Lady has no qualms about parents living in retirement home
DEAR ANNIE: My husband and I are in our late 50s and have been married for 26 years. I have had the privilege of not needing to hold an outside job since I married, allowing me to be a stay- at- home mom and raise our kids, who are now grown and out of the house.
My husband and I have always been careful with our money, eating out perhaps once a month. We are easily entertained at home. His parents, who have now passed on, lived like paupers. However, upon their passing, they were able to distribute a lot of their wealth to their two sons and five grandkids. The money allowed us to pay off our mortgage and buy some stocks.
My parents, on the other hand, have blown through retirement payouts and the reverse mortgage they took out on their home. My mom has always demanded the best, whether it is fine linens or a pair of jeans. It is beneath her to shop at a discount store. I now face their failing health and am angry about their poor financial planning. Whatever extra money my husband and I have came from his parents’ estate, and I agree with him that this money should not be spent on my parents.
Am I a bad daughter not to help them financially? They dug their own hole. My dad won’t even file the paperwork for being a veteran. Having them live with us when their money runs out is not an option. My mother has tried to make me feel guilty saying, “Well, I got a job to provide for MY mother.” Her other saying is “The Lord will provide.” I think the Lord will provide a state-run nursing home. What do you say?
— Not My Parents’ Savior
Dear Not: You do not have to use your in-laws’ money to provide for your profligate parents. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should abandon them altogether. If Dad needs help ( or encouragement) to fill out forms, surely you can do that for him. You might also offer financial advice, helping them take steps to put away any remaining income. But you are fortunate that there are facilities that will accept and care for your parents when they are infirm and run out of money, and you can visit often.