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This March 4, 2013 file photo shows Canadian singer Justin Bieber performing at the O2 Arena in east London. Some headlines have suggested that the ultra-popular Bieber is going through the famous meltdown Britney Spears and other teen stars have gone through. (Joel Ryan/AP)
This March 4, 2013 file photo shows Canadian singer Justin Bieber performing at the O2 Arena in east London. Some headlines have suggested that the ultra-popular Bieber is going through the famous meltdown Britney Spears and other teen stars have gone through. (Joel Ryan/AP)

Justin Bieber’s cash-strapped grandfather says the Biebs has never helped him out Add to ...

If you have money, are you obliged to share it with less fortunate family members?

Justin Bieber’s paternal grandfather told British media that he lives in squalor and his young pop star grandson has never offered to help him with his financial troubles.

The Sun newspaper reports that 61-year-old George Bieber, who lives in Mitchell, Ont., sleeps on a dirty mattress in a crumbling home with a hole in the roof, left by a falling tree. The elder Bieber suffers from a back condition, which has left him unable to work and strapped for cash.

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His wife, whom the pop star calls “Gramma Kathy,” works at a factory to support them, and although his wealthy grandson is aware that he is ill, he claims he has never offered assistance.

“Justin might be worth $109-million but we certainly have never seen a penny of it. It’s hard to imagine the money Justin has, as it’s about as far removed from our life as you could get,” George Bieber told The Sun, according to Entertainmentwise.

George Bieber also criticized his grandson, whom he hasn’t seen since Christmas, for getting “too big for his britches” in light of his recent antics. “When I hear about his recent behaviour I just wonder who on earth is looking after him as, believe me, this is not the loving little boy we always knew.”

Sure, it’s nice to help relatives in need. But loaning or giving away money to family members can be tricky. As U.S. News & World Report reported last year, about 10 per cent of Generation X-ers support their parents or in-laws financially to the tune of $3,500 (U.S.) per year, on average.

For some, lending money to family members can be a financial strain, especially if they aren’t paid back as promised. But even those who can afford it may think twice about giving away cash for a variety of reasons. If Grandpa George gets a wad of money, for instance, would other members of the Bieber clan come forward in need of support, too?

Also, would Gramps quit griping to the media if he got an infusion of cash? Or might he complain if he’s not given enough? By the sounds of it, financial support alone isn’t likely to improve the Bieber grandfather-grandson relationship.

As U.S. News & World Report summarizes, “borrowing or lending money to family members can cause problems that go well beyond money.”

Have you ever given or received financial help from relatives?

Follow on Twitter: @wencyleung

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