit from it. But this is more like a give and take situation. I believe they have benefits from my sis staying with them - she takes over most cooking and cleaning, takes them to where ever they want, and have some one to stay with them when need help with hospital visits, and moreover, since there is a base of love, it is much better than having a paid help. My sis, BIL and parents are super nice to me when I talk to them or see them in person. Of course we would have our share of arguments, but sense of family takes over most of the time. So i am not aware of any drift that have caused by sending the money. May be I am naive to think they wont exploit me. Thank you for showing the other side, and I will deal with it when it comes to that. Anyway, I am not planning to send any money soon.

    @SGBV - Good to see your take on it. Right now, for me it is difficult to set aside any money for their future use. This is what prompted me to do the post here. I have my own battles to deal with on a daily basis, so we will tap into the reserves first, which I think would be good enough for mom and dad. It is their money and IMO they should use it for them instead of saving it for us.


    Thank you all for your inputs. It really helped me to rethink about the situation!!
     
  10. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    Not sure. My parents assets are mostly land, house, gold and money. I know my parents can sell the gold quick, because they have been using the same jeweler for a long time now (since my grand mother's time), they buy back if needed. One option to have money for immediate use is have some money in hand/bank until assets can be turn into money. That's what my DH's mom do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020

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