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Old 04-16-2015, 06:54 PM
 
30,065 posts, read 47,312,423 times
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This is going to have set up info so hope you don't mind.

My husband and I are both retired and have what most people would consider adequate resources--our CPA tells us that anyway.

My husband has sister who is 18 yrs older, in her mid 80s, pretty good health physically and still sharp mentally. She has three adult children, many grandchildren and several great grandchildren. Youngest son+wife and his 5 adult kids+families live in her immediate area. Her daughter/husband live about 2 hrs away in Central TX on maybe a 5 acre property. They relocated when husband retired to be near their two adult/married daughters. Her oldest son/wife and his 5 adult kids+families live about 2.5 hrs away in Austin area.

Problem concerns my SIL's living situation. She divorced her husband after 50+ yrs of marriage 10-11 yrs ago (with plenty of good reason) and bought a double wide mobile home which was only thing she could afford--didn't want to move into an apartment. She rents lot in mobile home park in town where she lived for decades and raised her kids, so her friends, church, and some family are there.

The guy who owns the park has gotten more and more rude and difficult to work with. He has rented some of the park homes that he owns to people who are problamatic and doesn't do necessary maintenance. Right now her lot has standing water in front and under the doublewide because of poor drainage that he won't correct--long term problem. Breeds mosquitos and mold==she has asthma which the dampness doesn't help.
She also has some maintenance she can't really afford to pay to do--like the wood front porch/deck needs to be refinished. She lives on SS and some money invested that she takes withdrawals from each month--this is not an IRA, but I think money she inherited from her mother and divorce settlement/house sale.

My husband is concerned for her--she is worried about the safety in the park and the other issues.
I don't know what she has told her kids about this, if anything. They are parents and grandparents themselves and have problems of their own for various reasons, so they likely are not looking for more problems to solve. Her oldest son has financial resources that the other two don't though, but he doesn't really offer to help her financially. I say that because of what she has told us they "do" for her...which is basically presents at Christmas...but he doesn't say give her cash to pay her car insurance for the year or her utilities...

My husband feels like he wants/needs to solve her problem...he suggested he/we buy a smaller home in her town and let her live there and pay minimal rent--she can't afford to pay market price. We can afford to spend 150K (maybe won't need that much) which can buy a decent home in safe area and then rent it to her for maybe 500 a mo--enough to cover the taxes and insurance we would likely need to pay based on what MLS info shows. But nice homes in that price range go quickly and home prices are rising with competitive market.
If we did that, She would get a decent place to live and he would take his profit (hoping that is one) when the home is sold. If she can manage to pay enough to cover the taxes/insurance then he would not really be running a deficit -- would just "invest" the 150K in property vs running it as rental property/business.
His CPA told him this week that if he runs it as rental business (especially w/negative cash flow) that recapture penalty would take part/most of profit at sale of home--depending on sale price and the total of depreciation and other costs he has written off since purchase. On paper we can afford to use that much cash and cover part of her costs--but I am more concered than my husband about the over all financial cost of this situation.

Personally I would almost rather give her 10K outright a year to help offset her financial concerns and not "invest" in a home in a town we don't live in and only visit 2-3 times a year to see her. She comes to see us at times and we talk often on the phone, but we are 4-5 hrs away...farther than any of her family.
We also spend weeks to months at our second home in FL where our daughter and her family lives, so we aren't always in state to visit. We paid for her to fly out after Thanksgiving to visit us there and would do it again if she wanted to come for a visit.
She has a small dog and I think she is afraid he might cause problem in closer quarters if she went to an apartment or she might have even more problems w/neighbors in an apartment situation.

I like his sister, but I think that her kids can/should be part of the solution--not just us. I think she is reluctant to involve them because she doesn't want to be seen as a burden and she knows it will only make the disparity in their financial situations that much more obvious. maybe that is me being my negative self...but my husband and his sister have not discussed this new idea with her sons and daughter at all. I just am afraid that this might look like a great solution but could turn out to be real can of worms years down the road.

Also I just think there needs to be an exit strategy discussed and planned. We can have a lease--sure--but how do you evict your sister if it should come to that. Frankly I am worried that if we do this, then her kids who are in their late 50s/early 60s, will just expect my husband to come to the rescue if she needs other assistance in future -- if she can't live on her own.

Has anyone else been involved in something similar?
What other solutions would you suggest?
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:11 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,489 posts, read 62,120,010 times
Reputation: 32153
Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
My husband and I are both retired and have what most people would consider adequate resources

My husband has sister who is 18 yrs older, in her mid 80s
She has three adult children, many grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
Youngest son+wife and his 5 adult kids+families live in her immediate area.

Her oldest son/wife and his 5 adult kids+families live about 2.5 hrs away in Austin area.
Her daughter/husband live about 2 hrs away in Central TX on maybe a 5 acre property.

Problem concerns my SIL's living situation.
She divorced her husband ...and bought a double wide mobile home
She rents lot in mobile home park in town where she lived for decades
The guy who owns the park has gotten more and more rude and difficult to work with.
She also has some maintenance she can't really afford to pay to do

My husband is concerned for her
--she is worried about the safety in the park and the other issues.

I don't know what she has told her kids about this, if anything.
They are parents and grandparents themselves and have problems of their own
Her oldest son has financial resources that the other two don't
but he doesn't really offer to help her financially.

