A few years ago, about one in every five households in the U.S. was comprised of multiple adult generations: a combination of adult “kids”, parents, and grandparents. That number reflected a growing trend this century, rising by almost 51% between 2000 and 2016, when 64 million homes were multigenerational households. As we shift from the COVID-19 shutdown, we’re moving into the “Next” Normal. Expect to see an even bigger rise of the multigenerational home as families see the value is so much greater now.
Safety in numbers
Rewind to the decades leading up to 2000. The Baby Boomers were still in their youthful prime. Their parents were retiring, and many moved from their homes. Some chose low-maintenance living in warmer climates. Others—particularly those who either needed more care or were closing in on that time—chose assisted living.
That lifestyle began to change in the last 10 years. Boomers—those helicopter parents so inclined to be deeply involved in their kids’ lives—wanted their own parents to live close enough to keep an eye on them.
The novel coronavirus poses the biggest threat to people aged 65 or older, an age group that represents about 80% of the total COVID-related deaths. The decision to move mom and dad in with their adult kids is now made to safeguard them from the virus risk in nursing homes and assisted living communities.
At The Courtyards on Lawyers Road near Raleigh, NC, one of the first homes sold in this Epcon Communities neighborhood will be a multigenerational household. A 61-year-old woman is purchasing a home with her aging parents. They’ve added a bonus suite to the floorplan so everyone can enjoy their own private living space.
Coincidentally, this family’s new home will have another active adult woman living on one side and that woman’s parents living on the other. With the detached, single-family ranch homes in Epcon Communities, there are a variety of ways that adults and their parents can live as closely as they want—under one roof or as neighbors!
Boomers and Boomerangs
The majority of Baby Boomers have reached retirement age—whether or not they have actually retired is another issue. While they’re considering the option of having their parents move in with them, Boomers are also faced with another growing trend. Their kids are moving back home.
A TD Ameritrade survey of Millennials conducted last year showed that 24% of this generation plans to live in their parents’ home until they reach their late 20s and even into their 30s! The primary driver is for them to whittle away at their student loan debt.
With business closures and job losses that resulted from the pandemic, it will be no surprise if those percentages rise significantly in the months ahead. The opportunity to work remotely could also push more Boomerangers to stick around and enjoy the comforts of the family home.
Multigen living is common in other parts of the world. It’s an accepted part of the culture to respect the elders and their value on the family unit. The pandemic has changed so many aspects of our daily lives. Bringing families closer together is a bright light in this difficult time!
As you think about how you want to live, consider making your next home in one of the Epcon Communities, located throughout 21 states. These beautiful homes offer outstanding features, including a private courtyard and an optional bonus suite. The variety of community amenities and having exterior maintenance included contributes to the quality of life you’ve earned.