‘I stood watching my assets evaporate’: My siblings kept asking my parents for money. What can I do to prevent this?

Dear Quentin,

I am 46 years old and single. I have a good job and own my own house but live modestly. I’ve been lucky enough not to have to ask my parents for anything over the years. On the contrary, my brothers and sisters did the same, and often. My parents are comfortable, but not rich.

My brother lives in New York City and he always needs money. His finances are unstable, he has a child and a good wife. My sister has an unstable marriage and often needs help. My parents have had to help both over the years.

I worry that my siblings see my parents as an inexhaustible source of money and will be left with nothing. While I certainly don’t feel aversion to helping my brothers and sisters in need, I do feel that I’m watching my inheritance evaporate right before my eyes.

I have a good relationship with them now, but I wonder what will happen when my parents die.

take care of your son

Dear interested people,

Inheritance is only inheritance when it is in your bank account.

Let’s start with the good news. You are financially independent, you have your own home, and you live within your means. You can also make sure you contribute to a retirement account such as a 401(k), automate your savings, try to avoid spending more than 30% of your income on housing, and allocate 20% of your income goes to the things you “want” while putting 30% towards your financial goals.

There are also some other financial matters that you can focus on, which will help you forget about your siblings. Make sure you have an emergency fund with at least six months’ worth of – or ideally a whole year’s worth – of expenses. Track your monthly expenses and pay off your credit cards every month. You never know when an economic downturn, job loss, or medical expenses could hit your finances.

Next, turn your attention to the stock market and the magic of compound interest: That’s when you make money on your initial investment — and a return on your investment. This takes time, but let’s assume that you, at 46, have more than 20 years left until retirement. Investing now in a bearish stock market will reap long-term rewards.

You seem to be in a much stronger position than your siblings. You are one of the lucky ones. The share of workers who say they are living on this wage has increased among middle- and high-income earners – 63% and 49%, respectively, up from 57% and 38% a year ago, according to the report. report. investigation of the nearly 3,600 workers released last year.

Lesson learned: Take care of your own finances and spend less time worrying about the needs and wants of others. Your parents worked hard for money, and their children’s financial fortunes vary widely. Yes, some of your sibling dilemmas can be self-inflicted, but it’s up to your parents to decide if and how much help they need.

You are always free to express your concerns to your parents, ask them if they feel unduly pressured, and ask them to consider any money they give to your siblings. their wills. But don’t expect them to welcome that conversation. Let go of any desired outcome. It’s their money, their children, their decisions.

FriendFriend You can email The Moneyist for any financial and ethical questions regarding the coronavirus at [email protected] and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Payment procedures Moneyist’s personal Facebook group, where we seek answers to life’s toughest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you’d like to know more about, or consider the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets that he was unable to answer each question.

More from Quentin Fottrell:

‘I’ll be the tenant’: My boyfriend wants me to move into his house and pay the rent. I suggest paying only for utilities and groceries. What should I do?

‘I have suffered for a long time’: My mother demanded that I return my inheritance to divide it for my drug-addicted brother What should I do?

‘This has annoyed me all my life’: My estranged father gave me $1,000 a month to buy a house in California. My brother cried, and told me to stop. Who’s right?


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