The Moneyist: ‘He’s not willing to live in my house because it has fewer amenities’: My boyfriend wants me to move in and pay half his monthly costs. Is that fair?

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Dear Quentin,

My boyfriend owns a house with a 30-year mortgage balance of $150,000 on 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 within one to two years.

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

‘He believes I should pay half of his monthly cost at his nicer, more expensive house. He could pay off his mortgage and save $600 a month, but he likes to have cash. ‘

He believes I should pay half of his monthly cost at his nicer, more expensive house. He could pay off his mortgage and save $600 a month, but he likes to have cash. 

I have forgone that luxury and paid off my mortgage. I am now working on building my savings. I don’t feel it is fair for me to pay half of the mortgage interest expense. 

I don’t know what repair and maintenance costs should be expected from me, if I have no equity in his house. There are many points of view, none of which feels fair.

These are the options he set forth:

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

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

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

What say you, Moneyist?

House Owner & Girlfriend 

Dear House Owner,

I’m sure your house is just as nice. And just because he believes you should pay half his costs, does not make it so. If you are paying no mortgage on your own home, I don’t believe you should pay one red cent more to live in his home. 

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

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

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

If his aim is to find help to pay off half of his mortgage, he can find a tenant to do that for him. 

You are not the answer to his long-term financial plans, you are his partner in life. If his aim is to find help to pay off half of his mortgage, he can find a tenant to do that for him. What do you expect of you? Forget what he expects.

By the way he is approaching this arrangement, it seems like 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 should not compromise any plans to build your nest egg. The lady’s not for turning. Only acquiesce 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 has put forward. He could save $600 a month! That’s his business. Not yours. What do you want to have in your pocket every month?

Figure out what you want, and then work your way backwards based on that goal. For instance, if you can pay him $800 a month, charge $1,600 rent for your home, and put $800 towards your savings, do that.

You’ve come a long way. Don’t let these negotiations scupper that.

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he cannot reply to questions individually.

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

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

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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