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Worrying about parents

May 25th, 2014 at 11:30 am

As an only child with three step siblings, and the knowledge my dad will predecease my mom, I worry about my mom. I know that she'll have more than enough money.

But I also know that my parents have always made bad financial decisions but out earned stupid. No matter what bad decisions they've made they've always earned enough to not worry about it. They've leased cars, taken trips every month and lived a great life. But they've never done any home repairs and literally gotten rid of cars because they didn't want to fix it.

My dad still works at 83 and has been forced to take RMD from his IRAs and SS. My mom has a pension and is collecting now SS. With everything they are making too much to qualify for Roth IRA which my mom still does since my Dad still works. So financially good.

The real bad? Well here are a couple of examples. First my mom finally sold a house in July 2012 after it sat empty for 3 years because she had to "clean" it and have it recarpeted and new window treatments to sell it. The people who bought it flipped it in less than a year for $50k more. Sigh. I told her to just dump it and stop worrying about it. She refused and said she had to "fix" it to sell.

Second my parents have a large house they live in part-time. Large as in 5000 sq ft. I worry about my mom trying to clean it, they no longer have a cleaner come in since the one we had got too old. My mom doesn't trust anyone else so she's been trying to clean the house herself. I try to suggest finding someone new but she said they "steal". This house is literally leaking in the roof. When we were there for Christmas we were using buckets all over the house and my DH considered getting up there to hammer in shingles himself.

So my mom promised to fix the roof. I went back earlier this month and it still hasn't been done because she's too busy and it has to be coordinated with tenting for termites and re-roofing. I suggested calling and organizing for her, or even coming back to do it, but she said she has to "clean" and pack up everything. I suggested hiring an organizer/cleaner. But she says they steal and wouldn't do it right.

It's not about the money. She told me that she has $80k in her checking account waiting to do the roof and termites. But how can anything be done if you live in perfect weather and yet almost 6 months later a roof can't be done?

I want to hire someone to come in and just start cleaning the house up. I suggested getting a dumpster put outside so she can stop saying she has to drive to the dump.

This doesn't account for the fact that my parents have a condo they live in part-week as well. Stuffed to the brim. Everytime I visit I am lucky to fit a gallon of milk in the fridge. I have a photo I took as proof of salmon in my mom's freezer from 2001. Yes it's dated. For 2 people they have 2 refrigerators and a freezer.

Every time I suggest downsizing I'm told they can't sell the house it's not sellable. They have to clean it up first.

Mind you my mom had physical therapy for her rotator cuff in the past year so I'm worried about her cleaning toilets, lifting heavy things, etc. She's in overall great health and so is my dad, but seriously? Why do they need 3 cars for 1 driver?

I read on another blogger talking about taking over the checking account. So I worry. I wonder when do the roles reverse and the child starts taking on parental roles?

2 Responses to “Worrying about parents”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Wow, at least three of us on these blogs with older parent issues are coming to fore today. My other siblings have taken on day to day responsibility for my parents, each now living in sibs' households. I wish I could help more, but they are far away. My Dad enjoys living with his daughter, but Mom feels guilty about living with her other daughter. Both my parents were amazingly faithful to their own parents until they died. They set a high example for us....My Mom & Dad have each had a daughter on their checking account and as power of attorney for many years. I did it myself for my mother even when I was 18, as did my sister for my father when she was 18. In both cases it was just to help and in case of emergency. But that sort of early trust eases into the greater trust needed in old age. I am so grateful for my sisters who are taking care of my parents, giving them a place to live and helping them to have a meaningful old age.

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I will post about that if I ever get that far.

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