Family trends are changing in America. These days, more young adults are living at home after college. Plus a larger share of the aging population is moving in with their kids too. The label multi-generational living is starting to become a household term.
There are many reasons why multi-generational living has become more popular. Things like a weak economy, a shortage of affordable housing and adults choosing to get married later in life all increase multi-generational living.
Larger Asian and Hispanic populations, where multi-generational living is the norm, is contributing to this growing trend as well.
There are a lot great benefits, especially financial ones, that come from having more than one generation in the same household. Here are some financial benefits of multi-generational living.
Lower Cost of Living
The most obvious financial benefit of multi-generational living is a lower cost of living for each individual. Living with more people means you can split the cost of living between the families or working adults to save money.
An “in-law suite” is often added on to the property to provide more privacy. Whomever is moving into the “in-law suite” typically helps pay for the property addition.
Multi-generational living may require a larger property. But it’s still cheaper to pay one bill instead of each having a mortgage on two separate homes.
Shared Food and Household Good Costs
In addition to the saving of not having to pay a mortgage or rent payment by yourself, another savings can come from shared food and household good costs. Plus cooking together allows family recipes to pass on to new generations, and teaches young people to cook, which is an invaluable skill and a great way to save money vs. eating out.
Building Close Relationships
Ask anyone who is living with their parents or other family members and the number one benefit they’ll probably tell you is that multi-generational living helps build stronger family relationships. How many children these days get to spend time with extended family members on a regular basis? Not many.
Passing wisdom down through the generations is an invaluable blessing. The older generation becomes a role model. They instill value and tradition into younger generations, helping them avoid making some of life’s biggest, and most costly, mistakes.
Giving Older Generations a Purpose
A majority of the elderly placed in nursing homes or care facilities view this as a negative. They may even become depressed and lonely. Living with younger people, especially children, seem to give them a purpose to stay active. A happy person requires less care. Thus the financial costs are cheaper than for those who might be depressed. Plus, having your loved ones at home means you won’t have the financial burden of paying for a retirement facility.
Lower Child Care Costs
Depending on the age of elders, and the energy level of kids, parents might have a built-in babysitter now and then. Child care is very expensive. Therefore, having another family member at home who can care for the children during the summer or in the evenings when you need a break is a great financial benefit. Not having to pay for a babysitter can make a night out much cheaper.
Moving multiple personalities and bodies into a single living space can get tricky. If you and your family are considering this change, be sure to be open and honest with one another. It’s also important to make sure everyone has some privacy. Close relationships are invaluable, especially when it comes to family. Do your homework and you’ll be able to enjoy the time and financial savings of multi-generational living.
Have you ever lived with multiple generations of family in one home? Were there any financial benefits?
Photo courtesy of: April Moore-Harris
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