How much do you share with your family (parents/siblings/partners)

My family has been more open about how much everyone earns, what they pay for rent, and so on. Since I was little I remember having a shared feeling of “being in this together financially”, even though we never were poor. I expect this openness to decrease once our salaries diverge significantly, if that happens.

Thinking about this makes me wonder:
How do you talk about inheritance, if you don’t talk about financial stuff? Let’s say you’re 2 kids and will inherit your parents appartement once they die. If you don’t know how much this appartement is worth and how much of the mortgage is paid off, how can you possibly plan your own financial life around this inheritance?
Iff you knew that you could inherit this appartement when you’re 45-55 years old, maybe it makes less sense to buy one yourself and more sense to rent. It would also require you to set aside some amount to pay your sibling for their part of the inheritance. Etc.

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Here seems that’s your GF has problems, tbh… or maybe your “always” is an exaggeration.

I think the best solution for you (and everyone in general) is to make it clear that you will not support them at all cases. Then if everything happens you do support them. The key is that they don’t know that and have to be 100% sure that you will never do that. That might mean that once the money finishes, they have to start selling stuff before you help.

I don’t see that as an option. It’s a very touchy subject. When my dad visited me here in Switzerland, he expected I pay everything for him, because he’s unemployed and it’s so expensive here. And sure, I can sponsor this or that, but at least I would like to see some gratitude and not laughing at my greediness… In his eyes, parents carry the “enormous” burden of raising their kids, so the kids should be then forever grateful for it and do everything the parent wants. If I ever suggested something like “I won’t support you”, he would probably explode :smiley: and anyway, it’s in the law, kids have to support their parents.


I share with my wife some figures from time to time. She keeps telling me: “And, what can I buy with that right now??”. Well, nothing, but our kids can go to that school she wanted in few years. Ah ok…

I used to have a death stick. In case of my sudden death, she can plug in the stick in her computer, it will pop up with all the information needed in a clear guidance. Like take as much cash as possible from my account (it often takes days or weeks til everything is settled and to have full access to the accounts), a poem I wrote for her and the kids. Further, (for her) some very complicated encryption I use on my computers and how to access the information. Right now she doesn’t want to know nothing about that.


I feel talking about money is still a taboo in Switzerland. We still have the banking secrecy in mind and feel this is private business.
As my parents are retired and had there own business, I have a rough idea about their income (they don’t earn much). I am open to them about my financial situation as I think this can make them feel safer as they know I can take care of myself and my children.
I am also very open about money with my children (young adults) because this is part of their education. They need to know how to make a budget and to be careful about money.
I am also open about my money to my sister or to friends who ask, but it seems they don’t want to know in case I ask back !


Same thing in Switzerland. With a taxable income bigger than CHF 120k / CHF 180k (single/married, plus CHF 20k per child) you become liable to support your direct relatives (parents, children).

And best of all, your wealth beyond CHF 250k / CHF 500k (single/married, plus CHF 40k per child) is translated into income too. So you may even be liable once you already have retired.

All figures from Schweizerische Konferenz für Sozialhile (not law, but it is what judges use as baseline). See details for example here.



Note that this is taxable income, if you are single this would mean about 180-200k gross salary or around 4 million in assets.


500k in assets, no? …

No, the after tax salary must be above 120k for a single person. The wealth above 250k just gets converted to a after tax salary at a rate of 1.7-5% depending on your age.

If they’re in this situation through some inability to manage their life on their own, you can request that they be put under guardianship, though. That means that someone (could be you) will manage their money to make sure they have enough of it at the end of the month and you have to step in the least possible.

You also don’t have to finance a lavish lifestyle, you have to pay part or all of the social security bill, depending on what the judge decides.

All in all, the normal and usual way to do it is to have parents supporting children, and the opposite only when deep disability makes it unmanageable for the parent to support themselves, through no fault of their own. I know some people are not so lucky and end up having to take care of decifient parents but I find keeping a clear mindset on the topic helps me a lot: my “mandate” is to pass what I’ve received down, to my future children, not to have it end up in a bottomless pit upward toward a parent that just won’t handle life. They haven’t born a slave.

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The scenario to be worried about is indeed one or both of your parents ending in a retirement home for a few years. Doesn’t even need special care, it’s going to run through their savings quicker than you might think, and then the social security bill is potentially yours to cover.


For those considering sending their young children to British boarding school (because cheaper than Swiss Kita), take care, your children might end up sending you off to a retirement home in Romania or something. :wink:


I will send my parents to a retirement home in Serbia or Bosnia for that matter. It’s ~10x less expensive, so with the AHV alone they will get into a great place.

Already happening actually…
Or to Thailand for a real discount.

Happened to my grandma. Grandpa died and grandma was demented. She’s been there since 5 years, you can’t really have a conversation with her, so the visits are not very exciting. In Poland it costs 800 CHF per month. The finances of my grandparents were “managed” by the aunt, and after 1 year she announced the money is gone, which was a shock to my parents. Grandparents lived a very frugal life. The aunt refused to show the bank statement, account history. Since then the two sisters split the bill and my dad is furious about it.

Ouch, are there no legal grounds in Poland to sue her over inappropriate use of funds or something?

You need to ask yourself: do you want to shackle your nerves, waste money on lawyers and leave a scorched earth behind? Is it worth it? For my mom the answer was no. Her sister is the only family she has got left. You know, they are neighbours, so the look after each others houses and pets during holiday. I tried to resolve the issue, but being there 1-2 a year it’s hard. Whenever I tried it cost me a lot of nerves and I didn’t get the whole account statement. Only for 1 month and already there I found a transfer to her daughter that she couldn’t explain.

The lessons is: don’t be totally ignorant about your parents finances, especially if you’re supposed to be responsible for them once they run out of money. My mom never cared about it and this is what she got…


That’s really sad if it goes that way, we lost complete contact with my dad’s sisters (and therefore also my cousins) after inheritance problems from my grandparents. It’s been a decade now, one of my aunts died a few years ago and my dad did not even get invited to the funeral directly by his other remaining sister…


Nietzsche labeled it “plastische Kraft”, say plastic energy or plastic force: The ability to deal with your past, learn to forgive, and move on. Otherwise you’ll be forever trapped in the past. And the past cannot be undone.


In Italy its brutal: the “dependency” goes vertically both ways, and you can find articles of judges who ordered parents to mainten their children well into the forties (of the children).
BUT there is still all the welfare dedicated to poor old people which kicks in. It works decently IF said people own the place where they live. But then this begs the question if it’s correct: instead of creating their pensions they bought the property, to then live in it thanks to welfare.

Also, holy molly how grateful I am now that I have no parents and relative, but only a half brother which is 16 y.older than me. Losing the parents caused me more or less 5 years of total life disruption, which could have been easily avoided if they sorted their things out before kicking the bucket.
So to you all, please implore your parents to be ready to die bureocratically :sweat_smile:

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