Living on a Budget, Saving Money/My brother is a sponge


  I am writing about my brother who is 65 and retired.  He has made no provision for retiring and just collects social security period.  He constantly calls my mom (every month or more) and wants $600 to $1200 a month because he can't pay the rent or car payments.   He says that he will get that money after mom dies anyway so he may as well collect it now.  Mom is angry at him but will not tell him, she just pays out and complains to me.  Her will states that when she dies her money will be divided in half between him and me.
   Do you know of any recommendations I can give him to stop sponging off of her.  He lives in Florida and can't find any kind of job.  Would he qualify for any government help I can recommend him to apply for?  I can understand his problem but it just doesn't seem fair to sponge off of mom (and if there is anything left when mom dies off of me as well).

   I will apologize to you up front if I sound angry, but it is not towards you or you mom.  Here is the first thing she can do but it is not my favorite, and only if she can afford to.
1. She could give him his share and be done with it and tell him no more. In this scenario it sounds like he would run through it and be back to his old tricks.  He may of had some rough times that he could not have helped happening to him but he has still got to go out and kill something and drag it home to eat so to speak.  Right now he is also taking from you unless she is going to deduct it from the total inheritance she will leave.  

2.  This is the option I feel like needs to happen.  Programs he may be able to qualify for may be food stamps and possibly some help with his medicare, it just depends on his income and assets.   There is a book you may need to get your mom Boundaries - that will help her thought process dealing with him.  He is acting like a boy taking advantage of his mother and this is the time of her life that could be the most expensive for her.  

If he is as broke as he says he is, he doesn't need to have a car payment and should have a car that gets him from point a to point b that is paid for.  He may qualify for the HARP program for home loan modification if he owns a home and if he is not behind on the payments.  This program may reduce his payments.  He should also consider a cheaper place to live if money is that tight.  I would also ask him if he is on a budget and tracking where his money is going because it does not sound like it. Tell him to search for all of the benefits for seniors, such as transportation, food pantries etc.  It should be obvious to him that he should not have retired if he is able bodied and of sound mind. Retirement is a nice thing to be able to do, but it is not an entitlement, and should not be considered if you are broke.   There is work to do contrary to popular belief.  Over 90% of Americans do have a job, it may not be the most fabulous job in the world but it beats sponging off of your mother when you are 65.  A lot of people can pick up a pizza delivery job and make 800-1200 per month.  There is a place to go when you are broke, that place is work.  Has anyone asked him what he will do when all of his inheritance is gone?  You may be his back up plan after that.  So prepare yourself and tell him how you will handle it.  Its tough love but that is the only option for him to change that I know of.  I hope things work out well for you and let me know if you have any more questions.  

Living on a Budget, Saving Money

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Tim West


Budgeting, credit, collections, basic insurance and investing. Small business budgeting basic will and estate planning.


Financial coach since 2009. Help coach people in personal and small business financces.

Head of financial ministries at Grace Fellowship of Augusta,Dave Ramsey Certified financial counselor and 20 years of doing it my self.

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