Connect with us

Company

My son, 23, pays me rent. He has saved $10,000 living with me. Is it wrong to ask him to leave when he hits 26?

Published

on


Dear Moneyist,

I have a 23-year-old son who lives at home and he works a full-time job. He pays $300 a month, which I put in a savings account. Is it unreasonable to tell him that, once he turns 26, he will need to move out? It makes me uncomfortable that I have to tell him this.

I feel like it is wrong, but a part of me knows that he needs to explore life and I don’t want to hinder him. He is a good young man, but he also needs to learn. I also talk to him about money management, savings and investing, but the investing I am learning myself so I can’t really teach.

He has saved $10,000 and it’s in a money-market account. What can he do to help maximize the money he has saved? And how should I invest the money he is giving me so when he does leave, he will have something to fall back on? He doesn’t know I am saving the money.

Thank you for your help and attention in this matter.

Unsure Mom

The Moneyist:My sister became my late father’s power of attorney, took out a reverse mortgage on his home, and drained his equity. What can I do?

Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Dear Unsure,

This is an opportunity for him, and you can present it as such.

Start by asking questions. “Where do you see yourself in three years? Are you happy in your job? How would you like to progress?” It may be that he decides to take advantage of this time at home to further his education, or save up for a down payment on a home to buy or a deposit on one to rent.

And then you can tell your son where you would like to see him in three or five years’ time. “You’ve worked hard and saved enough to have your own place soon. Have you thought about where you’d like to live? Rents are falling so we should take a look and see what’s out there.”

There’s no perfect way into this conversation. Any inelegance brought about by our own awkwardness can be eased by good intentions, honesty and directness. It’s a balance, and a trade off. You don’t have to get there in one conversation, but start the ball rolling now.

The Moneyist:My wife and I have 3 kids. I also have 3 kids from a previous marriage. How should we split our house among these 6 children?

I don’t even recommend Broadway shows to people, let alone what they should do with their money. You could seek out “higher quality” dividend growth stocks, consider alternative assets and asset classes, ensuring to diversify your portfolio and reduce all your exposure to equities.

You could continue on the road you’re on, play it safe and hold your money in cash (for now), but with interest rates so low, savings account are not making money, or look into gold, real estate and other commodities. If you’re considering value stocks, check out these industries.

These are options NOT recommendations. As MarketWatch columnist Mark Hulbert wrote: “The odds of making money over this turn-of-the-year period are close to three-out-of-four, which means that there is a one-out-of-four chance you will lose. So don’t throw caution to the wind.” Amen to that.

Proceed cautiously. Do not expect quick gains.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
FB,
-2.24%

 group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch.





Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Company

‘I could live on my Social Security and still save money’: This 66-year-old left Chicago for ‘calming’ Costa Rica — where he now plans to live indefinitely

Published

on

By


Editor’s note: This article was first published in September 2019.

A school break changed 66-year-old Martin Farber’s life forever.

In 2007, his daughter — who at the time was attending Illinois State University — decided she wanted to spend a college holiday volunteering in Costa Rica and staying with a local family, he explains. She came home raving about the experience, so, in 2008, Farber — who at the time was living in Evanston, Ill., just outside Chicago, and selling cars — took his first trip there.

“It was a big surprise to me — bumpy roads, dogs barking in the streets,” he says. “I wasn’t enamored at first.”

But as his daughter began traveling there more and eventually moved there for a year, he took additional trips to Costa Rica. It quickly grew on him — in particular, the people. “The Costa Rican people are warm, open and friendly. I felt less invisible in a strange country in a strange town where I didn’t speak the language than I did in Evanston.”

And the more time he spent there, the more it impacted him: “On one of my trips there, I thought: My daughter’s life makes more sense than mine,” he says. “There was nothing wrong with my life, but I felt that my life was out of context with who I’d become. … I would have bills and make money to pay them, but that had ceased to be satisfying,” he recalls. “I knew I needed to change my life — there was no more joy in what I was doing.”

What’s more, when he’d return from his Costa Rica trips, people noticed. “I would come back, and my friends and therapist would say: You seem better after you go,” he says with a laugh.

A view from the hot springs near Martin Farber’s home in Costa Rica.


Martin Farber

So in 2014, he packed up and moved to Orosi — a picturesque, lush small town with waterfalls and hot springs a little over an hour’s drive from San Jose — promising himself he’d stay for two years. It’s been five, and he now plans to stay in Costa Rica indefinitely. (Though Farber notes that, to him, “it’s not a retirement; it’s a chance to lead a new and different life.”)

