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My mom is 90 years old, in good health, has 2 savings accounts, 1 checking account, an IRA and an annuity. Her home is paid for, she paid cash for her car and her bills and health care are up to date. I know this because I help her pay her bills and make sure she gets the medical attention she needs. Her memory is not good, but not seriously bad. She lives independently and goes wherever she wants. We went out of town, she took a large amount of money from her savings and lost it. She could not remember what she did with it.
My daughter asked her if she wanted to attend a program where the ticket costs $18.00. She said that she did not have the money. She has money in both her savings and checking so we know her statement is not true. My husband and I have talked with her to let her know that she does have money. But, if there is a big ticket item that she wants to purchase, like a couch, that she does not need, she will try to figure out how to purchase it. Why does she say that she does not have enough money? My husband and I are baffled because we know better. I've shown her statements so she could see how much she has in her accounts. What do we do and why does she think she does not have enough money? When I questioned her about her transferring money from one account to another one, she said that she wanted to build her account up. I told her it was best to let it stay where it is because it draws more interest, she then said that she had something that she wanted to do. I did not ask her what it was that she wanted to do because I thought that she might get angry.
Any explanation would be helpful and appreciated

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Thank all of you for your answers. They all gave me things to consider. I really appreciate the input. It helps to know that I can come to this group and get different viewpoints. If someone else wants to add more, please feel free to do so. This has helped me more than you know

Thanks again
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Sugarbea, I agree with Shane1124 above, your Mom is the child of the Great Depression. My parents lived below their means, very fugal, but they never went without. Ok they had a TV but it was a 25 year old tube set, but hey, it still worked. Their washer/dryer was 40 years old before they bough a new one. My parents instilled in me the same way of thinking.

It is best just to not bother your Mom about her savings. If she doesn't want to pay for tickets, then she won't go. She remember when tickets to an event were 25 cents, so $18.00 sounds outrageous to her.

Heck, I remember when gasoline was 35 cents per gallon. So I know how your Mom feels.

If your Mom wants to buy a new sofa for herself, so be it, it's not worth the battle at that cost. My parents finally bought a new sofa after 55 years. So pick your battles. Now if your Mom has her eye on a red Dodge Challenger, well that's a different story :)
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My mother was that way as well. I think a lot of it is generational. She grew up as a "Depression Baby"& that generation was very careful with money, always saving it for their rainy day. They often don't realize having dementia that their "rainy day" is now.
Plus due to her dementia she can't remember much.
I had to fight with my mom to buy a hearing aide when it was apparent for years that she needed one. Boy was that a struggle. But she had her priorities straight with paying her bills. The last 18 months of her life was in a NH but prior to that she paid everything on time. Money orders were big with her as well; she preferred these or cash to pay her car insurance, secondary insurance premiums, etc. But for her to pay more than $20 for a haircut and perm was pushing the envelope so I would pay for those things she considered over priced.
Her generation were taught that every penny counts, plus she had 11 brothers & sisters so her family probably struggled.
My mother would have been an awesome financial manager in the days before her dementia.
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My SIL is a lot like your mom (except for the forgetting part), she will scrimp on things like properly fitting shoes but blow wads on things I consider frivolous... there used to be a saying penny wise and pound foolish. I'm wondering if this is really something new or if she has always been this way.
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You say in your profile your mom has Alzheimers/dementia. That means her brain is broken. She simply can't remember/understand what her financial situation is. My mom has cognitive decline (dementia, not Alzheimers) and she can't remember how much money she has. She always says she can't afford a newspaper subscription. She can. I have managed her finances since she was about 83 because of her diminished cognitive abilities. Now (at 97) she never asks about her money.

It sounds to me like you need to manage your mom's accounts. It might be hard to get them turned over to you, but if she has lost a large sum and can't understand how to best manage her money between accounts, you need to be in charge.
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