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[2009] need advice- live in adult kids (sorry long)

chicklet

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I really need some advice from those who have been in this situation. Sorry if this is abit long. My son of 23 has his girlfriend living with us for the past year. She was (still is) in financial debt ($10,000) school loans and basically buying whatever she wanted. We said that she could live with our family but she needed to pay off her debt. I felt it was a gift considering they weren't paying any rent and they eventually wanted to get married but my son said not until the debt was paid off. Well she really hasn't worked much - 2 jobs but not full time hours...seems to wear her out to work. My son works alot saving $1,000 a month and if he isn't working at one job will phone another he has lined up just to make money. We have other kids in the house...my 25yr. daughter who is a teacher and works at Starbucks and tutors. My 19 yr. son goes to college but also works. Do you see where this is going. All my children and my husband work very hard but the person with the biggest debt is not pulling her share. Do i have a right to say anything...my son hates me to say stuff he always defends her....she isn't feeling well, she has surgery coming up so she won't be able to work. I do love her but i know that she hasn't had the upbringing that would have helped her. I talk to my son but it isn't really his call....I want to sit down again and say that something has to change. Why should she get to have the life of leisure when we are all working out guts out. I worry about my son's future. I told him that if you marry a spender it won't change. Sorry about the length..there is more info. but i have probably lost half of everyone. Any advice??
 

lll1929

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Although I am fairly young, I don't understand why you feel obligated to allow her to live with you. I guess I come from the school of hard knock. If she isn't pulling her weight, she needs to go. Living on her own will require her to prioritize better.

I am a true believer from learning from experience. She needs to experience life and then perhaps she will learn the true lesson of saving, paying debt and budgeting.

Until then, I suggest you continue to be real with your son. He needs to see how she lives before he marries and be willing to accept that lifestyle, as it is an indication as to the lifestyle he will live. He must understand that he can't marry thinking she will change. Have him outine his goals/ plans. Have him examine if her lifestyle will assist him in accomplishing those goals. You may need to assist him in doing some deep soul searching.

Sorry to be so brutal, but the school of hard knocks, hurts sometimes!!
 
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hibbeln

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Whatever you do, don't make this about her. Don't run her down to your son or point out her faults. My mom did that for years with one of my brothers and his girlfriend. The moment she finally let up and gave in and shut her mouth, they were broken up and she was gone within 1 or 2 months. If he has to be constantly defending her to you, then he can't see her faults for himself. Make sense?

What you need to do is get her (and maybe both of them) out of the house and then let him do his own little discovery. With you helping her financially, it's making it hard for him to see the ramifications of her economic woes.

You need to figure out some nice, logical way to get her/them out.
Sounds like you have enough people living at the house to say it's just too crowded. Times are tough, the expensive of the extra food, utilities, etc is also too much to ask for a non-family member (they aren't married yet!). Heck, you probably would have been best to say "no significant others!" living in the house. What on earth are they doing living together under your roof?

You could say that you feel they're stunting their relationship or something like that to be living like kids in your house.
THink of SOMETHING that makes it "good for them" to move out. You really have to convince him that you're doing it for the best for THEM to not look the bad guys.
If you can get your son out the door also, you could offer to pay a deposit on an apartment for him. Something like that to sweeten the deal. Then sit back and tighten the purse strings and don't give them another dime. It might kill you and you might think you're harming him economically, but better he feels it now rather than committing his life to economic disaster by marrying someone without any financial sense!
 

chicklet

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Thanks for the honest reply. I guess what i am thinking is that probably my son will go too and he really is a great kid and we wanted to give him an opportunity to save for the house he wants to buy. He really watches his money and works hard and we do love having our adult children here. We were thinking of sitting down with them and telling them this isn't working out like we though it would. I know she will tell me that she is getting fulltime hours but will be having surgery soon so she won't be able to work. She does have a single mother living about half hour away but she hasn't lived with for a long time. We have been very generous and treat her like one of our own (she's been on many florida vacations where we have paid but have also paid for our kids) Tough love stinks especially when it's not for your own kids....my kids know what is expected and they have always worked. Reason for rant is she was hungover yesterday supposed to work but they called & wondered where she was??? you just don't do that at 23 yrs of age. Today she is snowboarding with my son???WTH. It has to stop as i am setting my son's future up to fail i feel. Help
 

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Obviously I don't have all the info or should I be telling others what to do. By letting her stay with you all you are doing is prolonging the inevitable. I would just say it has been a year and you can't afford to support her and tell her to get her own place. If your son also goes with her so be it.....he will either see it for what it is or will stay with her. You can't control that and he is going to do what he is going to do, all you can hope is he will see the light and get rid of her. Or who knows maybe she will change?

