Worried About Parents

I’ve been getting a lot of letters from responsible young’uns worried about the reckless behaviour of their parents. Here’s an example:

Catherine wrote:  My parents are 62 years old and have practically nothing saved for retirement. They sold their house on the East Coast in ’98 and didn’t save any of the money after moving to Ontario. My parents are hard-working but have never been able to save a dime in their lives and have always been impulsive. They went out and bought a camper and started camping on weekends. One year later, they traded in this camper to get a bigger camper. This past September, they traded in the second camper for a THIRD camper. Then a few days ago, I found out they went to a presentation about a special members-only campground where they had the chance to win a truck. They ended up purchasing a “membership” to this campground in Lewiston, NY.  I have not said a word about their retirement in over two years because I gave up on them, but now I am so upset and angry. They make jokes about parking in our driveway and living in their camper, which I don’t find particularly funny. Because of the nature of their job (condo supers), if one of them gets ill or passes away, the other is most likely out of a job and a place to live. Very scary.

My husband and I work hard to save what little bit of money we can. It angers me that they are not confronting reality. I also get upset when I think my oldest brother and I will probably have to take care of them at some point. My oldest brother is also angry and has lost sleep over this, but he has given up on them more than I have. My sister-in-law thinks I should let it go because we’ve already tried and failed, but I feel if I don’t do something now, it’ll be worse when a crisis hits. I feel that the crisis is looming….

Here’s what I said to Catherine: It’s time for you to start treating your parents like the grown-ups that they are. If they were your adult kids, I’d be telling you the same thing: Hands off. This is not your problem to fix. Whatever money you’ve already given them, consider it written off. It’s gone. But there will be NO MORE. You must deal with your life and your parents must deal with theirs. If it blows up in their faces, that’s the way it is. You can’t be responsible for another person (unless they are your minor kids or have come to need through no fault of their own.) Your parents have made their bed, now they must lay in it. If you continue to “enable” them, you have only yourself to blame for your anger and disquiet. Love them. Hug them. Don’t give ’em another cent!

I get that kids feel responsible for the moms and dad who raised them. It’s that very sense of responsibility to your parents that likely has you taking good care of your own financial life. But unlike the parent-child relationship in which parents are responsible for their children because they chose to bring them into the world, the child-parent relationship is different. Through their behaviour your parents set the tone for that relationship. But all the while, your parents are adults and have to assume the responsibility of adults: to take care of themselves.

If you have a parent who is irresponsible with money, a parent who is trying to guilt you into providing for them as they did for you as a child, a parent who seems to have not one iota of common sense and no plan for the future, you need to recognize this is NOT your problem.

Above all, you cannot help anyone – not even your parents – if that help necessitates putting yourself at risk. All that does is create more problems.

How do you say, “No” to a parent you love? It’s tough. But it goes something like this:

“Mom and Dad, I know you’re in a tough spot. I would be happy to help you figure out how you’re going to change what you’re doing so things can get better. And if you want me to help you find a professional to help, I will. But I’m afraid I don’t have the financial means to bail you out or offer you any support. I need to take care of my family and myself so I don’t end up where you are right now. And I am determined to never be a burden on my children, so I must keep my financial house in order. Please let me help you figure out what you have to change. I love you and want to help, but not with money.”

38 Responses to “Worried About Parents”

  1. Good speech, I may print it off since I have the feeling that in the next few decades I may have to recite it.

    We get the “joke” about parking their camper in our driveway and living there. I always “joke” back, “Oh you don’t need to do that, we have a perfectly good shed in the backyard. It has electricity and we’ll even insulate it and dig an outhouse for you.”

  2. @ Amelia – Excellent come-back!

    We’re pretty lucky that my In-laws and my Mom & Step Dad have all their ducks in a row in terms financial security for their golden years. In-laws are retired, home’s been paid off for years, they don’t splash out a lot of money, and have recently paid for their funeral arrangements/burial site… all so we don’t have to worry when their time comes. My Mom & Step Dad have all their affairs sorted out as well.

    I’m a little more concerned about my Dad; he had to declare backruptcy when he was about 62 (at that time, he’s been retired about 3 years, and is now 70). The backruptcy’s now cleared, but he lost a bunch of money from his RSP’s. He’s never owned a home, but does get a good pension from his work as well as his Old Age Pension. He can easily afford to live day-to-day, but he’s such a private person, I’m not sure how well he’d do if he ever had to got to a retirement or nursing home. My sister’s always been closer to him, and she’s way more tolerant of him than I am. I could see him having to live with her, as he would not be happy with all the rules I would enforce if he had to live with us.

