No, you can’t, now bugger off

Moral Money: ‘My dad is squandering my inheritance, can I ask him to stop?’

It’s his money, he worked for it, it ain’t “your inheritance”.

My divorced father, who is in his late 60s, is spending huge amounts on holidays, luxuries and generally living the high life.

I worry there will be little left for me in my inheritance. I am 35, and I feel that my father’s generation had it easier when it came to making and saving money. Can I ask him to be more thrifty?

GH, via letter

You are a victim of the intergenerational wealth gap.

Your father’s age puts him slap bang in the middle of the baby boomer generation, many of whom benefitted from cheaper property prices, better wage growth and higher savings rates than their children and grandchildren.

Some readers would say your father earned his money and that he can spend it how he likes….

Not just some readers, all with any moral sense whatsoever.

Bugger off matey.

82 comments on “No, you can’t, now bugger off

  1. I am 35, and I feel that my father’s generation had it easier when it came to making and saving money.

    Says the person hoping to inherit a ‘huge’ amount of money.

  2. Hell. Back in our day ungrateful little spoiled brats like these would have had the gumption to take matters into their own hands and make themselves orphans.

    Kids these days just want it all handed to them on a silver platter with no effort.

  3. he must be hoping his dad dies soon, otherwise what does it matter? He won’t see the inheritance for circa 20 years anyway. By then he’ll be mid 50s and should, really should, be sorted by then!

  4. Wassa matter, don’t you believe in the imminent climate disaster? You won’t need money, you need swimming lessons.

  5. I like Rob’s comment very much!

    I think “earned” has a double meaning here: in a more neutral sense it can just mean “made money” but in a moral sense, it carries a suggestion of this being “just desserts”. The latter is probably less useful here. While most people would accept work earnings as being the fair fruit of one’s labour, there is clearly an element of moral luck to having benefitted from a housing boom. For most people who do so, it isn’t even as if their investment judgment can be praised for having timed so well going into property instead of the stock market, since alternative uses of their capital probably weren’t even on their radar.

    You’d have to have a pretty selfish conception of property though to argue “if it does not morally belong to my parents, as they didn’t truly ‘earn’ it, then logically and ethically it must belong to their children”. If you really subscribed to the view of property value rises being so undeserved as to be unfair to keep for oneself, then keeping those returns within the family is surely just as reprehensible. You’d need to support it all being sent to charity or that a 100% own-home capital gains tax should be incorporated into inheritance taxes.

    There is another conception of private property which says “I acquired what I have through legal means, I paid all taxes due, what is left is mine to use as I wish and it doesn’t matter whether I made it by hard work or blind luck”. This separation of “belonging” from “deserving” seems more practical to me. If you go through someone’s life story with a fine toothcomb I’m sure you can argue that even their hard-earned hourly-paid wage-slips had large elements of luck outside their control: that their parents sent them to a decent enough school or gave them the genes they needed, that their birth date didn’t line up the start of their career with a period of very high unemployment, that they heard of the job through a chance connection or whatever. But for all that, what they made after taxes is still “theirs” and I really can’t see a compelling argument at all that it should belong to the children instead depending on the degree of luck involved. Indeed even if someone did intend for the kids to inherit, the kids depend on luck both to have such parents in the first place, but also for the assets not to end up being swallowed by care home fees.

  6. Intergenerational inequality. Tell that to the ex-footballers now in their late 60s/early 70s. When they quit it wasn’t unusual to end up running a pub or a greengrocer. Nowadays there are 25yo Premier League player on six-figures/week. It works both ways.

  7. “Your father’s age puts him slap bang in the middle of the baby boomer generation, many of whom benefited from cheaper property prices, better wage growth and higher savings rates than their children and grandchildren.”

    Along with 20%+ inflation, 17% interest rates, 3 day working weeks, black-outs, strikes, flares and the Austin Allegro.

    So fuck off.

  8. They benefited from lower property prices funded with mortgages that were in double digits due to high inflation and with higher wage growth that was almost certainly negative in real terms and saw the value of their high savings eroded by that same inflation.
    They saved their money to buy maybe one LP a month, then later some CDs, wore hand me down clothes and maybe had one two week holiday. Now the spoiled brat gets almost free high quality media, well made cheap clothing, access to high quality cheap food and endless short breaks. Smug entitled prat.

  9. “Your father’s age puts him slap bang in the middle of the baby boomer generation, many of whom benefitted from cheaper property prices, better wage growth and higher savings rates than their children and grandchildren.”

    They also had to contend with higher inflation.

    There’s 2 things no-one considers in this whine about boomers.

