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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jeromedawg on July 27, 2015, 03:21:23 PM

Title: Hypothetical situation for in-laws
Post by: jeromedawg on July 27, 2015, 03:21:23 PM
Hey guys,

Just wanted to ask for some pointers and advice on my in-laws' situation. I'll try to summarize things in a bullet point list:

- both MIL and FIL are around 70 now
- they are owners a restaurant business that does OK but not great (they rent the space out but are responsible for all the interior decoration, renovation, equipment, etc)
- they have a mortgage on a house they took out back in 2004. for a while they were defaulting payments because they couldn't afford it, then after they refi'd a couple years ago things have been much better as far as being able to pay (but their restaurant income basically supports the mortgage payment and a little more)
- as far as we know, they have no significant interest-accruing investments or savings accounts (they hold a lot of money in cash, out of paranoia).
- i think they are itching towards retirement no more than ever, especially with our first child (their first grandchild) on the way. but i feel like they're mentally stuck in a rut, thinking that they won't be able to live their lives without running the restaurant (which i suppose is somewhat legit)...
- they really seem to love the house they live in. but it's not sustainable if they can't pay the mortgage off. they have no passive income stream...unless they were to stop actually working at the restaurant and trusting their current employees to run it while they pocket some income from that (this is a trust issue though - they don't trust any of their employees [or anyone else for that matter] enough to take on that position).

There's no question they want to sell the restaurant... but they haven't been very aggressive about actually selling it. Again I think this has to do with them stuck in that mental rut that they can't live functional lives without working at the restaurant 16 hours a day... it's pretty crazy.

What do you guys think they should do? And in what order? I was thinking if they want to liquidate it all, to sell the house first or perhaps downsize preferably to where they're not making any payments. If they have to rent, that's fine but it may need to be low-income? They do qualify for social security and medicare/aid but not sure it's sustainable for the longer run. As far as low-income, I don't think they could qualify if they still own the restaurant. If they sell the restaurant first then they'll have to worry about payments on the house. I don't know, I guess the *best* option is to try convincing them to hire a restaurant manager who runs the restaurant at least most of the time so they can sit back and relax a bit more. I think that's really what they may want (and definitely what we want for them). So even if they're working a couple nights a week, it's better than them working every day for 16 hours... they are crazy people.

Any suggestions, advice or pointers?
Title: Re: Hypothetical situation for in-laws
Post by: beltim on July 27, 2015, 03:28:52 PM
I don't think there's any reason not to apply for Social Security if they're both 70 - my understanding is that their benefit won't increase any more, so there's no reason not to wait.  So they should file, and see what their benefits are.  Since that's likely to be the majority of their income, it doesn't make sense to me to figure out an overall plan until you know that number.

Title: Re: Hypothetical situation for in-laws
Post by: jeromedawg on July 27, 2015, 04:02:37 PM
I don't think there's any reason not to apply for Social Security if they're both 70 - my understanding is that their benefit won't increase any more, so there's no reason not to wait.  So they should file, and see what their benefits are.  Since that's likely to be the majority of their income, it doesn't make sense to me to figure out an overall plan until you know that number.

They have been getting social security (and medicare as well) - sorry I noticed I only mentioned that they "qualify" but they are in fact getting in it now. Seems like they don't get the "full" benefit though since they're still working? But as far as that supporting their current lifestyle & mortgage, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be near enough. I don't think we have exact figures but I think it would be very tight either way.