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 4%. He has $275,000 in cash and retirement accounts. He’s retired.

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

We want to live together but can’t agree on a fair ‘rent’ payment. He is reluctant to live in my house because there are fewer facilities there.

He thinks I should pay half of his monthly bill in his better, more expensive house. He can pay off his mortgage and save $600 a month, but he likes cash.

I’ve given up that luxury and paid off my mortgage. I am now trying to build my savings. I don’t think it’s fair to me to pay half the mortgage interest charges.

If I don’t have an equity in his house, I don’t know how much repair and maintenance I should be responsible for. There are many opinions, none of which are fair.

These are his proposed options:

· I live in his house so I can rent mine out. Pay him half of what I netted on that rent.

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

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Pay him the taxes, insurance, and utilities that I pay for my current home: $800/month.

What do you say, pecuniary?

homeowner and girlfriend

Dear Homeowner,

I’m sure your house is just as good. Just because he believed it, didn’t make it so. If you don’t pay the mortgage on your house, I don’t think you should pay a penny more to live in his house.

That said, you shouldn’t get out of this arrangement just because he (a) wants you to live in his home and (b) help him pay off his mortgage, or his taxes and alimony.

You’ve all made different choices: Your choice is to own a home without a mortgage so you can spend time building up savings for retirement and/or planning ahead.

You’ve worked hard to pay off your mortgage and have $50,000 in savings, less than 20% of your boyfriend’s savings. With $150,000 left on his mortgage, it’s his choice.

If his goal is to get help paying off half the mortgage, he can get a tenant to do it for him.

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You are not the answer to his long-term financial plan, you are his partner in life. If his goal is to get help paying off half the mortgage, he can get a tenant to do it for him.doing what you Looking forward to you? Forget his expectations.

He’s approaching this arrangement, by the way, and it seems like he wants the equivalent of detergent and fabric softener — a girlfriend and tenant in a handy bottle to keep his financial plans smooth and clean.

Bottom line: You shouldn’t compromise any plans to build your reserves. This lady is not fit to turn around. Only acquiesce to his plan with the help of the actual tenant in your home – and it will help you too.

In other words, the outcome you want is more important than the advice he makes. He saves $600 a month! That’s his business. It’s not yours. What do you want in your pocket each month?

figure out what you want, then work backwards based on that goal. For example, if you can pay him $800 a month, collect $1,600 in rent for your home, and put $800 into your savings, then do so.

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

Check Monetary’s Private Facebook Panel, we’re here to find answers to life’s toughest money questions. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me more about what you’d like to know, or participate in the latest Moneyist column.

The pecuniary regrets that he cannot answer the question alone.

By emailing your questions, you agree to publish them anonymously on MarketWatch.By submitting your story to MarketWatch’s publisher Dow Jones & Co., you understand and agree that we may use your story or versions thereof in all media and platforms, including through third parties.

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