  3. I have great parents that are very responsible for their lives. At this point in life I want to live up to their good example. I’m the one who feels guilty if I tell them I spent money doing such and such. My parents are always saying DON’T spend your money.

    To me that camper in the driveway joke is not a joke and should fall on deaf ears. It sounds like they are setting you up to be the victim. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Your money belongs to you and your husband.

    I am going to put some money aside for my parents for an emergency if they have one when they get older. I don’t think they’ll need it though.

  4. “If you have a parent who is irresponsible with money, a parent who is trying to guilt you into providing for them as they did for you as a child, a parent who seems to have not one iota of common sense and no plan for the future, you need to recognize this is NOT your problem.”

    This reminds me of the story out in BC where a mother is suing her children to support her……I guess there’s some sort of law in BC where she can do this. I’m really curious how the case will settle out (the BC supreme court dismissed the application by her adult children to have the case dismissed). http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/09/19/bc-parental-support-sue-lawsuit-anderson.html

  5. My parents’ finances aren’t my business. If they seem to be managing okay, I will assume they are. Just like my finances aren’t their business. I never want to be a burden on them, and they certainly don’t want to be a burden on us. I don’t understand parents that ask their children for money. It boggles my mind that you would raise your children to be independent, protect them, and then use them.
    I also know, however, that my dad has a couple of pension incomes, and invested money when they downsized. I believe they spend a little too freely on “stuff”, but I know they scrimped on themselves while raising us.
    What I hate, I truly Hate, is that they are taking in their grand-daughter Again to live with them, who is 25 and never has worked a day in her life. My parents “charge” her rent, but give half back to her. She collects some kind of disability (though she never has worked). She sits around their house and does nothing. Not even laundry, because my mom says its just easier to add her stuff to theirs. She’s moving back so she can be closer to a fitness club.
    But, my resolution this year is to step back and let them all make their own choices. My tongue will have dents from biting it, but there is nothing I can do.

  6. I am in the same boat as Catherine. My sister and I have been dealing with this for years. My sister only just started because she just got married and moved out ( she is 20) I have been getting this for 10 years. I moved 2800km away and I still get the calls. I have never had the money to enable them but I am supposed to “fix” their money isssues when I am better off. They asked my husband and I to but a secong home for them to live in. My mom is 62 and dad is 73. They promise to to pay the morgage and utilities. They just went bankrupt about 2 years ago with almost $500,000 debt and have nothing for retirement!! They won’t rent because it is so below them.
    I said no way, so now they are calling my 20 year old sister who is tring to build her own life to buy a home with her new husband and then move them into the basement. She and I are both at the end of our ropes, we love them but enough is enough.

  7. I agree completely with Gail’s advice. It is not the responsibility of the children to pay the parents’ bills or house them. (Catherine should reduce the size of her driveway so that the camper doesn’t fit.)

    @Lis – Stay strong. Don’t even consider buying a second home for your parents. You will end up with two mortgages to pay and their utilities too. If your sister and her husband do buy a home it should be a house with no basement or a small starter condo.

  8. I didn’t get that Catherine’s parents have been asking her to bail them out — my sense was that she observes their behaviour and fears that this is where things are going. She expects to get those requests down the road when the inevitable consequences catch up with her parents.

    To me, this sounds like Aesop’s fable ‘the ant and the grasshopper.’ The ant is busy working all summer, storing up food for winter, while the grasshopper plays and mocks the ant for his hard work. But when winter comes and the grasshopper has no food, where does he go?

    This is a tough one and one I struggle with with my own mother. She’s in a bad situation now partly because of circumstances beyond her control (historical, health) and partly because of her own bad choices (spendaholic, drugs, etc). So I feel a kind of moral indignation — ‘when are you going to grow up?’ — but at the same time I do have a real responsibility to (for?) her. She wasn’t a good mother, but she’s my mother, and while I won’t pay her credit card bills I have paid her rent and will probably be paying for her assisted living costs in the not-too-distant future. But this is a solution to my problem, not hers — I can’t imagine living with myself if I don’t look after her when she truly needs my help.

  9. This is so frustrating to me, becuase this is exactly what I’m going through. My dad’s a mess. A complete financial mess. My 25 year old older brother moved out of town to work, and has to pay his rent here. He transfers money into my dads account so that his rent can be taken out, and my dad withdrawals my brothers rent money and spends it.

