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Elderly ILs refuse to move nearer children
Old 04-22-2019, 04:36 AM   #1
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Elderly ILs refuse to move nearer children

Hello all,


DW and I are at our wits end. Her parents initially moved from 2+ hours away to be nearer to DW's sisters, but mostly to help out younger sister by renting their house as they were moving for a job. (this is all in North Carolina) FIL is 85 and MIL is 82. Both have some health issues, but still can drive and get around. MIL's memory issues are getting worse, though.



Long story short. The sister's husband's job was cut short... they are moving back... no room in house for two families.... the siblings want ILs to move to another house nearby so that they can help out with medical and many other aspects of living that ILs are not starting to struggle with.


Last week, FIL tells them "we want to move back to xxxx (where they lived before... 2+ hours away)". They claim they are miserable in the new spot, which is very rural and without a lot to do. They also say they are "over-attended"...


Although FIL claims to be independent, he is really delusional. They have not been paying their bills for at least 8 years (we have). They could not take care of their house, so it is on the market. The plan was for them to take their equity, which will be about $110K, and simply rent a place to live out their lives. DW and siblings obviously wanted that to be near them for help and support. Now we have FIL stating unilaterally that "he doesn't care what this does to his children... he wants to move back".


None of the children want to simply say "okay, you're on your own, good luck". For one thing, the burden of any problems if they move back will fall primarily on older sister and her husband, both of whom work demanding jobs (he owns his own landscaping business).
Two other siblings live in NH, and we live in FL, so there will be no easy or cheap trips to help out.

I could go on and on... like about 3 weeks ago when ILs were found driving away from home at least 3 hours away, and State Police had to track them down and get them back...



FIL has always had a bit of this delusional part of his personality, but it is clearly exacerbated by his age. IMO, they would not be able to successfully pull off any such move back on their own, even with the money from sale of home in the bank. They have no credit... it is hard for me to see how they could get someone to rent to them at all!


I'll close with just stating that I have done a lot of research on this for DW's sake... but it is pretty clear that there are no easy answers, and that until one of them is completely mentally or physically incapacitated, they may have to get their wish.


Thanks for letting me vent!


Mitch
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:00 AM   #2
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Tough spot, how much money do they have? The obvious answer would be let them live where they want to live and steer them towards a senior living complex. A campus with independant senior apartments, assisted living and finally regualr nursing home all in one place. They usually have lots of social activites too.

That's a win/win they are living where they want to live and still getting some supervision and care which can be adjusted for their needs. I see they have no credit does that mean they have no money?
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:06 AM   #3
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The children have been paying their parents bills for the past 8 years.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:09 AM   #4
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The children have been paying their parents bills for the past 8 years.
I can't figure out if that meant they had no money or that the IL's were not capable of timely bill paying.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:16 AM   #5
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I took it as not timely bill paying.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:35 AM   #6
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The term delusional made me think FIL thinks he is financially secure when he is not.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:38 AM   #7
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They have the equity in their not-yet-sold house, which will amount to about $110K. DW and my equity is about $30K (they could not have even afforded it 12 years ago otherwise), and we fronted them over $25K to get the house ready to sell (it was a mess, and they/we would have lost almost everything).


They get SS, but it is minimal, as he was a carpenter and never really made much, despite being very good at it...



DW and I started paying their share of the property taxes and the homeowner's insurance about 8 years ago. Since they moved, we are paying 100% of the expenses for the house, and the rent for their temporary quarters. For them to move, we will probably have to come up with the security deposit, and possibly get them some more (Craigslist) furniture.


As you can see, despite being FIRE'd, this is starting to really hurt, as we have spent about $70K of our living money... we have had a few low-ball offers on the house, but we feel (and RE agent agrees) that we are very fairly priced (in middle of per sq. ft. prices).
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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Yes... they were starting to miss paying even the bills that they had always paid, e.g., heat, electricity, etc. We have tried to take over those, and plan to continue to do that from their funds once the house is sold...


FIL has never paid a bill in his life, and is completely clueless about some of the boneheaded financial mistakes they have made. E.g., buying a show-quality Bull Mastiff at age 75 with no money to show it, etc., thinking that it will pay for itself.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:10 AM   #9
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They have the equity in their not-yet-sold house, which will amount to about $110K. DW and my equity is about $30K (they could not have even afforded it 12 years ago otherwise), and we fronted them over $25K to get the house ready to sell (it was a mess, and they/we would have lost almost everything).


They get SS, but it is minimal, as he was a carpenter and never really made much, despite being very good at it...



