Baby boomers are opening their doors to family members needing a place to live. Our tough economic times have forced many young adults, the children of baby boomers, to return home to live, sometimes with their own children. At the same time, many boomers are caring for elderly parents who have moved in with them. So many baby boomers now live in multigenerational homes, supporting three, sometimes four, generations in one household. Boomers have become the safety net for their families.
A recent American Association of Retired People (AARP) Bulletin’s Multigenerational Housing Survey indicates multigenerational households are on the rise, largely due to the economy, and will likely escalate in the future. AARP found 11 percent of baby boomers currently live with their elderly parents or their grandchildren and 11 percent of young adults live with their boomer parents or in-laws.
The study shows a direct correlation between a loss of income and young adults moving back to their parents’ homes after a period of independence. Plus, it revealed that, when young adults were asked how likely it was that they would move in with a family member, ‘15 percent said that it was likely’ and ‘34 percent said it would be due to a loss of income.’
The repercussions of the recession are still felt by most Americans. Many seniors are struggling with daily living expenses, soaring housing costs and exorbitant hikes in medical and long-term care expenses. Too many seniors lose the battle, can’t support themselves and move in with their boomer children.
At the same time, young adults, hit hard with unemployment, underemployment and foreclosures in a downsized market, are in need of financial support from Mom and Dad. So boomer children are moving back home, often with their own kids, to become part of the boomer household.
Baby boomers, also hit hard by the recession, are squeezed right in the middle. They are sandwiched in between aging parents who need care and their own children who need help. The Pew Research Center reports that today, roughly one in every eight baby boomers is caring for a parent and a child.
But supporting a multigenerational home can prove challenging for boomers. Many postpone retirement and keep working to financially support their extended family members. While some boomers require flexibility in their work schedules to handle the demands of care giving, others need to reduce their hours or retire early to provide adequate care giving for their elderly parents. The situation causes high levels of stress and anxiety in boomers as they juggle the demands of three generations under one roof.
More baby boomer multigenerational homes are on the horizon as more boomers open their doors to accommodate their family members in need of their help. Boomers are all about family and will continue to serve as a safety net for their family.