July 20, 2024
He never helped me with the restaurant but he says it's rightfully his.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am 65 years old and want to sell my business instead of leaving it to my son.

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I have worked very hard to run the business that I’ve had for 20 years. I was able to save up a decent amount for retirement, but not quite enough to sustain me through it, so I want to use the profits from the sale to reach my goal.

My son hasn’t helped me run my restaurant, but now he expects me to give it to him. He didn’t ask to buy it; he expects me to pass the business off to him because, he said, it was his right as my son.

I told him if he gave me a fair offer, I would consider selling it to him, but he told me he didn’t have anything to offer me. I responded by saying I was going to have to sell it to someone else.

He ended up freaking out and saying that he was never going to forgive me or talk to me again. It’s been two weeks without any contact.

I love my son, but I need to make sure I have enough money for retirement. How do I approach the next move?

— Next Steps

DEAR NEXT STEPS: You have to take care of yourself.

Your son has demonstrated no interest in helping you with your business, and you have no obligation to give it to him — even if it hurts his feelings that you will not.

The reality is that if you do not liquidate the business so that you can take care of yourself, he will end up having to support you in your later years, which it seems he cannot afford to do.

Let him cool down. But do not be dissuaded from your decision.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been fighting with my sister for a decade. I want to end it but don’t know how.

My sister and I haven’t been speaking because of a childish argument we had when we were 20 years old. I honestly can’t even remember what it was about and have really missed talking to her. We were best friends growing up and would tell each other everything.

We are both stubborn and set in our ways, so neither of us wants to admit we are wrong. I don’t have her phone number, but I have been considering asking my brother or parents for it. I don’t want to look like the weak sister, but I really miss her.

Do you think it would be too random for me to call her up after a decade? I feel as if I have missed way too much of her life, and I’m sad that our small argument went this far.

— Time for Amends

DEAR TIME FOR AMENDS: Someone has to take the first step. Please know that doing so is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of awareness.

Time is passing. Life is moving on, and you two have been stuck, at least as it relates to each other.

By all means, get your sister’s number and reach out to her. There is a chance that she remembers exactly what happened between you, so tread lightly.

Tell her that you are deeply saddened that you two have been estranged for so long. Apologize for hurting her in whatever ways that you did, and ask her if she is willing to rekindle your relationship.

Tell her how much you miss her, and recall how close you once were. Ask her for a second chance.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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