Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Rumor Mill

The more contact with my siblings I have, the more rumors I hear bandied about and I am sick of it. According to the rumor mill, I've just found out that allegedly Jonathan and I forced my father to liquidate all his assets, including his car, and kept all the profits ourselves to fund our travels and happy lifestyle. Keep in mind I have little to no contact with my siblings so none of their ideas on my parents' circumstances is based on any sort of actual facts but all pieced together in their minds like some conspiracy theory based on bits of information they obtain when talking to Dad on the phone.


First, I really have no understanding why my siblings think our father has or had major assets to be liquidated in the first place. My parents had next to nothing (a little bit of savings) and in fact were at such a low income and asset ratio that they qualified for income sensitive housing here in VA. Second, my father sold his car long before they moved here to VA and it had nothing to do with me. He sold his car b/c he was no longer able to drive due to health issues (he was losing his vision and balance and unable to drive). The doctor suggested he use a bicycle to get around town, but he was not even able to do that without losing his balance and falling.


When Jonathan and I began to make arrangements for my parents to move here (at their request as they had come to the realization that they could no longer maintain their home and live independently in NM), we helped them review their finances and work out a budget for their moving expenses and living expenses here. Their meager savings were used to pay off their credit card balances, pay the moving expenses, and buy the furniture for their apartment here. They got next to nothing on their home sale because the home was one step from being condemned in disrepair and we sold it for quick sale as-is so we could get them moved up here before their health deteriorated further. What little they got also went toward relocation expenses.


Once here, their only source of income is my Dad's federal retirement pension and social security. That doesn't even begin to cover their living expenses, so Jonathan and I help them out with the shortfall. So there is and never was some large stash of assets to liquidate. My parents don't even have decent life insurance so when they die Jon and I will be on the hook to pay all of those expenses as well.


Second, it infuriates me that a whole group of people who have mostly had nothing but bad things to say about my father over my entire life, and who've never made an effort to look after his well-being in any way suddenly are concerning themselves with the details of his life and finances. They don't even seem to realize that if he did have money, if he passed away it goes to my mother. (And vice versa for her). It's only if both of them die, or when the last remaining spouse dies that all of their assets are split equally between all over their 9 children, assuming there are any assets remaining. So this group has no trouble spreading rumors about myself and my husband (who work hard to earn a comfortable living and pay for their own trips thank you very much) but can't be bothered to actually be involved in Dad's life and be active caregivers in anyway. I didn't see any of them volunteer to help my parents move near them or volunteer to support them financially for the rest of their life. Jon and I always knew that would be our role.

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