She can't afford to live at home. She's 74 and feels she has to work fulltime to make ends meet. If my siblings pitched in with money each month, then mom could enjoy the years she has left without the financial burden. I would like to write a letter to both of them but don't know how to express myself without hurting their feelings.

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Pam is correct, that is the first step. It will also provide credibility if you do need to go to your siblings. I think you can ask, but you cannot demand not expect. Unfortunately, it is their decision not yours, you will need to abide by it. Ask nicely, do not take it personally if they refuse or offer to do less than you need.
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Are you sure she is handling her money properly? Sit down and figure out income and expenses. She may just need to sort it out. She should be getting social security based on his earnings. If she is sending money to charity or for birthdays etc. she needs to stop.
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LGunter, before asking siblings to help Mom with her finances, stop and think will all the grown children be able to do this for the next 20 some years? At 74, your Mom is still quite young considering.... my Mom is 98.

I always felt that if a house is becoming too expensive, it is time to downsize into something more affordable. I know relatives want to keep the family home, but at what cost?
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How about mom cutting back and working three days a week? If she's in good health, working three days a week just MAY mean she stays that way longer.

Before I did anything, I'd figure everything out. Does she own a home? May be time to consider selling and renting with the equity in the house. How much would her living expenses be in an apartment? How many years would her home equity cover?

How much Social Security does she get? How much cash does she have? Is there any life insurance with cash value? What are her fixed expenses?

I'm just throwing wild numbers around....the average Social Security check is $1200 a month. The equity in her home, even if only 100,000, might pay her rent for over ten years or even more depending upon your rental market. If she were to work three days a week, she might have an extra $400 a month to add to her SS.

So how much money does she need from her children?

IOW, before you ask, dot all your i's and cross your t's. You won't make them feel bad. Approach it that it's a gift you could all give the lady who gave you life.
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Sometimes the best way is just write down your thoughts and feelings, then finesse them into an e-mail or letter. The first draft doesn't have to be the final. Or you can work from an outline of points.

Perhaps you could avoid hurting the siblings' feelings by stating the facts (that she needs financial assistance), stating a variety of options, but asking THEM what else they could suggest to help Mom financially. Or just omit the options and see if they suggest them. If they don't, you might have to be more direct.

I would add though that if your mother enjoys working and it isn't wearing her down physically, the mental stimulation of getting out of the house and interacting with people is probably doing her good.

If the expenses of the home are too great, perhaps she could consider alternate living arrangements, although apartments can often be much more expensive on a monthly basis than a home with no mortgage.

Probably wouldn't hurt to spend some time with her going over her financial situation to see if there's any way she could cut back, or get some relief. Energy companies in Michigan offer slightly discounted gas and electric rates. Perhaps she could qualify for a Bridge card (food stamps) as we have in Michigan.

You might want to check your state's website to see if there's an elder agency, spend some time researching or call to see what discounts or assistance might be available. Michigan has an Elder Law of Michigan department which helps elders qualify for the Bridge Card, and provides information on other assistance type programs.
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