How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

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texasgal47
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How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by texasgal47 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:15 pm

I'm the caregiver for my 90 year old mother and watch her finances like a hawk. Her granddaughter has asked her for $100 as her side work has temporarily dropped way off. Mom was widowed 16 months ago so her income is substantially reduced. Mom purchased a small condo close to me. We have yet to sell her former home as it needs a great deal of work. Mom's total net worth, including homes, is between $450,000 and $500,000 and her monthly expenses equals monthly income. I told mom that the $100 is not within her tight budget and suggested that she could reduce her church contribution by that amount or skip about 3 times this year having her hair done weekly. Mom doesn't like any of these options so I've asked her to come up with other ideas. I have a great deal of anxiety about mom outliving her money as her dementia is worsening and expensive assisted living is coming up soon. In my area, with mom needing medication management, etc added on, the total would be about $80,000/year.

My 42 year old niece has always been single, graduated from college with honors, and is a hard worker. She has asked for small amounts of money occasionally from my parents and her mother over the years. I informed her after my father died that mom would really have to watch her expenses so I'm ticked that she came to mom at all. A year ago my niece had a good clientele so the larger question is why didn't she work on an emergency fund before now? I'm considering telling her that I will give her the $100 and will pay for a Dave Ramsey course to help her work toward an emergency fund. My impression is that it is the incidentals, like cable TV that come up, as well as having an income problem. We've had a few words about money in the past which is why she probably didn't come to me. For example, one of my sons offered to take her to the airport but she wanted a few more hours with my parents that last day so asked my mom for the $40 for a shuttle across town. I will add also that when one of my sons tried borrowing after college my husband and I said no as we didn't want to start bad habits. He does a good job with his finances now. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

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CaliJim
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by CaliJim » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:28 pm

Good on you for the tough love. I think your instincts are correct ... she is not making good frugal financial decisions.

Sometimes poverty is not caused by poor decision making and poor character... and it is just circumstances outside of ones own control. In cases such as this, charity and generosity is warranted.

But if she is still traveling by air... there are financial things that are still in her control.

Have you discussed this at all with your sibling, your niece's parent?

I wonder who else she is mooching off of.

I tell my kid's they are always welcome for free meals at home, and a bed in house to sleep in if it ever comes to that. They will never need to be homeless or hungry. But I also say that they should never expect money from us.

Ask her if she will be in a position to return the favor and help pay grandma's bills when the time comes!
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by RadAudit » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:31 pm

Your Mom can't afford it and you don't loan money to your kids.

Your niece is 42 years old and working. And you have offered to pay her way to a Dave Ramsey course.

Personally, my vote on the $100 request is no.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:32 pm

$100 can't make a meaningful difference in any Americans life. Your niece doesn't need the money, she just wants it. If she really does need it, as in "I don't have any money to buy food for a few weeks" then she should be looking into bankruptcy along with getting a new job.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Tachyon » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:38 pm

2 concepts:
Give an inch and they'll take a mile.
Teach a man to fish and they'll eat for a lifetime.

If she's open to Dave Ramsey's course or some sort of financial education, give her $100 for that. It'll improve family dynamics.

But if she's looking for a handout of $100, hard stop and tough love. May cause some friction but that's on her not on you.

student
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by student » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:39 pm

Asking for money from a 90 years old widow is just ridiculous unless it is for real emergencies. You are more than reasonable with your proposal.
Last edited by student on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm

texasgal47 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:15 pm
My 42 year old niece has always been single, graduated from college with honors, and is a hard worker.
It seems odd to me that someone like that would need to be asking for $40 here and $100 there. It's not clear from your posts what her underlying problems are but it sounds like there must be some real long-term issues.

If your mother has dementia and you are acting as guardian then you could very reasonably simply briefly explain to your niece that your mother's money is limited and is and will be needed for normal expenses as well as assisted living and health care expenses in the future. It really has nothing to do with your niece personally if your mother doesn't have money to spare for anyone. There is no reason to comment on your niece's behavior at all or to try to influence it. If you want to do so as a separate matter, you could, but it would be easier and better for your relationship not to do so in this particular context. It will take some of the pressure off you and allow her to save face.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:44 pm

texasgal47 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:15 pm
I'm the caregiver for my 90 year old mother and watch her finances like a hawk. Her granddaughter has asked her for $100 as her side work has temporarily dropped way off.

