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Wedding Woes

Don't let them move in.

Dear Prudence,

My wife and I are expecting our first child in April. We’re closing on a large house on a 16-acre farm with a small apartment above the barn. When my mom heard about this, she asked to move into the apartment. She and my dad live six states away, and she considers it their “retirement plan.” She offered free child care in exchange, which we don’t need, since my wife gets it for free at her work. My dad seems ambivalent about the prospect. My parents have declared bankruptcy twice in recent years and have never had much money; none of my siblings is in a position to help. But the reason we bought this property and not a much cheaper conventional home was because we wanted to turn it into a wedding venue. We need to rent out the apartment (for much more than my parents can afford to pay) for a few years until we’re done renovating the property and can turn it into a wedding-party suite. Either way, we’re depending on that apartment to generate money until we can open the business.
So the only way my parents could move in with us is if we invited them to share the house.

We will have the space for the next few years, although neither my wife nor I are excited about being my parents’ landlords or having roommates. But we want to have more children, and there just won’t be room. I’ve thought about offering them a space in the house for a fixed number of years rent-free so they can save money (though it is unlikely either will be working) and then be prepared to find new accommodations when our family grows. Realistically, they won’t be able to save enough to support themselves through the rest of their lives in the amount of time they live with us and will just find themselves in the same position they’re in now. Once they move in, I won’t be able to kick out my parents to make room for my child. I just can’t do that. So what do I do? Say no to my parents now, as they teeter on the brink of homelessness six states away and only occasionally see their only grandchild? Invite them into our home and potentially jeopardize our dream and very substantial financial investment? I love my parents and want to support them, but there is a very real chance that doing so will crush the chance my wife and I took on our dream and business investment.

—Farm Dreams or Parents’ Retirement?

Re: Don't let them move in.

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mod
    Oh man, LW, your future is in another letter this week. Don't do it!
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    mrsconn23charlotte989875OliveOilsMomshort+sassy
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited February 7
    Oh man, LW, your future is in another letter this week. Don't do it!
    Also my first thought. Do not let your parents move in. They will never leave. 


    image
    mrsconn23charlotte989875STARMOON44short+sassy
  • LW, you’re lucky enough to not be in the sticky situation that you mentioned in this very letter- letting them move in and having to kick them out when you need the space.  A simple no or if you want to elaborate, all you’ve said here work too.

    If LW wants to help them, they could see if their parents’ city has a Dept of Aging, programs like SCRIE, Meals on Wheels, etc.  If the parents had recently been through something awful/unexpected that drained their savings (an accident, a serious medical diagnosis, etc.) I’d be more sympathetic but LW makes it sound like this is typical of their parents. 
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • I’m with Banana; tell them no and help them meet with a planner, otherwise this only goes bad and fast. 

    I’d tell them something along the lines of the first paragraph; that the apartment will eventually be part of the business but you need max rent now so you can get the business up and running. Offer to help them look for places in the area but don’t offer up your own house! 
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • That's hilarious!  It's the letter the other LW could have written 11 years ago.

    LW, an uncomfortable conversation with your parents now, will save you HUNDREDS of them if you let them move onto your property.

    Not to mention, think about your wife!  She's your family too and a more important member.  Those are also HER dreams and HER future children that now you want to abandon.  Plus saddle her with your parents as roommates (shudder).  Because you know that's exactly what's going to happen.  You've already admitted it to yourself.

    I'm also guessing the LW and his wife are on the younger side. 20s, maybe 30s.  Which means his parents probably aren't that old either and have a good 10-20 years they can keep working.

    "I'll tell you what mom and dad.  You keep working for the next 20 years and, by then, our children will be old enough to have moved out of the house and we'll have more room.  But you don't get to retire at 50, so you can freeload off me and my wife and ruin our dreams."  That's how you tell your parents, LW.  Tough love! Stay strong!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    eileenrobmrsconn23MesmrEwe
  • I feel for LW because so many people have kids with the idea that someone will take care of them when they are old. Of course, they don’t tell the babies this, lol.
    i think best plan of action is to get parents to a financial planner and/or get the siblings involved. If nobody is in a position to care for the aging parents better to figure it out now rather than later.
    short+sassy
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