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Old 04-27-2014, 12:15 PM   #1
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Mother-in-law

My wonderful mother in law is now residing with us permanently. She is in pretty good health and is ambulatory.
She is here because we want to help her to have the best possible living situation.
I am certain all will work out just fine and I get along very well with her. But I have a question.

She knows that our living expenses will increase with her living with us. Especially with her oxygen machine running 24-7.

My question is how much should I ask her to contribute monthly? She is selling her house and gets a SS check every month. She also has money in the bank.
I am also on a fixed income, so the addition of another person in the household will financially burden us.
What would you do and how would you do it.

I love my MIL and I am struggling with this situation.

TIA............John
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:37 PM   #2
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The frist thing you should do is contact the Electric company to see if you can get a Medical Baseline Discount because of the oxygen machine. I get 20% because of my CPAP machine.

After that, sit down with your bills and create an estimation of how much more it's going to cost for her to live there; utilities, groceries, transportation, etc. and give her that figure. As a ball park figure, take your existing expenses and increase them by 1/3. Then keep track for 3 to 6 months to ascertain the exact amount your expenses have increased and recalculate as required. Just remember that your expenses, especially utilities, will generally be higher in the winter than in the summer.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:00 PM   #3
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John,
We went through this exact same thing when my father moved in several years ago. The only difference is that he was starting to fail health-wise and we all knew he would not be able to live on his own much longer. Also, as a diabetic (and albeit a very picky eater all his life), we all knew our food bill would rise substantially. He, too, had an oxygen concentrator and basically had his TV on from morning to night.

After the first two months we calculated all the extra expenditures and then he added an extra $200 for my "wear and tear" driving him, cooking to suit him, etc.

It started out that he paid $375 per month and as his needs got greater the "wear and tear" increased (by his doing). We also increased it once because all of our utilities went up pretty much at once.

I don't know if that helps or not. PM me if you would like more specifics.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
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Lots of factors to consider.

Has she offered to contribute?
Do you feel comfortable presenting her with a calculated "bill" (as Sir Loin suggests)?
Would you consider asking her to contribute whatever she feels comfortable with?

A lot depends on her financial situation and your relationship with her.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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You got some very good advice there John. I just wanted to give you an "atta boy" for your generosity. My guess is that you're struggling with talking with her about how much money you'll need for her care. My suggestion is you and your wife decide what it will take, and your wife should do the talking since it's her mother. Putting myself in her position, I would want to hear it from her, with you there for support.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
You got some very good advice there John. I just wanted to give you an "atta boy" for your generosity. My guess is that you're struggling with talking with her about how much money you'll need for her care. My suggestion is you and your wife decide what it will take, and your wife should do the talking since it's her mother. Putting myself in her position, I would want to hear it from her, with you there for support.
Agreed.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
The frist thing you should do is contact the Electric company to see if you can get a Medical Baseline Discount because of the oxygen machine. I get 20% because of my CPAP machine.

After that, sit down with your bills and create an estimation of how much more it's going to cost for her to live there; utilities, groceries, transportation, etc. and give her that figure. As a ball park figure, take your existing expenses and increase them by 1/3. Then keep track for 3 to 6 months to ascertain the exact amount your expenses have increased and recalculate as required. Just remember that your expenses, especially utilities, will generally be higher in the winter than in the summer.
Great advice. Especially the Electric discount! I will check on it next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
John,
We went through this exact same thing when my father moved in several years ago. The only difference is that he was starting to fail health-wise and we all knew he would not be able to live on his own much longer. Also, as a diabetic (and albeit a very picky eater all his life), we all knew our food bill would rise substantially. He, too, had an oxygen concentrator and basically had his TV on from morning to night.

After the first two months we calculated all the extra expenditures and then he added an extra $200 for my "wear and tear" driving him, cooking to suit him, etc.

It started out that he paid $375 per month and as his needs got greater the "wear and tear" increased (by his doing). We also increased it once because all of our utilities went up pretty much at once.

I don't know if that helps or not. PM me if you would like more specifics.
It helps for sure. My Dad lived here until he died and he was in bad shape vs my MIL. She is also diabetic and cannot eat exactly what we eat. But so far, she has been okay with everything I have made for her. I do all the cooking for the record.
Its the actual amount and talking to her about it, that bothers me. My wife has two other sisters that cannot help even though they both live nearby. Maybe I can talk to them (all three) and see what they think would be fair.

Quote:
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You got some very good advice there John. I just wanted to give you an "atta boy" for your generosity. My guess is that you're struggling with talking with her about how much money you'll need for her care. My suggestion is you and your wife decide what it will take, and your wife should do the talking since it's her mother. Putting myself in her position, I would want to hear it from her, with you there for support.
Exactly. I do not want to come off as money hungry, but expenses are expenses. So, sooner or later we will have to discuss this.
I agree that my wife should be the one along with her two sisters that could not help in this regard.

Thanks Andy also.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:25 PM   #8
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I'm sure you'll be as fair as possible John. Even though the sisters can't financially contribute, it's important all the sisters agree on the amount before talking with her.

My own story is a case in point. My half brother and his wife took in our father. My brother is a bit of a wimp, and when his money hungry wife said they needed Dad's entire Social Security check turned over to them, my brother went along with it. Dad made a very good living all his life and the check was far more than the cost of his care. They gave him a small "spending money" allowance from it like he was a child. He's gone now, and that was over thirty years ago. Needless to say, it still sticks in my craw.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:36 PM   #9
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I don't think your wife's sisters should be involved beyond their knowing, in very general terms, that their mom is making a financial contribution to help cover expenses. Their interests are different from yours. They don't know your financial situation or expenses so should not be involved in the process or the conversation. This is a household matter.
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I'm sure you'll be as fair as possible John. Even though the sisters can't financially contribute, it's important all the sisters agree on the amount before talking with her.

My own story is a case in point. My half brother and his wife took in our father. My brother is a bit of a wimp, and when his money hungry wife said they needed Dad's entire Social Security check turned over to them, my brother went along with it. Dad made a very good living all his life and the check was far more than the cost of his care. They gave him a small "spending money" allowance from it like he was a child. He's gone now, and that was over thirty years ago. Needless to say, it still sticks in my craw.
The sisters were not able to help with housing, money was not the issue. In fact they both are financially able to pay for her expenses.
They just could not have her in their homes because of their husbands.
My MIL does not like them (Son IL's) very much either....lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I don't think your wife's sisters should be involved beyond their knowing, in very general terms, that their mom is making a financial contribution to help cover expenses. Their interests are different from yours. They don't know your financial situation or expenses so should not be involved in the process or the conversation. This is a household matter.
Good point Andy. I think I was using them (wife and sisters) as my way out of the job I have signed up for.
However, no matter, they will all know in no time. My MIL has a way of talking and telling everyone whats up.
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