I've been thinking about asking my mother to move in with, or closer to, me and my wife (and maybe future baby). I'd love to hear your thoughts, and any guidance you can give to make it a good experience for everyone. Lots of specific questions inside, but any anecdotes are very welcome.
posted by 5845(f)(1)(D) to human relations (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My mother is a lovely lady, and she and I (and my wife) all get on very well. She is active, has a number of friends she sees regularly, and still has a few clients in her small business (which she'd probably stop if she moved). She lives in NYC and is pretty much self-sufficient. However, she's getting a bit on in years, and I worry about her health (she's taken a few tumbles in the past decade resulting in broken bones). And, friends notwithstanding, I worry she's lonely; she's at the age where your cohort starts dying. And I miss her! She's great fun.
My wife and I have talked about her moving up either with us or to be near us. We're in Boston. My mother has also said she'd be happy to live closer to us when/if we have a baby.
Right now we live in a rental apartment that would be too small for the three of us, but we may buy a place soon. If my mother were to live with us, we'd organize our housing search around larger properties, rather than just finding a place for the two of us and baby. We could afford a larger property than our baseline--but my wife and I are both thrifty and risk-averse, and we wouldn't buy a larger place if my mother were not going to live with us. A place that would be comfortable for three adults and a baby could easily be $100,000 more than a starter condo that's only big enough for us and a baby. A small, but nice place nearby us for mom alone would probably be somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000.
I'm interested to hear your experiences in similar scenarios. In particular, this is what I've been trying to get my head around:
- If you have had a parent move in with you, how (if at all) have they contributed to the household financially?
- If contributing financially, have they contributed to the mortgage or down payment on your shared dwelling, or just groceries, etc.?
- Have you combined finances (e.g., joint checking accounts, tranparency on investments etc.)?
- How (if at all) has your parent contributed to household chores? Cook, clean, help with baby?
- Did you involve your parent in the house search, if you bought a house for you all to share?
- Did you claim your parent as a dependent on your tax returns, and how did your inome affect their Medicare/Social Security?
- Once your parent moved in, did you include him/her in all your plans (e.g., your weekly non-romantic dinner out, all your weekend trips, your vacations)?
- How did your parent navigate going from, perhaps, a very familiar place with old friends, to perhaps a different area of the country where they knew few people?
- Is it possible for an older person to get a mortgage for their own place, if she doesn’t live with us? She's not rich by any stretch of the imagination, and lives off of public benefits and savings.
- Moving in with us would limit my mom's self sufficiency versus downtown NYC (even if we find a place that has good local public transport). Any thoughts on making this easier? I don't want her to be a prisoner (though I'm sure she'd be mostly content just hanging out in a backyard with an iced tea).
- Did your in laws (or other parent) get jealous? How did you deal with that?
Lastly, when did you start having these conversations with your parent? We've both said that it would be nice to have her closer, but haven't talked timelines. I don't want to propose it and then never find the "perfect place," and I don't want to spring a package deal on her, either.
Any and all thoughts appreciated.