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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter's Peace Corps Plan Gets Thumbs Down From Dad

DEAR ABBY: Our 23-year-old daughter, "Alexa," has a wonderful, well-paying corporate job with good benefits and a flexible schedule. She has low expenses, no debt and banks a respectable amount of her pay even though she lives 1,500 miles from home in a high-priced area. She works 40 hours max and has plenty of free time.

The issue? Alexa wants to quit her job and join the Peace Corps! Must we just say OK to chucking it all and moving to a Third World country?

Honestly, our biggest concern after her safety is her investing two years, moving back home and us having to support her while she looks for a post-Peace Corps job. My wife and I need to save for our own retirement, not spend it on our kids. I'm trying to convince Alexa to use her free time to volunteer (something she does not now do). What advice do you have? -- BAD IDEA

DEAR BAD IDEA: Talk to Alexa about your concerns for her future after she leaves the Peace Corps. Ask if she plans to use the money she's been putting away as a cushion after her return in the event she's unable to find a job right away. Then explain that you are asking because you need to build up your retirement monies and won't be able to give her further financial support. It's the truth, and she needs to know it before she quits her job.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Work & School

Man Is Up-to-Here With Postponed Housecleaning

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for 20 years. I'm retired, but she still works 13-hour days in the ICU.

When she told me before we were married that she didn't clean house, I didn't realize she meant ever! I run the dishwasher, I wash and dry clothes, and I pick up my stuff. When I cleaned the kitchen and put all the bills she had scattered around in one stack, I was told, "Now I can't find anything! I have my own system, and you messed it up!"

She has promised that "when she has time" she'll clean house, but several times when she had a few days off, she spent them playing Candy Crush on her tablet. I have never told her she must clean; I say we need to do it. She ignores me.

Abby, we both have allergies and asthma issues, and the bugs are starting to get bad even though we don't leave old food out. What can I do? Hope she forgives me after I clean? -- IN A MESS IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR IN A MESS: No. The responsibility for ensuring your home is healthy and habitable should not rest solely on your shoulders. I do think you should hire a house cleaner to come in once a week. Your wife has a stressful job, and when she's off she may need to rest. Because you are retired and she's still working, it shouldn't break the bank, so discuss this option with her.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Health & Safety

Teen Plans Approach to Cross-Country Teammate

DEAR ABBY: I am a junior in high school, and there's a cute guy on my cross country team I really like. What's the best way to find out if he returns my feelings, and how can I deal with it if he doesn't? -- TEEN IN MONTANA

DEAR TEEN: A way to find out if a guy likes you is to start talking to him about your sport or other school-related subjects. If you do, you will soon see if you have anything else in common. If he's interested in talking to you, that's a good sign. But if he isn't, you'll have to do what everyone else does: Accept the disappointment and move on.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Teens | Work & School

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)