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Thank you all for your thoughts. I see there's been a very emotional response to this post that perhaps needs to be addressed...actually neither my parents or grandmother have been involved in any of this discussion. Rather the concern is centered around myself and siblings who are only recently entering Fooldom and just becoming aware of the details of our parents and grandmothers financial situation as we plan for our own retirements and childrens educations. No matter how we've arrived in our current predicament (and it is frankly a heartbreaking story) this is our reality - we are collectively panicking about facing the prospect of supporting our parents in the relatively near future. Clearly no one has paid any attention to financial planning in either of the past two generations - and my folks are not grumbling about my grandmothers financial decisions, their own lot in life, nor ghoulishly waiting for her demise. My grandmother has a very generous heart and has been helping my parents for years as have I and my siblings. My grandmother has not curtailed her lifestyle to accomodate her son's needs nor have we. But, if my grandmother knew of a better way to help out her son, I know she would be open to doing so. My siblings and I are just trying to understand what if any alternatives exist. It's been fortunate for my grandmother so far that her portfolio has grown to the degree that it has - but she (nor my parents) is not concerned with inflation, her rate of spending, nor has any clue what the rate of return on her money has been. I don't think she even knows how much she has (other than "enough"). It would be a shame to see a million dollar portfolio disintegrate simply because no one has paid attention to it. While your points are well taken - she can do what she wants, I'm not sure that continuing on in ignorance is a good idea.

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