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Compromising your life, for your family

L.R.

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I'm sure people do this all the time. Working less hours to spend time with children, moving from one more happening city to one which allows you to have a better family life.

But what about when starting a career?

I grew up in lower class family. Not to go into detail, but I, along with my 3 younger brothers (all university age now), will be supporting my father in his golden years.


My family has gone through what most would deem.... bad luck. Family death, investments (what little there were) gone sour, poor work due to the current financial climate.... etc.

My father has been there throughout it all, supporting my through university and everything else life has thrown my way. I've done well, (3.9 GPA, top-ranked Canuck University, etc). And while the job market for me is slim at this point, I realistically can do what I want. I know I could get into medical school, law school, what-have-you....

Ideally, I'd love to have a few years of me time, earning mediocre wages in favour of a "fun" life-style. However, I feel an obligation to my father, and I really do want to support him. So I could start a career, and have an MBA in 5 years time. I'd be earning some very good money, and it would allow me to help my family. However, it's not perhaps what I'd choose as the ideal career path. I'd love to have a few years having fun, then pursue a government job in Foreign Affairs.... but I'd be limited in what I could do to help my father financially.


How do people choose between helping themselves and helping their family?
Is it all a constant struggle? I mean, I want to enjoy life, but I also want to help. I don't want to say "where do I draw a line", because I wouldn't be happy if my father isn't living a great life, but at the same time, I won't enjoy life if my career path is solely financially driven.


Anyway, this is a whole rant/advice seeking post. So thanks for just reading, or any advice.

Cheers;
LR
 

Don Carlos

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You're free to make your own choices at this point in your life. But be aware that slacking off for the first five years of your career is a horrendous career move. The ramifications will extend throughout the rest of your life. If you think you can be a slack-ass for five years out of college and then flip a switch, start working hard, and become a great success, you're in for a rude awakening. You determine your fate now. The immediate post-college years are everything. Opportunities five years from now will be unavailable to someone who has not demonstrated a record of achievement.
 

Dewey

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^ I agree that no one, even someone with wealthy parents, has the luxury of slacking off and having "fun" for the five years after college, without serious consequences. If you are someone who does not need to work in your life -- there are such people -- the option is more possible. If you need to work, you need to nurture your career. Be responsible about these things now and you should enjoy substantially more security and wealth later on. Most people are in the workforce for 40 years. A good start can make all the difference in the second half.

I would reconsider the idea that you are making or nearly making some kind of heroic sacrifice for your family. It sounds pretty egotistical to be honest. You are free to turn your back on the people that supported you to the place you are now, but that would be a serious dick move. It seems like you want to blame your father for not making better investments for his future. The irony is that it sounds like you and your brothers have been his main investment. Would suck for him if that also went bust.

Finally there have to be other options. The choice between being miserable and making money, and being fun and not making money, is a false one. You can be serious about your career and not be miserable at the same time. It's not the sacrifice you make it out to be.
 

L.R.

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There's no way I'm blaming my father, please don't take that from my post. I'm just looking for advice on how people deal with this. It's all a balancing issue, and as a child in regard to "real life", I feel I could benefit from this advice. I have few goals in life, truthfully speaking. I want to enjoy it, and a large part of it is seeing my father happy. I have no desire to be make 150k, drive a sports car, and hang out with models. I'd be very happy doing sociological research and earning a phd while living in a university town.

As for the taking it easy for years thing, I'm taking a year to teach English in South Korea to help pay off my student loan, and then want to spend a couple months in Europe, before returning here to take a full time job. I'm not saying I'd be a bum for 5 years, but rather not jump straight into money making. I've always been very aggressive in my school and personal life, and having a year or two in something less competitive is all I was saying.
 

Stu

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Originally Posted by L.R.
There's no way I'm blaming my father, please don't take that from my post. I'm just looking for advice on how people deal with this. It's all a balancing issue, and as a child in regard to "real life", I feel I could benefit from this advice. I have few goals in life, truthfully speaking. I want to enjoy it, and a large part of it is seeing my father happy. I have no desire to be make 150k, drive a sports car, and hang out with models. I'd be very happy doing sociological research and earning a phd while living in a university town.

