My mother can no longer live on her own and just moved in with m and she and I are trying to calculate how much she should pay me each month. Neither she nor I are rich. Neither she nor I are destitute. Because of this, she and I both agree that we don't need to worry about trying to save her money, that we shouldn't burden my household, and that it doesn't have to be exact.
My brother suggested she pay me her entire social security check, each month, which is her entire income (she does have money saved, so she can buy clothes and take care of her extras, which are minimal, and her Medicare and supplemental insurance take care of probably 99.9% of her medical expenses, as it's pretty rare that she is charged an extra $10 to try a new med or something like that). She agreed to this suggestion of giving me her monthly social security check. But I'm not sure this is fair. Is it too much?
It's really room and board, not just rent. I'll by the groceries, cook the food, manage her bank accounts, do a lot for her. She will probably take on light chores to participate in the household and "chip in." Her mobility is not the greatest and her memory is going, but she's able to get around and do a lot of things, like dressing herself, setting the table, light dusting, those sorts of things.
In a recent discussion about rent, I saw that someone suggested charging based on the number of people in the house and charging the parent as one portion of all the people in the household. Then, add the mortgage, property taxes and utilities, divide by the number of people in the house, and charge that. Actually, she can't afford that. That would be way more than her social security check, because my property taxes are enormous. If I charge her more than her social security check, we will run through her savings and she won't have the ability to buy anything on her own. I'm just not going to do that because that little bit of money is her independence and I'm unwilling to take that away from her.
Also, she and I are getting a bit lazy and just want to come up with something. Everyone points-out that the amount of work having her here adds to my household is priceless and that taking the amount of her social security is fair. I don't care about charging her for my time but I don't want to penalize my household for my extra time taken to tend to her.
Anyway, I'm hoping if I "talk this out" with all of you that it will help her and me think through it and that maybe someone will come up with some suggestions for us.