Extravagant Giving Foolish Spending?

Linda and her husband have several hundred thousand dollars in savings. They pay for their children and grandchildren to visit during Christmas each year. Her mom thinks it's foolish spending. Who is right?

QUESTION: Linda and her husband have several hundred thousand dollars in savings. They pay for their children and grandchildren to visit during Christmas each year. Her mom thinks it’s foolish spending. Who is right?

ANSWER: No, she’s wrong twice. Once, she ought to mind her own business. Twice, she’s wrong. You work hard, you’ve saved money, and for your family to be together, you spend some money on it. It’s not foolish spending. And honestly, she sounds pretty grouchy. That’s awful that you all are even having this discussion.

Why do people think that they have the right to continue to tell a grown person how to live? It’s very interesting.

No, you’re not spending foolishly. As a matter of fact, it was one of my great dreams to do things like that. When I was 22 years old, I was working for a guy in the real estate business who was making really good money, and his big thing—he made a lot of money—was to get his family together and rent a house on the side of a ski slope and fly his family in—his grown children, his grandchildren, even his parents and stuff like that—and the whole family would go into this chalet on the side of the ski slope and spend the whole week together skiing and hanging out. And he financed the whole thing. He paid for the whole thing. But that was his great dream because his family was spread out all over the place when he was a kid, and they didn’t get to see each other. He never really knew his cousins and that kind of stuff, and he wanted to do that for his family.

I stole that idea. I do it. We take our whole family—our grown kids who are married—and we pay it all. It’s just one of our gifts every year because we just want to do it for family. So I think your mother is completely wrong, and I prove it by the fact that I do what you’re doing except I do it on the ski slope.

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