Kids suspect Mom's tithe is too much for her

Dear Annie: My siblings and I are worried that our mom is being asked to give more than a tithe of her income to her church. Please don't think we are looking for an inheritance. We have good jobs and don't need her money.
Former parishioners have told us that Mom is being taken advantage of. She is beginning to sell her assets in order to pay her regular living expenses, even though she and our deceased father had good retirement plans. Her accountant, by the way, is also a member of her church.
Is there anything we can do, or should we stand aside since it is her money? Connecticut Children
Dear Children: If Mom is enjoying good mental health and wishes to contribute more than one-tenth of her income, that is her business. However, if it is affecting her ability to support herself, then it becomes your business.
Talk to Mom, and let her know about your concerns. Ask if she would like help with her finances, and check to see what percentage of her income is actually going to the church. If you believe her accountant is manipulating the situation, he needs to be reported to the state regulatory agency or the AICPA ( However, it is possible that Mom is selling her assets voluntarily in order to contribute more. The only way to find out is to ask her. Please don't wait.
Dear Annie: I am at my computer giving some advice to "New Jersey," whose husband's family history puts him at high risk for prostate cancer, but he refuses to see a doctor because he is too embarrassed and doesn't want anyone touching him. That's too bad, because he can be sure the mortician is going to touch him -- and sooner than he thinks.
This man knows he is showing symptoms, yet he does nothing. Thank you for telling him to look into information available through the American Cancer Society. Years ago, my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Very little information was available to the public at the time. He had surgery, follow-ups and 12 years of office visits in order for this information to be compiled.
Please tell "New Jersey" to have her husband read this and think about his wife and family. If he cares about them, he will do whatever is necessary to stick around. Lived Through It in Michigan
Dear Michigan: Our readers were quite concerned about this man's willful disregard of his health and hoped he would change his mind soon. Here's one more:
Dear Annie: I would like to say something to "New Jersey's" husband: The only embarrassment you will suffer is when others find out you did nothing to protect your health. Your doctor visits are private, and members of your immediate family will know only that you are going in for a checkup.
I also am at high risk of developing prostate cancer because both my grandfather and father died of it. My father fought the cancer for over seven years. During that time, I had many opportunities to tell him I loved him. He showed me many strengths by not quitting, denying or looking for false hope. I miss my father greatly, but his lessons are ingrained in me.
At the age of 37, I began regular prostate checks. I am now 45. A digital exam may be uncomfortable, but it is not painful. A PSA blood test is done along with all my other blood work. I am on the right track to discover prostate cancer early enough to beat it if it comes knocking on my door. I want to tell him: Be strong, get yourself checked, and live life to the fullest. A.M.
XE-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox™, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, Ill. 60611.
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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