DW and I started paying their share of the property taxes and the homeowner's insurance about 8 years ago. Since they moved, we are paying 100% of the expenses for the house, and the rent for their temporary quarters. For them to move, we will probably have to come up with the security deposit, and possibly get them some more (Craigslist) furniture.


As you can see, despite being FIRE'd, this is starting to really hurt, as we have spent about $70K of our living money... we have had a few low-ball offers on the house, but we feel (and RE agent agrees) that we are very fairly priced (in middle of per sq. ft. prices).
Unfortunately it seems like you really didn't do them any favors as now they are in a bigger pickle. So your only reasonable option now is to start hunting for a senior complex with income based rents. You've enabled the "helpless" behavior by not even forcing them to do the basics of modern living..all with good intentions but now your money outlay on them is really adding up. I'm not sure if the cash from the house will hurt them for apartments, but the dog sure will. Good Luck and maybe it's time to enlist some money from the other sibs.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:24 AM   #10
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Oh, wow, you are in a tough spot.

I'm afraid I know what the answer will be, but is there anyone they might trust? Clergy? Banker? Doctor? Neighbor? Sibling? Police?

I'm thinking maybe a neutral third party could sit down with them and talk sense. I know it's a long shot, but at this point anything is worth a try.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:27 AM   #11
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@CaptTom,


DW went through every rational reason, and tried all of the normal things... e.g. no money, no support, hard for children, etc., and FIL said "I don't care". Oldest child (DW's brother) is supposedly going to try to talk to him/them... he has had some success in the past due to being the oldest child, etc.


The other ironic part of this is that FIL moved his own parents from NY to NH when they were far younger than he is now, to do exactly what his children want to do for them.


I will mention your idea to DW... they do have a strong church relationship back where they want to move. Perhaps we could contact someone there.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:36 AM   #12
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No specific advice for OP, but I'll use this space to relate my experience:

We more-or-less "forced" my in-laws to move from their dream house in Florida to be near us in Texas. This was around 10 years ago. They were 77 and 76 at the time. FIL did not want to move... period. But MIL recognized the reality of the situation and sort-of kept him in line, although it was very emotional for everyone, especially DW and her brother. In the prior 5 years, FIL had two open-heart surgeries and then a stroke, which rendered him unable to drive and unable to take care of financial matters, which MIL was completely unfamiliar with.

We sold their dream house in Florida and used the equity to buy a small home in a 55+ community near us. This was right after the great recession, so their equity was only about one-third of what it had been a couple years prior. It took a few years, but eventually FIL stopped asking MIL if they could "go home." MIL learned how to use a PC and pay bills. I manage their investments, taxes, etc. DW accompanied them to doctor appointments. It all worked out for the best.

FIL died last year. MIL is still living on her own and can drive. Her hearing is very bad and her balance is shaky, but otherwise her health is OK. She is mentally alert and has some hobbies. At some point, we want her to move in with us. We've mentioned this several times, but the once-cooperative MIL is now determined to live on her own... period. For now, we're OK. But it's only a matter of time before she has a fall or some other incident. After that, the for-sale sign will go up whether she likes it or not.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:40 AM   #13
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We had an aunt that was the same way in her mid 80's. She "fell and she can't get up" in the kitchen, and that was a blessing in its way. After she got out of the hospital, we moved her 100 miles (to her hometown) and got her into an assisted living.

Then she told everyone she met that her nephews kidnapped her and put her in this awful place not knowing anyone.

Well, it sure beat eating ramen noodles and cans of tuna fish for every meal. Sometimes you've got to lay the law down no matter how distasteful it is to everyone.

Having to liquidate her large home, the furnishings and all her hoarding was beyond a big deal. Auntie died 3 months shy of 100 years old, and thankfully money was never an issue to her.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by BoodaGazelle View Post
@CaptTom,


DW went through every rational reason, and tried all of the normal things... e.g. no money, no support, hard for children, etc., and FIL said "I don't care". Oldest child (DW's brother) is supposedly going to try to talk to him/them... he has had some success in the past due to being the oldest child, etc.


The other ironic part of this is that FIL moved his own parents from NY to NH when they were far younger than he is now, to do exactly what his children want to do for them.


I will mention your idea to DW... they do have a strong church relationship back where they want to move. Perhaps we could contact someone there.
Yes he doesn't care that he doesn't have money because you guys have been keeping food on the table and the lights on. I can't see this ending well, either you play hardball with them and have a family feud, or spend your way broke giving them the lifestyle they want. Bring in the clergy so you have 3rd party verification of his irrational thinking. It can't hurt.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:44 AM   #15
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No specific advice for OP, but I'll use this space to relate my experience:

We more-or-less "forced" my in-laws to move from their dream house in Florida to be near us in Texas. This was around 10 years ago. They were 77 and 76 at the time. FIL did not want to move... period. But MIL recognized the reality of the situation and sort-of kept him in line, although it was very emotional for everyone, especially DW and her brother. In the prior 5 years, FIL had two open-heart surgeries and then a stroke, which rendered him unable to drive and unable to take care of financial matters, which MIL was completely unfamiliar with.