    1. people didn’t have 2 good incomes. Rents are high today, if you compare them to a single income. Housing is very affordable if you have 2 good incomes. And one reason housing shot up is that 2 incomes allowed them to.

    2. a lot of kids today who whine about this shit really fuck up the whole thing of managing money:-

    a) we didn’t go to college to do crap that didn’t pay us
    b) we didn’t move to London and live on a shit wage there
    c) we didn’t have “gap years”
    d) we didn’t spend colossal money on craft rum, weddings, holidays and stag weekends. It was Captain Morgan, local hotel, 2 weeks in Spain, and a stag night meant going around the local pubs and £50 for a stripper.
    e) we learnt to cook, instead of eating out all the time
    f) we took all the overtime that was going spare.

    There’s lots of young people who are smart and have a good work ethic and all that, though. I know a graphic designer who not only does a corporate job, but freelances on weekends. He does 4 days working at home, which means he doesn’t bother running a car, can live a longer commute away.

  10. Or perhaps “GH” would like to swap with his father’s father’s generation and have a 500lb HE bomb delivered along with his morning mail?

    Because that’s the thing. We are generating a culture where everyone looks at the best elements of the best lives and seems to thing that’s the ‘base’ that they are ‘entitled’ to.

    The baby boomers didn’t suffer the war but they were brought up by parents who did which I think has given us a decent perspective.

    if GH is 35 his formative teen+ years were in the 90s and 00s when it seemed economies could only get stronger and people could only get richer. Brown had abolished ‘boom & bust’ and things could only get better. The banking crisis and what’s followed was an unwelcome dose of reality for a generation more ‘entitled’ than any before it.

  11. If one of our kids came to us (and they wouldn’t cos they was brung up proper) and asked us to start flying economy instead of business class from Aus to blighty, and to stop regarding three star hotels as camping, they’d find that, quite literally, they wouldn’t have any inheritance and their siblings would be smiling.

    I’d suggest that they should have thought about it when they five years old. At that point we could have saved on their school and university education, left them with their weird uncle when the rest of us went on holiday or out to dinner, and generally ensured that they had the bare minimum to survive. That way they could feel like they’d earnt their inheritance.

  12. And it’s The Telegraph that prints such drivel. Peter Simple must be turning in his grave. In other news, Boris is trying to out-green Caroline Lucas.

  13. GH, you’re an utter, utter cunt. If your father does eventually leave you anything except a colossal bar bill and a little black book full of “hostesses”, rather than gifting his worldly goods to someone more deserving like a randomly picked crack whore, if, then I hope you die in misery and pain before you get to spend any of it.

    Did I mention that you’re a cunt?

    – channelling mr ecks

  14. A pound to a penny if you asked this ungrateful little shit if he planned to care for his father in his dotage to ‘earn’ the inheritance, he’d soil himself and bleat about ‘the state’s duty’…

  15. Were it not for the fact that the world’s leading tax expert has established taxes do not influence behaviour, I might have suggested the father is engaged in an inheritance tax avoidance strategy by divesting his estate of as much wealth as he can (above the nil rate band) before he pegs it. 40% is a hell of a high tax charge.

    I would originally have thought this to be a rather urgent race given Agent Cob’s recent proposals in this area had I not been disabused of my incorrect beliefs by Professor Murphy.

  16. DocBud,

    I worked with a guy who organised strippers for all the leaving dos, 40th birthdays etc. This was in the “stripogram” era, but where most did some tame stripping with a chaperone, these women did all sorts of stuff. I remember managers having to remove marshmallows that had been placed on nipples, blindfolded. I’m absolutely certain they were on the game, and the bloke who we went to was shagging them.

    Different era. That was a large financial services company. People would be sacked for that today.

  17. The journalist talks abour us “benefiting from higher savings rates” – we have some wealth *because we saved some of our (usually hard-earned) income*. The higher interest rates weren’t much good when the value of my building society was halved in five years under Wilson (the higher interest rates meant halved instead of worse-than-halved). CAB and “Stepchange” tell us that by far the largest group who are insolvent are not the poor but young women with decent incomes who just continually spend more than they earn.

  18. As has been constantly pointed out, you can live a 70s lifestyle in property terms on a 21st century income if you are prepared to live a 70s lifestyle in all the other ways as well. Not necessarily having a car, one holiday per year, cooking all your own meals (I’m absolutely sure as a kid growing up in the 70s neither my parents nor us as a family ever ate out in a restaurant once. Very occasional fish and chip suppers, thats it), repairing things (including clothes) when they wore out, buying secondhand stuff, doing your own home and garden maintenance, repairing your own car if you did have one, no modern electronic gadgets or services, one TV, single phone line (or no phone at all) etc etc.