You gave a good faith and then some effort to help them get on their feet. They took advantage of it and didn't utilize the opportunity given to them. Give them a month to get a place on their own, I say their as I assume you son will go with her? Hopefully not and she will be stuck.....time to swim in the deep end. If it was meant to be with your son and her then it will work out. That is the problem today NOBODY (regardless of age) is willing to take responsibility for their own actions, easier to make excuses and blame others.
 

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From reading your post, it appears that your son does have some insight into her problems, because he has postponed marriage until her debt is paid off. He's not willing to jump right into that commitment at least. I'm far from an expert, but it seems like others have given you good advice about nicely pushing them out and not forcing him to defend her against your criticism. Given that he works hard and wasn't interested in assuming her debt, it seems like he might get tired of being her sole support pretty quickly if they are on their own without the comfort of your home.
 

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I don't understand why you would let a girlfriend move in anyway. Married children who run into trouble, I get that. Unmarried, you have no responsibility towards her, nor does your son.

$10k debt is pretty much nothing in this day and age. I came out of college with more than that some years back, and worked very hard to chip away at it over time. You do her no favors by enabling her to "let it ride." Does your son expect to solely support her after they marry? I hope he has a clear vision of their future.

Surgery, ok, that stinks, but doesn't explain why she couldn't be "holiday help" that would have ended now. Not my business, but depending on the kind of surgery, she could certainly have been working. If she can snowboard, she can do many MANY jobs.

I would explain to son + gf that there are conditions to living there - pay rent, or pay off debt. Set a reasonable time table for that to start happening, and set consequences - like, MOVING OUT.

Because you are caring and decent, this could start after her official recovery period, whether that's 2 weeks or 6 weeks.
 

dougp26364

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I guess the first mistake was allowing her to move in with you. The next mistake is allowing her to continue to live off of you like a parasite. The problem the crops up in my mind is, does she love your son or is she using him as a way to avoid paying her way through life. I suspect she's attracted to your son but, unless you son is willing to support her financially the rest of his life, the relationship is heading for rocky waters.

I think if it were me, I'd tell your son the facts about life. You allowed her to move in under the condition she was willing to work to pay off her debts. This hasn't happened for various reasons, right or wrong, good or bad. The fact is, she's not holding up her end of the bargain. I'd allow him two choices. 1. Move her out into her own parents home or a place of her own or 2. Move out with her and support her himself.

Now he could pull a move looking for a choice number 3, which would be to extend their time with you if he can get her to work. Don't allow choice number 3. If she hasn't worked steady to date and, if your son has made excusses for her, nothing is likely to change.

I know this would be tough to do but, in the long run it's the only way both your potential future DIL and your son will learn. Yes there is emotional risk with this and it will be hard to do but, that's what being a parent is all about. Getting your kids ready to survive without you and to make good decisions that keep them out of trouble. Sometimes that's a really tough thing to do.

We've been there with two kids of our own. Both are out on their own and making better decisions than when they had the safety net of mom and dad's bank and trust providing the roof and utilities for them. Forcing them out when the time came (they didn't go willingly) was rough on both of us but especially their mother, who of course worries that we raised them with enough common sense to survive. Granted it was touch and go for a little while but, like most baby birds they got there wings and are flying just fine now.
 

vacationhopeful

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Having been around the "single, nonworking mom world" for 30+ years there are factors in her upbringing that you might not be aware of:
1) They live for today.
2) They can be very fun people to be around, as they have no cares in the world.
3) They are expert in getting people to feel sorry for them.
4) They have MORE excuses - finely crafted excuses - as they are practicing con artists.
5) Once a person has lost value to them, they immediately move on to the next mark (bad mouthing the last victim). Although, she may try to reconnect several months later, using the "I see what you were talking about and I have changed" line.

Yes, I agree with the above posters. Dougp is absolutely correct that Option 3 should not be considered, not even for 1 day. "NO" is a very good word; never use the word "MAYBE" as it means yes to them. Do not give them a month, security deposit money, furniture, and anything. Give them an hour to pack (have boxes onhand) and then change the locks to your house. Change the code to your security system (or get one installed).

Your son has savings, so they can get a motel room and from the motel, the can MAKE their plans. Hopefully, your son will quickly see her true colors.

I give the typical 23 yo male about 3-4 months before he is over her. And seriously think about NOT letting him back into your house for a least 6 months more (keys, security code, moving back in). Dinner, fine; watching TV til midnight, NO.