    My dad never pays his rent on time, if he does at all. He’s constantly indebted to people. He wont’ get a real job, because he’d rather work for himself, but working for himself is obviously not working.

    He has not put one red cent away for retirement, and won’t get a pension either since he’s never worked for anyone and never paid into it. He works in physical labour and he’ll have to work until he dies.

    I’m terrified of having to take care of him. He’s wreckless with money, and life in general. I know that if I refuse to take care of him, he’ll become homeless. I know that. He’s single and he doesn’t have a wife to fall back on. The burden will fall onto my poor brother if I don’t step up, and that’s not fair.

    I always scoff when people say GenY are the lazy, entitled ones.

  10. We are right there too. My hubby’s parents (well, really his mother, since she makes all the decisions) have been completely financially irresponsible and are now at the point where they cannot feed themselves, heat their home or transport themselves without financial assistance because their debt servicing costs are so high. Fortunately they have a tiny bit of equity left in their home, so they are now selling and we have agreed to build an addition ( a separate apartment) onto our home, that they will pay for from the equity in their home. I hate the balancing act and stress this has brought into our lives – we have to fix up their home to be able to sell it for a decent price, we have to find contractors and get permits and plans for the addition, we have to hope their place sells in a decent amount of time, we have to hope that the sale price fully covers the addition so we don’t get stuck with a bill we can’t pay….etc. etc etc.

    On another note, I think the filial responsibility laws on the books are horrifying and I would like to see them repealed. I don’t ever want my daughter legally obligated to take care of me financially. If I’m dumb enough to get myself in hot water, it shouldn’t ruin her life.

  11. I feel very fortunate. While I don’t know the exact state of my parent’s finances, and I know they are overwhelmingly generous to the point of occasional concern, no one works harder than they do (any they are long since ‘retired’ from their first jobs to work at their business). I expect that they have fabulous pensions (both spent their careers as ontario teachers) and they are the ones that taught me to invest early, by taking some inheritance that we received and investing it on our behalf, and explaining how it worked. Also, there are 5 of us kids, wide ranging in age (my younger sister is 22, but the oldest turns 40 next month) so I’m hopeful that, should serious hard times or illness befall them, the 5 of us could rally to help them without terrible burden on us all or compromise on our plans. I don’t know that I would be able to deny my parents money after all they’ve done for me, but I think the reason I feel that way is because they would probably never ask. My dad will be 66 this year, my mom is 62, and they still insist on treating at dinner (I’m 27). My heart goes out to people who have to worry about their parents. You may not be responsible, but I sympathize with the pain that must cause. Just know that the fact that you want to care for them speaks a great deal to the kind of person you are. They are very fortunate.

  12. I worry about my boyfriend’s parents only because they’ve both entered retirement and still have three of their four sons still living at home! The two youngest have already graduated high school and haven’t set any SMART long-term goals. They do have jobs, but only work part-time, and aren’t in school either. The other son has graduated from college and works full-time as a welder, but doesn’t pay for rent or any of his groceries. Where does his money go? On cars, beer, and hobbies. I worry for my boyfriend’s parents because I think they’re going to be using their retirement to subsidize their sons’ living expenses, rather than splurging on themselves. My boyfriend and I have tried to get on their case about sitting down to have a “talk” with all three of the boys, and supposedly this has happened, but we have yet to see any action.

  13. My father was once very well off, a successful lawyer with plenty of money. Due to bad decision after bad decision, he is now completely broke and living on a friend’s couch. It is so frustrating and sad. My sister has written him off, but I can’t…I would feel terrible. So I help when I can but avoid giving him money except as an occasional gift.

  14. avatar Lovin' the West Coast Says:
    January 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Hey blog readers…listen to Gail’s advice concerning deadbeat parents. I did and it saved my finances and marriage.
    A few years ago my FIL was diagnosed with dementia and it ended his working career. Unfortunately, his retirement “plan” was to work until he died. He and my MIL had no pension, no savings and a huge financial mess that they were hiding from (home forclosure, two vehicles repossessed, 7 years of back taxes owing, owed every utility known to man and 9 months rent).
    When FIL was put into care my MIL realized what a financial bind she was in. She started looking for someone to bail her out and, because we had steady jobs and owned our home, thought we were the best candidates.
    If we helped her, like Gail suggested, it would have put our own financial future in jeopardy. We would not have been able to help our two children attend university, we would not have been able to afford a place to live when my husband was transfered to an HUGELY expensive city on the west coast in the fall of 2011. We would not have been able to save for our own retirement. We would have become a burden to our own children and perpetuated the cycle.
    If MIL and FIL had come to financial difficulty through accident or disaster, we would gladly have helped them. They did not. They came to financial difficulty through their own selfishness and carelessness. We were not responsible for them getting into the mess and we were not responsible for getting them out. Gail’s excellent advice helped me see that and I am so glad that I listened to her!
    I was able to help MIL and FIL many ways without financially bailing them out. I contacted (and paid for) a lawyer to have wills and powers of attorney made for them. I negotiated with the creditors and helped create a financial plan that paid off their debts at a reduced rate or eliminated them through hardship forgiveness. When they needed help I was able to assist them with my time and effort. I just didn’t give them money because that wouldn’t have helped them or me.
    Listen to Gail’s advice!