    Apart from which the house you will have now will be infinitely better to live in than its 70s counterpart, with double or triple glazing, central heating, completely insulated, on demand hot water, fitted carpets, fitted kitchens etc etc vs the cold damp draughty houses that I grew up in that had hot water sometimes and still in one case had a sort of outside loo – it had been detached from the house, but then incorporated via a perspex roof. It was an ice box in winter, and we had to put one of those old paraffin road lamps in it in cold weather to prevent it freezing.

  19. young women with decent incomes who just continually spend more than they earn.

    I have occasion to meet university-educated women aged 30-45 who lead white-collar professional lives. Almost none of them own real estate, have a decent pension, or even any savings. The whole lot just gets spent. Then they meet a bloke who has about £500k of assets and complains he doesn’t want to commit.

  20. “I have occasion to meet university-educated women aged 30-45 who lead white-collar professional lives. Almost none of them own real estate, have a decent pension, or even any savings. The whole lot just gets spent. Then they meet a bloke who has about £500k of assets and complains he doesn’t want to commit.”

    Piece of friendly advice Tim N, try a physical dating agency, not Tinder.

  21. ‘Some readers would say your father earned his money and that he can spend it how he likes…’

    Elizabeth Warren, Obama, and their fellow travelers would say, “You didn’t make that!”

    So the state should get it ALL!

  22. He’s 35, but in true Guardianista fashion has obviously failed to spawn himself, else he wouldn’t be so lacking in empathy and self-awareness towards Maw and Paw.

    One of the things being a Dad teaches you is that your parents were basically living saints for putting up with a horrible little bastard such as yourself, and you’re bloody lucky they didn’t sell you to the Child Snatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Radio 1.

    Parents – even the slightly crap ones who emotionally scar you for life by letting you watch THE PLAGUE DOGS on Betamax and drunkenly boasting how they fought the Devil that lives under your bed – are big damn heroes and they all deserve a statue made out of gold depicting them trying to prevent a toddler from playing in the cat’s litter box.

  23. @Jim
    “As has been constantly pointed out, you can live a 70s lifestyle in property terms on a 21st century income if you are prepared to live a 70s lifestyle in all the other ways as well”
    I am not sure if that is true in all cases, I would doubt it is true in many parts of London. I had a lifestyle like that in 2001 – and had lodgers and could not afford a similar home to what I could have in the 70s.
    In London you would have to hope that you never to move because of stamp duty.
    Saying that I do think many things are better today – just housing is crazy expensive – thanks to BBC Blair Brown Cameron

  24. “Kids these days just want it all handed to them on a silver platter with no effort”

    With the current D-Day remembrance ceremonies in mind, I can’t help muttering “Not a bloody chance” whenever I read a newspaper letter from someone praising the sacrifices made by men & women in their teens & early 20’s, and hoping that our present youngsters would do the same if ever there was another similar conflict…

  25. Piece of friendly advice Tim N, try a physical dating agency, not Tinder.

    If you think the phenomenon I describe extends only to women on Tinder, I think you’re mistaken.

  26. He’s a self-entitled twerp and it’s not his money, true.

    But I do have a vague sense that he and others like him, if they usually don’t make their point well, nevertheless have a point which they are groping towards.

    For instance, two of my four grandparents spent either a third or slightly more than a third of their lives retired. My grandmother of course retired at 60.

    My parents retired at about the same age, albeit my mother never worked (and by the way, how’s women in the workforce working out for all concerned?). They enjoy about six holidays a year, and never missed holidays before that. They inherited noticeable sums from all four of my grandparents. They know of people who find it is as cheap for them to spend half of each year on cruise ships as it is to live at home.

    Anecdata, for sure. But neither group of Lud ancestors was exceptionally prosperous.

    Does spending a third of your life retired gallivanting on cruise ships beckon for this git GH? I certainly do not expect to retire at 60.

    The other side of the coin may be that these older generations regret the absence of large record collections and mobile phones from their youth, I don’t know. But I haven’t heard of any grumblings to that effect.

    But what really does boil my blood is that generations of people in this country have been voting themselves freebies at the expense of the unborn. When my daughter was born, she was born owing tens of thousands of pounds. Perhaps GH is part of that, and votes to give himself freebies. But I can understand young people growing up with a sense that, increasingly, however it has happened and no matter how much in technological terms the world is a better place than it was 40, 60 or 80 years ago, they have been comprehensively screwed over by the generations wot preceded them.

