Just when we thought we were getting used to the re-filled nest--our college kids moving back for a few months or even years--comes now a reversal. No, it's not that they are moving out of our homes. It's that we're moving into their's.
The trend today, the research reports tell us, is for aging parents to move into the homes of their children, where the Grands are still be in residence.
According to an Erie Insurance report, out of the 76 million family households in the United States, 4.3 million (or 5.6 percent) were multigenerational households. That's a 10.5 percent increase from 2006.
Their findings are backed up by the National Association of Realtors. In its 2015Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 13 percent of all home purchases in 2014 were by a multigenerational household, consisting of adult siblings, adult children, parents and/or grandparents.
Clearly, we're not moving in with our kids in those early empty-nester days--when we're still working, traveling and living an active life and our 20-somethings are figuring our what their careers will be and with whom they'll be sharing their lives. But as we age and they move into the maturity of their child reading years, the press of health or wealth issues may make multi-generational living sensible and desirable.
The Pew Research Center found the long-term increase in multigenerational living is in part a reflection of the country’s changing racial and ethnic composition. Asian-Americans tend to live in multigenerational arrangements (27 percent) and one-in-four Hispanics and African-Americans do as well. Other reasons for the rise in multigenerational households: more Americans are struggling with health and disability issues and need easy access to caregivers; Baby Boomers seem to want to provide for their aging parents by moving them into their homes.
Our kids, in short, are willing to take care of us in our dotage but on their turf.