  15. I was visiting my sister and parents over the holidays, and the subject came up that my parents may have to start selling things to buy food, and my sister got annoyed and said… if you need food you can have some food.

    And I would 100% love to help her financially when that time comes… BUT they smoke.

    My mom’s mental health took a huge dive a 20-30 years ago, which severly affected their earning potential… they made some bad decisions, but some good ones too.

    I have a real issue with going without myself (ie cutting back restaurant dining, new clothes) — so that someone can take a match to the money instead and oh, btw, put huge cancer risks into their bodies.

    I have decided that I will give some small amount when it becomes necessary, what I can afford, and nothing if I can’t afford it. I will give the money not for my parents, but for my sister who after having my parents move in with her 2 years ago (after they spent a decade living in my brother’s basement) might need to escape for a night out or a new shirt. At that juncture, shuttling my parents between appointments, listening to my dad go on about his latest and greatest obsession, taking care of their dog by walking it when it’s too cold, taking my mom to value village…. she deserves it.

    And maybe just a tiny part of me thinks I should so that they don’t come to some huge fight, and they start looking for the next kid to move in with….

  16. Our situation is a little different, but even more frustrating! My inlaws were never very good with money but had a roof over their heads and some small savings. My BIL and his wife fell into financial difficulty a few years ago at their own doing:Spend, spend, spend. All this while they knew his business was suffering terribly. Their answer was to have my inlaws sell their home and bail them out and move in with them. I’m sure you can see where this is going. They ended up in debt again and the whole lot of them has had to move to a smaller home in a less desirable part of town to keep their heads above water. My FIL is now in a home and a large percentage of his small income is now paying for his care. My MIL is close to having nothing and my SIL thinks we are not doing our part to help and is bitter toward us. Where in all of this was it any of our fault? We have 2 children of our own and our small income is spoken for and used wisely. It has been difficult, but we have had to turn our heads and walk away from the whole mess. We try to enjoy the visits, but tune out when they all start to complain. Follow Gail’s advice. Not just for your parents, but for your siblings too. It is a constant pattern of behaviour that is not likely to change.

  17. I’m with those who say to follow Gail’s advice. This is especially important if you have a spouse and children. Don’t take on the responsibility for parents who didn’t bother to prepare for their own retirement.
    To Sandy, you really need to think again about adding on to your home to provide a place for your in-laws. Adding on for the purpose of generating income would be different. You note all those things you “have to” do but really you don’t “have to” do any of them.
    And Daisy, your brother needs to make some other arrangement to pay his rent to prevent your father from stealing the rent money. Probably automatic transfers or post-dated cheques would work.

  18. My fil was a financial planner after retiring from a good job. We didn’t know until he was on his death bed that he’d spent all of their retirement savings and then some. He had a secret credit card and mailbox that he confessed to my dh about. He couldn’t even tell his wife, left that to my dh, her son.

    Thankfully he had the mortgage on the new house, he insisted on buying and the new car he purchased life insured. He also had a very good pension and benefits from his job that transferred to her.

    He was forever sending us financial planning articles and urging us to max our RSPs so we were completely fooled. It took my mil many years after his death to forgive him. Thankfully she is financially solid despite the many loans to her kids that never seem to get paid back.

  19. I just read this column and comments, then re-read the previous one on a similar topic:


    I really do agree with many previous posters that a TV series could be done on this issue, similar to Princess, with family members raising the issue and getting help for parents or family members — while also addressing the “couple” issues that are often the best part of “Til Debt.”

    Gail, any prospects for the idea?