  27. My divorced father, who is in his late 60s, is spending huge amounts on holidays, luxuries and generally living the high life.

    I’m amazed the divorce settlement left him enough to exist on, let alone “live the high life”. His ex-wife must be seething along with GH. Why oh why can’t the State simply take it from him and give it to GH, so he too can spend huge amounts on holidays, luxuries, etc?

  28. What was he going to do with this “inheritance”?

    Carefully look after it and invest it wisely to hand on to his children presumably.

  29. When I was growing up in the 70s/80s a foreign holiday was going to Dorset. As others mentioned above, restaurants were places you saw other people on TV eating in. No car.

    The idea that you could easily become a millionaire just by owning your own house would have been completely preposterous.

  30. We used to go overseas, Rob, to the Isle of Wight, for the two weeks a year my dad got as leave. No car until I was eleven, no TV until I was nine. I remember one year, my dad forgot the holiday money which was all cash in an envelope. We all sat at Ryde pier for three hours or so while he caught the train back home to get it.

  31. Jim,

    “Not necessarily having a car, one holiday per year, cooking all your own meals (I’m absolutely sure as a kid growing up in the 70s neither my parents nor us as a family ever ate out in a restaurant once. Very occasional fish and chip suppers, thats it), repairing things (including clothes) when they wore out, buying secondhand stuff, doing your own home and garden maintenance, repairing your own car if you did have one, no modern electronic gadgets or services, one TV, single phone line (or no phone at all) etc etc.”

    The gadgets are actually often quite a saving. Modern TVs are much cheaper and more reliable than the valve sets. It’s cheaper to get your music via a phone and speaker than record players. And repairing clothes really isn’t worth the time with the cost of shirts from supermarkets.

    Eating out for families is nuts. We went out with another family and spent £100 on pizza, deserts and drinks. I could have done that at home for £20.

  32. Abroad? Hell, we went to the Isle of Man.

    Come to think of it, my mother’s total lifetime travel abroad must have been Man, Jersey, and Eire, once each.

    Dad saw more of abroad, but that did involve killing Germans.

  33. Tim – it’s a sore point for me and the missus. I want enough to start a family choir and escape the Nazis after some helpful nuns vandalize their automobile. The wife claims her ladypocket isn’t actually a clown car.

    I still have some hairs left aren’t prematurely grey, so I reckon the answer is “not enough”.

  34. If you want to do this previous generation have squandered meme , who is innocent?

    Should those who waded ashore on D day have refused because they didn’t start the war? Ditto 1914.

    Circumstances change and not always favourably for you or your generation. That’s called reality.

    I bought my flat (which I’m still in BTW) in 1989. Six years later it was worth less than half what I paid for it. The mortgage, of course, did not oblige and I had negative equity for about 6 years I reckon. I was not alone and I don’t recall any complaints about “boomers” then (they were around but only as a category in certain sociological discourses rather than as a hated kulak class as they appear to be now. Born 1960 I am so classified – not that I give a shit). I have no mortgage now but spent more years than was comfortable in a position where losing my job ‘- a constant threat at the time – could have seen me lose everything. I wasn’t exactly living the life of Reilly at the time either.

    To those who are struggling, I sympathise, I really do, but please spare us the victimhood.

    What I will say to the young, millenials or whatever you want to call yourselves, if you want to be “green” and “sustainable” and align yourselves to this fad, be aware of the real world consequences (yes, yes I know it’s not all of them)

    If you want to turn the world into a zero sum game (even if you make it work) you are guaranteeing no inheritance for yourselves or for the next ten thousand years for that matter. This is the logical conclusion of this mindset. Great great great great grandson, one day you will have exactly what I have now and absolutely no more. Now get striving.

  35. “I am not sure if that is true in all cases, I would doubt it is true in many parts of London.”

    True, but then London is another country. Its certainly not part of England any more.

  36. Going back to the original question – how can this twat be sure that his Dad is “squandering” his inheritance. My late mother-in-law enjoyed foreign holidays, occasionally three or four in a year, but when I went to do the IHT calculation to prove that no IHT was payable I found that her bank balance actually increased modestly over the 7-year period for which we had to account for gifts (so all her gifts to grandchildren were exempt as “out of income”).

    Incidentally: the verb “to squander” should only be used to describe the inheritor’s behaviour, not the spending by a man of his own savings. My wife and her sister were utterly in favour of their mother enjoying the use of her own money in her lifetime

  37. @ dearieme
    99% agreed (I’ve never been to Eire and didn’t go to Man in my parents’ lifetime).
    As I’ve said before, we were middle-class but my father cycled to work. Most of our holidays involved staying on a farm in the Highlands or a week in Bridlington for a hockey festival (Dad was still playing until he was 48) but we did go abroad *once* to Brittany.
    I saw more of the world as a Consultant in my fifties than I did in the whole of my first 50 years.

