The Real Modern Family: Is Multi-Generational Living Right For Yo

Do you think there’s still a stigma against living with your parents as an adult?

That may have been the case in the past, but according to data from Pew Research, more than half of young adults in the United States are still living at home — the most since the Great Depression.


This information should come as no great shock, as recent economic downturns, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, have forced just about every working adult to reassess their positions in life. For many, moving back into their family home is the right choice.


Even if you haven’t already moved in with your parents due to the financial stress from the pandemic, multi-generational living might even be the right move for you and your family — provided you keep the following factors in mind as you make your decision.


Why Are Households Going Multi-Generational?


Without a doubt, economic circumstances are pushing many families toward multi-generational living. The surge of young adults moving back to their parents’ homes in 2020 coincided with waves of employment losses, suggesting that many choose to help themselves recover financially.


Maintaining a household, after all, is less burdensome when you have multiple sets of adults living under one roof. Indeed, if you’re trying to cut back on expenditures to bounce back from hardship, then a temporary multi-generational scenario might benefit you greatly.


For example’s sake, let’s say you were preparing to have a child, but a pandemic-related job loss slashed your income. Moving back in with your parents just long enough to save up money to build a house of your own, transition to a new career, and wait out the pandemic would be a smart way to get yourself back on track while saving your sanity.


As it turns out, there are also plenty of benefits to multi-generational living in the long term that goes beyond financial benefits. This article from the Atlantic makes it clear that the number of 25-34-year-olds living with their parents was already on the rise before the pandemic hit (and after the last recession ended), suggesting that more than economic factors were at play in young adults’ decisions.


Looking at the other benefits afforded by multi-generational living, you can see how, for many individuals, they justify maintaining that lifestyle long-term. Those secondary benefits include:


  • Sharing parental responsibilities, like cleaning up after younger children.
  • Sharing household responsibilities, like chores.
  • Giving younger adults the ability to closely care for aging loved ones.
  • Forging a deeper bond between parents and adult children.
  • Promoting more family time.
  • Creating a general peace of mind in regards to the wellbeing of other family members.


The bottom line here is that having multiple generations under one roof does allow you to pool resources which reduces the financial burdens of trying to start a family, maintain your lifestyle, etc. The secondary advantages of this style of living, as well are also strong enough reasons to adopt it for yourself. Before you do, though, be sure to think of the drawbacks as well.


Reasons to Avoid Multi-Generational Living


While there are strong reasons to share one home with multiple generations, there are also downsides that you should consider first, particularly if you have unresolved family friction.


Living together can cause long-festering disputes to come bubbling to the surface in an ugly fashion, so if you have tension that needs to be worked out, a multi-generational situation may not be ideal. Some other cons to keep in mind include:


  • Reduced privacy for all family members.
  • Significant lifestyle changes for both younger and older generations.
  • Potential for financial stress if one party is not pulling their weight.
  • The costs of relocation may be prohibitive.
  • It might be difficult to extricate yourself from the situation if you’re jointly purchasing a new property to live together in.


This list should leave you with plenty to chew on. These challenges could be significant, so it’ll be best if you take these into account and think of ways you might mitigate them before you commit to a multi-generational living situation.


Wrapping Up


Now you have some decisions to make in regards to choosing a home for your family.


While choosing multi-gen living could be helpful, provide significant financial benefits and bring your family closer together, you’ll have to weigh that against downsides like intergenerational turbulence, relocation costs, and the like.


Be sure to consider your options carefully, but remember that multi-generational living is now more common than it has been in nearly a century, and there’s no reason to feel any shame if you think that moving back in with your paren