Rel­a­tive funds in­surance, but not niece’s life­style

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: My 25-yearold niece still lives at home. She works full time and at­tends col­lege on­line. She’s a hard worker who doesn’t do drugs or en­gage in risky be­hav­ior.

I pay her a bonus for ev­ery A she earns, and I also pay for her health in­surance. While I gladly pay the col­lege bonuses, I have mis­giv­ings about con­tin­u­ing to pay for her health in­surance, even though I can af­ford it. She doesn’t make much money at her job, but she goes out to restau­rants and bars of­ten, at­tends con­certs and takes trips out of state three or four times a year.

When I was her age, I also went to col­lege, worked a low-pay­ing job and lived with my mother. Although I went out with friends of­ten, I never wasted money on those other things — es­pe­cially va­ca­tions. Should I con­tinue pay­ing her health in­surance for her? I don’t know if I’m be­ing judg­men­tal or en­abling ir­re­spon­si­ble be­hav­ior. — Pro­tec­tive in Hous­ton

Dear Pro­tec­tive: You are ob­vi­ously a gen­er­ous per­son, but yes, you are be­ing judg­men­tal. Your niece is work­ing, study­ing and liv­ing a clean and healthy life. You had a so­cial life when you were your niece’s age; you should not be­grudge her hav­ing hers.

Go­ing to restau­rants, bars and con­certs is nor­mal for a young woman her age. How­ever, if you pre­fer not to sub­si­dize the va­ca­tions be­cause you feel they are ex­ces­sive, dis­cuss your feel­ings with her be­fore de­cid­ing what to do.

Dear Abby: My hus­band and I have lived like no­mads for the last few years. We have bought, sold and moved many times for all sorts of silly rea­sons. Our 5-year-old daugh­ter fi­nally started school, yet we don’t feel at home here. We now re­al­ize buy­ing and sell­ing may not be for us, so we are rent­ing, but we still aren’t happy.

We moved here to be close to my old­est and dear­est friend, whose kids are now grown, and to my sis­ter, who hardly talks to us or sees us. My hus­band’s sis­ter and her hus­band’s fam­ily love us and treat us well. They have sug­gested we should move by them. They have kids our daugh­ter’s age. The only is­sue is pos­si­bly not find­ing a good home or school. Pri­vate school could be an op­tion.

Would another move be bad? Should we make a fi­nal move be­fore our daugh­ter gets vested in school and friends? It would put us within walk­ing dis­tance to sev­eral fam­i­lies we spend a lot of time with and who love us very much. We are afraid of judg­ment from ev­ery­one. Please help us sort it out. — Hope­ful No­mads in Illi­nois

Dear No­mads: For­get about the judg­ments. You will sur­vive them. The older your daugh­ter be­comes, the more dif­fi­cult mov­ing away from the peo­ple she knows will be for her. If you are go­ing to move to an en­vi­ron­ment more com­pat­i­ble for you, your hus­band and your daugh­ter, the time to do it is now, so her education and so­cial re­la­tion­ships will not be as dis­rupted as they would be when she is older.

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