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Taking Care Of Parents' Retirement Funds.

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

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Anusha,

    It is always tough to provide financial advice to the parents especially when you have other siblings and more so when one of the parents doesn't have financial discipline. I provided such advice for 5 years in the 80s and even though my parents were very disciplined, it created doubt in the mind of my sibling what I was trying to do. When my father was on a deathbed, he kept asking my father to write down every financial asset as he had no knowledge. My father got so irritated by his pestering decided to eventually write a will and register it. It was funny that he covered only the immovable property in his will with a direction that my mother will have a right to enjoy the property until her life and after that absolute right over the immovable property will belong to his two sons (my brother and myself).

    After my father's life, my mother had access to all the movable investments and sought help from my brother to manage it as I moved over to the United States. The fact that I did well in the US and the need to consult my brother back in India to manage all her funds, resulted in my brother comingling all his movable with that of my mother, and eventually, it became inseparable. My mother felt that my older brother has the right over the movable assets anyhow as she felt he was the adult child that needs help. Eventually, my mother became bedridden and my brother started living in my parent's home enjoying all the savings of my father and pension funds my mother was receiving for his services over an 8 year period. He left my mother in a bad shape without any treatment despite enjoying all her wealth including the house. I offered to take care of her treatment but he refused to accept it as he controlled the house at that time. I even tried to move my mother to a facility away from my brother's family as none were talking to her but my mother refused to do so as it would bring a bad name to my brother. Later, she regretted that decision and told me so over the phone. Eventually, when my mother died, he produced a will written by my mother that all movable assets belong to him other than the house. He was also planning to take over the property as my father's will was never probated for over 41 years. There are other reasons why my brother felt he is entitled to the property exclusively which I can't share in public.

    Within 5 days of my mother's passing away, I found a buyer for this property who was looking for a property to build a clinic. He not only shared the price immediately but also agreed to complete all the formalities needed to smoothly transfer the property to his name. It took a year but he completed all of that successfully as he is in real estate and the property was successfully sold within 1 year from my mother's passing away.
     
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  2. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    For some reason tears started rolling after reading this thread :sweat:
     
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  3. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    While reading some of the posts I recalled the thread...A Luxury Or Invention You Wish Your Parents Had? The relatively affluent child would want the parents to be more comfortable, safe and secure in their old age, and send the money. However the old parents would go and use the money in manners that are different. Good intentions have a way of degenerating into difficulties.
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The relatively affluent child, or rather the child whom the parents brought up to be the relatively affluent adult, should ideally recognize that wanting parents to use the money given only in certain ways is in a way selfish. Parents typically sacrifice in their 20's-50's. If they want to spend money how they like in their 60's and beyond, how fair is it to stop them?

    As it is a new day, a new morning : ) here is a different line of thought for OP and to confuse OP : )
    A mom who gifts a saree worth 1 lakh Rs, and who after some huffing and puffing at child not keen to wear the expensive saree, says, "Ok fine.. I will wear it..." Mom who finds joy in buying saree, jewels and visiting temples ... mom who was key in providing the children education, getting them married, finding good "boys" for them, ... who are we to tell such mom how best to plan for the next 10-20 years.

    Sorry to add to your how-do-I thoughts, Anusha.... just thinking aloud ... if my mom had wanted something very expensive just for herself, I could have ... would have ... easily..

    Good Morning.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  5. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    The parents who had lived a modest life, and spent the money sending child to school, and college, so that the child can emigrate and make good in life, do not really see how they could splurge on themselves in their 60's. These folks just don't have it within them to do it.

    When I read about Sundar Pichai's parents still living in their Chennai 2BHK-Flat, I thought of my own older relatives who preferred to heat water for their bath (bucket/mug process) using an old copper samovar (we see them in Chaiwalah shops) sitting in the backyard, fueled with charcoal, instead of an electric Geyser on the bathroom wall. Watching them walk with a bucket of hotwater from the samovar to the bathroom was difficult.
     
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  6. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    Rihana, sometimes I do feel bad for doing this to my mom. I don't want to be that controlling daughter who is constantly nagging about their expenditure. If she likes sarees n jewels I feel she should just buy as much as she wants n enjoy the last few years of her life. Plus she's been a spendthrift all her life, didn't save anything at all for herself. So very hard to change that mentality now at 60+ years .

    However what me n my sibling want is a comfortable lifestyle for them in their old age. It's just that we aren't in the same page as them. They don't like to invest in lifestyle. Eg : mom says why do I need a maid, all my life I have done the household work myself. For them spending on maid is an unnecessary expense.
    Okay they like to travel to temples . Covid or not they want to visit. Fine done n accepted. It was proposed to them "we(me n hubby)" can arrange a car for them for their visit during covid. No they still want to go in that second class train, switch to bus mid way or change trains etc. They simply won't make their trip comfortable. All their life they have travelled like that and they are not at all ready to change. Taking a car would have been comfortable? But no that's a waste of money for them.

    ..
    The substantial amount of retirement funds which she will be getting would be sufficient for them for their lifetime if invested correctly . However if the same money is managed in a hapazard manner there's also a possibility that it can get over in next 2-3 Years .
    Is that our(me n my sibling) fear? Maybe yes.
    So my H questions me why do you fear that? I didn't have an answer. Maybe we fear that if their funds are over in the next few years then me n Sis would be completely responsible for taking care of them financially.
    Physically I would always be there.
    But financially I don't know. Why I feel that way I am not sure. When I quit my well to do job for my personal reasons one fear was how will I help my parents if I am not earning ? I hate to ask my husband for any financial help for them. He still helps(like he asks me shall I take insurance for them in my office , are you planning any major surgery?) but I hate to take that help even though he goes ahead and takes that insurance. . Maybe my own insecurities it is. But to ask him tomorrow "my parents need so and so cash, can you give? " I hate to do that.
    So I want them to be that independent old couple who would not ask financial help from anyone, even from their daughters .

    Having said that we(daughters n sons in laws) wouldn't be that cruel human beings to let them suffer if at all they need any sort of financial help. We would still be doing that. Just being prepared for that rainy day as Hopi mentioned.

    Few other financial mis management by mom n dad - unable to share in a public forum. Why I use the term money mismanagement is : We feel they could have done it differently but they feel what they have done is the best they could do.

    No one is right or wrong in such cases. Just that our approach is different. Some want to plan so that they save money for the rainy day while others feel savings is a waste and enjoying life at this moment is the best.
    Individual choices.
     
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  7. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    Please tell me what brings that tears to you? .here in this thread I am only assessing the situation and learning what best I can do. Even if you point out something which I may not agree with, still I would be okay.
    I am looking for perspectives shravs... Nothing else.
     
  8. Anisu

    Anisu Platinum IL'ite

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    Anusha, you are in a tricky situation right now. I completely understand your situation. Both you siblings can definitely put across your points and convince your parents. You may not end up with 100% perfect financial planning but both of you wi come to midway. As HR, rightly said, take them to a financial advisor.
     
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  9. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    I was thinking about my parents retirement so got emotional. I dint find fault in your situation.
     
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  10. Anusha2917

    Anusha2917 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thought so. :relaxed:
    One silly incident which I feel like laughing at now.. When I was a kid (maybe 3rd 4th std) there used to be an old lady in neighborhood. She was my friend's grandma. She had all grey hair and typical old lady. Seeing her I used to hug my Mom and cry that my mom should never get grey hair. (the intention was she should never get old) . Now that they are old I feel that fear as a kid came true. Isn't it inevitable?? I'm in middle age and they are getting older I get emotional whenever I remember that. :grinning: I never wanted them to get old at any cost..
    well just sharing..
     
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