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Old 04-29-2014, 08:38 PM   #51
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It sounds like you have some excellent advice here and some solid ideas of your own. The only thing I can add is from my own experience living in someone else's home. When you do nail the finances down, set a future date, somewhere in the 3-6 month range to revisit the issue. Pick a date and have each person mark it in a calendar. Then sit down again on that date and look over finances, with your bills etc and make sure everyone agrees that the amount is still appropriate and everyone is satisfied with the arrangement. Then set a date each year to look over things and adjust if needed.

I would also set aside a time each month to have a brief sit-down and talk about the general living situation. Equal-paying roommates can be tricky, but when you have one person contributing significantly more to the household than others, the power dynamic can make communication awkward. The homeowner worries that the extra person will think they're being tyrranical, the extra person worries that the homowners will think they're asking too much, or in worse scenarios, they actually do think those things about each other. Having regular times to bring up concerns and requests can really help keep the lines of communication open.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:53 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
...I have known my MIL for 25 years and I have yet to see her offer to pay for anything. Ever.
Eat out, she never offers. Drive somewhere, she never offers to help with gas.....
Make sure up front she fully understands that due to your own financial needs she will be expected to cover any costs her residence under your roof entails. Due to penny-pinching relatives in my own family I'll guess your MIL won't part with one thin dime that you can't account for her spending. Especially with a daughter other than your wife in charge of finances for your MIL. You may be in for being called heartless and unfeeling, but if you don't stand your ground right from the start I'm afraid you might be using your money for an awful lot of her expenses.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:41 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Renting MIL's home carries another set of problems. While the income could be good, there is some level of effort to act as a landlord. That would probably fall to RB. If something in the home needs fixing, cleaning, replacement, etc. RB has to manage or do that work.
Selling the home and investing the proceeds may be a less stressful option.
Selling is the only option for me. I have one house to maintain and do not need another much older house to concern myself with.

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Ykies RB!! No wonder you're so worried about this! It sounds that although she may be as sweet as she is, that she's used to having a free ride in life. She may be expecting a free ride once more. With the background you just described, you can be sure she won't be making an offer of paying her own way.

Without your wife having POA, it further reinforces my opinion in having all the sisters in on the conversation with her. You need them all in your corner, in case she needs convincing that the cost of her care isn't just another free ride.
She is sweet, but thrifty, just like my FIL was. I don't think she expects a free ride, as she offered to use the proceeds from her home sale, to buy another larger home for all three of us.
So, for now I will assume she is willing?

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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
Make sure up front she fully understands that due to your own financial needs she will be expected to cover any costs her residence under your roof entails. Due to penny-pinching relatives in my own family I'll guess your MIL won't part with one thin dime that you can't account for her spending. Especially with a daughter other than your wife in charge of finances for your MIL. You may be in for being called heartless and unfeeling, but if you don't stand your ground right from the start I'm afraid you might be using your money for an awful lot of her expenses.
I have always known both my inlaws were extremely cheap. Just how cheap remains to be seen. I guess we will find out.
I think my wife might not realize this contribution to be as important as I do. So, I need her on board more now than ever.

Note: I have discussed this more with you guys than my wife. I guess I am hoping it resolves itself. Procrastinating I am.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:47 PM   #54
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She is sweet, but thrifty, just like my FIL was. I don't think she expects a free ride, as she offered to use the proceeds from her home sale, to buy another larger home for all three of us.So, for now I will assume she is willing?

That should not be an offer you should accept. As generous as it seems, you and your wife will be living under her roof and by her rules. Should you have a falling out, where will you and your wife go? She has two other places she could go to, even if it to sleep on their couch. Let her invest the monies from the sale of her home.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:57 AM   #55
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She is sweet, but thrifty, just like my FIL was. I don't think she expects a free ride, as she offered to use the proceeds from her home sale, to buy another larger home for all three of us.So, for now I will assume she is willing?

That should not be an offer you should accept. As generous as it seems, you and your wife will be living under her roof and by her rules. Should you have a falling out, where will you and your wife go? She has two other places she could go to, even if it to sleep on their couch. Let her invest the monies from the sale of her home.
The proceeds from her home sale would only be enough to provide a down payment on a bigger house and that was the intention. It was my idea at first, but my wife told me her mother also suggested it.
You see before my MIL came to live here, we were thinking about moving. When we found out she was coming, we flirted with the idea of the down payment.
It seems we can do okay right here. Of course its just been a week or so, but it look like it should work out fine. I sure hope so.

I do agree with you in principle. It should be her money, not a down payment for our house.
She can then have more financial freedom. That would be a good thing for all of us.
Thanks Addie.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:05 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
The proceeds from her home sale would only be enough to provide a down payment on a bigger house and that was the intention. It was my idea at first, but my wife told me her mother also suggested it.
You see before my MIL came to live here, we were thinking about moving. When we found out she was coming, we flirted with the idea of the down payment.
It seems we can do okay right here. Of course its just been a week or so, but it look like it should work out fine. I sure hope so.

I do agree with you in principle. It should be her money, not a down payment for our house.
She can then have more financial freedom. That would be a good thing for all of us.
Thanks Addie.
There are more family fallouts over money, than anything else. More marriages fail over money issues. Money says power. And power is a slippery street to be on. Who ever has the most money, has the most power.

Whatever way you decide to settle your money problems in having your mother-in-law living with you, you and your wife have to be up front and honest in what you expect from her and why. From my own personal experience, just having my son eating here two or three days a week has made a big difference in just how much food I have left at the end of the month. I told him that if he was going to continue to show up for supper, then he had to kick in for the extra expense. I also expect him to return any money he borrows from me. Any financial exchanges between us I am right up front with him. Saves a lot of arguments. And I still have a son that visits me often.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:34 AM   #57
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Update:
Well my wait and see approach has proven effective. My MIL asked me yesterday about the arrangement and asked me how much did I think she should contribute.
I told her I needed some time to look at the extra cost and would let her know. I want to be fair.
Now the dilemma, as to the answer.

I think this "price" or contribution is what has deterred me so far and still does bother me.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #58
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A thought on the amount. Do your calculations for utilities and other expenses and determine an amount. Then make it a round number. e.g. your best estimates come to $326.42 a month. Round it up to $400. (The next $100) and go with that. There are bound to be misc. items that pop up from time to time and the extra will cover it. Plan with MIL to revisit it in six months when it could go up or down.

If you're a numbers geek like me, you have a record of every payment you've made so a historical basis is not a problem. Even if you don't, most utilities have your payment and usage history online for you to download.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:22 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
Update:
Well my wait and see approach has proven effective. My MIL asked me yesterday about the arrangement and asked me how much did I think she should contribute.
I told her I needed some time to look at the extra cost and would let her know. I want to be fair.
Now the dilemma, as to the answer.

I think this "price" or contribution is what has deterred me so far and still does bother me.
It is good that you are having a tough time with this, that proves you want to be fair.

The only thought I have is that it is better to go a little high than to go low and be festering and fussing if you end up in the hole or nickle and dime your MIL over every little thing.

A million small expenses come up and it is hard to figure them all in. Things like parking for appointments, special food items or toiletries that only your MIL will use, etc...

Also the higher you make it up front the less often you will have to renegotiate. I'm sure if a surplus develops you will find a way to even things up.

Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:24 PM   #60
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I'm glad to read that your MIL brought it up.
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