My parents are going to lose everything!!! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

My parents decided early in their marriage they would never be poor again after suffering horribly from the Depression. Both inherited much $$ from their parents and added to it. They are now worth approximately 3/4 mil. (I know this because I was asked to sit in with the lawyer when important trust decisions were made.)

Because of some serious health problems for both, my father is extremely worried that there will not be enough money to take care of them in the future. I'm sure he would not listen to my pleas to get rid of the stock. I've already tried very delicately to bring up the Y2K thing and his response was, "you can't panic". He does have some serious dementia and I think if I explained it the right way he might listen.

This is causing much anxiety for me because I know nothing about financial affairs and don't know who to seek advice from. I do not want to talk to their broker.

Could someone please just answer a question for me? Can stock be used to purchase metals and is that the best thing to do? How do you get 750,000 in cash? Believe me, I am not interested in taking their money. I would get it sometime in the future. I just want to protect their investments for them? I know they are not alone and that is one of the saddest parts of this mess.

I think about the WWII generation and realize how much we owe them and how much they have suffered in their lives. They have made a wonderful life for their children and for society.

Thanks to anyone who responds. Mary

-- Mary (, January 23, 1999


Mary, My wife Mary is in the same situation about the same amount of money. She has talked to her mother re: y2k and the response is "Where would I go?" She is very savvy and not easily fooled but she has lived comfortably for decades in the middle of a large city and just cannot fathom moving to the country etc. I've told my wife that it is useless to try to move her mother so what she is attempting to do is convince her to put a stash of cash and food in the house and hope that her neighborhood will be alright if the worst case hits. Not much else to do. My family is not interested in listening to me and so it goes. Some of them have fair stock investments, they won't pull out and I leave them alone. They told me to shut up and that is what I am doing.

-- Mark Hillyard (, January 23, 1999.


If you have serious concerns, go to the trustees of the trust and voice them. if yo do not get satisfaction there, go to court, and get either a guardian ad litem or a conservator appointed and go through them. this WILL incur a cost, however, which will not be monetary. Think it through carefully!! Chuck

-- Chuck, night driver (, January 23, 1999.

Try getting them to put a portion of their assets in gold and cash in a safe deposit box. Remind them of the Great Depression when cash was king. They will remember. Then in December when things should be well on there way south, go with them to get the cash and gold out of the bank. The lesson of the Depression was "don't trust banks", they closed and went broke leaving people helpless. See if you can get them to do this with $100,000. The rest of the assets will decline in value, but the gold and cash will see them through the coming hard times.

-- Bill (, January 23, 1999.

I think it may be harmful to endlessly try to convince older adults to cash out their life-earnings. They have managed their lives (and their money) well so far. They haven't been on the internet, and would never catch up with their y2k-aware grown children even if they were given a computer with book-marked y2k sites. They do not want to "get it." In all truth, they probably understand more than their children do about catastrophic-type hardships, and can imagine pretty realistically what things would be like "in a worst case scenario." They do not want all their precious time with their children now to involve "discussing" the year 2000, and they do not want to have to do it all over again.

Perhaps the best way to "take care" of your parents is to simply buy some food for them, and tell them how much you love them and appreciate how they raised you, and then make sure they are visiting you on a particuoar date in the future.

Anyway, just a few thoughts from one who talks with seniors every day...

-- nursey (, January 23, 1999.

Keep them safe. Prepare for them to come to you for the long haul. If they lose it all, you're what they've got. Trying to handle their investments is going to be viewed as money-grubbing. If you can get them to put some gold and silver away, you will have been very successful. After all, they're grown-ups, no matter how much we want to take care of them. They get to make decisions about their stuff.

-- margie mason (, January 23, 1999.

I echo nursey and Mark. I have the same problem as you Mary, with my husband's parents. And with my own husband, who's still in the stock market, with all our own life-savings, and his construction company. I'm resigned to lose it all if it comes down to it, I've had enough Y2K arguements with hubby and our relationship is worth more to me than cash and gold. So I'm stocking up and preparing for ourselves and his parents. They'll get our prepared and stocked house when we bail out to our retreat. That's my plan if SHTF anyway.

-- Chris (, January 23, 1999.

Both my parents and my wife's mother are in their mid-70's, and we've planned with them being with us, in whatever happens. Funny thing... my father DWGI, while my mother was a GI from the word 'go'... sounds like lots of folks here have this problem. Mother-in-law is somewhere in-between. What nursey said above is true - most older folks don't want to know about what's coming. That's fine, as long as they have children who do GI and are willing/able to prepare/care for them when it hits. If, as in so many cases, the family is scattered across the continent, well... things will become quite grim. In any event, attrition is going to be greatest among the very young and very old at the beginning, especially when the pharmaceutical chain breaks down.