  20. We had this converstaion with the parents two years ago. We are no longer welcome in their lives. Nor is their only grand daughter. It is really hard, but it had to be done, as we could not keep up with their financial demands. I really hope things turn out better for everyone else, but expect to be estranged.

  21. After reading these posts I am extremely grateful for my mother’s extreme penuriousness! I know I will not be asked to contribute financially…she is taking it all with her!!
    I am happy to contribute time/cooking/housekeeping/gardening/ etc in order to help make my parents old age more comfortable for longer.
    Thankfully, a financial contribution will not be required.
    Good luck to all who have posted their unfortunate scenarios.

  22. If you feel you must help out. “Never” ever, ever hand over money! It usually does not get used for the item that was asked for.(ie.. need to pay off credit card) Then find out went on trip or won’t say even how it was used, just vanished.

    If you must pay the actual bill. (ie.. cable, phone.)
    Or better yet look over the above bills and suggest savings/reductions and call Rogers/Bell and save them money at the same time. Use it as a non-combative teaching moment. This is what I did and they saw some of the errors of their ways. Also sneaky way is to auto program their cable box to tune into Gail everyday.
    As well do a little shopping for them/with them and explain coupons, savings, price matching, and meal prep. Imagine they are kids when it comes to money. You will not be out of pocket much and can sneak in question on other areas of finances.

  23. I have been a huge fan of Gail since I have begun paying back my large student loans to get started with my professional career but this is by far my favourite piece of advice to date. Sorry to hear about everyone else’s parental worries but I find myself unfortunately dealing with the same situation with mine along with their health problems and its nice to know that my husband and I are not alone in this.

  24. As I was reading this article, I was having a conversation with my 65 year-old Mother about how she would like to pay off her $5,000 credit card bill by June (by paying $400/month) so she can surprise my Step Dad with a trip to Hawaii in September for his 65 Birthday! My Mom works 15 hours a week and doesn’t make all that much money. On top of my Mom wanting to take my step Dad to Hawaii – they are still planning on taking their annual vacation to Las Vegas at the end of February. My Mom was telling me about a fight she had with my sister about money and saving… and saying no to stupid spending (like going to Vegas AND Hawaii when you really don’t have any money to do either). My step Dad has some money put away for retirement, but not a lot. After having their mortgage paid off for 5 years, they managed to rack up enough debt that they ended up getting a mortgage again when my step Dad was 60 years old! I’ve tried and tried to tell my Mom that the only reason my sister and I “get on her case” is because she can’t afford the lifestyle she “thinks” she entitled to (they go to Las Vegas EVERY year – even when my step Dad had gotten laid off from work)… really a vacation? How about saving the damn money to pay your bills. It REALLY frustrates me that my Mom doesn’t see anything wrong with her logic (put it on a credit card and pay for it later). She’s 65 years old and will have to work for many more years instead of saying “no” to vacations that they haven’t saved money for. All my Mom keeps saying is “I promise you will not have to pay for my debt when I’m dead”! That’s not very comforting considering she’s planning two trips within a year and doesn’t have any money saved for either one of them.

  25. A tough battle for sure but I love the approach Gail suggested. We must lay in the beds we make, our parents have recited this to us throughout our upbringings it is time they live up to their own words.

  26. Unless the courts force you to support your parents, not sure if these laws are on the books in Ontario.

  27. In Ontario, parents can sue their children for support, but the courts have to be satisfied that the differences in income warrant it. for example, the child must be financially successful and comfortable, etc and the parent must be enduring hardship. Each case would be different and the outcomes would be based on providing finanical documentation tthe courts for both parties. Of course, like every court case, it would be decided on the facts presented.

  28. avatar Michele K Says:
    January 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Wow. I had no idea that so many of us have financially irresponsible elders.

    At one point, I was prepared to give up our annual vacation and instead give the money to my ‘needy’ in-laws, but my husband talked me out ot it, saying that next year, they’d be back for more.

    I was not dumb enough to think we could loan them money and ever get it back, but I was also not aware of the extent of my in-laws’ selfishness, so now understand why my husband keeps his distance.

    I mean, a few weeks ago, they called up wanting to take us out to dinner, but when the bill came, refused to pick it up!

    I do not for one minute trust these 2 not to try to sue us for support in their later years in the Ontario courts. Our plan is to move out of Ontario, and out of their grasping reach.

  29. Oh boy. My wife lent her brother and his family $10,000 to tide them over as he’s had some business problems. Next thing you know there are pictures of them on Facebook in Las Vegas. I guess I know who paid for that trip. I’d like to think the lesson is learned but I suspect we haven’t heard the last of him.

