I'm a recently discharged vet, and I have successfully transitioned to a career in the civilian sector. I have landed my dream job and am moving to Maryland in a few weeks to start. I'm also planning on proposing to my girlfriend of 4 years. We're starting a life together and my father's partner passed away last month. He was dependent on her social security along with his to make ends meet. Now that she is gone, he is alone and unable to continue paying the bills where he is for much longer.
He always made sure my brothers and I were provided for growing up, but he never made any provisions for himself or his retirement. He is 68. He has had several heart attacks and has COPD, but is doing well with medciation, diet and exercise.
He is closest with me, and so his solution to his problems seems to be moving in with us. Just the idea is putting ENORMOUS strain on my relationship with my soon-to-be fiancee as it seems like this will not be a temporary solution, but a permanent one. He's talked about giving us money toward a down payment on a house (where he plans on living) and I can't shake the feeling that if I do this, I'm headed down a path that will lead to nothing but problems, both with my relationship and my finances. Because my new job requires me to travel a lot, my girlfriend would be the one spending the most time with him, and that is not a role she is comfortable with. To be honest, he can be pretty abrasive sometimes, and that is not a role I would willingly put her in.
In spite of this awareness, I still am having a hard time saying no to him and the idea of him living with us. I feel obligated to help him out, and just the thought of saying no to him makes me feel like an ungrateful jerk (especially when I think about everything he's done for me throughout my life). I have worked very hard to get where I am, and I am finally found someone to share my life with. I feel like I am one false move away from putting everything in jeopardy.
What are my options? If anyone's in a similar circumstance or has already been down this road before is reading, please comment. I'm in dire need of information at this point.
It sounds like he does not need a caregiver. He may need some monitoring and gentle suggestions to keep him on the med/diet/exercise path.
Having recently lost his partner, he may feel lonely and in need of companionship.
But it sounds like the primary need right now is financial. Solve that first. If you and your brothers can help him make ends meet without financial hardship yourself, then that is an option open to you. If that isn't feasible or doesn't completely solve the problem, then help him discover ways to get help. Subsidized housing for seniors comes to mind. Often there is a waiting list for that, but the sooner you get on a waiting list, the sooner your name rises to the top! Look into what other affordable housing may be open to him. Help him examine his expenses and see if there are ways he could shave a little here and there. Find out what benefits he might be eligible for. Low-cost or no-cost meals on wheels? Food stamps?
You can provide a little guidance and gentle reminders no matter where he is living. You can help some with the loneliness by visiting or calling and having over for meal now and then.
There is a lot you can do to help him out. Do it like a loving son. But DO NOT MOVE HIM IN WITH YOU!!! That way lies disaster! He is 68. Do you really want him living with you for your next 20 or 30 years? All your instincts about this are on target.
Read all similar posts on this board about parents moving in. Please do so before your fiancé makes the wise decision to bail out!
Thank you for your service to our country! Best wishes!
Then don't do it. This is no way to start a marriage. Imagine trying to care for your father when there are babies and young kids in the house. It's just not feasible.
Sit down with him and thoroughly review his financial situation and options. Where would $$$ for a contribution to a down payment come from? If he has that, it could just as easily go towards his living expenses.
Personally, I wouldn't have my parents put any money down on my house as they can use that as a bribe for so many different reasons. You will start hearing "if it wasn't for me helping you, you wouldn't have this house", yada, yada, yada.
Do not give in to guilt that you "owe" him for his having provided for you as a child. Tell him to use his money toward his own place, and kick in what you can if he needs help paying the bills. Go visit him, take him out to places he likes for some father-son time, but don't, DON'T let him live with you.
See All Answers