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Many cultures live in multi-generational households. In other countries, it is very common for generations to live together and benefit from the strength in numbers. In places like Japan and France, elder care is generally done at home within the family. Other locations like America often rely on assisted living facilities to help care for aging family members who often have chronic medical issues.
Being Independent Starts Young
Growing up, most people are taught to be self-sufficient and independent. Most people want the advantages of being able to do things on their own and the way they want. This puts emphasis on growing up and moving out as early as age eighteen. Many young adults leave their family home for college or work with no intention of moving home.
While living independently seems the responsible choice, it can cause economic and other problems in short order. Young families often find themselves covering the costs of their homes as well as costs for childcare and childhood expenses. This can delay or reduce their ability to acquire goods and services until their children get older. When their parents start to age, middle-aged people find themselves often assisting their parents financially or otherwise in addition to their own family at home. This can also impact their ability to save for their own needs including retirement.
Living a Multi-Generational Lifestyle May Be a Win-Win
Families who share a multi-generational lifestyle don’t feel the same financial and other pressures that independent families experience. As kids grow and start new families, their parents are available to provide child-care which greatly reduces the expenses for young families. While grandparents assist with childcare, young adults can be in the workforce generating income and building their careers.
As the young children in the home grow, they develop a loving and reciprocating relationship with their grandparents and over time can be part of the caregiving system when their grandparents become elderly and need support. The cycle begins again with each generation.
Multi-Generational Living Makes Economic Sense
Living independently is an important part of an adult’s dignity. This independence can help keep them vital and their mental health strong. Living in a mother-in-law space or inside the home can reduce costs for everyone since adult children often contribute to the care for their parents. Instead of retirement or social security money going towards overhead, elderly adults can contribute to their family’s household budget.
Having an adult in the home to watch children under eighteen can save money too. Babies and toddlers need child care and adolescents and teens need emotional support and a responsible adult on hand for safety. Retired parents can bridge this gap and provide care and supervision, saving money.
While it may not be for everyone, multi-generational living could be a good idea for some families. Consider bringing your family together in one space designed for multi-generational living and save money while making important memories.
Loving Life — The Reboot!
This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.