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Am I financially responsible for my siblings?? Need advice...

 
 
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 09:22 am
My siblings blame me for their low-pay jobs and make me feel guilty for not supporting them financially. Am I financially responsible for my siblings?

Our family immigrated to US 10 yrs ago and my parents worked long hours just to pay for the rent and house expenses. I have two siblings. My brother went to a public college where financial aide covered everything plus he got a few thousand allowances from his fellowship and financial aide leftover. I went to a private university with the help of scholarships and student loans. I worked two part time jobs to cover my monthly expenses and textbooks. My parents quit their jobs on the day of my graduation. They said it's too tired for them to continue working at their age of 55 after working for 4 years. I was struggling looking for full-time job at that time. I took internship to pay for the rent and house expenses since all my siblings were still in school and no jobs. I had about 60k student loans after graduating with Bachelor and Master degree. I got a high salary job after a yr of internship. My brother got a job 30k lower than mine but he had no student loan. I've continued contributing 70% of the house expenses. They asked me to contribute more since I made a lot. My parents asked me to support my sister financially throughout her college. I paid for her allowances, computers, etc., She blamed me for not fully supporting her. She couldn't spend like other college kids and she had to take student loans. Now that she graduated and she couldn't find any high pay job with her major. She wants me to pay for monthly allowances and her career advancements classes which cost a few thousands. I've recently bought an apartment and I barely have my salary left after paying my mortgage, parent's rent, and student loans. My emergency saving is shrinking too. All my family hate me for not able to pay her. They said I'm not helping the family and heartless person who's happy to see my siblings are struggling.

What is my obligation to my siblings? And should I pay them all my saving? I feel so guilty holding onto my emergency fund but I'm not sure how I'm gonna survive if I lose my job now. I still have my 50k student loans to pay off. But I don't want my family mad at me anymore. Any advice?
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 09:34 am
@Frosty2014,
Unless they're incompetent and you've got Power of Attorney, then no, you're not responsible for these grownups in name only.

If you want a more official pronouncement, consult a lawyer. Do you need to keep the peace in the family? Well, it's a nice idea in theory, but you don't need to bother.

You can even stop talking to them. Forever. Really. Lots of people cease all contact with family members that are toxic, as it seems these people are.

I'm sorry this is happening. Can you attempt to have a relationship with even one of them, if you lay the ground rules immediately and firmly? If you can't, then you can't, but if family is important to you then you might want to at least try. But you don't need to bend over backwards. It's more like, "Sis (or whoever you choose who you think will be most amenable to this), I love you but you need to stand on your own two feet now. I can't continue to support you financially. Here are some places you can go to look for work or get emergency funds or find a cheap apartment (or whatever you find for her). I wish you all the best."

And then wash your hands of it. A truly spoiled brat will scream and complain about this. A person with a shred of self-respect will thank you and try to become independent (and there's nothing wrong with trying to help someone who is trying, but just isn't successful. That does happen, of course). It may take a while for this person to come around, and if they do, great. But if they never do then you have done all you can and can hold your head high.

You need not bankrupt yourself just because everyone around you can't get their **** in gear.
Frosty2014
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 11:19 am
@jespah,
Thanks so much for the reply and suggestion.

Yes, family is important to me. They don't wanna talk to me unless I pay my sis for the class fee and other expenses. She recently quit her job because it's a low salary for a college graduate. She wanna go for different career path and I can't afford to support her.

I blame myself for not making a lot more to support their needs and wants. After posting here and reading the reply, i've realized I should help one last time. I've decided to give her $$ from my emergency fund. Money is not as important as family. But they don't appreciate it then at least I know I've done all I can and no need to feel guilty anymore.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 11:48 am
@Frosty2014,
If you feel that's the price to pay, then of course you're an adult and I can't stop you. But I get the feeling they'll just have their hands out again. If your sister isn't making enough $$ then that's her, and the job market where she is. You're not in charge of any of that.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 01:55 pm
I understand they are both college graduates? They should both be familiar with the parable of the ant and the grasshopper. If not, remind them.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 02:01 pm
Quote:
Frosty asked: What is my obligation to my siblings? And should I pay them all my saving?

