Paying Mom Back
August 15, 2012 9:19 AM Subscribe
Should I give my mom money so she can stop working?
posted by anonymous to human relations (29 answers total)
My mother is the most important person in my life. She's a wonderful, sweet, 59 year old woman and I want desperately to do right by her. She has a few mild-moderate health problems, but nothing major. She's worked office jobs for the past 10 years or so. Mom has always been bad with money - never making much and always spending what comes in. She's so generous and selfless; buying things for others rather than putting any away for herself.
Mom sacrificed a lot for me and my siblings when we were younger - going from welfare and food stamps to educating herself and acquiring real skills so she could work and make ends meet as a single parent. I had a wonderful childhood that paid off as I was able to get a great education and now I make more than enough money for me and my family. Mom still lives paycheck to paycheck, just getting by as she gets older.
I'm considering giving my mother a lump sum of money so she can stop working for a while (say a year or so). Not enough so she could retire forever, but enough to give her a break. My concerns are as follows:
1) She's bad with money. Won't she just spend away the money I give her until she has to go back to work?
2) I think working keeps people healthy and thriving. Mom can be kind of a hermit and I would hate to see her isolate herself without having to get up and go to work every day.
3) Is it common for people to 'share the wealth' within their family if they can afford it? Am I a selfish bastard by having so much more savings and monthly income than my parents while I watch them struggle?
Other background info: Her new husband works too (and will continue to). He doesn't make a lot of money but his income foots most of the bills and provides insurance.