Default Investment

Jeff's sister has approached him with the idea of buying their parents' home, and their parents could use the money for medical expenses. Dave advises Jeff not to invest by default.

QUESTION: Jeff in Fresno is 49 with parents in their 80s. Their health is going south, and his sister has approached him with the idea of buying their home in the retirement community, and their parents could use the money for medical expenses. Dave advises Jeff not to invest by default, which is what this is.

ANSWER: You’re in Fresno, California. When your time comes to retire, you go get something to retire with. You don’t buy something for 25 years in the future before you retire for retirement on something on the other side of the continent. I’m not saying you might not retire there. You might, but it’s a little early to be planning that. You would not even be considering this were it not your parents. You don’t invest by default, and that’s what this is. They can sell it for as much money as you can give them unless you’re going to overpay them, in which case just give them a gift. They can sell it for what you would pay for market value, and you don’t need to be the owner of it in order to accomplish their goals.

I’d put the property up for sale, and let’s just market it for what it will bring for their medical bills. You guys don’t need to be partners on property that’s thousands of miles away from each of you. It serves no purpose whatsoever. It doesn’t accomplish your parents’ goals any more than if they sell it to just an individual. I personally wouldn’t do it. I see no point in doing it.

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