Multi-Generational Living – The Retirement Crisis

Three generations living under one roof, known as multi-generational housing, is here to stay and is on the rise. With people living longer and long term care costs increasing, multi-generational living may be the new assisted living plan.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 16.7 percent of Americans live in a home where there are at least two generations of adults living together.  And a 2012 survey conducted by PulteGroup found that approximately 1/3 of adult children expect to eventually share a home with a parent.

This is definitely not a new trend among many cultures but it is a newer trend for the American culture and there are strong indications it will continue to rise.  With the 65+ population growing substantially (expected to double by 2060) and the younger generation having a more difficult time financially, this is a great solution for many.

Most younger adults who have moved back home report being happy with their choice.  Almost half are paying rent and almost 90 percent help pay household expenses.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

Many designers, builders and remodelers are keeping this trend in mind with two master suites in a home or other areas that can easily be converted  as well as doing a kind of two-home-in-one approach to support this type of living arrangement.

This trend was present during the Great Depression as well but, when the economy shifted, it began to decline.  But today, people may have come together because of the economy and are now choosing to stay together because of the support they can provide for one another.

If you decide to explore this type of living arrangement, be sure to look at all the factors including how well you get along with your potential new roommates, how you will support each other in a way that works for everyone and how your lifestyles will work together.  Open communication and desire by all parties to make it work is the key to success and everyone feeling like they are winning.

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