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Taking Care Of Parents' Retirement Funds.

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by Anusha2917, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    This does not sound like a good situation. Does your mother always have this excessive shopping habit or is this something recent?
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Will it be fair on us? One solution to maintain our sanity. Help when needed. Help but don't question. All these are things you and your sibling can discuss in depth and find some ways to achieve, but when it comes to implementation, you cannot unless your parents are fully on board.

    This is my experience: I had the luxury of one (single) well-employed sibling's finances being combined with that of parents post their retirement. I had almost the exact issues, concerns and suggestions. The only diff was that sarees and jewelry buying were replaced by giving money to those who needed it "more" than them. Another diff was that the feed from the kind relatives was "your daughter is in the U.S. why do you need to be careful with spending." The sibling's employer insurance covered most medical expenses but not all.

    All my suggestions and sometimes pleas to plan for the future fell on deaf ears. It lead to extended periods when there was no phone contact. I gave up and started to send a fixed monthly amount. After I came to know money was still being doled out and to persons I had expressly forbidden, I stopped sending. That was one of life's hardest decisions. DH and a close friend helped me. This stoppage was only after father passed away. Rather than his life's last year's medical care & expenses showing them the importance of planning, the approach was one oldie gone, so more money can be doled out.

    I stuck to my guns. I still have no regrets about ignoring a text sent from the Apollo ambulance asking for "whatever you can send.. please send.." pause "I am begging you..." Mother passed away a month later.

    The point of this narration is that there is no easy way out of the mess when parents don't believe in retirement planning. You are darned if you do, darned if you don't.

    The best you can do now is: prepare a detailed financial plan/projection. Present it to both parents. Keep it detailed enough but not so much that their eyes glaze over. Tell what they can afford to spend. Explain cost of medical insurance premium. Be very clear that you and sibling can help only so much. Be also clear that you don't want any of their money. Say nothing would make you siblings and the sons-in-law happier than seeing your parents manage to spend all their money.

    After that, leave it to them. Steel yourself as you watch whatever unfolds.

    I sincerely wish you peace as you navigate these waters. And always remember you, your child, your husband, your family come first. I let my parents' situation impact me so much that I was not the mother my kids deserved. Until my husband once told me, "It kills me to see you hurt like this" and my close friend gave it to me straight, I was whittling away my mind trying to change what could not be changed.

    P.S. Can't "Start Conversation" with you. Not that anything left to say on this topic LOL. It was about something else .. the marriage book being recommended in another thread. : )
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  3. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    Always ! She's the primary earning member. She's done everything single handedly with minimum or no support from dad. Like giving us education n getting us married. Whatever we are we owe it to her. Had they planned well they didn't have to sell the house they had for getting us married. We were naive back then and didn't understand why she's selling the house.
    The shopping obsession is with sarees n jewels. Jewels are given away to the daughters and she hardly has any . But that makes her feel she's entitled to buy once she retires . Her plan is to buy loads n loads of Jewels, though she promised she wouldn't buy sarees. I see she has spent on shopping sarees recently. Her saree count amounts to 3000 plus (roughly) . Once she wears a Saree to repeat that it takes more than 3 Years . I have hardly seen Her repeat her Saree. Be it even the Kanjivaram Saree for a function or an ordinary one.
    So since they don't have a permanent nest to stay Every 2 3 years it comes on us to look for a house for them, pack n unpack and arrange the things. Nothing is more difficult than packing those Sarees carefully and arranging them properly in the new house. Every chance I get a pack cartons of very old sarees n give away to maids and other needy and again she ends up fighting with me saying I give away as though I brought them. My husband still can't forget how I packed 6 cartons of sarees and gave away in a ladies ashram during their last shifting . I do this because there's simply no place to keep those sarees in every new home they move. All the wardrobes overflow always with clothes clothes n sarees.
    Last year she brought a Saree, price close to 1L and gifted me. (in fact 2, one for my sibling) I happily wore it for some function until a relative came n told Me " did u ask your mom the price of the Saree " . When I later did and she revealed the price I felt jittery for wearing such an expensive Saree. I returned it to her saying without knowing I wore it and I can't accept the price. She got offended n fought and finally said if you both don't wear it's okay. I will wear it myself. My husband is still not aware of this drama and I don't think I can ever say him I wore such an expensive Saree. It's not that she can't Buy n wear such a Saree. But my point is it's not a priority at all. !
    I get into an infinite loop trying to help them with their money mismanagement.
     
