What are the obligations we have toward our family?
What do we owe them for protecting us in our youth and for helping us survive in an ever-changing world?
While the Redditor and Original Poster (OP) has since deleted their account, the question remains on the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for pretending I don’t have money so my family won’t bother me?”
“My wife(52F) and I(51M) recently partly retired with 4 million in savings (1 million of which is our home).”
“I am systems engineer and my wife was an RN.”
“I still work part time/contract but less than 20h/week and my wife is fully retired.”
Keep it secret, keep it safe.
“We are very fugal people and try to save where we can. I’ve also made it clear to my wife to never tell my family we have money and to pretend that we are dead broke.”
“Her family knows we do well but they never ask for money. My family won’t stop asking for money.”
“My mom, dad and brother are terrible with money.”
“My dad and brother both work oil and gas which results in a few fat years of tons of money coming in followed up with lay offs.”
“Not saying the lay offs are their fault but they have never save anything so they run up credit cards to pay for everything.”
“My parents have borrowed against their house so many times they effectively haven’t paid anything towards the principle and they have had that house for 35 years.”
“They should be retired by cant and my dad recently had to go back to work as a school bus driver because they have so much debt and no money.”
“My brother inherited their spending issues and has his own alcohol struggles. He’s currently going through his second divorce.”
Now to the problem at hand.
“I didn’t tell my son not to tell his grandparents we recently retired.”
“And they found out from him recently and have been calling me livid because we pretended we were broke for years.”
“But clearly if we can retire we have savings.”
“I didn’t tell them because I know the results are they would just ask as for money constantly.”
“They have on several occasions when we went on vacation and they found out via facebook(we have since learned not to post).”
“And came knocking for money. We lied and told them we won some money but had spent it all on the vacation.”
“Am I obligated to help them?”
“I don’t feel so because both my parents and brother made lots over their career but my dad is in his 70s and still working.”
“I’m sure they are contacting me to ask for money but AITA if I continue to pretend I have none (not sure how I’m going to that now that they know we are semi-retired.”
So OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Help or enabling?
“Look, I am all for helping family.”
“I have helped my sisters in the past because:”
“1) their financial conditions were no fault of their own.”
“2) they never asked, I offered and 3) they made it up how they could.”
“One paid me back, and the other helped me with something she’s skilled at.”
“Your parents have pissed away their money, and so has your brother. The money you would give them would do nothing to actually improve their situation because they would piss it away again.”
“You don’t owe them sh*t. Their poor decision-making does not mean you should not get to have this really wonderful early retirement with your wife, which you earned.” ~ gcot802
“Gotta second this.”
“Anything you gave them would not only not help but also enable them to continue their poor spending habits.”
“It’s not your fault they were not responsible with what they earned.” ~ No_Rabbit9158
“NTA. Do not enable irresponsible behavior at your own expense.”
“They aren’t owed YOUR money.”
“You planned for your retirement and are now on a fixed income.” ~ LK_Feral
“Giving them money would be enabling and not helping anyways.”
“Nothing about how they live will probably change so they’ll be right back in the same place before too long.”
“I doubt they’re willing to accept the help that will actually solve their issues or willing to put the effort into making the changes that are necessary.” ~ letstrythisagain30
The dues have been paid.
“You don’t have any money, you have enough to cover your retirement and that is it.”
“You don’t know what kind of medical expenses you’re going to run into in your old age, and there is no more money coming in.”
“NTA” ~ Lovebeingadad54321
“Practice saying, ‘we’ve retired and are on a fixed income.”’
“They don’t need to know what it’s fixed at and it’s none of their business.” ~ entirelyintrigued
Some pointed out the financial realities.
“Yeah at 3-4 million you can comfortably take roughly 75-100k a year or so (4% rule probably a bit too aggressive and 2-3 best).”
“That isn’t wealthy — OP did well, but it isn’t quite enough to start supporting other family” ~ DodgersLakersBarca
“It’s a good position to be in, and maybe better than most.”
“But it’s still not a guarantee.”
“That has to last 30+ years to support two people.”
“Anything can happen between now and then – whether it’s personal health issues, accidents or just world events that can increase living costs and/or reduce investment values.”
“And running out of money when you are much older is a really bad situation to be in. Especially, since many might not be able to work anymore and/or won’t get hired (right or not, it happens).” ~ embracing_insanity
NTA with caveats.
“You’re NTA, but the way you did it sounds so exhausting.”
“Just set firm boundaries, tell them once that you’re not going to help them and block them if they try to whine.”
“Pretending so hard you revolve your entire like around it sounds miserable.” ~ Gralb_the_muffin
“But this is not sustainable.”
“You need to establish clear boundaries to put this to bed.”
‘“I am unwilling to discuss my finances with you or entertain requests for money. If you are unable to respect these boundaries, I will end the conversation.”’
“Then follow through.” ~ Fit-Ad-7276
“But it probably would have been easier to learn how to say ‘no, I won’t give you any money”‘
‘”Am I obligated to help them?'”
“You went to great lengths to avoid helping them before so why change now that they know you have money.”
“You sound like a huge pushover when it comes to your family. You need to learn how to set boundaries and frankly it sounds so bad you should probably see a therapist about it.” ~ MonkeyPawWishes
“This is not a being AH or not problem.”
“This is an ethical problem.”
“If your ethics say you have to help your family no matter what (many believe in this), then help.”
“Or if you think you are independent people, then don’t. No matter how many NTA or YTA you have, it is up to you.”
“Both behaviors are understandable.” ~ serdasus101
Not everyone felt OP was in the right.
“People will probably argue with me and think I’m an AH but I literally cannot fathom having 3 mil in the bank and not helping my family out when they need it.”
“Obviously there is a limit but jfc.”
“I can’t even imagine his parents mortgage is that much since they bought it 35 years ago when housing prices were low.”
“I would probably buy my parents home and gift it to them.”
“It would save them so much money each month and give them some security.”
“I would never let my parents work into their 70’s if I had that kind of money. Absolutely appalling.”
“YTA why is it always greedy nasty people that have so much money.”
“Btw 3 million in the bank is an insane amount of money. Add in the paid-off house and we are talking very very well off.🤮” ~ HisGirlFriday1983
“For heavens shake your father is 70+ and still working?!”
“Be a good son and human and help your parents! If you got that kind of money that it doesn´t bother you to pay for their depts, you should do it!”
“I guess you had a nice upbring thanks to your fathers work and yes, you don´t have to but maybe you should.”
“Can you imagine how desperate your father might be? He worked his entire life and still couldn´t put some money away for retirement.”
“Yes you earned your money and if you want to retire at 50+ that is fine; but to have your father still working at 70+ I couldn´t look at myself in the mirror.”
“YTA.” ~ ichweisbescheid
Of course, there is no real ‘answer’.
Every relationship is unique, and so every person will have a unique answer to what they owe for the experience.
All anyone can ask is that you be true to who you are.