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Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 35,091
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Living on a Fixed Income

Message 1 of 21 (11,190 Views)

I ran across a "Dear Abbey"  column today and it made me think about the change from pre-retirement income and retirement income.  I wondered how many people adjust their life style's accordingly or just continue as they always have and then wonder where the savings is going.

 

"DEAR ABBY: I love my parents and would do anything for them. They have never been good about managing money. They are both retired now and on a fixed income, and they have been asking me or one of my four adult siblings for money to help with their bills each month. I don’t mind giving, but recently my siblings and I have become annoyed because, while they continue to ask for money, at the same time they are also taking short trips, which include hotels and rental cars, and inviting friends out to dinner. They also have a storage locker full of junk that eats up several hundred dollars a month. 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/f5e00e58-55ca-3fe4-9427-c8785b342a67/ss_dear-abby%3A-parents-spend.html

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 35,091
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 2 of 21 (11,188 Views)

nyadrn wrote:

 

"DEAR ABBY: I love my parents and would do anything for them. They have never been good about managing money. They are both retired now and on a fixed income, and they have been asking me or one of my four adult siblings for money to help with their bills each month. I don’t mind giving, but recently my siblings and I have become annoyed>>

It is always difficult to have to take this role with a parent.  It goes against most of your lifetime interactions.   Abby suggested the children sit down and be firm with their parents.   I wonder how that would go.  Could the children actually withhold the money the parents were asking for?  Would it cause a rift in the relationships?  Would the parents start thinking about who to leave the house to : >

 

Of course this just shows that the parents were not acting responsibly, but this is no easy issue.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,425
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 3 of 21 (11,152 Views)

Perhaps one of the children, the best one for the job, could approach the situation in some sort of helping manner.

 

After telling them that this money asking thing seems like a reoccurring event, perhaps offering to help them do a budget.  I often find that people who have a fixed income and don't have a budget often overspend on just this and that - sometimes telling them to write down where all the money goes for a month, it might help to awaken them to how all the "this and thats" add up.

 

Also by doing this the children might be able to work down some expenses - like a different phone plan, cable plan, etc.

 

They could also look at the utility bills and anyway to save there - a leaky faucet, heating or cooling or insulation matters.  

 

Review and shop heir insurance coverages - home, auto - to make sure they are not paying too much for what they are insuring.

 

Actually it is just a matter of reviewing all the places their money goes and see if it can be reduced in ways that does not actually affect their living.

 

A fixed income does not just mean money from one source - perhaps the children need to see if there is any other place where funds could come in. 

 

Once this is done, the children will know exactly what might be the problem and that is not to say that they might need some money every once in awhile. 

 

In order to help people with their finances, you have to know a whole lot about them and in this case, the kids need to know cause the situation won't get better with out help and without help will most likely get worse.

Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,363
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 4 of 21 (11,144 Views)

I wonder if doing this as a "family intervention" would work, so no one child becomes "the bad guy", or another one the "secret savior"! I think the children also have to be careful that their "helping" doesn't result in the parents relinquishing more responsibility for their own decision-making, and wonder if there's some free service that could work with them instead. Having finite outside professionals help, would insure that the parents couldn't start shifting responsibilities to the professionals, the way they might with their own children.

 

I came from a VERY responsible family, so having to deal with this situation (if I were married to someone & their parents were like that) would probably frustrate me terribly .. unless the parents sincerely indicated that they wanted to change their ways.


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Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 7,004
Registered: ‎02-14-2008

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 5 of 21 (11,138 Views)

"....that this money asking thing seems like a reoccurring event, perhaps offering to help them do a budget.  I often find that people who have a fixed income and don't have a budget often overspend on just this and that - sometimes telling them to write down where all the money goes for a month, it might help to awaken them to how all the "this and thats" add up.....".

 

Yup. As some of you know, financial planning (or lack thereof) is my continuous rant. Absolutely need to track expenses, then determine if any of those expenses can be mitigated. Along with that, need to predict future expenses (if they live in a house, will it need a $6,000 re-roof anytime soon kind of thing).  That's a major failure in budgeting that so many people experience.  


“The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.”
Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 35,091
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

[ Edited ]
Message 6 of 21 (11,122 Views)

retiredtraveler wrote:

 

Yup. As some of you know, financial planning (or lack thereof) is my continuous rant. Absolutely need to track expenses, then determine if any of those expenses can be mitigated. Along with that, need to predict future expenses (if they live in a house, will it need a $6,000 re-roof anytime soon kind of thing).  That's a major failure in budgeting that so many people experience.  


>

Future expenses.. an often forgotten item!!   Big businesses have departments that record all assets, look at a lifetime and set a date for replacement or repair and the associated costs.  No surprises.  Homeowners should do the same by planning for lifetime of roof, appliances etc and saving for the repair/replacement.   Condo buildings were notoriously bad at this and States had to step in and require a fund be established and regularly paid into to prevent having a huge unexpected assessment that could force owners on a fixed income to lose their homes.  Emergency funds..  six months of expenses.. how many have that?

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 35,091
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

[ Edited ]
Message 7 of 21 (11,123 Views)

ASTRAEA wrote:

I came from a VERY responsible family, so having to deal with this situation (if I were married to someone & their parents were like that) would probably frustrate me terribly .. unless the parents sincerely indicated that they wanted to change their ways.


>

Sounds like a pretty good idea.   This is a difficult area.  Say you have a sibling who is out of work and needs help but who smokes or wastes money in ways that you would not.  Would you be inclined to help them? and if you did out of responsibility would you harbor a grudge?  Not a good situation.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,363
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 8 of 21 (11,120 Views)

@nyadrn - I inherited my Mom's IRA, and since she was already taking distributions, I had to continue .. even though I was only 51 at the time. But in a way, it's a good way to know you're getting that money each year, and can ear-mark it for a house project .. or sock it away, to be ready for the next big $ item that may fail.


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Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 35,091
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 9 of 21 (11,116 Views)

ASTRAEA wrote:

@nyadrn - I inherited my Mom's IRA, and since she was already taking distributions, I had to continue .. even though I was only 51 at the time. But in a way, it's a good way to know you're getting that money each year, and can ear-mark it for a house project .. or sock it away, to be ready for the next big $ item that may fail.


True!

 

When I go back and read these posts it is clear that there is a vast difference in situations of people living on a fixed income.  There are lots of people in this country living hand to mouth due to all kinds of reasons.  They are never able to save or plan for a future time.  So if you are coming up to the time when you will have to stop working for whatever reason, health age etc...   what do you do?  Sit down with family and ask for suggestions or help?  

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,363
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Living on a Fixed Income

Message 10 of 21 (11,112 Views)

It's a shame that some people don't make a living wage, and may have to work multiple jobs. Maybe those people just can't retire, as long as they're able to perform. When things are so tight, it's even more important to have a budget & stick to it, finding bargains whenever shopping. And that idea about "pay yourself first"; maybe even $5/week MUST be set aside, for emergencies.


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