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Question about strength and courage and bounderies


My husband and I live with my father. We have our own apartment a few blocks away. The thing is my dad doesn't want us to waist money on rent, but save money to buy a home. And stay with him for now. Where we live, the houses are over a million dollars. We can't afford it. Dad bought his home a long time ago.


Rent is also expensive, but do-able for us. We use to go back and forth from my father's home to our place a few blocks away. My father kept criticizing about the rent. He's concerned about our finances. My husband receives a small retirement, and I'm not working, but have some savings in the bank, thank G-d. We decided to stay at my dad's so we don't upset him. We really want to go to back to our place though.


Dad relies on me to take him places since he doesn't drive anymore. I also help him get dressed before we go somewhere. It's not like I'm visiting a couple days, hear a little criticism and go. I would hear it everyday. Plus, he wants to go somewhere every day, and sometimes at night if he doesn't go that day. He misses going places like he use to. Some times, when my husband and I go places without him, he's upset about not going somewhere.


I sometimes tell myself, we should just go back to our place at night and not care what he says. But then he mentioned how I'm the only one he can rely on because my siblings live somewhere else and don't take him anywhere. I don't blame them. They have their own challenges. So now besides worrying about upsetting him, I'm more worried about breaking his heart and leaving, even though it's only a few blocks.


How do we DH and I get up the strength and courage to be in our own place while my father criticizes about it. I was thinking maybe if I was working or we had a part time something, Dad wouldn't be so worried about us. But I know, he would still probably feel sad to be alone. DH and I just need to grow a back bone I guess.

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Dad is not worried about you, he is worried about himself and is trying to guilt you into giving up on having a private life with your husband.

So if your father is safe to be alone overnight (not a fall risk etc), you go home at night and enjoy your time with your husband. Your Dad needs to find other ways of occupying his time that do not involve you being at his beck and call.

If he wants to go out each day he can call a cab, use Handi Dart (local seniors transit) call a friend etc. You are not responsible for taking him anywhere. You certainly do not have to give up your social life, nor take Dad with you and your husband.

Why does your Dad know your finances? Did you ask him for advice at some point? It really is not any of his business. And how is it helping your finances to have a home you are not using?

Just go home at night and do not be at his beck and call. There is no need to feel guilty. Your Dad will manage, if you take him shopping one day a week. If he is lonly, he can make his way to the local seniors centre.
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Reply to Tothill
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How old is Dad? How old are you? This has a lot to do with how you make your decision. If Dad is capable of caring for himself and is safe in the house, then go back to your place. Husband has a retirement then may buying a house is just not something u feel you can do. Dad wants u to move in with him, don't. He needs to have his own life. You need to have yours. Maybe Dad should sell his home and go to an Independent living. He would have his own apartment, some have cottages. Meals are provided as is transportation. They have activities and outings. He would make friends. He needs to be as independent as he can. An AL, where he could get help dressing, would have the same program. Some Independents have help for a small cost.

If this happens, maybe you can move to a cheaper area. You and husband need your own life. You don't need to discuss finances with Dad. When he says something just tell him, we r OK. Be firm that moving in is not an option. You and hubby need your own space. Call Office of Aging and see what services are available for Seniors. Most have buses for appts and shopping. There are Senior centers, maybe Dad can go. And having an outing every day? Set Boundries. Pick a day for shopping and running errands. I can see you taking him to appts but they should be made at your convenience. Like, I am not a morning person so no appts before 11am if possible. You and hubby have a right to be alone. If it upsets Dad, don't tell him. If you go back to your apartment, he will have no idea you go out without him. Think about it, are you enabling him?

Where I live, its cheaper to rent. NJ has the highest property taxes in the Nation. People in my area are losing their homes because they could afford the Mortgage but then there are taxes, insurance, repairs, etc. Some try to sell but can't even get enough to pay off the mortgage let alone make a profit. Actually, they paid too much for the house. You rent, all you have to worry about is rent and utilities. If something needs repair, you call the landlord.
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wakankasha Jan 31, 2019
JoAnn, totally was thinking the same thing you wrote. Homeownership is not for everyone. It takes up a lot of time and resources to own a home. I think most people believe it's a big financial plus, but not necessarily so. Plus you have to WANT TO spend time taking care of a home, instead of wherever else you might want to spend your time.