My 42 year old niece has always been single, graduated from college with honors, and is a hard worker. She has asked for small amounts of money occasionally from my parents and her mother over the years.

I will add also that when one of my sons tried borrowing after college my husband and I said no as we didn't want to start bad habits.
Are you just the caregiver? Or are you in control of Mom's finances as well?

If the former, then the decision is Mom's.
If the latter, then you should treat your niece like you treated your son - say No to avoid bad habits (both on your part as well as hers).

Why doesn't the niece ask her mother for the money?
Very Stable Genius

JohnFiscal
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by JohnFiscal » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:44 pm

How about a discussion with your sibling, the niece's parent? Surely she/he should be on board with this. And hopefully put the ki-bosh on the asking.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by mega317 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:50 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:32 pm
$100 can't make a meaningful difference in any Americans life. Your niece doesn't need the money, she just wants it.
Agree. I wonder what is going on here. Asking for small amounts of money ($100?) occasionally (a few times a year?) doesn't signal a real problem to me. Maybe she is doing some mental accounting and really wants some stupid thing but can't bring herself to spend her own money on it.
CaliJim wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:28 pm
But if she is still traveling by air... there are financial things that are still in her control.
I hope mine isn't the comment that sends this thread towards its destiny, but this is kind of a crazy thing to say without context. What if it's across the country? You are giving the niece the choice of not seeing family or replacing a flight with a trip's worth of gas and hotels. For 100 bucks?

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by mhalley » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm

I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by delamer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:54 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm
texasgal47 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:15 pm
My 42 year old niece has always been single, graduated from college with honors, and is a hard worker.
It seems odd to me that someone like that would need to be asking for $40 here and $100 there. It's not clear from your posts what her underlying problems are but it sounds like there must be some real long-term issues.

If your mother has dementia and you are acting as guardian then you could very reasonably simply briefly explain to your niece that your mother's money is limited and is and will be needed for normal expenses as well as assisted living and health care expenses in the future. It really has nothing to do with your niece personally if your mother doesn't have money to spare for anyone. There is no reason to comment on your niece's behavior at all or to try to influence it. If you want to do so as a separate matter, you could, but it would be easier and better for your relationship not to do so in this particular context. It will take some of the pressure off you and allow her to save face.
Excellent advice.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:01 pm

mhalley wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.
+1

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:12 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:54 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm
texasgal47 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:15 pm
My 42 year old niece has always been single, graduated from college with honors, and is a hard worker.
It seems odd to me that someone like that would need to be asking for $40 here and $100 there. It's not clear from your posts what her underlying problems are but it sounds like there must be some real long-term issues.

If your mother has dementia and you are acting as guardian then you could very reasonably simply briefly explain to your niece that your mother's money is limited and is and will be needed for normal expenses as well as assisted living and health care expenses in the future. It really has nothing to do with your niece personally if your mother doesn't have money to spare for anyone. There is no reason to comment on your niece's behavior at all or to try to influence it. If you want to do so as a separate matter, you could, but it would be easier and better for your relationship not to do so in this particular context. It will take some of the pressure off you and allow her to save face.
Excellent advice.
+1

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:24 pm

mhalley wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.
100% agreed

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:55 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:24 pm
mhalley wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.
100% agreed
Leeches just ask for $100. Someone who genuinely needs help will ask in another way or will have demonstrated the need to the point where the OP wouldn't be asking the internet.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MnyGrl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:08 pm

PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:01 pm
mhalley wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.
+1
+1. $100 is nothing. She has always been single and you said she is a hard worker - I wouldn't even give it a second thought, unless she was asking for money all the time.

Honestly, it sounds like there's much more to the story than you are saying. You sound angry that she went around you. Guessing there is other history...

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:14 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:08 pm
PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:01 pm
mhalley wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.
+1
+1. $100 is nothing. She has always been single and you said she is a hard worker - I wouldn't even give it a second thought, unless she was asking for money all the time.

Honestly, it sounds like there's much more to the story than you are saying. You sound angry that she went around you. Guessing there is other history...
Why would any 42-year old ask their 90-year old widowed grandmother for $100? Does that seriously seem normal to you?

I mean, the shuttle thing, maybe I could see. "Grandma, I got to get back to the airport after visiting you, do you think you could help me pay for the shuttle?"

