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Ah, sheesh. I spent half an hour typing a response, but it's just too wordy and too personal. Anyway. The shorter version.

I just don't think it's smart for people to be helping other people, when they don't have their own house in order. And it just makes it harder for you to get your house in order at this point.

I know. I preach the same thing to my friends who are constantly giving their adult kids money, when they would help the kids more by letting them fix their own problems.
But, there is much more to this and those children are able bodied and can take on a second job or whatever. They just don't want to.

Mom can't work. She takes care of my disabled brother. I don't live close enough to help with day to day stuff, but a reliable car is a huge help. She can't get a job. She may be able to get a loan, but the life insurance (once it pays out) and the savings (once she can get to it) are all she will have, along with 50% of my dad's pension and her social security...for the rest of her life. Again, she isn't a young adult who just doesn't want to help herself. She lives frugally. She has a paid-off house. But there won't be any more income. That's it.

I can't quit my job and move there. That would be stupid. There isn't enough room for them to move here and that would be WAY more than $10k in the long run, plus I would lose what's left of my mind.

The debt from her car and the cash I gave her will work out to be cheaper for me in the long run. It also helps her to be safe.

I was alone with my dad when he died and I made a promise to take care of her. He couldn't die in peace until he knew she was going to be OK. Sometimes we have to help the people we love, and it cost money. That just happens. Whether I was in good financial shape or not, turning my back or telling her to figure it out on her own would be heartless and not teaching her a lesson, like it does with young adults. She doesn't need a lesson. She's managed for the last 76 years without asking anyone for anything.
I give it freely and with no expectations for it to be repaid. She didn't ask me for a car. I gave it to her because I don't want her to be broken down on the side of the road and get mugged, or try to walk for help and have her heart go. I am taking care of her.

I don't regret the $10k loan. I have figured a way to pay everything off, get my debt-free life on, but it will take time and I'm OK with that. Just drop the "You shouldn't help your mom when you can't afford it" shtick, because it's not going to change anything, especially not my mind. She isn't a mooch. She isn't a young adult. She is just an elderly women, who needed help.

I do appreciate that you are looking out for what's best for ME. That's why I come here. But that $10k loan bought her a car, will get her through a few months of expenses and gave me more piece of mind than I can ever put a dollar figure on.
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