An AL option sounds like a great idea for this dad. Especially, since he wants to socialize. Much better with people of your own generation! Bet he'd have a whole new community and create a new next phase of life.
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You’re dad is still young in my book..so why doesn’t he drive? Your profile doesn’t reveal any information that can help those of us on the forum to provide advice. I think your dad has his own strong opinions about money and wants you to buy into them because he thinks he’s right and you’re wrong. Why does he need constant care?
You do need boundaries. Also, two more questions, 51 is very young for your husband...are you saying he's retired? And you don’t work at 38? This really doesn’t make sense in today's expensive world. If you both worked there would be no way for you to be there daily at dad's beck and call. Plus you could both be saving money towards retirement. You will be sorry when you are much older that you didn’t. I don’t mean this to sound harsh...just want you to consider the long term ramifications of your decisions. The time is NOW to take care of yourselves as we never know what lies around the corner. Anything could wipe out your savings.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Always good to keep in mind that what might look good monetarily in an arrangement, might have drawbacks that should make it a non-starter of an idea. Dad is talking about money - but if saving money causes you to move in with Dad, under his thumb, than this could break your health, happiness and marriage. So this is not really about saving money is it?  Always keep in view hidden agendas, like Dad's desire for a live-in housekeeper.
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Reply to rovana
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Hire a home health aid. They can drive your dad around when he wants to go somewhere. Go back to work (both of you) and start doing what you should've been doing years ago: saving for your retirement. Explain to your dad that you don't hate him but you & your husband need alone time as a couple. He'll understand.
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Lvnsm1826 Jan 31, 2019
Yes, totally agree.
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Mm. One of my rich friends remarked, talking about her own kids' plans, that rent is the biggest waste of money there is after parking fines. This is true. You spend all that money - which is usually more per month than mortgage payments would be for the same property - and have nothing to show for it.

So your father is right on that point, as far as it goes. But the issue is a much bigger one: it stretches across where and how you and your husband want to live, and who is going to support your father, and how.

If you were to follow your father's train of thought, then the obvious conclusion is that you and your husband should move to a much more affordable area and invest in a property for yourselves there. Your father would then need to make his own arrangements for the services he needs.

Or, your father's preferred solution is that you and your husband give up your rented apartment, move in with him, take care of him and... then? The thing is, this isn't impossible and it could be made to work. You would need to draw up a formal agreement in advance that specifies how much he will pay you for your support services, what additional services such as respite breaks and in-home cover will be allowed for, and what share of the house he will leave you in his will, assuming that he predeceases you. Put like that, of course it looks cold and mercenary; but care and housing and food and transport all cost money, and it's no good pretending they don't.

At the moment your father is wholly distracted by your "throwing away" money on rent, and you are hanging on grimly to your refuge because (quite rightly) you are afraid of your lives being consumed by your father's control and demands. But that means that you're not setting out and discussing the whole plan, as it will affect (and help!) all of you. I think that's what you need to do. It's a long conversation: make notes beforehand, and if possible involve friends or family members who understand how difficult and sensitive it is.
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jacobsonbob Jan 31, 2019
Renting is not always a waste of money. When I was working and moved to a new job I found a very reasonable apartment (in an older house owned by an couple who just happened to have inherited it and weren't trying to make a killing on it) and stayed in it almost 18 years. It cost a fraction of what others were paying on their mortgages, and I was saving and investing the difference. When I retired and moved, the process was very simple, and throughout those years I didn't have to fuss with lawns, etc. It eventually changed owners, and although the new one raised the rent, it was still very affordable. The previous owner tried to sell it to me, but I simply didn't want it, in large part because I planned to leave the area upon retiring. However, I realize many people can't find a deal like the one I had so purchasing may make more sense for them.
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Your dad seems pretty active, all things considered. I agree with the idea of a senior living or assisted living situation. They have lots of activities and social interaction. They go on field trips and have vans to take residents places like dr appointments or shopping. He could have a really full life on his own.

Financially, there are a few points I can add.
1. If he’s concerned about your finances then going back to work will improve that. Tell him you’re going back to work and you only have two days off per week. (Tell, not suggest.) From his point of view, he doesn’t have to know it’s only part time, if you even go to work at all. Your days off are the days you can take him someplace. He will be on his own for transportation the other days. Give him a list with options for transport; taxi, Uber/Lyft, senior service vans, senior center vans, handicapped transport (he might qualify because of his foot), etc. You can chose to have family dinner with him other days so that you can check in, but not travel, unless you plan dinner out. There are plenty of in-home care businesses that can help him shower, dress, take meds, etc., even take him places. If he is a vet, he may be entitled to free care through the VA.

