Post # 1
Last night my boyfriend and I were trying to plan a trip to visit my ailing grandmother out of state and also meet my dad at the same place (my parents are also out of state). My boyfriend has been very insistent we meet everyone this summer and I assume probably to ask for my hand and make sure dad likes him as we’ve been ring shopping. My dad was being ambivalent about dates because he wasn’t sure if he’d have a job, and my boyfriend is a little irritated because he wants to meet everyone at once.
I called my mom this morning who can’t work due to a disability (and cannot get social security for one reason or another), and she told me the reason they cannot give us any dates is because unemployment won’t allow you to travel out of state very easily without risking loss of income. I also found out she doesn’t even know how bad they are, but that my dad is talking about trying to sell the house and them moving in with my other grandmother who is also in bad health (but is in my city). My parents have always been upper middle class and my dad has never been without a job for more than a few months if companies collapse. They think he hasn’t gotten one due to his age (he’ll be 60 this year).
I don’t know what to do. How do you handle something like this when you’re an adult child? I feel like I should help them, but I can’t give any money because I barely have enough to make ends meet for myself. I hate seeing this happen to my dad because he always has such a strong work ethic and has been great at his job. But now I know all that money he worked on saving up for retirement is going to pay for a mortgage they can no longer afford and his unemployment may expire.
What do you do? Should I just let them deal with it?
Post # 3
For now I would let them deal with it, but I would consider looking for any leads for him you might know of. Even if they don’t move, he needs a job–and if they do move, he needs one in your city. See what you can find, and then broach the topic with your mom. Something we have here is also retraining for jobs–like unemployment will pay for it. Could your dad’s state do that?
And I feel you on barely having ends meet, because I’m in the same boat, but if my parents have been having a rough week, I send them cookies. Plastic baggie them and put them in a small box and Priority Mail usually only costs like $3 plus a little flour, sugar and butter… it’s a pretty easy way to cheer them up a bit! My mom lost her job last year, so I feel you. She has been in training for a new job though, thanks to the unemployment office paying for it.
Post # 4
It really sucks, but you really can’t do a lot for them. They have saved up a lot of money and really, it’s there for emergencies. It may be being used for the original intnetion (retirement) but he’s very lucky to have it. A lot of people don’t even have that!
Selling the house isn’t necessarily a bad thing–try to help them see the positive that could come out of it (if they’re discussing their finances with you, that is). They say it’s ideal to have your mortgage paid off by the time your’e mid-50’s….not that it doesn’t suck majorly, but maybe it is a blessing in disguise to sell the house and move into something more cozy. It’ll allow your father to comfortably retire without stressing over the mortgage, right? If they bring it up to you, just try to make it sound like it could turn out to be a good thing, whatever decision they are making. I’m sure it’s especially hard for your dad (well if he’s anything like my dad) to admit failure to his child or not met his own expectations. But instead of lamenting about the situation, sometimes even a parent needs some encouragement and seeing the positive side of things. Maybe then it won’t seem like such a horrible decision, but perhaps a blessing in disguise?
I think laboroflove’s idea of sending them some cookies is great! Or banana bread/muffins…=]. Both say “i’m thinking of you” but not in a spendy way…Could you head down for a weekend to visit them? And as much as your So wants to visit your parents in person and see them, it just doesn’t sound feasible. He may have to be a little more flexible considering the situation.
Post # 5
Oh, and I should say… I’d let your mom bring up anything you want to say to your dad to him, instead of you. he might not like that your mom has been talking about it. Guys can get super sensitive.
And if you send baked goods… Don’t don’t DON’T say they’re perishable. They always try to charge you more/make you not send them. Cookies are easiest because they’ll hold up in heat and not.. um… mold quickly. 🙂
Post # 6
I really would not get involved with this. It sounds like they are doing things to improve their situtuation and you giving them money won’t help them get a job. Your dad needs to find a job before things are going to get better for him.
Post # 7
Well, almost being in his 60s, does he have a retirement to rely on?
Post # 8
First, thank you everyone for your input. I think sending them some yummy home-made treats are a wonderful idea and I will do that.
I’m pretty sure he will not be able to retire, as the money he was saving wasn’t in a 401K but from a separate account and he’s using it to stay afloat. It just makes me nervous, I want them to be ok. 🙁