But... ring, ring. "Hey grandma, I just got my cable bill, and I'm short this month. Could you send me $100?"

Seriously?

And offering to give a Dave Ramsay cours is just silly. That's just going to be taken as an insult.
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MnyGrl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:14 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:08 pm
PhilosophyAndrew wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:01 pm
mhalley wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm
I would have a different take. There are times when someone is hanging on by their fingernails that a Benjamin is a lifesaver. Sounds like this has been an occassional thing for small amounts, so I would vote for giving the money plus the Ramsey course. As an aside, I would always be in favor of giving money to family as opposed to charity if the family member is not a full grown leach.
+1
+1. $100 is nothing. She has always been single and you said she is a hard worker - I wouldn't even give it a second thought, unless she was asking for money all the time.

Honestly, it sounds like there's much more to the story than you are saying. You sound angry that she went around you. Guessing there is other history...
Why would any 42-year old ask their 90-year old widowed grandmother for $100? Does that seriously seem normal to you?

I mean, the shuttle thing, maybe I could see. "Grandma, I got to get back to the airport after visiting you, do you think you could help me pay for the shuttle?"

But... ring, ring. "Hey grandma, I just got my cable bill, and I'm short this month. Could you send me $100?"

Seriously?

And offering to give a Dave Ramsay cours is just silly. That's just going to be taken as an insult.
It sounds like someone who needs help.

I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????) that I wouldn't be able to give a struggling relative $100 if it was really needed.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:21 pm

Now I'm going to play devil's advocate to myself.

It's the Grandmother's money. If she derives joy handing out money now and then to her irresponsible grandchildren, then the OP should probably let her do it, and not tell her she has to stop getting her hair done.

How much are we talking a year? $500? $1000? She has enough assets, and (though I hate to say it), she's old enough that she probably doesn't have to worry about her money lasting another 10 years, so she can send $100 now and then to her grandchildren.

Now, I believe it's the wrong thing to do. Gifts, sure. But not paying someone's cable bill because they can't handle money at age 42.

But I'd probably let my mother do it, if I was the OP.
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HomerJ
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:23 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm
It sounds like someone who needs help.

I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????) that I wouldn't be able to give a struggling relative $100 if it was really needed.
Giving someone $100 like that is not helping. Paying the cable bill is not "struggling". Go without cable if you can't afford it. That's not going to kill anyone.

I suggest many of you who think it's a good generous act, read the chapter in The Millionaire Next Door about "outpatient care".

All you are doing is reinforcing their bad behavior and causing them even more pain down the road when they are 62, unemployed, and dead-broke because they NEVER learned how to manage money... partly because of YOU.
Last edited by HomerJ on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by mega317 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:26 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm
I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????)
My grandma did this every week for many years, basically until she was unable to get in a car. Everyone there was a friend, it was like going to happy hour.

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HomerJ
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:27 pm

mega317 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:26 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm
I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????)
My grandma did this every week for many years, basically until she was unable to get in a car. Everyone there was a friend, it was like going to happy hour.
Yeah, it's more of a social thing than a hair thing.
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MnyGrl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:28 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:23 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm
It sounds like someone who needs help.

I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????) that I wouldn't be able to give a struggling relative $100 if it was really needed.
Giving someone $100 like that is not helping.

I suggest many of you who think it's a good generous act, read the chapter in The Millionaire Next Door about "outpatient care".

All you are doing is reinforcing their bad behavior and causing them even more pain down the road when they are 62, unemployed, and dead-broke because they NEVER learned how to manage money... partly because of YOU.
This is $100. She said herself that her niece is a hard worker and has always been single, so she has no backup.

We'll just have to agree to disagree. Again, mom is getting her hair done 52 times a year!! She has $100 to spare without any sacrifices.

It is common for older people to want to give money to children and grandchildren as they get older. I don't see the harm as long as they tell her that Grandmother is not a bank.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MathWizard » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:30 pm

I cannot imagine my kids having asked any of their grandparents for money.
If they absolutely needed money, and could not get it elsewhere, I would hope that
they would come to me, not a 90 year old.
How did the idea of grandparents as an ATM start?

If this person is asking, where are the parents in all this?

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:31 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:28 pm

It is common for older people to want to give money to children and grandchildren as they get older. I don't see the harm as long as they tell her that Grandmother is not a bank.
This is a 42 year old college graduate asking her 90 year old grandmother who has dementia for $100, not a grandmother sticking a $100 bill in a birthday card for their sweet little grandchild. It's almost ridiculous.

