Author Topic: Reader Case Study - How to bring in another adult to the household  (Read 2100 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 29

She (32): $3200 after taxes
He (35): $1200 after taxes
Future rental: $2500 before taxes

Current expenses:

TOTAL: $3177

Mortgage $1,249.00
Internet   $52.00
PG&E   $20.00
Home Insurance   $40.00
Umbrella Policy   $13.00
Auto Insurance   $32.00
Garbage   $28.00
Water   $34.00
(2) Cell phones   $4.00 (reimbursed by wife's work)
Property Tax   $493.67
subtotal: $1966

Food: $400
Shopping:   $305
Travel: $223
Auto & Transport: $186
Health & Fitness:    $51
Gifts & Donations:   $31
Entertainment:   $15
subtotal: $1211

Expected ER expenses:

Healthcare costs!?!
Taking care of family member


Totals: $655k (liquid) + ~$550k (house)

Her 401k: $115k
Her Roth: $63k

His Rollover: $82k
His Roth: $32k

Joint cash: $65k
Joint taxable investment account: $271k


Mortgage balance: $256k @ 3.75% with 29 years remaining (recent refinance)

About us

We are nearly finished building an in-law unit in our backyard, which we intend to live in while renting out our main house. We hope to become landlords early next year. I currently work part time as I've been building our in-law unit myself for the most part. My wife brings home the bacon, but she can't wait to switch to a part-time job too. We max out our Roths every year and my wife maxes out her 401k. We don't own a car and we live a pretty healthy lifestyle.

I realize that we're in a fortunate position. We have a lot of assets due to about 8 years of increasing frugality and a one-time windfall. However, my brother (34) has serious physical and mental health issues and is totally broke. We expect that we'll have to take care of him in the near future as he may soon need to rely on a wheelchair. Our current home isn't great for someone with accessibility needs.

My questions relate to planning for potentially adding another member to our household.


1) With the uncertainty of the cost of healthcare for the three of us if my wife quits her job, do you think we should plan to move somewhere cheaper (we're currently in the Bay Area, CA) and sell our house or continue to rent it out?

2) I love my brother but he's difficult to get along with. If we lived with him in the same house all three of us would likely be unhappy. Any living arrangements you might suggest?


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 548
  • Location: New Zealand
Re: Reader Case Study - How to bring in another adult to the household
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 12:51:54 AM »
About the brother:  any nearby 'villages' with good accessibility to the units? 

This is something that I guess would vary massively depending on location, but I have a friend here who has fairly severe Cerebral Palsy who is able to live alone because of a City Council flat/unit area where it is essentially a miniature retirement village, but not just for the elderly - for anyone who needs an accessible dwelling (ramped doorways, low door handles, wheelchair access bathrooms, low-benched kitchens etc).  It is very small, but sufficient for his needs.

He has a caregiver who comes twice a day to help with cleaning and cooking, and anything else he needs help with (putting shoes on, phoning taxi companies to arrange any unexpected rides he needs for the day etc), but he can take care of his personal hygiene needs just fine, he has a full-time job, and he certainly doesn't need round the clock care at all.

I guess what I'm saying is - is there some living arrangement in between a fully-assisted living facility and living in your house with you?  I have no idea about your brother's needs, but unless he needs round the clock care, finding him somewhere relatively secure and accessible and paying for a carer to come however often he needs it would be less stressful on your marriage (especially if he's as difficult as you say) - then you can regularly visit and be a brother and friend, and not the bastard who ruins his every waking moment :)

tldr: I wouldn't be bringing him into the family unless there was absolutely no other option.  If he's difficult to get along with now, it will likely be worse the sicker and (probably) more resentful he gets.  There will be other options, but they are likely highly location specific.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 12:57:52 AM by homehandymum »


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