I have a friend whose father used to joke about having boomerang children. He would say “I keep trying to get rid of them…I send them to college, but they keep coming back.” We used to laugh because it was true—all four of the kids had gone to school and then moved back home for a few years before truly going out on their own. He was apparently ahead of his time, however, as today being a “boomerang” is actually a strategy that many families are using for a number of reasons.
If it’s good enough for TV
Consider that, if nighttime soap operas like “Dallas” and “Dynasty” are to be believed, wealthy families often have multiple generations living together in either one very big home, or on a compound with multiple homes. And while these families may not have been doing so for financial reasons, it has become far more common today for these reasons and more.
For decades, having an older loved one who requires caregiving live with you has become fairly common. And there have always been some families with a set of grandparents living with them in a multifamily home. Today, however, the opposite is happening more frequently—as young couples or families move back “home” with their parents.
A new, old-school method
Remember that there are many generations who grew up living next door or down the street from their cousins or grandparents. Rising costs of living in general and the pandemic specifically have sped up a return to this type of close-knit family for many. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Pew research found that “64 million people—20% of the U.S. population—were living in households with at least two generations in 2016.” And in a survey in June 2020, Pew found that “22% of respondents had moved due to the pandemic or knew someone who had…and most of those were now cohabitating with family.”
And while there are many financial benefits of this type of arrangement, there can be some emotional ones too. For example, families and couples using this strategy may be able to:
- Save money, so they are not financially stressed and will be able to afford college or retirement
- Receive help caring for their children and with remote learning
- Enjoy stronger family bonds and gain more emotional support
- Lower their expenses if one or both have been laid off
- Spend time with family without fear of spreading COVID
Of course, there can be drawbacks, like losing some privacy and needing your own space. In many instances, however, the benefits can outweigh the negatives—and it’s certainly a strategy worth considering whether families are struggling or not.
Gasber Financial is here to help you even in the most stressful of life’s situations. We’re here to help you find the right path for yourself and your loved ones. Call us to talk about your accounts, the markets, the strategies that may be best for you—or even just to chat about life.