Her parents really should be the one dealing with this, not her aunt.

Remember that the grandmother has a net worth of $450-500k, including her condo and the house she hasn't yet sold. She doesn't have $500k in liquid assets.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MnyGrl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:37 pm

MathWizard wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:30 pm
I cannot imagine my kids having asked any of their grandparents for money.
If they absolutely needed money, and could not get it elsewhere, I would hope that
they would come to me, not a 90 year old.
How did the idea of grandparents as an ATM start?

If this person is asking, where are the parents in all this?
I am wondering the same thing. It sounds like she has no one else to turn to. Are parents dead?

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:37 pm

I think you may be missing the financial forest for the trees. If you are worried about your mom running out of money, focus on getting the house sold and then use some of the money to buy a SPIA. At 90, a SPIA should be cheap and should provide a floor of income to live on. LTC is a legitimate concern. However, if she ends up paying $1800/week for long term care, having given a $100 here and $40 there to her granddaughter won't make one iota of difference to when she runs out of money.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by frugalecon » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:38 pm

I would definitely have a talk with my sibling, and I would potentially have a talk with the niece as well, particularly if I was open to gifting the $100 myself this time. But this raises a difficult issue with parents with dementia. There is a period in which their judgment is impaired, but they still have access to money. During that period, my dad gave $10,000 to my sister and her husband for a tax audit, and he gave $5000 to his sister for whatever. He really was not competent to make those decisions in a completely rational way, and I wish that my mom had access to those funds. But as long as they are still legally competent, they are free to give away whatever money they want. Vigilance is important, but ultimately there may be some dissipation of assets.

ETA: when I say my dad wasn’t rational, what I mean is that he couldn’t really weigh decisions with full information. For example, he kept thinking that he had a 7 digit portfolio, when it was only mid 6.
Last edited by frugalecon on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ClevrChico
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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:40 pm

As others have said, it's not the amount, but the danger of starting a bad habit. Do not give/loan money to family and friends.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by pintail07 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:52 pm

If your mom is competent 100 gift may make her happy. My parents are 90 and children and grandchildren are always going for help, drives me crazy but is their money to with as they please. However, if she is not competent your no is the answer, case closed.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by racy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:59 pm

Wake up! Your 42 year old niece is a bum!
(And, I'm beginning to wonder about YOU even considering giving her money for a Dave Ramsey course... it's FREE on the radio!)

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:06 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:40 pm
As others have said, it's not the amount, but the danger of starting a bad habit. Do not give/loan money to family and friends.
Quite a generalization.

Do you really think that every act of familial generosity, no matter the context, puts the recepients’ fiancial soul in jeopardy?

From the OP’s description, the niece is a hard-working, well-educated person who occasionally gets into a financial jam and asks for small help. Would all relatives refusing to help really help the niece’s character? Would any relative agreeing to help really hurt her character?

Your generalization seems as absurd as this contrary one: Always give modest sums to family in need to avoid starting the bad habit of stinginess. Both generalizations are absurd because they ignore crucial specific details about the request’s context. Without understanding thst context, it is difficult to make an informed decision.

Andy.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by mouses » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:07 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm
I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????) that I wouldn't be able to give a struggling relative $100 if it was really needed.
Believe it or not, it takes some effort to wash your hair when you're old. Your arms get weak holding them up to blow dry it, etc. I know many older women who pay to have their hair washed once a week. I think the local senior center here (non-resident) had a hairdresser come in once a week. We're talking basic maintenance here in terms of cleanliness, not hair dye, etc.

I don't know what's going on with the granddaughter. She needs smallish amounts of money periodically, but she pays for cable? Why doesn't she skip cable and save that money for when she needs it. I don't think it's out of line to suggest financial management education.

I do think it was bad cess for her to ask her elderly grandmother for this and I'm glad the grandmother told the OP. I second the OP's sitting down with the granddaughter and saying the grandmother can't afford it, and is the granddaughter willing to chip in when things get tough for the grandmother. That ought to put the fear of God into her at least.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MnyGrl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:07 pm

racy wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:59 pm
Wake up! Your 42 year old niece is a bum!
(And, I'm beginning to wonder about YOU even considering giving her money!)
So I'm going to play devil's advocate for a moment.

