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Old 09-05-2018, 08:01 PM
 
51 posts, read 45,128 times
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My wife and I are in our early to mid 50's and live in Morris Cnty, NJ. Our youngest of 3 children will be graduating HS in 3 years and we are seriously considering building an in-law suite onto my mother-in-laws house in Somerset Cnty, NJ, the house that my wife grew up, in the town that I also grew up in. The reason that we would move there instead of having her move in with us is location, she is much more centrally located for commuting purposes which would save us about an hour and half per each per day in commuting time. My MIL will be 82 in 3 years and very much wants us to do it so that she can stay in her home of over 50 years, reduce her living expenses, and have us help maintain her home and with daily chores (garbage, yard work, snow plowing, pool care, etc.). My FIL passed away 2 years ago at 79, up to that point, he did all of that. My MIL is financially secure and pays a lot to have others now do these things but feels overwhelmed by it all. We want to do it because of the location and also because we want to downsize. Her house is smaller than ours, better built, and better maintained. As mentioned, it's also the house that my wife grew up in so there is a also a sentimental attachment as well. We have decided that if we can afford it we would like to retire there in place.

Does anyone have any experience with living with their elderly parents that they would like to share. I know two people that currently have a similar living situation and there are definitely many challenges, sacrifices, and things to consider.
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:06 PM
 
4,529 posts, read 9,840,785 times
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One thing that comes to my mind from past experiences with this is other siblings. Is your wife the only child? If not it can get messy.

Another thing to think about is what if your kids decide to come back home? Will the addition be big enough? Etc
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:09 PM
 
497 posts, read 222,906 times
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No experience but how is MIL going to feel when you want to rip out her lovely carpet or repaint the kitchen?



Plus, there are probably times you DON'T want her over for dinner but how can you say that without being rude?



I think you might be better served to move to the same town but not the same house.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:51 PM
 
4,682 posts, read 2,891,183 times
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Does your wife have any siblings that were hoping to jointly inherit your mother-in-law's house and either sell it and split the proceeds, or have one sibling buy the shares of the house inherited and owned by the other siblings?

A friend of mine just did this. Three siblings inherited the house of their parents, and my friend bought the shares of the house inherited and owned by his two siblings, so that he could own the house in full and remodel it.

It strikes me that the chores you list as daily chores are not really daily chores - "daily chores (garbage, yard work, snow plowing, pool care, etc.)."
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:21 PM
 
Location: on the wind
3,951 posts, read 1,483,216 times
Reputation: 14197
Quote:
Originally Posted by nebloke View Post
My wife and I are in our early to mid 50's and live in Morris Cnty, NJ. Our youngest of 3 children will be graduating HS in 3 years and we are seriously considering building an in-law suite onto my mother-in-laws house in Somerset Cnty, NJ, the house that my wife grew up, in the town that I also grew up in. The reason that we would move there instead of having her move in with us is location, she is much more centrally located for commuting purposes which would save us about an hour and half per each per day in commuting time. My MIL will be 82 in 3 years and very much wants us to do it so that she can stay in her home of over 50 years, reduce her living expenses, and have us help maintain her home and with daily chores (garbage, yard work, snow plowing, pool care, etc.). My FIL passed away 2 years ago at 79, up to that point, he did all of that. My MIL is financially secure and pays a lot to have others now do these things but feels overwhelmed by it all. We want to do it because of the location and also because we want to downsize. Her house is smaller than ours, better built, and better maintained. As mentioned, it's also the house that my wife grew up in so there is a also a sentimental attachment as well. We have decided that if we can afford it we would like to retire there in place.

Does anyone have any experience with living with their elderly parents that they would like to share. I know two people that currently have a similar living situation and there are definitely many challenges, sacrifices, and things to consider.
You also need to consider how you'll handle her increasing needs for care. Look further down the road. I don't mean household chores that can be done easily now with more hands available, but her personal care. Possible decline in cognition, mobility, hygiene, stuff that neither of you are trained or expecting to do. The things that can mean 24/7/365 care regardless who has to work, who can be home. She's eventually going to need this and it could happen at any time. It's a lot more than the HOUSE or just remodeling it. If you post this on the Caregiving forum you'll be able to read about all this in detail. It can be an eye-opener.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:47 PM
 
Location: South Florida
171 posts, read 84,066 times
Reputation: 995
Spending money to add on to someone else's house is very dicey. What if things don't work out? Before you do anything permanent I would do a trial run. You and your wife stay there for a month in the guest room. If you aren't driving each other crazy then start to make plans.
One thing you might look into for your protection is buying the house from the MIL at a reasonable price, leaving enough to do the addition, and giving her a life estate. That means that even though you now own the house she has the legal right to live there for the rest of her life so she won't worry about being put out on the curb. Then, when she passes, the house is already yours and there is no potential problem with the estate or other siblings.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:05 PM
 
5,354 posts, read 3,343,077 times
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All this won't happen for 3 years yet and a lot can (and probably will) change in that time. I'd hold off for now.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,671 posts, read 4,466,447 times
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My MIL has lived with us since 2004 and while I might be a unique person who likes my MIL it is frustrating at times. I have had to learn to bite my tongue and usually let my wife do most of the dealing with her mother living in the same house can be fun as well. I laugh every time I see MIL go out the back door to play in the back garden then come in through that same door only to go out the front door to play in the front garden. Doing this two or three times in an hour does lend itself to some laughs. My advice though is to have patience and let spouse handle their parent and stay out of the way unless it requires you to be there.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:50 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
1,702 posts, read 1,014,697 times
Reputation: 4899
How does MIL feel about moving out of her bedroom and into the new MIL Suite? Will she have easy (no steps) access to the kitchen and living areas of the house?

I had my mother live with me in my 2-bedroom condo after my dad died. Just the 2 of us. She was with me for about 3 years, through 2 strokes. She and I were both careful to not infringe on each other so it worked well. She was grateful to be able to live with me in her last years.

I did insist that she go to the senior center at least twice a week, even if there wasn't anything particularly exciting going on there. Because she needed to get out and be with people, and I was still working. There was a door-to-door bus service for seniors and handicapped, so I didn't have to drive her all the time.
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:56 PM
 
368 posts, read 204,665 times
Reputation: 1050
Living with an elderly parent is something I've given a great deal of thought. I've had many discussions about it with my husband and my widowed mother. She's 80 and still getting around like a younger person, but some of the day-to-day stuff and living alone is starting to get to her.

We've figured out that the only way it would work for us is to have separate quarters complete with our own kitchens. My mother is a self-admitted big talker who would drive my husband crazy if we shared a normal home, and he's got a little OCD stuff going on that would drive her crazy. Everyone gets along fine, but it would only work if we have defined separation.

I'd like to buy a home together and either remodel so there would be two separate living quarters or add on a suite. Legal and financial matters would need to be worked out such as who pays for what and what happens when one of us passes. I tease her that she could end up sharing digs with my husband should something happen to me, but the reality is it could end up that way. Since I have siblings, we also have to consider what's fair to everyone should she pass first. The legal and financial are our biggest concerns, and I expect we'll have to engage a good attorney to help us figure out what is best.

Buying a place new to all of us would be best because no one has long-term ownership of the property. She would always feel she was in our home if she moved here and we would always feel we were in her home if we moved there. We're in different states now but I believe I know a place that is a good compromise for all of us.

Tons of stuff to think about, but I think it can be done successfully if everyone has their own space and respects everyone else's space. I would like to be able to help my mother be able to age in place and not have to go into a facility in the future. Should she need help, I could do basic things for her. She is set financially and could hire any needed specialized help.
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