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little immigrant

Advantages and disadvantages of bringing parents

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I'm interested to hear your experiences of bringing your parents here. 

 

I offered my mom and my biological dad a green card but they declined for now. Both said they might consider it when they retire. Who knows if that visa category is still around then. 

 

Having them here would help me to take care of them when they're older. I'm honestly unwilling to go back to my birth country. But I've heard many stories about how mothers changed to the worse once they came here. I don't know if it's age, the new environment or what. 

 

Do you live with your mom and/or dad? How has your life changed since they moved here? 

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Biggest disadvantage is likely to be what you’ll pay for healthcare.

 

No one here can tell whether your mother will “change” (whatever you mean by that), but obviously it can be difficult for anyone to adapt to a new country and especially older people.

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Well obviously nobody can tell me if she will change. I just heard stories about older women becoming really mean and they had quite a character change. Which of course could have happened regardless they move or not. 

 

Health insurance is a good point. Thankfully my parents are quite healthy (unlike me) but once they retire, for what type of health insurance would they qualify? How do others deal with this? The public charge concern is getting bigger and I wouldn't want to do something illegal. 

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I think what sometimes happens is people put a lot of pressure on their parents to move when they don’t really want to, and then  it’s human nature to blame the kid who “made them move” every time something goes wrong, especially if (as sometimes seems to be the case judging from some people on vj, not saying this is you at all) a primary motivation is cheap childcare, which keeps the parent stuck at home or at least restricted in terms of what they can do.

 

They will have to go mainly private for healthcare, or Medicare part B apparently (you need to research costs and what it covers and what the gaps are). If they come once retired they won’t get social security etc, that and free Medicare require 10 years of contributions to qualify. It’s definitely something you want to research properly. Being healthy now doesn’t necessarily mean anything for when they get old, and a couple of decades paying for a retired person’s healthcare can get very expensive in the US. Will they have a pension from their home country they can remit to the US?

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Very few people can afford to retire to the US, if the children have the funds to pay for them then give them the option.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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I brought my parents to the US and it was one of the best decisions ever. How old are your parents? 


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26 minutes ago, little immigrant said:

Yes my parents would receive pension

 

They're in their mid 50s

 

@hope2018 why was it one of the best decisions ever?

 

 Visiting is one thing. What about taking care of them when they're older? Health insurance issues aside. I'm their only child. 

In a country with potentially astronomical medical costs for people with no social security/Medicaid net, you can’t just say “health insurance aside”. Read the forums to see how many people travel back to their home countries for affordable medical care. And there reaches a stage where age and health make travel difficult or even dangerous in itself. Your desire to take care of them is very commendable- but your financial status will need to match that desire. Example: common surgery for older people is hip replacement. That’s around $40k on average. If you look at the statistics, something like 90% of healthcare costs for seniors is covered by Medicare and/or Medicaid. Your parents won’t have that option. All I’m saying is, be prepared. 

 

Incidentally - just some general questions apart from healthcare relating back to your first post -you say your parents don’t want to move now. Have they said they want to move when they are retired? Or are they still not that keen? What is their social/extended family support network like at home, and who would they have in the US other than you? Do they speak English well? (I’m not sure where you are from). We did this kind of opposite to you - my father came here first (he’s been a citizen for many years so no issues re health insurance). We’ve settled very well, but he’s still homesick after more than 2 decades in the US. It’s not practical for him to return now, but I think in his heart of hearts that’s what he’d prefer to do :(

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Not just Health, I know someone whose Mother had to go into a care home and it is having severe financial consequences.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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5 hours ago, hope2018 said:

My situation is very different. My parents were late 50s and early 60s when I decided to bring them to the U.S.  From a financial standpoint, my husband and I would be able to support my parents. I have a very supportive spouse . I always told my parents “it is hard to come to America,  but it is easy to leave America if things do not work out”. My husband and I did not have any children at that time. Our house has enough room for my parents. 

My mom was having a lot of health issues and

passed out a few times, so my brother had to take her to the ER every time. My dad was also not doing well and had a lot of side effects from the medications he was taking. He ended up having a couple surgeries (for acute health problems) . I wanted to be able to take care my parents badly. One of my dad’s biggest dreams is to come to America, but he declined to move due to his health when I said I would make his dream come true. Fortunately, my dad met a very good old man who was practicing herbal medicine. I don’t know what he gave my dad, but my dad was able to get off all of his medications and has been doing so much better ever since. My parents wanted to see where I lived but they did not pass the interview for tourist visa, so I went ahead and applied for immigrant visa and they passed. 

 

My parents were born shortly after the Vietnam war so they had a very unusual childhood due to the war. The war was lasting for many years, so my parents witnessed and experienced things that I could never imagine or understand. They have wonderful work ethic and positive attitude of life. My parents told me they could survive anywhere they go. They are hardworking people. 

 

When they came to the U.S., they took ESL class offered by a local church. I bought them basic English books to learn. My dad used google translate to translate the entire driver’s manual! My dad had police training when he was younger. He has so much common sense when it comes to directions and being aware of his surroundings. He passed his driving test (took him a couple times due to language barrier) . He began to teach my mom how to drive. She finally got her driver license too (not easy for her but she did it !). They started to work odd jobs like painting and cleaning. They have always paid taxes no matter how much they make. They finally found a full time jobs that offered health insurance. 

 

We have  a Vietnamese doctor in the city where we live, so my parents went to her and she sent my mom to a cardiologist who took her off all of her medications and monitor her yearly. I got my parents into different specialists and got their health problems under control. 

 They lived with my husband and I for the first few years to save as much money as they can. My husband taught them about banking and credit card. He took them to the bank to open a checking account and they got their own credit card. They became more and more independent. My youngest sister got a student visa so she came to stay with us too. It worked out well because my parents were worrying about her since she is the only unmarried child left. My sister was already bilingual so learning a third language like English was not too hard for her. She is young and could learn things 10 times faster than my parents. She does well in school, volunteer at a local hospital, work in campus and do a lot of extra activities at school. She makes my parents proud and want to be in America more.

 

After a few years, my husband and I have a baby so my parents and sister moved out to a house that is a few miles away from my house. They are not my full time babysitter, but they helped me so much. They enjoy my baby and want to see my baby as much as they can. Since they live so close, I stop by their house every single day after work to visit. 

My parents both passed their naturalization interview recently so they are very happy. 

Eveeything seems to be Ok since my parents moved here. They are still working full time and want to work until they are no longer able to work. I feel blessed to have both parents here. 

 

Sounds like everything worked out really well for you guys - nice to hear stories like this!

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On 10/29/2018 at 9:23 PM, SusieQQQ said:

Have they said they want to move when they are retired? Or are they still not that keen? What is their social/extended family support network like at home, and who would they have in the US other than you? Do they speak English well? (I’m not sure where you are from)

They both said they want to move once they retire. My parents are divorced from each other and my mom was married for 24 years to another man who died so she's a widow now. 

 

After her husband died my mom pretty much isolated herself from everyone in the family and her friends. I think my dad is doing pretty well and he has friends. He just got divorced from his wife of 17 years. He also has an uncle in Ohio. Other than him he doesn't have anybody and I can imagine that they would live close to me. 

 

My dad speaks English well enough to make himself understood but my mom doesn't speak well. Of course we all got taught English in school but you forget a lot. 

 

We are from Germany. 

 

@hope2018Thank you for sharing your experience. 

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Really a money issue, if they have crunched the numbers and can afford it for for it.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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