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    • Fledgling40
    • By Fledgling40 11th Nov 17, 11:51 AM
    • 6Posts
    • 6Thanks
    Frivolous, ageing parent - financial advice
    • #1
    • 11th Nov 17, 11:51 AM
    Frivolous, ageing parent - financial advice 11th Nov 17 at 11:51 AM
    Hi, hoping I can get some advice.

    My mum is around 10 years away from retirement and has no formal plans, savings or substantial pension.

    What she does have is about 4 years of a pension, a pot of money from downsizing mortgage free (it’s prob less than £50k) and no job atm due to relocation.

    From her perspective she’s more affluent than she’s ever been and whilst being out of work she’s getting very spendy. Every time I see her there’s a new item in her house or that she’s wearing, or waiting for delivery of.

    She’s not worried due to the cash sat in her bank, but she could easily live another 30 years. And there’s no contingency for illness, or anything else that could happen.

    I’m really worried about her. I’d like her to get IFE but a quick look online I get quotes of £500 fees. She can be very shortsighted/tight and doesn’t seem to understand what benefits and peace of mind she’ll get from getting advice. She just seems to think so long as she can cover the bills she’ll be fine.

    Am I missing any support I can direct her too?
Page 2
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 12th Nov 17, 1:50 AM
    • 6,098 Posts
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    Perhaps more appropriate than citizens advice would be the Pensions Advisory Service -a government initiated service that provides free information about pensions
    • sandsy
    • By sandsy 12th Nov 17, 9:33 AM
    • 1,312 Posts
    • 790 Thanks
    She’s better off speaking with one of the free guidance services, TPAS or Pensionwise.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 12th Nov 17, 9:50 AM
    • 7,588 Posts
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    If my sons were to eye my spending habits thus I'd probably ensure they were handy for the delivery of a nice heavy case of champagne, with various cruise catalogues scattered in plain view.

    A bit tight? Yes, indeed, raising children is not cheap & you do have to tell them no sometimes & it's remarkable how years later that can rankle.

    She may be wide-awake to the fact that this is the time frame when she has money health & opportunity & is determined to go into an old age with some corking memories. She may also be positioning herself for a shrewdly considered second marriage - and if she sees & recognises this post, I'd suspect a prompt trip to WHSmiths for a will form at minimum (or if she's here anyway, checking out who does cheap wills)?

    She's healthy, she's happy, she's enjoying life - why not just reassure her that you love her thus? And try trusting her to know which side up her bread is buttered?

    If you do research your own pension situation (always a good idea) you can pass on to her good news that you've done it & found X useful - she may say "yes, they were sweet to me"...

    Right now with the attitude in post 1, if you were to say Power of Attorney I'd think she'd be dead right to tell you, if feeling kind, that it's a bit early &, if not, to use language liable to cause a rift in the family for several months.

    It could be that these judgemental phrases are a way of saying I love you & I worry, but frankly I'd stick to the plain text. Few mothers struggle to decode those two!
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 12th Nov 17, 12:21 PM
    • 25,176 Posts
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    It would seem that the OP's mother (aged around 56?) has sold a family home, bought a property out right and is currently unemployed.

    She needs to check her state pension statement.

    It may well be that it will be an amount that would exclude her from pension credit or any help with CT so that if her only substantial provision is the state pension, she faces old age in straitened circumstances.

    It appears that if she does not find work, (is she on JSA at the moment?), she will be living on her capital of £50,000.

    It is unlikely to be earning vast sums in interest and interest rates are largely below inflation.

    If she uses up £5000 a year on her living expenses, the capital will be gone by the time she reaches SPA.

    It seems to me that she does need to give some thought to her future financial provision.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 12th Nov 17, 3:28 PM
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    I would think it very strange that a woman who has been "keeping house" for what 30 years on a limited budget is now throwing money away with no thought to the future. Unless of course the reason she downsized & relocated is because of the debts she had accumulated, although I would have thought you would have mentioned that if it was the case.

