‘I’m a male of very simple pleasures’: I stay with my girlfriend, 59, who owns various houses and has saved $3 million. I shell out utilities and cable, and do repairs. Is that enough?

‘I’m a male of very simple pleasures’: I stay with my girlfriend, 59, who owns various houses and has saved $3 million. I shell out utilities and cable, and do repairs. Is that enough?

December 18, 2021 Off By iwano@_84

I think I am becoming extra than fair relative to sharing expenses even though residing in my girlfriend’s property, but I could use a little viewpoint.

My 59-year-old retired girlfriend is properly-off. Her lakefront household with an additional buildable good deal, her Florida condo, and her residential and industrial rental homes are all paid out off, and she has in excess of $3 million in cash and investments. She is also collecting alimony from her ex for a couple more a long time.

I am 62 and employed, and have just below $1 million in funds and investments. I have no financial debt other than a car lease, I manage my finances prudently, and I’m a male of simple pleasures.

I moved in with her a couple of decades in the past, and imagine in shelling out my truthful share of the every day costs and contributing to running the residence. I pay back all the utilities and cable, check out to add an equivalent sum toward the groceries, and do a significant quantity of work all over the residence, specifically several handyman actions (swap a faucet, deal with the dryer, and so forth.) and landscape maintenance, as well as insignificant home advancements for which I willingly contribute to the price. 

These enhancements have added value to her house. I do a lot of insignificant repairs at her rental properties and coordinate contractor do the job on her behalf because I’m fantastic at making positive matters are completed proper and that she will get what she pays for. I spring for most foods and entertainment, and am delighted to do so. We typically share the price of travel.

‘When there is an high-priced fix or the tax payments come all-around, she stresses and then focuses on me, expressing that I should really lead extra monetarily given that I never have independent home charges.’ 

I realize that I am preserving income by not acquiring the cost of a different residence, and am grateful for the possibility to reside in her stunning house and thus further more create my retirement nest egg.

Specified our markedly various financial situation, I think it best to continue to keep our estates individual, and she is in settlement. I do not be expecting anything from her estate should I outlive her and have made that obvious to her.

Here’s the rub. She on a regular basis complains about what certain items are costing her for the servicing and restore of her houses and the matters she owns (boat, cars, and so on.), however she spends freely and impulsively, with several of the issues she buys slipping by the wayside simply because they weren’t what she envisioned or truly preferred.

I see this as merely wasteful expending and feel that if she ended up really that concerned about her economic foreseeable future, she would change her expending behaviors. Many of the house repairs are owing to her poor decisions in the past — which she admits to — in hiring mates or acquaintances who do lousy function with no oversight.

When there is an costly mend or the tax charges come all-around, she stresses and then focuses on me, saying that I need to contribute much more financially given that I do not have separate property charges.

In my opinion, any servicing or restore fees linked with matters she owns are her duty, as they are for me. I would think the very same if our conditions had been reversed — if I individual it, it is my duty. I have numerous mates, both of those male and feminine, who stay with their companions, and they handle things the exact way as I think they should be managed. What do you believe?

A lot more from Me

Dear Additional,

Your letter and problem are the two uncomplicated and difficult. They’re easy mainly because you already have the answer in the palm of your hand, if you choose to see it. They are complex for the reason that you require to come to a alternative that fits both equally events. Now, from what you say in your letter, your arrangement seems to suit you extra than it fits your girlfriend. 

The easy element: She has advised you what she needs. She thinks it would be fairer if you compensated a lot more toward your dwelling bills. Phone it rent, even though I understand that “rent” looks like a soiled word in a marriage, specially as it suggests an imbalance of power (landlord/tenant) and a short-term relatively than long lasting arrangement. 

She may well convey to you this when she is pressured out, but occasionally people today only have the gumption to say what they truly sense or what is been preying on their mind for the duration of heated conversations. Is it a healthy way to converse and chat about essential challenges? No. But does it signify that she does not wish you to contribute extra? No, all over again. 

‘Intentionally or not, you threat justifying your possess want to to shore up your retirement cost savings by telling by yourself that your girlfriend has lots of dollars, which she spends willfully.’

The complicated aspect: how you add to the home, and the disparity in your financial statuses. As for the former, you “earn your keep” by carrying out repairs, figuring out that these handyman jobs have a financial worth. You are satisfied to support out and — deliberately or not — you are deducting those jobs from an imaginary hire.

Ask your girlfriend if you can give her suggestions about her purchases. (It’s generally superior to check with if you can open up the doorway to unsolicited advice before weighing in.) As I explained to the female who needed to acquire the $30,000 bracelet, we typically acquire stuff believing it will fill an psychological or religious vacuum in our life. When it doesn’t, we acquire additional. 

But all those two troubles — your contributions and your girlfriend’s paying out habits — are different challenges. It’s a blunder to conflate the two. Deliberately or not, you chance justifying your personal wish to to shore up your retirement cost savings by telling on your own that your girlfriend has a lot of funds, which she in some cases spends unwisely and willfully.

So what do you do now? You accept that resolving economical dilemmas this kind of as this will — hopefully — make your communication competencies and partnership much better. Request your girlfriend what she believes would be a honest regular monthly contribution. If there is room for negotiation, you could occur to an settlement on cash and using the services of able repairpeople.

With no owning this conversation and working with the Peloton in the area head-on, you will maintain tripping in excess of it.

You can e mail The Moneyist with any economical and ethical issues similar to coronavirus at [email protected], and stick to Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

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