In law, you've got absolutely NO obligation to your siblings..Smile
Just give them money if you WANT to, but if they're trying to take advantage of you, tell them to get on their bikes!
How old are they and you anyway?
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 02:58 pm
@Frosty2014,
I'm with you in that family is very important...even if sometimes their behaviour leaves a lot to be desired.

However, years down the track - I am also of the opinion that your own finances come first, as does long term planning for when you eventually retire:
- if you can't support yourself, you can't support them
- if you have no money left at retirement, you've done yourself a disservice (and you can't support them)
- invested money generates money (which can then support you, or you and them)
...but giving it all away...actually benefits no one, neither you, nor your family.

While I think family is important - I also think it's important that other members of the family think that any one person is a personal slush fund of theirs - this to me, smells of disrespect, reduces self-responsibility (for their own lives), and from observation - often ends up in them trying to manipulate and/or guilt trip/ and or blame the person they consider to be their personal slush fund....such views are toxic to family relationships.

By the way - giving up a job just because it's low paid, with you back up job, and expecting you to provide the lost money...I would never take part in.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 03:06 pm
@vikorr,
I strongly agree with jespah and vikorr on this one. (I don't know the ant and grasshopper thing, but I bet it's a useful thing to consider.)
0 Replies
 
Aldistar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 03:14 pm
You have no legal obligation to support your siblings. Your parents are living and you are not their legal guardians. Wow, I certainly wish I could quit my job after working full time after only 4 years. It is your parents that should be supporting your siblings not you. Or, since they are college age, your siblings should be supporting themselves. Helping your family out is admirable and nice to pay back your parents from supporting you, but there is a limit. The fact that they refuse to talk to you because you won't bankrupt yourself is outlandish. If you want to give it a last go with your emergency fund, then that is your prerogative, but I would stipulate that you used loans and work to make it, so can they. Trust me, once they jump on the free ride bandwagon, they never get off. It is a disservice to them in the long run, as they don't learn how to rely on themselves. Helping is one thing, shouldering it all is quite another.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 04:38 pm
@Frosty2014,
Ask yourself a question. If you support them now, do you really believe they will be either willing or able to support you if you need it in the future.

I didn't think so.
Germlat
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2014 08:05 am
@roger,
Ok...but --supporting someone has nothing to do with what you get in return. It's more about being generous in your ability to contribute. This guy however, has 50,000 he owes in student loans. There are cultures in which the males are to provide for the family. It's tricky. A cultural relativity type of thing in my opinion. Sometimes it's best to shed a maladaptive cultural trait...particularly when given the obvious circumstances, it is no longer relevant.
0 Replies
 
Michelle 14617
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2014 06:50 am
@Frosty2014,
Your educated, right? You know the answer. Is there more to this letter than meets the eye? I believe there is. Let me help you. .take your arms wrap around you while looking in the mirror turn so your back is facing the mirror turn our head , look in mirror, now wiggle your hands while touching your back..
0 Replies
 
Medusax
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jun, 2016 07:41 pm
@Frosty2014,
None at all.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jun, 2016 09:38 pm
There are some cultures where people are expected to take care of siblings AND parents when it is perceived that they have "made it. " Apparently, your entire family believes that YOU are the one who should turn around and now be the supporter of everyone else in the family.

You need to speak up about your own financial issues. You need to tell them that you have some $$ obligations, and IF there is extra, then you can help out, but only IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY.

You must put your foot down about this, or this will go on for all your life.

Most people would feel that they cannot continue to support families members for forever, but perhaps your culture dictates that you do. Is this what is happening?

0 Replies
 
 

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