The US Census Bureau defines multigenerational living as a household where three or more generations live together. In other words, an arrangement that includes two or more adult generations (usually ages 25 and older) or a “skipped generation,” which consists of grandparents and their grandchildren younger than 25.
According to Pew Research, multigenerational households are on the rise in the US – as of March 2021, 59.7 million people live in such a living arrangement. Of young adults ages 25 to 29, almost a third live in multigenerational households, with close to four-in-ten men ages 25 to 29 living with older relatives.
Benefits of Multigenerational Living
There are various reasons why people decide to live in a multigenerational household, but the primary reason is financial. The monetary benefits of multigenerational living are significant, it has been found to protect residents against poverty, especially unemployed individuals. Also, bills can get split amongst the residents – for example, one person may have the house under their name since they have the best credit score, while another might handle utilities.
The mortgage won’t rise as there are six people in a home rather than two. Plus, by pooling resources together, members of a multigenerational living arrangement can set aside more money toward saving, debt repayment or even buying a larger home. Under a multigenerational roof, the cost of caregiving decreases considerably, with families saving about $60,000 in adult home care and almost $25,000 yearly in child care.
Additionally, multigenerational households can divide housework and child care, allowing family members to pursue education or training. These families get to spend quality time together and preserve cultural traditions. For elders, multigenerational living lets them age in peace, enhancing their quality of life, promoting longevity, and decreasing loneliness and depression.
The Cons of Multigenerational Households
Of course, families need to be aware of the potential downsides before committing to a multigenerational arrangement. With any home with multiple people living in close proximity, there can be conflict due to clashing personalities or the lack of privacy.
Caregivers can get overwhelmed and experience burnout. Also, in households with elderly adults and young children, there could be issues with medication and medical equipment. Plus, illnesses can spread quickly through these types of homes.
How to Make Multigenerational Arrangements Work
The key to making multigenerational household work is communication. Establish expectations early if the arrangement will be long- or short-term. Discuss boundaries, respect privacy, and set up common areas. Build a space with a private entrance, like individual kitchenettes. Create a shared chore schedule and determine who will pay what and how much.
Switch off responsibilities. If someone cooks or is always the caregiver, give them a chance to recuperate. Put time on the calendar for routine bonding activities and family traditions, which can be as simple as daily walks or board game nights.
NMC is Here to Help
If you are looking for a home suitable for a multigenerational living arrangement, contact us today, and we’ll help you find a property that can accommodate the needs of every generation.