  38. I understood that the idea was to spend ones savings, including equity in the house, before passing away with your last cheque bouncing

  39. This thread is in danger of turning into the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.
    Having said that, I’ll add my two penn’orth: my first holiday (apart from the occasional day at the seaside) was when I went on honeymoon.

  40. Ah, family…

    In February, 2019 my father demanded that I return three annuities worth about $200,000 he had gifted me in June, 2011. Reason? He wanted to make sure “his money” stayed in the family and didn’t go to my wife or anyone on “her side of the family”. What had my wife done? Nothing. He just decided that despite 35+ years of (happy) marriage to ol’ Dennis, she wasn’t worthy.

    I could have returned it easily, as our net worth is about $2,500,000 at the moment, but didn’t. I just told him as politely as I could that normal people don’t demand the return of gifts freely given seven years after the fact. I didn’t bother mentioning just how insulting he’d been to my wife. Anyway, haven’t talked to him since. My brother has told me I’ve been cut from the will, which is fine.

    Looking forward to the happy day I get the call from his third wife telling me he’s dead.

    What GH doesn’t understand is that (a) Pa can, if he’s smarter than my old man, set things up so that he can revoke at any time, and (b) very often the older people get, the crazier they get.

    GH should be very careful about what he wishes for. But…

    GH should talk to his father about the squandering of his inheritance. Perhaps then Pa can promise him the moon and spend it anyway or – even better – put enough conditions on the inheritance to make GH regret he ever opened his mouth.

  41. @ Mr Womby
    Of course it’s going to turn into the Four Yorkshiremen (albeit I was born a couple of miles too far north) because that’s all about the difference between the twat’s expectations and our actual historical experience. And we were far better off than those in the north in the 30s – the difference is that we knew we were and GH doesn’t realise it.

  42. “when I went on honeymoon.”

    A rather nice honeymoon story I read about concerned a WWII fighter pilot who married a woman who was in the Air Transport Auxiliary. This was I think in late 1944 or early 1945. They decided to honeymoon in Paris and since they could both fly, he arranged to ‘borrow’ a couple of Spitfires and they flew there from England.

    Rather romantic to think of ‘his and hers’ Spitfires flying across the channel.

  43. This modern attitude is breeding a “why don’t you hurry up and *DIE* already!” culture. Wah! Wah! I can’t do anything with my life until I have your assets! Wah! Wah! I’ll never be king!

    Who the ***k predicates their life choices on their parents dying?

  44. Andrew C

    A Mr Murphy of Ely would like to know if the benefit in kind (of at least the fuel consumed) was taxed and, if not, why not?

  45. In the States you used to see older people driving big RVs with a bumper sticker that read”

    “We’re spending our kids’ inheritance”.

    Haven’t seen one in years (though there are still plenty of RVs), but perhaps we could dig one up for the poor old man who is being complained about by his kid.

  46. No doubt she was flying the Spitfire F series, Andrew C, the one with the hook for her handbag and a vanity mirror.

  47. “We’re spending our kids’ inheritance”.
    Round here there was a yacht named “SKI”, with the same explanation given.

  48. I’m 38. My sister is 35.

    We have both told our parents to enjoy their money and don’t worry on numerous occasions.

    They both worked full careers. They lost every thing at least once due to a recession. In the end they did well.

    Who are we to demand a “cut”?

    Even property speculation or investment would have taken work. The mortgage had to be paid etc.

    It’s down to us to earn our way.
    I think that is the fundamental difference between left and right. Entitled vs responsible.

    I hope his Dad does spend it all.

  49. The one thing missing from this story is details on the parental skills of GH’s Ma and Pa. While there is always a chance that even fine parents could end up with a child like GH, more often than not it seems that people like GH are the product of how they were raised.

    Somehow, I get the feeling that neither Ma nor Pa ever said, “You want that? Go out and earn some money and buy it yourself.”

  50. We have both told our parents to enjoy their money and don’t worry on numerous occasions.

    +1. Although in my case, it had more to do with the fact that I was well aware that any money coming my way would most likely have strings attached.

  51. Bit late for the cardboard box in the middle of the road brag…

    I went on my first holiday (overseas, to the Isle of Wight too) at the tender age of nine or ten. Mum used to do ‘Spot the Ball’ in the Catholic newspaper ‘The Universe’ and she won about £250 if I remember rightly. A fortune then.