I'm 90. I love my grandchildren.

I have a granddaughter who is 42 and single. Other than a few small loans ($40? $100) here and there, she is self-supporting and has no other family to rely on.

A few times a year she spends her own money to fly out to see me. Say that she spends $400 round-trip, three times a year. SInce my budget is so tight, I can't afford to give her any money. Not even $100. That would mean i would have to get my hair done 49 times this year, rather than 52.


Honestly, if I were in your niece's situation, I wouldn't be visiting grandmother at all! I wouldn't be able to afford to.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by MnyGrl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:15 pm

mouses wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:07 pm
MnyGrl wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:18 pm
I hope that when I'm old I won't be spending so much on my hair (getting hair done every week? 52 times a year????) that I wouldn't be able to give a struggling relative $100 if it was really needed.
Believe it or not, it takes some effort to wash your hair when you're old. Your arms get weak holding them up to blow dry it, etc. I know many older women who pay to have their hair washed once a week. I think the local senior center here (non-resident) had a hairdresser come in once a week. We're talking basic maintenance here in terms of cleanliness, not hair dye, etc.

I don't know what's going on with the granddaughter. She needs smallish amounts of money periodically, but she pays for cable? Why doesn't she skip cable and save that money for when she needs it. I don't think it's out of line to suggest financial management education.

I do think it was bad cess for her to ask her elderly grandmother for this and I'm glad the grandmother told the OP. I second the OP's sitting down with the granddaughter and saying the grandmother can't afford it, and is the granddaughter willing to chip in when things get tough for the grandmother. That ought to put the fear of God into her at least.
If she is paying $35+ a pop, she is having her hair "done," not washed. If OP is her caretaker, could she not help her wash her hair occasionally?

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Traveler » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:21 pm

She should ask her parents for money, not you and not her grandmother. I wonder if she doesn't want to because she's already received some from them so you and grandma are fresh meat.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:23 pm

pintail07 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:52 pm
However, if she is not competent your no is the answer, case closed.
Even if the OP's mom isn't competent, it doesn't follow the OP gets to make all the decisions unless the OP has power of attorney or legal guardianship.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:27 pm

For myself, I wouldn’t get upset over a couple of requests. I would be upset about the niece hitting up Grandma (with dementa) for the money. You don’t hit up someone who can’t make decisions well.

More than a couple requests -no is the answer.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:42 pm

racy wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:59 pm
a Dave Ramsey course... it's FREE on the radio!)
And still expensive at that price. . . . :)

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by cs412a » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:44 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm
If your mother has dementia and you are acting as guardian then you could very reasonably simply briefly explain to your niece that your mother's money is limited and is and will be needed for normal expenses as well as assisted living and health care expenses in the future. It really has nothing to do with your niece personally if your mother doesn't have money to spare for anyone. There is no reason to comment on your niece's behavior at all or to try to influence it. If you want to do so as a separate matter, you could, but it would be easier and better for your relationship not to do so in this particular context. It will take some of the pressure off you and allow her to save face.
This.

Also, my own mother (who has years of experience dealing with nursing homes on behalf of three grandparents and my father) has asked us (her children) to please arrange to have someone come to do her hair if and when she is admitted to a nursing home. It distressed her to see that residents who were unable to manage to care for themselves or who didn't have family to advocate for them were often simply neglected. We'll be happy to cover the cost ourselves, if necessary. In the meantime, at 87, she goes to get her hair done once a week. It's a matter of quality of life.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by DesertDiva » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:47 pm

If you have PoA for grandma, your fiduciary responsibility is to grandma - not to any other family member.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by sschullo » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:56 pm

You have so much going on with caring for your mother, and all of this additional stress is over $100? Seriously? There is a lot more to this and you probably are not aware of. Say no.

