Follow
Share

I'm supportive of my fiance supporting my mother inlaw. However my fiance and hus mother have made theur own agreement that the monthly check he is sending her is going towards the house. They have aledger and are tracking it.


He isn't saving for retirement but insists the money he is sending to his mother is retirement because when she passes some day, she'll leave him the house.


My gut says this is not going to work out.


Any advice? I don't want him to stop helping her but also save for retirement. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
cwillie is thinking along the same lines I am. Your fiance is investing heavily in his mother's house, with just a ledger to show the amounts. What he and his mother need to do is go to a lawyer and figure out what the best way is to protect his investment in the home. We never know what the future holds. Suppose a few years down the road she gets upset with him and changes her will? Or suppose she decides she wants to sell the house and move to Hawaii? What your fiance is doing is a fine thing that seems good at the present time. But he needs to protect his investment. The best way may be adding his name to the title or something similar -- I don't know what would be best. Someone familiar with elder law and real estate will be much more knowledgeable about these things.

A good example -- this week my mother said she was going to sell the house that is left to me in the will. She said she gets so mad at me that she didn't think it was a bad thing to do. The trouble is that she gets mad at me because of things in her own mind. You can't really depend on inheritance as a retirement plan, because things happen that you can't control. He needs a legal way to protect his investment if he is considering it as part of his/your retirement plan.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree that the money needs to be viewed as more of a gift to his mother than a retirement strategy. If he truly hopes to move into this house one day then they should arrange for him to have full title to it now so that it will not come into play if she needs medicare (medicaid? sorry I can't keep those two terms straight) in the future.
One thing no one has mentioned is that YOU will be the obvious choice to be her full time caregiver when the need arises. I think you need to sit down and have a frank discussion with him about all of this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

OK, thanks for the additional input. Your fiance is contributing $5-600 every month to MIL for her housing. I translate this as "she can't afford the house she is in!". So, one thought is to move her to a place she can afford. Less appropriate alternative, Have her son's name on the deed with rights of surviviorship. In that way, it passes to him. IF there is anything left.
MIL is living beyond her means, and it WILL affect your financial future. You and your fiance need to have a serious talk about finances -- BEFORE September! Unless he has a fantastic salary way into 6 digits, giving away $7000/year may be more than the family finances can take. Add to that her inquiry about who she will live with all I see is red flags.

What if the daughter takes her in? She will clearly want some of that house value.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Rainmom, Thank you about the share of your husband. My fiance just has such a good heart. I just think he needs to understand that these checks to his mother is not for retirement but because he loves her and wants to help out.

I think he is telling me this to make me feel better about him not investing in retirement.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The hard thing for me is he keeps saying we have this great home to look forward to later in AZ. Only, I just don't believe these payments to her house on a ledger and a will is going to work out for him.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Rainmom, thank you for the input. This is hard for me, I've avoided the subject but need to talk about it soon since we're marrying in Sept. He should know how I feel about it but don't want to start my relationship with his mother bad.

Freqflyer, yes. She is my mothers age but acts years older. She doesn't like any kind of physical activity. Just likes cards and bingo. I am worried that supporting and care for her will go on for years.

She is in good health but already asking about who is going to take her in. After my fiance making these payments to her every month, we'll likely still need to be her care-giver later.

I try not to think about it too much because I'm so in love with her son. My parents are in great health. Mother in late 70s and father early 80s. They also live in AZ and golf almost every day along with other activities. It would break my mothers heart if she knew what was ahead.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Good heavens, your future MIL is my age, she should be working part-time doing something she likes to bring in some money to help pay for her own expenses, it would do her a world of good, or doing volunteer work to keep busy. Bet those back and stomach issues would soon disappear.

My parents lived into their mid-to-late 90's in their own home alone, so will your finance still be paying for the next 20 years?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It's funny, I was just thinking about this yesterday - the extent we helped my MIL for the first eight years of our marriage. This was an awful woman and a horrible mother. It truely is a wonder my husband became the wonderful man he is. While in some ways we could afford it, it also would have been nice to save the money or use it for things for our family. Be here's how I look at it - my husband is extraordinarily kind, caring and generous. He met a woman struggling to make ends meet, with a severely disabled five year old - fell in love with them both and married her. A LOT of men would run as fast as they could from a situation like that - since it was me, I know. So it's that same wonderful heart that needed to help out his mother. If your fiancé is doing it out of caring, value that - as long as he is being somewhat practical regarding money. If he thinks this is a good "investment" - well, take a good, hard look at what you're getting into before you say "I do".
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi,
Geewiz' answer: Yes, he has a sister but she's willed the house to him only with the agreement he helps her with living expenses. Approximately $500 to $600 a month.
MIL is in her 70s. Her health, she is a bit of a hypochondriac but seems to get around ok. Complains a lot about stomach and back issues and super lonely. She is in AZ and we are in Calif. MIL is single.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Bfieldscsu ,STOP THE PRESSES.... why is your fiance paying for his Mother's mortgage? Right there is a huge red flag.

If Mom cannot pay the mortgage on the house, then she also won't be able to pay for caregivers to help her when that time comes. Nor pay for a health facility to help her with her care.

Now this is the biggee, as mentioned above... Medicaid will place a lien on her house, they don't care who was paying the mortgage or even if there was a mortgage on the house. Medicaid will want whatever equity is in that house to help cover for the cost of taking care of your fiance's mother.

I always believed if an elder is having problems paying for the upkeep on the house, paying the rent/mortgage and property taxes, etc. then it is time to downsize to something more manageable.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Does your fiance have any siblings? Does your future MIL have any siblings? How old is MIL? How is here health? Is she married? Yes, lots of questions here but any reasonable answer depends upon having additional information. My input would differ if he was an only child, and there was a will stating he got her entire estate, she was 100 years old and she was near death''s door.
On the other hand . . . if she is in her 50s, great health and a spender - I'd suggest it is time to find an affordable living arrangement for her. By the time she passes, she may have used the entire value of the house for her car. And a ledger won't help at all.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This is a bad idea. If your mother in law ever needs a nursing home and cannot pay for it out of pocket she will need to get Medicaid. After her death, Medicaid will recoup the money they sent via a lein on the house. The house will be sold to pay for Medicaid.

While you cannot be sure this will happen...it could happen...and with how health care and life expectancy is in the US...its likely. The money he is sending is not going to be protected the way it would be in a 401k, 403b or IRA. These accounts are where his retirement money should go.

Angel
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.