Ask Amy: Wealthy daughter takes from generous folks

FresnoDecember 31, 2013 

Dear Amy: Our 27-year-old daughter has a well-paying job and a sports car parked in the garage of her new home (with pool), which we have only seen in pictures.

Our calls go to her voice mail and are not returned. Since she started college, we have seen her only a few times. Unless she wants money, we hear from her only right before her birthday or Christmas to "remind us."

We send her a nice check. We don't get a thank you or any communication most of the time. Over the years, we have done quite a bit for her, but we don't rate an email or call for our own birthdays or other occasions.

Money is extremely important to her and she spends it liberally on herself. We are savers and do not live above our means.

She knows she will inherit a nice amount some day and has bragged several times that she loves being the only child because she gets so much more that way. We lived our lives around her schedule, giving her things while not splurging on ourselves. Now we are cut out of her life.

I wonder what we "owe" her. My wife thinks we must continue on as we have and insists we must leave her a large inheritance. I think things need to change, but I am not sure where to start.

— Sad dad

Dear Dad: Things do need to change. You and your wife should discuss this, ideally with a neutral third party such as a professional counselor (and financial planner).

Your daughter excels at taking care of herself. You two should start to value and love yourselves more. This means making choices about your spending and inheritance that will satisfy and reflect your own values. You might want to spend down the inheritance over time by supporting local causes.

Write to your daughter and let her know that you would love to know her better as a person, but that the money spigot is being turned off. I realize this is potentially heartbreaking because she is your only child, but once money is off the table, you will discover what — if anything — is left.

Dear Amy: I know readers didn't like it when you said that a dog pooping on someone's lawn was "disrespectful," even when it was quickly picked up.

You can train them to go on demand. And "curb your dog" means just that. Not on someone's lawn, not on the sidewalk.

— Doggy don't

Dear Don't: No dog I've ever walked was quite so potty-compliant, but thank you for the support.


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