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  4. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    I saw Rihana's post. Loss of relationships is not that uncommon in such situations. If you are living closeby, be gentle/careful in your efforts to wean them off.

    The dynamics at play when giving money to parents is very different. From their perspective, the money they get is what YOU (both) DO NOT NEED for yourself or your family.... in the present or the future. Otherwise, why would you give it to them ?-- could be their rationale. And they can easily see your snooping as an annoying thing.
    LOL...
    A parent being able to say that "my son/daughter is so-and-so in Infosys or Larsen-Tubro", and he paid for this pearl necklace .... kind of feeling or talk with her friends' circle is so valuable. Nobody wants to brag about who pays for Tamarind, and dal.

    Policy?!! That kind of thinking is only if you are a Charitable Organization getting funding proposals for vetting. I am sure the parents need some control over their profligacy; but bringing about that kind of control is just like giving up on an addiction.

    Added later (after reading about the sarees, and house shifting story every 2 or 3 years): Instead of giving money help, you and/or sibling can buy a suitable flat, and start paying EMI. One NRI-friend did this, and rented it to his parents. He had to do it through a proxy, so that his parents would not skip on the rent. If you do this, you can save the rent payments for their sadhabishekam. And besides, when you move them into a flat owned by brother (and/or you), that would be the last time you had to pack/unpack.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  5. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    In addition to what @Rihana says - bite the bullet and speak to a financial advisor in India - they are really good at SCARING people! They can talk about emergency funds, inflation, reducing buying power, life expectancy and medical bills.

    Get them to talk about a retirement planner portfolio. Ask them to do a 360 degree financial analysis of your parents.

    Again - DONT BUY ANYTHING they recommend! Seriously - DONT - as they only recommend life insurance and products where THEY BENEFIT. And DONT give your parents phone number to them. Otherwise, they will call them directly and get their signatures!

    BUT - a 2 hour talk from an OUTSIDER professional will give your mother the REALITY DOSE much better than "kids half my age who I have fed and educated".
    And the numbers will boggle their minds (Or conversely put your own mind to rest if they really have a lot)

    If you dont want to take this risk of a financial planner, find someone trusted from your family or their friends to whom they will listen!

    You need some excel sheets calculators with INFLATION built in. Check some 360 degree financial templates.
    Make a list of cash, fixed deposits, Gold, investments in funds/shares/bonds, assets like plots, lands, house, and the insurance they already have.
    Keep at least 6 months expenses as emergency fund in easily cashable/complete cash accounts.

    Calculate their monthly expenses - is it more than their income ? Put this in RED
    Project their monthly income to the future (you say 15 years, but calculate for more than that - at least 25)
    Check their HEALTH Insurance - check the riders according to any age/pre-existing conditions etc. Do due diligence and compare with different products and rider combinations.
    Medical bills are crazy! One hospitalization or unfortunate accident can wipe out the savings of a middle class family.

    Dont go with half dialogues - go to them with facts and research and numbers and printouts.

    Look at it from her point of view! All these years she had your responsibilities and never probably enjoyed her earnings. Maybe she is finally able to enjoy it now that her kids are married. Maybe she is finally gifting people who have always helped her, but she couldnt do anything for them?! Maybe it won't last too long.

    If she is working, she also has some financial awareness. Do your own homework and then educate her on that patiently. As long as the emergencies and future is taken care of, she might actually enjoy spending for a few occasions.

