My friend, 68, lives with his father, 95. He has almost no “crazy money” to go places and do things. Is it unreasonable to expect him to get a part-time job?

I am a 65 year old retiree with moderate social security and annuity payments. I also have my own house and have savings.

I see a 68-year-old pensioner just before the pandemic. He lives with his 95-year-old dad, who is in poor health (can’t get around much, doesn’t drive and shows signs of dementia). This was presented to me as “I moved in with dad because he needed care”.

What has slowly become clear over time is that although his father needs live-in help, he lives there just as much for financial reasons. My friend lives on modest Social Security payments as his only source of income. It has very, very little savings. This is due to a combination of bad choices, an ex-wife who absconded with some of their savings, and the recession hitting him hard, etc.

Here’s my problem: Before COVID-19 hit, I suggested he get a part-time job. He is qualified and in fairly good health. We’ve been going around it, with him giving one ‘speech’ after another. I told him I was very worried about his finances. He will reply that he is “having a great time” and really doesn’t want to work.

Before COVID-19, he was actually starting to create a profile on TaskRabbit. Now he flatly refuses to look.

He is generally a loving, patient, reasonable person, but this issue bothers me. His father’s assets (mainly his house) will be shared between him and a brother. I feel like he’s waiting for his dad to pass, which seems sick.

Meanwhile, he has almost no “crazy money” to go places and do things. I can’t for the life of me understand why someone in his situation — basically, living in “poverty” — wouldn’t want to improve himself. He has an ambivalent attitude where he will say that he is ashamed of his condition, but at the same time he refuses to consider a part-time job.

Am I being unreasonable here? Thanks.

Financially stable girlfriend

Dear Stavlos,

It’s not unreasonable to expect him to find a job. It is, however, unreasonable to expect him to comply with your wishes and go out and get one. There are no victims, only volunteers, as the old saying goes — and you go into this relationship with your eyes wide open.

At least you see your boyfriend for what he is: a kind and loving partner who also takes care of his father, but a man who likes an easy life without too many demands and who is not pressured to show up for a job that he feels is beneath his dignity , even if every job is beneath his dignity.

He lives on very limited means, and that’s mostly because he doesn’t want much: a roof over his head, a family home that will likely pass to him after his father’s death, and monthly Social Security checks to pay for food, cable bill and other bits.

Not the “mad money” type, I’m afraid. You’ll foot the bill if you want to have an adventure in Hawaii or Europe or Asia during your retirement, or take a Caribbean cruise (though I’m still scratching my head why anyone would want to be trapped on a ship during during a global pandemic).

The relevant part of your letter relates to his feeling of shame for not working or not being willing or able to work and his inability to take action. He could be afraid of failure and rejection – nobody likes either of those things, so he wouldn’t be alone in this. But it has stuck him in the proverbial mud.

People are living longer and leading healthier lives. With unemployment at 3.6%, the job market is tight and employers are showing renewed respect for older workers and no doubt showing a new appreciation for their professionalism and years of experience.

With unemployment at 3.6%, the job market is tight and employers are showing renewed respect for older workers.

In fact, older Americans are “getting past this idea of ​​traditional retirement,” John Tarnoff, a Los Angeles-based career transition coach and co-host of “The Second Act Show” live, recently told MarketWatch. Some have to keep working. others just like to be busy.

The Nationwide Retirement Institute polled more than 1,800 adults and found that 42 percent of Americans planned to file for Social Security benefits early while still working, up from 36 percent a year ago. The uncertain economic outlook obviously played a role in this.

It might be worth telling your friend he’s not alone. There are millions of others out there who either want or need to keep working. There is no shame in working past retirement age (66 or 67, depending on when you were born) or living on a modest income.

The government’s Aged Services Employment Program is one such service for people like your friend — over 55 and on low incomes — to help them get back into work. He may also benefit from therapy to help him deal with his negative self-image.

But even if your friend gets a part-time job, you are unlikely to change him. People don’t really change. They are who they are. If you want a partner who has a lot of money and whose wanderlust hasn’t faded with time, you may need to look elsewhere.

Check out Moneyist’s private Facebook group, where we seek answers to life’s thorniest financial questions. Readers write to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

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