Additionally, discuss your actions after you remove the leaches from your house with your other kids. Siblings tend to lend money or give access to your house, as they will most likely perceive you are being too "hard" on them.

Giving them time to move out will give her time to fabicate how she is a legal resident at your house to where you have to evict her in court from your home. (what is her driver's license address, income tax filed from, cell phone bill, address for voting).

It is the world we live in,
 

Patri

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I know a young unmarried couple living with his family. They have no motivation to make it on their own. Both worked at the same place parttime (fulltime took too much time away from their play). When one got sick, the other would also take the day off to nurse the sick one. Give me a break.
Both eventually got fired. They are going nowhere fast.
Take action and stand firm. While it may be fun to have your grown children around, it is not really healthy. Invite them over for Sunday dinner.
I'm surprised your teacher daughter needs to live with you too. In the old days that would have been embarrassing.
 

lprstn

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No way my parents would have let me "invite" a boyfriend to live with us. Not only that, but part of being grown us is reaching your goals on your own. I was on my own since I was 18yrs. Working full-time and going to college full time. I never returned home, wanna know why? Cause I wasn't allowed. When I needed help, help was given while I was on my own, and to help me over the hump.

Now, my brother is a different story, he was in an out of my parent's home, and when they had finally had enouph, he was 30yrs old, and now he is just learning to grow up.

Do yourself and your kid a favor, Move him and his girlfriend out, help him while he is out there...learning what it will be like to support her and him themselves.

If you want to help him get a house, you put away some $$ that will help him with a down payment, when he is truly ready to grow up.
 

laura1957

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I know a young unmarried couple living with his family. They have no motivation to make it on their own. Both worked at the same place parttime (fulltime took too much time away from their play). When one got sick, the other would also take the day off to nurse the sick one. Give me a break.
Both eventually got fired. They are going nowhere fast.
Take action and stand firm. While it may be fun to have your grown children around, it is not really healthy. Invite them over for Sunday dinner.
I'm surprised your teacher daughter needs to live with you too. In the old days that would have been embarrassing.


Just curious - Why should it be embarassing for a 25 year old unmarried woman to be living with her parents?? She obviously is not living OFF them. My oldest brother's oldest daughter lived with her parents (when she was not actually at college) until she received her master's and then married. I think she was 26 at the time. She paid all her own expenses and helped around the house. I would think it makes a lot more sense than paying for an apartment/house to live alone when all your time is at work/school. That is the perfect time to be saving money in my opinion. My niece and her husband (also a teacher) were able to save enough money for a nice downpayment on their house - which would not be possible if they were both paying high rent.

Original poster -Sounds like your own children are not the problem - just the girlfriend. You have definately done more than what should be expected of a boyfriend's parents. Whatever you decide - stick to it!! DO NOT LET HER/THEM KEEP PUSHING YOUR LIMITS. If you let them stay with whatever conditions/rules - (decide just what YOU can live with) - give her a definate date that she needs to be out by.
 

pjrose

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She was (still is) in financial debt ($10,000) school loans and basically buying whatever she wanted. We said that she could live with our family but she needed to pay off her debt. I felt it was a gift considering they weren't paying any rent and they eventually wanted to get married but my son said not until the debt was paid off.

You hold the cards here. Remind her of the agreement that she has to pay off the debt. Tell her that she also must contribute to household expenses.

If not, she can go live with her own parents or on her own or they can both move out. No "sorry", no guilt, just that's the way it is.

Whether she starts to pay her debt AND contribute, or moves out, or they both move out, you'll be doing both of them a favor by putting your foot down.
 
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Patri

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Just curious - Why should it be embarassing for a 25 year old unmarried woman to be living with her parents?? She obviously is not living OFF them. My oldest brother's oldest daughter lived with her parents (when she was not actually at college) until she received her master's and then married. I think she was 26 at the time. She paid all her own expenses and helped around the house. I would think it makes a lot more sense than paying for an apartment/house to live alone when all your time is at work/school. That is the perfect time to be saving money in my opinion. My niece and her husband (also a teacher) were able to save enough money for a nice downpayment on their house - which would not be possible if they were both paying high rent.

