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Seriously pissed off about a neighbour who pretended to be poor

(151 Posts)
DyslexicScientist Wed 02-Dec-15 06:50:32

I found out about this last week, but I'm still pretty pissed off tbh.

There was a retired and widowed man a few doors down from me. He often asked for help for odd jobs here and there, myself and my then partner often dropped what we were doing to help out. No money was ever offered and we didn't expect it to be we were just charitable and happy to help out. We gave him lifts many times, although he had a car if he was going away he didn't want his car left at the station and we assumed with a train fare for a trip he was a bit short. He always gratefully received a hamper of stuff from the harvest festival. I could go on but listing it is annoying me more.

He died and I know someone involved with his estate. I knew he would of been paper rich, but as its just the house i didnt really count it. Now it turns out he had a 6 figure amount in the bank, various stocks and shares and a monthly income greater than me, with no mortgage payments coming out.

I feel very betrayed, he could of easily afforded a Gardner, handyman, taxi, food etc and there are surely people in real need of these services and goods that he got for free and has deprived others.

Aibu to feel pissed off with him?

winchester1 Wed 02-Dec-15 06:55:10

Are you sure he understood he was wealthy? I only ask as we've recently found out an elderly relative is in a similar position (not that wealthy but well off) but she doesn't use the electric heating, never really goes anywhere she would need to pay, never buys new clothes, food treats, etc. As far as we can tell she just doesn't understand.

winchester1 Wed 02-Dec-15 06:56:50

Its almost like she is stuck in a saving loop/mind set and cant see that a comfortable retirement is what she was saving for.

hedgehogsdontbite Wed 02-Dec-15 06:57:16

Did he tell you he was poor or did you just assume?

Whoknewitcouldbeso Wed 02-Dec-15 06:59:13

I don't know really, depends on what is reasoning was to reach out for help.

Perhaps you made him feel part of the community and he enjoyed the attention. Perhaps he was extremely frugal or had some low level mental impairment so didn't know what he was worth. Perhaps he was a Riley old sod who liked taking advantage of other peoples kindness. Really dont know!!

SoupDragon Wed 02-Dec-15 06:59:24

Aibu to feel pissed off with him?

Of course you are.

He is dead.

Snoopadoop Wed 02-Dec-15 07:00:07

You mention being charitable and helpful and kind and then in the same statement you are pissed off because an elderly man has died and you didn't know the contents of his bank account when he was alive. Crikey.
Out of curiosity did he know the contents of yours? No, because that is private.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Wed 02-Dec-15 07:00:54

*wily old sod

thequickbrownfox Wed 02-Dec-15 07:01:41

Yabu, the guy is dead. You assumed he was poor, too.

Enjolrass Wed 02-Dec-15 07:04:01

Dhs grandparents were like this. Saving money to leave the family and also they found it really pretentious, to pay people to do work for them.

While they were fit and well, they were the most helpful people so we didn't mind doing loads for them. I adored them.

I can see why you feel a bit put out. But he never said he was poor, you assumed.

You also said you did this to be charitable. So take it for what it is. You helped an elderly man out, it's a nice thing to do.

It may have been that he was lonely and this was the only way he knew how to get to know you.

I went to mums a few weeks ago and her neighbour (she lived there while I was growing up) was sweeping leaves from the path outside her house. Her lovely husband used to do it and he very sadly passed away the year before. I know they are minted.

They were wonderful people. I hopped out of the car, and did it for her. I swept right up the street as I knew that's what her husband did and put the stuff away in her shed, went in and made her a cup of tea.

She doesn't leave her house, the leaves on the pavement didn't need sweeping, she could have paid someone. It was my choice to help her out. It's just a nice thing to do so when she looked out it looked neat and tidy like her dh liked.

Just accept it for what it is.

OfficeGirl1969 Wed 02-Dec-15 07:04:39

Do you not think maybe it wasn't a financial issue, but just that, with you having helped him a few times initially, he actually liked you guys, and enjoyed the consistency of your company? If you did everything for him, it sounds like he didn't really have anyone else nearby.

There's anything to be annoyed about, he's dead now, and he never actually told you he was struggling for money, it was just assumed.

SoupDragon Wed 02-Dec-15 07:04:52

Does your friend usually give out personal information about people's estates?

RideEmCowgirl Wed 02-Dec-15 07:08:07

My Nan had dementia when she died. Before she got really bad though she had reverted to living in the 50's - so would put all her money into little pots like she did then i.e one for rent, one for electricity etc. She really thought she was poor again as she was not living in our "time" when she had plenty of money but back to when she was a housewife with young children.

Or he could just be a tight ole git with no dementia, like my Mum's Dad who was VERY wealthy but refused to spend out on things like getting his roof fixed as it leaked.

What's done is done. Just be glad that you are the type of person that is willing to help other's and to make a difference to their lives. Don't let it change your kindness to other's.