My husband feels like he wants/needs to solve her problem...

he suggested he/we buy a smaller home in her town
and let her live there and pay minimal rent--she can't afford to pay market price.

We can afford to spend 150K (maybe won't need that much)
His CPA told him...
I am more concered than my husband about the over all financial cost of this situation.

Personally I would almost rather give her 10K outright a year to help offset..
and not "invest" in a home in a town we don't live in and only visit 2-3 times a year to see her.

I like his sister, but I think that her kids can/should be part of the solution--not just us.
Also I just think there needs to be an exit strategy discussed and planned.

Has anyone else been involved in something similar?
What other solutions would you suggest?
There's a lot going on there but I'm with you on the $X per year as needed vs buying a house.

I'd suggest that you get the 3 adult children all together in one place and have a few serious
adult talks about ideas and options and what's sustainable and in longer term context how hings
are likely to run out.

Me? I'd want to pass the hat and have everyone kick in enough money to do whatever repairs
are needed to fix up and stabilize the home she knows and probably wants to stay in.

Even if this means that the two of you still end up managing and paying for most of it...
to do that work FIRST, see how all the other things sort out with the repairs and the park...
and have her "kids" called out to participate in the process.

This might be all that's needed to make her day to day life OK again.
(or wanted by her).

hth
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:45 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,471,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
There's a lot going on there but I'm with you on the $X per year as needed vs buying a house.

I'd suggest that you get the 3 adult children all together in one place and have a few serious
adult talks about ideas and options and what's sustainable and in longer term context how hings
are likely to run out.

Me? I'd want to pass the hat and have everyone kick in enough money to do whatever repairs
are needed to fix up and stabilize the home she knows and probably wants to stay in.

Even if this means that the two of you still end up managing and paying for most of it...
to do that work FIRST, see how all the other things sort out with the repairs and the park...
and have her "kids" called out to participate in the process.

This might be all that's needed to make her day to day life OK again.
(or wanted by her).

hth
How is that going to solve this?
Quote:
The guy who owns the park has gotten more and more rude and difficult to work with. He has rented some of the park homes that he owns to people who are problamatic and doesn't do necessary maintenance. Right now her lot has standing water in front and under the doublewide because of poor drainage that he won't correct--long term problem. Breeds mosquitos and mold==she has asthma which the dampness doesn't help.
I think it's a very humane way to help so long as it's handily affordable.
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:54 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,489 posts, read 62,120,010 times
Reputation: 32153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
How is that going to solve (standing water/poor drainage)??
You fix what's needed... whether the park guy cooperates or not.
Everything that's needed.

More generally though, whether the sister is moved or not...
that work will still need to be done even if just to sell the place.

So you do it even if you do it only as a first hopeful step.
Eliminate those issues from the equation then see where everyone stands.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:04 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,471,910 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
You fix what's needed... whether the park guy cooperates or not.
Everything that's needed.

More generally though, whether the sister is moved or not...
that work will still need to be done even if just to sell the place.

So you do it even if you do it only as a first hopeful step.
Eliminate those issues from the equation then see where everyone stands.
That doesn't fix bad neighbors nor poor park maintenance.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:46 PM
 
30,065 posts, read 47,312,423 times
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She said she could sell the mobile home to the park owner and likely take a loss vs trying to sell it to an individual..but don't know what kind of value it has cause I am sure it has not appreciated in value
Doing anything about the drainage ourselves means putting money into HIS property---she only rents the lot...
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,343 posts, read 10,331,404 times
Reputation: 28460
well, since it's a double wide, it can be moved. Is there another park she could move to? Or could/would you buy a lot with utility hook-ups? Maybe that isn't done there? Sort of: here's the land with drive-way, electric, etc. Bring your own home.
That way, when all is said and done, you'd only own the land, not a whole house.



Yes, the problems have to be addressed, especially the drainage. It's not helping her health; it's not helping her house.
Is there an Office for Aging there? Talk to the owner/manager if you haven't already. Then put photos on facebook or some such.

If you can afford that much a month, would it be any help to have all her utilities sent to you to pay? It'd be nice if her kids were involved but your brother is her family too. It's got to be hard for him to know what's going on and not do anything.

Sorry all this is going on and thanks for looking out for her.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
5,849 posts, read 15,937,480 times
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You asked if the children should be involved - YES. Maybe they don't know about her day to day hassles with the park owner. She probably tells them everything is fine, and they're busy so they don't really look into it in depth.
They need to step up and take some responsibility here. You can still assist, suggestion solutions etc., but they're the ones who need to help her.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,343 posts, read 10,331,404 times
Reputation: 28460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
You asked if the children should be involved - YES. Maybe they don't know about her day to day hassles with the park owner. She probably tells them everything is fine, and they're busy so they don't really look into it in depth.
They need to step up and take some responsibility here. You can still assist, suggestion solutions etc., but they're the ones who need to help her.
Maybe she doesn't want them to know. When my sister and I were trying to get my mother into a sr apartment complex, she wouldn't hear of it. Her sister came along and she went willingly. The manager said a lot of times older folks don't listen to their kids but will a sibling.


Point being, she may not want her kids to know. It's a judgement call on wether to tell them or not.
and to tell her that they know.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,962 posts, read 3,454,424 times
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One brother turned into a high salary position because of his knowledge. When Mom needed help, he pitched in the most to be sure she was comfortable. Yes, the rest pitched in as we could, but he bore the main financial burden.

If there hadn't been family meetings, none of us would have been aware.
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