No one living with another family pays all their expenses - rent, utilities, insurance, food, property taxes. If they are doing that at market value, they could also live elsewhere. There is great benefit to living alone before marriage. Gain independence, set your own schedule, branch out and become a part of the community, become comfortable in being alone, learn to finance your own wants and needs, even if it means a goal may take longer.
Yes, the economy makes it tough on people starting out, but that's always been the case. Most of us didn't have a bucketful of money when we were in our 20s. People manage when it is expected of them.
And look where we all are today - timesharing!
 

laura1957

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No one living with another family pays all their expenses - rent, utilities, insurance, food, property taxes. If they are doing that at market value, they could also live elsewhere. There is great benefit to living alone before marriage. Gain independence, set your own schedule, branch out and become a part of the community, become comfortable in being alone, learn to finance your own wants and needs, even if it means a goal may take longer.
Yes, the economy makes it tough on people starting out, but that's always been the case. Most of us didn't have a bucketful of money when we were in our 20s. People manage when it is expected of them.
And look where we all are today - timesharing!


I don't agree with that at all - living with family members and paying your OWN expenses is certainly less expensive than living elsewhere. My brother certainly wasnt going to charge his daughter 1000. in rent when his mortgage with taxes was nowhere near that amount. By own expenses I meant food, gas, clothing, car insurance and maintenance ... helping with utilities. My niece certainly didnt need to do anymore branching out and becoming part of the community - she is a full time teacher, coaches for the school district, volunteers for local parks and recreation league, tutors, volunteers at the local nursing home (reading with the seniors), and is involved with the drama department at school. This girl is the most independent, financially wise person I know. My brother and SIL were in a position to help her by letting her stay in their home to save money, she certainly never took advantage of them and everyone was happy.

I do realize that some people need a shove out the door :) but not everyone does.
 

chicklet

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I agree that some don't need to be pushed out the door. Our daughter wants to get her own place and that should be happening this year. We just felt that we were helping her out since she was never home anyways since she taught school, and her two other jobs. I guess i know that this is probably the year that they will be going. We have a cottage that we go to every weekend from April to Nov. and we're not home much and i have really wanted to downsize but decided to wait til everyone got started on their own careers. They are great kids and i know they will do great on their own. A meeting probably will be in order soon to let them know of our plans (we have told them last year that we were probably going to downsize and they would be not coming with us) The timing is perfect for me too - close down my homedaycare and reclaim a new house for us.
 

Passepartout

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You have been most generous. I think perhaps, I'd set a date, allowing for some recuperation time after her upcoming surgery, after which X amount of rent is due. an amount comparable to local apartment rent would be incentive for them to find their own digs. You might privately tell Son you would rebate it to him after a time to help with down-payment if you like.

Sometimes even a beloved birdie needs to be pushed out of a cozy nest. Fledging sucks.

Jim Ricks
 

pcgirl54

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Chicklet

I would call a family meeting and let the kids know that you are downsizing as it is time in your life as a couple to make a change. Right now you are trying to be kind and help them but as you can see it is not working nor is it your issue it is theirs to solve or not solve. DS will never see this if they live with you. In the end you are doing him a favor by having them leave painful as it will be for you to say so.

With your daughter who is not an issue I would let her know a timeframe for an apt.

By giving free room /board/cable /washer and dryer why would they be motivated to move out? They may want to but with few expenses and the security of parents there is no reason to change.

Son and GF need to move out in 30 days and so be it if he needs to use some of his savings. I agree not to talk about the GF ,her loans etc. Anything seen as a critism will come back at you. Have them move out before her surgery not in a few months but in 30 days. If they continue to live with you he and she will never be able to see the light.

We have given our kids the tools but we cannot make them use them. They have to learn the lesson on their own in order to understand it. We could say it and stand on our heads but they have to experience it so its real to them.

As an edcuation counselor of 1200 18-28 year olds some are really focused but most are not. They expect everyone else to solve their issues and there is no sense of urgency even in this economy to be proactive. This is due in part to having parents to support them,cook and clean for them. So 6-12 months later they are still telling Mom who feels sorry that they cannot find a job when in reality they do not apply or follow up with employers.

If Mom and Dad put a roof over their head and help with other things why should they make the effort.

Our youngest son moved in with a girl and ended up paying all the bills because as he later learned she did not want to work much and was not sure what she wanted to do with her life. After a year the relationship ended. He told me that he saw a bleak future with her. He said she talked about being an independent woman but in fact she relied on everyone else and had no motivation. He did all the work and she sat around. They ate on paper plates because she did not even want to wash dishes so DS cleaned the house.
 

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Here's my two cents and I have seen this play out several times. I don't believe it is good for any able bodied working age adult to live for free. I have watched this with several I know and it is not good for the person as it is not realistic for anyone to live for free. I think it makes it that much harder for the person to ever get out on their own successfully. It's the tough times that make you flexible and resourceful and make you appreciate a nice place when you finally get one.
 

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Why not take all your utility bills, Electricity, Water, Sewage, Cable TV, Cable Internet, home phone and anything else you have and add them all together. Then tell all the kids they must pay for the utilities split 4 ways. Plus have every chip in a small amount per month for groceries, say $50 each.

