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My husband and I are in our early and late 30s. We moved into our home a year ago, spent an additional 10K on failing AC system, etc, and are now trying to replenish our savings. I'm an only child and my husband has one sibling. Two years ago my FIL suddenly died of a heart attack leaving behind my MIL. She had been running her own business, but after two years of her trying to make it more profitable, we realized that she only makes enough to cover her business expenses, and uses savings to cover her living expenses. I assume she was previously relying on FIL to cover her living expenses. She does not own a home and is currently a renter. The only "asset" she has is the quickly running out life insurance money and a small retirement account from her husband. She is getting antsy about moving to our property, or nearby, since she realizes that she cannot make the business profitable enough to cover her living expenses. The problems are: she needs a place to live, she does not have an easily marketable skill, she is still four years out from reaching retirement age, she likely could only get minimum wage jobs, odd jobs, etc. Her savings/ retirement plus contribution we can make is not enough to build her even a modest 1,000 SF home or even an add on to our house. Any ideas what to do if you were in our shoes? Husband makes enough to cover our expenses with a little surplus and I'm a SAHM with an 18 month old and baby due at the end of November. I'd only consider working when the kids are at least 5 years old for financial reasons (can send them to public school) instead of paying for daycare.

MIL can start collecting SS at the age of 60 as a widow. If she can run a business then she has skills. Maybe she needs to let the business go and get a job.

There is senior housing for 55 and up for low income.
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arthritismama Oct 1, 2018
Thanks JoAnn29 for your idea. We did not even think of low income senior housing yet, sounds like it is worth looking into since she does not have a profitable enough business after a few years of trying. She says she can either build up a clientele to teach art to, and if she cannot do that, get a minimum wage job. Looks like even installing a mobile home on our property would deplete more than half of her remaining savings, which may not be a wise choice in the long run.
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It may be that MIL has to deplete all of her assets before she will qualify for HUD housing, I'm not sure about that. But she should be looking into it, and applying.

And when she is accepted for a HUD place, then her rent amount is a percentage amount set by her income. She could make do even if she's only able to get minimum wage work.

(This info is for U.S., are you in the States?)
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Reply to AliBoBali
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arthritismama Oct 1, 2018
AliBoBali, good to know about the HUD housing. Sounds like that could be a last resort, if she ends up using up all her savings living in denial about her situation.
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She doesn't have a business, she has a hobby - IMO it is time for her to acknowledge that she needs to find paid employment, I would not allow her mooch off her family so that she can continue the illusion of being successful.
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arthritismama Oct 1, 2018
cwillie,
Thanks for your comment. I would say that is probably a fair assessment of her business since it does not pay any living expenses. It seems like my FIL was generous enough to let her do what she loved to do for years with no expectation of it paying any bills. Unfortunately, my husband and I are unwilling to do the same for her, and my BIL may be unwilling to too. It's looking like she may have to find paid employment somehow in the near future and find a place to rent for dirt cheap. Perhaps she can do more art once she is able to draw on FIL social security at age 66.5 when she hopefully does not have to work as much.
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Have you called your local Area Agency on Aging? They can probably point you towards low cost housing ( there may be extensive waiting list). Get her on every list you can. Don't delay.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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arthritismama Oct 1, 2018
BarbBrooklyn,
Good idea I may just have to make that call asap and inquire. The market rate for rent in my area is much too expensive for her, about $300 more than what she is paying in rent where she is currently living.
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