Dear Dave: What’s the best way to talk to a parent, and tell them their career or financial choices aren’t working out? My mom and dad divorced a few years ago, and now my mom is having money problems. She bought some rental properties after the divorce with the idea of becoming a landlord and generating income that way. Since then, she has lost the properties to foreclosure and isn’t making a lot of money in her new job. I’m worried about her, but I just graduated from college, and I’m afraid she won’t listen to me. – Renee

Dear Renee: You’ve got a great heart, and I’m glad you love your mom enough to want to help her. Divorce is never easy for anyone involved.

I’m guessing you’ve heard sayings at some point in your life about how winners never quit, and quitters never win. Those statements aren’t always true. Successful people quit doing things that aren’t working all the time. This doesn’t have to mean you give up on a dream. It might mean you change the processes and methods you’re using – especially if what you’ve done in the past hasn’t worked out well.

Part of being successful in life is having the ability to recognize when something isn’t working and make changes. You sound like an intelligent, caring woman. But honestly, there’s probably not much chance someone who’s just out of college will have a lot of influence with her mother when it comes to things like this.

It might be a good idea if she talks to one of her friends or relatives a little closer to her own age. I mean someone with a little more life experience. If she’s in a good church, she could even talk to her pastor. In the meantime, maybe you could talk to someone like this and explain what your mom is going through. Ask them to approach her, and see if she’ll listen and be willing to accept some new ideas.

You’re a good daughter, Renee. Show your mom all the love and support you can. It sounds like she needs it right now. —Dave

— Dave Ramsey offers financial advice as host of a nationally syndicated radio program, “The Dave Ramsey Show.” Locally, his program may be heard from 6 to 9 p.m. weekdays on TALK 104.1-FM WKCT. For more, visit


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