Eventually you'll probably see your son paying both his and his gf's portion and he might get a serious dose of reality. He'll be paying double what his siblings are paying because he'll be picking up her slack and after a month or two it'll start to annoy him.

Be prepared, he will try to negotiate with you, saying it's not fair, him and his gf share a room, TV, whatever, don't use as much electricity blah blah... Stay strong, tell him to take it up with his siblings, who will agree... 4 way split.

If you feel badly taking this money away from your OWN kids (not that you should!), then you could pay the bills yourself but put the money they gave you into a savings account for when they finally do decide to move out. That way they'll have a little account to help pay for furniture or a deposit.

With the girlfriend, if you feel very strongly about her debt then you could save her portion too and once you get a lump sum you could put it towards the debt, however! this is just enabling her irresponsible ways so I wouldn't recommend it. (she will think if she ignores her problems, someone else will take care of it eventually)
 
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laura1957

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Why not take all your utility bills, Electricity, Water, Sewage, Cable TV, Cable Internet, home phone and anything else you have and add them all together. Then tell all the kids they must pay for the utilities split 4 ways. Plus have every chip in a small amount per month for groceries, say $50 each.

Eventually you'll probably see your son paying both his and his gf's portion and he might get a serious dose of reality. He'll be paying double what his siblings are paying because he'll be picking up her slack and after a month or two it'll start to annoy him.

Be prepared, he will try to negotiate with you, saying it's not fair, him and his gf share a room, TV, whatever, don't use as much electricity blah blah... Stay strong, tell him to take it up with his siblings, who will agree... 4 way split.

If you feel badly taking this money away from your OWN kids (not that you should!), then you could pay the bills yourself but put the money they gave you into a savings account for when they finally do decide to move out. That way they'll have a little account to help pay for furniture or a deposit.

With the girlfriend, if you feel very strongly about her debt then you could save her portion too and once you get a lump sum you could put it towards the debt, however! this is just enabling her irresponsible ways so I wouldn't recommend it. (she will think if she ignores her problems, someone else will take care of it eventually)


This sounds like a perfect solution to me. And if the son does complain about paying double because they are sharing space - just remind him that if your own children are paying their share then "outsiders" should be expected to pay MORE than family so he is still getting a bargain!!

Might help to have the classifieds in your hand to point out how much money you are actually SAVING them :) And if they protest too much they might come in handy anyway. While you are under no obligation to help your grown children out financially - what you are obviously willing to do for your own children doesnt mean you have to do it for others also.
 

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here's what we did

After seeing a number of 20 somethings who live with parents, making $10-12 an hour and driving $25K cars, getting nails, wraps, etc., b/c they pay no rent, we came up with this plan when DH's DS wanted to move in at 20.
We said fine (he needed to move in for a variety of reasons), but he had to pay us a certain amount each month ($500--enough to make a big dent in his budget) and then we put it in savings account so that he would have $ to get his own apartment later.
It kept extra $$ out of his hands and forced him to get a second PT job and realize that it takes a lot of $ to live.
I have met more people that have said "I could never do that..." We did it and I am glad we did--it gave DS some (forced) savings to get him on his feet (and eventually out of the house) and it gave him a more realistic view of money. I don't know how this plan would go over at this point for you---but I would be wanting to try something. good luck. Elaine
 

nazclk

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Why on God's earth is she living with you and not her own parents, they don't want her living with them, maybe there is a reason. Lazy perhaps??
 

chicklet

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Her surgery is for her wrist which she hurt in high school. She says she has been in pain with it. I really don't know how long the recovery would be since it is a major surgery i assume 4 weeks. She is going to stay with her mom so she can help her since i am here but busy running my home daycare. I really don't know why she doesn't live with her mom (since 17 yrs.) She is a very family oriented person...grandparents, brother and she just loves her mom. She won't be able to serve (she waitresses) ever after she has the operation and that is were she makes a lot of money in tips. I have told her places to apply to so that she can get 40 hrs a week but now with the surgery she said she has to wait. I figure once we have talked to them about downsizing (which is what we talked about last year) they will have to get a plan into place. It does feel like the right time for me in alot of different ways - change direction from childcare which i have been doing most of my 28 years of married life, small house to care for since we have the cottage and watching my children succeed on their own. We always thought that we were doing a good thing for our kids by helping them save for their future but it seems from everyone's response that maybe it wasn't such a great thing. I look forward to a new chapter in all our lives!!! Now to just get the house in shape and declutter......
 
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