SouthWesterlyWinds Wed 02-Dec-15 07:08:18


My dads like this. He'll ask for help and try to save money where he can. Lidl makes a killing from him. But he's from a generation where you did help your neighbours and saved every penny just incase you need it for that rainy day. Overdrafts are not in my fathers vocabulary and other than a mortgage, he would never consider a loan. It isn't rude - it's an ingrained generational thing that some people have manage to shrug off and a lot of the elderly, like my father, find it difficult. I know he has some savings, but I don't think my father does really comprehend how much and he really does get worried if his savings dip. Stocks and shares are paper and can be forgotten. Your neighbour has died - you were kind to a retired widowed and possibly lonely old man. Doesn't that mean more?

TheBunnyOfDoom Wed 02-Dec-15 07:09:35

Wow, YABVU. You helped out an old man, who, presumably couldn't do all this stuff for himself, and now you're pissed off because he didn't tell you he was rich? Really?! What does it matter?

NerrSnerr Wed 02-Dec-15 07:12:38

Did he tell you he's poor? If not you just assumed.

How did your friend know about his estate?

DyslexicScientist Wed 02-Dec-15 07:13:21

Winchester I'm not sure if I knew he was wealthy or just didn't like to spend money. His clothes were in a dire state, the roof needed repair work, his boiler was broken and so he just used a fire and plug in electric radiators.

He did complain about the cost of a new boiler and many times made comments that suggested he couldn't afford things. I may have assumed, but he did give the impression he had no money.

Once my ex p was out of work for a few days after spending a weekend cutting his hedge and hurt his shoulder doing so. He didn't get paid and we didn't mind but knowing he could of got a gardener I do feel taken advantage of.

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Wed 02-Dec-15 07:15:34

How nice of your friend to divulge such information to you. Remind me to never have anything to do with your friend..

YABU you helped an elderly person, that's a good thing to do. Are only poor elderly people allowed to be seen as vulnerable or needing help with things? Was he not worthy because he had money in the bank?

My 89 year old aunt (who is a totally awesome woman) is on her own and very frail. She pays people to help her because she has the money to do so. Sadly it also means she has been taken advantage of left,right and centre by various different handymen/workmen/builders.

Have you also considered that the old guy probably felt safer with you? Happier and part of a friendship? That's more important than money,don't you think

broomy123 Wed 02-Dec-15 07:24:25

I think it's a generation thing. I have a family member like this. They have so much money in the bank (I only know this because her son told me) and a big mortgage free house. I went shopping with her recently and she had to think for about two hours over whether to by herself some £20 glasses. I found it so sad but she says she felt guilty spending 'money like that on myself'. I also took her out when I was on maternity pay and thought she may treat me lunch, but she didn't. I didn't take it personally, she just watched every penny.

I know you feel taken advantage of but think of it that you helped out an elderly, lonely man. You sound like a lovely couple

originalusernamefail Wed 02-Dec-15 07:24:56

My DNan has more money than she knows what to do with, owns her house £££££ in the bank etc. but she was raised in a children's home in WWII London. As such she has always had a fear of wasting money and food (once tried to make a 50p packet pasta meal last 3 days by stretching it with milk even though she didn't like it!). I have to pretend DS and I are going to feed the ducks so I can take away stale bread and bring her fresh. It took us 2 years to talk her into 'treating' herself to a new bed even though she wasn't sleeping! I think living frugally is a state of mind for some people, she is obsessed about her 'estate' and leaving things behind for her children/grandchildren. We are desperately trying to convince her to spend her money on herself, her children are approaching their 50-60s and her grandchildren their 30-40s if we haven't sorted ourselves by now we never willgrin. Maybe he was the same?

Witchend Wed 02-Dec-15 07:25:46

My Gran was like Winchester says.

In her case she had been exceeding poor for so long saving was a habit and she couldn't relax it.
Anything good was put away in case. I inherited some lovely stuff she was given as wedding presents, but she never used because it was saved just in case.

wowfudge Wed 02-Dec-15 07:30:55

I think YABU - and your friend is very indiscreet. Would you feel better about things if he'd left you some money for helping him out?

IAmNotAWitch Wed 02-Dec-15 07:31:29

I hope the person you know is not professionally involved in his estate.

If so, they should get fired.

TheBunnyOfDoom Wed 02-Dec-15 07:32:22

I do agree with PP that it's generational.

My nan died last year and had over a hundred thousand dollars in the bank, but she fretted when her shopping bill was a few dollars more than she expected. She complained she couldn't afford AC (she was in Australia) or new clothes but when she died, we found thousands of dollars in cash just lying around in bundles in her house.

She knew she had it, she just panicked about spending it. Sounds like your neighbour was in the same situation - money is a security blanket for some people and they don't like to see those funds diminishing.

CremeEggThief Wed 02-Dec-15 07:33:42

YABU. I am shocked that you think like this and apply these conditions retrospectively. What does it really matter? Just be glad you helped him out and he got some pleasure from it, as I assume you did too, from doing the right thing.

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