My boyfriend has a nicer house, and says I should live with him. My mortgage is paid off. He believes I should pay half of his monthly costs. Is that fair?

Dear Quentin,

My boyfriend owns a house with a 30-year mortgage balance of $150,000 at a 4% interest rate. He has $275,000 in cash and retirement accounts. He retired.

My house is paid for. I have $50,000 in cash and retirement accounts. I would like to retire in one to two years.

We want to live together but we haven’t been able to agree on a “rent” just to pay. He doesn’t want to live in my house because he has less amenities.

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

I gave up that luxury and paid off my mortgage. I am currently working to build my savings. I don’t feel it’s 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 feel fair.

These are the options he established:

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

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

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

What do you say, money?

Homeowners and housewives

Dear Homeowner,

I’m sure your house is just as beautiful. And just because he believes it, doesn’t make it so. If you are paying any mortgage on your own home, I don’t think you should pay an extra red cent to live in it.

That is, you should not get out of this arrangement to pay more, just because he (a) would like you to stay in his house and (b) help him pay his mortgage, or his taxes and maintenance.

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

You’ve 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 it’s his choice.

If her goal is to get help paying off half of her mortgage, she can find a tenant to do that for her.

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You are not the answer to his long term financial plan, you are his partner in life. If her goal is to get help paying off half of her mortgage, she can find a tenant to do that for her. what to do you expect from you? Forget what he expects.

By the way he is approaching this arrangement, it seems like he wants the equivalent of a detergent and fabric softener – a housekeeper and a tenant in a handy bottle to keep his financial plan smooth and clean.

Bottom line: You shouldn’t compromise any plans to build your nest egg. The lady is not to turn. Only accept his plan if – with the help of a current tenant in your home – it also helps you.

In other words, the result you want is more important than the suggestions he put forward. He could save $600 a month! It’s his business. It’s not you. What do you want to have in your pocket every month?

Find out what you want, and then work your way backwards based on that goal. For example, if you can pay him $800 a month, charge $1,600 in rent for your house, and put $800 into your savings, do it.

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You have come a long way. Don’t let these negotiations ruin that.

Check out The Moneyist’s private Facebook group, where we seek answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or click on the latest Moneyist column.

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