Five years ago, if you had asked me if everything was cool with my parents and in-laws' financial situations, I would have gleefully told you that everything was wonderful. Now? In a few months, both sides have gone to seed.

I'm 99% sure that my parents don't have as much money tucked away as I once thought. My stepfather didn't have much in retirement, but he'd gotten a gig that supposedly was going to pay more, so that was going to help him catch up. According to some third-party data I picked up, that didn't happen. The first bit was blown, and then the numbers dropped. Add to that the fact that my mother's retirement stops if she dies first, leaving him with nothing.

I also think their current situation is tight. They'd become weirdly cheap in the last few months, so I crunched some numbers. If my figures are right, they're covering expenses, but only just. If they had a house that was paid off, they'd be sitting pretty, but they have debt that was acquired for dumb-ass reasons (yay, you got a Mustang and made your house completely un-sellable in this market!).

Even better? She's been telling him that he can retire any time. NOT WITHOUT SOMETHING TO RETIRE ON!

As for my in-laws, it's quickly becoming clear that their plan (to lean on local relatives) isn't going to work. Sure, their nieces and nephews were delighted to pick up groceries for them or help them move a couch, but not ONE of them jumped up to help when my father-in-law had to be driven an hour away to get daily chemo.


I'd rather they live closer to us, but no, they insist that they're going to die in their hometown come hell or high water. They also insist that they won't ask for anything, but I know that they know that they don't have to: My husband will just do it. That, or he'll make himself ill over the fact that he can't do anything.

Ideally, I'd like everyone to just come clean so we can hash out a plan that's actually not crazy. Then, we can either agree to it, or I can let them know that I will not be helping them because what they want isn't in my budget / time constraints.