August 09, 2018
Financial stress is a multigenerational issue. Young adults look at high home prices in many parts of the country and wonder when –or if– they will ever be able to afford to buy. And a recent survey found that economic concerns –such as the cost of childcare– are a leading factor for why young adults plan to have fewer children than they once anticipated.
At the same time, many older adults are heading into retirement with troubling levels of debt. That’s not a recipe for a secure and stress free retirement.
If all of that sounds a lot like what is going on in your family, I’d like you to start a family-wide conversation about living together, under one roof.
If you just read that and are thinking “No way. I would never do that to my kids/parents” you are coming at this from the wrong angle. This is not a sign of weakness. This is not an act of defeat. It can be an incredibly liberating decision for everyone, that “solves” many financial issues.
It’s also a growing trend. A record 64 million Americans live in a house where there are at least two adult generations. In 1980, 12% of U.S. households were multigenerational, today that’s at 20%. No wonder many homebuilders are now designing homes with layouts that work for two adult generations.
Will living together take some adjusting? Of course. Tradeoffs? Absolutely. Is every family built to thrive living together? Nope! But to not explore the possibility is a big mistake as far as I am concerned. Living together is not “settling.” It may be the solution that allows you, and those you love most, to thrive. That seems like a strategy well worth homing in on.