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The financial cost of having mom or dad move in

Thinking about moving Mom or Dad in with you? Often the consideration to do so hinges on Mom or Dad’s poor health or your need for a built in baby sitter for your own children. You may have already considered whether you have enough bathrooms or whether or not you can stand to be in the same home together but have you thought about it from a financial perspective? Here’s some implications you may not have considered.

Moving costs. Moving is expensive. Not only does it cost money, it inevitably costs time and requires diplomacy. Unless your mom or dad is a champion minimalist, she or he will come with baggage—probably decades of baggage. That baggage will own a part of their heart. Moving someone in with you requires making an honest assessment of how much space will be available in the new location and what can or cannot make the transition, deciding how it gets pared down (do you hire someone for the project or do you provide that service), what happens to the things that get pared out, who sets up the new space and who does the actual work of moving.

Living expenses. Inevitably, moving another person or a couple of people into your space costs money in terms of higher utility payments; higher food costs etc. unless you have a mother-in-law house and keep those expenses separate. If your parent is moving in because he or she needs support, will your parent be contributing to his or her care? Deciding who pays for what should happen before the big move. It may help to write up an agreement.

Insurance. Your parent may not be covered on your homeowners insurance and if you are having them drive in your personal vehicle, they may not be covered on your car insurance either. Talk to your insurance agent. If you are moving a parent across state lines, there may be health insurance implications in terms of both coverage and costs. Insurance and the multigenerational household

Home improvements. While we are moving toward a time when housing will all have universal design we aren’t there yet. If you are moving someone in to your home, what modifications will you need to make it accessible and safe for him or her to live with you. Consider hiring a geriatric care manager to give you a realistic idea of how much needs to change to allow your loved one to remain happy and healthy in your home. If you’ll need to provide care for your parent consider getting a Personal Care Agreement signed if they will be paying for any of your services.

Emotionally. If the point of the move is to have a parent close by in order to provide care, having him or her in your house eliminates a primary refuge from your caregiving duties. If you have siblings, get your siblings on board for providing respite care. If siblings are not a possibility, consider the cost of getting some help in order to give yourself a break.

Here’s the original article. Before making such a life altering decision, run the decision past an elder law attorney or a financial planner. There may be tax implications as well as Medicaid ramifications and you should be aware of them before they become something you cannot undo.

Additional article:

Should you move a parent in with you?


A Washington Resident's Guide to Medicaid Long-Term Care Benefits

Learn the basic rules of Medicaid Long-Term Care in Washington from an expert who has helped thousands of people qualify for these life-saving benefits. Written by elder law attorney Aaron Paker, this easy-to-read book explains the rules in language everyone can understand. If you want straight talk about what benefits are available to pay for long-term care for an elderly loved one, this book is a must-read.

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