    I discovered sunburn.

  52. Strange this is in the Telegraph rather than the Guardian!

    What is also missing is why GH wants the money. Suspect his father knows he would squander it and that is why he is spending it.

  53. ‘theres a story doing the rounds that May will not go if an ‘unsuitable’ replacement is chosen.’

    From a procedure point of view the new leader has to demonstrate they can command the party in the commons, which means if the MPs don’t agree with the party members choice they can effectively veto the selection.
    Possibly this story is taking the procedure and statements from some ministers to vote against the new govt if they can’t get their own way and putting them together to make a new narrative.
    Though of course it doesn’t rule out May colluding with existing ministers to overthrow the leadership election, but you have to think even she isn’t that stupid

  54. Meant to add much more likely they will manipulate the vote off to make sure party members have no real choice as they are stupid and arrogant enough to think they can get away with that

  55. @Bloke on M4 June 6, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Talking of strippers/go-go dancers; when I was in sixth form we often went for a pub lunch where there was a stripper – we were asked to take off our blazers

    Funny bit was a couple of our teachers often arrived after us – we ignored each other

    .
    @BniC June 6, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Yep. MPs are trying to engineer a Gove vs Hunt selection for Party members

    Good analysis Here

    Links too:

    Fiona Bruce supports Sajid Javid as next Tory Leader and Nicky Morgan supports Michael “New Green Remainer” Gove

    :p

  56. I am 35, and I feel that my father’s generation had it easier when it came to making and saving money. Can I ask him to be more thrifty?

    They didn’t have it easier they were thrifty and didn’t buy several £3.00 coffees and £3.00 sandwiches every day.

    Try being thrifty Mr GH Woke.

  57. I am 35, and I feel that my fathers (in his late 80’s) generation had it harder when it came to being shot at, lack of central heating, carbide tooling and thousands of other modern developments.

    I worry that my parents keep trying to spend money on my siblings and I, rather than enjoying the years of health they have left.

    I have to echo @Itellyounothing – both my parents worked bloody hard for what they have. They spent a couple of decades raising me, devoting everything they had both emotionally and financially. I don’t expect – and should not have – an automatic grab of whatever they leave when they sadly pass.

    To GH, however unlikely they are to read this: Please do ask your father to be thrifty and stop spending ‘your’ money. I hope he cuts you out of the will entirely.
    The cherry on the cake would be if he left the lot to a cause you despise.

  58. I too am 35.

    Do I think my parents had it easier to make money?
    Yes and no.

    Yes – they were lucky with the explosion in property prices.
    No – Interest rates were much higher.

    Plus other examples.

    Here’s a thought – Could it be that each generation has its own difficulties and easities? (I just made that word up)

    Some of success is hard work. A lot is just plain luck.

    If you can keep you and yours safe, fed and warm. You’re doing ok.

  59. My nephew didn’t inherit anything because my brother died 6 weeks before his 40th birthday.

    If we were to die now our son will have a tidy inheritance. If I live to 85 he ont have much money but he will have more memories and any likely children will know their grandparents, something he never did.

    Both my parents were dead by the time I was 27 and I still miss them not having met their grandson and shared in some of my and his successes.

    To be fair, he’s like Itellyounothing and tells us to enjoy it. He knows we made sacrifices to build savings just in case anything did happen to us when he was younger.

  60. Sam Jones,

    Guardianistas generally believe that, when one dies, any assets should go to the state so GH wouldn’t have anything to come.

  61. Doc, the Guardianistas don’t generally believe that the government should have wait until one dies to get it all.

  62. I really have difficulty in understanding this guy’s mentality. He seems to be regarding his dad’s money as if it’s already his. I too would think that a good outcome would be that he talks to dad about the problem and ends up getting nothing. Then he will have to pay his own way through life which is what he should be doing anyway.

  63. Well, to continue the “I wasn’t born in Yorkshire bit.”

    As a kid, regular family summer holidays, although they were in the UK (often North Wales.) First foreign holiday was Venice at about 13. After that, a couple of trips to Sweden (parents had university friends who lived in Gothenburg) including trips to Denmark and Norway. Went to IoM once, as a friend of my mother’s had moved there. Wasn’t much impressed.

    Nowadays? We try for a foreign holiday once a year. Often coupled with either me or Mrs I speaking at a conference. Her last year, me this year. Although we didn’t have that many holidays, foreign or otherwise, when the kids were still living with us, as the Army was a little busier in those days and I tended to take “holidays” in Basra or Kandahar.

