ASK AMY

With­drawal from sav­ings a sur­prise

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - — Aunt in Ne­braska [email protected]­dick­in­son.com Twit­ter @ask­ingamy — Con­fused — Con­cerned

Dear Amy: I have a 30year-old niece. She has an 8-year-old son.

I love them both.

She has done a won­der­ful job rais­ing her son alone, (her fi­ance died when she was preg­nant).

I de­cided to start a sav­ings ac­count for my niece’s son so that he can have a start in life af­ter he grad­u­ates and (if and when) he con­tin­ues on to col­lege.

I asked my niece for his So­cial Se­cu­rity num­ber to start the ac­count but she did not want to give it me, so she opened the ac­count in her name.

I’ve been putting in money ev­ery month for this child for the last year and have been get­ting the re­ceipt from the bank, not­ing my de­posit and the ac­count bal­ance.

When I re­cently made a de­posit, I was very dis­ap­pointed to find out that the mother took out ev­ery­thing ex­cept for $50.

That night she and her son came over. I men­tioned that I no­ticed most of the money was gone. I asked her what she and her son were us­ing it for. She asked me how I knew, and I told her that when­ever I make a de­posit, I’m no­ti­fied of the bal­ance.

How should I pro­ceed from here? I want to con­tinue to sup­port my great­nephew, but I per­son­ally need to know the money is in the ac­count. Dear Aunt: Your niece know­ingly took money des­ig­nated for her son. Let that sink in.

You both seem naive about money — she ob­vi­ously be­lieved that she could take money with­out you re­al­iz­ing it, and you be­lieved that you could put money into an ac­count which she would have ready ac­cess to, and it would stay there for the next 10 years or so.

Does she need money now to help sup­port her son? Would you like to con­trib­ute to this fam­ily’s sup­port now, ver­sus sav­ing for later? That’s some­thing for you to de­cide.

If you want to des­ig­nate sav­ings for your great­nephew, set up an ac­count linked to your own, with au­to­matic de­posits go­ing from your pri­mary ac­count into the ex­tra ac­count. You would have to­tal con­trol over the ac­count, and it would be in your name. You could turn the money over to your great-nephew when­ever you choose, or des­ig­nate this amount to go to him in your will. Do some re­search, and talk to your banker. His mom can­not han­dle the temp­ta­tion, so leave her out of the equa­tion.

Dear Amy: What do you think about a high-level (fe­male) at­tor­ney go­ing bare­foot at a work func­tion?

This in­cluded her time at the podium greet­ing us as a group and telling us (her em­ploy­ees, es­sen­tially) how much our work, in­clud­ing our pro­fes­sion­al­ism, is ap­pre­ci­ated.

I am very con­fused about what is hap­pen­ing. Dear Con­fused: If this pro­fes­sional func­tion was out­doors, I could al­most see this bare­foot thing as part of the vibe, even though I (per­son­ally) have an aver­sion to look­ing at feet — even my own. This is am­pli­fied when I see peo­ple bare­foot at pub­lic or crowded in­door spa­ces (un­less it is in a med­i­ta­tion or yoga ses­sion).

At the least, this at­tor­ney could have worked her shoe­less­ness into her talk. Some­thing about trust, vul­ner­a­bil­ity, or the free­dom of be­ing au­then­tic.

This is so un­usual that if there was a Q&A af­ter her talk, you would have been jus­ti­fied in ask­ing, “Would you mind telling us why you aren’t wear­ing shoes?”

Read­ers will surely want to weigh in with their own the­o­ries and re­sponses.

Dear Amy: “Liv­ing in the Fu­ture” lived in a “smart home,” with lots of mon­i­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy. Her hus­band was able to con­trol the lights, elec­tric­ity us­age, and mon­i­tor the en­trances re­motely, which, ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, he did, while he was at work. She works at home, and he ad­mon­ished her for run­ning the dryer at the “wrong” time of day — and then shut it off re­motely!

You took the op­por­tu­nity to opine about the se­ri­ous loss of pri­vacy and as­sert this woman’s right to make choices in her home while she was in it, but you did not ad­dress the alarm­ing amount of con­trol this hus­band was ex­ert­ing over her.

Peo­ple can use tech­nol­ogy to stalk and in­tim­i­date. That’s ex­actly what this guy was do­ing. Dear Con­cerned: I com­pletely agree. Thank you.

Copy­right 2019 by Amy Dick­in­son

Dis­trib­uted by Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

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