-- Why2K? (, January 23, 1999.

Thank God we're poor with relatively little family! The thought of seeing parents' 3/4 million just vanishing because of attitude stubbornness would drive me crazy over the edge. For 3/4 million $$ one can buy a nice bug-out property and get ready more than adequately. That $$ would buy life! Enough space & provisions to invite select Yourdynamites to come live and help with security rotations. AAAaaaaaggggghhhhhh. How can anybody stand it? Thank God we've spent our life aiming at eternal security in God's arms and don't mind dying. The $$ would be a temptation to get majorly frustrated.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, January 23, 1999.

I just watched part of an old Titanic movie on TV, from the 40's. Women & children first... a lot of men & older folks didn't even try to save themselves, knew they weren't going to make it, & wanted to go out with some dignity.

God, it's depressing. And we have it all to look forward to. My parents are nicely-off, in their 70's/80's, so I can relate to this thread. They "get it," but what can they do, realistically? Whenever I stash cans of food in the closet I'm always wondering who's going to end up eating it all, if we don't survive. Pray God the house doesn't burn down & all my 18-month preparation is for nothing.

-- man the lifeboats (nearer@my.god), January 23, 1999.

Ask for a loan from your parents. Use it for whatever preparations you deem appropriate for them.

My parents are both basically GIs. They are lending us some money to pay off our mortgage so that we can hit 2000 debt-free. It's good for everbody. They'll get their money back even if Y2K tanks the investments it was in and we get to owe them instead of the bank.

-- Franklin Journier (, January 23, 1999.

"Thank God we've spent our life aiming at eternal security in God's arms and don't mind dying. The $$ would be a temptation to get majorly frustrated."--Leska

Now you understand what I went through with hubby. My only hope to live and remain healthy is letting go of the money. Ironic, isn't it ;-)

-- Chris (, January 23, 1999.

Mary,Plan A.Just an idea, and a very long shot at that. Find a lawyer; pray for a y2k savvy one, and try to become custodian. Plan B. Ask Mom and Dad for a huge loan. Enough to become self sufficient.

-- King OF Free Estimates (Isworried@thistime.also), January 23, 1999.

Mary, your father is right - you can't panic. Panic is what is going to cause the problems. Panic such as yours is going to cause the stock market to crash and thus, another depression. People need to chill out and realize that the panic was put out there to get the businesses, banks, etc. moving on updating their applications to accept 4 digit year dates and nearly 75% have complied to date. The banks aren't going to lose your money, the stores are not going to run out of food. The views I have encountered on this site are going to be our own demise...please stop the madness.

-- Kristen Racke (, April 16, 1999.

I'm not worried about my parents losing their money. If they choose to keep it in I will take care of them if it gets that bad. I am not going to be responsible for them losing money if it is not bad. I don't live on their money now so I am not worried about inheriting it. They took care of me when I was young, I will take care of them when they need me.

-- Moore Dinty moore (, April 16, 1999.

My father retired (though poor, he'll still have to work at something) and they went looking for a house in OK late last year. I begged, pleaded, cajoled, wrote him essays, sent him prospectives, everything I could do, for him to get a little place outside town with some land. I listed all the things you can do to make money if you have some land, and so forth. Father found one wonderful, real large house with a well and 11 acres or so. He found another slightly more expensive house with no front or back yard, in the city, his back fence is a chain link next to an alley. He bought the latter property, saying, "12 miles for that other house would be too far to drive to work in winter, besides, how would I mow 11 acres of land?" He is normally pretty intelligent, but he believes everything he sees on TV and frankly, has a hard time expanding his concepts beyond the world he has already known. I was so upset I sat down and cried about it.

And I realize that it wasn't complete altruism -- if dad had got a big place on land, since I'm making money, I could have helped with prep materials, and then gone to join them for the 00 year and we all would have been okay, including my small child that I'm most worried about. But it was for him, too.

I felt like something was saying to me, "People sometimes choose to die. It's their choice. Some people would rather die than live through certain things. Just get out of their way."

My advice to Mary would be (and was before I saw the responses): Ask your parents for a loan. Make up whatever you need to for it. Use the money to prepare for them. Be sure that you prepare with stuff that you yourself can use in the future even if Y2K is an impossibly-best-case-scenario. If it's bad, they will understand and be grateful. If they never need it, you might be stuck with a loan to pay off, but you can eat that food yourself and shop less for a long time.


-- PJ Gaenir (, April 16, 1999.

Kristen -

I assume from your response that you're privy to Ford's Y2K status and that it is blue skies and green lights, and that of their suppliers as well. Feel free to provide us with info, or you might want to check in on the "GM" thread, since they were asking for info from other auto firms.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), April 17, 1999.

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