    Your parents are still young. But, you could still checkout in the meantime. There are are some wonderful retirement homes - you can check them depending on the city you live - many serve organic food, most have elder-activities, get togethers, fun times. They have medical checkups regularly. Some have an orphanage attached so that they can spend time and have fun with kids if they want.

    They might have waiting lists, so use your "job-free" time to check some on internet, visit a few with them and make some arrangements for them. When they see all this planning and the costs involved, they might listen to you.

    All the best
    Keep smiling
    HR
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  6. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you for this detailed reply. If there's anything I have thought about is something similar to what you have suggested.
    The multiple arguments prompted Me to stay away from the mess and a few weeks back I handed over all the password, statements ,investment acknowledgements ,excel sheet etc to the sibling saying she can take over for a few months until I feel comfortable doing it again for them. Fair enough ,she supported me in this understanding, if there's anything I need to be doing now is then concentrate on the newborn.
    But I have a few regrets : 1) for not having tried enough to migrate to that foreign land earlier simply because the good girl in me and the good boy in my husband said that aged parents(both set) need us more than that dream of going n settling in a foreign country. I feel like escaping from these oldies and migrating somewhere far to be peaceful from all this! For now grass really looks super green on the other side.. But no matter where I stay as you have mentioned your experience, if we decide to take it on us we will still suffer staying close by or far away.
    2) The decision to keep them close : My greed to move to the city they stay few years back and to the same area and now same building few floors above us is making me feel trapped totally. If there's anything I can blame for such a decision then it's my Husband and partially my attitude . He was firm n hell bent in convincing me that no matter what his aged parents will be with us in their old age. I came to an agreement that as long as I also have that liberty to keep my parents close I cannot agree to this. He even went to an extent of finding a bigger house to keep both set of parents in one house and felt we all could be one "big happy family". :mask: thanks to my BIL who advised my hubby that it's not a great plan at all. If implemented all will be in a bigger mess. Keeping close makes sense than same house. .
    Not that my sister isn't interested to move closer to them . She too has a house in same society as ours but she'll take time to move because of her child's school ,sports coaching etc. Probably I'll feel less trapped once she's closer because that Way I would feel she's also there to take the stress of handling aged parents.

    What I have come to realize is whether it's in laws or parents, the 60 + category are tough to handle !! Just that their tantrums differ.. My notion was wrong that I can compensate staying with in laws by keeping my parents close by. I only invited the double trouble !
    I'm done ranting! Thanks for reading. : ) I'm taking a few suggestions from this thread and going to concentrate on other important things in life.
     
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  7. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    HR some good suggestions from you as always. :) your pointers are right. They don't want to listen to someone who's half their age. Perhaps hiring an external person such as a financial adviser is also a great idea. Will consult my sibling for that.
    Thanks :)
     
  8. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    Lol.. Are u my mom by any chance.. :laughing::laughing:
    This is exactly the thought process she has. The complaints came in the form of "you both don't buy me jewels n sarees " conveniently forgetting the other monetary help which we have done .

    Old age worries , if I had a son he would care better..
    Gosh!! I wish she never retired or goes back to some work where her mind is occupied....
    All these have been brainstormed. So the current set up they will be staying permanently close to me, there's no rent which they need to pay and hopefully I won't have to headache to of moving them again elsewhere. Unless they decide to escape from me n my sibling.

    They are open to retirement home set up few years from now. :) one good thing here.
     
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  9. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    If you are really concerned about her mental health (your dad isn't significant in any of this, is he?) you go and chat with a psychologist and find out if there is any locally relevant solution for this problem. Many older people, retired and nothing to do, order a lot of things from Amazon, and the boxes collect in the house, but they never open them. I hope you do not have a desi variant of that on your hands, with a patient who cannot deal with the internet. Aren't you lucky?!!

    But carry on.... your problem, the title of this thread notwithstanding, has nothing to do with money management.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  10. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    The thread got deviated with problems but I have got what I was looking for. The planning part with the finances. ..
    thank you!
     
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