2. If the homes in his area are now into the million dollar range, he has no financial concerns for paying for assisted living, which is not an inexpensive solution. I expect that his home has probably not had many upgrades recently. Don’t do any unless it’s safety or a few cosmetic things like painting. The house can be rented at a price that can pay for assisted living. (Renters are murder on properties.) Then when he does pass, his will should stipulate what happens to the house.

3. He could sell the house to you, at a price based on its condition (siblings involved so no secrets). This would be more affordable for you and it could pay for assisted living for him.

4. If he won’t consider AL, is there an adult day care ($$) near by? He doesn’t have to go everyday. You could take him in the morning “on your way to work” and bring him back “on your way home”. A senior center is also an option (free), though many don’t have activities all day.

Ultimately, you need to nurture your marriage as much, if not more, than you nurture your father. I’m not in your shoes or your father’s shoes, but it feels to me like your dad could use more socialization. Maybe he could make friends with someone(s) who would go to a senior center with him. It feels to me like he’s relying on you for his social interaction. I say this because, when I was looking for a care facility for my husband, I discounted a larger facility because Bill wasn’t very active. I had put him in a moderately sized facility for respite care for a week while I searched in another city with more affordable care. I chose a nice, quiet residential home I thought he’d like to live in. However, when I went to pick him up at respite care, they told me he was the life of the party. He was socializing, participating and just a complete joy. Needless to say, I was SHOCKED, and changed the facility I placed him in. Consider helping your father back into a life of his own. 79 is still an active age.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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Riverdale Jan 31, 2019
What an incredibly helpful and thorough answer.
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Thanks everyone. Im 38 , hubby 51, father turning 79 G-d willing

Countrymouse, while here, buying is better than renting, we would have to save up a long time, and stay with him, which he prefers. But for privacy sake, renting is better for us now. I agree we should discuss a plan.

JoAnne, I thought about that too regarding if we are in our place, he doesnt know where we go.
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I uderstand he still wants to do things like before, and i help him. But sometimes, DH and I need to just do our own thing. We compromise and take dad somewhere, while DH and I go somewhere else.
In my mind, there are days for my dad to do what he wants, and days for me and DH to do our things. My dad sees everyday for him. I shouldn't enable, i regret that now. I'm sometimes strong though and try to keep some boundaries.

Rovana you have a good point about saving at what cost? And about being dad's housekeeper.
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I am in a similar situation in some ways. I no longer work full-time, and am spending more and more time at my parents' house as my mother's Alzheimer's progresses. There came a time when I thought it was time to move in with them, but my father really wanted me to keep my apartment. In my case, it was ME who thought it no longer made sense to pay rent. Now, I am glad that he insisted I keep my apartment. I go to bed later than my mother does, and those late evenings in my apartment are important for my mental health. And if I am having a day when I just can't face what is going on with my parents, I can come up with some excuse to stay home for the day. Well worth continuing to pay rent!
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hannahBN Feb 2, 2019
I got my own apartment this week. Things like different sleeping schedules don't sound significant at first, but can affect us in a big way. Good for you to have your haven for times you need a break. I wish I had done it about six months ago!
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I am a Power of Attorney to a husband and wife. Both have problems but the wife was the one with major mental issues. It became obvious very quickly that the husband could N O T properly care for her because if they stayed under the same roof, he would have been destroyed by her needs and behavior and she also needed care. I finally put her into a nursing home where she is well cared for. He at last has peace in his home and can live life to the fullest and is very happy although he visits her about twice a week. There are times when people CANNOT LIVE UNDER THE SAME ROOM - WITHOUT SEVERE DAMAGES TO ONE OR MORE OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED. Your father lived his life and now it is YOUR turn to live. Go back to your apartment. If possible, find a caretaker or someone else to look after him or consider putting him into assisted living or some other suitable place so he can be cared for. You must go home and start living the life you have left and be happy and comfortble.
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Lvnsm1826 Feb 3, 2019
thats how i feel. He had his, now its my time,
I'll try to find someone to help
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