Here’s what his life is like, from costs to health care to residency to everyday life:

The cost: While many expats spend way more living in Costa Rica, Farber says: “I could live on my Social Security and still save money.” He says “a person can live on $1,200 per month, two people on $2,000.” The key, he says, is to live more like he does and as the Costa Ricans do — in a modest home, eating local food and purchasing local goods.

Indeed, Farber himself spends just $300 a month for rent (he rents a home from a friend who moved recently and gave him a good deal), roughly $225 a month on groceries and just $50 a month total on water and electricity (the temperate climate in Orosi means you rarely need heat or air conditioning). The veteran Volkswagen
VOW,
+0.96%

 
VLKAF,
+0.98%

salesman saves money by not owning a car (those over 65 ride municipal buses for free), which can be a significant expense in Costa Rica; for his cellphone, “I pay as I go … roughly $10 may last me a couple weeks or more,” he says, adding that “many people handle there their cellphones this way. You can get them recharged anywhere.”

His major expense is travel: He goes back to the U.S. to visit his mother in Florida several times a year and lately has spent part of the summer in Chicago helping out a friend with a dealership there. He also spends a good amount of money on health care. He says that while flights can be had for as little as $350 roundtrip during offseasons, the cost can be much higher the rest of the year.

In the saddle.


Martin Farber

Health care: Farber, who has permanent resident status in Costa Rica, says he pays about $90 per month to participate in the country’s health-care system — adding that the health care he’s received has been very good. (A 2018 study of health-care quality and access in more than 190 nations ranked Costa Rica No. 62.)

When he developed a detached retina, though, he paid for the procedure out of pocket so that he didn’t have to wait for the required surgery, he says — adding that the entire procedure cost him about $5,000. “I would have had to have waited four days,” he says, if he had not paid to expedite matters. “That might have been fine, but it might not.” And he adds that the quality of care depends on where you get it in the country.

Lifestyle: Though Farber says that he “moved here with no goals and no agenda,” he’s found plenty to do. “I take Spanish lessons two days a week for two hours a day. It’s been great. I never thought I would acquire a usable language in my 60s,” he says. He also rides his bike all around the area, does some writing and belongs to a community group that undertakes projects to improve the area.

And he often simply takes in nature, which he says has been an essential part of why he feels calmer and more relaxed in Costa Rica than in the U.S. “I live at 3,000 feet but in a valley surrounded by coffee fields and lime trees and water. At night, if I open the windows, I can hear the river rushing by,” he says. “It is very calming … hundreds of trees everywhere … you know the Earth is alive.”

The historic Iglesia de San José de Orosi.


iStock

Cons: “I don’t want to overglorify. It’s not without its problems,” Farber says of Costa Rica. “There are social problems and downsides.” He notes that crime and petty theft can be a problem (“I am cautious,” he says of his approach) and seem to have increased since he moved there, and adds that he misses out on some cultural things because of where he lives. And, he says with a laugh, “I can’t order Thai food at 9 at night.” But, he adds: “These are trade-offs — in the afternoon, I get to walk in the coffee fields and see flocks of parrots.”

Residency: To qualify for Costa Rica’s pensionado visa, expats must prove that they have a pension of at least $1,000 coming in each month. (Here are the details of that program.) Once you have lived in Costa Rica for three years, you can apply for permanent residency. Farber used a lawyer to help him figure out the ins and outs of residency options; his entire path to permanent residency took about a year, he says.

The bottom line: “After five years I am still amazed and surprised that I made the decision to lead a life I never thought I would,” he says. And while he may not stay in Orosi forever — “the town doesn’t have an ambulance, [and] I don’t know what it will be like to be 80 there,” he says — he does plan to stay in Costa Rica in no small part because of the people and sense of community. “I have the feeling that life is good here,” he says. “It’s hard sometimes, but we are all in it together.”



Source link

Continue Reading

Company

Mutual Funds Weekly: These money and investing tips can help you read the market’s signs and stay on your path

Published

on

By



These money and investing stories were popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week.





Source link

Continue Reading

Company

Mutual Funds Weekly: These money and investing tips can help you read the market’s signs and stay on your path

Published

on

By



These money and investing stories were popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending