What Keeps Me Up At Night

I’m super busy. Work, gym, home, sleep. These days are all blurring together. Pardon any grammar mistakes, I wrote the following post very quickly. 

I don’t know what it is about this week, but it’s been quite challenging to focus on work. I just want to be doing something else completely different. My husband just started a new job and he feels the same way. He is a lot more vocal about it.

I tend to just grind it out and just power through it. But there are moments, many, many moments where I wonder how much longer? I really try not to think about it because personally I don’t think I’ll ever retire. Why?

Am I pessimist? Yes. But there is another reason that keeps me up at night. The reason? My parents.

While some people worry about health insurance and maintaining it in financial independence, I don’t particularly worry about it. I spent 20+ years until I got my first corporate job uninsured. My family was/is still uninsured. What worries me is how do I account for my parents.

I think most people my age and in my socio economic circle have well-off parents. They don’t worry about taking care of their parents financially in the near future. I even listened to a podcast talking about whether people had their parents in mind when calculating FI dates. Most said no. Maybe because most of the personal finance space is predominantly (nothing against it) Anglo –American. But when you come from a Hispanic family, it’s different. It’s hard to explain. Believe me I’ve tried with my husband (who is not Hispanic). We are taught at a very early age parents come first, and as kids, we must take care of them in old age. When you come from a poor family, well your parents don’t really have access to a 401K, and don’t even make enough money to put any money in retirement accounts.

So my parents will depend on my brother and I. It’s a situation that is constantly at the front of my mind. How to prepare? My parents are pretty frugal, so I know they don’t spend money nilly willy. They have a house in Mexico. It needs work. But with a $10K investment, it could turn into a real gem. However, I don’t think they want to live there full-time. They like the U.S. more. My parents have their little house in the US, but honestly, I want them to live in a better house. Not a bigger house…although it would be nice to have one more room…but mostly a nicer house.

Financially taking care of my parents full-time scares me a lot. So on top of having to worry about our retirement, I have to worry about my parents! Yikes! Super scary. Thus, my hesitation to even put a $ figure to what I consider financial independence. 

The takeaway? The situation causes a lot of anxiety. A lot.

Is anybody else tackling this scenario? What’s your take on taking care of parents? Are you anxious? 

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4 comments

  • Dealing with my in-laws right now. It has been difficult because they are stubborn. I love them tremendously, but my hands are tied because they don’t listen or believe we want the best for them. So they go on suffering and enduring their unwise choices in life. This is the moment I realized that we can only do the best we can under the circumstances. Frustrating, but we live with it.

  • My wife and I handle my father in laws finances. His wife passed away and he has no interest in handling it himself so we are trying to do our best to make sure that he is taken care of. It’s definitely an added stresser so I can’t imagine having to incorporate your FI with your families.
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  • I totally worry about this as well, particularly for my wife’s parents. My wife is an only child and if my father-in-law happens to pass my mother-in-law will be all alone. So it isn’t financially per se, but an obligation to take care of them when they are older. Also, if we have kids I want to be close to my parents who are older (both parents are in their early 70s). I think about this a lot because I am job locked to an extent. I wish they could invent a teleporter or we had the floo network (ala Harry Potter) to prevent this situation. It sucks no matter what.

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