Mom (78) wants to move to Texas and I live in Illinois. Should she go?

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My dilemma... I have a 78 year old feisty temperamental mother. She currently lives with me in my home. My house was special built with a two bedroom apartment attached to it so she can still have her independence. We live in Illinois and the weather hasn't been all that nice the past winter. My mother decided she wants to move to Texas to rent an apartment there. Since we bought the house together if she moves she wants some of the money she put into the house so that would require me to sell the home and I would move into something smaller. My main concern is what if in a couple years her health starts to fail... she has no family in Texas but does have a couple friends. I cant drop everything here to go look after her. Admittedly I would love for her to go to Texas as she is a very hard woman to live with... but what about down the road? If I sell the home I wont have a place to bring her back too. Is this a wise move for her?

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theab63, what about refinancing the house so that your Mom can get her share of the equity and you remain in the house, and since you have a two bedroom apartment attached to the house, you could rent it out. If that's an idea that would work, it's worth hiring a Realtor to help you set a monthly rent and to help find a qualified tenant.

Your Mom will discover how costly it is to move once she's in the middle of the process. I assume she will be moving her own items. Hiring a moving company won't be cheap, they will want to personally pack otherwise they won't guarantee the items will arrive in one piece.... and it might take a week or more before she gets her furniture in Texas as the moving company will want a full load, thus they will pack the truck with her items, and also items from someone else who is moving south.

If she has a car, will she drive it to Texas? She could ship her car but that can be expensive, then she would need to fly down. Then the cost of registering the car, and she would need to get a Texas driver's license. If she can't automatically transfer her Illinois driver's license, she would need to take the written test and now a days the DMV's use computers for the written tests.

Then she would need to find all new doctors and dentist and have her medical records transferred.... some might charge a fee for that.

Or is your Mom that type that would rent a U-Haul, do her own packing and loading the truck?.... I can see her now on the Interstate driving that U-Haul and her car on a trailer behind the truck :)
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Can she wait a year for her part of the profits? If she is planning to rent, it seems smartest to go ahead and rent for a while before requiring you to give up the house. But if you are eager to get something smaller on your own, then don't hesitate to do that.
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Look very carefully at the housing market in Chicago befor either of you commits to selling a house. There may not be any profit to be had after you have paid the realtor and she has covered moving costs.
I assume you will be purchasing something smaller for yourself so the move is also going to cost you a lot of money.
She is going to do what she wants anyway. I realize she is your mother and you do feel responsible for her but don't tie yourself to a bargain you did not make if she decides to do this. In the end you both may be happier
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If she's able to live independently (cook, clean, shop etc.), then maybe she wants one more time of being independent while she is able.
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I came home from work and she has put herself on a waiting list for rental apartments. She is determined to do this. I asked about the "down the road" I won't have this place for her to move back too but she said she is fine with that and feels good about going. She has always been stubborn & yes her friends in Texas have been telling her to come.... Will they be there if she gets sick? She is a mean ole lady but she is my mom and I just hope this works out for her. This house too big for me to keep up & she wants me to sell so I can give her half of any profit.
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Your mom was clearly thinking clearly and long term when she made the arrangement to move close to you and in a place that met her physical needs long term. Ehst has changed? Id dementia starting to be an issue? Is it difficult to get around?
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Have you and she talked about the "down the road" concern? Have you discussed what's the plan if she needs assistance in Texas and you're unable to move down there?
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Maybe you could offer to put in a home generator in case of power outages instead? And taking into account where in Texas and where in Illinois you would each live, Southwest might have cheap direct flights that would make long distance caregiving and visiting in an assisted living a reasonable alternative. But yeah, not fair, darned expensive too if she becomes unable to do it all on her own in just a few years. Moving for weather alone is rarely worth leaving family and friends, let alone careers. Everyplace has its share of good and bad weather goings-on.
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Before you do anything drastic like sell the house, I think Mom should rent in Texas for several months, with some in each summer and winter.

And making you change your living arrangements doesn't seem fair at this point.
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I have lived in Illinois, Florida, and Texas. Texas is very senior friendly; however, she will need more than just friends to assist her. Of the three states, Texas has been ideal to live in. Yes, the summers are hot. Even winters in the DFW area have been challenging the last couple of years. I could never live in Illinois (Chicago) again. Florida is too expensive.

Should she move to Texas? Without a built-in support system, I would not recommend it. I am getting ready to retire, but we have family here. My mother is in a great AL group home. She is not being fair to you at all regarding the house situation. If she wants to, have her winter in Texas and summer in Illinois. The best of both worlds.
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