    I hope you don't ever refer to her as ageing to her face, as if my son did it to me he would be getting a (metaphorical only) thick ear & I am several years older than your mother. We first referred to my mother as ageing when she was 85 & it was indeed when she started ageing.
    Last edited by badmemory; 12-11-2017 at 3:30 PM.
    • Fledgling40
    • By Fledgling40 12th Nov 17, 5:05 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    I struggle to understand all the negativity around the concept of ageing and me pointing it out - frankly, we’re all doing it and I’ve not framed it negatively - if fact my main worry here is practicalities around care/health in older age or if she unexpectedly no longer has the ability to work. ‘badmemory’ I have no idea why pointing out that someone is nearing retirement is condescending either, she’s actually closer than I realised and she’s always been pretty sensible until recently but has had a lot of changes in her life which obviously have influenced her.

    I’m not interested in inheritance, have never expected any. I just want my mother to be secure, comfortable and happy. Her only capital is her home but equally it’s probably the thing that makes her most happy and I’d hate to see her lose that.

    I realise my post may seem harsh but this is a frustrating situation. She doesn't have a plan, she has no awareness or her state pension and she doesn’t seem to have put much thought into her living costs either - the value changes whenever I ask. I’m met with with a stubborn ignorance around the subject and she’ll often provocatively tell me she’ll just move into mine. All fun and jokes until it’s reality, which I’m pretty sure would drive her more insane than it would me.

    I will be checking all the suggested links, thank you for sharing
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 12th Nov 17, 5:29 PM
    • 25,176 Posts
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    For my part, I can see why you would be concerned - see post 24 above.

    Have you pointed out the state pension statement link to her?
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 12th Nov 17, 6:11 PM
    • 10,374 Posts
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    The best financial gift she could give you is the sure knowledge that her own financial affairs are in good nick so that yours aren't undermined.
    Free the dunston one next time too.
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 12th Nov 17, 6:56 PM
    • 9,973 Posts
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    Thanks for the replies. She!!!8217;s looking, yes but has mentioned part time. Shes always been under the national average salary.

    I!!!8217;ll get her to check her state pension and no, I don!!!8217;t know what her private one is, but she won!!!8217;t have had much to pay in as she had a mortgage until very recently.

    I!!!8217;ll be honest, I don!!!8217;t have a great amount of knowledge myself. .
    Originally posted by Fledgling40
    The question is whether your mother has the knowledge.

    You say your mother has always earned under the average salary. Well half the population do. Do you know this for a fact?

    You refer to her private pension saying she will not have had much to pay. But do you know that she did not make contributions as part of salary or what her employer contributed? Or if she was in a final salary scheme? How sure can you be of what she did when you were merely a gleam in her eye?

    You do not mention your father. Is he still alive? Does she have a private pension based on his? Does she have a share of his pension?

    You seem to know some of her business but not all of it. Without a full picture you may have drawn the wrong conclusions.

    We have to assume that your concern is genuine, but is it possible that she is well in control her financial affairs and simply thinks its none of your business?

    My neighbour is in her 50s and never tells her daughters her financial business because as she says it would simply encourage them to ask for more loans that they never repay. She also knows that when she gets to 60 she will have about £16K/year of occupational pension from two below average pay jobs she had before she was 40.
    Last edited by BobQ; 12-11-2017 at 7:05 PM.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 12th Nov 17, 7:40 PM
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    I suppose my attitude comes from living most of my life on pay that was less than half that of most of my family. The fact that I managed to buy a house & bring up a child on my own, with my only debt being a mortgage seemed to have escaped them. I kept getting comments like pension credit probably stopping soon. After the first couple I stopped trying to reassure them that I was going to be fine because they obviously didn't believe me. And guess what I am absolutely fine & my pension income is more than the last few years I was working. And for the first time in my life, when I knew the money really was going to be there, I actually went out & frittered a bit. Of course I stopped at about £600 because old habits do die hard.

    My only concession to age is that I stick to running upstairs & no longer run downstairs, my eyesight isn't what it was.
    Last edited by badmemory; 12-11-2017 at 7:43 PM.
    • atush
    • By atush 12th Nov 17, 11:33 PM
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    As a woman of her age, I would suggest you should be very careful at the way you offer your "help" as your thread title of"frivolous, ageing parent.. financial advice" is extremely patronising.
    Sorry but I dont agree that you are patronising OP. You are worried and it seems rightly so.
    • nyermen
    • By nyermen 13th Nov 17, 7:21 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    Can I take a side step and note two things - I don't think they're mentioned in the thread:
    1) Would you consider this a change in behaviour? I'm concerned she may have something like depression. Not sure how i'd react to a big change in circumstances - eg. If she's been employed all her life and suddenly finds herself in this situation, she's struggling to adapt hence the spending?
    2) What also concerns me is if she spends the 50k before pension age, she may well not get any JSA (/Universal Credit equivalent) before she hits retirement age - due to rules of deprivation of capital. But many of the more knowledgeable dwellers here can confirm this.

