(Money Magazine) -- Getting old brings a host of changes. Achy knees. Way more time to play bridge. And, occasionally, the tendency to make unwise money decisions.
For example, Mom insists on keeping the obscenely expensive membership to a country club she can't afford and never visits, or Dad digs into his retirement stash to shower diamonds and vacations on a girlfriend half his age. You're left watching your inheritance dwindle even as you struggle to pay your kids' tuition.
The direct approach -- asking your parent to stop spending like Donald Trump, already -- is likely to back-fire. Who wants his child telling him what to do? It will also make you look like even more of a gold digger than Dad's new squeeze.
Economists have a remedy. Years ago three of them -- B. Douglas Bernheim, Andrei Shleifer, and Lawrence H. Summers (the guy who now advises President Obama) -- wrote a now classic paper called "The Strategic Bequest Motive."
After analyzing reams of data, they concluded that bequests are really trades. People generally want something in return for making them -- namely, time and attention. For example, studies show that children who frequently call and visit their elderly parents tend to inherit larger amounts than those who don't.
So the best way to stop your folks from frittering away their money is simply to shower them with love and devotion.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.62%||3.69%|
|15 yr fixed||2.77%||2.80%|
|30 yr refi||3.61%||3.69%|
|15 yr refi||2.76%||2.83%|
Today's featured rates:
Investors need someone they can bring home to mother instead of bad boys (or girls) that may make their heart beat faster. Boring beats bold in this market. Here are 10 dependable stocks we love. Southwest (ticker symbol: LUV) is one. More
Cheap oil and slow global growth may not be the only culprits of the global market turmoil. There's growing concern that central banks are spooking the markets too. More
Women coders do better than men in a gender-blind study that examines GitHub requests. More
Why is Donald Trump missing from Bleacher Creatures' new line of presidential candidates plush dolls? More