    As far as the parents (both sides) go – we would be happy if it didn’t cost us loads to clear up after them. My parents are taking loads of foreign holidays, my wife’s Dad is a bit past long distance travel but does loads with his local Probus group. I suspect we’ll have the residue from the property sales but no significant cash assets. If not, and care home fees consume the property, then better that they live is whatever comfort they can – it’s not _our_ money, whatever GH says.

    My parents got a reasonable whack when my mother’s mother died (but that was quick and reasonably young). I think it was mementoes only when my father’s Dad died. I had already got his, and my great-grandfathers medals (WW2 and WW1 conscript service – nothing special) before he moved into the home after my Nan died.

  64. @Chernyy_Drakon
    “Yes – they were lucky with the explosion in property prices.
    No – Interest rates were much higher.”

    Interest rates being high is wonderful for young people who want to buy property
    a) Easier to save for a deposit
    b) Much easier to find a distressed seller
    c) Prices don’t rise while you are trying to save – in fact they often fall.
    d) The higher they are when you buy the less chance that they rise. I bought when they were 4.25 so much easier than now – I wish they had been 10% – would have been even better.
    Look at

  65. Dear GH,

    I’m a couple of years older than you. My father, in his 60s, has a fairly modest amount of money. What he does with it is both morally and practically no concern of mine. Morally this is hopefully obvious, but clearly it isn’t to you. Practically, my stepmother is 10 years Dad’s junior and only 16 years older than I am; she will have life interest in his assets: the chances are I’ll be in my 70s before I inherit anything.

    The possibility of your father finding a bit of fluff not much older than you should cross your mind at some point, and maybe you could try making some better life choices. Here’s my top tip:

    You don’t have to live in London. If you were doing a job where you did have to live in London you’d be on a 6-figure salary and not have time to write to the Guardian about… well, anything at all. Try moving North. You can buy a 2-bed house in a respectable area for under £100k in all but the most fashionable places: that’s about £300 a month on a 75% mortgage. If you don’t have a deposit — and can’t wrangle one out of your loaded pa — then renting a similar place will be about £450 a month. Yes, London-boy, month, not week.

  66. My Dad passed away near the beginning of the year.

    I’m fortunate in that together with my sister, we are going to inherit the family home and a chunk of cash.

    I’m grateful because it probably means that instead of working till I drop, I may actually be able to afford to retire before I’m decrepit.

    However, I never assumed that I would get a penny.

    Any responsible adult should be able to support themselves and their family and plan for the future.

    We said to our Dad that he should spend his money however he wanted, we never expected any of it and he certainly worked hard to earn it.

    Sadly, he was in poor health towards the end of his life, and was earning money through his pensions quicker than he could spend it. Even though his healthcare requirements burned through a chunk of cash. Thankfully he had paid a fortune in health insurance which insulated him from the worst of the medical costs.

    The only thing I said to him regarding it was that I would be mightily pissed off if he gave the Tax Man a single penny more than was absolutely necessary. He was a generous man and didn’t begrudge paying tax, even at the extortionate rates he did. But I find it inequitable that the Government thinks it has a right to a chunk (on already taxed income) of peoples estates.

    On a different note,I remember that when we were kids, our Summer Holidays was caravanning about in the arse ends of Scotland, midges and all. Thankfully they never bothered us kids or my Dad, but ate my Mum alive.

    If we weren’t off caravanning, we would be visiting our Mums parents. They used to live in an old stone cottage. No central heating, no double glazing and no inside toilet. If you were caught short, it was grab a torch and wander down to the shed at the end of the garden.
    We used to wash in the kitchen sink, the only hot water in the house, thanks to the Aga. (no bathrooms either)
    During the day, we used to help dig up spuds or carrots in the garden.

    The kids of today would never believe it.
    Yet I have fond memories of those times and enjoyed them every bit as much as the holidays I take abroad with my family now..

  67. @ Matt

    A good response to GH but you left out the ending;

    “so, quite frankly, fuck off”

  68. The only thing I said to him regarding it was that I would be mightily pissed off if he gave the Tax Man a single penny more than was absolutely necessary.

    This.

    our Summer Holidays was caravanning about in the arse ends of Scotland, midges and all.

    Omfg. I remember (cottages not caravan) one two-location holiday in the West. One was middle of effing nowhere (there is quite a lot of that once you get past Callander. The other was just east of Kyle of Lochalsh. Pure midge hell.

