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Family piggy bank

Seth's plight illustrates what happens all too commonly to folks who come into wealth, whether by hard work and persistence or a lucky lottery ticket. To be sure, kin will often assume blood is thicker than money, and perhaps rightly so. But that doesn't stop some relations from treating wealthy relatives like objects rather than people: piggy banks, to be precise.

Seth tried to nip things in the bud, gathering the family to deliver some hard talk. He told them his priority was the financial security of his wife and kids. He encouraged them to follow his path, sharing with them the books he read that taught him how to grow wealth and offering to walk them through everything.

Alas, his words fell on deaf ears. His family members were upset, envious and not exactly gracious — which, in turn, upset him. Though his family lives close by, communication is now strained.

"It was a lot of guilt and I've been wrestling with it for a couple of months now," Seth said of his decision to hold the line on handouts.

He stood firm even when his brother asked for $10,000 to start a new business.

"This is not Bank of Seth," Kamel joked.

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No laughing matter

It's hard to laugh when money — honestly earned and built money — rends the fabric of family.

Kamel praised Seth for his tact and maturity, but warned him that tough conversations are likely to follow before his family gets a clear message on overstepping boundaries, assuming that they do at all.

"You can't let this generosity turn into a requirement," the co-host told the young millionaire.

Co-host Rachel Cruze echoed Kamel in her support and words of caution regarding how Seth's family may fail to come to terms with his financial success.

"You haven't done anything wrong," Cruze stressed. “It probably, sadly, will create a divide and I wish that wasn't the case. But I feel like they've proven themselves after you set a pretty strong boundary.

She added: “They don't have the maturity to handle this part of your life that you brought them into by sharing this information.”

Immaturity, indeed. As Seth said, "they used to make fun of me in the beginning when I said I was going to follow Dave Ramsey's plan. They're like, 'No, don't do that. You know that's not going to make any money.’"


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About the Author

Lou Carlozo

Lou Carlozo

Freelance writer

Lou Carlozo is a freelance contributor to Moneywise.

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