A New Meaning to Multigenerational Living

By: James Flippin · April 19, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Full Nesters

The dynamics of multigenerational households are shifting.

Historically, these households entailed young adults moving back in with their parents, or aging parents moving in with their adult children. Now, a growing number of parents are moving in with their young adult children and doing so at a younger age, while still healthy and employed.

This trend is frequently driven by the high cost of housing and childcare. Some also attribute the change to a stronger prioritization of family life. Regardless of the reason, this transition is redefining the meaning of multigenerational living.

Move-in Metrics

The number of adults living with parents or older relatives has grown significantly in recent years. In 2021, almost 20% of Americans were part of a multigenerational household, up from just 12% in 1980. With increasingly unattainable housing prices and catalysts like COVID and the Global Financial Crisis, this trend has only become more defined in recent years.

Most of these households still consist of adult children moving in with their parents. However, an increasing number of older adults are moving in with millennials. In fact, the percentage of multigenerational households headed by adults aged 25 to 34 has increased from 6% in 2001 to 9% in 2021.

Ups & Downs

Living with family can be a beautiful thing — but it’s rarely without its complications. The majority of adults in multigenerational households reported a positive experience living with their parents, but nearly 25% of respondents admitted it was often stressful.

On the plus side, combining resources and sharing bills can lead to significant financial benefits for all parties involved. With more hands on deck, everyone in the household may find more time for leisure and enjoy the benefits of a larger support network. Additionally, families may save on childcare costs with more adults available to pitch in.

One downside is that the increased number of people in a household can make it difficult to find a quiet place to work or relax. Both are highly valuable as remote work becomes a norm. Privacy can also become a concern, as personal space may be limited.

At the end of the day, the choice to move in with family — or allow them to move in with you — is as much a personal decision as a financial one. Just like the latter, the former should take into account every cost and benefit.

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