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Friday, March 31, 2023
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WOMAN UNSURE IF SHE SHOULD GIVE ALLOWANCE TO HER ELDERLY FATHER

How much allowance is reasonable to give a father who has not financially contributed to the family?

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Hello, I was hoping to get some advice in regards to a situation. Admin please consider publishing this!

I have been married for 5-6 years, and we have no major issues in our marriage. We are both in our early thirties and we work in a field where most people would think pays a lot. In reality, I would say that we are just middle income earners. For some context, we are Singaporeans, but have been living and working overseas for many years now. We have a house and no children yet. I think financially we were doing alright. However, last year, my husband quit his job due to burnout and worked on a casual basis. This meant that our finances did suffer a bit of a hit. As I was getting a stable income and approaching a guaranteed “promotion” soon, I gave him my blessings. I still contributed religiously to our mortgage income without asking him to, and paid for most of the household expenses.

However, I found out that my husband was still giving a lump sum of money to his father during his (my husband’s) year of unemployment. For background, my mother-in-law was the sole breadwinner for many years. My husband’s version of story was that his mother wanted his father to work for her. But I think the truth is that my father-in-law got retrenched and couldn’t/wouldn’t find another job. My MIL probably asked him to work for her as she didn’t want him to stay at home and do nothing (fair enough). But sadly, my in laws divorced a few years back. My MIL kept everything, which made sense since she was the one paying for everything for everything. Since then, my FIL has been sorta destitute and had to move back to his family’s home and work in rideshare etc.

Upon finding out that my husband was still giving his father a lump sum of money on a monthly basis while he was unemployed and relying on me to pay most of our big bills, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit resentful and irritated. Honestly, our field of work is highly stressful (hence my husband suffered burnout) and I felt that it wasn’t fair to me. I brought it up with my husband and fights ensued. He then agreed to reduce the amount.

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On one hand, I feel a bit guilty because FIL is elderly and has limited means to support himself. Also, I have decent income so technically I SHOULD help out, even if indirectly. But on the other hand, he has no biological ties to me. Additionally, I have no idea where went wrong with FIL career-wise, because FIL seemed to have a good education (he went overseas to study at university, which at his time was a big deal). I feel that he has no one to blame for his position but himself. Of course, I rather my husband keeps his money for us, as we are thinking of starting a family soon.

My question is – how much is a reasonable amount to give an elderly person to survive in Singapore if we were to just give out of obligation (on a monthly basis)?

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