AIBU - Mother hoarding money

(114 Posts)
rubberdubber1970 Sat 09-Apr-16 14:25:26

Ok here's the scene
My father spent half his life moving money from account to account to get the best interest rate, he invested heavily in stocks and shares and mostly made money.
Money became his god, he would never spend, food was always cheap cuts, never any heating on in the house, bath was only allowed to be filled half way, no holidays, wore the same clothes week in week out etc etc

My mum always a housewife used to complain about his meaness.
My father died 5 years ago leaving a tidy sum (about £350,000 in cash) and the house
My mum is 75 and not in the best of health, I have moved her to a place near me so I can help her out.

My brother has rheumatoid arthritis and struggles to work every day, but has to work to pay his mortgage.
I have chronic tendinitis in both arms (yes it hurts to type) but I run my own business so can't stop as I also have a mortgage to pay and don't get sick pay
I have spent about £5000 on acupuncture, therapists, physio to try and cure it

My brother has no children (only grown up step children) I have a daughter and will not be having anymore.

My mother in law (aged 93) is in a care home at £730 per week, she had £63,000 now most of it's gone for her care home fees.

My mother has turned into my father, she struggles to walk, but won't get a taxi, she won't turn the heating on, won't phone my brother because he has a mobile phone so costs more, even when I bought her some special offer wine she queried the price that I said she owed me.

All the while she sits complaining about the rate of interest she is getting from the bank - Forgot to mention she has two private pensions and a full old age pension - she has an income of £1000 per month and out goings of £600

For the last 5 years I have been telling her to spend her money, I have been brutal telling her that if she goes into a care home that they will take it. I've explained about inheritance tax and how her estate is above it. My father spending his life avoiding tax, she seems happy to give it to the system.

I have begged saying if you don't want to give it to me or my brother, or her only grandchild then at least give it to charity - but to do something good with it.

AIBU? I know it's her money, but she could really help out my brother and aid his suffering, but she won't listen, the money just sits in the bank earning a total pittance.

Oldraver Sat 09-Apr-16 14:28:17

Its her money.... but I think you are right that she should spend it.

Iggi999 Sat 09-Apr-16 14:30:51

It is hard to watch but you really can't do anything. Isn't she annoyed at the thought of it going to the government, if she's such a saver? When you talk about money, what does she actually say back to you? Even if she doesn't help her children she could help herself have a more relaxing retirement. Are you expected to help her practically OP?

butteredmuffin Sat 09-Apr-16 14:33:04

Will there be inheritance tax? It doesn't sound like she will be above the nil rate band. She will get your father's nil rate band as well as her own.

I agree that she should spend it. She can't take it with her after all! But this is very common with old people. They grew up with rationing, and had to scrimp and save. It's hard to break the habit of a lifetime.

MadamDeathstare Sat 09-Apr-16 14:36:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rubberdubber1970 Sat 09-Apr-16 14:45:03

she will never run out of money, when I bring up the subject she just smiles at me and says my needs are small, but she goes through the bank statement with a magnifying glass.
No I'm not expected to help, though I do. My husband used to do lots for her round the house, but he has been unwell and now just says she can afford to get someone in to do it - and I agree with him

Janecc Sat 09-Apr-16 14:47:08

Yanbu. My husbands grandma was the same and her daughter (my mil) Did nothing about it. She lived in 1950's world and it was pretty grim. I vowed I would not let it happen to the next generation. My mil died and the house was already tatty. Since then if it weren't for me, my fil would have spent nothing on the house. He didn't even have a shower over the bath so I sorted that one years ago and we organised this to be changed again recently. The bathroom has also recently been replastered and decorated because of mould issues. His mattress and sofa had holes in them. I knew about the sofa, not the mattress and we took him out shopping. I forced him to completely change his kitchen as it was getting dire. One time when we visited, he had stuck a hose pipe in the hole where the tap was as it had broken off but could still be turned on/off. When dh and I visit we now take his credit card with us and buy whatever we think he needs. He does heat his house though and changes his car every 3 years. Fil lives in France btw so it's difficult to keep an eye out.
Yes op I feel your pain. I'm a strong personality. We have had some lengthy discussions about looking after himself for him to accept this.

alltouchedout Sat 09-Apr-16 14:48:26

Why are some people so offended by tax? Weird.

Boolovessulley Sat 09-Apr-16 14:49:08

You are right but it is her decision.

AStreetcarNamedBob Sat 09-Apr-16 14:50:14

That sounds hard to watch sad she should definitely do SOMETHING with it but as you say, you can't make her...sadly.