  30. I see articles like this all the time and it is one of those lose-lose situations. Of course you want to help your family members, but is it worth it at the risk of your own financial stability. If you do your dammed, if you don’t your dammed. If you can’t completely cut them off financially then maybe you set aside some money for them in your budget if it allows. Also, I would suggest that you hold on to this money for when they are really in a financially draining situation. If all they are doing is spending, spending, spending, why would your money be any different. Let them think you can’t help, but have a small money aside for an emergency situation. The last thing you want is their financial issues to take a toll on your personal savings.

  31. I had the same problem with the inlaws. After lending them thousands and not seeing a dime back, |I forced them to start a grow op in the basement and give me the proceeds. Works like a charm.

  32. My mother is almost 70 and she can’t stop using (and abusing) credit cards. She is very good at making do with little, but not very good at managing her finances or planning ahead – maybe because she never had money in her younger days. She has a very good pension now and is very healthy but is unhappy because she never has money to travel and do the things she wanted to do when she was retired. I see her hand out cash to my older siblings but they are worse with money than she is. Every few years she renegotiates her mortgage to pay off her credit cards – last time it was almost $40,000, so she has almost no equity in her home – she is still paying a large mortgage. She isn’t a hoarder but she does shop compulsively – she has a closet full of clothes with the tags still one, she spends generously on her grandchildren, she shops online, she buys gadgets that are useless. It isn’t dementia – she has been like this for about 20 years – if she has money in her account, she has to spend it, even when her credit cards are maxed out.

  33. I am past retirement age and hope to never have to depend financially on my four children. However the bigger issue is whether our children have a moral responsibility to look after their aging parents, notwithstanding the parents financial savy.
    My view is they do, and whining about one’s parents irresponsibility is akin to a parent complaining about their offspring’s life style.
    Get a grip “kids” who said you had a free ride all your lives!

  34. David, I don’t agree with you at all – my mother keeps telling me it is none of my business – so it only becomes my business when she can no longer afford to stay in her own home? And then it is my moral obligation? Nope, that isn’t right. I didn’t help her get into debt, I paid for my own education, bought my first home with no help and never asked for anything beyond the occasional babysitting. Meanwhile, I include my mother in our family holidays, vacations, picking up the entire tab, flights, food, hotel and all.

  35. I agree with Gail’s advice in theory, but when the poop hits the fan, really are you are going to just walk away from your parents?

    Mine are comfortable now, but (in my opinion) are not doing nearly enough to save for their retirement. Their home is paid off and they don’t have big credit card bills, but they also don’t have pensions or big savings and people in my family usually live well into their 90s.

    My sisters and I often joke about who’s eventually going to wind up with Mom and/or Dad in the spare room, but I honestly think it’s quite likely to happen. When it comes right down to it, are you going to let your parents live on the street? Whether or not it’s due to their own poor choices or lack of planning, I don’t think it’s so easy to say just walk away.

  36. as others have said, i am very sorry to hear so many stories of others dealing with this difficult issue, but i also appreciate hearing how others are dealing with this. My MIL (no FIL in the picture at all) manages finances very poorly and has made some very poor decisions, and continues to make them. my husband and i have worked through the issues surrounding this situation for years, and have not given her money in several years now, b/c it will not be seen again. as others have said, we are not in a financial situation to help her, or it would be to our detriment. but i have wondered, a few things:
    -do any of you have cultural issues involved also? where your inlaws tell you that in THEIR culture (my husband and i are an interracial couple), it IS the children’s responsibility to care for the parents? (even though my MIL is not elderly at all.) we are wondering how to continue to deal with this.
    -we are prepared to be estranged in the distant future, if it should come to that, we will not put ourselves financially at risk. but guilt, and emotional ties are difficult to overcome. i would love to hear more about how any of you are continuing to put forth effort to have a good, healthy emotional relationship with the parents/inlaws so they can be part of your life and/or your children’s lives, while also keeping appropriate financial distance.

  37. […] before that…but what matters is how you learn from your mistakes, and that you move forward.Worried About Parents [Gail Vaz-Oxlade] Worrying about parents who are struggling with their finances happens to most of […]

  38. Hi, fairly off-topic but I have got a challenge trying to keep my adolescent daughter off Facebook when they need to be studying!!! Any suggestions besides unplugging the computer would be awesome! I experimented with some web browser extensions but they kept using a different browser and in addition they are a lot more computer savvy then me unfortunately 🙁

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