Ask Auntie Linda, October 1, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I am seventy-four years old, and a widow of moderate means.  My only child, a daughter is an English Professor at a well-known university in California.  She is divorced with three children.  Her ex-husband is wealthy, but will only pay the legally required child-support.  She makes a good income, but is constantly in need of money for any extras the children require, like private school, or summer camp.  She has a lovely home (for which I gave her the down payment) and has invited me to move out and live with them, but I don’t want to be a live-in nanny.  She and the children visit for a couple of weeks twice a year now and by the time they leave, I am exhausted from babysitting since she goes out with friends most afternoons and doesn’t usually get home till after midnight.  The children are lovely, but they wear me out.  I give her ten-thousand dollars a year now since she will inherit everything I have someday anyway, but I am starting to worry that I will run out of money if I live more than fifteen more years.  I feel bad telling her “no” since she is my only heir.  How do I make her understand I am worried about my finances without offending her?  The Bank

Dear Bank, You are helping your daughter live a very cushy lifestyle.  If you never gave her another penny, you have been extremely generous.  Feel free to give her what you choose and draw the line where you need to.  She probably thinks you have money to burn.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, My siblings and I were raised the same. Of the seven of us, only two are law-abiding citizens.  The other five are drug and alcohol-addicted and frequently incarcerated.  Though I care about them, I have chosen to have no association with them, due to being victimized time after time.  One brother and I stay in touch, and avoid the rest like the plague.  We each moved out of state to build lives where we weren’t known, at the first opportunity, cutting ties with everyone but each other.  A sister has reached out to me now, though I don’t know how she got my number, wanting me to “take me in and help me get a new start.”  I don’t want to see her and can’t afford to help her unless I take her in which I am not willing to do.  Is this a horrible thing to do?  Burned

Dear Burned,  No.  People who want to change their ways and rebuild their lives can find a way to do it.  “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me!”

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