Dear Annie: With Mother’s Day coming soon, I would like to make a suggestion to children who send gift cards to their mothers or fathers.
For Christmas, I received almost $400 in gift cards to clothing stores. I am very thankful and appreciative of these gifts, but I do not need clothes, and had these cards been Visas or MasterCards, I could have purchased the mattress I need badly or something like that. I am on Social Security and never seem to have enough funds to buy some of the things I really need. – Loving Mother
Dear Loving Mother: You might be a loving mother, but you don’t want to sound like an ungrateful one. You make a good point about the credit cards. So why not thank your children profusely for thinking of you and buying the gift cards but explain to them your thoughts about a general credit card? They bought the gift cards thinking they would help you out, but if they are paying for products that you don’t need, they should know that. Your children are very generous, and they obviously want to help you. But remember that these are their gifts, given voluntarily, so if you don’t make an effort not to come across like an ungrateful mother, you will defeat your purpose.
Dear Annie: I am retired with a small retirement income. I live in a house that I’m making payments on. My significant other has lived with me for 32 years. Because he retired, he pretends he is on a limited income, but he has put away $2 million. He pays half the house payments and buys his own food. The plan was that he would buy a retirement home and I would live with him. But he has no intention of buying a house or doing anything differently.
He is depressed and going on three years of doing nothing. He has a boat, a motorcycle and four-wheelers, and he has not touched any of them during this time. My friends tell me he should pay all the bills and then some, seeing as he has a lot of money. But my partner replies that women wanted equal rights and therefore he doesn’t owe me anything. I don’t know how to respond to this point. He’s right that I want to be independent, but his logic doesn’t seem right. – Can’t Make Sense
Dear Can’t Make Sense: It sounds as if your partner is suffering from depression. Instead of thinking of ways to get him back on his boat or motorcycle, you are thinking of all the ways that he doesn’t give you enough.
Once you address his depression and help him out of it, the two of you can have a conversation about what to do with your finances. But first things first. Seeing as you love and care for your partner, help him get off the couch and back on at least one of his vehicles – his toys – which clearly used to bring him pleasure.
You would be better off talking to a professional counselor with your partner than complaining to your friends that he isn’t paying for enough.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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