IdealWeather Sat 09-Apr-16 15:10:32

That's what happens when people have money, are scared to loose it but at the same time, have no idea what to do with it. At least your dad knew and was making the best out of it.
I suspect your mum has had the opportunity to learn to budget and get an idea of how much she needs to live on. So she is relying on the 'old methods' your dad (who was successful in his own right) used.

I think you will struggle to make her change her pov TBH.

rubberdubber1970 Sat 09-Apr-16 15:10:37

alltouchedout I'm not offended by tax, we all should pay our way

But this is money my father earn't (and tax) saved (and taxed) why would any one pay more than they need to

IdealWeather Sat 09-Apr-16 15:15:40

Also be mindful about the difference between what you think she should do and what she considered plenty.

I wouldn't do a lot of what Janecc mentions. For me, for example, it is NOT necessary to change your car every 3 years. But I would change a matress with a hole in or I would ring a child on their mobile iyswim.
I know my MIL would not use a taxi. That would be extravagant and it would mean acknowledging her restricted movement.
My parents have the heating set on 18C max when they have plenty of money to afford heating etc...

CaptainMarvelDanvers Sat 09-Apr-16 15:19:41

I think you need to stop 'seeing' the money, you have to pretend it's not there because you are right it is her money and it is up to your mum with what she does with it.

scarlets Sat 09-Apr-16 15:24:46

What a miserable, joyless existence, especially given that she could take pleasure from seeing you, her grandchild, and her son enjoy some of the cash whilst she is still alive.

Not offering financial support to relatives with disabilities is particularly mean-spirited. Parsimony becomes compulsive in some people I think.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 09-Apr-16 15:31:04

Do you have power of attorney?

I wonder if she's starting to show signs of dementia and needs you to take over from her confused

I'd be taking over if possible and spending it on making her comfortable. Heating on, carers coming in, hairdresser, chiropodist, whatever.

PortiaCastis Sat 09-Apr-16 15:35:06

It is your Mums money and only she can decide what to do with it. Hope she doesn't leave it to charity

Rezolution123 Sat 09-Apr-16 15:43:43

I agree with Lauriefairycake. You should be handling her affairs using Power of Attorney if she is neglecting herself. No heating is a bad sign.
Also she has probably never been used to handling money if your father was in control of the finances. She may not even have much idea how much a nursing home or residential home will cost.
At 75 she is young enough to last another 20 years, so prepare for the long haul.
I have already been down this route with two relatives of my own and both my in-laws. It is the most frustrating and upsetting role you will ever have to tackle.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 09-Apr-16 15:44:29

Get SS to do a capacity assessment.

Floppityflop Sat 09-Apr-16 15:50:19

Surely 18 degrees is plenty warm enough?!

Borka Sat 09-Apr-16 15:50:32

Maybe she wants to save it so that if she needs to go into a care home, she can afford to pay for it herself & choose somewhere decent.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 09-Apr-16 15:55:04

If she knows her own mind and chooses to make decisions you disagree with that is her business.

It sounds like you feel she should gift some money to you and your brother. I can understand why you would like and appreciate that but again, it's her business.

In your shoes I'd make a conscious decision to stop thinking about it and stop mentioning it. If you want to do things for her do them. If you don't, then don't.

She's 75, it's her money and her decisions not yours.

Janecc Sat 09-Apr-16 15:55:14

Ah I see the confusion. I don't make him change his car. That's the only thing he does himself. I find this ludicrous because he has more than enough money and would be happy to live in squalor as long as he has a Brand new car every few years. Before we changed his kitchen, it wasn't even fitted just free standing 2 falling apart storage units and a massive kitchen table, which doubled up as a work surface and a big old sink with a cupboard and broken doors underneath and broken tap. He loves his kitchen now. The best thing we ever did. The reason we take his card is to buy him new sheets/towels is to replace the ripped ones, kitchen utensils because the ones he had were broken, glasses ditto etc. It's easier than taking him round the shops now because we can look properly without him distracting us - we buy everything to his taste. We only have a finite amount of time because we have to visit X y and z family members when we are over there so we block off an afternoon. I Also ensure stuff like his electricity is safe. He has told us his needs are simple. I'm not saying everyone can and should do this, this is what we do to keep him safe and comfortable. If we lived in France, this would be more of a gradual process.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 09-Apr-16 15:56:01

Is she neglecting herself or is she making decisions the op perceives as mean?

IdealWeather Sat 09-Apr-16 15:57:53

That's what I was getting at Moving.

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