As for the taking it easy for years thing, I'm taking a year to teach English in South Korea to help pay off my student loan, and then want to spend a couple months in Europe, before returning here to take a full time job. I'm not saying I'd be a bum for 5 years, but rather not jump straight into money making. I've always been very aggressive in my school and personal life, and having a year or two in something less competitive is all I was saying.


The very fact that you are posting this and thinking this way means you have high character. Many people would just take the parental support and run. I don't have an answer to your questions other than to say you seem like a good son and if you make sacrifices for your father, you will have that to lean on later in life and know you did the right thing.
 

impolyt_one

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It requires significant financial discipline to be able to save money while teaching ESL in Korea, but it sounds like your head is in the right place. IME: I did it for a bit, worked really hard day and night, made well over double what the normal package pay is, and still didn't save a cent, really. This is a land of many vices and a lot of things wanting to pull you away from your money.

Also, with the state of pension packages these days, I think many of us may need to be prepared to help out our parents at some point in the very uncertain future. My parents are set to retire in a few years, and have pensions that will pay out in both the USA and in Australia, the former monthly and the latter in a lump sum, and while it's money, it doesn't seem like much to me and I'm sure it will not be much in say, 2020 or 2030 if they should make it that far (half of my grandparents are alive in their 80's, and had better retirement payouts, I think). My parents are frugal so they'll be fine, but I am planning to pitch in when and if they need it.
 

M. Bardamu

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It's also entirely likely the Government of Canada will undergo a hiring freeze and possibly downsizing over the next year or two...you should factor that into your decision.
 

Nathaniel72

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The money you earn now has waaaay more value than it will in a few years.
 

Pantisocrat

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I think you have a good heart. However, the job market right now is bleak, and so if you can stay in school now, you'll fair better in the next few years.
 

L.R.

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Originally Posted by Nathaniel72
The money you earn now has waaaay more value than it will in a few years.

That's what I've been figuring. In fact, I think if Invest the majority of my paycheques, rather than pay off student loans quickly, I'll have more money in the long run.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
 

BP348

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Have you spoke with your brothers about this? Are they planning on pitching in when or if your father needs it?

If you want to teach for a year then go for it I don't think it will hurt but if your planning on getting an MBA or Med school it might hurt. Its hard to go back to school once you've been out.

As far as the Govt job in Foreign Affairs goes that's going to be really tough. I'm going to assume that you'll have to live overseas somewhere or at least travel a bunch and that's very hard to do with someone you're taking care of. not to mention is your dad going to want to live somewhere else or are your brothers going to be happy you're taking dad to some foreign land.

Of course there are different types of care. Is your father sick or are we just talking financial help?
 

NorCal

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Originally Posted by L.R.
There's no way I'm blaming my father, please don't take that from my post. I'm just looking for advice on how people deal with this. It's all a balancing issue, and as a child in regard to "real life", I feel I could benefit from this advice. I have few goals in life, truthfully speaking. I want to enjoy it, and a large part of it is seeing my father happy. I have no desire to be make 150k, drive a sports car, and hang out with models. I'd be very happy doing sociological research and earning a phd while living in a university town.

As for the taking it easy for years thing, I'm taking a year to teach English in South Korea to help pay off my student loan, and then want to spend a couple months in Europe, before returning here to take a full time job. I'm not saying I'd be a bum for 5 years, but rather not jump straight into money making. I've always been very aggressive in my school and personal life, and having a year or two in something less competitive is all I was saying.


Do it. As long as you are employed and financially solvent you will be able to help your dad. Somehow I don't think he'd be happy knowing you were giving up your dreams to make more money in order to support him.
Plus you live in Canada, the dole is strong eh.
 

tropics

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even if you're workin hard to make the money, living the real life, you can still have a good time... maybe even more so.

it's not an either / or situation.
 

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