1 in 3 Adults Now Lives With Older Family Members. Here's Why

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  • Many Americans aged 18 and over live with older family members.
  • 40% of adults live with older family members to save money.
  • Moving in with family gives working adults more flexibility with their time and money.

Two years ago, I was one of them.

Inflation sucks. It makes everything more expensive, from gas prices to the cost of groceries. To combat higher prices, many adults are moving in with family members. It's a trend that has been growing for decades among working Americans, according to Pew Research.

There are many reasons to live in a multi-generational household. But the No. 1 reason cited by those in multi-generational households is saving money.

You can save money

To save money, as many as one in three adults choose to live with older family members, according to Pew. Among 25-to-29-year-old men, that number jumps to two in five adults. I moved in with my parents at the start of the pandemic, when I graduated college. The reason: to save money.

It worked. I saved thousands on housing costs. And I put my free time toward building my writing portfolio. Thanks to my parents, now I can support myself by freelance writing.

In these situations, all the family members who are living together can benefit financially. Here's how:

  • They get to split housing costs.
  • They can share a vehicle and split car insurance bills.
  • They're able to reduce grocery fees by shopping in bulk at stores like Costco.

Money saved can be put toward a move-out fund or long-term savings in a high-yield savings account.

You can do more with your time

Despite these financial benefits, only 40% of adults report living with older family members to save money. Other reasons include the following:

  • To care for a child (12%)
  • To care for an older family member (25%)
  • Because it's an arrangement they've always had (28%)

Having family members help with healthcare saves time -- two pairs of hands are better than one. Sometimes, caregivers can even get paid for caring for a family member.

There's also a time benefit to living at home with family members. Moving out and figuring out how to pay for living expenses takes effort.

Should you live with your family?

Maybe. Adult children are more likely than parents to say that living with family actually saves them money. And living with family can be stressful -- it's important to establish boundaries so all parties feel as if they're in control of their living situations.

Before making the decision, consider the following:

  • Make sure your family is on the same page.
  • Estimate how much money you'd need to save for retirement.
  • Calculate how much money you could save by living with family.

Will it be worth it?

For me, living with the family was worth it. Despite the stress, it gave me the opportunity to achieve financial independence. I ended up moving out after a year or so, but some folks might decide to stay longer, and that's fine -- it could end up saving them thousands in the long run.

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