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Home > 2 Year Spending Goals Update Number 3 - Condo For In-Laws

2 Year Spending Goals Update Number 3 - Condo For In-Laws

August 2nd, 2016 at 11:10 am

I've struggled with how much I want to share about this. My decision is to share only some of the background info. DH's parents (who live in another country) are going through a tough time. FIL just turned 80 and has serious health issues. MIL is healthy but worn out from caring for him. Due to a major financial setback that occurred shortly before retirement, after they retired they moved to an inexpensive rental in a semi-rural area which was initially very charming but has become increasingly undesirable (far from family, limited medical resources, and a burden on MIL when running errands because she does not drive). FIL is rather stubborn about accepting assistance from non-family. Yes, this exacerbates the problem (especially for poor MIL), but at 80 years of age he is not going to change his ways.

DH and I want to help - because they are family, and because their negative financial situation is largely due to bad luck. No, they haven't managed their finances perfectly. (Who has?) But they haven't been grossly irresponsible either. And more than anything we know that MIL needs relief!

Because we live so far away, there are limits to the amount of hands-on assistance we can provide. DH visits twice a year and chauffers MIL around so that she can get things done and takes her out to eat.

In the spring we gave them a small cash gift. But we knew we needed to do more. After talking and thinking about it, almost simultaneously DH and I came up with the idea of perhaps purchasing a condo for them - someplace near family, with better medical resources, and with easy access to public transportation.

Before I go any further, I should say that this is NOT a "done deal." DH is going to fly overseas and go condo shopping in the fall to see what the options and prices really are in the two specific areas he has in mind. And we need to research a few legal questions regarding a foreigner (in this case, that would be me) owning and/or inheriting property in DH's home country. Only after we have decided that this is a feasible option for us, then DH will approach the in-laws with our proposal.

This is how we see the "deal" being structured:
- DH & I would buy the condo
- DH & I would pay the property taxes
- FIL & MIL would pay the HOA dues
- FIL & MIL would pay the utilities

The idea is to find a place where the HOA dues plus the utilities are less than their current rent. It would also need to be a place that MIL could afford on her own after FIL passes (her retirement benefits will decrease). MIL would be welcome to live there for as long as she is able; we estimate she'll be there 20-25 years. DH would stay with them when he travels to that part of the country on business, saving him a little bit on hotel expenses.

After MIL passes, we would sell the condo and use the proceeds in our later years.

Financially speaking, this will not make life easier for DH & I. We'll have the added expense of the property tax on the condo (I've been told much lower than here in the US), we'll be exposed to currency risk (by purchasing an asset in foreign currency), and we'll have more of our net worth tied up in non-financial assets. But it won't be an unbearable burden either. Financially speaking, we feel it is a better option than just giving the in-laws cash on a regular basis. And for MIL and FIL, we think that it would make their lives much, much easier (especially MIL) and we hope this form of assistance will be easy to accept.

This is a pretty big goal. And not one that we had ever imagined until just a few months ago. When you are young you cannot imagine how your financial goals may change over time and when you might need those "extra" savings.

6 Responses to “2 Year Spending Goals Update Number 3 - Condo For In-Laws”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Thank you for sharing! I was trying to remember who on here was considering such a thing. After reading your initial mention of it I actually started doing some preliminary research on doing the same for my MIL.

    Luckily she shared that she thinks she'll qualify for Section 8 next year, which would make her situation much less grim. But I'm still interested to hear more about this as you go through the decision process and possibly the purchase and rental of the property.

  2. SecretarySaving Says:

    You and DH have put a lot of thought into this. Purchasing and maintaining a home in another country would be difficult even if DH visits twice a year. Have other family members made any suggestions on things that they thought would be beneficial for them? Could you move them closer to family/transportation and pay the rent with utilities included/yard work included and maid service all in a lump sum to a landlord? Could you use Amazon prime or a grocery service in the area to deliver food to them weekly?

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I think it's beautiful that you have the resources to assist your family.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    You are so kind to think of this.

  5. snafu Says:

    Wow! Your proposed project is huge and much more complicated by being in another country. [How many hours flight?] What services are available for seniors in DH's country of origin? Are there people FIL respects that could help influence his viewpoint? Will he likely balk at every solution in spite of current difficulties? We did three transitions with my mom who lived about 4 hrs away without foreign overlay and I don't have one memory that wasn't fraught with unanticipated problems.

    How long have in-laws lived in current residence? How/who will organize the move and re-settlement? 80 y/o do not manage change or disruption very well. Rather than appreciating your effort on all the various fronts they may surprise youy b responding with anger and hostility... be prepared.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Is there any chance they might be willing to move to the US and be near you and your DH? That might be easier to manage in multiple aspects ..

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