My boyfriend has a nicer house, and says I should live with him. My mortgage is paid off. He believes I should pay half of his monthly costs. Is that fair?

Dear Quentin,

My boyfriend owns a house with a 30-year mortgage balance of $150,000 at a 4% interest rate. He has $275,000 in cash and retirement accounts. He is retired.

My house is paid off. I have $50,000 in cash and retirement accounts. I would like to retire in one to two years.

We wish to cohabitate but have not been able to agree on a fair “rent” to pay. He is not ready to live in my house because it has fewer amenities.

He believes that I should pay half of his monthly expenses in his nicer, more expensive house. He can pay off his mortgage and save $600 a month, but he likes to have money.

I left the luxury and paid off my mortgage. I am currently working on building my savings. I don’t feel it’s fair for me to pay half of the mortgage interest expense.

I don’t know why I should be expected to repair and protect, if I have no equity in his house. There are many points of view, none of which feel fair.

These are the options he set out:

· I live in his house and thus get to rent mine. Pay him half of what I take from that percentage.

· Pay half of the actual cost of living expenses and maintenance on his house while I live there.

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· Pay him what I pay to live in my current home for taxes, insurance and utilities: $800 per month.

What say you, monetarist?

House owner & girlfriend

Dear host,

I’m sure your house is just as nice. And just because he believes it, doesn’t make it so. If you don’t pay a mortgage on your own home, I don’t think you should pay one red cent more to live in his home.

That is, you should not come out of the arrangement paying more, just because he (a) would like you to live in his home and (b) help him pay off his mortgage, or his taxes and maintenance.

You both made different choices: yours was to have a home that is free and clear of a mortgage, so you can spend this time building your savings for retirement and/or a rainy day.

You’ve worked hard to pay off your mortgage, and you have $50,000 in savings, less than 20% of your boyfriend’s savings. He still has $150,000 on his mortgage, and that’s his choice.

If his goal is to find help paying off half of his mortgage, he can find a tenant to do it for him.

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You are not the answer to his long-term financial plans, you are his partner in life. If his goal is to find help paying off half of his mortgage, he can find a tenant to do it for him. what to you Expect from you? Forget what he expects.

The way he approaches this arrangement, it seems he wants the equivalent of a detergent and a fabric softener – a girlfriend and a tenant in one handy bottle to keep his financial plans smooth and clean.

Bottom line: You shouldn’t compromise any plans to build your nest egg. The lady is not to be turned. Only agree to his plan if—with the help of an actual tenant in your home—it helps you, too.

In other words, the desired outcome for you is more important than the suggestions he presented. He can save $600 a month! This is his business. Not yours. What do you want to have in your pocket every month?

Find out why you Want, and then work your way backwards based on that goal. For example, if you can pay him $800 a month, charge $1,600 in rent for your home, and put $800 toward your savings, do it.

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You’ve come a long way. Don’t let the negotiations upset that.

Check out The most private Facebook group where we seek answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or about the latest Moneyist columns.

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Also read:

I built a property portfolio with 23 units while we were dating. How much should I give to my fiancé in our prenup?

‘We won’t outlive our money’: How can we give $10,000 to our nieces and nephews without offending the rest of the family?

‘I hate being cheap’: Is it still acceptable to arrive at a friend’s house for dinner with only one bottle of wine?


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