We sold their dream house in Florida and used the equity to buy a small home in a 55+ community near us. This was right after the great recession, so their equity was only about one-third of what it had been a couple years prior. It took a few years, but eventually FIL stopped asking MIL if they could "go home." MIL learned how to use a PC and pay bills. I manage their investments, taxes, etc. DW accompanied them to doctor appointments. It all worked out for the best.

FIL died last year. MIL is still living on her own and can drive. Her hearing is very bad and her balance is shaky, but otherwise her health is OK. She is mentally alert and has some hobbies. At some point, we want her to move in with us. We've mentioned this several times, but the once-cooperative MIL is now determined to live on her own... period. For now, we're OK. But it's only a matter of time before she has a fall or some other incident. After that, the for-sale sign will go up whether she likes it or not.
She's 86 maybe she will make to the end on her own. You guys help make more independent which was what you wanted..
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:44 AM   #16
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Takes a lot of homework to figure out the best answer, particularly with respect to available assets.

Based on what I've seen, some kind of senior living facility may be the best bet, for care, social interaction, and peace of mind for the family.

As to cost: Consider net worth, Social Security and the ultimate fallback... to understand medicaid laws for the state... and to help out in this, some kind of estimate for life expectancy... for planning purposes.

First... to find out what kind of facilities are involved in the area... "Senior Living Facilities" in the city or state.
https://www.google.com/search?newwin...E,lf:1,lf_ui:2

The legal aspect:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...sing-home.html

I'd suggest that this is not a simple project, and going through the different choices, is a monumental challenge. Have to measure against the effect on the lives of the rest of the family.

As to the resistance factor... (dad) ... a visit to possible choices often goes a long way toward settling the fear factor.

Senior living can cost between $25,000/yr and $100,000... (all costs... meals, transportation, entertainment, and personal care as needed). In our case... full expenses (for 2) in Liberty Village, Peru... Independent living, about $35K/yr, assisted living about $50K, Nursing Home, $75K per person)... Those are total living expenses. A nearby, much smaller home, with 8 employees, cost is about 20% less, and some homes, closer to Chicago as much as 60% more. Lots of searching required here.

Illinois offers more assistance for elderly living. This is the facility page for our part of the state. Am sure most states offer this kind of help.

Aging and Disability | Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging

A real challenge, but considering the number of lives involved, and with an uncertain timeline... time spent in considering the options could be worth it in the long run.

I'd like to be able to tell some of the stories about couples of our age, some living a peaceful carefree life, and others living in misery, with no help from friends or relatives.

Loving help for this kind of situation qualifies for sainthood, or at the least... for winning the lottery.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:49 AM   #17
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I'll close with just stating that I have done a lot of research on this for DW's sake... but it is pretty clear that there are no easy answers, and that until one of them is completely mentally or physically incapacitated, they may have to get their wish.
Yup.

It doesn't appear that you have a question here, so I'll just wish you and your spouse good luck.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:53 AM   #18
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DW and I started paying their share of the property taxes and the homeowner's insurance about 8 years ago. Since they moved, we are paying 100% of the expenses for the house

we have had a few low-ball offers on the house, but we feel (and RE agent agrees) that we are very fairly priced (in middle of per sq. ft. prices).
Despite what you and the RE agent feel, it might be time to lower the price and get the house sold so that you can stop paying property taxes, insurance and other expenses.

A properly priced home will sell. An improperly priced home is an expense pit.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:53 AM   #19
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Just reading this makes me angry on your behalf. It sounds as though they're mentally/physically incapacitated enough to warrant not being allowed to make their own decisions, especially when they're creating such a hardship for everyone else involved. If they were in their right minds, would they expect you to be spending such a large amount of your own money supporting them? Driving 3 hours aimlessly, having to be rescued by the police? IMO, they need to live under professional supervision, not necessarily paid for by their children, but that's your choice.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:56 AM   #20
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Despite what you and the RE agent feel, it might be time to lower the price and get the house sold so that you can stop paying property taxes, insurance and other expenses.

A properly priced home will sell. An improperly priced home is an expense pit.
+1 "a few lowball offers" indicate a pricing problem, don't be pennywise and pound foolish.
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