  69. @Surreptitious Evil
    “Omfg. I remember (cottages not caravan) one two-location holiday in the West. One was middle of effing nowhere (there is quite a lot of that once you get past Callander. The other was just east of Kyle of Lochalsh. Pure midge hell.”
    Possibly now more expensive than going to Spain

  70. @Matt
    “You don’t have to live in London. If you were doing a job where you did have to live in London you’d be on a 6-figure salary and not have time to write to the Guardian about… well, anything at all. Try moving North”
    True but it seems weird that people who work in London should move somewhere cheaper, but not those on benefits.
    Surely those who don’t work should move first – that would make life a lot cheaper.

  71. dearieme said:
    “Come to think of it, my mother’s total lifetime travel abroad must have been Man, Jersey, and Eire, once each.”

    Setting up offshore accounts, I hope!

  72. jgh said:
    “Who the ***k predicates their life choices on their parents dying?”

    The Prince of Wales?

  73. “The kids of today would never believe it.” – BIB

    Reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago at Latta Plantation, outside of Charlotte, NC. They’ve got the old place set up as a museum. It attracts a lot of people for tours.

    So I look into one slave quarters they have kept in tact. Looked pretty decent. Tour guide said that if they didn’t have many children, it was rather nice.

    I think about my father being one of 12 kids raised in a two room shack in rural Kentucky. These slave quarters were better than what my father had. As a teen, Dad was sent off to a private charity high school – his county had no high school whatsoever.

    A group of black kids came in to tour the quarters. They immediately started rattling off all the horrid deficiencies – no phone, no TV, no electricity, no bathroom, no running water, etc. It was obvious that they thought this was the deprivation of slavery. They had no concept that NO ONE had any of this stuff. The richest plantation owner had none of it.

    I think poor teaching of history leaves the kids thinking that all they see has existed forever everywhere.

  74. It’s going to be interesting in the future to see how an increasingly urbanised , comfortably well off society ends up.

    I’m probably one of the remaining generations who knows what Izal loo roll is.
    Who have been on a farm and know where our food comes from and how it’s produced. Who’s killed their own dinner.

    My Grandparents were dirt poor.
    Had an allotment not through choice.
    My Gran made jams and chutneys from local produce picked from the hedgerows.
    Helped out in the local schools.
    Grandad helped out the local farmers with whatever. Having a blasting licence can be useful 😉
    This was after they retired. No fat State Pension to rely on.
    They knew how to graft, to be self sufficient.

    Our society is becoming increasingly dependent upon some highly fragile, interdependent sectors. Electricity, gas, telecomms, logistics, oil. Serious disruption (either accidental or deliberate) of one or many of the pillars upon which we rest will have devastating consequences.
    The coming generations have no knowledge of some of the most basic skills which kept the previous generations alive.
    Nor do they have an inkling of the continual hard slog that the likes of my Grandparents had to do to keep the wolf from the door.
    I certainly have far more leisure time and work less hard than my parents , and ditto for their parents in turn.
    If history teaches us anything, it’s that nothing stays the same.
    There is no guarantee that the coming generations will have a better quality of life than me.
    And certainly not if they’re unwilling to work and sacrifice for it.

  75. 10-4. The U.S. southeast is absolutely dependent on the Colonial Pipeline from refineries on the Gulf coast. Government’s boot heal on the neck of the petroleum industry has left the southeast with one source of gasoline. Two outages of the pipeline in the last few years have caused big troubles here. A major outage would be catastrophic. People will die. Billions will be lost in the economy.

  76. @Gamecock June 7, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    They had no concept that NO ONE had any of this stuff. The richest plantation owner had none of it.

    I think poor teaching of history leaves the kids thinking that all they see has existed forever everywhere.

    +1

    The BBC “Back In Time…” series should be shown in every school.

    Back In Time For Tea

    Back In Time For Dinner
    .

    @BlokeInBrum June 7, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Our society is becoming increasingly dependent upon some highly fragile, interdependent sectors. Electricity, gas, telecomms, logistics, oil. Serious disruption (either accidental or deliberate) of one or many of the pillars upon which we rest will have devastating consequences.

    +1

    Not having an open fire in house ia a great loss. If there was a power cut it still provided heat, light, cooking also hot water if back boiler.

  77. “young women with decent incomes who just continually spend more than they earn”

    I was listening to an LBC discussion on this subject. A young woman rang in complaining she couldn’t save enough for a deposit.

    Turns out she lived with her parents, in a sort of “granny annexe” arrangements and paid rent “when she could afford it”.

    The thing I couldn’t figure was ; she worked full time as a teacher in outer London which would means she was probably on the best part of £30k. Apart from travelling to work and rent “sometimes”, what on earth was she spending it on ?

    When my daughter started work she still lived with us. She didn’t pay any rent (she wasn’t earning a lot) but she was saving a lot because she had so few outgoings.

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