    Debt free - finally finished paying off £20k + Interest.
    • Clifford_Pope
    • By Clifford_Pope 13th Nov 17, 10:00 AM
    • 3,565 Posts
    • 3,698 Thanks
    I struggle to understand all the negativity around the concept of ageing and me pointing it out
    Originally posted by Fledgling40
    I agree that "ageing" really just means getting older, and as you say, we are all ageing from the moment we are born.
    But the expression "ageing parent" popularly means two things:
    a) being a lot older than your mother - 70/80/90, and
    b) having problems coping, physically or mentally, or beginning to show signs of developing problems.

    Using it of someone aged 55 who is fit, active, has some financial security, and knows what she wants, is frankly patronising. If you can't see that then you need to tread very carefully indeed in tackling her about your perception of "the problem".
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 13th Nov 17, 10:48 AM
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    Have you reminded your mother that she CAN claim JSA even though she has savings. Many people are told you can't, but she can get 6 months contributions based (not sure what happens if it is now UC though).

    Also did she relocate to help with looking after grandchildren? If so, then she can get NI credits for that which will help add to her years of state pension entitlement.
    • Fledgling40
    • By Fledgling40 13th Nov 17, 2:03 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Thanks for clarifying your opinion Clifford, sadly its irrelevant and entirely unhelpful to my original post. If you don!!!8217;t like the thread, don!!!8217;t read it.

    In amongst the very helpful and practical replies there!!!8217;s a LOT of projection.
    • Clifford_Pope
    • By Clifford_Pope 13th Nov 17, 2:24 PM
    • 3,565 Posts
    • 3,698 Thanks
    If you don’t like the thread, don’t read it.
    Originally posted by Fledgling40

    If you don't like the warning, don't heed it.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 13th Nov 17, 2:42 PM
    • 3,918 Posts
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    In amongst the very helpful and practical replies there’s a LOT of projection.
    Originally posted by Fledgling40
    Said the guy projecting his priorities and insecurities onto his financially independent, fully compos mentis, middle-aged mother.
    • Mr Costcutter
    • By Mr Costcutter 13th Nov 17, 8:00 PM
    • 309 Posts
    • 818 Thanks
    Mr Costcutter

    I’m really worried about her. ?[/QUOTE]

    I wonder if your mother realises just how much you are concerned about her situation. Maybe it would be worth talking to your mother again, explaining the reasons as to why you are so worried.
    • justme111
    • By justme111 13th Nov 17, 10:10 PM
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    • 2,848 Thanks
    It does not look like it is a matter of money, it does look like the matter of relationship - OP does not seem to know the numbers but is referring to the mother teasing them she would move with them of she is broke.
    • BobQ
    • By BobQ 13th Nov 17, 10:31 PM
    • 9,973 Posts
    • 13,100 Thanks
    Thanks for clarifying your opinion Clifford, sadly its irrelevant and entirely unhelpful to my original post. If you don!!!8217;t like the thread, don!!!8217;t read it.

    In amongst the very helpful and practical replies there!!!8217;s a LOT of projection.
    Originally posted by Fledgling40
    The nature of opinions expressed in response to YOUR post should not surprise you. Your OP suggests you lack the full facts and by your own omission the knowledge of retirement planning.

    So your mother could be as frivolous as you say because she does not know what she is doing, or she could be quite canny and simply not willing to tell you her financial business. We do not know.

    And you could be the most caring and concerned son there has ever been, or you could simply be wanting to stop her enjoying herself and wanting to protect your inheritance. We do not know.

    If you ask for facts you will get better answers but if you start asking if Mum knows what she is doing you invite all sorts of opinions that fit these vague facts.
    Last edited by BobQ; 13-11-2017 at 10:34 PM.
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
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