By: Revanche

Behind the Curve

July 26, 2006

Apparently I just don’t read before I write, but I discovered that FR over at Fiscal Responsibility expressed exactly what I want to say when people ask, you have to establish yourself first, why are you focusing on their retirement first?

“Because… they have given up everything so that I could have everything.”

Exactly. My parents left everything they knew behind to give me everything I have today. Yes, I worked my way through college and supported the fam for a short time, but that’s exactly it: I got to go to college. In America. Now we can all talk about the shortcomings of America but you know what? In many parts of my country you either scrambled and starved slowly, or you didn’t and you starved faster. So why would I expect to give them a house, a retirement? Because they have earned it a thousand times over.

4 Responses to “Behind the Curve”

  1. FR says:

    Hi MiniDucky,

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog and thanks for posting the link to my somewhat defuncted blog (I am moving back to CA this weekend! As you can imagine, I’ve been swamped with the move back).

    It is funny how people feel so differently about finances. My ex-boyfriend (he and I thought we were gonna get married, too) and I had many debates because I feel obligated to help my parents when they are retired, even if they are doing relatively well for themselves. He didn’t see why I should have to help. He grew up in a very poor household but his mom (she was a single mom) never put the kids before herself (there are horror stories of how they had nothing in the fridge except for slim fast shakes for months… and this is with 3 boys in the house). Yet he was insistant that we should help HER out with retirement. If I felt that she had given up everything for him to get him to where he is, I would have understood but with so many selfish horror stories, I couldn’t imagine not helping my parents out while helping his mom.

    I think this is an issue that will plague many of us AsianAmerican bloggers in relationships. I just don’t think that many others understand where we are coming from…

    Good luck!

  2. Hi FR,

    Thanks for the return visit!

    I was going to try to set up an AA PF list but … you’re the only one I’ve “met” so far so maybe that’ll come a lil later.
    I agree, there are so very many differing opinions on finance, and it can be a very emotionally charged topic of discussion. Or studied non-discussion when I think about most of my friends.

    I can definitely see that your feeling that your parents are more deserving of your help than his mom is. After all, your parents sacrificed while it sounds his mother didn’t. I mean, Slimfast? Really? That’d just be traumatizing for any kids, much less growing BOYS. I think that’s where the difference comes in, you’ll help your parents because you want to do for them as they did for you while he has to help his mom because she can’t help herself and she’s his mom. In the end, if you’d stayed together I think the consensus would have to be that you’re together so you should help both equally. I cannot imagine hearing anyone tell me that they’re going to put my parents out and take in only their own. I may not be a proponent of “blood is thicker than water” but boy, THAT blood IS.

    I’m very lucky that BoyDucky came to that conclusion on his own. “You’re going to help your family, and that’s fine because I’m going to need you to be there with my family too.” Obviously he tactfully left out the details of HOW we’ll help our families – we’ll take that as it comes. But he respects that I’m going to take care of both our families and I have that mentality because of them. He understands that they’re the reason why I’m good to both them and him. That’s a lot more understanding than I initially gave him credit for, so I’m very lucky as well. Sorry, not to sound all braggy, I’m just very proud of him.

    I think that non-AA bloggers can understand when the aspect of the extreme sacrifices that our parents have made becomes clearer. It’s just a very different cultural situation that has become uncommon most particularly in America. I like to think of it as responsibility squared 🙂

  3. Kira says:

    One of the first things I want to do once I have more money coming in is to buy long term care insurance for my parents – my grandparents are in a retirement facility now and I really can’t imagine how much that must cost.. one of the wealthier siblings is covering it. That’s what’s important for me, making sure that my parents have someplace to go when I can’t take care of them, and that they will get good medical care (my dad will probably really need it.)

  4. Yes, I definitely want to do more research on this topic when I can carve out some time. It’s too bad we three and other PF bloggers couldn’t band together to form a group of long-term insurance buyers to negotiate a group rate!
    I’m encouraged that CA has what seems to be some reputable options and honestly medical expenses are probably the most worrisome unknown in this retirement scenario.

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