I am just not sitting comfortably here telling you what to do. I said no to a grand nephew who asked for $2000 dollars. He is slightly younger at 36 and has made a ton of money as a successful salesperson. But he spent it all recklessly, used drugs, and boose and lived with roommates in La Jolla CA, one of the most expensive places on earth to live, and he wanted $2000 from me? That was easy and this should be easy for you too.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:22 pm

It's interesting all the self-righteous sermons excoriating the niece. Lots of people get more than $100/year in help from their parents or grandparents, even if it gets labeled a birthday or Christmas gift or comes in a non-cash form like free babysitting. The insinuation someone is a leech or a bum if they get any financial help at all from family members is ridiculous IMHO. It might be a different situation if the OP's mom was on the verge of financial ruin. However, the OP's mom has a life expectancy of 5 years and a net worth of $450k-$500k. That's a pretty good financial position to be in at 90, although the OP didn't include all the financial details of her mom's situation.
Last edited by golfCaddy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by cfs » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:33 pm

I have no nieces near me to worry about, but if I had one living near me and she asked me for an insignificant amount of dead presidents I would gladly open my wallet-which-is-always-packed-with-20s and give it to her. Good luck, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by dknightd » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:47 pm

texasgal47 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:15 pm
I'm the caregiver for my 90 year old mother and watch her finances like a hawk. Her granddaughter has asked her for $100 as her side work has temporarily dropped way off. Mom was widowed 16 months ago so her income is substantially reduced. Mom purchased a small condo close to me. We have yet to sell her former home as it needs a great deal of work. Mom's total net worth, including homes, is between $450,000 and $500,000 and her monthly expenses equals monthly income. I told mom that the $100 is not within her tight budget and suggested that she could reduce her church contribution by that amount or skip about 3 times this year having her hair done weekly. Mom doesn't like any of these options so I've asked her to come up with other ideas. I have a great deal of anxiety about mom outliving her money as her dementia is worsening and expensive assisted living is coming up soon. In my area, with mom needing medication management, etc added on, the total would be about $80,000/year.

My 42 year old niece has always been single, graduated from college with honors, and is a hard worker. She has asked for small amounts of money occasionally from my parents and her mother over the years. I informed her after my father died that mom would really have to watch her expenses so I'm ticked that she came to mom at all. A year ago my niece had a good clientele so the larger question is why didn't she work on an emergency fund before now? I'm considering telling her that I will give her the $100 and will pay for a Dave Ramsey course to help her work toward an emergency fund. My impression is that it is the incidentals, like cable TV that come up, as well as having an income problem. We've had a few words about money in the past which is why she probably didn't come to me. For example, one of my sons offered to take her to the airport but she wanted a few more hours with my parents that last day so asked my mom for the $40 for a shuttle across town. I will add also that when one of my sons tried borrowing after college my husband and I said no as we didn't want to start bad habits. He does a good job with his finances now. Any other thoughts or suggestions?
It sounds to me that your mother, and niece, both have a short term cash flow problem. Your mother has two houses. Your niece needs/wants $100. Apparently your niece's parents either can't, or won't, give their kid $100. You don't mention who, or how, the "great deal of work" on your mother's house will be paid for before you consider it ready for sale. I assume you are talking to your sibling(s) about this.
I'd leave the $100 decision in your mom's hands if she is at least somewhat capable. Maybe she will have a good idea about how to cut her spending by $100. "Mom doesn't like any of these options so I've asked her to come up with other ideas." My reading of this is she is still somewhat lucid. It should be doable to give $100 if she wants since she owns two houses.
Let her tell her granddaughter this is not a good time. Sounds to me she asked granny, not you. Don't let it upset you. It is not worth getting ticked off about $100

Edit: if your Mom really wants to give her $100, and you are sure she can not afford it, I'd give my mom $100 ;)

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Katietsu » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:54 pm

Grandma is 90 with half a million dollars plus enough cash flow to cover expenses. Grandma wants to give her granddaughter $100. Son tells Mom that she can not spend any of her nest egg and must give something up if she wants to make the gift.

That sounds very unreasonable. I am making no judgement on whether the gift to the niece is a good idea. I think son is imposing his beliefs on his Mom. The stress that son is causing to Mom is likely just really not worth the $100.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by Good Listener » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:57 pm

If my mother did not give a granddaughter $100 I would be very angry. Whether it was my daughter or a siblings daughter. At 90 yeats9old she can't afford the $100? Are you somehow emotionally involved in this? $100 isn't worth a minute' s thought.
Last edited by Good Listener on Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:59 pm

These things are a judgement call about what kind of person someone is and what is their behavior. If the niece is going to be an issue for her grandmother it might make sense to interfere and impose some conditions, if one can. On the face of it there is no evidence this is a problem.

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Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:00 pm

The real issue isn't the $100 (if that's all it really is about you should just give it to her) but whether your niece will need it followed by $200 next week and more the week after and the week after....

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